Archive for the ‘Favourite Places’ Category

A Roman Secret

November 22, 2011 in Favourite Places | Comments (0)



The Locarno



is a small hotel on the Via della Penna,








just around the corner from the Piazza del Popolo, right in the centre of Rome.







It has a modest entrance












and ancient birdcage lifts.














The Art Deco details are a little faded









as is the cozy old salon.











But the Locarno has long been the favoured haunt of writers, film-makers and artists. Moravia frequented it as did Pasolini. The writer Alain Elkann



has even written a book about the hotel.






Flipping through a few pages of the guest book I saw,  in quick succession, the names of the physicist Carlo Rubbia (Nobel, 1984), the directors Abel Ferrara and Wes Anderson; actors Colin Firth, John Turturro and Adrian Brody; and winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, Shireen Ebadi.

The Locarno is one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever been in: unpretentious, friendly and very lively in the evenings.


The Bhukailash Rajbari, Kolkata

May 9, 2011 in Favourite Places | Comments (33)


This is the seat of one of Bengal’s oldest zamindaris. The grounds are right in the crowded heart of Kidderpore, which is a blessing in a way, for it makes the place very difficult to find.




Many Bhojpuri-speaking people live in the surrounding area and the atmosphere is reminiscent of Benares.  Outside Kidderpore very few people seem to know about the Bhukailash Rajbari.



Hangzhou: West Lake

May 6, 2011 in Favourite Places | Comments (0)


Hangzhou, the capital of China’s Zhejiang Province, is a city of legendary beauty. In China it is often said: ‘In heaven there is Paradise; on Earth Suzhou and Hangzhou.’ It is with some trepidation that one visits such a place for the possibilities of disappointment are legion. But Hangzhou does not disappoint: its famous West Lake presents a spectacle of serene, haunting beauty.


Some of China’s greatest poets have frequented the lake’s islands, and their lines are inscribed upon some of the rocks.









Hangzhou is vast and much of it is featureless in the way of many modern cities. But the West Lake redeems everything else: the area around it must count as one of the most beautiful urban environments in the world.













Bomra’s Restaurant, Goa

May 2, 2011 in Favourite Places | Comments (5)


Bawmra Jap is, in my view, one of the finest and most inventive chefs in the world. He is ethnically a Kachin from northern Burma, but he left the country after his marriage to his British-Iranian wife, Mariam, and trained as a chef in London. His restaurant, Bomra’s,  in Candolim, Goa, is unpretentious and welcoming, but it consistently serves some of the best food anywhere. His style is unclassifiable: it is perhaps best described as South-East-Asian-inflected modern cuisine. Some of his great dishes are: pickled tea leaf salad, crisp-fried sardines, pomelo salad, pork belly and Kachin chicken. His warm chocolate cake is better than any I’ve had in New York, London, New Delhi – anywhere in fact.

I don’t know how he does it; I’m just glad he does.




Banteay Srei, Cambodia, 1993

May 1, 2011 in Favourite Places | Comments (0)

One of the most beatiful temples in the world. In those days, it was deep in the jungle, with the Khmer Rouge swarming about and mines scattered over the grounds.

Le Morne Brabant, Mauritius

April 30, 2011 in Favourite Places | Comments (1)

Le Morne Brabant marks the south-western corner of Mauritius. It is a World Heritage Site, for reasons that are explained at:


Posada de Coloane

April 10, 2011 in Favourite Places | Comments (3)

A small posada (inn) on the beach, a world away from the casinos and skyscrapers of Macau. It serves some of the best Macahnese food in the city and the views are spectacular. The owner, Mary Ng, was born in India, and is from Calcutta’s Chinese community.

view from the terrace
The Posada from the beach
The terrace

Amitav Ghosh
April 11, 2011

ucuz ukash