Anthea Gerrie

There's much more to Oxford than Morse

By Anthea Gerrie, December 17, 2009

You wouldn’t think you could spend a morning in Greece, an afternoon in Rome and a lazy Sunday in ancient Egypt — all without leaving Oxford. You wouldn’t know it because the Ashmolean — a once fusty, dusty collection of curios crammed into display cases — didn’t let you know. But that place is a planet removed from the marvellous museum which has just reopened.

More than £61m has gone into transforming Britain’s oldest museum into what must surely be the best showcase the nation has of the world’s most important civilisations.


Fruit diet cured my husband of cancer

By Anthea Gerrie, December 10, 2009

It was a legacy she never expected to put to the test. But when her husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer, Paula Davis felt instinctively that her grandfather’s dietary cure was the best bet for his survival.

“Conventional treatments can have unpleasant side effects like impotence and incontinence; it was Brian’s body, and he felt a treatment aiming to rid the body of disease through diet was a saner approach,” says the granddaughter of Dr Max Gerson.



By Anthea Gerrie, December 3, 2009

Arriving at the Montefiore in the evening to be confronted by buzz and beautiful people, you could be forgiven for thinking your taxi had dropped you at a restaurant rather than a hotel. For this Tel Aviv boutique hostelry is, essentially, a restaurant with rooms. And those rooms display the most contemporary brand of chic that hotel-dwellers in Israel have ever been offered.


After the mines, Durham sees the light

By Anthea Gerrie, November 26, 2009

Considering its vibrancy, beauty and historical treasures, it’s amazing that Durham is not a major fixture on the tourist trail. One can only assume it’s because this little jewel of a city and county are squashed between the majesty of Yorkshire, which trumpets its offerings much louder, and the glorious Northumberland coast.

But this tiny place — which has been dubbed the best to visit in the UK — won’t be hiding its light under a bushel much longer.


Gambridge Barn

By Anthea Gerrie, November 26, 2009

Chandeliers, halogen lighting and three loos are not standard equipment in most Cornish self-catering cottages. You can find slate floors, whitewashed walls and other rustic accoutrements in many holiday homes, but all too often accompanied by damp, draughts and ill-equipped kitchens.

But Gambridge Barn, described by Classic Cottages as “chic”, actually exceeds expectations. Claire, who owns the property, has made a new stable conversion her decorating dream — and for fans of smart contemporary living, it works.


'Self-esteem is an issue for Jewish kids'

By Anthea Gerrie, November 26, 2009

You have heard of the life coach, the business coach and the football coach — now meet the parenting coach.

Bebe Jacobs is not some New Age guru or tough-talking television nanny, but a Jewish mother with 25 years of experience as a child psychologist and educator. Her job, she says, is to help end the sleepless nights of parents driven to distraction by the behavioural problems thrown up by babies, toddlers and pre-adolescents — with an emphasis on the little ones.


Ciragan Palace

By Anthea Gerrie, November 18, 2009

In a city of sultans, the Kempinski Ciragan Palace has a huge advantage over its rivals — it’s the only Ottoman palace currently open for business as a hotel.

Add the superb location — right on the Bosphorous in strolling distance of the smart BoHo cafés, clubs and shops of Ortakoy, Istanbul’s Hampstead — and you can see why this hotel (its difficult name is pronounced Shir-arn) is so popular with well-heeled visitors.


Iceland's frozen assets

By Anthea Gerrie, November 12, 2009

Their banks may have hammered our pension funds,  but Icelanders are giving something back this year — at least to visitors. This fascinating land of geysers and volcanoes, which has also carved an urban reputation for hot clubs, cool bars and cutting-edge design is now at its most affordable in a decade. 

Devaluation — theirs — plus low-cost flights make this a great time to discover Reykjavik, the most northerly capital in the world, as well as the natural wonders of the nearby Golden Triangle.


The Harmony

By Anthea Gerrie, November 12, 2009

The Harmony, just over a year old, is what Jerusalem has been crying out for — a chic but affordable perch in the lively, western side of town.

And you can’t beat Nachalat Shiva, west Jerusalem’s dining and clubbing playground, for location — though taxi drivers must be told to head for the back entrance of the Harmony parallel to Yoel Moshe Salomon Street, which is pedestrianised. The hotel sits on the upper floors of a small shopping centre.


Still reigning: Southern California

By Anthea Gerrie, October 28, 2009

It takes a brave investor to create a new multi-million-dollar resort in southern California — and not just because of the recession.

No other holiday playground is already so well endowed with five-star hotels, and in this star-studded state, many of those come with an extra frisson. 

Only in the land of movie legends can you sleep in bedrooms once occupied by Oscar-winners and then eat breakfast at their favourite tables.


The fish that's not fishy

By Anthea Gerrie, October 22, 2009

Blame it on Nobu, that Japanese chef so beloved of fashionable diners.

Within a decade of him taking a humble, inexpensive and, some would say, unremarkable fatty fish and giving it an extraordinary treatment, he has single-handedly created a world market for black cod.

And it is not just for the sushi crowd — this new addition to top fishmongers’ slabs is now making an appearance at simchahs.

“When we serve it as part of a mixed starter, it’s always the star of the plate,” says Sarah Taylor of kosher caterers Tony Page.


England: Take a trip to Heathcliff country

By Anthea Gerrie, September 2, 2009

Last weekend’s plush ITV production of Wuthering Heights gorgeously showcased Bronte Country, a wild, dramatic and rather secretive corner of West Yorkshire. For those who have never been, consider spending a few golden autumn days in this austerely beautiful and culturally rich slice of England before the public descend en masse.

The great British public, that is, since the Japanese have already indulged a decades-long obsession with Haworth, where the Bronte sisters grew up.


Football chef with a recipe for cup glory

By Anthea Gerrie, August 20, 2009

He is a Tel Aviv hotel chef not a striker, but two Israeli football clubs regard Golan Israeli as their secret weapon.

The 35-year-old’s hummus and kosher steaks are regarded as indispensable by two of Israel’s top teams — Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Netanya — and he even travels abroad with them to Europe.


Comeback for a faded French star

By Anthea Gerrie, August 20, 2009

For all those nursing fond memories of Juan-les-Pins, that old favourite holiday playground of Anglo-Jewry — as well as for a generation which may not yet have discovered this frenetic but charming little resort — there are three new reasons to visit.

First, the town is home to Europe’s oldest jazz festival, celebrating its 50th anniversary next July. There cannot be anywhere more sublime to listen to good music than the intimate little stage in a pinewood sloping gently down to the Med.


USA: It’s so cool at the Cape right now

By Anthea Gerrie, July 30, 2009

Cape Cod is a lot easier to spot in a picture — all those iconic white clapperboard houses, picturesque lighthouses and wild beaches recalling any number of Edward Hopper paintings — than it is to find in real life.

Unlike the coastal strip of Massachusetts known collectively as North of Boston, where one charming township follows another, this old fishing ground — only latterly reinvented as a tourist destination — is a sprawl of mainland and island communities with no visible centre


Do they love bagels in the country? Dough!

By Anthea Gerrie, July 30, 2009

She may be the only Jew in the village. But that hasn’t stopped Elizabeth Weisberg creating a voracious appetite for challah, bagels and hamantaschen in the very English rural hinterland of East Sussex.

Many merely buy the ethnic goodies made at the Lighthouse Bakery from local food shops in Lewes, Winchelsea and Rye, but others shlep to the tucked-away hamlet of Bodiam to bake the bread themselves. Hundreds of gentiles, as well as Jews, it seems, have been driven to discover why you need to boil a bagel to get the authentic shine and chew, and how to plait a Shabbat loaf.



By Anthea Gerrie, July 11, 2009

Jenni Kravitz, who knows what women want out of a dance class - a man who knows all the moves to take them round the floor - is being honoured this weekend at the Notting Hill Film Festival.

London Tango, the headline feature, was filmed at her Simply Dancing Partners class in the Upper Berkeley Street shul hall. It shows how dancing has transformed the lives of many Londoners who like Jenni were
trapped for years in a dance-free zone for lack of a partner.


USA: Sweet home Alabama

By Anthea Gerrie, May 14, 2009

They tell an interesting story at Mobile’s Springhill Avenue Temple about a mitzvah a poor congregant performed in the days of slavery.

Too poor to own slaves himself, the congregant was so horrified by the sight of an African family about to be split up at the local slave auction, that he somehow mustered the wherewithal to buy the lot — then dispersed them among friends and family. That was philanthropy, southern-style.

When I reached Alabama myself in 1965 the slaves were free, but equality still seemed light years away.


Bali is beautiful even away from the beaches

By Anthea Gerrie, March 19, 2009

If there could be a greater treat for the spirit than swinging gently in a hammock taking in the fragrant scents and exotic sounds of a warm Balinese night, it could only be having a clutch of wellness gurus waiting in the wings to tend to mind and body when a new day dawns.

Rural Bali is a healer’s dream of peace, stillness and beauty — think shimmering rice paddies, silent stone temples and exquisite little offerings of carved fruit and flowers set in trays outside every doorway.


Israel's maverick king of the grapes

By Anthea Gerrie, March 5, 2009

He never studied wine-making, he broke all the rules about where to plant his grapes and he never had any ambition to make more than a few hundred bottles for friends and family. Yet against all the odds, Eli ben Zaken has become Israel’s most acclaimed wine-maker, with fans ranging from heads of state to our own television taster, Oz Clarke.