Archive - January 17, 2013

Luxury Living: The world’s best cheese
San Francisco Airport to be named after Harvey Milk
Purple Tips: Couples Resorts

Luxury Living: The world’s best cheese

From fresh to aged, smoked to salty, stinky to sweet, good cheese can come in many forms. The options vary even further when it comes to the milk options – cow, goat, sheep, even buffalo – with their country of origin playing a massive role in overall flavour. But where can you go to find the best of the best? We’ve tracked down the world’s best cheeses to inspire even the most discerning of cheese-lovers.

Parmigiano Reggiano
, Parma, Italy | Probably the most-loved cheese in human history, everything about the culture and recipe of Parmesan is a testament to nutritional ingenuity. The creation process is one of the world’s most sophisticated and efficient technologies, developing a saliva-inducing flavor that adds depth to almost any dish.

Roquefort, Les Causses; France | Roquefort  is the best of the blues for a number of reasons: Charlemagne loved it, its pasty texture makes it a great mix of spreadable and hackable, and its use of sheep’s milk over cow’s makes for a lingering richness. For the best of the best, try smaller producers such as Coulet, Papillion, and Carles.


Brie de Melun, Ile-de-France, France | Not just for Christmas, Brie is a universally popular cheese and the most famous of the soft ripened category. A word of caution though – the real, raw milk brie is made in Ile-de-France, and more specifically, the village of Melun. Rustic, earthy and nutty at the same time.

Gruyère, Fribourg, Switzerland | This cooked-curd alpine cheese is one of the most famous cheeses in the world, with a pliable texture and strong intensity of flavour. A noticeably nutty, yet buttery tang stems from propionic acid, while the more well-aged tend to posses small, crunchy pieces of crystallising protein.

Stichelton, Nottinghamshire, England | Real Stilton, Britain’s beloved blue, is made with raw milk, which provides a nutty, rich flavour.

Mozzarela di Bufala, Naples, Italy | While mozzarella is everywhere (on almost every pizza, in sandwiches and sparingly placed on pasta dishes), fresh handmade mozzarella is of course something completely different from its rubbery, overused neighbour.  And if this is true, then di Bufala is not even on the same planet. Water Buffalo from farms in Naples are milked to make this incredible cheese.

FetaGreece | While a pickled cheese may seem odd, true Greek Feta, made from sheep’s milk and salt, is a delicious and distinctive cheese that makes a great salad condiment.

English Farmhouse CheddarSomerset, England | A classic. Cheddar, deriving from the west country of England, is an EU protected cheese that’s a far cry from the supermarket variety.  Meaty and salty at the same time, what’s not to love?

RoncalNavarre, SpainIn the thirteen villages of the Roncal valley of Navarre, Roncal cheese has been made using the same recipe for the past 3,000 years.  Made from sheep’s milk, it smells a lot like buttered popcorn, with a taste that lingers long after its been swallowed.

Book your cheese holiday with Purple Travel today by calling 02079939228.

Purple Travel Tip: Swiss cheesemakers have won The World Champion Cheese Contest for the past three years, however for 2012,  it was a low-fat Gouda named Vermeer from Friesland Campina, a company based in Wolvega, Netherlands, that took top honours.

San Francisco Airport to be named after Harvey Milk

Last week, we heard news that Birmingham International may be in for a rename, after Brummie-born King of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne. Now it looks like San Francisco Airport have similar plans in mind.


San Francisco’s airport has released news that they may be renamed after campaigner Harvey Milk. David Campos of the Board of Supervisors, has asked voters to approve the memorial of Milk, who was the first gay man elected to public office in the United States in 1977. His openness and call for others to do the same with their own sexuality, inspired a whole generation of activists. Sadly, Milk, along with Mayor George Moscone, was assassinated at City Hall just over  a year later.

His nephew, Stuart Milk, runs an international gay rights foundation in his uncle’s memory. He believes that the renaming of the airport would mark a milestone in gay rights campaigning, as flights to and from San Francisco International serve 68 countries where homosexuality is illegal.


He told one newspaper, “For young gay people in an illegal place looking up at a monitor and being able to point to this international airport named after an LGBT advocate, it gives them the green light to authenticity. It’s a major representation that (they) are being celebrated somewhere in the world in a high-level way.”

Plans are currently well under way and Campos said the San Francisco Board of Supervisors could vote on the amendment in as little as two weeks.

Purple Tips: Couples Resorts

With Valentine’s looming, it’s time to start planning some romantic moments with your partner. We’ve picked out the most romantic couples resorts, the perfect spots to say I Love You (or even pop the question as the case may be).


Santorini, Greece

The Greek islands are popular couples resorts with tourists from all over the world. However, while each has its own attraction, on islands such as Mykonos and parts of Crete, couples may find that hedonism replaces romance. For an environment more catered to those in love, Santorini is the ideal choice. With hotels and restaurants scaling the cliffs that overlook the Aegean Sea, its views are nothing short of incredible.  We recommend Andronis Luxury Suites for a dreamy escape, with views of the island’s caldera from each suite in the multi-villa resort. Couples can sunbathe on the black, red and white sand beaches and enjoy its ancient villages with their traditional tavernas. However, the best couple’s activity in Santorini has to be the thermal baths, a.k.a nature’s massage. You can enjoy this activity together and benefit from the healing properties of the water, which rises from the island’s hot springs.

Paris, France

Paris may be an obvious choice, but there is much more to this romantic city than just its clichés.  Yes you can still kiss under the Eiffel Tower or propose on a bridge that overlooks the Seine, but you should also aim to explore the less-visited neighbourhoods of the city. These are often covered with cobblestones, lined with the types of cafes and shops that only exist in Paris and sprinkled with park benches that beckon couples to holds hands, kiss and fall in love.

Venice, Italy

One of the most beautiful places in the world and Italy’s most romantic city, Venice was pretty much made for couples. From gondola rides along the canals to awe-inspiring architecture, Venice is a theatre showing love’s favourite scenes. Its food could make almost anyone say the L-word – just picture the two of you at either ends of a string of spaghetti with the sounds of classic Italian songs in the background. Lady and The Tramp eat your heart out.

Prague, Czech Republic

Known as the heart of Europe, it’s no surprise that Prague is a city of love. Home to a fascinating medley of past and present architectural triumphs, Prague Castle, the largest ancient castle in the world, is a home-from-home for hopeless romantics. And, if you’re looking for an original spot for a proposal, the Petrinska rozhledna, a 60-meter-high observation tower built to resemble to the Eiffel Tower, is a top choice.

Casablanca, Morocco

Thanks to the classic film of the same name, Casablanca is a city filled with romance. As you walk through the vibrant, bustling markets of the Old Medina, and admire the stunning architectural remnants from the city’s history as a French protectorate, you’ll begin to see why. Enjoy a Hollywood moment of your own in the Habous neighbourhood, just a 15-minute drive away and featuring elegant arches and whitewashed buildings.

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