A bit about Stephen...

Over the past twenty years my life has lead me around the world in what can only be described as an insatiable hunger for experiencing, first hand, the aesthetic, architectural, visual and culinary delights of an ever diminishing world. Those years have seen many changes as the world closes-up and global trade and business see the extinction of many of the more bespoke, 'unique to', 'cottage industry' elements and individuality of the countries I have visited and lived in, and even more in those I have not travelled to.

Interestingly, many of these elements are now being resurrected across the world, whether it be in slow food, street markets showcasing design or the produce of independent organic farmers and food suppliers, independent restaurants, small businesses with an ethos of integrity and responsibility. My love of beauty is by no means confined to the salon, the museum, the grand building and monuments. To the contrary, it is finding beauty in the most unusual places as well as in those places we all expect to encounter beauty.

My life has encompassed property flipping, a small, London based interior decoration business in my twenties, a bed and breakfast in North Africa in my late twenties and early thirties. Then back to Europe to be a part of the redevelopment of an old factory and lavoire in Paris. Finally back to London where I opened an emporium of delicious 'things' from my years of travel…of which there were many…and a couple of years in one of the most famous of restaurants, The Ivy, heading up the communications aspect of the restaurant and as business development manager at The Club at The Ivy upstairs.

Television found me in London in 2007, as if by accident. Perhaps a life of peripatetic wandering, through the cobbled streets of Paris, the dusty derbs of Marrakech and Tangier, the many country lanes travelled in France, Italy and Spain, the medinas and casbahs where my old 1960s Rolls-Royce was nicknamed le tapis volant, or magic carpet, in Morocco, perhaps those years of 'taking it all in' prepared me for a time and a place where I would be able to share those experiences with others.

So, here I am.

This site is dedicated to those many years of travel and movement, of exploration and 'learning in the field'. It was a romantic existence in which I pursued my dreams, dreams that involved amazing places, beautiful things and, perhaps most significantly, people; some of the most extraordinary characters, people of many different faiths and cultures who informed me, changed my perspective and taught me so much about the places and peoples I was both living in and amongst. The journey continues, the passion grows, to see and to learn more. I believe it will do so for the rest of my life.

There are many people I would want to thank for all that they shared and showed me. My education was a shared experience given so willingly and kindly by people whom at first were often strangers and whom later became such dear friends and influences.

As a sixteen year old I studied French literature at my boarding school in Dorset, England. My french teacher was a wonderful woman called Mrs.Jarvis. One of the texts for my exam was L'Etranger (The Stranger) by Albert Camus.

A quote of his has stuck with me all these years, at first something that youth found harder to accept and practise but that maturity has made more sense of:

"The need to be right is the sign of a vulgar mind"

My words, and expressions of my mind, are just mine, for what they are worth. I hope that in sharing these with you I will, in some small part, be thanking those who shared so much with me and shaped the person I am today; privileged to have seen, tasted, sensed and lived the sunny afternoons, the late night conversations, the visits to small Tuscan chapels, the remote coastlines, the palaces in the desert, the antiques markets and all the many wonders shared... that inspired me.

I hope that this site, my writings and my thoughts, the visual images, I hope they will enthuse and inform others. They are not always learned, they are often intangible feelings mixed with real experiences, factual and historical references blending with real, 'University of Life', first hand experience. They are just 'my take' on life, as I lived it and saw it.