Phileas French

Travel Writer

Phileas French

Phileas French

Travel Writer | Exploring every country in the world, one adventure at a time

Is it Safe to Visit Minsk as a Solo Female Traveller?

IMG_3638According to a Skyscanner survey a few years back, Minsk is the second least visited European capital (Chisinau, Moldova is the first, fact fans). That meant that when I visited Minsk alone a couple of weeks ago it wasn’t quite as easy to get a handle on what I could expect as it would be if I’d been hopping off to Paris or Rome. I’ve written pr...
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Is it Safe to Visit Pristina, Kosovo with Children?

IMG_2585The second most popular question that I get asked about my travel work is whether x or y location is safe for children/a woman travelling on her own. (The first most popular question, as a matter of record, is “What were you doing *there*??”) I’ve finally got around to starting a series of articles with my take on the relative safety of various lo...
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How to Get Into Belarus

IMG_3594Wow. Sitting in my spartan Minsk hotel room, I’m still rather staggered by the fact that I’ve managed to enter Belarus, a country which has fascinated me for years. My quest was not assisted by a bizarre administrative issue which at one point had me travelling to Minsk and Belgrade on the same day, but it was when I started trying to score a vi...
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The National Portrait Gallery, London

IMG_2970Right in the heart of London, a few minutes’ stroll from Leicester Square or Charing Cross Underground stations, the National Portrait Gallery has been one of the world’s most important public portrait collections since it opened in 1856. It’s got nearly 200,000 portraits dating back hundreds of years, including some of the most iconic images from ...
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Colombo: Culture and Cuisine

IMG_3106For Hospitality Directory The received wisdom about Colombo is that you leave as soon as possible to explore the true attractions of Sri Lanka – the beaches, tea plantations and historic city of Kandy. Although those are all undeniably wonderful, we were keen to spend some time exploring this rather overlooked South Asian capital. The recent buil...
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Croatia’s Creative Rebranding: Olive Oil, Minibreaks and Bill Gates

Istria 2As part of the World Travel Market late last year, I was invited to a fascinating Croatian olive oil tasting by Rooster PR Agency. As I know from my own time in Croatia, the outstanding coastline sells itself: it’s pristine and gorgeous. What’s interesting about the new pitch is that Croatia is being positioned as an ideal short break destination ...
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Kandy Bats and Monkeys

IMG_3256I was never going to make a visit to the beautiful Sri Lankan city of Kandy without a stroll around the stunning Royal Botanical Gardens, at the entrance to the city in the suburb of Peradeniya. Astonishingly, the history of the gardens can be traced back almost 650 years, to 1371. Its current status came about during the eighteenth century reign ...
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The Alford Arms: A Perfect Country Pub

Phileas French made a very exciting discovery last night.  Somewhere I’ve been looking for North of London for a surprisingly long time. The perfect country pub for food and drink. Most people have a favourite pub, or one they favour for food, one for real ale, whatever. If you haven’t trawled Home Counties drinking spots with my dogged enthusiasm...
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When to Go: San Marino

IMG_2512I was pleased to be asked to write a couple of pages for When To Go recently, and this first one is all about the delightful little Republic of San Marino. When to go to San Marino? San Marino, Europe’s third smallest country after the Vatican City and Monaco, has that rarest of things in European history: an ancient but benign lineage. It has car...
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Guest Post: Mystery Map An Insider's Perspective

Mystery_Maps_LogoRicky Power Sayeed is a TV documentary researcher based in London. He's made programmes about parachuting Nazi nuns, poverty in Lincolnshire and iPad addicted toddlers. I caught up with him to get the downlow on his highlights of the show and wish list for future episodes... What was it like doing all the research on Mystery Map? It's tough to su...
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