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travel books SHANNON BENNETT’S FRANCE by Shannon Bennett » $44.99 (Miegunyah Press)

THE RIVER THAMES by Derry Brabbs » $75 (Frances Lincoln)

While researching his 2009 shoppers’ and foodies’ guide to Paris, Melbourne chef Shannon Bennett spent time in the French capital, visiting old haunts and discovering new ones. Paris: A Personal Guide To The City’s Best became a bestseller and has encouraged Bennett to revisit the country and pay homage to its best restaurants. The book is divided according to the regions of France and includes restaurant, café, shop and market information, as well as Bennett’s own recipes. It is a little gem (unlike Bennett’s 2010 book New York, which we thought was a bit lacklustre) and a must for anyone planning a trip to France and who values a good dining experience. \

British photographer Derry Brabbs has written – and photographed – this love letter to the Thames, Britain’s most important river. From its source just south-west of Cirencester in the west, the river flows through Oxford, Henley, Windsor, Hampton Court, Richmond, central London, Greenwich and out to Southend-on-Sea. Brabbs traces its journey and, with the help of maps and colour photos, we can see the river’s many moods, as well as learn more about the historical events that have taken place on its banks. No recipes or “places to stay” in this one, but we’re certain that Anglophiles will love it. \

BALI: THE FOOD OF MY ISLAND HOME by Janet De Neefe » $59.99 (Plum)

When I opened our little shop in 2009 I was surprised to note how few pictorially driven publications about Bali existed in the marketplace. For two years we’ve been waiting for the arrival of a book like this, by Australian-born, Bali local Janet De Neefe. Finally, we have a large-format book (sadly, a soft cover) that captures the island’s culinary spirit. De Neefe, the founder of the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival and owner of three Bali restaurants, has turned to her recipe collection and local produce for inspiration. She has also included little stories about events such as the Ubud market and various dishes, including nasi bakar, and how to use the coconut in cooking. \

HOUSES OF THE LAKE DISTRICT by Christopher Holliday » $60 (Frances Lincoln)

When it comes to evocative and inspiring “places to go” books, the Brits play it safe. Houses of the Lake District is not a memoir and it doesn’t feature any recipes. But we decided to include it because anyone planning a trip to this part of northern England will find it works as a highly informative pre-holiday guide, and – upon return – a handsome souvenir. Gardening writer Christopher Holliday focuses on 21 houses and castles in the Cumbria region, and the people who live in them. Complementing this architectural narrative is an historical rundown of the area, which travellers will find most interesting. Houses under the microscope include Sizergh Castle, the core of which dates back to the 14th century, the Elizabethan grandeur of Levens Hall and Beatrix Potter’s Stoney Lane. \

NOVEMbEr 23, 2011 \ The weekly review 15

HDV-Heidelberg-20111123-Edition79  

The Weekly Review

HDV-Heidelberg-20111123-Edition79  

The Weekly Review

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