John Brunton
John Brunton
John Brunton is a writer and photographer, today based in Paris and Venice after spending five years in Kuala Lumpur covering Southeast Asia. He contributes regularly to The Guardian and Lonely Planet theme books like World Wine Trails.

Every two years, townspeople in Marostica, Italy, stage a game of human chess set within a vast historical re-enactment that plays out for 3,500 spectators at a time.

Samuel Lee Sum, executive chef at Cantonese restaurant Shang Palace, recalls a baptism of fire in Paris and reveals his favourite places to eat in the French capital and to relax – parks and museums.

Swap overcrowded Venice for the ancient city of Udine, which offers a welcome alternative to the usual touristy fare, as Asian celebrities visiting for the Far East Film Festival discover.

Meet five vignerons in Champagne, France, who are ready to sell their bubbly to the curious Hong Kong champagne lover. You may even wish to visit them when travel is possible again.


The Hong Kong pavilion’s architectural ambitions are likely to take Venice Biennale visitors’ breath away, while jeweller Wallace Chan’s beautiful titanium sculptures reflect his life’s journey.

Parisian pavement terraces have been extended to boost the earnings of cafes and bistros after the Covid-19 lockdown. Outdoor seating has taken over parking spaces, and even whole streets.

One of Arab world’s most tolerant countries boasts beautiful beaches, pre-Roman ruins, hassle-free souks, while chic new hotels and renovated riads are luring more affluent visitors.

The six-suite hotel encourages guests to enjoy the lavish Lalique-laden surrounds and indulge in the epicurean delights of Michelin-star chef Jean-Georges Klein

The Ho-Chunk tribe’s ritual gathering is a deeply spiritual event in the heart of ‘America’s Dairyland’ – and definitely not for the benefit of tourists

The sprawling Taliesin estate in rural Wisconsin brings the aesthetic world of America’s first ‘starchitect’ to life, from his first commission in 1887, to his former home and its macabre past

Peppered with mostly family-owned chateaux, the French region rewards visitors with excellent food and fascinating insights into their favourite tipples