About Susan L. Schwartz

When I was 13, I saw Venice for the first time and immediately fell in love with La Serenissima, thus I knew then and there that my stay at home days were over. It was always a dream to see the whole world, I am making that happen. With a well-worn copy of Freya Stark’s autobiography in my back pocket, I have set out to bring you the Best Bits this world had to offer.

A Day Out in West Sussex: Cowdray House, Polo, Shooting and Sun

What a glorious day! I had been to Chamonix and it rained, Piemonte and it rained, Kefalonia and it rained, Thailand and it rained but West Sussex in England? The country known for its rain? Well, surprise, surprise – the sun was out and it was the most beautiful, autumn day.

I think Zephryus was on to hassle someone else at least for one day, and what a day. I was off to spend it at Cowdray House playing polo, clay pigeon shooting and driving around in a Bentley.

Originally home to the Viscount and Viscountess Cowdray, this stunning property is not only the seat of British Polo, but also can be hired in its entirety for events, parties and stays. We were there to celebrate its […]

November 3rd, 2017|Destinations, United Kingdom, West Sussex|0 Comments

More than just a hotel in Piemonte, Italy!

Why hadn’t I returned to Piemonte? After my first year of university, I lived with an Italian Professor of Philology who was eager to perfect her English. It was a great trade-off. She received daily lessons and I lived with her in this magnificent part of the world. Claudia, her boyfriend and I would pop into her car to visit libraries all over the country from Ferrara to Bologna, even as far as Munich. Needless to say, not only did my Italian improve, but also I ate so well. Lucky for me, she was a brilliant home cook. How could she not be with the produce that was available right at her doorstep? […]

October 26th, 2017|Destinations, Italy, Piedmont|3 Comments

A Visit to the Whitney Plantation in Louisiana is a must!

Following our guide, the ten of us shuffled into the cramped cabin, leaving us barely enough room to breathe without bashing into each other. Sweat slowly dripped down my forehead into my eyes and I struggled to wipe it away, trying not to touch the person next to me.

Before our leader had a chance to speak, a young voice shouted out assuredly, “That’s the chimney Santa comes down!” Still adjusting from the bright sun, I jerked around to see who spoke, losing my balance in the process. My boyfriend caught me just before I fell into the lady next to me. Tightly grabbing my arm, he flicked his head in the direction of a little boy in the corner.

I could feel the whole group shifting, […]

October 6th, 2017|Destinations, Louisiana, USA|2 Comments

A Two Night Jaunt in Normandy, France – Fécamp and Honfleur

A three hour boat trip from Newhaven to Dieppe might not be everyone’s idea of luxury, especially if you have ever been to Newhaven or Dieppe port – no business class lounge here. Just a corrugated hut with a small café serving coffee if you’re lucky.

Still, you have the luxury of not getting to an airport, not having your luggage lost, not being told the flight is delayed. Once on board, snuggle into one of the comfy tables by the window and watch the White Cliffs of Newhaven merge into the Falaises Blanches de Dieppe.

Fécamp
I was heading there for a drop of that honey, spicy spirit that put Fécamp on the map: Bénédictine, and her glamorous home, the Palais Bénédictine. As true of most outings, […]

September 29th, 2017|Destinations, France, Normandy|0 Comments

Five things to do in Koh Lanta, Thailand

Are you thinking about Christmas? I was last year this time. The Cypriot and I made a decision to go to Thailand for the holidays. We spent a week in Chiang Mai, about which I have written extensively, and almost a week in Koh Lanta.

Why Koh Lanta? One reason – The Layana Resort and Spa. Four years before, we had selected Koh Lanta and the Layana to be our resting place after nine hectic, non-stop days in Myanmar. It was exactly what we needed, four days in the sand and sun, only moving off our lounge chairs to get to our next meal.  It was the Layana that inspired my series of A Bit of Perfection posts so many years ago.

The General Manager, Stefan Heintze, […]

September 16th, 2017|Koh Lanta, Thailand|0 Comments

Chambéry & Annecy – a perfect two days in France

GO AWAY!
Two days?? Is it possible to get the flavor of two towns in France in only two days? Can I get a Oui Bien Sur up in here?* If you follow my two-word suggestions below, you’ll have time to taste the food France is known for, tour adorable Renaissance towns, and sample a few of the many things Chambéry and Annecy made famous, including secret passageways, trompe-oeil-ed cathedrals, vermouth-stirred cocktails, and truffles au chocolat.

 SLOW DOWN!
Catch an early flight to Geneva and get off the plane ready to have lunch. In less than an hour, you can be sitting at the Auberge di Pere Bise sipping Rosé Champagne on the terrace overlooking Lake Annecy. Bliss, total bliss.

For the next few hours, I went on a roller-coaster ride of […]

August 11th, 2017|Chambéry, Destinations, France|0 Comments