locals foodie tips in Oahu


a local beach in Haleiwa, on Oahu’s North Shore

The joy of staying with friends on holiday is that you get an experience which is as close to local as possible. We’ve been visiting Oahu for many years and in all that time we have stayed on the windward side on the east of the island, about half an hour away from Honolulu and less touristy. Yet over the years our favourite places have started to be more popular and now, to us, they don’t feel special anymore… I know, how selfish of me!!! Yet over the last few weeks we’ve managed to find some spots that are still off the beaten track. The great thing about Hawaii is that all beaches are for public use, apart from Government owned ie those by the U.S forces. There are beach parks dotted everywhere and you only need to walk a short way further along the beach to find the quieter spots although without the facilities including life guards local knowledge re water safety is requisite.

We also had some great recommended meals out, here are our friends tips.

Mud Hen Water 3452 Wai’alae Avenue, Honolulu: This is modern Hawaiian food by local chef Ed Kenney;  we ate the Opah [moon fish] that had been wrapped in banana leaf with local vegetables and buried under hot coals – fantastic. Recommended by Vincent


Kalapawai Market  306 S Kalaheo Ave, Kailua, A short walk from the soft white sand of Kailua beach Kalapawai is so laid back. Help yourself to the daily coffees, around 6-8 choices, from Kona or Vanilla Macademia or Hazelnut or Coconut and the super large muffins or local banana bread. There’s a small kitchen selling breakfast and lunches and there’s a couple of rows of grocery goods and tasteful holiday trinkets. Recommended a long time ago by Bud 


Ai Love Nalo 41-1025 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo: A vegan restaurant in a super local area that sources ingredients from local farmers. It’s more than a restaurant its a whole wellness centre with a great ethos. Recommended by Laura


Merriman’s, 1108 Auahi Street, Honolulu. Known across all the islands Merrimans in Honolulu is the newest addition. It’s a proper dining experience and the prices can be high but there are small plates at smaller prices and Happy Hour offers at the bar, and with live music every night you can listen to a slack key master included in the price of a meal and you can’t argue with that when the musician is Jeff Peterson


Koko Marina Pub 7192 Kalaniana’ole Highway, Honolulu. The second home of the Kona Brewing Company [the first being on the Big Island, Hawaii]. The 48 beers on tap are great and even better during Happy Hour, which starts at 3pm, my current favourite is Lemongrass Lu’au, a blonde ale with lemongrass and ginger tones. Sit at the bar with a beer and a plate of pupus [poo poos] – Hawaiian snacks. Not sure who recommended this first but Him Indoors would highly recommend to anyone!!


Island Brew 377 Keahole St, Hawaii Kai. Its the location more than anything, you can sit shaded under umbrellas whilst looking out over water and sipping iced coffee. Maybe a bit pricier than other coffee places but its all about location location location. Recommended by Joyce.


Foodland 1450 Ala Moana Blvd Honolulu Yes Foodland! if you go to the one in the Ala Moana Centre [shopping mall] in the middle they have a u shaped bar that serves beers, wines and plates of cheese and charcuterie from the deli. You can also collect a selection of salads or hot food and bring it back to eat at the bar. Recommended by Marion


Shave Ice you can find shave ice all over Oahu, if you are at the North Shore then the queues at Matsumoto’s are very long but make sure you get condensed milk on the top, you will never want it any other way again. One of the best shave ices is Island Snow and the one in Kailua is a stand in a clothing store [600 Kailua Rd, Kailua] – one of Obama’s favourite spots, so lets just say that this was recommended by the Obama family.

Back on the Cornish cliffs for the next post.



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Cabin Envy Hawaii prototype



We were driving past the University of Hawaii campus at Manoa on our way back to our holiday digs and we saw this structure being built, so the next day we made a point of parking and taking a look. It’s a project that is taking the wood of an invasive tree which is being cut down, the Albizia [al bee zee a] and turning this wood into a new cabin prototype. As I said in my last post Hawaii has a large homeless population and by using this material for these structures this project is trying to tackle Hawaii’s affordable home problem.



For more information http://thealbiziaproject.com and https://www.instagram.com/albiziaproject/

and this article in Hawaii News

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holiday hurricane

‘Posts may be sporadic for the next few weeks’ so said my last post but, I was anticipating days of outdoor life; swimming, walking, eating outdoors with no time to sit and write a post indoors, but…


When we headed off for our holiday last week we were slightly smug that we were leaving a cooler, misty and wet Cornwall for warmer climes. We were feeling sorry for all those families who were having a rotten time and if you choose our part of Cornwall there isn’t much else to offer except for a few miles of beach, mind you that’s what people love about it when the weather is good. Regular readers of this blog will know that we have a penchant for Hawaii and have been going for many years. We were heading out again last week unaware of weather patterns in the Pacific ocean until our flight attendant reminded us to be safe during the oncoming hurricane.

Excuse me, did you say Hurricane… yes its a category 5 – the worst it could be.

You have to realise that we don’t do hurricanes in the UK, we’ve had winds of up to 75 mph and rain that floods [a previous house was flooded] but the reality of tropical storms and worse are something we’ve never experienced. Mad friend had to You Tube a Cat 5 hurricane – she wishes she hadn’t. You see them on the news or TV programmes called things like ‘The World’s Worse Weather’ but if they’ re happening on the US mainland people living in the path of the storm given ample warning are able to move away if they so wish, but here on a small island, a dot in a huge ocean, there’s no where to run.  We hear that some airlines are quoting silly prices to leave the islands ahead of Hurricane Lane hitting.

So we sit and wait it out, but it’s moving quite slowly, 5 mph; what was originally meant to hit on Thursday, becomes Friday and then Saturday so anxiety levels go up as you wait and wait and…wait, especially when it turns dark and you can’t see outside. Oahu tells all public buildings to close on the Friday and people head to the stores to stock up with emergency supplies. Shelves of water and groceries become empty making one wonder what will happen after the storm, as the island is reliant on flying or shipping supplies in.

We sit indoors for three days except for a quick trip to the takeaway, as we don’t want to eat all the emergency supplies. We watch the rain falling and the wind picking up and think ‘is this it?’ we refresh the hurricane tracker as it inches closer. At 4pm on the Friday we have a hurricane warning go out across the island, mobile phones are sent emergency texts and local radio stations are looping automated emergency announcements.


By Saturday morning Lane has been demoted to a Tropical Storm, at the final hour it has made a 90 degree turn west away from the islands;  a MASSIVE thank you to the weather gods.

We head outside into the mall, the relief is palpable, people are tweeting ‘what am I going to do with twenty litres of water and a tray of baked beans?’ ‘Well there’s always food banks’ says our friend and host. Oahu has a bad homeless population living under canvass, had the hurricane hit they would have been hit homeless for a second time. No wind now but still a lot of rain, in two days we will have been here a week and still no sun.

Another beautiful day in paradise, as the radio announcers usually say.

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Time & Tide


This clock is situated on the banks of the estuary at Cremyll in East Cornwall where the foot ferry takes you across the water to Plymouth, or Stonehouse to be precise. Prior to 1914 there were three towns; Devonport, Stonehouse and Plymouth, in 1914 they merged to become the borough of Plymouth and yes, there are still grumblings in Stonehouse and Devonport particularly the latter, which was once a thriving town.

I love the inscription on the clock ‘dost thou love life, then do not squander time’ a simple  motto and with this spirit in mind we are heading off to see old friends, and to recharge our batteries, so posts may be sporadic for the next few weeks.

Below, a nineteenth century map of the three towns drawn and engraved by John Rapkin (1815-1876)



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Art in St Ives


Before the crowds arrived in the south west [two Cornish beaches were announced to be full this week] we took a trip to St Ives to visit friends who were holidaying down there. Parking the car at our local station we hopped on the Penzance train with our Devon and Cornwall railcards. It didn’t start out the best of days but the clouds parted as we left the train at our destination and, as usual, St Ives did its best to enchant and welcome. We were killing two birds because we wanted to catch the Patrick Heron exhibition at Tate St Ives and our friends were happy to tag along. There was a lot to take in but my definite favourites were the blocks of primary colours rather than the ones in pastels that were line drawings and looked, to me, unfinished. The view from inside the Tate is like a painting in itself, the sun had really heated up and the surfers were taking to the waves. We left the gallery and had a lunch overlooking Porthmeor beach and before we knew it we were racing to get our return train.

There are still loads of Cornish beaches that, amazingly, have very few people on, the downside may be that you have to walk a bit after parking but you will be rewarded. Just remember if you are taking picnics, please take your rubbish home, every year beautiful beaches are left litter strewn and when the tide come in that litter will be taken into the sea to add to the already overcrowded plastic pollution.

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Theatre, but not as you know it

At the 2017 Edinburgh festival we saw Middle Child’s All We Ever Wanted was Everything late one night at Summerhall, in a circular tent and it was packed. Gig theatre; a mash up of theatre [new writing] and an [original] music gig, as it is termed has brought new young audiences into the theatre and you can see why, there’s an energy that goes beyond the norm and its infectious.


Last night I headed to the Lost Gardens of Heligan to another circular tent for the start of Kneehigh’s Asylum summer season which started with Ubu Karaoke. This was a retelling  of Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry and modern classic songs that aid the telling of the story to a twenty-first century audience. The title may imply that people have to get onstage and sing along but that is a false assumption, the cast always lead the songs, which are surtitled and the audience sings along as one. In fact from the start, the usual rules of theatre are left aside. Gone was the 15-20 minute interval and we were told there was a 5 minute breather, we could come and go throughout the show, the doors of the tent were always open and the bar alongside the stage was available throughout the performance. The audience were sitting, standing and dancing; even partaking of games during the Ubu Olympics but never was anyone asked to do anything they didn’t want to do. The whole event was relaxed for everyone and the audience loved it. The analogy of Ubu, who gets to be king by a devious route, wan’t lost on anyone in the audience and nothing had to be spelt out for us to see the modern day equivalents. The fact that it was so relevant to what is happening now made people sing louder, sing like no-one was watching because no-one was watching, we were all partaking. When Ubu was first produced in 1896 it caused a riot and last night the riot was contained within the audience as they formed armies to follow their leaders. If you are on holiday in Cornwall or live in the south west GO. This isn’t gig theatre, its not even karaoke theatre, Knee-high call it ‘promenade musical’ but its something deeper and at this moment in time its obvious that people need it.

Ubu Karaoke is on at the Lost Gardens of Heligan from now until Saturday 25th August

More info here http://www.kneehigh.co.uk/show/UBU-Karaoke.php

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No show



Photograph: Melanie Duchene/EPA more views here 

After weeks and weeks of clear cloudless blue skies nature sticks a finger up to us in the UK and denies us a natural astronomical phenomena [lets hope it isn’t a metaphor for Brexit seeing as the rest of Europe saw it]. Yes, along with others in the UK we didn’t get to see the lunar eclipse last night because of cloud. Just like the solar eclipse of 1999, the year we arrived in the south west, when the clouds did their thing that day too. Back then some adventurous people got in their cars and headed to the very west of Cornwall where there were clear skies, but most ended up in traffic jams because everyone else had the same idea.

So no blood mood for us I will hope that come 24th September there will be clear skies so we will see the Harvest moon – or hærfest, meaning autumn in old English – although sadly it will be heralding the end of summer, which so far has been pretty pretty good.

For pictures of the blood moon around the world in The Guardian, click here

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