About Helen Jackson

Helen Jackson works for HMRC and moved from her native Yorkshire to London 24 years ago. She lives in Walthamstow with her partner and is passionate about using local shops and services in an attempt to protect its multi-cultural flavour. Travelling is her passion. Helen recently spent 6 months in South and Central America. She has also travelled extensively around the world visiting the Far East, Middle East, Africa, India and Europe. Helen’s love of food combines well with travelling and after taking a course in food writing at Leith’s, she is writing a Central American cookery book. Helen writes a weekly online food column for the West Essex and East London Guardian series of newspapers. Helen is a keen cook and a mystery diner. She also enjoys genealogy, entering food and travel related competitions and is learning to play the piano.

Nicaragua – “Contra” to Expectations

“I love my country, but I love Nicaragua more.” This phrase was frequently heard whilst travelling throughout Central America. Prior to setting off, our knowledge of Nicaragua was pretty limited: we’d read travel guides but relied on a travel agent to ensure our itinerary included the most interesting destinations. More … Continue reading

Addicted to Colombia… But Not on Drugs

I love the Caribbean’s warm blue seas and powder-white beaches but hate huge, impersonal all-inclusive hotels where, having no will power, I invariably put on half a stone in two weeks. So, after a hectic three-month trip around South America, we chose to spend our final days on Providencia, a … Continue reading

Venice: It Started With A Cornetto

On telling friends we were weekending in Venice, they all related two recent Italian travel stories: British holidaymakers being charged €64 (£54) for four ice-creams in Rome and Italian tourists being billed £85 for four liqueur-laced espresso coffees in Venice’s St. Mark’s Square. We were already well aware of the … Continue reading

Honduras: The Most Dangerous Place in the World?

“Since the June 2009 coup d’état that led to the exile of then president Manuel Zelaya, visitors have been deterred from Honduras by reports of high crime and general insecurity” – so reported the Telegraph recently. Although San Pedro Sula is often dubbed “murder capital of the world”, we were … Continue reading

Christmas Indian Style

We resolved months before December that Christmas was going to be different. Instead of driving 200 miles up the A1 from London to Yorkshire on a dark, wet Christmas morning, we’d be being chauffeured on a warm, bright sunny day up through the tea plantations to Munnar in Southern India. … Continue reading

Malaga: Don’t Just Pass Through

Being a holiday snob, I like countries that have a totally different culture, require at least a five-hour flight and a couple of inoculations. And as I have an aversion to talking to people when I’m away, I don’t want to encounter fellow Brits. So when I won easyJet flights … Continue reading

Wine on the Rhine

It was a sunny lunchtime but I was trapped in a dark, underground state-cellar with 150, aged Australians. After an average meal, I was forced to clap and sing to cheesy songs (think ‘Que Sera Sera’) by a strutting, lederhosen clad, German blonde-bombshell who appeared to think he was Mick … Continue reading