Stepping into the street of the Medina (Old City), from our tranquil guest house with its traditional courtyard, open-roof top and old fashioned doors and locks, was like stepping into a world not to far removed from the images of Asia and Africa depicted by 19th century European Orientalist travelogues and art works.
We all know that seeing a friend has this positive effect, but sometimes we repeatedly push it away in pursuit of happiness by other means. But in the pursuit of "achieving" this other happiness, we usually neglect what we know does make us happy: spending time with friends.
So will Laura's legacy endure? Apparently so - the company has reported profits this year in home furnishings which shows that the brand isn't just beloved of my mother's generation but mine as well.
About a month ago I returned from the most extraordinary trip to Kenya. I had the honor to bring a small group of young widows from America to visit widows in the slum of Kibera. It was a journey of courage and of new beginnings.
True to its reputation, myself and my husband Steve were pretty much the only diners not having a breakfast meeting and it was interesting to be sat surrounded by men and women in suits discussing everything from finance to politics, some greeting one another as they departed. The restaurant definitely had an air of importance.
There are only around 3000 tigers left in the wild worldwide. To put this into context that's less than the number of tigers in captivity in the US - a figure and comparison that I find shocking.
It's obvious that men and women have different inklings when planning a trip, so what kinds of personalities could the male adventurer best pair up with to get the most out of a trip with a female companion? Let's examine the categories...
Los Angeles is two cities: one of the rarefied film world whose players live secluded in the Hollywood hills; the other the working city, populated by panhandlers, grifters and grafters, the wide boulevards down which course the cabs, limos and fender-bent Fords in a twilight that could be early morning or the dim mauve of after sunset.
I started my journey to publicise the book in New York. Everyone tells me they love New York, to me it's a gang rape on the senses. I want to confess war crimes after being kept up all night listening to trash trucks clanging. I took the subway late one night after a show, waited two hours for the right train and witnessed bedlam; feral people were howling like wolves...
It's time for a break, an adventure. Time to trek up a mountain and feel tiny and insignificant. Time to lay under the stars and watch the sun set and rise. The everyday beautiful things that we take for granted because we're eyes down, focused on career, money and the next big opportunity. Time to refresh the brain and get some fresh perspective.
I've heard horror stories of hotels who are blackmailed by guests into getting a discount or otherwise they will receive a bad review, and those who get bad reviews find that it does impact their business. No great shakes if you're the Hilton maybe, but for a small business owner it can be devastating.
Forget the views from the overpriced tourist traps, get yourself sky high and gaze down across the classic NYC skyline. One side shows off uptown and midtown's finest; the Empire State, Met Life, etc and the other side gives a lookout to Wall Street and One World Trade Centre, so park yourself in the middle and get the best of both worlds. Check the loos before you leave too.
When I was growing up I lived in a huge 5 bedroomed house and when my siblings flew the nest (I was the youngest and last to go) I found myself sitting at the breakfast table with an eclectic assortment of visitors - a renal surgeon, a very handsome scuba diving instructor, professors, the mayor of a small town in France and an Irish man doing his PhD...
Despite feeling very strongly about it (note the exclamation points!) - I'm not going to say it's the best place in the UK. Just thank it profusely for being my own personal spur to start exploring this brilliant land we live on. So before I exhaust my store of superlatives for South Devon, here's some things you should definitely take note of if you're planning a trip down there...
Big Ben. Buckingham Palace. The London Eye: our iconic capital is one of the most recognisable cities in the world. But the city still has hidden corners and secrets stowed away, which an increasing number of tour guides want to show you.
From the completely bizarre Lost Gypsy Caravan in The Catlins or Wellington's free outdoor concert in the beautiful Botanic Garden, to the spine-chilling glow worm trails in Waitomo Caves, there are so many undiscovered secrets for the first time New Zealand traveller.