Latest articles from Susan Nickalls

Med's secret island has played holiday host to everyone from the Queen to JFK, Castro to Sophia Loren

With its azure skies, translucent sunlit seas and natural beauty, Veliki Brijuni is the most magical of Croatia’s islands. Former Yugoslav ruler Marshall Tito thought so too, claiming this largest island (usually just called Brijuni) in the archipelago for his summer residence. From the 1950s up until 1980, he entertained royalty, heads of state and film stars including the Queen, John F Kennedy, Leonid Brezhnev, Muammar Gaddafi, Fidel Castro, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Sophie Loren at his Bijela Vila (White Villa).

Travel: 48 hours in Stockholm with Abba

Two years ago this month, the members of Abba were pictured together for the first time since 2008, fuelling rumours that a reunion was on the cards. They were at the opening of Mamma Mia! The Party, a new Stockholm restaurant decked out like the Greek taverna in the film Mamma Mia! Here you can eat your hummus and pretend you’re an extra in the movie as live singers and musicians serenade you with Abba songs.

Travel: a weekend in Warsaw

It was perhaps appropriate that my visit to Warsaw coincided with the final days of the Nato summit earlier this year. With President Obama in town, in fact staying at the hotel next door, security was extra tight with armed police lining the closed-off streets, an assortment of decorated generals loitering in hotel lobbies and a constant soundtrack of droning helicopters and shrill sirens.

Travel: Wellington, New Zealand

In the UK, we’ve just held a referendum on whether to leave the EU and two years ago Scotland voted to stay in the UK. In New Zealand they have spent £12m on a referendum on whether to change their flag. The flag was the topic du jour when I returned to the land of my birth earlier this year and this speaks volumes about the preoccupations of the country and where it stands in relation to the rest of the world. Having settled in Scotland, returning to Wellington, where I spent my formative years, is always a strange hybrid of the familiar and the foreign.