The Grand Tour
10th July 2009
As I write the girls are on their way to Lake Como with my uncle and aunt. They flew at 2.30 am from Abu Dhabi and landed in Milan this morning. Olivia said she was tired (possibly the first time she has ever admitted it) whereas Bea was totally overjo …
First meeting with a policeman
19th February 2009
I have often thought that a place can be defined by its police force. The English bobby, for example, is a thoroughly good bloke who can be relied on to be fair and trustworthy. This is my image of England. The German is rather bossy and neatly dressed …
27th February 2008
I have just read the sort of story that makes me want to weep. In fact I am having to concentrate on not weeping. A man is being held in Italy for the murder of his two sons aged 12 and 14. He threw them down a 60-foot well in 2006. Their bodies were d …
Roman New Year
1st January 2008
Yesterday it was Bea’s turn to see Rome. We got off the train and headed straight to the Vatican. Bea wants to be an artist and I thought the Sistine Chapel might inspire her. She is also very keen on religion. We passed a shop with lots of pictures of …
30th December 2007
Not since Audrey Hepburn was there has there been such a pretty visitor to Rome. Yesterday Olivia and I took the train (and the strain, it was 30 minutes late) and went into town. “Do you realise that since we got to Italy we have eaten pasta every lun …
Hhmmmm, maybe not…..
27th December 2007
We are finally here after what feels like several days on a train. All was going relatively well until the night train was delayed. First they said 20 minutes. There we sat among the alcoholics and the homeless at Nice station (not so nice), praying fo …
Let the train take the strain….
26th December 2007
Relaxing, snoozing, reading a book, enjoying a glass of wine by the fire….but that’s just my husband. Me, I am on a train bound for Italy with the three children. As I write (after four and a half hours) they have finally lost the plot and are runnin …
Euro complete star
20th December 2007
My journey home was marvellous. We got on the Eurostar at the newly revamped St Pancras Station. When the train stopped I thought we were in Ashford in Kent or at best Lille. Turns out we were at the Gare du Nord. Here at home it is a winter wonderland …
A modern inferno
8th December 2007
I brushed my teeth this morning as the Ligurian countryside flashed by. I am on a night train bound for France after two days in Florence. The night train does not compare with the luxury of the Grand Hotel, and the view of Liguria may not be as dreamy …
A room with a view (inside and out)
6th December 2007
There are worse places to spend a morning. I am at the Grand Hotel in Florence. My room looks out over the city and the Arno River. Inside it is almost more impressive. There are frescoes on three walls depicting romantic scenes from too long ago to ev …
Helena Frith Powell was born in Sweden to a Swedish mother and Italian father, but grew up mainly in England. She is the author of eleven books, translated into several languages including Chinese and Russian. She wrote the French Mistress column The Sunday Times about life in France for several years. She is a regular contributor to the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, The Times, Daily Telegraph, Tatler Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar.
Helena has been the editor of four magazines, including M Magazine, a supplement for the Abu Dhabi based National Newspaper and FIVE, a high-end fashion glossy, also published in Abu Dhabi. Helena was also editor in chief of 360 Life, a quarterly glossy magazine published with the Sports 360 Newspaper in Dubai, part of the Chalhoub Group. She writes a beauty blog www.beautyorbeast.uk.
Her third novel, The Arnolfini Marriage, based on a romance that evolves around a van Eyck masterpiece came out in 2016. As well as contributing regularly for newspapers and magazines, writing short stories and studying for a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, Helena is also working on a thriller called Welcome to Smullö that will be published in spring 2020.
Her latest non-fiction work Smart Women Don’t Get Wrinkles came out in hardback in 2016 and came out in paperback in April 2018.
Helena was educated at Durham University and lived in the Languedoc region of France for eight years, where the family still have a home. She lives between there and London with her husband Rupert and their three children.