The best way to overcome the March winter blues in Hanoi is heading indoors and diving into a big bowl of homemade tomato soup — accompanied by a crusty baguette, of course.

When hitting the buffet, I have a method. A light plate at first; some sushi, some charcuterie, maybe some oysters. Some coffee somewhere in there. No Bloody Mary yet.

Alongside Cuc Gach Quan and May Cloud, Temple Club is one of the best places to take visitors when one wants to show them the grandeur of old-time Saigon.

There was a touch of poetic irony on the day we headed to Hanoi’s first authentic French creperie. The weather was cold, the skies were grey and it was pouring with rain. While not exactly the ideal conditions for zipping around town on a scooter, it gave us an appreciation for why the people of Brittany, an area renowned for its bitterly overcast weather, first invented the crepe.

Imagine a slice of Vietnam lifted out of its tiny plastic chair and taken around the world. It picks up a taste for wine and some culinary finesse in Paris, it scours the vintage vinyl stores of Brixton, Kingston and Harlem for its tunes, and kicks back over brunch in a trendy Brooklyn diner. This is how I imagine Propaganda was born.

When most people travel they bring home a T-shirt or a tea towel — I buy a chandelier and a desk!”David Campbell, January 2015

From the sixth-floor restaurant balcony of Cau Go Vietnamese Cuisine you can neither hear the stabbing horn section and bub-a-bub beat of a million rumbling motorbikes, nor the roosters playing their wailing call-and-response with the cats in heat.

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