How much would you put on the line to realise your lifelong dream? Hairdressing and make-up artists Lila and Demetri Sideropoulos, had a long-term dream - to open a luxury retreat near Melbourne. Then, on a Sunday drive in seaside Mount Martha, Demetri acted on impulse and bid at the auction of an historic mansion called Glynt Manor. Despite having no funds or experience in the hospitality industry, Demetri and Lila set about making their dream come true. The result can be seen in Demetri's Castle.
It is a few days before Francesco da Mosto sets out on the biggest adventure of his life - sailing from Venice to Istanbul - retracing the trade routes of his ancestors in a sailing clipper from the 19th century. But before he leaves his home in Venice there is research to do for the voyage, new skills to acquire - not least gaining the respect of the crew of The White Swan with whom he will spend the next few months in cramped quarters and sometimes dangerous situations as he visits the greatest treasures of the Mediterranean.
In Aleppo, Barry takes a walk through the most authentic market in the Middle East. At ten kilometres long, maybe a new pair of shoes could be handy, and a good soak and steam at the local hammam. Its souks are where you find the very best Syrian street food, and Aladdin's caves of silver and brass, meanwhile nearby Crusader castles are still haunted by a thousand and one knights.
Stefan Gates travels to one of the poorest and most corrupt areas of India, Bihar, where the rural Dalits are locked in a system of poverty and disadvantage. There he engages with one of the lowest sub-sections of the Dalits, the Musahars, or "rat eaters". These desperately poor peasants work the land for landlords, in return for a small portion of rice. To supplement their diet, they catch rats. For eradicating the rodents, the landowners allow them to keep the rats for eating. It's a gruesome perk, but with little other protein available, the rats are a great treat.
Phu Quoc, an island off the south east coast of Vietnam, is well known for its production of fish sauce, and its many peppercorn plantations. It's an idyllic location and a relaxing change of pace for Luke as he cooks a dish of chicken and fresh peppercorns amongst the peppercorn trees, catches and cooks fresh calamari off a local squid boat, and grills prawns on a secluded beach.
In this episode Kevin McCloud follows two very unconventional architects, Jeremy Till and Sarah Wigglesworth, as they build their dream home in the trendy London borough of Islington.
Comedienne Victoria Wood's tracing of the Victorian influence in the spread of the British Empire takes her across the world where she visits New Zealand's Bay of Islands. There she meets straight-talking Maori, Hone, who describes the "treacherous" Treaty of Waitangi of 1841 in which the British tricked the Maoris into giving them sovereignty over their land.
Chef Barry Vera visits the isolated stone villages of Zagoria in Central Greece which are reminiscent of another time and place. Steeped in history and tradition, the area is known for its amazing stone architecture, its iconic bridges and some of the most breathtaking natural scenery in Europe.
Luke's journey continues along the mighty Mekong River, the lifeblood for locals who rely on it for transport, trade, and most of all as a source of food. The floating markets are a colourful and fascinating way of life in Can Tho, where farmers sell their produce from ancient boats.
Two years after his last visit, Kevin McCloud revisits a family in Doncaster (UK) to see how their ultra-modern and somewhat unusual house finished up.
Kevin McCloud revisits some of the homes featured in the first series of Grand Designs and catches up with the owners to see how they've settled into their dream homes. In this episode, he revisits a co-operative of ten families who built ten homes in Brighton, UK.
Daren Howarth and partner Adi Nortje live in Brighton and are champions of sustainable living. They want to build an earth sheltered home from recycled materials, based on ideas pioneered in the 1970s in New Mexico, but land prices and planning laws force them out of England, to Brittany in France. Constructed mainly from old car tyres, this is a very low tech house requiring lots of low tech energy to build it. To keep costs down Daren and Adi enlist the help of a bunch of unskilled volunteers to help them build it, in exchange for teaching them the techniques. All very admirable, but with the main components of this build being rubbish and mud, there's a danger the house may end up looking like a hobbit house.
Constructing Australia is the first three-part docu-drama series to be produced under the Film Australia Making History Initiative. The first episode is the definitive story of how a giant steel arch resembling a coat hanger, became one of world's most recognised structures, and an engineering triumph.
In this episode we canvass the opinions of a range of architects around Australia.
In this episode we look at the tough and brutal politics of getting buildings built - who is paying and what they get for their money. And where do we, the public, stand in all of this?
We cross the country to examine how architects use ideas to change the way we live and think. In this episode we look at a crematorium, a law court, a public hall and two private houses.
Australia in the mid 1800s was a land isolated by distance and divided by two very different cultures. John McDouall Stuart's incredible crossing of this inhospitable land enabled Charles Todd to construct a telegraph line through the heart of the continent, bringing Australia to the world, and the world to Australia.
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