This is the old North Room blog – the new one is at

What is North Room?

At the beginning of 2009, my wife (Claire) and I got the chance to travel the world, and started this blog to journalise our adventure and share our photographs.

The North Room name was chosen for two reasons.

Firstly, it was the name of the guest room Claire and I shared on our first long-haul holiday together at Zanzibar’s Emerson & Green Hotel in 2003.  Emerson’s is a fantastically old, colonial-style building set in the atmospheric (read as “cramped” & “musky”) streets of Zanzibar’s Stone Town.  The North Room, on the 5th floor, is a colonial-vintage-style bedroom with a teak, four-poster bed and Zanzibarian stone bath.  It has a northerly aspect to it, hence the name, and is jaw-droppingly enhanced by being only partially enclosed; one side of the bedroom as well as the whole en-suite bathroom are completely open to the elements.  And that means it enjoys views reaching far-out over the old spice-trading port’s sun-bleached town houses to the Indian ocean beyond.  In the few nights we were there, we could lie in bed and listen to the sounds of the town and stare at the heavens.

Happy days.

Sunset from Stone Town.

Sunset from Stone Town.

Inspiring too, as it happened, as it was this holiday that sowed the seed for more far-flung adventures and gave us the aim to one day go further – for longer – and see more.

The “Northern” aspect to that room we shared also alludes to the second reason for the choice of name.  In the years that I have become obsessed more serious about taking photographs, I have learned that north-facing room windows can offer portrait photographers some very nice light.  The reason for this is that the light is usually consistently softer compared to that offered from those facing east, west and south – because of the daily transition of our sun.  And, now that I’ve had the good fortune to amass a growing photography client base, North Room is a name that has both relevance to the business and great meaning to me personally.

Whatever we share here on the blog, we hope you enjoy visiting.

Mike & Claire


2 Responses

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  1. Virginie & Théophile said, on February 24, 2009 at 12:55 am


    Your pictures are so amazing !!!
    We are waiting for the Perito Moreno’s ones ;-)

    Enjoy your trip,
    Virginie & Théophile

  2. Eric Strickler said, on April 7, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Hey there Mike and Claire,

    Sounds like your travels are coming to a close….and it seems like they have been great!! Or at least that is what the photos give the timpression of. I just looked for 30 minutes, and I have things I should be doing!

    Anyways, after meeting you both @ Hacienda Merida in Nicaragua my friend Erinch and I went to Leon for a couple days, and have since been back in Michigan, enjoying the pitiful winter slog of the state in the winter/spring transition. Wish I was in Perth, Australia ;)

    Hope your travels end safetly. Take care, and best wishes.


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