I can’t quiet remember how I ended up finding this place but finding it made me and my friend really happy. This English country house style hotel right on the beach in Studland is just perfect for a quick get away from busy London. It’s a rough 3 hour drive from west London.
Imagine a beautiful villa with 23 cozy rooms, a stunning view over sea, a beautifully kept garden where they keep bees and grow vegetables etc that they serve in their AMAZING restaurant that is located in their greenhouse and has this amazing light shining in. I loved the interior style; very UK countryside! Reminded me a bit of the Soho House Group. A lot of wood, comfortable armchairs and sofa’s and little corners to relax and drink tea (or something stronger than that), a beautiful cozy lounge with a big fireplace, boardgames up for grasp, a treatment caravan outside that has been transformed into this wood panelled cozy room etc. The staff is super friendly and really care about making your stay memorable. On top of all of this you can go on beautiful long walks in the area (for example in the fields with beautiful views of the Old Harry Rocks). Manor House, Manor Road, Studland, Dorset, BH19 3AU | +44 01929 450288 | £££ | Website
Bar Botanique – Cafe Tropique, what a name! I was immediately attracted (not only by the name but also) by the look of the place which is well.. green. Filled with plants and a different approach to interior design than most other restaurant openings nowadays. The staff told me that the restaurant is referred to as the ‘living room’ of East Amsterdam which I can completely understand. The location.. the mix of different people.. it felt very fun and lively. The menu is simple, nothing fancy (or tropical), but easy going Mediterranean comfort food. Eerste van Swindenstraat 581, Amsterdam | Website | €€
When the weather is good and you are looking for a lively relaxed place with picnic style garden, good food and drinks, Mossel and Gin is the place to go. It’s a little gem hidden on the Westergas area. They serve mussel dishes (mossel pannetjes) in all kinds of different versions including Thai and Chilli (with chorizo) which were both great, and we loved the fries! – there are other food options available if you’re not a fan of mussels. Also the gin & tonic menu is crazy with lots of funky options. We’re a big fan! Goschalklaan 12, Amsterdam | Tel: 0031(0)20 486 5869) | Website | €€
For some reason this amazing pub never made it onto OLBB. Probably because I went here before OLBB was founded and did unfortunately never come back until recently (because there was a lot to check out in between and I do not come in Fulham that often…) So well, just the kind of place that I love. It is an easy place. You’ll have a great ale at the bar while waiting for your brown wooden table with candles. The food is traditional pub food with some real good game dishes (the food is actually fantastic!). The interior is cozy but spacious. They have quite some tables and the pub is also open for brunch! 676 Fulham Road, London | +4420 7384 9559 | Tube; Parsons Green | £££ | Map | Website
If a place offers Snackettes, I’m generally sold. I love sharing plates so I can try lots of different things. Especially if it includes chips and dips and deep fried chillies. Shrimpy’s call themselves a deluxe dinette, offering burgers, chippies, as well as some other more healthy options. The restaurant was set up by the old crew behind Bistroteque and they renovated an old filling station to launch Shrimpy’s. The interior is a bit of a weird mix but I like it. Expect a good time surrounded by fun wall illustrations, lots of random golden pineapples, palm trees and a few giraffes.. PS. They have lots of seating space outside too. Goods Way | Tube: King’s Cross | Website | £££
There is something I love about hanging out at hotels lately.. Especially when they have an open space bar for all day drinks, good work/laptop area and coffees (Soho Grind is next door) and 2 really nice restaurants options situated within the hotel for when you get hungry. You basically have no reason to leave this place. We only tested the Hubbard & Bell restaurant which is on the ground floor, open plan and sort of connected to the bar area so you feel you’re right in the midst of the action (above pic is of the H&B). The other restaurant is the Chicken Shop in the basement – by the owners of Soho House. It tends to slow down a little over the weekends compared to Tuesday-Friday when the after work crowd takes over. Oh and they have a great event/party space called the Apartment – I had a sneak peek and am already thinking of a reason to throw a party. 199-206 High Holborn, WC1V 7BD | Tube: Holborn | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7661 3000 | Website | ££