Mr Porter | Amsterdam

Mr Porter W Hotel
Let’s just begin with the quote they put on their website which is spot on: “About Mr Porter; A companion by day, a hunter by night. A gentleman, a merciless lover. A jetsetter and a local. It is this duality, this constant battle of extremes that is MR PORTER. Cosmopolitan yet familiar. Extravagant yet modest. MR PORTER fearlessly explores the borders between dinner and sinner.”
This restaurant on the 5th floor of the W Hotel is very cool. Trying to get even with all trendy hotel bars and restaurants in other metropolitan cities around the world. Amsterdam needs more of these so I am happy! The view from this restaurant is absolutely amazing, the food is great, the lounge looks stunning with the coolest sleek interior decor and is just breathtaking at sunset. The whole place turns an orangy yellow, it’s like setting foot in the Garden of Eden (in my imagination…). I will update the current photograph with the one that captures this as soon as I’ve been able to shoot it and you’ll see. Spuistraat 175, Amsterdam | +31208113399 | €€€| Tram; Dam (1, 2, 5, 13, 14, 17) | Website

The Pig Hotel | On the Beach, Studland

The Pig Hotel
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

The Pig Hotel on the Beach

Bar Botanique | Amsterdam

Bar Botanique Amsterdam Oost

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 | €€

The Palomar Restaurant | London

The Palomar Restaurant
Yes! I managed to get a reservation by trying the waitlist and it worked. Currently this place is bloody popular and I now understand why the waitlist was the only option to get a table asap. Love this place. It’s small and cozy with blue leather boots, dark wooden tables, floors and panelled walls and mosaic details. There is a counter / bar where they do life cooking and the music is turned up. This makes you want to order an Espresso Martini after dinner instead of Fresh Mint Tea. The food they serve is modern day Jerusalem and is out of this world. We basically asked the nice guy serving us if he could recommend some dishes and followed all his advice without regret. Unfortunately we had so much of the delicious polenta that we really had no space left for dessert. Regrettably, because they looked great.  I just love this kitchen with their interesting combination of flavours and spices. My personal favorites were: Kubaneh, fattoush salad, beetroot carpaccio (see below), Polenta Jerusalem Style (with truffle OMG). Wish I could go back every week. 34 Rupert Street, London  | +4420 7439 8777 | Tube: Piccadilly Circus / Leicester Square | £££ | Website
Palomar

Venus & Adonis | Amsterdam

venus en adonis
This restaurant has been here for little over a year now and I only just went for the first time because a little bird told me the steaks were superb. The location of this restaurant is perfect; right on the Prinsengracht with a few tables outside on the pavement (with heating lamps!!) so it’s great people watching. The restaurant is set over two floors and has quite a simple steakhouse interior with wooden tables and chairs. Didn’t find it super stylish and original but couldn’t really find anything to complain about either. It just looks nice I guess and is perfectly cozy because of candles and stuff. I had an amazing lobster soup and Surf & Turf with a great bottle of red wine and the staff was super attentive and nice. Prinsengracht 274 | Tram 13, 14 17 (Westermarkt) of 7, 10 (Elandsgracht) |€€€ | +4420 421 1848 | Website

Toscanini | Amsterdam

toscanini
I have tried to make a reservation here a million times but they are always fully booked so I was so incredibly excited that I managed to get a table last night by just walking in! Probably already known well by lots of you but a absolute winner if you ask me!! Best Italian food and wine menu. Great atmosphere in the cozy Jordaan. Super nice, no nonsense staff. Open kitchen and really nice open interior that is made cozy with candles in the evenings. I would recommend this place for dinner with lovers, friends, business and parents! Lindengracht 75 | +3120 623 2813 | Website | €€€ | Tram 3 (Willemstraat)

West Thirty Six | London

West Thirty Six
Golborne Road…. The place to be in 2015 if you ask me! New trendy original places are popping up like daffodils in spring! The roof terrace of this four story bar / restaurant overlooks the railway tracks and for some reason I think this gives an edgy feel to the place being on the dodgy end of Golborne Road. The place looks fantastic. Very stylish cosy interior and a perfect meeting place for a drink with friends or grab some food. I do think the food is too expensive but I would still go back for the whole experience, their amazing cocktails, roof terrace with heaters and stylish decor. Loved the Lobster! They also have spaces available for private dinner parties apparently…36 Golborne Rd, London | +4420 3752 0530 | Tube: Westbourne Park or Ladbroke Grove | Website | £££

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Hoxton Hotel | Amsterdam

Hoxton Hotel Amsterdam

I’m currently hanging out at the Hoxton Hotel in Amsterdam and I feel as if I’m in NYC or London. It’s very un-dutch. After the Hoxton Hotels in Shoreditch and Holborn in London, the group has recently opened in Amsterdam on the Herengracht in the Jordaan. An amazing location and space consisting of 6(!) converted canal houses. The lobby is great for hanging out with an all day menu provided by the Soho House group. Makes me happy to know I can keep drinking Soho Mules even when I’m not in London!!! The 111 rooms look super cool with grey and dusty blue tones, and vintage leather furniture. And they also have The Apartment which they use for throwing parties and also make available to hire for parties. Herengracht 255 | Tel: +3120 888 5555 | Website | €€€

De Vergulden Eenhoorn | Amsterdam

de vergulden eenhoornA new favourite in Amsterdam East. The people behind Hanneke’s Boom turned an old farm into the perfect all day hideaway. I felt like I was in the countryside sitting at their long wooden tables overlooking their picknick field. They use locally sourced food for great home cooked dishes. From brunch, lunch, dinner to evening drinks, they’ve got you covered with a great menu and a relaxed low key vibe. Hotel rooms are coming soon too, love this place! Ringdijk 58 | Tel: +31(0)20-2149333 | Website | €€

Sawyer & Gray

sawyer and gray
By accident I ended up in this completely amazing little bar in Islington (walking distance from Highbury and Islington station) I had a reservation in Le Coq next door and went to wait for our table to be ready in this charming place. So cute. It is the place you want to take your friends from out of town to, to show them how cute, cool, funky and creative London is as a city! Their kitchen is too small to start a ‘real’ restaurant so they are only open on Fridays and Saturdays for tapas etc. The rest of the week just breakfast and lunch.  290 Saint Paul’s Road, Islington, London | Tube; Highbury & Islington | £££ | Website