Pesca | Amsterdam

Pesca Amsterdam
I love new concepts and places with a little edge to it and this is just one of these places. I L O V E it. Thanks to crowdfunding this place saw its first daylight about 5 months ago. I went to say ‘Hi’ on a grey afternoon in late October and was assisted by the most enthusiastic, chef Bryce who told me all about the place, the concept and the way it all works. The next evening I went again to put my new knowledge into practice.
So, you pick your fish at the ‘marketplace’ when you come in. Then you pick your wine and take your bucket with wine (or whatever else) to your table. You then hang your bucket on a fancy hook above your table and you are all set. A buzzer tells you when to pick up your food. Some staff is walking around to pick up dirty dishes but overall the whole idea is self-serving. The place looks awesome. Cozy, stylish and with daring choices in the interior. Bright yellow tiles and wood panelled walls (made from unprocessed large wooden palets) etc. We loved the food. If they can’t get certain fishes fresh they won’t have them on there menu (marketplace) which I actually quite like. We had an amazing tender juicy halibut filet with a subtile citrus sauce, amazing gamba’s and a great wild mushroom salad. I will definitely be back to try more fish! Rozengracht 133, Amsterdam | +3120 334 5136 | Tram: 1, 2, 13, 14, 17 (Westermarkt) 1,2, 3, 12 (de Clerqstraat) | Website | €€€
pesca amsterdam

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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

Ali Ocakbasi | Amsterdam

Ali Ocakbasi Utrechtsestraat Amsterdam

I love Turkish food! I didn’t know it myself, but I am a massive fan now. I guess I’m not the only one realising this as Ali’s place is packed almost every night. I thought the menu was a little bit overwhelming so I asked one of the friendly staff to help us out. She basically took it away and arranged everything we loved from amazing hummus and baba ganoush dips with pita to the perfect selection of grilled veggies and meat, unfortunately we didn’t manage to squeeze in a dessert. Next time! Herengracht 558, hoekje Utrechtsestraat | Website | €€

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)

Breda | Amsterdam

Restaurant Breda Amsterdam

Delicious food from the south of Holland (Breda!), great interior design, atmosphere and really good service. We are hooked! Elsje and I finally found a time to catch up together so we needed to find a good new spot for this. Very last minute we decided to try the new restaurant Breda as it was closeby (central Amsterdam) and the interior look and feel looked very tasteful. Apparently they are booked up for the next few weeks ahead but they had a last minute cancellation – lucky us. They let you choose between 3 types of menus: Basic, Extra and Full Monty, and don’t tell you much about the menu. The Basic already consists of 7 courses and oh my, they were so good. Our favourites: the cauliflower dish, steak with hummus and purple carrot and the rosemary ice cream with nuts and nougat for desert… Aaah! Can’t wait to go back! Singel 210 | Tram: Dam | Tel: +31 (0)20 622 52 33 | Website | €€€€

Ocha | Amsterdam

Really tasty Thai food! A very simple and tiny restaurant run by 2 Thai ladies just off the Nieuwmarkt in the city centre of Amsterdam. It’s small but there is a high turnover of people as you can’t order alcohol and the food comes when ready – so good chances of getting a table. I wouldn’t recommend going here on a first date or for a romantic night out, but it’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. It reminds me of unpretentious and really good Vietnamese places I used to go to in London. We had the spring rolls, green chicken curry and beef vegetables with oyster sauce between the 2 of us and I can’t wait to go back and taste the rest of the menu soon. Binnen Bantammerstraat 1 | Metro: Nieuwmarkt | €Ocha Thai Amsterdam

Terpentijn | Amsterdam

One of my favourites go-to’s in Amsterdam at the moment. I’m pretty sure it’s because there is a restaurant part upstairs and a really great bar area downstairs. I always love it when you find a place you can start and end at the bar, and you don’t feel you have to leave anytime soon because everyone has gone home or elsewhere. They also tend to have some some really good tunes downstairs that are perfect for Friday or Saturday nights, lots of ‘hitjes’! I must say I liked the french-asian food, especially the starters, but I wasn’t blown away by the main courses. I’m going back soon to check out their new menu (main courses and cocktails!). Rokin 103 | Tram: Spui/Rokin | Tel: +31(0)20 333 0014 | Website | €€€
Terpentijn Amsterdam Restaurant