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

Mossel en Gin | Amsterdam

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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 | €€

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 | €€€€

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 | €€

Rijsel | Amsterdam

Rijsel amsterdam

Rijsel Rotisserie is good!! The food, the friendly waiters, good vibes. It’s a little out of the way in a residential street in Amsterdam Oost and based in an old school building with a retro interior. The menu changes all the time, but you can always expect simple and delicious French/Belgian dishes. We went for oysters and the poussin (Rijsel’s poussin was named the ‘best chicken in town’ by Johannes van Dam!) which comes with baked potatoes and a really nice salad. I also really liked the Huzarensalade, a must. The place feels authentic and works for everyone and all occasions. One thing I didn’t like was the bright lighting as I prefer more dimmed lights in the evening. Make sure to book a table, they are always packed. Closed on Saturday and Sunday. Marcusstraat 52B | Tel: +31-20-4632142 | 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

Cépage | London

Cepage Notting Hill
I am back on the road in our hood (and other ‘hoods’ so stay tuned) I am so excited about this new restaurant on Westbourne Park Road! It’s the perfect French little bistro. Small, cozy, good location, delicious food and great wine list. You’ll be served by French, eat French and feel French when here.

The restaurant does not come cheap and the dishes are small and to share. When we were dining here at the bar they told us they are focusing on small proper wine makers in France. So most wines here, you won’t be able to find in the shops in London and are really good. This makes it all more charming to me! Love the place and will definitely be back for more delicious French signature dishes and wine! 69 Westbourne Park road, London W2 5QH | +44203 602 8890 | Twitter: @cepagesWPR | Tube; Royal Oak or Ladbroke Grove | Map

CT Coffee & Coconuts | Amsterdam

CT Coffee and coconuts - Amsterdam - lunch
Now that I’m spending some time in Amsterdam as part of my maternity leave I finally have time to check out what’s new and fun in one of my favourite cities. CT’s is situated in an old twenties style cinema building so think extreme high ceilings, various floors and open plan everything.. A unique space. They did a really good job in making it feel relaxed with a natural look while still keeping it buzzing. Love the black & white photographs on the walls. Probably one of the reasons why it feels good is because it’s almost always busy – be prepared to wait in line for a table on the weekends. On the menu are fresh juices, smoothies, herbal teas, granola, coconut pancakes ( made from almond flour), different salads, a selection of bites and they do dinner too, all very delicious. Ceintuurbaan 282 | Tel: +31203541104 | Website | ££