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 | €€

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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

Snaps + Rye | London

snaps and rye
Again in my hood. BUT my hood is so good that you have to forgive me. This tiny little Danish place has the best Smørrebrød in London and when I am in town I get the one with salmon at least twice a week… It is freakin’ divine. They serve great Latte’s in stylish mugs and the place is also great for a quick lunch by yourself. In the evenings they have a weekly changing menu which is original and fresh. The interior is simple, clean and fresh and perhaps not a place to pick for a romantic night out. I really like all the people that work in this place. They are amazingly kind and interested and thus I am a happy, content, returning customer of Snaps and Rye. 93 Golborne Road, Notting Hill | +4420 8964 3004 | Tube: Ladbroke Grove / Westbourne Park | ££ | 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 | €€

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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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 | €€

Shrimpy’s | Kings Cross, London

Shrimpy's London Kings Cross snackettes dinette
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 | £££

Mazi | Notting Hill, London

Greek restaurant Mazi London Notting HillAmazing food, atmosphere and service at this cool Greek restaurant just off Notting Hill Gate. I wish I had discovered it earlier! It reminded me of summer holidays in Greece with white walls and a simple light decor. We went on a Friday night when it started to get really busy at 7.30pm – glad we made reservations! The lovely Greek waiter suggested to order 2 jars to start with, 2 hot dishes and one signature dish to share between the 2 of us. And so we did. Absolutely loved the grilled aubergine spread which came with really nice bread and a smokey flavour. We also thought the feta tempura was great, to mix with meringue and lemon. The calamari main was special but not our favourite while the greek yoghurt mousse was the perfect end to our dinner. Foodies will enjoy this place. They also have a cute garden in the back. 12-14 Hillgate Street | Tube: Notting Hill Gate | Tel: +44(0)2072293794 | Website | ££