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

Mesa de Frades | Lisbon, Portugal

Mesa de Frades Lissabon Lisbon
If you are planning a trip to Lisbon, you have to go for a typical Portugese night at Mesa de Frades. The restaurant is one of Lisbon’s Fado Houses located in Alfama, the old town area. It’s beautiful, intimate and informal and the fado performances that start around 11pm each night make it a truly special experience. You can really feel the emotions from the famous fado songs. It’s very intense. And even some of my friends that weren’t into it initially felt touched by some of them. We arrived at 9pm and had dinner first, but you can also turn up just for the fado show from 11pm onwards. There is a traditional Portugese fixed menu. All reasonably priced and service is good. We also spotted many locals so it didn’t feel touristy. Good food and wine, amazing performances, guitar music… A perfect Portugese experience. Open Wed-Sun. Rua dos Remédios 139a | Alfama, Lisbon | Tel: 917029436 | No website | €€€

The Crown Hotel | Amersham, Buckinghamshire

The Crown Hotel Amersham
A huge recommendation for anyone after a break from hectic London but wanting to avoid the hassle of a long journey and traffic jams. The Crown is a typical English country pub hotel located in the Old Town of Amersham – at the very end of the Metropolitan line (!) which means all you need is your Oyster card and about an hour from Central London to get there. The old town has a couple of really cute shops, a few great lunch spots (we loved the Grocer) and lots of opportunity to get out into the country. The reception at The Crown can help with hiking maps and trails in the area and there are also bikes available for guests. The room we stayed in was decorated by stylist Ilse Crawford – she’s been involved with Soho House’s Babbington House etc. The design was still authentic but with a contemporary cool & cosy vibe. Apparently the Courtyard Suite 101 was featured in Four Weddings and a Funeral.. There are a few places around for dinner, but you can also decide to stay at the hotel. A full on breakfast is included with your nights stay. Oh, and don’t forget your wellies! Rooms start at £165. 16 High Street, Amersham, Buckinghamshire | +44 (0)1494721541 | Website | £££

Santorini | Greece

Santorini sunset grace hotel
I’ve just returned from a 10 day Santorini holiday and I’m totally in love with this Greek island. Can’t wait to share it with you! I had only seen a few pictures of its beautiful sunsets, cliffs and clear blue chapels and I was sold. It ended up being even better than we expected. We really loved the sunsets, even though they’re such a cliche, they are super stunning. But there is so much more! We rented a quat bike – which I would totally recommend – so we could get away from the obvious places and discover less crowded restaurants and bars, enjoy amazing Greek (sea) food and meet some of the easy going locals.

If you consider going, there are definitely a few things you should know:
– It’s a couples/honeymoon island. I was with my boyfriend and it even made me feel a little funny. Couples are everywhere! At least there is lots of love in the air 😉
– The landscape is quite dry, there is not a lot of green around (we went late May) and I didn’t expect the look of it at all – Try to avoid Fira & Oia when cruise ships dump thousands of day trip tourists at once
– Don’t go if you’re after a beach holiday – all the beaches have black sand and are rocky. Good thing almost every hotel has a swimming pool, and there are lots of cool hangout places

Restaurants:
Kartharos Beach – Ammoudi The best place to hang out if you’re after an easy going place with good music, super friendly staff and great food and drinks. We came across it by accident and just kept going back. Best to go around 3-4pm, have a glass of rose and chill. This place has a perfect view on the sunset too so you’ll end up staying for dinner, and a few more drinks. If you become friendly with barman Kostas you won’t be leaving anytime soon. Katharos Beach, 84702 Oía, Kikladhes | Website

Tranquillo – Perissa Beach spot on Perissa Beach. This beach is known for being the most popular one. This unfortunately means a long strip of beach places and a beach packed with beds and umbrella’s. Not at Tranquillo. The owner Alex only has around 15 umbrellas on the beach because ‘he wants to be able to see the sea from his restaurant’. Such a good call! I think this immediately says a lot about this place. It’s all about taking it easy, with amazing food and juices. Salads are massive!

Anogi – Imerovigli Super sweet little restaurant in Imerovigli. Not overlooking the Caldera (the gorgeous cliff side) so you won’t have a sunset view but one of the nicest and homely type of restaurants we have seen on the island. It’s a family style restaurant with really good local food, always busy, super friendly staff and good prices. We did drinks at Grace Santorini Hotel first to see the sunset and walked to Anogi afterwards.

Hotels:
There are thousands of hotels on this little island and I was quite overwhelmed when I started browsing: do you want to stay in a town and which one, prefer to be on the caldera cliffside, or maybe a little more quiet more inlands? One of the top hotels is Grace Santorini. It’s in Imerovigli which I think is one of the most beautiful towns. I would say that there are many other places next to Grace equally as beautiful in this town – as well as very pricy. Another hotel in the same town called Casa Bianca is super cute with a beautiful white courtyard and flowers (ready to go on someones pinterest board!). If you’re after a more easy boutique budget spot I would recommend Rena’s Suites. It’s on a 5 mins walking distance from the main town Fira which is really handy for lunch and shopping etc. Clean simple rooms, a swimming pool, good breakfast (lots of greek yoghurt!) and Christina will make sure to look after you.

santorini holiday greek salad

Surf Lodge | Montauk, The Hamptons

surf-lodge-montauk
Surflodge is my favourite summer hangout in the world. I love everything about it. It’s got a care free surfer’s vibe and literally everywhere you look, it looks cool. There is a restaurant space, a cocktail bar, outdoor deck, lakeside bonfire, they do amazing lobster rolls… I could live here! It’s also a hotel so you could realistically pretend to live here all summer but some nights the room rates can go up to $1000 a night, sadly. Summer Saturdays are busiest and I would recommend to book a table for dinner or get there early as everyone everyone in the Hamptons tends to comes down then, and queuing can take long otherwise. 183 Edgemere Street, Montauk, New York | Best time of year to go: May-September. How to get here: 3.5 hrs train journey from Penn Station, car or bus (depending on traffic) or with a 45 mins direct charter flight from Manhattan to Montauk with StndAIR – Standard’s hotel private sea planes | Website | $$$$
Montauk Surflodge

MODE | London

Mode Collective Notting Hill club London
I was happy to hear about this new place – mostly because it’s always good to have a late night option near the home, but also because the space has so much potential and it sounds like these guys are going to try and do something interesting with it. MODE offers a different ‘chapter’ each 6 months, a theme that serves as a base for art installations, food, cocktails and line ups. Chapter one is inspired by the industrial revolution, with an original old church organ as well as a plane hanging in the middle of the space at the moment. I arrived late on a Friday night and thought it looked cool (and different from the Supper Club). The music was a bit too electro for me, it didn’t make me want to dance but I had a good time cocktail drinking at the bar anyway. The owner mentioned they are getting some great artists in, both signed bands as well as new kids on the block, so I’m definitely coming back for some more. It’s £20 each to get in. Acklam Road | Tube: Ladbroke Grove or Westbourne Park | +44208 354 3864 | Website | £££ (Opening hours: Wednesday: 6pm – 11pm, Thursday: 6pm – 1am, Friday: 6pm – 3am, Saturday: 6pm – 3am)

Golborne Road Market | London

Golborne Road London Notting Hill Golborne Deli
Very conveniently, Friday and Saturday mornings on this road are my favourite as I happen to live here! It’s got such a great vibe and I don’t think lots of people know about it. Golborne Road is situated at the very north of Portobello Road, further than most tourists usually make it. With lots of bric-a-brac, treasure/trash stalls, Morrocan & Portugese grocery shops, as well as really great furniture shops, it’s very much Notting Hill for locals. A few of my favourite interior shops are Phoenix & Hutch, they sell vintage and antique homeware, Bazar is also cute, selling charming French style furniture. And 88 Antiques is full of rustic furniture – Elsje and I both bought our dining table here (the owner Dave can get you the exact size you’re looking for!). There are also nice places for drinks and food. Besides a few really good food stalls, there is Pizza East on the corner with Portobello Road, and Golborne Deli with a little terrace outside.. Bluebelles of Portobello and Lowry & Baker are also great for brunch. And I have not even covered everything! You can find out more here. Golborne Road | Tube: Ladbroke Grove

 

SCREAM at Electric Cinema | London

SCREAM at Electric Cinema
Since I had a little baby girl Noortje (Noor) 3 months ago I wanted to share this great experience with you. On Mondays at 11am Electric cinema screen a movie in their fabulous cinema (think big, relaxing armchairs and footstools and your own side table with a cozy lamp.) They call these screenings SCREAM because they are meant for mothers with babies up to one year old. It is such an amazing concept because it allows us, busy and tired mums, to enjoy a great movie in an amazing cinema without feeling guilty when your little one starts to scream… Movies have subtitles so you don’t miss the essence of the movie when a baby next to you decides to go full power. Funnily enough I didn’t really noticed the crying babies during the movie at all. I just LOVE it and will definitely go every week when I can! Electric Cinema, 191 Portobello Road, London | Every Monday at 11am (I think dates now vary slightly so do check their website) | £15 | Website

Mall Tavern | London

The Mall Tavern looks like a lovely normal gastropub but offers a really cool private dining experience; the Chef’s Table. We went last night and literally dined next to the chefs working away. It all looks and feels a little chaotic with odd props on the table and empty wine bottles everywhere but it’s definitely part of the charm. You feel as if you’ve entered through the back door… The chef is our host for the night and explains every single dish he serves. He’s really friendly, relaxed and an amazing cook. The dishes are incredibly tasty! The idea is to share everything so you can taste all. If you decide to go, make sure you skip lunch as a huge amount of food is served. Desert is a show on its own which you’ll have to go and see for yourself, I will only say it’s hillarious and involves a smoke machine 🙂 The table is perfect for 6-8 people. Price is £40 per head for food only. 71 Palace Gardens Terrace | Tube: Notting Hill Gate | 020 7229 3374 | Website | £££

chefs table

What’s on – Aperitivo Tuesdays @Bunga Bunga

A new category comes to our site! From now on ‘What’s on‘ will update you on any fun events coming up. Please let us know what you think of it and if you have any suggestions for events, don’t hesitate to let us know.

We thought we’d start this new category with something everyone will love. This event is all about enjoying drinks and nibbles before dinner, which the Italians like to call Aperitivo.

Bunga Bunga Aperitivo London

To celebrate the British Summer, one of our favourite Italian restaurants Bunga Bunga will be launching special Aperitivo Tuesdays. The idea is that while you have your drinks and listen to Italian folk bands, they’ll be serving antipasti, pizza slices, bruschetta and much more goodies. For only £7 extra!

Event details:
APERITIVO TUESDAYS at BUNGA BUNGA
EVERY TUESDAY
Aperitivo Buffet: 7.00-9.00pm -£7.00
Taranta Band: 7.00-10.00pm
Address: 37 Battersea Bridge Road | Tel: 020 7095 0360 | Website |Email: reservations@bungabunga-london.com