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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Señor Ceviche | London

Senor Ceviche
Last night I had dinner is this buzzing, loud, funky open plan kitchen in Soho. Awesome place!! I love ceviche and theirs is mouthwateringly good. It rains Sea Bream in classic Peruvian combinations on their menu which is good and I believe I had at least three Pisco Sours (they were even better).
Don’t go here with your grandparents or poor hearing friends because the volume of the music is turned on full power but the atmosphere is absolutely great. Señor Ceviche is located in a food hall in the middle of Soho; a different experience than a place off the street but a great wining, dining, food destination where you are sure to find something that suits your needs (from hamburgers to healthy smoothies) The restaurant itself looks funky with coloured wooden tables, industrial lamps and chairs, bright coloured posters, colourful tiles and a professional looking open plan kitchen. The interior is completely inspired on Lima’s market life and it seriously felt like being on holiday while having dinner here so I guess they did great a great job in terms of vibe. Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London | Tube: in between Picadilly Circus and Oxford Circus | £££ | hola@senor-ceviche.com | Website

Portobello Garden Arcade | London

The Portobello Garden Arcade
Having a little bit trouble getting out of my hood as you can read.. But the cool thing about London is that there are places coming and (sometimes regretfully) going all the time. So even though you don’t leave your hood doesn’t mean you can’t try new things!! Anyway, discovered this amazing place this month and was blown away by the few things I tried from their menu. The place is owned and run by Italians and you can see, feel, smell and taste this without trouble. “Bongiorno! Hav’e a’e seat’e”  is how I was welcomed. Tucked away behind an arcade on the busy Portobello Road this is the perfect stop to make to refuel and regain your strength! You can have a full Italian lunch, breakfast or dinner, or just have a coffee, a glass of wine or a cookie. I adored the Parmigiana di Melanzane and the cookies they gave me for free when I asked for the bill.
Great place! 269 Portobello Road, London | Tube: Ladbroke Grove | +4475 3453 2039 | ££ |  No website

Moyo |Stellenbosch, South Africa

Moyo Stellenbosch
Well, maybe a little bit touristy but in my opinion a must visit when you are in the wine region in South Africa. This place simply makes you happy. It is so nicely done and funky that I always take people here when I am going to SA. Basically, it is a very big outdoor restaurant with a big tent and various tree houses where there are tables set up for you to have dinner. There is no menu but an enormous buffet in the big tent. The food is okay, not superb but you don’t go here for the food, you go here for the entertainment and amazing atmosphere. Book a treehouse when you make a reservation because it adds to the experience and feels less touristy then in the big tent. In the tent they have performances that are utterly happy and African… Be prepared to do (or watch) some dancing! +27 21 809 1133 | Website

 

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

Toca do Morcego | Morro de Sao Paulo, Brazil

Toca do Morcego
Thinking of this place I want to go back to Brazil tomorrow… This open air club and bar on an Island near Salvador is totally paradise! Visualise; lounging on colourful cushions, sipping a caipirinha, watching dolphins jumping in the sea while the sun goes down and perfect party/lounging music in the background…Okay, this may sound a little hippy’esk but this is how I experienced it! Once the sun is down and the moon comes out the party continues and you can chill out on cushions or dance on the sand amongst the trees. Paper bags with candles inside make the place super cozy too. Great place to go with group of friends or like me with your boyfriend / girlfriend / husband / wife. Getting there involves sort of a climb through a forest but what you get is the best view on the island, live music and party…Rua Caminho do Farol Nr 13, Morro de Sao Paulo, Ilha de Tinhare, State of Bahia, Brazil | $$$ | Website

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)

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

Augusta de Mist Country House and Kitchen | Swellendam, South Africa

Augusta de Mist
To mix things up I will post some places in South Africa where I was late December of last year. I just love this country so much that I think writing about some of their best places would’t hurt.
This is one of the most charming places I have ever stayed in. On their website they say that staying in their guesthouse is not like staying in a hotel but more like staying with friends and that is exactly how I experienced it.
Augusta de Mist lies between the breathtaking mountains of Swellendam in the Western Cape and the drive to the hotel is already a great pleasure as the surroundings are absolutely beautiful. The hotel is owned by a lovely gay couple Michel and Hank who selected everything with great detail and love. We all had our own romantic garden cottage tastefully decorated with arts, crafts, vintage furniture and attention to detail. Michel was telling us they paint the walls of each room / cottage several times a year. All the  cottages were super romantic and to be found in the beautifully kept garden with little pathways and a pool hidden amongst the trees. Hank prepared us a 5 course mouthwatering dinner after which he and Michel joined us for a glass of wine. The food was so perfect we even asked him for some of his recipes. We only stayed one night so I will definitely go back here to enjoy more of Hanks cooking skills, the amazing surroundings and romantic Hotel. The website gives a good impression of the quirkiness of the hotel… 3 Human St, Swellendam, South Africa | +27 28 514 2425 | $$$ | Website

The Chicken Shop | London

The Chicken Shop Kentish Town
I never really come in Kentish Town but now that I have discovered this place I will definitely be back for more because the chicken they serve is to die for! The meat is juicy and moist with a crispy skin.. In other words heavenly… The chicken comes with simple side dishes of your choice like corn on the cob (love…), lettuce with avocado or (and in our case) chips. The restaurant is located beneath the third Pizza East that I know of in London (see our posts about Pizza East Shoreditch and Notting Hill)  You can have a drink at their bar whilst waiting for your table downstairs in the Chicken Shop. If worst comes to worst you could have dinner here instead but I prefer the Chicken Shop because their chicken is just too good to miss out on.  The interior is perfect for a romantic date but also to go to with friends. It is almost ski hut kind of cozy with low wooden ceilings, dim lights and a large wooden open kitchen / counter. They mixed the ski hut look with industrial American diner look which works perfectly. Last but not least; do NOT leave before having tried their home baked apple pie… It is SO insanely delicious! 79 Highgate Rd, London |+44 20 3310 2020 | Tube: right in between Gospel Oak / Kentish Town and Tufnell Park | ££ | Website | Map