The Chiltern Firehouse Restaurant and Hotel is owned by the people who are behind the famous LA Chateau Marmont Hotel so I guess celebs were always going to show up. From Lindsey Lohan, Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacy to David Beckham and the Delevigne sisters.. It’s made it almost impossible to get a table – thanks very much. Anyway, a few weeks ago I was finally able to check it out. I loved the vibe of the old Marylebone Firehouse Station. Both the courtyard area (lovely place for Sunday brunch in summer!) and the restaurant look so nice and felt really busy and buzzing. Great place for people watching. The chef is Nuno Mendes who worked at elBulli and lots of other prestige restaurants so I was expecting really great food. I got the Ceasar Salad which was nice but not amazing, next time I want to try the Crab Doughnuts – they looked so tasty. We had a little peek around the hotel and bar area and absolutely love their living/reading/party room, with a massive dj-set ready to go. I think I’m going to have to book a night at the hotel and pretend I live there one day. 1 Chiltern Street | Tube: Baker Street | Tel: +44(0)20 7073 7676 | Website | ££££
Noordwijk is the beach-town I used to come a lot when I still lived with my parents and when I studied in Leiden. This beach club was already called De Branding in these days but definitely not as cool as it is now. It changed into a very sophisticated, restaurant and lounge bar with a very relaxed atmosphere. The staff is super enthusiastic, young and kind and once you sit down in one of there lounge chairs you never want to leave. The Dutch beaches can get crowded with warm weather but are beautifully wide with no rocks… Just sand. I personally love the Dutch beaches that can be deserted in the winter. De Branding turns into a winter lodge from October 1 and thus I would also highly recommend going for a long walk on the beach and a cozy winter supper here. Anyway my experience: The food is great, the music even better and the view a winner. Koningin Astrid Boulevard 105, Noordwijk, Netherlands (Zuid Boulevard, beach exit 4) |+31 71 511 9494 | €€€ | Website | Map
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
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 | $$$$
Thinking of this place I want to go back to Brazil tomorrow… This open air club and bar on an Island near Salvador is totally paradise! Visualise; lounging on colourful cushions, sipping a caipirinha, watching dolphins jumping in the sea while the sun goes down and perfect party/lounging music in the background…Okay, this may sound a little hippy’esk but this is how I experienced it! Once the sun is down and the moon comes out the party continues and you can chill out on cushions or dance on the sand amongst the trees. Paper bags with candles inside make the place super cozy too. Great place to go with group of friends or like me with your boyfriend / girlfriend / husband / wife. Getting there involves sort of a climb through a forest but what you get is the best view on the island, live music and party…Rua Caminho do Farol Nr 13, Morro de Sao Paulo, Ilha de Tinhare, State of Bahia, Brazil | $$$ | Website
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)
New in Notting Hill! The Rum Kitchen is a Caribbean inspired restaurant and cocktail bar. Perfect for late nights as the place stays open until 3am, unlike anything else in the area (ok except for the Supperclub). The dining area feels like a laid back, colourful beach hangout, while downstairs the cool cocktail bar sends out a clear PARTY message. Great combo! Expect jerk chicken on the menu, rum-only cocktails and reggae music all night long. The good life, where ‘Rum makes the world go round’…. 6-8 All Saints Road (Notting Hill) | Tube: Ladbroke Grove or Westbourne Park Road | Email for bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org | ££ | Website | Map
A fun new place in South Kensington. It’s a very cool apres ski bar, restaurant and club. All under one typical ski hut kind of roof. They’ve gone pretty wild with their ski theme with the waiters wearing lederhosen, alpine furniture everywhere and tv screens with people yodelling down the slopes acting as windows. The food is Austrian and you can choose from wiener schnitzel and beef goulash etc. They even have Austrian wines! Food isn’t amazing, but the place is definitely fun, especially if you’re craving for a mini ski break. It’s also really nice to not have to think about moving locations after dinner (in the cold!). At Bodo Schloss you can stay for a drink, dinner and dance. 2a Kensington High Street | Tube: High Street Kensington | 020 7937 5506 | ££ | Website
I intensely love London every time I make a new discovery like this. They say about this restaurant that it’s no ‘Pop-Up’ but a ‘Dining Experience’, which it truly is. From 09 May to 30 June 2012, you will be able to join the ‘ITALIANS DO IT BETTER’ dinners. They are organised by Michelin-star chef Giorgio Locatelli who creates the traditional-style Italian menus. Every two weeks another Michelin star chef will join him (Accursio Craparo, Cristian and Manuel Costardi, Norbert Niederkofler and Viviana Varese). The menu consists of a choice between two 3-course menus (Locatelli menu and the guest chef menu).
You will be very warmly welcomed by the incredibly dedicated and funky staff who will tell you enthusiastically about the concept of it all. The venue on St. James’s street in Mayfair looks absolutely incredible. Just really gorgeously done with swanky contemporary art and photographs on the walls. The venue is really spacious with various rooms to sit in and an open plan kitchen. This is for now my favourite restaurant in London! Go quick before they are gone!!
Until June 30 2012 in London | Open daily from 7pm |Bar opens at 6pm | Price from £75 per person (doesn’t include drinks) |50 St. James’s Street |Tube; Green Park | ££££ | Website
This place is named after the Iron Lady, Maggie Thatcher and you’ll be reminded of this during a visit to the loo where they play her famous speeches… Pretty weird but cool.
I LOVE this place!
80’s music it is… and now I happen to be an extreme fan of the 80’s. I love the crowd that comes here, the weird drinks they serve, the outfits the bartenders are wearing (think neon leggings and Tom Cruise in Cocktail) and the music they play. It’s all 80’s; from disco balls and graffiti to mega size Rubik cube’s and Mario Bros. On some occasions they have staff walking around the club with an electric guitar and / or sax. Admission is in between £15-£20 or you need to book a table which is expensive but fun.. 329 Fulham Road | Tube; South Kensington + 10 minute walk | +442073528512 | ££££ | Website