The Pig Hotel | On the Beach, Studland

The Pig Hotel
I can’t quiet remember how I ended up finding this place but finding it made me and my friend really happy. This English country house style hotel right on the beach in Studland is just perfect for a quick get away from busy London. It’s a rough 3 hour drive from west London.
Imagine a beautiful villa with 23 cozy rooms, a stunning view over sea, a beautifully kept garden where they keep bees and grow vegetables etc that they serve in their AMAZING restaurant that is located in their greenhouse and has this amazing light shining in. I loved the interior style; very UK countryside! Reminded me a bit of the Soho House Group. A lot of wood, comfortable armchairs and sofa’s and little corners to relax and drink tea (or something stronger than that), a beautiful cozy lounge with a big fireplace, boardgames up for grasp, a treatment caravan outside that has been transformed into this wood panelled cozy room etc. The staff is super friendly and really care about making your stay memorable. On top of all of this you can go on beautiful long walks in the area (for example in the fields with beautiful views of the Old Harry Rocks). Manor House, Manor Road, Studland, Dorset, BH19 3AU | +44 01929 450288 | £££ | Website

The Pig Hotel on the Beach

Mossel en Gin | Amsterdam

image1
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 | €€

Salmuera | Amsterdam

salmuera
I had the best warm and cozy dinner in this South American Fusion restaurant last month with my brother. Outside it was cold and raining and this restaurant invited us in with its cozy look and feel. I love the way the place looks. It’s very big and spacious but cozy at the same time because the space is separated in smaller areas with clever lighting and lots of wood and wall pieces. The romantic atmosphere is emphasised by a red rose and a candle on each table. To me it actually felt like I was back in Brazil for a bit!
Their food and cocktails are amazing. They do great appetizers and delicious steaks and the ceviche on the menu is also really good. In the summer, you can sit outside on their terrace. Rozengracht 106-H, 1016 NH Amsterdam, Netherlands |Tram: Westerpark (13, 14, 17) / Rozengracht (10) |+31 20 624 5752 | ££ | Website
Salmuera

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 | £££

Chez Bruno | Lorgues, France

Chez Bruno
This truffle king is already well known by most people but I still really like to write a post about this gem in the provence. Especially, since I now visited this restaurant three times and every time I go I enjoy it even better. So what is this truffle king all about? Visualise a very glamorous, romantic, outdoor setting, exceptional service and beautifully prepared food with fresh ingredients and of course black and white truffles….The truffle is a ridiculously expensive fungus found locally and all dishes are centred around this truffle. It is mouth-wateringly good. Their gardens are beautifully kept and there is a possibility to sit in the garden, in the semi outdoor/indoor ‘hot-house and inside. The indoors also look really chic and cozy so in the winter I would definitely give it a shot as well.
2350 route du Vidauban 83510 Lorgues (this is 100km from Nice airport and about an hour and 15 min drive| +33 4 94 85 93 93 | €€€€ | 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 | £££

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

 

Le Rêve d’Isabelle | Lorgues, France

les reves d'isabelle
Weirdly enough I have been going to Lorgues for the past 7 years (my parents have a house there) and never visited this little Salon de Thé tucked away in a little courtyard before… Obviously, because I never realised it was there and not because I did not want to. I am immediately a big fan! The place is exactly what you are looking for when in the provence; small, romantic, pots and plants and other cute curiosities on a little courtyard with about 6 tables. The food is perfect. You have to try the “Assiette Gourmand” which will be a plate with 14 small dishes. There is also a little shop attached to the place where you can find really nice home decor stuff. The restaurant is opposite the church near the big parking lot and the street is parallel to the main street in Lorgues where there is a nice market on Tuesdays. If you not go on Tuesdays, Lorgues is also worth a visit; it is a beautiful provencal town with ancient narrow streets, beautiful old buildings and plenty of terraces where you can enjoy a drink while you do some people watching. 1 Place de l’Église, Lorgues | +324 94 73 96 28 (closed on Wednesday and Sunday) and open from 10.30am to 6pm | €€ 

L’Alechou | Tourtour, France

alecou
This charming little restaurant is located in a must visit little village in the Provence, Tourtour. A beautiful drive up the mountain with spectacular views once on the top. Apparantly Tourtour is called ‘the village in the sky’ because it overlooks a large part of the Provence…
This little restaurant is not on the main square but hidden in a small romantic alley with again breathtaking views. They serve simple French food and crepes. I had a good salad with goat cheese and an even better tasting Rose (see the attached photograph for the wine). You should not go here if you are looking for haute cuisine but it is for sure the most romantic little bistro in the village with the best view! Route d’Aups, 83690 Tourtour, France | +33 4 94 70 54 76 | €€ | Map

 

 

 

Hotel Chèvre d’or | Eze Village, France

hotel chevre d'or
Should you wish to suprise your loved one and stay in a super romantic hotel you should really consider going here for a few nights. Hotel Chèvre d’or is located in one of the most charming villages of the Cote d’Azur in France.  To start with, Eze is an absolutely gorgeous medieval village shining on a rock overlooking the Mediterranean sea… Walking through its streets you feel like going centuries back in time. The hotel is build in the same style as the village. There are several terraces, gardens and restaurants overlooking the sea and I spent several hours on the lounge beds with cushions right on the rocks towards the sea.  You can have dinner in one of their 4 restaurants overlooking the sea or stroll around the village to have some dinner there. Both are super romantic options! The charming rooms are dotted around the castle-like place and are all different. Also, it is very near Nice airport so easy to get to. 6 Rue du Barri, Eze Village, France | +33 4 92 10 66 66 | €€€€ (prices from €300,-) | Website