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 | $$$ | Website
Wowzers this restaurant is good… I booked a table here well in advance (probably about 9 months or so ) and was given a superb VIP table with the best view for me and my family. It is unbelievable how amazing you can eat in this country for relatively little money.. I would go to this place if you have something to celebrate and want to have a delicate lunch with a spectacular view. The gardens on the estate are beautifully kept (with an impressive art collection/sculptures) and a treat on itself and you can also do wine tasting. Unfortunately for me I could not taste the wine because I was pregnant (actually could taste but could’t drink / swallow haha) but it is apparently really good…The estate also has lodges where you can stay but we (unfortunately) stayed somewhere else. The location is absolutely gorgeous though so I bet the lodges will be as well.
Unfortunately this hotel was already full when I tried to book it 10 months before we went to South Africa so we stayed somewhere else but we did have a High Tea here one afternoon and it was so amazing that I want to absolutely mention it as a place not to miss when you are traveling to Plettenberg Bay. The hotel lies close to the beach right underneath the green mountains of Plettenberg. It is fantastically decorated and utterly romantic. Think of rose gardens, country style interiors and delicious food. There is also a separate restaurant on the estate called Katerina and I had a snoop around but it was closed so we were unable to try the food. If I were you I would book Katarina’s for a lunch as it is more bistro style and the homestead restaurant for the evenings which looked superbly romantic. This hotel is too lovely to miss!! The Crags, Plettenberg Bay 6602, South Africa |+27 44 534 8082 | $$$ | Website
I had dinner here with my family on my birthday and was blown away by all of it! The romantic set up in the garden with cozy lighting and candles, the amazing service and last but not least the food. They are listed as one of the worlds top 50 restaurants and the best restaurant of Africa… Well, I can totally see they are!! Being pregnant made me have to go for the (pasteurised) mozzarella and tomato starter which sounds boring and I would usually never select something like it but it was dipped in a cold gazpacho and so amazing that I think it was the best gazpacho, mozzarella tomato salad I have ever tasted! The beef main was also incredibly good and so was everything else!! I made a booking for this restaurant 9 months in advance and I really advice you to do the same when you are planning to go to South Africa. Spaanschemat River Rd, Cape Town 7806, South Africa |+27 21 794 2390 | $$ (depending on converting rate.. We were very lucky!) | Website | Map
To mix things up I will post some places in South Africa where I was late December of last year. I just love this country so much that I think writing about some of their best places would’t hurt.
This is one of the most charming places I have ever stayed in. On their website they say that staying in their guesthouse is not like staying in a hotel but more like staying with friends and that is exactly how I experienced it.
Augusta de Mist lies between the breathtaking mountains of Swellendam in the Western Cape and the drive to the hotel is already a great pleasure as the surroundings are absolutely beautiful. The hotel is owned by a lovely gay couple Michel and Hank who selected everything with great detail and love. We all had our own romantic garden cottage tastefully decorated with arts, crafts, vintage furniture and attention to detail. Michel was telling us they paint the walls of each room / cottage several times a year. All the cottages were super romantic and to be found in the beautifully kept garden with little pathways and a pool hidden amongst the trees. Hank prepared us a 5 course mouthwatering dinner after which he and Michel joined us for a glass of wine. The food was so perfect we even asked him for some of his recipes. We only stayed one night so I will definitely go back here to enjoy more of Hanks cooking skills, the amazing surroundings and romantic Hotel. The website gives a good impression of the quirkiness of the hotel… 3 Human St, Swellendam, South Africa | +27 28 514 2425 | $$$ | Website
One of my favourite new places to enjoy drinks and food in the sun. This gastro pub is situated in a gorgeous part of Islington and has an amazing garden in the back as well as a terrace at the front, so you’ll have a good chance of finding a spot in the sun. We didn’t get to try the food but had a pitcher of Pimms instead. I did hear their British inspired food is good too. One of their friendly staff told me that if you book a couple of days in advance you can get a table for 10-15 people and share a whole roast together (including the roast pig on the table!). Sounds like a good plan for a summer party! I’ll definitely be back. 10 Thornhill Road, Islington | Tube: Angel | Tel: 0207 607 7450 | Website | £££
My friend took me here while I was staying with her on Ibiza and it’s one of my new ultimate favorite restaurants in the whole world (seriously!)! This is a family owned restaurant with it’s roats from Tuscany and is located in the small village of San Lorenzo. Every dish is made with love; homemade bread, fresh organic juices, ingredients from their own garden, delicious Italian pasta’s and risotto’s and more are served under the stars in their romantic flowery garden. Extremely friendly waiters and beautiful mediterrean light blue furniture make the place terrific for a lunch, dinner or healthy breakfast. Can pou, 4 | San Lorenzo, Sant Joan de Labritja, Ibiza, Spain | +34971325543| €€€ | Website | Map
When you expect it least, you always find the perfect little gem just around the corner of where you live… Lucky me!! I was having lunch in Gusto just opposite this little coffee and tea bookshop and saw all this green through their window in the back… Because it looked like a little garden we decided to check it out. Absolutely no regrets, only about the fact that I got very badly sunburned because we stayed in this garden for hours. We had a pot (or 2) of Lemongrass tea with a piece of delicious pie. In the evenings they serve alcohol. This is the perfect place to go to read a book quietly in their tiny romantic garden or in their beautiful bookshop that has charm written all over it! Oh, they also give lectures (every week a writer, thinker, philosopher or artist will give a talk…)!
81 Westbourne Park Road | 0845 250 1281 | ££ | Website | Tube: Westbourne Park or Notting Hill Gate (+ a 15 minute walk from there…)
This gorgeous place in South Africa offers an informal lunch or dinner in a beautiful setting. On the terrace you have an amazing view over their estate and wine-lands and the interior has a very cozy, rustic atmosphere to it with wooden tables and clay-tiled floors. Like almost everywhere in South Africa, the food is amazing and so is the wine. We did a wine and cheese tasting and ordered some salads on the side to keep it fresh… The name of the restaurant was inspired by the goats at Fairview that are bred for their milk, however they also have delicious cow’s milk cheeses… The Goatshed at Fairview |Suid-Agter Paarl Road |Suider Paarl, 7624 |South Africa |+27218633609 | $$$ | Website
I haven’t been to this place for about 3 years but I used to go here a lot. I guess I moved house and there were too many new places to check out. However, I always loved this place. It has a really funky decor and is cozy at the same time. There are hanging all sorts of fun vintage objects on the walls and ceiling and they have happy hour every evening from 4.30pm until 7.30 (2 for 1 cocktails). In the warmer months they also have a garden for which they don’t take reservations. This place is also nice for a cup of coffee during the day or breakfast! They are open from 9am to midnight… 263-7 Old Brompton Road | Tube: West Brompton or Earl’s Court | +4402073701434 | £££ | Website