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

Bar Botanique | Amsterdam

Bar Botanique Amsterdam Oost

Bar Botanique – Cafe Tropique, what a name! I was immediately attracted (not only by the name but also) by the look of the place which is well.. green. Filled with plants and a different approach to interior design than most other restaurant openings nowadays. The staff told me that the restaurant is referred to as the ‘living room’ of East Amsterdam which I can completely understand. The location.. the mix of different people.. it felt very fun and lively. The menu is simple, nothing fancy (or tropical), but easy going Mediterranean comfort food. Eerste van Swindenstraat 581, Amsterdam | Website | €€

Mossel en Gin | Amsterdam

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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 | €€

Toscanini | Amsterdam

toscanini
I have tried to make a reservation here a million times but they are always fully booked so I was so incredibly excited that I managed to get a table last night by just walking in! Probably already known well by lots of you but a absolute winner if you ask me!! Best Italian food and wine menu. Great atmosphere in the cozy Jordaan. Super nice, no nonsense staff. Open kitchen and really nice open interior that is made cozy with candles in the evenings. I would recommend this place for dinner with lovers, friends, business and parents! Lindengracht 75 | +3120 623 2813 | Website | €€€ | Tram 3 (Willemstraat)

Sawyer & Gray

sawyer and gray
By accident I ended up in this completely amazing little bar in Islington (walking distance from Highbury and Islington station) I had a reservation in Le Coq next door and went to wait for our table to be ready in this charming place. So cute. It is the place you want to take your friends from out of town to, to show them how cute, cool, funky and creative London is as a city! Their kitchen is too small to start a ‘real’ restaurant so they are only open on Fridays and Saturdays for tapas etc. The rest of the week just breakfast and lunch.  290 Saint Paul’s Road, Islington, London | Tube; Highbury & Islington | £££ | Website

Cépage | London

Cepage Notting Hill
I am back on the road in our hood (and other ‘hoods’ so stay tuned) I am so excited about this new restaurant on Westbourne Park Road! It’s the perfect French little bistro. Small, cozy, good location, delicious food and great wine list. You’ll be served by French, eat French and feel French when here.

The restaurant does not come cheap and the dishes are small and to share. When we were dining here at the bar they told us they are focusing on small proper wine makers in France. So most wines here, you won’t be able to find in the shops in London and are really good. This makes it all more charming to me! Love the place and will definitely be back for more delicious French signature dishes and wine! 69 Westbourne Park road, London W2 5QH | +44203 602 8890 | Twitter: @cepagesWPR | Tube; Royal Oak or Ladbroke Grove | Map

Baros Island | Maldives

Baros Island, Maldives
Should you be in need for a serious break from your fast, busy, loud, crazy but happy little working life or are you looking for a beach / pool side kind of Honeymoon this is probably (most certainly) the place to go.
One island, one resort, 45 beachside and 30 over-water Villas that are all very stylish and comfortable.
3 restaurants, two bars, sand bank dining, in house villa dining, sunset dining on a boat etc.

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We went here 10 months after the birth of our first baby girl (without her) and I would totally recommend doing the same to all new parents. It was so relaxing. If you want to visit towns, go shopping and culture sniffing this is not the place to go. If you want to sleep, eat, sleep, swim, sleep, getting massages, beauty treatments and read books it is.  The diving and snorkelling on the island is absolutely amazing with (harmless) sharks, colourful fish and sea turtles coming really close. The Baros signature massage is heaven so you must go for it for sure! Lastly I loved the teppanyaki grill they have in one restaurant where a very sweet Indonesian chef is giving a show to his guests a few nights a week.
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 The water villas are beautiful but I would perhaps just as much recommend staying in beach front villa because you will have direct access to the sea (and they create a sort of private space on the beach before you enter the ‘public’ beach.) You can swim in the water around the over-water villas as well but the water is shallow there so better swimming from the beach. No children under 8 are allowed here and even when fully booked it doesn’t feel crowded… Conclusion; you go.

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Maldives | +960 664-2672 |$$$$$ |Website

Bobo Social | London

bobo-social-london-charlotte-street I really enjoyed this new burger place. It’s on the lovely Charlotte Street so perfect for after work dinner, and there are loads of good places to go for drinks before and after. You might think, oh another fancy burger place…. but the difference between most burger places and Bobo Social I think is that it felt like a cosy restaurant instead of something overly trendy where you end up queuing for longer than you end up sitting down for dinner. For starters, you CAN book, secondly the place feels a little like a home – cosy and with friendly waiters, and they serve good drinks (cocktails and wines) and even starters. I absolutely loved the Mushroom and Truffle burger with guacamole and red pepper salsa. They also do a Peanut Butter burger – haven’t tried this one yet so please do let me know if you have. I might have to come back for it. 95 Charlotte Street | Tube: Goodge Street | Tel: +44207 636 9310 | Website | ££

Hoxton Hotel, Holborn | London

Hubbard & Bell restaurant Hoxton Hotel HolbornThere is something I love about hanging out at hotels lately.. Especially when they have an open space bar for all day drinks, good work/laptop area and coffees (Soho Grind is next door) and 2 really nice restaurants options situated within the hotel for when you get hungry. You basically have no reason to leave this place. We only tested the Hubbard & Bell restaurant which is on the ground floor, open plan and sort of connected to the bar area so you feel you’re right in the midst of the action (above pic is of the H&B). The other restaurant is the Chicken Shop in the basement – by the owners of Soho House. It tends to slow down a little over the weekends compared to Tuesday-Friday when the after work crowd takes over. Oh and they have a great event/party space called the Apartment – I had a sneak peek and am already thinking of a reason to throw a party. 199-206 High Holborn, WC1V 7BD | Tube: Holborn | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7661 3000 | Website | ££

 

 

Kerbisher & Malt | London

Kerbisher & Malt
The place to go for fresh (and relatively healthy) fish & chips! They’re now in 4 different locations spread out over London with one of them of conveniently located next to my office in Brook Green/Hammersmith. It’s like a modern & contemporary fish & chip shop. Everything is fresh from the delicious fish (you can choose between  haddock, plaice, cod and more, and whether you want it battered or grilled!), the mushy pea mash, the huge union rings, crunchy chips, to the side salads. The choice of their freshly made sauces is great too, but my favourite is definitely tartare. It’s not a restaurant to go to for a long evening out. I’d recommend it more for a quick bite, or takeaway, but you should probably see for yourself. 164 Shepherds Bush Road | Tube: Hammersmith Station | +44(0) 20 3556 0228 | Other locations: Ealing Broadway, Upper Richmond and Clapham | Website | ££