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 | €€
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
Very conveniently, Friday and Saturday mornings on this road are my favourite as I happen to live here! It’s got such a great vibe and I don’t think lots of people know about it. Golborne Road is situated at the very north of Portobello Road, further than most tourists usually make it. With lots of bric-a-brac, treasure/trash stalls, Morrocan & Portugese grocery shops, as well as really great furniture shops, it’s very much Notting Hill for locals. A few of my favourite interior shops are Phoenix & Hutch, they sell vintage and antique homeware, Bazar is also cute, selling charming French style furniture. And 88 Antiques is full of rustic furniture – Elsje and I both bought our dining table here (the owner Dave can get you the exact size you’re looking for!). There are also nice places for drinks and food. Besides a few really good food stalls, there is Pizza East on the corner with Portobello Road, and Golborne Deli with a little terrace outside.. Bluebelles of Portobello and Lowry & Baker are also great for brunch. And I have not even covered everything! You can find out more here. Golborne Road | Tube: Ladbroke Grove
Without a doubt my new favourite hotel. It’s situated in an old impressive building in the centre of Budapest on a quiet street and next to a lovely little Italian coffee place. The hotel has 8 unique and individually decorated rooms. The style is quirky and inspiring with (mostly contemporary) art on every wall. Also the communal space is amazing with cool furniture and again lots of fun art. We were told that a special curator selects the always changing art collection from both local and international artists. The best thing is that all art is shopable too. Breakfast is delicious and there is an ‘honest’ bar where you can get some snacks and drinks if you want to. The perfect place where art, design, music, food and a good night sleep come together. PS Budapest is beautiful! Brody Sandor utca 10, Budapest, Hungary | +36 1266 1211 | ££ | Website
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…)
Definitely go here when you’re in the mood for something fun and different. It all starts with the reservation where you have to email to make an ‘appointment‘ that they’ll ‘treat with the utmost confidentiality‘. Then, you have to find the entrance and the secret bookcase door to this speak-easy basement. For a minute there I really thought I ended up at a detective agency! The theme is all 1920’s with vintage cinema chairs and antique dim lighting where wine is served in paper bags. The food is tasty with mini sliders and mac’s cheese, much more comfy food than low carbs (!), and you should definitely try their cocktails – we were loving the A&T! 310c Earl’s Court Road | Tube: Earls Court | Tel: +44207 373 3573 | Website | ££
Believe it or not but I lived across this door for two years and didn’t know of this place (I think and hope that door 74 didn’t exist yet when I was living there)
Stylish, beautiful prepared cocktails is what you get here. The cocktail bar is hidden behind door no. 74 on the Reguliersdwarsstraat in the heart of Amsterdam. Their business card shows nothing but a mobile telephone number which indicates their desire to stay exclusive.
I love the brown cafe’s and cozy restaurants in Amsterdam but it’s nice to have a swanky place added to the list. Tip: Call in advance if you are planning to go. Reguliersdwarsstraat 74 | +31(0)634045122 | Tram: Rembrandtplein or Koningsplein or Muntplein | €€€
If you love to go out with friends, enjoy great food and a bit of dancing, but you’ve run out of inspiration of places to go, book a Dinner Dance with the Disappearing Dining Club! Menu, location and DJs are different every time and the exact details are announced on the day of the event. We thoroughly enjoyed our 5 course dinner. The crowd was very diverse and we met some really lovely people. The location was pretty impressive too. We dined in a vault underneath a train station. Really cool. Shame the dancing part didn’t really take off, but I’m happy to believe that it was just this once. Every first Saturday of the month only. The Disappearing Dining Club Website
If you’re in Barcelona and need some time out from the busy centre, find a taxi and head to Bogatel beach where you can enjoy the sun, beach and best paella in town. The restaurant L’Escriba doesn’t look particularly different from other restaurants on the boulevard but once you taste their food, you’ll know what I’m talking about. One of my friends who lives in Barcelona took us to this place, she literally goes every week. It’s so good! Everything is freshly made and looks amazing too. Perfect for lunch at the beach. Ronda Litoral Mar, 42, Bogatel, Barcelona | Website | €€/€
I discovered this absolute Gem in London last weekend when I ended up here by accident. I had the most amazing time. The place is a perfect mix of club and cocktail bar hidden in the basement of a backstreet in Fitzrovia. The bar looks utterly charming and stylish, inspired by New York in the glamourous 1920’s. It has a dance floor and various spots to sit. I LOVED the ‘cave niches’ a la David Lynch with red velvet curtains where you can easily sit with about 8 people. Open until late!
Bolsover House, 5-6 Clipstone Street, London | Tube; Great Portland Street | +44207436 0035 | £££ | Website