Mr Porter | Amsterdam

Mr Porter W Hotel
Let’s just begin with the quote they put on their website which is spot on: “About Mr Porter; A companion by day, a hunter by night. A gentleman, a merciless lover. A jetsetter and a local. It is this duality, this constant battle of extremes that is MR PORTER. Cosmopolitan yet familiar. Extravagant yet modest. MR PORTER fearlessly explores the borders between dinner and sinner.”
This restaurant on the 5th floor of the W Hotel is very cool. Trying to get even with all trendy hotel bars and restaurants in other metropolitan cities around the world. Amsterdam needs more of these so I am happy! The view from this restaurant is absolutely amazing, the food is great, the lounge looks stunning with the coolest sleek interior decor and is just breathtaking at sunset. The whole place turns an orangy yellow, it’s like setting foot in the Garden of Eden (in my imagination…). I will update the current photograph with the one that captures this as soon as I’ve been able to shoot it and you’ll see. Spuistraat 175, Amsterdam | +31208113399 | €€€| Tram; Dam (1, 2, 5, 13, 14, 17) | Website

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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

La Cabane du Pêcheur | Galéria – Corsica

La cabane du pecheur
After a beautiful drive from Calvi to Galeria we ended up in this cute unpretentious little place on the coast. Imagine; a nice piece of beach on the west coast of Corsica, a small harbor, cows all over the place strolling along your table (on the beach) and some colorful kayaks waiting to be taken on a trip. The food is served on plastic trays in cartons by three hilarious Corsican ladies that do not take any bullshit. Our tiny table was moved inside (while there was actually no place inside) with two other tables because it started pooring. We had a good laugh with other guests and amazing(!) food. We would definitely have come back for more were it not that we are going to the other side of the island tomorrow! Route de Bord de Mer, 20245 Galéria | +334 95 61 00 32 | Website | €€

la cabane du pecheur

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.
dining-exp
 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

Waldorf Astoria | Amsterdam

waldorf astoria amsterdam
The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam hotel consists of six 17th century canal houses right in the heart of Amsterdam. The hotel is very chic, very big and very grand. Think marble floors, high ceilings, monumental stair cases and superrrr attentive staff. I have to be honest in saying that the interior style in the rooms is not particularly my style but it is definitely very comfortable ;-). They also have a luxury spa with access to the indoor swimming pool, sauna, fitness centre and three treatment rooms for relaxing and massages. Great hotel if you are staying in Amsterdam for business and you want something central, very comfortable and with superb food.. Their restaurant Librije’s Zusje has the former chef of 3 Michelin star restaurant de Librije as their master chef so the food there is absolutely amazing. I also loved their vault bar which you entry through an enormous original steel door (this part of the hotel was originally a bank and the old 19th century vaults are still visible behind the bar) It is very much a gentlemen’s bar (for girls too…) in terms of atmosphere; Dark and chic.  Herengracht 542-556, Amsterdam | Tel: +31207184600 | Tram: 4 (Keizersgracht/Utrechtsestraat) 9, 14 (Rembrandtplein) | €€€€ | 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

Cafe Brecht | Amsterdam

Cafe Brecht
A few weeks ago I enjoyed an amazing elderflower / prosecco cocktail here and I found the place so inspiring and different that I had to share it with you on Our Little Black Book. Cafe Brecht is a small, Berlin style living-room-cafe in Amsterdam. To sketch the atmosphere you have to think flaked 60’s wallpaper, old vintage armchairs, lampshades that you will find at your granny’s and board games piled up to challenge your date. Bertold Brecht was a German writer, poet and playwright and the owners of this little cafe were so inspired by him and the German literaire culture that they named the place after him.  To celebrate German culture they regularly host events like film, poetry, a play or a reading at the cafe and you can find the agenda on their website. They do not take reservations but are open for Italian coffee and sandwiches, German beers, cocktails, snacks and cake from noon to 1am. A perfect place for a cocktail and deep late-night conversations…
Weteringsschans 179, Amsterdam | +31206272211 | Tram: 4 / 7 / 16 / 24 / 25 (stop: Weteringcircuit) | €€ | Website

Mesa de Frades | Lisbon, Portugal

Mesa de Frades Lissabon Lisbon
If you are planning a trip to Lisbon, you have to go for a typical Portugese night at Mesa de Frades. The restaurant is one of Lisbon’s Fado Houses located in Alfama, the old town area. It’s beautiful, intimate and informal and the fado performances that start around 11pm each night make it a truly special experience. You can really feel the emotions from the famous fado songs. It’s very intense. And even some of my friends that weren’t into it initially felt touched by some of them. We arrived at 9pm and had dinner first, but you can also turn up just for the fado show from 11pm onwards. There is a traditional Portugese fixed menu. All reasonably priced and service is good. We also spotted many locals so it didn’t feel touristy. Good food and wine, amazing performances, guitar music… A perfect Portugese experience. Open Wed-Sun. Rua dos Remédios 139a | Alfama, Lisbon | Tel: 917029436 | No website | €€€

Relais de St. Denis | Tourtour, France

st denis While spending some months in the provence I payed various visits to one of my favourite little towns in this part of France; Tourtour. This restaurant is located on the main square in the village and in my opinion the restaurant there that looks the best. Not sure if it IS the best but they at least tried to make it look the best :-). Being on holiday in the provence makes everything taste a little better then if you would be at home and I very much liked the lunch I had here.. The garlicky escargots and mixed platter of varied provence foods made me happy.. In almost all restaurants in Tourtour they serve the wine of Thuerry and I would highly recommend having this wine… It is utterly delicious (especially the Rose L’exception which you can also buy within a 20 minute drive of Tourtour… YOU WON’T REGRET!) Place des Ormeaux, Tourtour, France | +33494705406 | €€€ | Map

Beach Club De Branding | Noordwijk, the Netherlands

De Branding 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
De Branding