There’s a certain feel about Soho that keeps me attracted to it. I am not sure whether it is the neon lights and its kinky shops, the amazing foodie heaven or the friendliness of it all. Either way, I love it. Spend a day in the heart of the city, and you’ll love it too.Read More
J’adior my friends
The hottest and most awaited exhibition of 2019 (at least for the fashionistas out there) has opened at the V&A. Yup, that’s Christian Dior, designer of Dreams.
Tickets for the exhibition were almost sold out (if not completely, by the time you read this), and as the city surrenders to all things Dior, we decided to embark ourselves in an afternoon of tea, coffee, friends, fashion and Dior, a lot of Dior.
As we arrived to The Berkeley Hotel, known for its fashion ‘Pret-a-Portea’, we instantly felt we were entering a princess’ dream. Name tags and Dior sketches were all over our table, and we were greeted with Dior-themed lattes. Fantasy level was ON.
As expected, as any good afternoon tea goes, the procession of food started and MY OH MY, it was delicioso. Plentiful of tea sandwiches (I believe up to 6 different flavours) and a few savoury treats preceded what we were all wanting: the Dior cakewalk. A collection of cakes and fancies from Dior’s most iconic pieces. It was so beautiful we couldn’t contain our excitement. OK, the coffee, the champagne and the company may have helped.
But in any case, if you are out and about in the city, this afternoon tea is one of a kind adventure, on that you shouldn’t miss. It’s a bit on the pricey side (£60 or £70 per person, depending on whether you want bubbles or not), but it is most certainly worth it.
As Mr Dior himself would say: “Don't buy much but make sure that what you buy is good.”
Breakfast at Sketch
It’s 8 o’clock on a Monday Morning, and Patricia and I have decided to kick start our week with a banging breakfast at one of London’s Iconic venues: Sketch.
It is rather unusual for us to wake up this early (we are Spanish, after all) but business calls and we like to confuse people, so why not breaking the routine and go for a fantastic banquet?
Sketch has always been one of my favorite spots in Central London. Tucked away off crazy Regent Street, this gems is to me where fashion meets art and meets food. And here I’ll tell you why.
For starters, the decor is super. It’s like you are visiting an art-gallery inside of several restaurants, bars and a hip egg-shaped toilets.
Sketch consists of the Lecture Room & Library, the Gallery, the Glade, the Parlour, and the East Bar. Personally, I find it very difficult to choose a favorite room. Each one of them has a very different style and that style makes it shine on its own. I love the pink life at The Gallery and the fresh cones with tea are a killer, but then again the Glade and its whimsical yet dark forest style and food are also damn good.
The East Bar is more intimate and dark, probably great for a date and the parlour works fabulously if you want to catch up with friends while offloading yourself from shopping.
Each single detail at each one of the rooms has been thought after, from the waiter outfits down to the cutlery.
Now the food. The food is another level.
At the Lecture Room you can enjoy a Michelin-rated menu (still yet to try) whereas at the Parlour you can enjoy a casual breakfast and all-day menu. The Gallery and the Glade offer high-tea and lunch, respectively.
For the occasion, we dine at The parlour. Tea, coffees and juice were running through the table as we frantically discussed our weekend and the wide selection of eggs (hello tempura scotch egg, I’m looking at you) certainly made our day. Not to mention the pancakes, YUM.
We’ve also had the chance to go for tea at The Gallery (read our review here) and we could not recommend it enought. It will leave you wanting to come back for more tea and scones, the latter are fresh and to die for.
Finally, the toilets. It’s funny to think that somebody would go to a restaurant just to check out the toilets. But believe it or not, this is what happens. And understandably so. I’ve never encountered such thing, and you should see it with your own eyes. Unisex egg-shaped toilets (with a forest soundtrack whilst you go do your thing, in case you need help), with fish-eye mirrors and bonker lighting. It’s like I’m in Alice in Wonderland all over again. How wonderful.
WHAT WE WORE:
Uterque Pink Feather Top
Tommy Hilfiger Houndstooth Skirt
Delpozo Pink Bag
Thomas Sabo Paradise Collection
Zara AW19 Total Look
Thomas Sabo Paradise Collection
You can take the Spanish out of the country, but you can’t the Spanish out of the girl. There’s certain things that won’t change and one of them is my culture. The more time I am away from home, the more I miss my own Spanish things. It’s crazy cause when I moved to London I wanted to run away from it all, I disliked it. And I couldn’t love it more now.
I was reluctant to try Spanish restaurants for years, but as time went by, I missed my home food, so I started trying, and trying, until I found my favourite (and non-expensive) Spanish restaurants. And when I mean favourite, I mean GOOD Spanish restaurants by Spanish standards.
Off you go!
HACKNEY: El Ganso
A classic for the East End locals (and my personal hangover cure restaurant on a weekend) , this low-key restaurant is run by spanish peeps in the kitchen. Their gambas al ajillo and paella are fantastic, but so are the croquettas and the huevos estrellados.
I LOVE the concept of this place. Using seafood from Scotland and recipes from Spain. As the owner told us, before the seafood goes further away, they have a stopover in London. They then take on the southern recipes to create an amazing menu. An absolute winner, in my opinion. Also, they have a paella offer over the weekend.
This place is banging if you are missing all your spanish delicacies. Lots of seafood in tins (razor clams, octopus) and a fantastic selection of wines. It serves as a deli during the day and as a wine & charcuteria bar in the evenings.
BANK: Hispania. Spanish food goes lush. The venue is stunning and so is the food.
Sabor means ‘taste’ in Spanish, and they certainly succeed in taste at this two-story restaurant. On the groundfloor you’ll encounter a walk-in tapas bar, whereas on the first floor you’ll find a more delicate restaurant, cooking specialisties from Galicia and Castile regions, mainly focusing on meats cooked in a traditional wood fire oven.
Also in Soho but only if you are feeling like splurging…Barrafina, OK! It is good, let’s admit it. However, I am slightly put off by their prices. I mean, 2 croquetas for £6? No comment.
This is another banging tapas bar. They have Jose as the tapas bar and Jose Pizarro as the “fine dining” option. We’ve only tried the tapas so far, and it is worth the visit to Bermondsey. Only suggestion: avoid ordering beer! With a £4 for half-pint, you are better off ordering wine. Nevertheless, their croquetas are the best in town, and their meat cuts are rather excellent.
And that’s all folks! If the restaurant you were thinking about it’s not here, it’s probably NOT worth going, but we would love to be challenged to it. If you think we are missing a great Spanish restaurant by all means let us know, and we’ll try it.
Buen provecho chicos,
Affordable drinks and home-made pasta in the heart of the West End. Shall I say more?
Bancone is a little gem, really. As the peeps at The Guardian described it: casually orgasmic and deeply affordable, the Italian restaurant succeeds in all marks. Drinks are cheap (a glass of vino for a fiver? I’m SOLD), food is excellent.
WHAT will you get? Pasta, pasta, pasta. If you want pizza, this is not your place. Pasta? As much as you like. The restaurant certainly specializes on delivering the best fresh pasta but also has incredible antipasti. If you ask us, you should definitely try the panelle with smoke duck breast, lardo & whipped anchovies and the cime di rapa (turnip tops) with garlic and chilli. Mouth is watering just reminiscing of it! As for the mains, their Beef shin ‘ossobuco’ ravioli with saffron butter is rich but incredible, and their octopus and nduja with olives is also superb.
Another thing that we really appreciated here was the service. Very attentive peeps; most servers where italian and so were the chefs, which is always a plus.
WHERE is it ? Right next to St Martin In The Fields, by Trafalgar square. More precisely, 39 William IV St, London WC2N 4DD
WHEN is it open? Great news. For once a restaurant in London serves up until 11pm! You can get there closer to the time and still manage to get all the yummy food in the menu. BOOM.
Certainly the perfect spot for pre and post-theatre food. And get this: you can book.
If there is something I’ve learned by living in London is that I freaking love Middle Eastern food. The Barbary, Ottolenghi and The Good Egg are, needless to say, my favorite spots in the city. So, it was not a surprise that I was amazed by the new opening by siblings Zoe and Layo Paskin, Coal Office, in collaboration with my renewed favorite British lighting designer, Tom Dixon.
The new restaurant is the third behind this power couple (they run Palomar and The Barbary) and they did not fail to surprise me on their third opening, quite the contrary. King’s Cross is changing dramatically since high-tech companies are moving their biz here. New retailers, coffee shops and and hip workout studios are opening at an increasing pace, so the food business could not be behind.
WHAT WILL YOU GET?
For starters, the bread is to die for. And you can get my heart by getting me good bread. So many choices, it was hard to decide which one was going to be the winner, but I’d say the Kubalaha and the Manakish were our favorites. That puffy bread was in-sane.
Everything on the menu, from starters to desert is fantastic. I am struggling to decided which ones we like the most, but I remember vividly the josperized aubergine, the chicken liver pate, the shikshukit 2.0 (their take on shakshula) and the baked bone marrow. My, oh my.
I’m a sucker for ice-cream, so for dessert I had the tahini ice-cream, which was very peculiar and nice.
WHEN IS IT OPEN? Everyday!!!! And you can book!!! It’s a miracle!!! Open for breakkie from 8-10,30am (which I still need to try), then for lunch 12-3,30pm and last for dinner from 5,30-11pm.
WHERE IS IT EXACTLY? At Coal Drops Yard, 2 Bagley Walk N1C 4PQ
Don’t miss out, it is worth the hype.
Those who know me know well that I am a self-confessed meat lover. In fact, I love meat so much that I despise fish. Unless its seafood, obvs. Who would resist champagne and oysters?
Aaaanyway, my vegan gals have been trying to make me more conscious about the benefits of a healthy green diet, and given my recent stomach problems, I decided to listen more carefully. As if somebody was listening to what I was thinking, I encountered GENESIS on my Sunday stroll in Shoreditch. A 100% plant based alchemy restaurant concept specialising in fast casual dining and organic comfort food.
Fit for the millennials, this pretty in pink restaurant is trying to make the non-vegans like vegan food. And I must say, they pretty much convinced me.
For starters, they venue is very stylish. A mix between geeky comic book store and a heavy metal album cover! All very colourful, just as I like it.
The menu is vast and the portions are big, which is becoming a rarity these days. And the food is yum. Mexican tacos, super food salads and meat-free burgers are on the list, along with plenty of shakes and ice cream deserts. I almost felt in heaven! Though I did miss my meat a bit.
WHERE IS IT EXACTLY? 114 Commercial St, E1 6NU
WHEN CAN YOU GO? Wednesday to Sunday from 11.30am til 11pm :) GO GET IT!
Stay tuned, TCB xx
We did it. We finally did it. We went to Elan Cafe. And this is our review.
Why go there? I’d suggest you go if you like all things pretty and perfect. They excel at their food presentation; so much, you feel sad by eating it! But it is GOOD.
What will you get? That will depend on what you want. Food is superb (though at times pricey, there’s a Blue Sapphire coffee at £15!) and so is its presentation, so that’s a goer. But you could get more than that if you are into girly pink instagrammable stuff. This place is like a mecca for it! But choose your location right, because each one has a different feature, and a timer on how much time you can spend on each table.
Where is it? Well, this girly and pretty cafe has become so popular since its inception in West London that they have now expanded to 4 cafes across the city! Bromptom Road and Hans Crescent (West), Park Lane (Central) AND inside Selfridges (mega Central).
When to go? You can get your sweet and savoury fix anytime between 7.30am and midnight. SWEEEEET! Unfortunately, you cannot book, so be prepared to cue for a bit.
Stay tune, pink lovers!
Ladies and gentlemen, your wishes have been heard. There is a dessert restaurant in London, and by no other than pastry chef Albert Adria. Let me introduce you to Cakes & Bubbles.
WHY should you go? Because even if you are not a sweet tooth, you’ll have a great time. It’s not only about the food (which is obvs amazing) but rather the experience. Sit down and have some bubbles with your friends, while your waiter explains what you are about to indulge into. Needless to say that the chef Adria stamp is a big winner.
WHAT will you get? If you like traditional pastries and sweets, this is not your place. Chef Adria loves to be innovative with its food, and you can see it in each one of his desserts. Our two favorites where the ‘Tickets’ cheesecake, flavored with hazelnut and a white-chocolate rind and the egg flan with dark caramel.
WHEN should you go? Really, anytime is good. This hot spot is looking rather pretty right now due to the Christmas lights, but I bet you it will be as amazing when the festive period is over.
WHERE? Inside Hotel Café Royal in Piccadilly (70 Regent St, W1B 4DY), super central!
Iconic Italian Deli in Soho opens its own restaurant in the city, with outdoor seats in the heart of the city
Italians have conquered another hood in the city, Soho. OK, not quite literally, but the opening of Lina Stores in Soho has definitely had an impact on my latest restaurant visits.
The iconic delicatessen store on Brewer St has opened its own pasta and cicceti restaurant on Greek St, and its results are superb.
WHAT/ WHY SHOULD YOU GO? Because it feels truly feels like being in Italy. The restaurant decor is very hip and out of a Wes Anderson movie, and the handmade pasta is to die for.
As the Mediterraneans we are, we like ordering all of the things on the menu and share it between us. That way you get to try most things! For starters, we had the nduja con ricotta and some arancinis; and as soon as we tried these, we knew we were in for a treat. It was very difficult to choose only one pasta dish, so we went for three: the pumpkin, the ragu and the mushroom based. All three SHAMAZING. Obviously, we finished with some cannolis, cause you can’t leave without having one.
WHERE EXACTLY IS IT? 51 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 4EH
WHEN SHOULD YOU GO? Any day of the week except Sundays, from 12-2.30pm for lunch and from 5 til 11pm for dinner
Hungry yet? Me too.
The craze of Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, but I am still hungry for more. I must admit, I am more of a savory person than a sweet tooth, but I do enjoy the occasional donut from time to time. After all, I love to indulge into nice treats! Sweets are not going to be an exception.
Whilst in the search for the best donut in town, we found some amazing gems for your do-nut care moment. Here our top favorites to date!
PICCADILLY & SHOREDITCH : Doughnut Time
Funky doughnuts have arrived to town! And these include hip names like ‘Caramacklemore’ and ‘Robertd’n’oreo’. These are probably the naughtiest doughnuts I’ve had in the city (and most expensive, sometimes close to a fiver) BUT also some of the yummiest and most filling! They also have vegan options available, which is always a plus.
VICTORIA, SOHO & SHOREDITCH: Crosstown
They have a matcha doughnut. Shall I say more? Started as a little food stall and now is a massive franchise across several locations in town. Needless to say, these are worth every bite. My favorites (matcha aside) include creme brulee, banana chocolate, raspberry and chilli dougnuts! It will be tough for you to only choose one. Vegan options are also available :)
SHOREDITCH: Dum Dum Donutterie
Remember the craze about cronut? Well, for the guys of Dum Dums, it still means business. The first artisan baked donut/ croissant donut brand, made only with natural ingredients and yet still so delish!
BERMONDSEY: St John Bakery
Standalone bakery for the well-known restaurant under the same name, selling fresh bread and cakes every Saturday. And of course their infamous jam doughnut. Not to be missed if you are in the area! But make sure you get there early, as they will serve until stock sells out.
Have a sweet day, careless readers; stay tuned for more
If you are out and about in this beautiful northern city, there’s many places where you can indulge. Here’s a guide on how to.
Get Hyped like a good coffee addict
TCB doesn’t joke when it comes to coffee, so the suggestions here are serious business! Spread across town, getting your caffeine fix everywhere you go
The Milkman is right by the Edinburgh Train station, so it is definetely an easy spot to get to. Hosted at an old cigarrettes store, this Australian run bar is amazzzzing. Both pastries and coffee are superb. The only thing I would say is that they take their precious time to make a cuppa!
Cairngorm Coffee is very hip and trendy. A lot more spacious than the Milkman but a bit tucked away from all the buzz (it’s close to Dean Village). The most central is tiny and doesn’t have much ambiance, so TCB highly advises you to head to their Melville Place location.
Now, DID YOU SAY BRUNCH?
EAT like a Londoner
Timberyard is more of a coffee staple in the City, but they have up their game in Edinburgh, with a beautiful outdoor seating area and a menu that looks like proper fine dining.
SUNDAY ROAST like there’s no tomorrow
We must tell you, we weren’t super keen on Gatropubs, but The Queen Arms proved us wrong. OH MY. For starters, the pub itself is MEGA. Mega cute, Mega cozy, Mega friendly. The food is TO DIE FOR, and so is the price. This is certainly a must for us.
Now, if you want to up your game and go for the full meatlovers experience in proper gourtmet style, then we recommend Kyloe. Nuff’ said.
PIZZA NIGHT like in the 90s
Civerinos is also one of our faves in Edinburgh. Super chill vibe, the food is superb and at a really good price. Also very insta-worthy, if you are into that kind of thing. Colours everywhere!
Ready for all of this indulge? GO!
Happy FRIYAY foodie monsters!
Eventhough I've been back at work for a while, there's a different feel to it this week. Everybody is back at school, and I feel I have to do my homework too.
Having a look back at where I've been for the past few months, I realized that I forgot an amazing hot spot that got me savoring my tongue for days. I am talking about IKOYI.
It is interesting to see how sometimes amazing spots go unnoticed, and I feel Ikoyi must be one of those. Despite being in the hot dinners scene for a good while, I feel it hasn't got the rave reviews/ attention it deserves. UNTIL NOW. Their service and incredible food has got them a Michelin star! The only African restaurant with a Michelin Star in London. YIKES.
We went there a few weeks ago to celebrate one of my besties birthday, and decided to treat ourselves (as we always do, ha) to a set menu.
WHAT? Chef Chan has worked in pretty awesome restaurants in the past such as Noma and Dinner by Heston and you can see how his cooking delivers on this. At Ikoyi you’ll find elegant small plates that reminiscence of West African cuisine, all in fine-dining style. Our personal favourite was the crunchy plantain dusted in Scotch bonnet powder but the chargrilled octopus leg with spicy ndolé was also supeeeerb.
WHEN? Anytime for lunch (3-5pm) or dinner (5.30-11pm), except for Sundays when it's closed.
They keep on changing the menu (a plus to come back) so I wouldn’t miss on the opportunity of checking this restaurant out!
Stay tuned for more
Summer is about to finish, and we are all looking sad about the fact that we need to go back to reality and get to work til the next proper holidays.
In my case, on top of the holiday blues, I have to move out. Let me tell you, not a fun job! Especially if you have to do it twice, like in my case...
Of couse, it is all very exciting to be moving to a new place. There's vast opportunities to do so much decor and detox on your wardrobe! But this fun bit only comes right at the end, when you barely have any energy left...BUT let's stay POSITIVE! Despite no money left, there's always tones of things to do in London with budget. YAY!
One of my favourite neighborhood visits this summer was Chiswick. It is rare that my gal team and I head west, but when we do, we make sure the trip is worth it.
Our perfect day out started at the Urban Pantry for brunch. A tiny little aussie-inspired cafe that serves a delicioso menu for those who wake up hungry. Everything looked so great it was tough to only choose 1-2 plates!
If the Urban Pantry is too busy, you should head down to No.197 Chiswick Fire Station, which despite its name, is a restaurant. This venue is gorgeeooous, and it even has a little courtyard where to sip espresso martinis :)
After we stuffed ourselves, it was time to walk. You guys know I don't drive (crazy, I KNOW), so I walk and walk and walk everywhere. Specially if I treated my belly to such royal meal. And Chiswick is perfect for it! We paraded the high street, stopping at Foster Books to get some new (or old) reads, Bayley & Sage and the Macken Brothers Butchers if you are in need of groceries, and Chief Coffee if you are in need of a pick me up. If we talk antiques, then The Old Cinema is your spot. And if we talk beauty, I am a sucker for Cowshed.
Of course, a visit to Chiswick wouldn't be complete without a romantic walk by the Chiswick House & Gardens. If it's a sunny day, you can even sit down, relax, and have a picnic there.
It felt so pretty, that we played alike.
Nope, goats do not smoke, really. However, this former gogo bar has been transformed into a wine & dine spot, so hot it’s smoking!
Why should you go there? I mean, the question is why haven't you been there yet?!
A cocktail in one hand and one of their chilli fish sauce chicken wings in the other and you'll understand what I am talking about. This is FIRE! So much, the restaurant has decided to serve just that as a late-night bite from Thursday-Sunday until 1am. Isn't it the best?
The whole menu is to die for, really, and so cheap I can't cope. We recommend you to try the smoked aubergine with egg & chilli, the barbecue goat shoulder massaman curry (OH WOW) and the lardo fried rice. As for the rest, go crazy! But those three are really a must. Including the chicken wings, that is.
Where is it exactly? 64 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JJ
When should you go? Anyday from 12-3pm for lunch or from 5.30 to 11pm for dinner (except for weekends, when it closes at 1am)
Listen to me clearly. Do not resist. Go grab those chicken wings PRONTO! Don't you want some FUEGO in your life?
Elephants think of humans as "cute," in the same manner that humans think of kittens or puppies
Isn't that the best thing you've heard of? I thought so.
It’s always tricky to know whether you are falling into a tourist trap in Thailand, especially when it comes to cutsie little elephants. It’s been known for years now how bad they were treated, close to animal slavery, just for the amusement of the wanderers.
Thankfully, the locals are trying to put remedy to it. That’s how the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary was created.
It still felt a bit touristy. After all, it’s a bunch of westerners trying to make their dreams come true about seeing and touching elephants in their natural habitat. But at least they weren’t chained, and it was us who followed them, not the other way around.
A day at the Jungle Sanctuary will provide you with plenty: a hike in the beautiful mountains outside of Chiang Mai, a bath in the rather cold river cascade in the middle of the jungle, a super yummy and local lunch (followed by a 20-min siesta!) and a bath with the elephants. You don’t need to get muddy with them, but you get the option.
During your trip, you will also learn about the condition of the elephants, how many are there living with the tribe, and what food and medicines do they usually eat/ take.
All in all, quite an experience. One that you shouldn’t miss.
I must admit, I didn't like San Francisco as much as I would. I had great expectations, I have so many friends who love it dearly. I just couldn't feel it.
It is, undoubtedly, a sporty place and a great foodie city. However, it was quite annoying to cue for every good place you wanted to try. Even for coffee! 25 minutes to get your morning fix at Blue Bottle Coffee is not really ideal, in my opinion.
In any case, that wasn't the most shocking part, it was the massive (visible) inequalities, more than I've ever seen anywhere else. The amount of homeless and junkies in the street I saw was really saddening, and I just could not dismiss it. I guess that tarnished my view of the city, and I couldn't come back from it.
But I don't want to put you away from going there! I am sure everybody has a different point of view. Maybe next time I'll like it better? I feel it's a city you need to get to know, and maybe adding Sonoma to the trip would make it even better. Good wine is always a winner!
Nevertheless, it was my first time there and, as a good tourist, I took some postcard pictures.
Stay tuned for more,