Mad Hatter Meetings

9C1A3339.jpg

Breakfast at Sketch

#SpanishGalsDoItBetter

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.

Views from The Parlour for Breakfast

Views from The Parlour for Breakfast

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.

Jewelry from Thomas Sabo    Paradise Collection   ; China from    David Shirgley

Jewelry from Thomas Sabo Paradise Collection; China from David Shirgley

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.

TCB xx

WHAT WE WORE:

Laura wore:
Uterque Pink Feather Top
Tommy Hilfiger Houndstooth Skirt
J’adior Slingbacks
Delpozo Pink Bag
Thomas Sabo Paradise Collection

Patricia wore:
Zara AW19 Total Look
Thomas Sabo Paradise Collection


All My Loving: Spanish Food in London

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.

STOKEY: Escocesa

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.

FURANXO_Official.0.0.jpg

DALSTON: Furanxo

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.

SOHO: Sabor

SectionImages43.jpg

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.

BERMONDSEY: Jose.

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,

TCB xx




Most Wanted

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!

TCB xx

Photography by  Roz Alcazar

Photography by Roz Alcazar



It's a Sweet Life

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

db51dd0f50dac0c39ad72f0a3f1b1b4e0dc654d2_cm_fd_listing_desktop_crosstowndoughnuts.jpg

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

dumdum_base.jpg

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

8201141118_e6c092a55c_b.jpg

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

TCB xx

The Spanish Hangover

I’ve always been quite reluctant to visit Thailand, but I must admit it was more fun than I initially anticipated.

My pretty gurls and I like to #treatourselves and travel to a beach destination once a year, and after the success of Philippines last year, we decided another South East Asian country would be a good choice.

One-hour foot massage for four pounds, taxis with on-board wifi and high-end hotels delivering everything you need at your doorstep don’t even begin to explain everything you can get in Bangkok. This city is certainly made up to please all crowds.

IMG_1406.jpg

I personally really enjoyed getting lost in the streets of Chinatown, trying all those street food stalls that may or may not play well with my stomach (such a rebel!). Not to mention the never ending street market, selling all sorts of crap that I also love. Totoro and Hello Kitty’s (and rubber duckies!) all over the place. What else could I ask for?

Some prefer to ride til you die at the infamous Khao San Road, which everybody should check out at least once, but I think a good balance between culture and pleasure is best.

If you are only in the kingdom of Thailand for few days, I suggest you check out the following:

  • For those wanting shopping: Chatuchak Weekend Market
  • For those wanting a good massage: Chinatown
  • For those wanting temple crawling: the Wat Phra and Wat Arun were our favourite
  • For foodies: 80/20, Mr joe crispy pork, Err, and Jai Fai are defo a must
  • If finding yourself with extra time check out one of the many floating markets and/ or go for another massage! You deserve it.
IMG_1357.JPG

Millenium Hilton Bangkok

An Oasis in a hustling city

As for where to stay, the options are endless. You can splash the cash into a 5-star hotel or go budget at a hostel. We did both and I have to admit the later was quite impressive and exponentially cheap. In some instances, like when you are by the sea, it may make more sense to go a bit out of your way to stay at a stunning resort, but if you are gonna be out and about in the city, there’s really no need to go for it. You’ll be in good hands either way.

IMG_1354.jpg

Breakfast with a view

 

Stay tuned for more,

TCB xx

Dating Richmond for a day

PYDH6895.jpg

Morning careless readers! Today I've been up earlier than usual and I feel buzzed! Work out, shower and a coffee by 8.30am? CHECK, CHECK, CHECK. I am sure I will be having my second coffee before lunchtime but hey ho! It felt good. 

Last weekend I went with my beaut pal Ines for a stroll in Richmond, which to us living East, felt like a day out of the city. And I must confess, it was delightful. I forgot how pretty, rich and clean the West feels, everything is picture perfect. Even more so now that Autumn is coming.

Since it took us 1h to 1h30m to get there, we decided to make the most of it. And so should you. What can you do in Richmond? You may we wondering. That's FAR, you may be thinking, too. Ok, you are absolutely right, but it is definitely worth the trip. Specially on days like this, while seasons are changing. 

Start your morning by jetting off to Richmond Station and start strolling down the river, it is beautiful out there! If you are lazy you can take a ferry but it is a very nice walk and if you are lucky and the sun is out, there will be plenty of ambiance. If you walk long enough, you'll enter an enchanted little path that will lead you to the dreamy Petersham Nurseries. That my friend, is a MUST. 

DTCV2495.jpg

Name may ring a bell as they have a shop and a deli in Covent Garden, but the true deal is in Richmond. Fine dining at a glasshouse? Yes, please. Feeling like Cinderella while being treated to yummy food and shopping the coolest flowers and home deco? YES, PLEASE.

Food at their Cafe (not to be confused by their self-service Teahouse, next door) was exceptional, and more so was their service. Prepare your wallets (average lunch incl. a bottle of wine ~£60-80) and your palate, cause you are in for a delicious treat. 

Menu changes fairly often, so TCB suggests you to ask the somelier to pair your wine with your food (they are extremely helpful!) and to have 1 starter, 1 main and obviously dessert. It was difficult to choose what was best, but our favorites included the Bucatini Verde and the Grilled polenta. Yep, we went veggie for the day. 

After your well-deserve meal, you can either continue the adventure by sightseeing deers at Richmond Park and sipping coffee at Pembroke Lodge Cafe or Gates on the park, you can get rid of all the calories you've indulged by heading to the Golf Course oooor head back to the city center and walk by the little antique shops around Brewers Ln. 

All in all, the perfect day in the city. Gah, love being a tourist in London.

TCB xx

Chefchaouen, the Blue Pearl

IMG_3767.JPG

If there is something I love about travelling is how much you can take on different cultures and how important is to respect them.

Morocco is a beautiful country with beautiful people, in mind and in body. Super friendly and accommodating, you'll fill right at home. Specially, if you are spanish or french, these guys speak the language like natives! Obvs related to history but nevertheless impressive.

I was mesmerised on my first visit to the Morocco, when I explored Marrakesh. But it was the Blue Pearl of Chefchaouen what I was missing. It is not easy to get there (one flight from London to Madrid, then another flight from Madrid to Tangier and a 2h taxi ride from there to Chaouen) but it is worth it.

I was lucky to visit this city the best way possible, with friends. Living like locals at one of its blue houses, eating tagine and couscous non stop, sipping the strongest coffee I had in a long time and strolling around the medina.

Chaouen is a place to observe, take on its beauty, and overall relax. You'll feel like you are travelling back in time, but you'll want to remain there for days.

TCB xx

IMG_4257.JPG
IMG_3743.JPG
IMG_4253.JPG
IMG_3745.JPG
IMG_3742.JPG
IMG_3747.JPG
IMG_4254.JPG
IMG_3849.JPG
IMG_3847.JPG
IMG_4252.JPG

I SCREAM PARADISE

 

Those who know me well know that one of the three things I can survive without* is ice-cream (or Gelato, however you want to call it). No matter if it is summer or winter, whether it's sunny or it rains, ice-creams are part of my life all year round. In fact, I prefer to have ice-cream when it's raining and cold (and I am obviously covered in bed, binge-watching Netflix). 

However, I've been doing some tasting all over the city in the search of my favourite ice-cream parlour. I must say, there's a lot of great stuff in the city. And that is why I decided to provide you with some guidance on where is good to go. Hope you like it!

Keep on licking, Keep on loving.

TCB xx

CENTRAL

  • Gelupo is definetely my go-to ice-cream shop when in central London. Gelato from the Alps, home made and with delicious nouveau flavours. 
     
  • Milk Train Cafe is great for those who love Japan. This ice-cream shop got famous thanks to its candy-floss ice-cream cones. They are available in three flavours, and three flavours only, including Hojicha (roasted green tea), Matcha and Vanilla. 
     
  • Tombo Cafe or Shackfuyu for those real matcha lovers, these will give you a total energy boost!

 

 

CHINATOWN

  • Bubblewrap is the new kid in town. Expect cues of at least 1 hour to get this delicious Hong-Kong style bubble waffle filled with delicious ice-cream and as many toppings as you like. If you can't be bothered to do such a huge line to get 'just a dessert', then I suggest you going to Nosteagia in Picadilly, literally the same stuff, but not as hipster. 
     
  • Bake serves the biggest Taiyaki in town, a japanese-style fish-shaped waffle with either matcha, vanila or chocolate ice-cream.

 

 

 

NORTH & EAST

  • Marine Ice is a north-London institution when it comes to ice-cream. The since the 1920s!
     
  • Chin Chin Labs is a more futuristic option in the heart of Camden Lock Market. This shop sells nitro-ice cream! Worth checking out if you are into finding something different.
     
  • Soft Swerve Society is also a new kid in town. And a kid that is doing very well! Located at Box Park Shoreditch, this little shop serves premium soft serves in a more sofisticated shape than your average ice-cream cone. It also serves what they call 'freakshakes', the ultimate american-style cups filled with ice-cream, whipped cream and anything sugary that you wished for.