A weekend in Zurich

At the end of last year I visited Zurich. It was my first time traveling to Switzerland, the land of chocolate and crystal clear water. Admittedly the city - renowned for its cleanliness hadn't been on my travel wish-list, so I was surprised to discover just how much the Swiss capital and banking hub (for what I knew it for) has to offer. I didn't know for example that Zurich has such an important artistic heritage - it was the birth place of Dadaism. Besides the architecture, which is beautiful, and even more so during the festive season, I also loved Zurich West - the burgeoning neighbourhood built around an old viaduct, with quirky shops, cafes, restaurants and galleries. It was one of the best weekend trips I've had in a long time. Staying at the beautiful boutique Marktgasse Hotel might have had something to do with it and spending Sunday afternoon un-winding in the city's thermal baths, was by far my a favourite excursion. Here's a little round-up of what to do and where to eat in this up and coming destination:

Address Book: 

Stay:

- Marktgasse Hotel

Do:

- Take a ferry ride around the lake

- Visit Zurich West – an up & coming area with shops and restaurants

- Thermalbad – bathe in the amazing thermal baths

- Cabaret Voltaire – learn about the birth of the art movement Dadaism

- Admire Marc Chagall’s beautiful stained glass windows inside Zurich’s Fraumunster Church

Eat:

- Lunch at Sprüngli Café - Swiss chocolatier with iconic restaurant attached

- Frau Gerolds Garten – fondu restaurant

- Vorderer Sternen

- Sudhang Wine Bar

Shop:

- Walter Vintage Moebel & Accessories

- Freitag - bags made from recycled trunk tarp

- Soeder* - style/ concept store

- Bookbinders Design - techni-coloured luxury stationers

The Interior at Marktgasse Hotel. 

Exploring Zurich West

Thank you to Marktgasse Hotel for making this trip possible. 

Dubrovnik in a Day

Last year I visited Dubrovnik during my trip to Croatia and completely forgot to post my photos. So here's a little guide below. We ended up staying on Lopud island and took the ferry into Dubrovnik for the day as it was less hectic. I'd definitely advise you to do this during high season!

Address Book:

Do:

  • Climb the city wall for views
  • Wander through the cloisters – this was probably the only place that wasn’t heaving with tourists
  • Visit the castle
  • Ride the cable car for panoramic views of the city 

Eat:

Dinner at Mandrac on Lopud Island

Dinner at Mandrac on Lopud Island

Lunch at Barba

Lunch at Barba

New York Eats

My recent trip to New York involved mainly eating (can it be classed as a hobby?), so thought I'd put together a round-up of a few of the eateries I visited! 

The Butcher's Daughter

First up, breakfast. Undoubtedly the most important meal of the day and the one I wanted to eat the most in New York. Paris is gradually improving on the breakfast front, but still lags behind the likes of London and New York. And I love nothing more than a good breakfast to start the day with. I met friends at the West Village outlet, not far from where I was staying at the Arlo Hotel for the KitchenAid event I was in New York for. They serve up great coffee by Aussie brand Vittoria coffee, fresh juices and a good choice of breakfast bites - I went for the suitably named 'Breakfast Bagel'. 

Address: 581 Hudson Street, New York.

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Toby's Estate

A classic New York coffeehouse, Toby's Estate is the perfect pitstop for coffee and a quick breakfast. I ventured to the West Village outlet on my first day in New York to meet Eva and Stefan from Trotter Mag. Feeling the need for something healthy (knowing I wouldn't follow suit for the rest of my stay), I went for the granola topped with fruit and yogurt, which didn't disappoint.

Address: 44 Charles Street, West Village, New York

Five Leaves

I stayed in Bushwick for the first leg of my trip and was eager to find a brunch spot in Brooklyn that I hadn't tried yet (last year I visited Reynards and Egg Shop - both of which are delicious). Five Leaves popped up with great reviews. After a 40 minute wait - it opens at 8am, so expect to queue after 10am, we were given a table inside. What's clever about this place is their coffee window, so you can order coffee while you wait. And it was worth the wait, I ate the best cooked breakfast that I've had in a long time that came complete with hash browns, baked beans, eggs, toast and bacon. 

Address: 18 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

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The Spotted Pig

I'd heard good things about the Spotted Pig, besides the fact that it's April Bloomfield's restaurant. Decked out like an old English country pub, this place is very cosy. I met Joann for lunch on the Monday and we shared a plate of their Shoestring Fries (tasty shredded fries cooked with rosemary) and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Onion Marmelade and Mustard, which were equally delicious and enough for both of us. And the eating experience was made better by spotting Pierce Brosnan coming downstairs. 

Address: 314 W.11th Street, West Village, New York

The John Dory Oyster Bar

I met Anna, Digital Editor at Domino magazine for lunch here. A little hard to spot as the outside is covered in foliage, they dish up good fish. I had a delicious serving of the Chorizo Stuffed Squid, which despite it's small size (for the US) it was the perfect portion for lunch.

Address: 1196 Broadway at 29th Street, New York

Momofuku Milk

I have been waiting with baited breath to try this delicious cup of ice-cream goodness. Of course I ordered the famous cereal milk with extra cereal flakes. It was delicious, but trying to photograph ice-cream in 31 degree heat isn't the smartest move I've ever made and the who thing dripped all over me. 

Address: 15 W 56th Street, New York

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The Wythe Hotel

To catch some of the best views of the city, I headed to the top floor bar of the Whythe hotel with my friend Asiyami, who was also in town. I was here last year for breakfast at Reynard's with Sharon and although visited the top, hadn't sampled their drinks. Being a big fan of margaritas, I tried their classic recipe, which was very good despite being a bit pricey.  

Address: 80 Wythe Avenue, at N 11th Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

 

Grand Army

Having already enjoyed brunch and a margarita on the Sunday, I decided the only way to make the most of the day was to carry on in the current spirit (see what I did there), so I whiled away a couple of hours with friends in the cosy bar that serves up great oysters and more cocktails. The oysters were delicious, as were the cocktails. 

Address: 336 State Street, Brooklyn, New York 

Maison Premiere

As if I hadn't eaten enough oysters in one day, we followed up Grand Army (plus pizza slice in between) we a jaunt to the New Orleans speakeasy-style cocktail & oyster bar, Maison Premiere. I'd dined there last year was dying to go back. It was just as good as I remembered and we each ordered an exotic looking cocktails and a couple of oysters. Yum.

Address: 298 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

I also ate at and recommend the following:

Freeman'sOst Cafe, AP Cafe, Lucy's (great Vietmanese in Bushwick), La Esquina (great tacos) for more New York tips (including shopping, cafes and what to see), read my post from last year here

 

 

Strolling in Split

This wasn't the first time I've been to Split, but it was a much different place to the historical city (it dates back to the 4th century) that  I wandered through seven years ago with a friend in early May. Split has since exploded with tourism and bars, to become quite the party town, with music bellowing out of almost every street corner, swarms of people walking through its little streets, looking like (aptly described by a friend we bumped into) they were part of a big wedding and Yacht Week boats docked in its bay. There was none of that off-the-beaten track, relaxed vibe I encountered last time I was here. Not that I was complaining, it just wasn't what I was expected and I arrived feeling very underdressed. Luckily we managed to find a few quiet corners, good eateries (even if you have to queue) and beautiful beaches - the ones further away from Split being the better. Scroll down to my address book for a few must-eats. 

Address book: 

Fife - with large wooden sharing tables, it looks like a busy beer garden, but this place does the biggest plates of fried calamari I've ever seen, at a ridiculously good price. You'll have to queue for a table, but no more than around 20 minutes as it has a very quick turn around. Just don't expect to wile away a whole evening here, unless you're a very slow eater! 

Uje Oil Bar - this was our favourite, more upmarket restaurant. You'll need to reserve or you can grab a glass of wine at the bar while you wait for a table to become available. Try 'Our Pork' and they have great wine. 

To Je To - this was the best place we found for coffee and good for lunch too!

Shop the post: 

Riad Fès

Riad Fes is a gem of a place. Tucked behind the walls of the medina, you wouldn't even know it existed if you didn't have directions. But once through the doors, the space suddenly opens up into a beautifully-decorated atrium and hotel spanning multiple floors, complete with spa, restaurant, roof terrace bar with a panoramic view over the city and my personal favourite, the outdoor pool! It's one of those magical places that you don't want to leave and after spending a few hours in the hustle and bustle of the medina, it's the perfect retreat to come back to when the heat is at its highest. 

Fes Address Book: 

Cafe Clock - great spot for lunch and try the smoothies! Set over 4-5 floors, it also has a great roof terrace and hosts music and poetry nights.  

The Ruined Garden - an idyllic place for dinner, where you dine in the beautiful walled surroundings of a ruined garden! We ate the 7hr cooked lamb, which you need to request in advance, but it's worth it! 

Restaurant Numero 7 - sadly I didn't make it here, but it will be top of my list for my next trip to Fes. It's a dining space and restaurant that hosts chefs from around the world on sabbatical, to create a continuously changing dining experience! 

Dar Roumana - a small restaurant with four/five tables currently run by a French chef and his Australian wife. It also makes great alternative accommodation. 

And thank you to Relais & Chateaux and Riad Fes for organising my stay! 

To Venice by boat with RIVA x The Gritti Palace

Ever since I inter-railed around Europe as a teenager (strapped to a backpack bigger than me) and stopped in Venice for a couple of days in, I've been wanting to return to the floating city. When I was last there I stayed in a 50 bed dorm room, which was a convent-turned-hostel, complete with a curfew set by nuns. This time (thankfully) was quite a different story. Getting invited to Venice to spend a couple of days exploring the city, whilst riding around on a beautiful RIVA boat to celebrate a new collaboration with The Gritti Palace - was one of those 'pinch me' moments, and one I couldn't say no to - I even delayed a much-awaited trip to Morocco.

By boat is the only way to get around Venice (although I'm still amazed that taxis come in the form of speed boats!), so a hotel that has its own private boat, available to guests for hire is genius. And the Gritti Palace, where the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Tom Cruise and Scarlet Johansson have stayed over the years would only opt for the very best boat brand to collaborate with, hence RIVA. Off to Venice soon? Scroll down for a little must-do city guide! 

I'm wearing Iris & Ink  top  and  skirt  from The Outnet 

I'm wearing Iris & Ink top and skirt from The Outnet 

The Gritti Palace Hotel

The Gritti Palace Hotel

Glass-blowing demonstration at  ARS Cenedese  

Glass-blowing demonstration at ARS Cenedese 

Island of Burano 

Island of Burano 

I'm wearing: Iris & Ink  crepe gilet , COS white jeans, J.Crew  sandals , ME+EM  leather clutch bag . 

I'm wearing: Iris & Ink crepe gilet, COS white jeans, J.Crew sandals, ME+EM leather clutch bag

Piazzo San Marco 

Piazzo San Marco 

Bellinis at the RIVA Lounge, Gritti Palace  //  Bridge of Sighs

Bellinis at the RIVA Lounge, Gritti Palace  //  Bridge of Sighs

Eat/Drink:

RIVA Lounge at the Gritti Palace: now I'm not just saying this because I stayed there, because if you want beautiful views of the Grand Canal, brilliant service and the best Bellinis you've ever tasted, this place should be top of your list!

Harry's Bar: grab a drink in this Venice drinking institution - go for the Bellinis here too if the peaches are in season!

Dinner at Trattoria Antiche Carampane: order the spaghetti vongole, you won't regret it. 

Lunch/ snack at All'Arco: located a little off the beaten track, it's a great respite from the Venitian tourist traps - of which there are many.. Order a bottle of Prosecco and their little open sandwiches. 

Get a taxi (or the RIVA if you're staying at the Gritti and feeling plush) and ride out to Ristorante Da Celeste for fresh fish and seafood (and more Prosecco!)

Do:

Wake up early: explore Venice while everyone is still sleeping. Venice is busy at any time of year, but in summer it gets crazy. You can barely walk down its narrow streets for the throng of tourists, so I went out at 7am before breakfast, which was still not quite early enough (others had the same idea), but I got to see an almost empty Piazza San Marco. 

Wander the fresh food market: and watch the gulls steal the fish from the stalls - it's quite a sight to see the giant birds swooping down onto the stalls to catch a quick meal! And the market in itself is perfect photo fodder. 

See glass-blowing on the island of Murano: call ARS Cenedese ahead for a little tour and check out their amazing showroom! Everyone from Nicole Kidman to Robin Williams has been there. 

I stayed at The Gritti Palace and big thanks to Starwood & The Luxury Collection for making this trip possible. 

Shop the post!  

London Lately

I'm wearing: Monki cream coat // Monki denim dress // Adidas Stans // Iris & Ink navy leather bucket bag, similar here // Tom Ford lipstick 

I travel to London every month, and I'm often asked for recommendations, so thought I'd put together a quick guide of my favourite places to eat, drink and sleep. Do you have any favourites? 

Eat: 

  • Beast - for giant Norwegian crab and beef 
  • Otto's  - lobster 
  • Padella - amazing pasta 
  • Shoryu Ramen
  • Granger & Co
  • Bao London - go for lunch and try to get there before 12 as there's always a queue 
  • Shotgun - great ribs 
  • Paradise Garage 
  • Lyle's 
  • Clove Club - also good for cocktails 
  • Wright Brothers - great oysters 
  • Barrafina 
  • Dishoom - great Indian 
  • Santo Remedio - great Mexican, some of the best I've had! 
  • The Pressery - fresh juice 
  • Honey & Co - good breakfast 
  • Duck & Waffle - for breakfast with a view 
  • Yam Cha - dim sum 
  • The Riding House Cafe - breakfast / lunch (great eggs & avocado)
  • Ceviche - Peruvian 
  • Berners Tavern 
  • Hawksmoor (go Sunday and have the roast)

Coffee: 

  • TAP
  • Allpress Coffee 
  • Monmouth Coffee
  • Prufrock Coffee
  • Kaffeine 
  • Workshop Coffee Co
  • Look Mum No Hands 

Drink: 

  • Hix
  • Blind Pig - try their Mexican Mexican't cocktail 
  • The Gun (East London) 
  • Ruby's Bar & Lounge 
  • Ridley Road Market Bar 
  • The Punch Room at Berners Tavern 

Stay: 

  • Ace Hotel (also place to work from and they do good coffee) 
  • Town Hall Hotel (also good cocktails and the Corner Room restaurant) 
  • Zetter Townhouse (also good cocktails)
  • Culpepper 
  • London Edition (same venue as Berners Tavern + The Punch Room)

If you freelance like I do, Hubbard & Bell in the Hoxton Hotel is a great place to work from, as is the Ace Hotel. 

Shop what I'm wearing: 

Munich City Guide

Last week I was invited to Munich. Having already visited Berlin a few times, I was curious to explore another German city. Sadly the weather didn't comply and it rained almost continuously for three days, with the sun only showing its face a few hours before I flew home. Luckily there are plenty of places to explore inside, as well as out. One of my favourites places was the studio of famous light designer Ingo Maurer. You've probably seen his artistic designs as they reside in New York's MOMA and he has made works for Issey Miyake, Galeries Lafayette and the London Edition. He was also commissioned by Munich to create the lighting for the Marienplatz U-bahn station. 

Schloss Nyphemberg is another great place to wile away a few hours - I woke up super early on Saturday and after getting a quick coffee at Man Versus Machine, I hopped on the tram which took me out west of the city to get to the palace just as it opened. The great hall is beautiful, and even on a grey day the light still floods in - perfect fodder for any photographer. On my last day I was in the Englischer Garten when the sun finally peeped out, which couldn't have been more perfect timing, so I stood for a while and watched the crazy surfers surfing the wave in the river - a must do! So here's my little guide to the city: 

Visit: 

  • Schloss Nyphemberg - marvel at the great hall (above) and wander around the gardens, preferably on a sunny day! 
  • Visit the Englischer Garten and be hypnotised by  the surfers who surf a wave at the southern end of the river  - they are mesmerising, I could hardly tear myself away! 
  • Go peek inside the studio of famous light designer Ingo Maurer 
  • Visit Brandhorst Museum - a modern art museum that's perfect for rainy days! 
  • Marienplatz - Munich's main square and where the beautiful town hall is located. Then climb Old Peter's tower opposite to get a 360 degree view over the rooftops of Munich.
  • Eat and drink beer (in the beer gardens) at Viktualienmarkt - it's busy, but buzzing with typical Munich life! 

Eat/Drink: 

  • Brunch or lunch at Cantine Cantona (don't forget to their Super Danke juices) 
  • Lunch at the Grateful Eatery 
  • Coffee at Man Vs Machine
  • Ice-cream at 
  • Lunch at Stereo Cafe
  • Get a drink and enjoy the view over the city on the roof top bar at the Beyerischer Hof (there's also a must-see shrine to Michael Jackson out front) 
  • I managed to catch some live jazz at Vogler which was great.

Shop: 

  • Roeckl - if you watched my snapchat, you would have seen that I visited their workshop to see how they make their buttery soft leather gloves - that they've been crafting by hand since 1839. Check out their shop here.
  • Room to Dream  nordic design shop - I didn't make it there, but was recommended it by interiors guru Igor Josifovic.

I stayed at H'Otello. Thanks to Lufhansa and Germany Tourism Board for making this trip possible. 

Man Versus Machine Cafe & Roastery - I took home a pack of beans. 

Hello from Ingo Maurer's studio!

Englischer Garten. 

The surfers surfing in the river. 

Gratitude Eatery. 

Stereo Cafe. 

The hall at Schloss Nymphenburg. 

Lisbon // Part 1

If you're following me on Instagram, you might have seen some colourful, sun-drenched photos popping up on my feed as I spent last weekend in Lisbon. Having spent just a day a few years ago in Portugal's capital, I have been eager to get back and explore more of the city ever since. Luckily the weather was perfect - blue skies every day with an average temperature of 18 degrees - my idea of spring! Along with five other photographers and Instagrammers from Berlin, London, Paris and the US, I was invited to stay in the city with HERE, a navigation application that allows you to (among other things), find your way around a city or new country offline - a huge advantage when I travel so much and don't want to come home to a huge phone bill, having used all my data abroad.

So.. after checking into the beautiful Pestana Palace on Friday afternoon, I ordered a cab and quickly headed over to the centre of Lisbon to meet Alice at Cafe A Brasileira to get my chops around some tasty pastel de natas and make the most of the first afternoon in the city.  We wandered around visiting A Vida Portuguesa to pick up some pretty soaps and Cutipol to drool over the cutlery (this brand has been on my list for a while). Then we headed back to the hotel to join the rest of our group for dinner.  I have a ton of photos, so there's going to be a couple of parts, but first here's the city of Lisbon. Scroll down for my little guide and let me know if you have any other tips! 

Pastel de natas at  A Brasileira

Pastel de natas at A Brasileira

Alice Gao  browsing books in  Livraria Sa Da Costa

Lisbon Guide:

  • Stay - Pestana Palace
  • Eat - pastel de natas at Cafe a Braseilera // lunch at A Cervicheria  or Cervejaria Ramiro or Mercado da Ribeira  // dinner at Belcanto restaurant 
  • Cafes - Copenhagen Coffee Lab // Cafe da Fabrica 
  • See - Arco Triunfal da Rua Agusta // Basilica de Estrella // Sao Jorge Castle 
  • Shop - A Vida Portuguesa // Cutipol 

Thanks to HERE for making this trip possible // All opinions my own. 

 

Porto

A little while ago, the lovely Rich and Rosa over at Cereal magazine shared a few of my Portophotos to their online journal. Porto is on the rise and one of my favourite cities (it helps that I have friends and a boyfriend from there so I've been a few times). I took these on the first of two trips this year, whilst visiting in June for a friend's wedding - hope you like the full set! 

And here are a few places of note:

Taberna do Bonjardim - great for brunch

Book Restaurant - good for dinner or cocktails 

Livraria Lello & Irmao bookshop - the bookshop that helped inspire Harry Potter

Piscina das Mares - in Leca de Palmeira - an incredible brutalist style swimming pool nestled in the rocks right on the beach, designed by the Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza between 1961 and 1966 - think the Barbican centre crossed with some sun, sea and sand. 

-  Rota do Cha - a traditional tea house, in beautiful calm surroundings 

- Matosinhos for fresh fish - head to the fish market (the oldest in Portugal) and you'll find a street filled with fresh fish restaurants, all grilling fish (especially sardines) on the side of the street 

Tea and cake at Rota do Cha

Brussels | Eats

I've had busy couple of weeks after flying to Porto for a wedding last weekend and Brussels before that. I haven't had the time to post, but all this travelling means that I have a nice backlog of posts! I've finally gotten around to posting more of my Brussels trip which will hopefully give you a little idea of places to visit when you get over there! Below are a couple of my favourite spots for lunch. 

Le Perroquet

:

This was a great find. A menu full with different fillings for pitta breads. Simples. We went for a chicken and a beef one. Both were delicious and came with a selection of sauces. The space is interesting too - a great example of art deco, a chequer board floor and pink marble tables. 

Rue Watteeu 31, 1000 Brussels.

Gaudron:

Gaudron has become my favourite Brussels brunch place, admittedly for the clean and minimal interior with its creamy white tiles, caramel coloured booths and raspberry pink floor, oh and of course the pastry counter...It's a little further out from the centre, but that's what makes it even better - there are no tourists, only locals. Apparently we were sat next to a famous Belgium actor. We had the eggs benedict and chicken burger, which we washed down with the house lemonade. Do you have any favourite places in Brussels? 

3 Place G.Brugmann, 

1050 Brussels.