Dhevatara Beach Hotel Seychelles

I’ve been on a hiatus. Not on purpose. It’s the usual excuses. Catching up with life, getting used to work, coming back from honeymoon and the like. Perhaps the latter isn’t a usual excuse but it’s a real one for me.

It’s now been a month since my husband and I returned from our honeymoon to the Seychelles. A two week luxury extravaganza staying at a boutique hotel located on Praslin, one of the unique islands home to a UNESCO site and a variety of rare species (coco de mer and the black parrot). These stories are for another post however. What I want to chronicle is our luxury hotel, Dhevatara Beach Hotel.

118C7513-9CB9-42BE-AB26-BB0CE1E3883C

This boutique hotel is perfect for the couple who doesn’t want to bask in the joy of children as it doesn’t allow kids under 12 on site. They can stop into the restaurant upon the discretion of the management but this is really an adults only spot. It is pricey but if you’re heading to the Seychelles, it’s likely not going to be a cheap vacation.

It also is small so privacy is practically guaranteed. There are roughly eight or 10 other rooms on the property that overlook a tranquil swimming pool. There’s also private beach access and every room has a balcony for guests to lounge the day away from the comfort of their own space. All in all, magic. Especially for a honeymooning couple looking to escape to a romantic location for fun chill vibes.

C2EFEFD2-57FA-4D77-8ACE-F8B028B2082B

IMG_0624

Breakfast is also included in your stay. Head out into the dining room between 7 – 11am to find a menu of food that is ready made for you after you order. The menu never changes but the options are HUGE. Eggs any style, bacon, sausage, hash browns, fruit platter, meat platters, cheese platters, cereal, pancakes, crepes, yogurt, muesli, bread baskets with local jams. Everything is there. There’s also bottomless drinks including Nespresso coffee, THE teas, juices, champagne and other treats. This should make your mouth water, I know I’m flashing back to the scrambled eggs.

IMG_0620

IMG_0619

I’m sure that prior paragraph makes me sound like a foodie, and maybe I am, but the breakfast needed a paragraph.

They also did lunch and dinner at the restaurant (which is one of the highest rated restaurants on the island) but we never ate lunch there (we ate ALL the breakfast). We did have dinner there and that too was A1. Yummy octopus curries, creole cuisines and tasty fish dishes. If you’re in Praslin, go to this restaurant for a calm yet romantic date night.

The room. We stayed in the sea view suite (and paid the sea view bucks). In the room was a giant and comfy King sized bed. A giant soaking tub with L’Occitaine products (lotion, shampoo, bath bomb, soaps, etc) was in the bathroom alongside a rainfall shower and his and hers sinks. We had turndown (and turn up) service daily. Room service was available at no extra cost (aside from the cost of the meal). A balcony that overlooked the pool and the beach.

IMG_0904

196B0FF4-92E9-4E90-970C-E86052E083EC

The last bit to talk about is the service. The hotel has an on-site spa as well as a number of helpful staff that give you advice about where to go for the best snorkeling, how to get around the island, things to do and help you book exclusive excursions. We had an amazing spa day and a trip to some smaller islands with the help of Francis. Oh Francis (inside husband joke). They also offered airport drop-off and pick up which was super helpful for us (we travelled for 12 hours so having a car really helped in the last stretch).

IMG_1005

IMG_0973

That’s my review for now but if you have any questions about the hotel or what to expect there, let me know. Happy to answer. Last photos are for fun!

6 Low Key Things To Do In Lisbon

Spoiler alert, I went to Lisbon Portugal and had an amazing time!

This was one of those trips where I didn’t plan much aside from where we were going to stay and how I was going to get from point A to point B. Other than that, I arrived in Lisbon with a clear state of mind and had absolutely no expectations as to what I should see and do. I usually have a mental list or notes on my phone of food I want to eat, monuments I should see and experiences to try but it just didn’t happen here. For this trip I thought what was best was to plan nothing and embrace everything. And being honest, my mind was distracted with work up until that point.

To embrace all that comes your way in Lisbon and to give you a head start on doing nothing but still having a great time, I’m sharing six things I highly recommend that will leave a sweet spot in your heart for Lisbon. Pocket friendly and cultural, do these things to see what Lisbon has to offer (and it works just as well if you’re short on time in the city)!

IMG_7824

Breakfast at the Brunch Cafe

My husband arrived in Lisbon late on a Saturday night. Deciding to just cosy up at our airbnb for the night, we made a decision to taste some of the food that Lisbon had to offer the very next morning. Enter the Brunch Cafe.

IMG_7829

I’ve never had breakfast or brunch that took up the entire table. I felt like a glutton but was also very pleased.

Now if you’re going to this cafe on a Sunday, please do make reservations because everyone and there mom will be there and you’re likely to find a line. This happened to me so we made reservations for the next morning (Monday) and rolled up to find the place was not as booming (no lines). Any who, once you get in you enter a small but cute space with over 10 different brunch items on the menu. Choose from pancakes or classic bacon and eggs – it’s all there!

A great way to start your morning tour of Lisbon, we paid 12 euros per person for two drinks (hot and cold) plus all you see at the table in the photo! The vibe is also super relaxed. No one is rushing you out the door and the staff are very friendly and patient.

Look at all the Street Art

Nothing screams chilled that free art. Especially street art. If you like browsing the streets of Bushwick in Brooklyn, NY or Shoreditch in London, UK, Lisbon is your place to see a new style.

IMG_7818

If you love color, you’ll love Lisbon!

A great activity to do after eating a large breakfast, literally every corner in Lisbon has something interesting to look at. Make sure you bring your walking shoes because you will be climbing up the city hills and admiring all that is before you because there is a lot. For instance if one corner you might find art that you feel belongs in a museum and on another you’ll find something that reminds you of a beautiful comic book that speaks to your being (or whatever art critic you may be harboring). Various colors, drawing style, patterns and more are all over the city. What I love about this activity is that it’s free and you can stumble across many other parts of the city without using a map. Just follow what delights your eyes and I’m sure a cool cafe or trendy shop will lure you in.

IMG_7741

IMG_7739

Bifana and Vhino Verde Break

After you’ve had a chance to view some cool art (and take photos of it for Instagram of course), what you should do next is head to the Bifanaria Lisboa because you will have renewed your appetite.

I’m not a Bifana expert but I will say that although it looks like a tourist trap, this place is pretty nice. The upstairs seating is well decorated and the price of the Bifana (a pork sandwich that can include cheese or chips) is not too bad. It isn’t hugely filling but it is a nice snack that will definitely top you up after you’ve burnt some energy looking at all that art.

8DDA355B-709E-4E1E-9969-978E27BD5FF2 (1)

The atmosphere is very relaxed and the food is tasty. I had a Bifana with chips and a glass of some Portugese wine (vhino verde) which was really yum. Take a chance to chill out with some bubbly wine and just people watch from the window upstairs. I really liked this place as it was an unexpected cosy spot. You could catch your breath, plan your next move, or just sit there editing your photos to make people jealous of your vacation.

IMG_7678 (1)

Walk the Tram 28 Route

E87701F0-3116-4F26-A60A-597E51875462

I found out about the famous tram 28 while in Lisbon and was tempted to go on a ride. But then I looked it up online. It’s the opposite of chill. It’s so touristy in fact that you have to wait two hours online to buy a ticket and once you get on, you end up packed inside a local cuisine favorite (a sardine).

IMG_7733

People love it because it takes you past all the bits of Lisbon city center that you hear about in the guide books but honestly, walking along the route is better. You see more and you get more space and autonomy. Also, if you are desperate for a tram ride, there are other ones that you can get on and they wont be as packed. I’m all for not being stuck in a commuter ride situation where you’re smelling someone’s armpit (not on vacation anyway).

Ride the Metro

IMG_7688

At this point (if you’re doing this all step by step), you’re feet will be hurting so I recommend you give them a break by heading to the metro. I feel like riding the public transport is a great way to get an idea of the kinds of people that inhabit a city. You see who they are, how they interact, how clean the metro is (or maybe not), how it’s designed, etc. For a very curious person, this a great thing to do. It’s also pretty cheap so that can’t do you any wrong.

The metro in Lisbon is also very cool. Aside from the culture, you can see that the art extends from the city walls to the underground. Some cars have graffiti on them, others have colorful chairs and some stations have really unique facades.

Jump off at the Botanical Gardens

IMG_7877

Not pricey and very peaceful, the botanical gardens is a nice place to visit. I went on a Monday and the vibe was very chill. Stroll through the gardens and look at all the flowers and trees around you. Sit down at one of the many benches and do a sketch, listen to music or even journal. My husband and I did this (he sketched and I journaled). It was a great way to take in everything while also letting out some emotions all while on vacation.

IMG_7881

The gardens are also a wonderful backdrop to take photos. I certainly had my husband take quite a few of me because I’m always hungry for content ideas even if I don’t have a particular idea nailed down. It’s fun to just figure things out on the fly.

So there you have it! Those are my ideas to enjoy Lisbon while on a budget and without too much fuss. The people that know me know I like to enjoy and indulge but I also dislike the extra commotion that can sometimes occur when you travel. If you’re like me then these tips will certainly make your time in Lisbon even better.

Have you been to any of these places? Have you been to Lisbon? What’s the most chill or most low key thing you’ve done there but still had a lot of fun doing?  Let me know!

 

Coffee With A View in Silves, Portugal

I’ve never once claimed to be a coffee connoisseur. In fact, those who know me, know I only tolerate coffee that’s flavored or topped with whipped cream. I can’t even handle a cup that tastes like there is too much caffeine in it for fear that my head will explode. Now that I’ve shared these points with you up front, I can get into my post about coffee in Silves.

IMG_8100

Bird song, colorful buildings, cheerfully pink blossoms, the sound of water rushing and the breeze floating through the air paint a gorgeous picture in Silves.

Stroll past the museum and you’ll find the cutest courtyard before your eyes. Pastel pinks mixed with rustic tan, chirping birds, deliciously scented pink flowers. It all awaits. Follow the staircase down into it and to your right, you’ll find Cafe DaRosa.

The aesthetic is very cool and charming. Actually, I found it to be quite French with the blues and whites. Everything was beautiful. A bit hungry and always thirsty (I’ve found Portugal a place that never quenches my thirst), we grabbed a seat on the outside of the cafe as most places in Silves (and Portugal) appear to be a seat yourself sort of atmosphere. I then took it upon myself to run inside for the detail of it all.

IMG_8110

IMG_8102

This blue and white tile work is very much part of the Portugal aesthetic. I went to a tile museum where I saw handcrafted bits like these, using blue and white for the color palette and the work was quite beautiful. For some reason however, I did feel like the tile work and the chairs seemed very French but maybe that’s just because I’m in a European place.

IMG_8105

The chairs were too cute. 10 points for ambience no?

IMG_8108

And these little bottles of liquor had a very Alice in Wonderland feel. I’m not sure what purpose they served aside from looking cute but I’m sure they’re probably used to make coffee drinks a bit more potent.

IMG_8109

Lots of biscotti type cookies in jars. If you like biscotti (I’m not the hugest fan), then this is your spot.

IMG_8107 (1)

But the main attraction to me was the pastry counter. Would they have the coveted pastel de nata that I so deeply desired? Of course they did as we’re in Portugal. They also had a variety of other tarts that tempted me but I resisted. By the way, how many pastel de natas are too much for one sitting? Three? Eight?

IMG_8112

We ordered and I opted for a pastel de nata with a mocha coffee and my husband went for the espresso (he’s lactose intolerant which can limit things) and a bean tart.  Both items were tasty but being honest, the best pastel I’ve had so far was in Lisbon from a bakery outside of the botanical gardens. This one was a solid but comes in last place out of the three places I’ve tried a pastel de nata. My husband did love his bean tart though. Also, my mocha was like any other mocha. Nothing to write home about but it was good.

So what do I think of Cafe DaRosa? Its atmosphere is amazing. Tres chic and tres cool. The food, it’s decent. Nothing amazing but it’s good and the price wasn’t too bad (6 euros in total).  So if you find yourself in Silves, definitely stop by for the atmosphere and a little treat but if you’re looking for mind blowing food, you could try another spot.

Good Eats: Cuba NYC Lunch Review

Summer is on the way out and Fall is in. This means big tops and jackets to conceal food babies that are destined to grow this season! One way I recommend feeding your food baby while in NYC is heading to this amazing Cuban spot in the west village called Cuba NYC. I recently had a wedding lunch at the location and went back there with my hubby for a second helping because it was freaking delicious!

img_4928.jpg

On our second trip to Cuba NYC, it just so happened to be brunch and we discovered that they served bottomless drinks. We thought about indulging but my hubby had a flight to catch and we were really only there for the food and perhaps one drink. With that in mind, we ordered a drink each (a mojito and a white sangria) and moved onto the starter.

img_4933.jpg

A seafood ceviche was calling us. When it arrived, it came in what appeared to be a bottomless goblet and was filled with shrimp, calamari and scallops in a tasty tangy sauce. It also had fresh plain plantain chips on the side for dipping! To tell you that this would turn any anti-ceviche person into a lover would be an understatement. The sauce had a tang to it but it was overpowering. The seafood was crisp and cool. Every bit of this dish tasted so fresh. I could barely stop myself from going ham after all, this was only our starter. The main dish would soon be on the way and from our prior experience, the plate is hefty!

IMG_4932

Next came the main dish. We both opted for pork but it was prepared in two different ways. I had the shredded pork (pictured in the front) with yuca and black rice. Everything was succulent, hot and just bursting with spices (especially garlic). The yuca was lovely and complimented the pork so well. I definitely need to learn how to make this myself but I’m telling you, it was the absolute best!

My husband ordered pork cubes with roasted potatoes and black rice. He gave me a bite of his and I also think it was pretty fantastic. It was a different taste to the shredded pork as I believe my dish was more fatty. His was a bit leaner and had a sweeter sauce drizzled on the meat. It was a delicious taste and pretty hearty. I honestly don’t think you could have gone wrong with either dish but my shredded pork was the bomb!

As for ambiance, the place looks very unassuming from the outside but it’s worth popping in. It’s small but well kept and the servers are pretty nice and attentive. It also has some fun Cuban decor in the space and plays Spanish music in the background. It’s not too loud but you can definitely groove while eating. The price? It isn’t too bad considering west village eateries. I think we paid around $80 with tax and tip (two drinks, a starter, two entrees and a coffee). Considering the portions and the overall flavors, it’s definitely a nice little mini splurge.

Would you pay that much for it? Have you ever been? Let me know! I’m sure I’ll head back there for a third time. 🙂

Summer Eats: The Mac Factory in London

You don’t necessarily think of macaroni and cheese when you think of summer eats. At least I don’t. Summer foods to me are like fruit salads, bbq, fish, chicken salads and quinoa. Basically, light and easy foods that leave you feeling solid and heavy in the humidity. However, I’m a macaroni and cheese girl so when I heard about The Mac Factory in London, I had to try.

The Mac Factory is a NY inspired macaroni and cheese joint that serves up traditional mac and cheese as well as fun twists on what one would come to expect in their bowl (think Italian and Mexican flavors). There are two locations, one is near Euston station in London and the other, you can find a stall in Camden Market. I went to the Camden Market location.

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 9.57.39 AM

The stall is quite small but when you arrive you can see the macaroni and cheese mixture being churned and made ever more cheesy. You also will find tempting flavors displayed on menu board that might sway you from getting what you originally planned on trying. But not to worry, you can only really order mac and cheese so you will leave with that, it just might be a different flavor. You can order what they call garlic dough balls (but any NYer knows those are just garlic knots) as part of their meal deal (£10 for any mac + dough balls) but I wasn’t there for dough.

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 9.57.58 AM

Staring at the menu for what seemed like 10 minutes, I was originally aiming for La Med Babe (basil, pesto, mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes on mac + cheese) but changed my mind at the last second. I ordered a Super Mario (sautéed mushrooms, garlic and truffle oil). I figured it would be a nice choice and was then presented with a full size cup of mac and cheese (£7 for the Mario).

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 9.58.24 AM

Walking around Camden Market, I looked for a place to settle down and enjoy my mac and cheese. All of The Mac Factory’s mac and cheese are topped with bread crumbs so mine was no different. The first bite was crunchy with the taste of mushroom and something else. I loved the texture but I must admit that I wan’t blown away by the flavor. Don’t get me wrong, it was nice and I definitely found it palatable but it wasn’t worth much. It wasn’t super cheesy and it just didn’t have me licking the spoon or scraping the bottom of my cup to get the last remnants.

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 9.58.12 AM

My problem with it truly was that I feel like I can make better mac and cheese. I like my mac and cheese with a nice cheesy sauce, not overdosed so I’m on the toilet but tasty enough to really get that cheddar flavor. Maybe that makes me sound like a foodie but I’m not one, not really.haha So yeah, I found the mac + cheese to be nice but nothing to write home about. Actually, I feel like you’d have better luck making your own mac + cheese and I definitely wouldn’t go there is you are a macaroni lover. If you’re a basic mac+ cheese b***h, it will do but I’m not basic enough for it.haha

It sounds like I’m trashing it but I’m not. It’s cool if you don’t get macaroni and cheese often and definitely has a decent taste but it isn’t the best thing I’ve ever had. Should you go? Sure, but don’t expect to be blown away.

Have you been to The Mac Factory? Are you a mac and cheese head? What did you think of it? Would you go?

 

 

Summer Eats: Soft Serve Society Ice Cream Review

While trekking through Shoreditch one day last week, I happened to find myself back at the Boxpark. Known for selling delicious treats in Shoreditch, I decided to treat myself that hot summer day to an ice cream. But it wasn’t any old ice cream.

Soft Serve Society has been on my list for a bit because I do enjoy ice cream and I came across a mesmerizing photo of a black cone with what looked a delicious flavor of salted caramel ice cream. I wanted to try it but the last time I was in the mood for a treat and was in that area, I went for a bubble waffle wrap filled with strawberries and cream. That day I was craving a sweet treat however, was my moment to give this soft serve place a try.

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 8.46.48 AM

They have flavors (no U please) like vanilla, charcoal coconut, the ever trendy matcha and mango. If you want, you can get a “scoop” on a cone or in a cup and they have a variety of toppings including, sweet sauces, candy, cookies, etc. When I arrived, I was overwhelmed by the sundaes list. All of the sweet soft serve creations sounded sooo good but I went for something called The Cloud 9.

screen-shot-2018-07-09-at-8-48-13-am.png

What’s in The Cloud 9? It’s vanilla soft serve with strawberry sauce, two strawberry pocky sticks, strawberry crunchy candy, popping candy and a giant dab of cotton candy (all in a cup). I knew there was gonna be cotton candy but I thought it’d be a small puff, not an actual cotton candy carnival size piece. It was overwhelming, which made eating the ice cream itself, a messy challenge.

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 8.48.00 AM

For perspective, you can see how big the cotton candy is in relation to the cup and my hand. To eat it delicately or on the go is a difficult task. You need both hands because the cotton candy sits entirely on the cup and there is no way you can eat it with a bit of ice cream at the same time. Also, be prepared to be stared at because this treat is a spectacle and draws a lot of attention.

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 8.48.27 AM

When you do eat it, it’s so sweet. So sweet in fact that I warn all diabetics to stay far far away. But the ice cream, once you get to it, is so delicious. The strawberry flavors are so nice and honestly, I could have done with everything minus the cotton candy. The cotton candy was nice, don’t get me wrong, but it was so much. If I had eaten lunch before this, I may have gotten sick, haha. But I loved the ice cream and made it through all the treats which complemented the soft serve very well.

Would I go back there? Heck yes! So should you? I think so if you’re in Shoreditch and you’re craving ice cream or it’s a hot day. Very tasty and I definitely didn’t regret it. Next time I may get a scoop instead of a sundae but it is something you won’t feel bad about spending money on.

#NotAFoodie Trying Jamon Serrano

The header image may scare you but it’s real. I was traveling in Andalusia Spain on vacation and happened to pass through the town of Trevelez while doing one of my many hikes with my boyfriend. Upon passing through, I found out that their jamon serrano is apparently one of the best in the world and is super expensive. Why? Because the pigs are fed truffles. So even though I’m not a foodie, I had to get me some ham to see if it was better than the 1 euro stuff from the market.

IMG_2240

How Was It?

We popped into Meson Joaquin to get some jamon serrano at around 7 since most of the other restaurants weren’t serving food until 8 PM. Ordering two cokes and a plate of jamon serrano with bread, we waited to taste this fine ham.

IMG_2237

The first bite was tasty. It was heavy, meaty ham that tasted rich and flavorful. I don’t lie. It tasted like ham that was mixed with cheese already, in a good way. It was fatty, yummy and much better than the 1 euro stuff we used in our sandwich we made earlier that day. The jamon serrano cost 8 euro. Was it worth it? Yup, for sure. Eat it alone, with bread, with olives. So delicious I wish I had some to eat as I’m writing this up.

IMG_2236

How Is Jamon Serrano Prepared?

The scoop is the village of Trevelez is the highest village in mainland Spain. It’s clear mountain air and temperature is ideal for curing this delicious jamon and is of the highest quality, boasting no preservatives. It’s “expensive” but not as much as the jamon from Jabugo. The jamon is cured for a minimum of 14 months and has a bit of fat on it, making that much more tasty and hearty.

What Else Is There To Say?

Get the jamon serrano here! It’s yummy and thick and is making my mouth water just thinking about it. Although you’re likely to be surrounded by legs of ham hanging over your head (sorry, not a vegetarian), it’s something you should buy and try.

Do you enjoy jamon serrano? Have you tried it? Can you go to Spain and ignore it? Let me know!

 

 

Elan Cafe Vs. The Attendant

Lately, I’ve been gobbling up avocado toast across London. Seriously. I’ve been looking for places that have that Instagram photo quality but also offer tasty breakfast in the form of avocado toast. Recently, I had a chance to try two twists on the standard avocado toast from Elan Cafe and The Attendant in Shoreditch. Both are trendy. Both use avocado. One however, clearly stands miles apart.

IMG_1564.jpg

Elan Cafe, Mayfair

I went to the location in Mayfair to relish in all the flowery pink Instagram goodness and start my day off with tasty breakfast and free WiFi.

IMG_1565.jpg

I arrived super early (like around 8:30 or 9) so I was immediately seated downstairs. The space however, felt so small as I walked down the stairs. Instead of being wowed by the fake pink flower walls, I felt like the space had a certain level of dinginess to it. The place was clean though; it just didn’t sparkle.

My table was small, which was fine. The vibe of the downstairs seating didn’t seem to scream “stay here and work on the WiFi,” so I decided that this would only be a breakfast rest before moving on to a working cafe. With that in mind, I ordered avocado toast with a poached egg and earl grey tea. This way, I wouldn’t have too much caffeine and could grab coffee and work in another location. Note: There is free WiFi here, you just have to ask for the password as they didn’t seem to have it advertised anywhere within the space.

IMG_1571

Breakfast arrived on a pink plate. Sourdough bread that was lightly toasted (a bit too light for my liking), mashed avocado, pepper, a poached egg, pomegranate seeds, a lemon wedge and some chilli sauce smeared in an undesirable way on the plate. To me, I wasn’t impressed with the look but everything isn’t about looks, now is it?

IMG_1568

I took a bite and it was….mediocre. It was toast with avocado and a poached egg. The pomegranate seeds added a bit of a different crunch but ultimately, it was not the best toast Ive had out of the three locations I’ve visited so far. The tea was nice. It was a pot of earl grey so I figure, it’d be hard to mess up. After I finished up, I called for the bill and was greeted with a shocker. My breakfast total came out to £18. That’s like $25 american for a poached egg avocado toast and earl grey tea! That was my most expensive breakfast/avocado toast yet and considering the atmosphere and service – I was shocked at that number. For that price, I could have opened my own avocado toast shop for the day and made my money back times 20.

My opinion, this place is not worth it. Aside from the ridiculous price, the toast was not very good (it was ok) and I had better variations of this in more photo worthy places. I feel this place is a pass. Unless you want to pop through for a pastry BUT I have not tried their pastries so who knows if it is worth that.

IMG_1567

I walked away with some photos and the taste of regret in my mouth.

IMG_1493

The Attendant, Shoreditch

The Attendant first appeared on my radar when I heard this coffee house used to be a Victorian toilet. Breakfast in the toilet? Sounds great! However, I went to the Shoreditch location which unfortunately, was not the toilet. It did have a cool hipster vibe with gray tones and a wall made up of green plants.

IMG_1487.jpg

This place I read can be buzzing but I arrived early (as per usual). I sat at the far side of the shop, and prepared to order myself some avocado toast and work a bit on my computer after breakfast. At this place, they didn’t have avocado toast but they did have something called an avocado smash. Close enough. I ordered that with a side of maple bacon and a fresh berry juice.

IMG_1490

Breakfast arrived. Multigrain bread lightly toasted with “smashed” avocado and bacon on top. The avocado toast had a bit of turmeric and pumpkin seeds braised with cinnamon. So hipster. My first bite was decent. The avocado was indeed smashed which meant it had a good deal of lumps in it. Not a huge fan of the lumps. I would have preferred it the avocado was more paste like in consistency if that makes any sense.

IMG_1491

It was good though. Nothing to write home about or anything that you need to experience but the taste of the turmeric and pumpkin seeds added something extra to it. When my bill came, the total was £11. So much more reasonable considering I ordered a juice and added on bacon. This was way better than Elan Cafe’s toast but not the best I’ve had (that honor goes to TomTom Coffee House in Belgravia at the moment).

IMG_1481

Would I recommend coming here? Yeah, if you’re in Shoreditch and want a place to grab a light bite and work – this place is pretty good. The vibe is chill, the place is clean and there is plenty of natural light, making the whole space feel more welcoming.

Finding the best avocado toast in London is a hard task but I’m trying my best. Let me know what you think if you’ve been to either one of these locations in the comments below. Have you had the best avocado toast in London?

The Shop Across From Peggy Porschen Cakes

It’s a snow storm full of chunky white snow flakes and frigid air. My fingers are numb, it’s 8 AM and although my mission to get to Peggy Porschen cakes was completely a solid one, I was left standing in the cold thinking, it’s too early to eat my slice of cake at this shop. I need a coffee and maybe some eggs.

Enter TomTom Coffee House.

IMG_1391 (1)

The oustide of the shop has bright pops of yellow, playfully calling you over from the bright pink bakery that is Peggy Porschen. Taking a look at the menu outside, I decided the prices weren’t too scary and entered the shop for warmth and some food.

So you have something called avocado toast do you?

The shop looks deceptively big from the outside but once you enter, you realize the space is quite intimate. There’s a small bar along the wall of the shop, one big round communal table in a corner and a few small square tables near the counter.

IMG_1385 (1)

There’s plenty of seating outside but on a day when it’s snowing, nobody wants to eat out there.

IMG_1392 (1)

I sat down and rejoiced in the warm shop. I sat down at a small table and continued to scan a menu, deciding what I should eat at 8 am (and stop me from eating my to go cake from Peggy Porschen). I then saw something on the menu I’ve never ever tried but have heard a lot of hipster chatter about, avocado toast.

I enjoy guacamole and I like avocado on my sandwiches so I thought, let’s go for this. It’ll make me feel healthy and I doubt I’ll hate this. Landing on my order, I walked up to the counter and told them what I wanted, resisting the urge for a hot chocolate.

IMG_1388 (1)

Brownie, I will not eat you.

I sat down at my table and pulled out my book to read while I waited for my food (sorry, no free WiFi). Warming up and making progress with my independent reading, I noticed the amount of people coming and going at this shop. They appeared to be regulars who made a stop there on their way to work for coffee. Although I didn’t order one, I suspect the coffee here is amazing but pricey. Any ways, a few minutes later, my avocado toast with scrambled eggs appeared.

IMG_1387 (1)

It looks simple but boy was this sooo good. Served on multigrain toast, this was delicious. Two slices of slightly toasted bread with avocado spread, chili flakes, scrambled eggs and arugula. So good. It was filling and tasty. I ate it slowly, savoring every bite. The eggs were perfectly cooked. Not too runny. The avocado was fresh and the bit of spice from the chili flakes, yummy! I’ve never had avocado toast before but I must say that this was so good. Needless to say, the next time I’m in that area, I will be eating that again.

If you find yourself in Belgravia, stop by and get the avocado toast! And now that I’m hooked, I might be tasking myself with finding the best avocado toast in London.

Where To Eat In Marrakech

Today, I want to breakdown where you should eat in Marrakech if you’re dying for food and don’t want to end up in KFC. I won’t lie, if you’re a picky eater, you’ll find it hard to immediately pop in and find something to eat. BUT, if you’re open, you’ll discover that flavors there are amazing and that there’s so much you can find to satisfy your tastebuds.

Portofino

We went here after I got very hangry (I feel like that happens often). We were looking in our guidebook for a place to eat nearby Jemaa el Fna. We didn’t want to dine directly in the square as you were likely to find overpriced mediocre food but incredible views, so we looked a bit outside the square. We soon found Portofino. A spot that specializes in  Italian cuisine. When you enter, it doesn’t look like anything special. It actually looks like a tourist trap but it’s low key and actually pretty nice.

There, I ordered a creamy chicken pasta and we had an appetizer of bread and olives. It was great! Maybe I was starving but the food was really good and you received a large quantity of it. For dessert, I had a creme brule and anyone who knows me knows that it’s one of my favorite treats. It didn’t disappoint. I’d definitely recommend this place and rate it a 4/5.

IMG_0613

I love me some creme brule!

 

Cafe Dejeuner

A pricer option but lovely for a special dinner would be Cafe Dejeuner. It’s upscale (think sophisticated tourist) but not too high end that you feel out of place wearing jeans. The ambiance was delightful and peaceful – everything you need after spending a hectic day in the square.

IMG_0711

IMG_0708

 

I had a zucchini and garlic soup as my starter and my boyfriend had four fried dumpling like pieces – they were amazing! For our mains, he had monkfish and I had a beef dish. Both were cooked very nicely, the meat fell off the bones and the sauces they were cooked in – so good. I’d recommend any of these dishes if you’re at this restaurant tucked in one of the side streets of the souks. Our dessert was a lemon tart, but a creative play on the tart. I have a sweet tooth and I think this was one of my favorite dishes. 4.5/5

IMG_0713

Lemon tart with meringue and yummy bits.

House of Fusion

Here you have to earn your food. On Rue Zitoun, this cute old riad is home to a fabulous chef named Edwina who teaches you how to make traditional Moroccan cuisine.

IMG_0470

Classes can cost about $100 but you’ll be getting a five star meal. Make cous cous and mint tea from scratch over fabulous conversation about the city and life. We ended up eating butterfly sardines, aubergine, cous cous with sweet roasted peppers, fried cauliflower, chicken tagine, cucumber sorbet and an assortment of vegetables. It was rich and unbelievably tasty. Really one of the best meals ever. What was more satisfying is that we made everything from scratch! 5/5

Those are my top spots for great food in Marrakech. I’m sure La Mamounia serves up fabulous food but you’ll probably spend a pretty penny on it. All of these options are moderatley affordable. Even the cooking option as you learn to make all the dishes from scratch and get the recipes to recreate the meal later at home.

 

Let me know if you’ve been to any of these places. Any other worthy spots to eat at in Marrakech?