So, as I am a big reader and don’t have anyone to share my opinions with about the books I read most of the time, i’ve decided to write a blog post on a monthly… More
I started writing this blog post a week ago. Originally it was supposed to be one big post, covering everything in New York from eating, shopping to sightseeing but it was way too big. New York has so much to offer and it simply can’t fit into one post. So I decided to split it in two. This post will be about my favourite places to eat and drink while in NYC and in a week I will be posting part 2 – where to shop and what to see including the best ways to move around and where to stay.
So let’s start.
Even though the word ‘butcher’ is in the name, this place couldn’t be further from meat. Butcher’s Daughter is a plant-based restaurant, cafe, juice bar and as they say on their website: “vegetable slaughterhouse”. The interior is more LA-like, with lots of white and yellow, plants, pillows and rattan chairs. You can find them in five locations around the city and we liked it so much we visited it on two occasions in one week. Even though they serve breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, we only tried their brunch menu. Usually, I would recommend the best thing from the menu but they tend to change their menus quite often so it would be pointless. But, whatever you choose you can’t go wrong. Everything is so delicious. Bare in mind that it can get very busy so try to come earlier.
As the name says, this place is devoted to serving all types of eggs all day and night (well until midnight). The local, organic eggs get prepared in a variety of ways: poached atop avocado toast, mixed to make a mayo-free egg salad, or scrambled with seasonal vegetables. There’s also a nice balance of hangover cures – you can even get sides of excellent fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits! but if you are looking for something quick and healthy it’s an even nicer place. I visited the one in Nolita but they have another location in Williamsburg.
The space itself is bright and airy, and feels more like a cool California café—neon teal chairs, a chalkboard menu and big window. I got ahead of myself and ordered a spicy chicken and egg burger which was absolutely massive for a 10am breakfast but so good.
151 Elizabeth St,New York, NY 10012
This Scandinavian style bakery is located in the residential area of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It’s their second branch(the first is in Williamsburg) opened as they needed larger baking space due to the increasing demand for their high-quality freshly baked goods. Both, the interior and exterior, are wonderful. From the tall decorative wooden doors to the over-scale botanical wallpaper. The space is decorated with handmade crafts fitting perfectly with the vintage-rustic vibe and the exposed brick walls. Stepping in, you will get the feeling you’ve arrived into a different decade. Everyone wears boiler suits (or a variation of it) and a headscarf – the same as working women during WWII. Everything feels intentional. And everything adds up to the warmth and coziness of the café. Order at the counter and grab a seat at the large rustic communal table or at the breakfast bar overlooking the kitchen. It was so hard to choose what to have, the delicious pastries on show were tempting but we opted for biscuits and eggs.
105 Freeman St, Brooklyn, NY 11222, USA
Other brunch places: Citizens of Chelsea, Jack’s Wife Freda,Pietro Nolita, Banter NYC, Maman,While We Were Young
This place was our lunch stop on days when we were feeling a bit peckish around 2pm. It’s a chain and it can be found around NYC. We found it accidentally because I couldn’t stop talking about tacos for days. I certainly can have tacos in London but these ones were the best I tried. Their chorizo with potatoes or chicken tacos are so delicious you will come back for more. If you are not into tacos they serve quesadillas and Campechanos. They also make everything from scratch with sustainably sourced ingredients, including their corn and flour tortillas which are rolled daily. We had been to several locations but my favourite one is the one at the Empire State Building because of its interior and natural light which comes through the windows.
This Williamsburg located, Argentinian restaurant came as the biggest discovery of our New York trip. We walked past it every day on our way to the place where we stayed and it never occurred to me that something so cool lays behind lace curtains. What’s behind them is a red-brick covered space that feels like the sort of cozy spot you’d stumble into on a random side street in Buenos Aires. Or at least, what I imagine that would be like.
The only light inside is from the candles on the tables and at the back there is a small garden with a fairy light so the whole atmosphere is relaxing and cozy which made us very sleepy after dinner. We got very excited on seeing the menu and ended up ordering too much, starting with actual avocado fries, $24 steak and probably the most heavenly dessert of them all: dulce de leche filled crepe with caramelized bananas.
557 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211, USA
Caracas Arepa Bar
Before coming to New York, I had never been to a Venezuelan restaurant and I certainly hadn’t tried their famous arepas. Arepa is a bread made of white cornmeal, water and salt. The dough is formed into a patty, grilled, baked, split open and stuffed with a variety of ingredients like a sandwich. We visited their Brooklyn branch and simply loved it. It’s a small, cozy place, with the garden at the back filled with Latin music. They serve happy hour margaritas and the most delicious arepas. Even though they look small at first they are quite filling so I would advise starting with one and then ordering more if you like.
Sorry that there are no pictures of dinner places. It was way too dark.
291 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211, USA
Other Places for Dinner: Souvlaki GR,NoMo Kitchen,Pizza Beach, Freemans,Mexicue,1830.
Coffee & Cake
According to their website, Urban Backyard “is a coffee shop that is committed to being environmentally and socially responsible.” Alongside the classic caffeinated beverages — Americano, macchiato, mocha, to name a few — look for the specialty drinks like lavender peony iced tea and masala chai. They serve different sweet bits but I would recommend the cutest cacti cupcakes and a wide range of macarons flavours which you can get as part of their ‘Afternoon tea’ offer. Also, this place has the cutest interior and exterior which will look great on your Instagram.
180 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012, USA
I know we are not in Paris but here is another macaron shop. This one stays open until late (12pm) and it serves over 20 flavours of macarons which taste heavenly. They even offer workshops so you can learn how to make them yourself. You can find them in various locations around New York but we visited one in Williamsburg which had an interior to die for and it wasn’t as busy.
For this one I suggest you cross the river and have the best views of Manhattan from one of the many rooftop bars.
We’ve been to two and instead of describing them I will just compare both of them as they are equally amazing.
First one we went to was rooftop bar at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. Because we are not the guests of the hotel we had to pay $20 to get in. As the name says, the hotel is located just next to Brooklyn Bridge and offers amazing views of both the bridge and Manhattan. On the down side, you will be restricted to a small space and you won’t have access to the whole rooftop and the amazing swimming pool as it’s guests only.
The second place we visited was Westlight rooftop bar, located on the 22nd floor of William Vale Hotel. We got there pretty late on our last day, too tired and in desperate need of sleep but the view we saw was simply breathtaking. Because the hotel is located on the east of Manhattan, you can imagine how amazing the view is, right? Not only can you see Manhattan but also Brooklyn and Queens – basically the whole city skyline. For me, this view was on the same level as the Top of the Rock and the One World Trade Center Observatory. The rooftop is covered with fake grass and beanbags and rattan chairs with comfy cushions are scattered around. I was tempted to lay down, have a nap and miss my flight in the morning.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge: 60 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Westlight: 111 North 12th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Regularly voted as one of the happiest cities in the world for the last 40 years, Copenhagen, with its 1.2 million people offers miles of harbor promenades, green spaces, and a mix of modern and historic architecture. The Danish capital has always attracted people with its New Nordic cuisine – full of local, natural and seasonal food, and an increasing fashion and design scene. However, the thing that put Copenhagen and the top of everyone’s bucket list for certain is hygge, the Danish concept of living a happy life.
Also, according to a new report published this year, Copenhagen was named the best city for women to live in. The government promotes gender and income equality, safety, progress and human rights so there is no surprise that they can focus on things that really matter.
By visiting Copenhagen you will notice that the people there just enjoy the simple things in life, every day, every minute, without overthinking it. Starting from coffee shops and restaurants which have candles lit up all day to meeting their friends after work for a coffee on the rooftop restaurants, eating dinners early and heading home on their bikes to relax before an early bedtime. The fact that there are more than 500 000 bikes in the city shows that Danes love biking and a healthy lifestyle, and many families with children don’t even own a car. So what is their secret? To understand and experience this for myself, I visited Copenhagen for a long weekend and found the things that are usually missed by tourists but capture the real spirit of the city.
Møller Kaffe & Køkken
To experience the real, traditional Danish breakfast I visited Møller Kaffe & Køkken. It’s a cosy cafe situated in Nørrebro, with recognisable Danish interior. The best time to go and avoid the queues is 9 am, as soon as they open because here going out for breakfast is a big thing and Danes usually get up early. Møller is awarded best brunch spot in Copenhagen and they are serving breakfast all day without dinner or lunch menu available. As seated they will give you a menu and a pencil, asking you to tick everything you want and take it to the counter. Maybe easy to order but hard to choose because menu consists of nearly 20 dishes, from traditional bacon, eggs and øllebrød(Danish porridge) to homemade chicken nuggets and apple with lime and sea salt. The one thing I would recommend a selection of fresh made breads and fried eggs with kale.
Møller Kaffe & Køkken, Nørrebrogade 160, 2200 Copenhagen N
Mad & Kaffe
Located in one of Vesterbro’s hotspot locations, you can combine your own tasty breakfast plate by ticking the list of various breakfast possibilities. The café is known for being an Instagram-darling with an aesthetic and colourful morning plate perfectly shareable – with a friend or on social media. Avocado with chili oil and baked almonds, cinnamon bun with organic chocolate on the top, yogurt with muesli, matcha tea and basil are just some of the small dishes you find on the menu. Mad & Kaffe also offer lunch and bigger meals. You can order burger, salad or famous open sandwiches.
This pizzeria is as close to Italy as you will come in Denmark, and yet very few of the ingredients they use are actually imported. Only the highest quality meat is chosen from the organic free-range Hindsholm pork. The restaurant even makes its own fresh cheeses like mozzarella, burrata, and ricotta. Bæst is the third restaurant of chef Christian Puglisi – the famous Noma alumni and owner of acclaimed restaurants Relæ and Manfreds.
It’s pretty likely you’ve already heard of Hay before. It could be their beautiful sofas, Instagrammable trays or even stationary – but if you haven’t let me introduce you to this gorgeous Danish design company. With their city centre store laid out like an apartment; this place is home to beautiful furniture, small accessories and more colour co-ordinated stationary than you could wish for.
Østergade 61, 1100 København K, Denmark
As mentioned by locals, this is the most important street you need to see if you are staying in Copenhagen for a short time. Jægersborggade is home of more than 40 different shops including the art gallery CMYK which exhibits and sells Danish graphics and illustrations, gågrøn! sustainable interior boutique, Resecond the world’s first dress-swapping shop, Panache which sells vintage clothes from the 60s and 70s, Lady Fingers handmade jewellery designer, handmade Ro chocolate, wine bars and the highlight of the street, Michelin starred restaurant Relæ – creative and free of cultural heritage, this restaurant serves food from all over the world. Further down this street, you will also find Copenhagen’s most famous coffee shop, The Coffee Collective, which is a coffee consulting company and specialist micro roastery, owned by Klaus Thomsen, who is the World Barista Champion and a two-time national champion.
Originally a busy commercial port where ships from all over the world would dock, Nyhavn is a must while visiting Copenhagen. Aside from colorful buildings and beautiful boats, this area is filled with people enjoying the relaxed atmosphere by the canal, jazz music and great food.
The word København means “merchants’ harbor,” so many of the city’s most impressive buildings, are visible from the water. You can take sever. We opted to explore on bikes like the locals instead- although we did park them to walk along the harbor and have a drink.
One of my favourite neighborhoods I discovered in Copenhagen. It’s an area of small islands known for its hip coffee culture and canals with colourful boats. One of the main attractions set in Christianshavn that’s worth visiting is Our Savior’s Church —which is famous for its helix spire with an external winding staircase and you can climb to the top for impressive views of Copenhagen if it’s not too windy that day.
Tivoli Park and Gardens
This amusement park and pleasure garden opened in August of 1843 and is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world. You won’t find many other city centers where more than 80,000 square meters have been set aside for a magical amusement park like this! Whether you visit during Christmas or in the warm summer months, this attraction has seasonal activities and celebrations year-round that are worth visiting.A
Arken Museum of Modern Art
If you are an art lover make sure you visit Arken Museum of Moder Arts in Ishøj, 25 minutes from Copenhagen. This museum is truly spectacular and worth the visit. If you go on a nice day, you will surely appreciate the surrounding as the museum is close to the beach.
Few weeks I finally got a chance to visit one of the London’s prettiest places. Tucked away down a quiet street in Farringdon, Bourne & Hollingsworth sits between a garden park and a children’s play park and it is exactly the kinda place I like to brunch in; peaceful, quirky and with serious interior goals – real Pinterest and Instagram heaven.
Inside, the main dining area is all white wood and old-timey furnishings. In the back is conservatory like area with beautiful floral furniture and green plants everywhere. I was lucky enough to get a table in that section.
The brunch menu features a choice of single serving or bottomless cocktails – offering unlimited refills on classics such as Bellinis and Bloody Marys for £15/£16.The food menu, was a great mix of sweet and savory, meaning it took me a while to finally commit to a dish. I went for banana and fresh coconut pancakes with fresh berries and honey which was delicious.
Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, 42 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HU. Nearest station: Farringdon or Angel. The weekend brunch runs from 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit the Bourne & Hollingsworth buildings website.
Want to go out in London for a bit of festive spirit but without the interruption of tourists and Christmas shoppers? Then look no further than Belgravia!
Motcombe Street is a new discovery for me. This little chocolate box street looks like it fell out of a fairytale with all the cute shops and twinkling lights. At one point a proper carriage with horses went through the street!
The one thing you can’t miss when you are here is the cutest chocolate shop – Rococo Chocolates. Not only you can buy organic chocolates in the nicest packaging for Chrismas gifts but you can enjoy London’s best hot chocolate. Choose between classic, cinnamon spiced, sea-salt or one with a hint of chili that’ll warm you up on these winter days. There is no cream on top but something much nicer – a homemade marshmallow on a stick to dunk into your hot drink.
This place also has a Chocolate School that offers a variety of workshops, classes and tastings for adults and children from beginner to expert. Also as if that wasn’t already enough there is a huge teddy bear in the window. If that doesn’t make you want go out of your house on a cold winter day, nothing will 🙂
I’m officially allowed to go overboard with all things Christmas here and on my Instagram. In London, Christmas actually started at the beginning of November so I have been collecting the pretty pictures of Christmas decorations all around the city and now they will start coming out. To mark the beginning of Christmas time we decided to visit magical place in the Central London – Dalloway Terrace.
This little place has been transformed into the winter wonderland with fake snow, pine trees and an endless supply of snuggly blankets. It is absolute Instagram heaven. There is no surprise it is full of people who eat their food lukewarm after documenting everything on Instagram.
The atmosphere was so cozy and peaceful , we felt like we were in Narnia and the wait staff were brilliant from the very start. The menu was amazing and we wanted to order literally everything but at the end we opted for french toast, one with fresh berries, one with bacon and saved some space for delicious hot chocolate with biscuits at the end.
I’ve wanted to write this post about Instagram for a long time now because for a period of time this was a such a big thing in my life that kept me awake at night, which is ridiculous, losing sleep over an app!
The conversation about Instagram themes, followers, and bots has been pretty popular recently. Some people are concerned where this is all going, including Instagram and blogging.
Everyone I speak to has the same view. Instagram has taken such prominence over blogging that it can feel overwhelming. Every square you decide to share is carefully curated with the aim to get engagement and to increase the numbers because numbers mean success.
I realized a few weeks ago that I’m spending too much time thinking about the theme of my grid and if my next photo will fit into (at the moment) a pastel feed. It went so far that I started photoshopping colours and ended up ditching some amazing photos. Dark tables? Nah! Colourful umbrellas? Nah. Some beautiful moments in my life simply didn’t make the cut to be featured on my Instagram.
I realized that if I don’t move from London to some Greek island anytime soon I’m doomed. I wanted my Instagram to be completely me, a place where I’m showing the world what I’m up to, where I travel, what I eat…but then it turned out the grid decides for me what to do next so it fits into the theme.
Why am I trying to theme my life? My love for photography and capturing beauty in everyday life is suffering because I’m imposing limitations on myself for the sake of numbers.
Another problem is the new and ridiculous Instagram algorithm so if there is no #ootd or #travel is highly likely your picture won’t be shown to too many people.
I’m not sure whose fault it is, the bloggers’ or Instagram’s but I’m going to stop doing it, stop stressing my self over the next picture and just post what and when I want.
On a brighter note, here are some pictures with the last breath of Autumn. Now when everything starts to look Christmasy (and I gave up on bare legs) this tree next to my building was a true gem to find.
I’m not sure how this jumper looks on the pictures but in real life, it’s the softest thing ever. It’s a mohair blend and I found it for a bargain at H&M (not an advert btw). Did I mention that I’m obsessed with jumpers?
Last weekend I decided to visit Chinatown. It wasn’t my first time because I’ve walked up and down these streets so many times on my way to Picadilly or Oxford Circus, but this time I went specifically to spend the afternoon wandering around the area.
Feeling like a tourist in your own city is a bit of a must from time to time, but whilst great in theory, it’s kind of tricky, especially if you decide to do that on a Sunday afternoon when the amount of tourists pouring down the streets can be overwhelming.
That didn’t stop us from exploring the shops for exotic food and a new set of chopsticks, having lunch in a Chinese restaurant and even queuing 20 minutes for Bubble wrap waffles. Despite the cold it was so worth the wait.
For the last few weeks I’ve been stocking up on new knitwear but until this week it wasn’t really cold enough to wear this cozy thing. I got it from H&M for a bargain and it’s the warmest jumper I own.
As you can see I’ve partially embraced Autumn by wearing my thickest jumper on bare legs. There is always mix of emotions at this time of year. Some of us want to cling onto every drop of Summer but some of us are desperate to be able to order a pumpkin spice latte while wearing our snuggly jumpers. I guess I’m somewhere in between. Summer is my favourite time of the year, but here in London the summer is short and usually not as hot, although I’m like a lizard, and only feel hot when it’s 35 degrees or more, so I appreciate every second of it. Long days and warmth just make me happy and I’m never ready for grey and cold days but the one thing I like about Autumn is that Hygge feeling. I use to hate Autumn but now actually I don’t really mind it and while thinking about it I came up with some reasons why you all should love Autumn.
- New TV series. I’m a bit of a TV series addict, and during summer when I have days off with nothing to do I miss having some shows to binge watch. At the moment I’m so happy that my favourite shows are back: How to get away with murder, Designated Survivor and Scandal with some new great ones: Sinner and Absentia
- Chai latte. Or Pumpkin Spice latte. Or any other latte that will give you that feeling of happiness.
- Candles. My flat is full of candles but I never light them during the summer. I’m so happy that now I can light up all the candles I bought during the summer.
- Fairy lights. I wanted to keep my fairy lights on the wall during the Summer but I ended up putting them away and was too lazy to put them back up. Well this weekend they are finally back!
- Bonfire night. After this time, talk about Christmas can officially start. Anytime before is just too early. I just love bundling up and walking to the nearest firework display with a cup of hot chocolate, and a marshmallow
- Cinnamon Buns. My favourite pastry ever. I’m always on the lookout for new cinnamon bun places in London. Currently, my number one is Fabrique Bakery with Nordic Bakery as the runner-up.
- Evenings in. When it’s dark and cold outside you won’t feel bad staying in under the blanket with a glass of wine and your loved one.
- Markets. I know you can go to markets during the Summer, but there is something about crisp autumnal mornings that make the stroll around markets so nice
- Big Jumpers. Finding the softest and warmest jumper to keep you cosy is the ultimate Autumn goal.
- New Coat.
- Parks. Most people love parks in Summer, especially in London where I get the feeling that every Londoner just moves to the park during the Summer. From boot-camps, yoga, fetes, to picnics and BBQ’s, parks are always crowded. But in Autumn it’s so much nicer to wrap up and have a quiet walk as the leaves change colour.
What do Strawberry Hill House and the word ‘serendipity’ have in common?
Both were created by Sir Horace Walpole.
Horace Walpole, son of British first Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole and the author of the first gothic novel The Castle of Otranto, has spent forty years, beginning in 1749, turning his house into a gothic castle.The result is spectacular and I can’t believe that I haven’t visit it earlier because I literally live 10 minutes walk from it.
I saw the exterior of the Strawberry Hill house before and it always leaves me speechless because you would never expect big white fairytale-like castle in your neighborhood, would you?Inside is just a dream. Details on the ceilings are just stunning, especially in my favorite rooms The Gallery and The Library. Equally exciting are the dramatic Gothic staircase in the entrance, and the views from the upper levels, which shows off the gardens and grounds underneath beautiful stained-glass windows.
Each room has a steward inside to answer questions and talk visitors through the finer details of the interior. It’s more interactive than just using the (admittedly good) guidebook that comes with the entry ticket and brings the house to life with stories and anecdotes.Although the rooms are so special and every single one is different, most of the original furniture is gone thanks to one of an earls from Waldgrave family who sold everything out so you will have to imagine how it really looked like.Considering that this House survived fire, flood and WW2 bomb falling through the roof it still looks unbelievable thanks to extensive renovation.
It’s definitely worth a visit.You can get here from Central London by taking the train from Waterloo to Strawberry Hill which will take around 30minutes. Price of the ticket is £12.50 for adult or half the price for students.Before you go you might want to check opening hours because place is often booked for events and wedding and it’s closed.
Light inside is not amazing but I managed to take some photos of my outfit as well while other visitors were probably thinking we are completely mad.
Every September I realize I don’t have anything to wear (as usual) and keep wondering what I wore last winter, so I try to stick to my summer items as much as I can. The problem is, I like too many different things and my wardrobe looks like a big circus. It would be so much easier if for example I only liked monochrome things, or didn’t like skirts and preferred jeans. But nope, I like it all. I’m trying to be sensible so I try not to buy things just because they are in fashion at the moment. But if I’m going to buy something super trendy which I know will last only one season I will choose a very cheap option. I would rather invest in basics which will last.
Buying this hat was a very impulsive decision for me. I just had to have it. It was weird because until this year I wasn’t really a hat person. The only hat that I occasionally wore (but only when it was freezing cold) was my simple wool winter hat. Even though everyone else looked great with it I thought I just didn’t have the head for it 😀 I bought this baker boy hat at the beginning of the year but somehow I never got a chance to wear it. Now when summer is finished and I’ve sadly packed my straw hat away it was time to give it a go…and I love it. It’s such a statement piece and goes great with everything and of course, helps on bad hair days.
As a big stripes and t-shirt fan I will probably keep all of them in my closet during the winter and combine with thick cardigans. This was a very rare opportunity to wear it without any kind of jacket because this September in London is wannabe November, so I’m updating my closet with knits at the moment.