Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 2)

Never-ending breakfast at That’s Toast in Bruges

Your mother might’ve told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and she is right! Studies have proven that breakfast boosts your metabolism, helps you burn calories throughout the day and it also gives you the energy you need to get things done. And what can be better than a tasty and solid starter on a plate that is also expertly made by someone else?

Welcome to That’s Toast in Bruges, Belgium!

I discovered a place in Bruges where you can have delicious and healthy breakfast all day long, at That’s Toast! Hipsters, health-freaks and foodies will fall in love with this charming café! It doesn’t matter what you go for all portions are copious and the ingredients are fresh. You can always let the staff know if you have any special preferences or if you are just following one of those gluten-free trends. If the weather is nice I would suggest you to enjoy your meal on the lovely hidden terrace at the café.

But first, coffee!

The owner of That’s Toast is young Dutch man named Steven who got his inspirations through traveling and exploring the world. And every 2-3 months the menu is updated and a new delicious addition appears on the menu! Furthermore That’s Toast doesn’t only offer the perfect Instagram-location but also incredible barista coffee.

Inside or outside?

We ordered both big breakfast plates for €14 per piece, with extra salmon on top of rucola and sweet potatoes for just €2,50 each. As I already mentioned the portions are magnanimous. Our meals were out very quickly and when we had our first bite, we couldn’t put our forks down anymore! I had the vegetarian grilled halloumi sandwich with tomato, avocado, juicy mushrooms and sumptuous eggs. And if I already started so healthy I decided to add a fresh juice to it with orange and ginger. It was not too sweet and not too sour, just perfect!

Breakfast plates with extra salmon and sweet potatoes. Yum!

The meat lovers will adore the other breakfast plate with tempting bacon, 2 different types of sausages, grilled tomato, beans in tomato sauce and the essential eggs. Definitely the breakfast for champions!

Let the feast begin!

Breakfast, brunch, lunch or just a nice drink at That’s Toast, you will be satisfied with every choice! I doubtlessly discovered my new place to eat and relax and who knows maybe I’ll see you there too! Bon appetite!

The Noon, Bruges’ Mediterranean treasure

Bruges is Belgium’s medieval gem with various touristic entertainment possibilities such as shopping, sightseeing, museums and obviously a numerous amount of great restaurants. Sometimes it’s amazing to have a wide range of choices but if you are visiting this magical town just for few days or want to try something extraordinary then it’s not so easy to make a satisfying decision.

Welcome to The Noon!

I discovered this magical mediterranean oasis, where time stands still and all your senses are happily engaged. The Noon is the name of this perfect getaway, where with taking the first step into the restaurant you will immerse into a completely different world. The relaxing fragrance, cozy atmosphere and creative decoration will make you feel like home from the very beginning. Just choose your perfect corner on the comfy couch or at one of the lovely tables. It’s possible to come for a energizing coffee and delightful lunch menu or a sumptuous dinner.

The Noon is run by Mona & Philip, a warm and friendly couple and they give this place it’s authentic charm. Mona & Philip combine three exotic and bright cultures: Moroccan, Indian and Belgian. The cultural beauty is reflected in the interpretation of the food: Colorful, healthy and simply delicious! Only seasonal fresh vegetables and fruits are used for every masterpiece on a plate. First I was skeptical about the herbs because mediterranean kitchen has the tendency to exaggerate with unknown penetrant spices but I was positively surprised how discretely it was added to every meal so I could still taste the fullness of the fresh vegetables and juicy meat.

Mint tea and beer served on a silver metal tray

We started our dinner with some mint tea which was served in a beautiful metal silver teapot on a decorated tray. No worries for the alcohol enthusiasts, there is also a variety of lovely wines and Belgian Gold, beer. And then our tasty journey began!

Vegetarian soup with crisp flatbread

Our appetite was awakened with a vegetarian soup composed of fresh in-season vegetables with grilled flatbread covered in moroccan olive oil. We all know vegetable soups are always good for your health and they provide our bodies with the necessary vitamines but this one was additionally incredibly delicious!

Colourful Vegetarian Tagine With Tofu

Our mains were the Vegetarian Tagine with tofu cheese, lightly spiced heritage carrots and marinated haloumi + the Chicken Tagine with preserved lemon and purple olives that were impressively served under a cone shaped lid. Tagine is by the way a traditional moroccan way of slow cooking with a conical shaped lid. This keeps the dishes uniquely moist. Every meal is served with rice or couscous, fresh salad with delicious dressing and pickled reedit radish.

Our eyes became bigger and mouths more watery when we took the lids away and saw the amazing colours: bright yellow, green and black carrots, golden onions and potatoes, orange sweet potatoes and red juicy tomatoes. Three appetizing pieces of chicken, we didn’t wait too long until we tried them. They were succulent and rich in white meat.

Lamb Tagine Berbere

We couldn’t resist to order the Lamb Tagine Berbere on top of it even though the portions are very generous. And we didn’t regret it! It’s not easy to make sumptuous lamb because often it tends to be very dry, but Mona performs magic in the kitchen! The lamb sausages covered in tasty vegetables and mediterranean herbes overcame all our expectations.

The Noon is a very peaceful and enjoyable place, you will doubtlessly lose track of time here. This happened to us, only after 4 hours we realized that it was time to go back home and it’s only because it was already dark outside, we could’ve sat there for much longer. It became my favourite café/restaurant in Bruges to visit and I will definitely recommend it to everyone who loves healthy and delicious food and who is not afraid to be different. Ah, and vegetarians will be definitely spoiled there!

Opening Hours:
Mon – Thu 11:30am – 4pm
Fri -Sat   11:30am – 4pm
               6pm – 11pm 

Welcome to one of New Zealand’s oldest pubs, The Thistle Inn.

Hard to believe but New Zealand has some good old history too! I discovered one of NZ’s oldest iconic public houses, built in 1840 and survived all the fires and earthquakes, Thistle Inn. Based in Thorndon, next to Parliament it received the second liquor license issued in the whole country and many famous Kiwis visited this establishment for refreshments. One of them was great Maori Warrior Te Rauparaha, Free spirit and poet Katherine Mansfield loved to visit the Thistle Inn too. But also various politicians, dock and government workers enjoy their delicious food and pints.

It’s one of the most memorable places that I visited in Wellington: incredible service, friendly and polite staff, giving you great tips on what to order. It feels like being back in England with all the rustic furniture, wooden floors and welcoming atmosphere. The fireplace in the main room gives you cozy and relaxed vibes and there is also a glass floor through which you can observe the cellar from 1840 with the huge but cute rat John. Don’t worry the pet is not real but a funny addition to the original cellar.

Cute rat John

There are other options in terms of dining rooms like the bright area next to the main room. The glass ceiling lets in plenty of sunshine to lighten the space. Another one is the Historic Dining room designed in traditional royal, earthy green colours, surrounded by Wellington’s historic photos. And that’s not all, if you are curious and follow the stair up there are more of extraordinary rooms. Furthermore there is a smoker friendly balcony where you can get some fresh and not so fresh air. What is definitely impressive is the fact that there are original newspapers from the 1930’ies and 40’ies with significant milestones in our history. It’s also possible to book a short tour and to get more interesting facts about the iconic pub.

Historic Dining Room

But let’s talk about the crucial reason why I went there: Food. The Thistle Inn offers a great range of choices on their menu, supplemented by various beverages and daily special offers. The menu doesn’t contain too many dishes, but all of them will satisfy every guest. It’s an interesting mix of old pub food like fish and chips and pork scratchings combined with a fine and exclusive cuisine. From the very beginning you get a fancy glass of lightly sparkling water with a slice of cucumber and lemon. Waiters always keep an eye out to make sure your glass full, so you are constantly hydrated.

Bar area & handsome man

We started our delicious journey with the Duck Liver Paté $16. Our order was served promptly and the size of a portion could make a group of 3-4 people happy. The texture and flavours of the paté were on point, the bread was fresh and crispy. Loved this signature dish!

Duck Liver Paté $16

We were suggested to try the soup of the day with potatoes, leak and truffle oil $15 and the Monk fish, prawn brochettes, tomato linguini, capers, pecorino $26. Shortly after the paté we could observe the descent sizes of the plates filled with delightful creations in front of us. The hearty and warming soup was a thick creamy puree loaded with incredible flavors. Doubtlessly a must try at the Thistle Inn. The fresh soup recipes change every 3-4 days but if that one was so amazing I’m curious how the others would taste?

soup of the day with potatoes, leak and truffle oil $15 and Monk fish, prawn brochettes, tomato linguini, capers, pecorino $26

You can’t do anything wrong if you order pasta, especially the one that we’ve tried: linguini served in sweet tomato sauce combined with refreshing but not penetrant herbs. Decorated with chunky and savory pieces of white monk fish and huge prawns skewers covered with big slices of pecorino. The dish is not only picturesque for your eyes but mind-blowing on your tongue. It was hard for me to resist and not to steal some mouthwatering prawns coated in red sauce and exclusive cheese. I would recommend both dishes to everyone!

Apple & Blackberry crumble, vanilla bean gelato $14

After our mains we needed some time to digest the food and all the exciting impressions for our senses. And because our motto is YOLO, we needed to try a dessert. We decided to share one, because there was almost no space left in the stomach. Our choice fell on the Apple & Blackberry crumble, vanilla bean gelato $14. If you love refreshing and scrumptious pies that would be the winner.

Date & Apple Chutney

My partner and I were celebrating our 2 year anniversary of being happily together (cheesy, right?) and the restaurant staff knew that. As a gift from them we received their house-made Date & Apple Chutney. Super cute and also delicious afterwards! You can purchase them in the establishment for $6. An interesting and healthy mix!

 

All in one I adore this place and would recommend to enjoy food or drink at the Thistle Inn. It’s a great spot for a date or to enjoy and unwind after work, just make sure you reserve a table for dinner. This place can get crowded and busy in the evening with a nice mix of young and mature guests.

 

Great products of New Zealand

In winter time when the days are short and grey, the weather is not spoiling us with the warm sun, it’s pretty common for all of us to experience the “winter blues”. Less daylight and warm sunshine plus cold temperatures usually have us spend more time cooped up indoors. Our mood starts to fall as fast as the thermometer and unfortunately to have a sunny vacation under the palms is not always an option. The good news is that there are several things that can help you improve your mood, health and energy levels!

Start your day right!

Sounds simple but we all know the way you start the morning can affect your whole day. If you learn how to start your day right it will significantly increase your chances of having a satisfying, productive day! I know it’s hard enough to wake up in the early and dark morning but try to start your day with a boost of energy from a refreshing shower. When life gives you lemons you make handcrafted scrub out of it: Aio Sugar Scrub Lemon. This magic mixture of coconut, olive, almond and rosehip oils that I found on cherrusnz.com will boost your circulation in the morning, get your blood flowing and wakes you up quicker.

You don’t want to carry sleep on your face the whole day so definitely use Astral Collective Zen Activated Sponge. I love that cheeky little sponge because it contains only two ingredients: activated charcoal and konnyaku potato fibre but gives my skin a clean and healthy feeling in just 1 minute! Another deep cleanse alternative is Astral Collective Detox Face Mask although I’m impatient and prefer to use that one in the evening so I can lay down and wait until it’s dry. Nevertheless 1 spoon of this powder mixed with a bit of water works miracles! Oh yeah and the packaging is tiny and cute!

Moisturising your skin is an important part of every bath ritual especially during the cold days. Worth to mention that showers shouldn’t be hot either: The more heat, the more moisture is drawn from your skin. It’s hard to find good face creams, prices and brands don’t mean good quality nowadays. I doubtlessly recommend natural-derived Oxygen Refreshing Moisturiser and Tribeca Glow , it just depends whether you prefer oil or cream.

After your beautiful morning routine leave your house with the perfect smile! I’ve tried the new natural and cruelty-free Zoo Natural Teeth Whitener to whiten and polish teeth. I really liked the result. I need to inform you though, it won’t work immediately but if you use it every day you will notice the difference! It’s a bit of a messy procedure but will definitely give you that million dollar smile!

A smoothie a day keeps the doctor away!

During the winter, it’s especially important to get your daily dose of fruits and veggies to help maintain a strong immune system to battle all the colds and flu’s going around. Blended smoothies are an efficient way to pack a ton of nutrition into glass. Nevertheless we don’t always have time to search for various recipes and buy fresh products in our busy lifestyle. Blend it Raw makes it very easy to be healthy and save some shopping time with their idea to deliver chilltainers filled with ingredients for 10 portioned servings direct to your home. They offer free shipping, everything that they send is recyclable and there are 3 new recipes every week! With the exact amount of products you won’t experience any waste. The amazing aspect about Blend it Raw – recipes is that they describe why the ingredients of each smoothie are important for you. Additionally it’s easy to follow them: Just throw the mentioned ingredients into the blender and Voila! The energy booster in your glass is ready! It’s the most effortless and effective way to stay healthy, energetic and avoid to gain weight during those cozy peckish winter nights at home.

P.S. Worth to mention, they regularly publish new delightful smoothie recipes on their website!

Relax. Soak. Unwind.

The best escape from the rainy cold weather is by soaking in a hot bath and relax that winter blues away. You don’t have to go to a pricey spa, you can have the same luxurious experience in your own home and without spending a fortune. You just need to possess a bath and visit the beautiful website donoharm.com . There you can find various natural and cruelty-free products for affordable prices. Try Anoint Coconut Bath Milk and immerse into an exotic heaven with the smell of coconut and essential oils. And the way the bottle with the cork lid looks is adorable!

Winter times can also cause dry scalp and slows the growth of your hair. But where there are problems, there are solutions! I’ve discovered Essential Scalp Spray which helps to support hair growth and scalp circulation. It also contains Lavender oil that helps to alleviate dryness and inflammation. It’s simple to use, just spray it directly onto the scalp, there is no need to wash it out. You can use it daily, it’s up to you! Furthermore all us girls want is for our hair to grow fast and strong even if it’s not winter!

Future mummies need to take even more care of their skin because of going through the big changes. There is a great range of numerous oils and creams to prevent stretch marks and relieve the feelings of itchiness. One of them is Mother to be Body Oil which is 100% natural and it’s safe for mother and baby. For just $30 you will receive an amazing mix of almond, avocado, wheat, lavender and carrot oils that you need to massage into your skin once a day.

The success lies in taking care of your beautiful body!

Best time for a tea party!

What is a better way to spend a cold winter afternoon than enjoying a cup of delightful tea with your favorite friends? Especially during this winter season’s relentless low temperatures that leave you frozen to the bone. There’s no solution more immediate and enjoyable than a hot cup of good tea. You can surprise yourself and your cherished ones with the Himalayan experience from Nepal. It’s ideal for black and green tea lovers who enjoy rich and strong flavors. I’ve ordered the 10 gram tasters from Tea House and found my favorite one: Ruby Black.

Experience some luxury

With time our skin gets thinner and dryer, furthermore it’s getting more susceptible to damage through the cold temperatures and wind. Especially the area around our eyes is very sensitive to surroundings and different lifestyle habits. We all know that eyes are the windows to our soul, that’s why we need to keep them happy and vibrant! Saintsco Bee Venom Eye Cream is my favourite at the moment. I prefer to put on eye cream in the evening because it’s easier to apply my make up on the next day: No panda eyes after using mascara. Most eye creams made my eyes look swollen the next day but not Saintsco . It’s quickly absorbed by the skin, additionally it tightens and lifts the eye area. Great anti-aging and moisturizer.

And again regular moisturizing is definitely good to prevent any unwanted conditions such as dryness and wrinkles during the colder periods. I discovered the unique Saintsco Bee Venom Mask and was amazed what it’s done to my skin. I have a normal skin type and use it just once a day in the evening and it makes my skin soft and healthy. It contains bee venom that’s known as as a painless alternative to botox, that means no needles needed to look beautiful and fresh! Nevertheless some people might be allergic to bee stings, just make sure that you are not one of them if you want to experience wonders of Saintsco.

Another Sainsco product that I adore is Bee Venom Lip Plumper . Surprise, surprise it makes your lips bigger in a natural way! The bee venom will give you a bit of tingling feeling in the beginning but it takes just 2-3 minutes and as a result you will have voluptuous lips. The combination of  manuka honey and shea butter will nourish and soften the lips. Furthermore it’s possible to wear it under your lipstick!

When it comes to keeping the skin look young, no beauty ingredient does a better job than two of my beloved Saintsco products: Saintsco Bee Venom 24ct Gold Serum and Bee Venom & Stem Cell Super Protein Essense with 24ct Gold. In the winter and for those who are working indoors where the skin is under the influence of conditioned air all the time moisturizing and hydration are essential. Both of these incredible products are suitable for all skin types and help you to combat the signs of aging. Serum helps to increase blood circulation, soften your skin and gives a bit of a shiny effect because of the gold powder in it. It’s a marvelous way to spoil yourself and boost elasticity, correct skin, reduce wrinkles and emphasize your youthful appearance. Furthermore all products are from New Zealand and it contains 100% pure natural bee venom. Definitely a winter must have!

Stay warm and cozy!

While winter is spreading it’s cold all over the country, we instinctly feel an urge to create our warm nests during the season. The sheepskins are the best way to give that feeling both visually and sensually by their soft surface. Did you know research reported that sheepskin has a soothing, swaddling effect that can result in better sleep, reduced stress and improved weight gain. Furthermore you can use them  in different ways by lining the chairs, covering the beds, placing onto the floors or just using them as throws at any place easily. Or just get some warm and soft slippers to keep your feet warm throughout any bad season times!

Give a gift!

During the cold temperatures it’s important to take care of your beloved one. And who has the tendency to forget about essential daily procedures? Right, men! The best way to solve that problem is to surprise him with great products. Furthermore giving presents to others stimulates feelings of kindness, compassion and love. I would suggest Mens Refreshing Pack from KDone. It’s all made in New Zealand and includes shaving gel, aftershave balm, body wash, aluminium free deodorant and lip balm. The products may have a bit of a specific smell, it’s because they are 100% natural and don’t have added fragrances that cause sensitizing and other negative skin reactions. You will be positive surprised about the result and smoothness of your partner’s skin! Additionally it’s packed into a useful travel bag that can be used if you want to escape cold weather and fly away to a sunny paradise.

You need effective travel products for yourself as well? No worries, here is a lovely Skincare Pack with moisturizing goodies. Facial cleanser with the refreshing smell of lemongrass is perfect to remove make up and clean your face. There are two different types of moisturizers: light hydrating and rich& intensive for mature skin, it’s also great to use as a night cream. Last but not least; Hand & Body cream to spoil your skin with avocado oil and vitamin E.

My two other winter must-haves from Kareen Holland’s collection are Foot Balm and Peppermint Shampoo. We tend to forget about our feet in the cold season because they are covered most of the time. But wearing shoes the whole day will cause dry skin and other discomforting reactions. It’s crucial to use foot balm rich in effective hydration and moisturizing. KDone’s with avocado oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and other essential oils is doubtlessly one of these! Use it over night and you will wake up with baby skin on your feet.

As I mentioned before dry scalp is another unpleasant issue that winter can bring. And while it’s not snowing on the North Island, you won’t be able to get away with the “Snowflakes in my hair” joke. Most of the shampoos nowadays contain numerous amount of harmful ingredients, KDone Peppermint Shampoo is absolutely natural. It will sooth your scalp, stimulate blood circulation and makes your hair pretty! It’s undeniably worth the money!

Just Be Natural with soaps!

As I mentioned the seasonal attack of biting wind on our skin and hair leaves us with a dry and uncomfortable feeling. The keys to radiant skin in the winter time are using natural products that work with your skin’s own oil-producing system, protecting skin (and hair) from the harsh elements. I discovered New Zealand’s Be Natural soap products and was amazed by the great results you can reach with it!

Facial skin is sensitive and delicate, but takes quite a beating in terms of exposure to weather, chemicals and other external influences. Furthermore we forget that cleaning our makeup brushes regularly is important. Not only will it get rid of bad bacteria, but it will also prevent your makeup colors from getting mixed. That’s why Make Up Brush Cleaner is one of my favorites. Afterwards you can use Be Clean – Honey, Oat And Almond Face Soap For a gentle, natural cleansing use. It smells like caramel and can be also used as a baby soap, body soap and is  fantastic for men’s shaving.

Be Silky is an organic shampoo bar with Rosemary and Eucalyptus. I’ve never used solid shampoo before and to be honest I was skeptical. But the results are amazing, my hair smells good and it looks shiny and healthy! What else do you need?

Online you can find various soaps which will make every beauty junky happy and excited. They are all just $8!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wellington Food Show

Wellington is famous for it’s culinary creativity and constant development of new delicious recipes. But on the 26th – 28th of May at Westpac stadium it will surprise us with an amazing exhibition “The Wellington Food Show”. It means all courages foodies can come to taste and purchase various local and international delicacies.

Numerous exhibitors will spoil visitors with sumptuous cheeses, grass fed Angus beef, handmade dumplings, deluxe chocolate, ice cream and many other healthy and high quality products. I already had an opportunity to taste some of the products like “West Coast Cocoa” Dark Deluxe Hot Chocolate. Just one spoonful of this delicious powder, including a lower amount of sugar mixed with hot milk will keep you warm and happy for the whole winter! Another item that surprised me with it’s great taste is the pure and raw wildflower honey from J.Friend and Co. This honey is very rich in fresh floral and fruity citrus flavours. So I’m looking forward to see what else will expect us at The Wellington Food Show.

The highlight of The Wellington Food Show will be the cooking theatre where culinary stars will demonstrate magic in the kitchen featuring cook Annabel Langbein, Simon Gault, Annabelle White (looks like the name Annabelle is blessed to be a great cooker), Michael Van de Elzen etc. So we all can learn tips and tricks how to prepare delightful and mouth watering meals at home.

There is no fun without liquid beverages like coffee or craft beers. This is another highlight to expect: a variety of brewers, wineries and more! So you see you on one of these days at Westpac Stadium tasting one of the nourishing or handmade treats.

Visiting Vienna, Austria like a local

Vienna is a historical gem of Europe, spoiling it’s locals and tourists alike with an infinite amount of must-visit spots. Everyone can find his or her perfect piece of the Austrian capital no matter what kind of affinities or preferences you have. It’s rich culture, stunning historical and modern architecture, delightful food and incredible coffeehouses will satisfy all categories of people, from easy-going students to snobbish bankers.

I would probably be the main competitor of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” trilogy if I would try to mention all beautiful sights and places in Vienna. Furthermore the city is constantly growing creating a harmonious composition of ancient and modern times. Nevertheless there is no need to write about everything, in my opinion you should discover Austria’s largest city by yourself. Anyway here is my list of significant places to visit in the city, that I once called home for over three years.

Paradise for shopaholics in the heart of Vienna

The city centre of Vienna is stunning and full of surprises. It is pedestrian friendly, easy to overview because of it’s compact size and also full with historical treasures. The main monument of the Old Town is St. Stephan’s Cathedral, in which Mozart was married in 1782. The oldest parts of that impressive building dates back to the 13th century. It presents an ensemble of different eras like Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. Take your time and definitely visit the iconic St. Stephan’s Cathedral.

St. Stepehens Cathedral

St. Stephan’s Cathedral of Vienna

Other than admiring historical gems of the city while strolling through the beautiful streets you can also discover amazing boutiques. Shopping is a pleasure in Vienna: From well-known until exclusive brands, in local shops you will find everything what your shopaholic heart could only wish for and your wallet would be afraid of!

Shopping streets of Vienna

After walking through the Kärntner Strasse, the time has come to taste the legendary Sacher Torte, traditional chocolate cake with apricot jam. The most famous place to try this sweet desire is in the Sacher Hotel. It will undoubtedly be a memorable experience, pleasant for the eyes and delightful for all your other senses.

Sacher Hotel where you can find the delicious Sacher Torte

As you may know, Vienna is the world’s music capital. Numerous famous composers have lived in and been inspired by Austria’s capital. That’s why it’s a must to observe the Vienna State Opera from outside and inside. If you have an opportunity to see one of the performances, don’t hesitate and cultivate yourself! Constructed in 1869 till present time, it has survived through great European political changes and remains as a proud symbol of Vienna’s impressive history.

Vienna State Opera

Schönbrunn Palace, Sisi’s modest summer house

Schönbrunn Garden, Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace, built in the 1740s  and remodeled throughout the times, it is one of the main attractions in Vienna. The Baroque palace is famous for it’s magnitude, impressive interior and stunning garden. It used to be the summer residence of the eccentric Queen Elisabeth also known as Sisi and her husband Franz Joseph. The majority of the world admired the wild Bavarian girl Sissi but not many know that she was an egoistical person, who loved beautiful women and lead her son to commit suicide. She had passion for traveling which she proved in her anchor shaped tattoo on her shoulder. Additionally she had often asked her attendants to tie her to a fixed chair on the main deck of the ship during heavy storms. She was also obsessed with her appearance and suffered of anorexia, but she was proud of her 50cm waist. A unique person this Queen!

The view of the Schönbrunn palace and garden

Schönbrunn palace is definitely an ideal getaway from the busy city. Take your time and explore the various green gardens and the lookout on the opposite side of the main palace. Have a sit on one of the benches and enjoy the spectacular view of the palace and garden.

Delightful Coffee Houses of Vienna

Vienna’s culture is also famous for its coffeehouses and wineries. A Typical Viennese coffeehouse is “where time and space is consumed, but only coffee is found on the bill.” You will easily find people sitting for hours alone with a cup of coffee or a glass of delicious wine reading a book, writing or chatting with friends. There are plenty of charming coffee places in Vienna but here are some of my favourites. Wienerin, the rustic and chic ambiance in the heart of the city seduces it’s guests with traditional Viennese culinary served in an exclusive way with savory wines.

http://www.vienna.at , Café Liebling in Vienna

Hipsters love Cafe Liebling, famous for it’s minimalistic furniture design and sumptuous breakfasts. Located close to the U-Bahn Station Neubaugasse it’s easy to miss this place if you’ve never heard about it’s existence. That makes it even more interesting, doesn’t it?

Another simple coffee house but with a great attitude is Cafe Europa, hiding on the streets of Zollergasse. It’s a cozy place with cool lounge music, which is also an ideal hideaway on rainy days, when you can curl up in one of the window seats and watch the rain drops racing on the window glass. The food is a great treat and prices are more than acceptable. A great spot to try a Viennese coffee melange!

The tempting Naschmarkt

All curious foodies should visit this market, A crucial hot spot since the 16th century, and stroll through the fresh fruits and vegetables from around the world, meat, seafood, exotic herbs, cheese and baked goods. If you walk through the market, which is stone’s throw away from the center of the city, once you won’t be hungry anymore, because from every side you will be seduced by little tasters. The amazing fact about Naschmarkt is it’s very multi-cultural and you can savour any kind of ethnic meal that your foodie soul could wish for!

The vivid hot spot of MQ

Empty at the moment but full during the warm seasons MuseumsQuartier of Vienna

The abbreviation MQ stays for MuseumsQuartier, a lively and creative urban courtyard surrounded by historic building from the 18th century and contemporary museums like Leopold Museum, MUMOK and Kunsthalle Wien. This great outdoor area offers restaurants, cafes and little shops. This place never sleeps, the cultural activities and events, performances entertain it’s visitors throughout the year. From young to old, everyone loves to hang out in this area and enjoy the relaxing, artistic vibes. My advice; have an opulent breakfast at Leopold cafe, you will be impressed!

The unique art of Hundertwasser

Architecture of Hundertwasser in Vienna

Hundertwasser is an iconic Austrian artist and architect of 20th century, known for his affection for intense, radiant colours. If you want to see something surrealistic and breathtaking then you doubtlessly need to visit Hundertwasser Village and explore the surroundings. You will be surprised by how different it is from the rest of Vienna: the playful and rich colours and the shapeless forms protesting against rationalism in architecture. You can admire Hundertwasser’s rebellious art at the metro station Spittelau, where he designed the waste incinerator and power station. My advice is to visit Kunst Haus Wien, which is further from the city center, however the architectonic highlight of the European gem.

The irresistible fancy bars and dining spots

Vienna is an incredible city to experience world class culinary and gourmet restaurants. It’s famous for it’s traditional Austrian kitchen and sophisticated international fusion. Both are food contrasts to be treasured in the capital of Austria. A classic of Viennese fancy kitchen and highlight for visiting Vienna is Plachutta Wollzeile. It offers a friendly service, phenomenal dishes and undoubtedly a memorable experience.

graben30.at , Vienna

graben30.at , Vienna

Another bar-restaurant-miracle of Vienna is the gorgeous Graben30 in the heart of the city. The mesmerizing interior design of a modern and old-fashioned artistic style with a touch of industrial-urban is the place to be. It’s a fantastic place to have breakfast, dinner or experience a fancy way of clubbing. Furthermore Instagram-Junkies will be spoiled with opportunities to take outstanding pictures.

One more hidden jewel with a panoramic view of the magnificent Stephansdom is Onyx Bar, located on the 6th floor of the Haas House.  This small but chic bar offers an exquisite cocktail menu and delicious cakes. Politicians, celebrities and just beautiful smartly dressed people are the main guests of this charming place. Don’t miss it!

 

 

 

 

Dine out in Wellington’s trendy restaurant Foxglove

This Christmas we were wondering where to celebrate one of the most important holidays of the year. We were searching for something extravagant and unique. Wellington’s restaurants have a tendency to be very casual and ignore the etiquette of fine dining, but lucky us we discovered exclusive place, Foxglove Bar & Kitchen, in the ideal location: the heart of Wellington’s Queens Wharf. Nevertheless everyone is welcome and prices are acceptable as it may not initially seem so.

Mesmerizing design of Foxglove

Foxglove is all about mesmerizing design spread across two spacious levels. The bar and restaurant have a gorgeous vintage glamour look with it’s oversized couches and armchairs, an intimate corner with an open fireplace and a wall decorated with hunting trophies. Animal lovers shouldn’t be worried, because these trophies are not real but purely esthetic creations. Somehow you feel like being in a modern museum or Narnia, walking through the majestic wardrobe and exploring every square inch of Foxglove. The great and relaxing atmosphere is emphasized by friendly, discrete and thoroughly professional waiters and bartenders, who would love to help you with any request.

Trophies on the wall of Foxglove

Foxglove offers it’s guests the opportunity to enjoy Wellington’s rare sunny weather and ceaseless stunning view of the harbour on it’s deck. This is where we decided to clink our glasses to the Christmas spirit. The cocktail menu may appear short but here is an fondness for quality, not quantity. The presentation, size and taste of the cocktails is delightful for the surprisingly good price of $12.

Little Bourbon based cocktail and refreshing Spritzer

Little Bourbon based cocktail and refreshing Spritzer

Insider: On Thursday all cocktails cost just $10 and tap beer $7. So it’s a great opportunity to enjoy after work and have a lovely chat with your friends. 

Seared venison, baby spinach, toasted cashews, marinated olives, freekeh, blue cheese dressing, balsamic reduction $35

Seared venison, baby spinach, toasted cashews, marinated olives, freekeh, blue cheese dressing, balsamic reduction $35

Our main reason for visiting Foxglove was to try it’s mouthwatering menu, so we decided to proceed to the dining room on the ground floor to our booked table. The choice fell on seasonal and locally sourced dishes: Panfried salmon, coconut & chilli wild rice, bok choy, black sesame, seaweed salad, chilli sambal $31 accompanied with house salad side $7. And the Seared venison, baby spinach, toasted cashews, marinated olives, freekeh, blue cheese dressing, balsamic reduction $35 with hand cut fries $10. Both dishes left us speechless with big happy smiles on our faces. The salmon was juicy, fresh and not bathing in oil, which can happen pretty often with this kind of fish. The spicy sauce emphasized the meal’s savoriness. The meat was done on point keeping the red colour in the middle of every piece. Both dishes were not only rich in flavours but served in magnanimous portions. All in one it will keep every gourmet and foodie happily fulfilled.

Panfried salmon, coconut & chilli wild rice, bok choy, black sesame, seaweed salad, chilli sambal $3

Panfried salmon, coconut & chilli wild rice, bok choy, black sesame, seaweed salad, chilli sambal $31

Foxglove is definitely a marvelous place to impress your date or celebrate a special occasion. Withal, if the menu is too high priced in your opinion, Foxglove is still a great choice to come and have a coffee or delicious cocktail and enjoy the sweeping harbour view. So don’t forget to treat yourself sometimes!

Reach a coffee nirvana in Wellington’s Hangar

Wellington has been named as one of the top coffee destinations in the world. The thriving coffee culture has a long history dating back to the 1930’s and has become an important factor of this metropolis’ identity since then. On every corner of the city you will discover various coffee shops serving the great liquid energizer. There is a special one though which has respect for talented baristas, ethically produced and locally roasted coffee beans, The Hangar. You can have a lovely breakfast or brunch made from local, seasonal and organically produced ingredients.

The Hangar is located on 119 Dixon Street, in the heart of the city and it lets every customer experience it’s high quality Flight Coffee on a different level. The interior is rustic and industrial. The wooden decor and concrete block walls give the place an unfinished yet comfortable and cozy look, resembling an authentic coffee roastery. The busy but friendly staff is always happy to help you to get to know more about the extensive coffee menu and to find the perfect one for you.

Sumptuous warm brownie with yoghurt. Divine!

Sumptuous warm brownie with yoghurt. Divine!

The Hangar may seem as an ideal place for a quick and delicious takeaway for energy boosters but it’s doubtlessly more than that. I would suggest to take your time and confront yourself with the wide range of coffee options. The real coffee lovers or just the curious ones can widen their knowledge and order the Tasting Flights: You will be served with three cups of different coffee. All of them are from various countries, with different flavors and ways of processing. It’a an amazing opportunity to taste the diversity of the essence and to discuss it’s characteristics. My favourite is La Virginia from Colombia with it’s smooth berry taste. It’s the perfect start of the day!

Tasting Flight Coffee

Tasting Flight Coffee and sparkling water to neutralize your taste palette

I love the mentality of this place, they believe that brilliant coffee can come only from high quality raw beans. That’s why Flight Coffee operate their own small farm in Calarca, Colombia so they can work on perfecting their process and agronomic experiments. They also cooperate with other small farms like for example in Ethiopia or Kenya to support them and their environment and have a better view on the quality of the beans. So next time if you order their coffee or buy coffee beans you know that it’s done in a fair way by happy people. By the way if you want a fresh cup of this roasted perfection every morning within your own four walls, you can order it online and they will ship it to your home door for free! What a service, right?

Choose your favorite and try it home!

Choose your favorite coffee and try it at home!

Another incomparable experience at The Hangar is the cold shot of coffee served on rocks and extremely rich in flavors, carrying the name Cold Drip. It’s a fancy and complicated brewing method which takes 12-24 hours to prepare this quixotic drink. It’s refreshing, different and honestly it tastes like Whisky!

Coffee on rocks. Tasty 100% of power

Coffee on the rocks. Tasty 100% of power

The Hangar is definitely Wellington’s treasure and epitome for people who’s heart starts beating stronger for a coffee even before taking a sip of it. It’s always worth to visit the café, because you’ll be constantly surprised with new ideas like coffee cola. Sounds crazy, tastes indescribably good!

Hard to resist, Coffee Cola

Hard to resist, Coffee Cola

Visit a Dumpling Queen in Wellington’s House of Dumplings

Wellington is famous for it’s culinary variety and delicious food. On every street you will discover a cute café with tasty pastry, fancy restaurants with sumptuous food or quirky bars with a wide craft beer scene. But I will tell you about a real insider of the culinary capital, located on Taranaki Street in Te Aro, where everything is made with love and passion. It’s a pioneer of Wellington’s steamed and filled pieces of dough since 2012, House of Dumplings, which is owned and founded by Vicky, the Queen of Dumplings. It’s an ideal place for takeaways or a quick appetizing top quality lunch.

Scrumptious Meal Pack, $16.50

Scrumptious Meal Pack, $16.50

For those who have never heard about dumplings, it’s a small mass of leavened dough cooked by boiling or steaming. The most common dumplings are filled with meat or vegetables, but in the House of Dumplings you will find curious and mouth watering combinations of dumpling flavours. The easiest way to discover your individual favorite one is to try them all. In Vicky’s place you can order not only steamed but also pan fried dumplings, the Western version of Asian kitchen. I couldn’t pick just one ideal flavour, so here are my three winners:

Fried VS steamed

Fried VS steamed

  1. Crystal Prawn Garlic Chives, steamed – prawns are always delightful and if you mix them with sesame oil, pepper and garlic chives then you will reach culinary heaven.
  2. Japanese Six-Mushroom Dumplings, fried – the composition of six different types of mushrooms wrapped in carrot dough are just too tempting.
  3. Sweet Almond Dumplings – filled with a savory nutty mixture and served in a cute bowl, it’s something that I’ve never had before. If you are foodie, don’t hesitate to try them!
Sweet Almond Dumplings, $6 for 2

Sweet Almond Dumplings, $6 for 2

Vicky’s House of Dumplings won an NZ Food Award in year 2016 for her carefully handmade yummy doughs. The crucial secret of the tasty dumplings is using only local ingredients, natural flavors, spices and herbs. Another are the irresistible sauces: Mum’s Sauce and for the extremists, Chilli Oil, based on recipes handed down from generations. You can even purchase this liquid divinity in a bottle for 15$ or both of them for 25$. It’s a good deal, the only danger is you can get addicted to it.

NZ Food Award 2016

If you prefer to enjoy your dumplings inside your own four walls, you can buy a prepared frozen box of your favorite flavours directly in the shop or in various supermarkets, soon even in Countdown. For the street food lovers there is an opportunity to savor the steamed doughs on Cuba Street Market, Wellington Night Market and Harbourside Market. So there is no way to escape Vicky’s creations!

Addictive Mum’s Sauce

Last but not least you can learn how to make tasty dumplings with your own hands. Interactive and passionate foodies can have a private class. In a group of 15-20 people the dumpling queen herself will share her secrets and teach how to create a perfect masterpiece. If you don’t like to socialize you have the option to follow Vicky on Youtube.

Double Enjoyment

Double Enjoyment

Conclusion: if you like healthy, natural and satisfying food made with good vibes then House of Dumplings will be your number one spot!

Cute Interior of House of Dumplings

House of Dumplings´cute interior

The variety of craft beer in Wellington’s Crafters & Co

Everything started in 2014 when two brothers decided to surprise Wellington with a cafe where modern creativity embraces vintage. Nowadays Crafters & Co is a Wellington hidden pearl located on the corner of the Vivian and Victoria streets behind the colorful graffiti walls. Here it’s all about great vibes and outstanding service. The artistic wooden ceiling, maritime highlights, good music and detailed decoration fill the room with a cozy atmosphere. Moreover it’s a place where you will be spoiled with a choice of craft beers cold like the heart of your ex. And when finally the weather is good in Wellington you can take a seat outside and enjoy your drink under the sunlight. In the near future you can even relax on the rooftop of the bar.

Free Wi-Fi, great!

Ladies, who are not interested in beers can taste refreshing and delicious ciders, from Eddie’s Cider Co micro brewery which is located just next door. The curious ones can even taste samples to personally find out which is more enjoyable. There is also a unique variety of wine and spirits, so no one will have an empty glass.

Roses are red, Violets are blue, In Crafter & Co you can have a beer or two

Crafters & Co is an ideal place to catch up with a friend for a great coffee and delightful food. You can find everything for a small or big hunger, from sweet cookies until juicy burgers, all for a decent price. We had the crispy chicken waffle with baby spinach salad and salt and pepper squid with delightful wasabi mayo and tomato, capsicum and kiwi fruit salad. Both dishes didn’t just look appetizing but tasted excellent. Especially the unexpected combination of a salad on the side of the fried squid left me positively surprised.

Crispy chicken waffle with baby spinach salad

Crispy chicken waffle with baby spinach salad

Another wonder of this bar is that they offer happy hours every day from 4 – 6 pm with 2$ off on tap beer and house wines. So if you want to enjoy your afterwork away from the chaotic city or you just want to have an awesome beer for a lower price then it’s time to visit homely Crafters and Co. You feel like a house party would be a great idea then you can get your favorite take away bottles for 2$ off any day till 10pm.

Salt and pepper squid with wasabi mayo and tomato, capsicum and kiwi fruit salad

I’m looking forward to visit Crafters & Co again to try the seductive beer brownies served with peppermint anglaise and vanilla ice cream. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? So probably we’ll see each other there on a Sunday Sesh, when the happy hour is not just an hour but the whole day!

The cozy interior of the bar

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