Barcelona

To celebrate our friend Alex’s 30th birthday, half-a-plane-load of us went to Barcelona.

Ok, it was more like a dozen of us, but that’s still a testament to 1) Alex’s popularity and 2) Barcelona’s popularity. This seaside city is full of great architecture, beautiful views, and endless tapas bars, making it a world-class destination for merry-making.

But Barcelona doesn’t need any endorsements. In fact, the residents of Barcelona probably want people like me to stop raving about how amazing their city is. Barcelona is attempting to tamp down its tourist arrivals. Approximately 32 million visitors came to Barcelona last year, which is home to a mere 1.6 million. Continue reading

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Slovenia

To say that Slovenia is stunning, would be an understatement. The small central European country is often overlooked in comparison to it’s popular neighbours – Italy, Austria, Hungary and the Balkans. But, Slovenia borrows something from each of its neighbours making it a travel destination that suits every palette.

Outdoor pursuits and culinary delights are Slovenia’s biggest offering. It takes less than five hours to drive the length of this country, so our four-day road trip should have been plenty of time to thoroughly explore Slovenia. But, as the saying goes, don’t judge a country by it’s size. There is always another restaurant, another winery, another hiking trail to explore in this little gem of a country Continue reading

Bordeaux

Visiting Bordeaux during the off-peak season might sound controversial. After all, what does one do in the world’s wine capital if not drink wine and visit vineyards? Turns out, there’s plenty to do, see, eat and drink at any time of the year in this vibrant French city.

For starters, half the city is Unesco-listed. That makes it the world’s largest urban World Heritage Site. From stunning buildings to instagrammable cobblestone streets, Bordeaux is a sight for sore eyes. It’s charming, historic and romantic. We even stayed in a former castle right in the middle of the city centre.

Bordeaux Bordeaux Bordeaux BordeauxThen there’s obviously the wine. But more recently, a new wave of chefs is putting Bordeaux on France’s culinary map. For a city its size, Bordeaux’s gastronomic offering is impressive. Continue reading

Milan

I don’t understand why Milan gets a bad reputation. I’ve heard it being called industrial, dirty and uninteresting. A friend also once referred to it as “the Manchester of Italy”. If that’s the case, I’m looking forward to going up to Manchester because I had a fantastic weekend in Milan this month.

People usually go to Italy for good weather, history, food, and architecture. Milan ticks all those boxes along with being modern, prosperous, and a gateway to exploring northern Italian lakes.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele Milan Duomo Milan MilanWith less than 48 hours in Italy’s fashion capital – half of which was spent exploring the said northern lakes – we tried to pack as much as we could in a day, fuelled by coffee and Campari, of course.  Continue reading

Month in Toronto 

I came back home in the middle of February. I was told that Toronto was having a mild winter. Then I arrived and the city gave me a warm welcome of -30C weather and back-to-back snowstorms.

Toronto CN Tower Toronto downtown Toronto sign skatingWeather is never an excuse when you’re in Toronto. If you ever find yourself in my hometown in the winter months, just throw on some layers and start eating your way through the neighbourhoods. Continue reading

Chicago

Last minute trips end up being some of the best ones. Which is big of me to admit because trip-planning is half the fun for me. Notes, spreadsheets, Google Docs – I go the whole nine yards prepping for a trip.

But, this trip to Chicago was as sudden as it was fun.

michigan avenue chicago ChicagoTurns out that I am heading back to London after all (ignore everything I said in my last blog post). So, my best friend and I decided to use my last weekend in North America to visit our girlfriend in Chicago. We filled up the gas tank, drove across the border and followed the I-94 all the way to Chi-Town.

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Brick Lane

I’ve been a proud East Londoner for just over a year now. There’s nowhere else in London I would rather live than this eclectic melting pot. Co-inhabited by British Bangladeshis, latte-sipping hipster, code-punching techies, serial entrepreneurs, and everyone in London who has a beard, it’s a great place to call home.

Boutique shops and brunch spots aside, E1 has a rich and diverse culture. Walking the streets is one thing, learning about them is another. So last weekend, I did an Alternative London walking tour to learn a bit more about the history of the area. And also to get schooled in the awesome street art that Brick Lane and the neighbouring streets boast of.

Brick Lane Brick Lane Brick LaneWe walked all around Liverpool Street, Spitalfields and Shoreditch on the tour, but the next day I strolled back to Brick Lane with my camera. This single street exemplifies the diversity of E1.

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Caravan King’s X

Birthdays and brunches are two of my favourite things that begin with the letter ‘b’. So for The Burgundy Book‘s birthday (another favour ‘b’ letter thing), we – Cat, Bjorn (and yet another fav ‘b’) and I – took her to brunch at Caravan King’s Cross.

The original Caravan is a much smaller space in Exmouth Market, but this industrial looking massive restaurant is located in Granary Square, a short walk from King’s X station. Perfect meeting spot if your friends are traveling in from different parts of London!

Prepare to wait for about an hour to get a spot here for weekend brunch. And you know what I am going to say next: it’s totally worth the wait! Also if you are with your best friends, the 40-minute wait flies back as you sip on some coffees, gossip at a hundred miles per hour, and unwrap birthday presents.

Caravan Kings Cross Caravan Kings Cross Caravan Kings Cross

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Kopapa

Turkish eggs at Kopapa appear on one too many Best Brunch in London lists. So I was thrilled when Melissa scored a prime time reservation at the Covent Garden restaurant and asked me to join her.

The restaurant is located off Monmouth Street at the famous Seven Dials, a spot which continues to challenge my navigation skills to this day. But as soon as I made it there, I got trigger happy with my camera!

Kopapa Seven Dials Covent Garden Continue reading

Foxcroft & Ginger

We all have that one place in our neighbourhood that we walk past all the time and think to ourselves, “I should check it out one day.”

For me, it is was Foxcroft & Ginger. So when my flatmates mentioned that they were heading over there for Saturday brunch, I jumped on the bandwagon.

Foxcroft & GingerIt’s industrial decor, low-hanging lamps and free-flowing daylight make it a desirable spot for freelancers and loungers in the area. But all that is secondary to the stellar brunch menu.

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