Prague was the first European city I ever visited on my own. One summer, many years ago – when I was 18 – I did a travel writing course in Prague. It’s safe to say that I wouldn’t be a hobbyist travel blogger without that trip. But then again, Prague will turn anyone into a travel blogger.
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.
Bratislava may be called “Prague’s ugly sister”, but it’s certainly funner of the two siblings.
When I booked a trip to the Slovakian capital, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away by its natural beauty or historic architecture. My friends and I really just wanted to get out of London (and with Ryanair prices, a flight to Bratislava is equivalent of an expensive taxi ride on the weekend), and have a fun night out. I also selfishly wanted to up my country count. Long live the travel nerd in me! Continue reading
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.
It’s no secret that I love a good cup of coffee.
It’s also no secret that when it comes to cafes, Vienna has a special league of its own – the Viennese coffee house.
The Viennese coffee house culture is listed as “Intangible Cultural Heritage” as per UNESCO. It’s a concept I recently became familiar with my friend Melissa went to Marrakech and told me that the markets were listed as Intangible Cultural Heritage. While the more well-known concept of World Heritage sites refers to tangible – or touchable – buildings, monuments, places etc., this particular categories refers to song, music, drama… overall vibes that you can’t replicate elsewhere in the world.
And surely, I’ve never been to a coffee joint quite like the Viennese coffee house. I liked them right away, and went to several during my trip to Vienna. They all have different decors, moods, menus, but what remains the same is the hushed banter, the elegant service, melange on the menu and delicious cakes served with silverware.
The first coffee house we went to – literally within two hours of arriving in Vienna – was Cafe Hawelka. It was on the very top of my list for all the historical significance it boasts of – opened by Leopold Hawelka (who passed away in 2011 at the age of 100) in 1939, the interior of the establishment has been fully preserved, from its marble table tops to elegant lace curtains. I ordered my first Wiener Melange, literally translating to “Viennese blend.” It’s something I’d describe as a cross between a cappuccino and a latte. And I liked it!
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!
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.
Paris is always a good idea.
So naturally I decided to kick off my 2015 travels by revisiting Paree.
Fanny, my former classmate and old flatmate, now calls the French capital home, and was a lovely host during my short weekend stay, even succumbing to my request of visiting the ultra-touristy Montmarte.
Nothing beats a good Canadian summer. And my first English summer hammered the point home. The only way I made it through this summer without going back home was thanks to the constant influx of familiar faces that came to visit me in London. A visit from my parents followed by girlfriends coming to see me from Canada, Australia and parts of Europe made this summer in London quite a memorable one. And of course, London being so awesome helped a little bit. After showing all the guests around my favourite bits of London, I have become a semi-pro tour guide. That got me thinking, why not share my favourite spots with everyone? Continue reading