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

Taipei

I popped over to Taipei for a night during my visit to Hong Kong. Taiwan has been on my bucket list for a long time, largely due to one reason: food.

I’ve been thinking of re-adopting vegetarianism, but I was in full carnivore mode when I went to Taiwan in February. The best way to experience Taiwan is by eating everything that’s put in front of you. It’s going to be delicious – and cheap!

I intended to eat my way through the whole city, but little me only managed to scratch the surface in the 36 hours I was there. However, I got overexcited and researched enough for a week’s worth of meals. So here’s a non-exhaustive list of places you need to eat at while you’re visiting Taipei.

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Bratislava

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!Bratislava Bratislava Bratislava Continue reading

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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Summer in London

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. St. Paul's London viewAfter 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

Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca

My Erasmus girlfriends and I have a bit of a tradition: we like going on trips for our birthdays.

For my last birthday we all met up in Amsterdam and the year before we went to Krakow. And now that we don’t live under the same roof anymore, it’s even more crucial to plan holidays where we can catch up, overdose on coffee and check off another place on our bucket lists.

Somehow it came up that we go to Palma de Mallorca for Nina‘s birthday. Palma was never on my must-visit list, but it should have been.

By going in the spring, we avoided the hoards of rowdy summer crowds and were able to admire the beauty of this Balearic island at leisure. Inspiring architecture, buzzing squares, delicious food, sea breeze and the company of my two darling friends: how was I not supposed to fall in love with Mallorca?

Palma de Mallorca streets
Before we get ahead of ourselves, the first order of business in Palma was celebrating Nina’s birthday.  Continue reading

Eat Pray Love: Bangalore

No, I haven’t pulled an Elizabeth Gilbert. But I have eaten a lot, prayed a little and loved every minute of my time in Bangalore.

I arrived here at the start of the week with a jam-packed schedule. Unfortunately, sight seeing was a very small bullet point on my agenda. I was researching my Masters thesis and reporting for a London-based publication. So, I was rushing from interview to meeting to event.

But, obviously, I found some time to get my tourist on.

Roop Gill
Bangalore – or Bengalaru – is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. It’s the third largest city in the country and an international IT hub. It has managed to acquire a couple of nicknames: Silicon Valley of India, Pub City of India, and Garden City of India. What it lacks in picturesque tourist sights, it makes up with its happening vibe, (relatively) progressive locals and an overwhelming number of dining, drinking and shopping options. Continue reading

Hobart: what the locals love

Two weekends ago I started working on my Aussie Bucket List and flew (even more) south to Tasmania. My home base for the next four days was Hobart, a cute city at the base of Mount Wellington and a good launch pad for many Tassie activities such as Port Arthur and MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). I travelled around the Huon Valley and checked MONA with my gracious hosts over the weekend, but on Monday, they all went to work so I was left with the ever-exciting challenge of exploring Hobart on my own.

My trusted Lonely Planet guidebook has less than two pages on things to do in Hobart, but after visiting over 20 countries in the last five years if there is one thing that I have learned it’s this: the best kept secrets never make it to guidebooks.

I started Hobart’s cultural exploration on Salamanca Place. I’d visited this restaurant-packed esplanade with my friends on an earlier evening and thought it would be a good idea to check it out during the day.

Hobart: Salamanca Place

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