Saturday, 2 June 2018

MY TOP 3 FOOD MARKETS IN EAST LONDON


If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know by now I love food - my whole social life revolves around food: brunch, cake, lunch, dinner, drinks, you name it. 

If there is food, I am there. 

Living in London makes it so easy to want to try a different cafe every weekend, Instagram is flooded with food accounts about the best places to eat in the city. And you can’t say no to a mouth watering brunch that’s only a tube ride away. 

I have never been a market kind of girl. I like to sit down at a table and chat with my friends whilst we wait for our food and enjoy the nice decor. Also, London’s weather is not exactly ideal to walk around markets as you never know when it’s going to start raining, hailing or snowing. 

However, since the weather has been so lush recently I have been spending most of my time outdoors. When it’s sunny and warm in London, it is a sin to stay inside. That means, I have been exploring more markets and ditching the Instagrammable overpriced cafes in West London for the equally overpriced food markets in East London. So I thought it was only fair to share y favourite ones

GREENWICH MARKET


I quite literally stumbled upon this market a few weeks ago when I was walking around Greenwich - I had no idea there was a market there, let alone one that sold food. I had a Mexican empanada and a delish iced latte for lunch, which I totally recommend. They also had a great selection of desserts, from refreshing watermelon juice to rich and dense brownies. I tried some Jamaican dessert made with coconut (I wish I could remember what it was!) which was so good! 

VICTORIA PARK MARKET


Okay, if you like cheese and live in London - you have to go to the food market in Victoria Park and try the grilled cheese from Meltsmiths - it is the best thing I have ever tried. It comes with onion jam, which at first I wasn’t too sure about, but oh my actual god it goes so well with the cheese and it is just so incredibly good. No words can explain how good it is, you just have to try it. 

I also had a cheesecake brownie which was fab, and I definitely want to go back and try the giant cookies and the red velvet cake. 


OLD SPITAFIELDS MARKET


One word: pizza. They have the best pizza in London, in my opinion, in London. You do have to wait for a bit as there is usually a small queue but it is so worth it! They also have really good baklava, which is one of my favourite dessert, so I always have to have it when I am around there. 

I do think this market is very hyped up, but if you want good pizza or good baklava definitley worth a visit! 

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Saturday, 26 May 2018

THE 3 BAGS THAT YOU NEED THIS SUMMER


There are two things I love: bags and shoes. No girl can ever have enough of these, especially bags. You need one for every occasion - going to work, school, lunch, dinner, a walk in the park, a party... finding the right bag is a real struggle. Which is probably why I always end up buying a new one every time I go shopping, you never know when it's going to come in handy.

About 90% of my wardrobe is black, and this include my bags. You know, black is great - it goes with pretty much everything, it looks classy and it's hard to mess it up. However, with the weather finally getting better I am trying to make my outfits slightly less dark. I love adding a yellow or a red bag to an otherwise very basic outfit.

I recently came across a website called Attavanti, which is basically bag heaven. They are a UK based online shop that sell the most beautiful Italian leather bags. They have so many different styles, you will definitley find something for you!



Whenever it's sunny and warm in the UK (which has been very often recently), I like the get out of my house as early as possible and come back as late as possible. So I want a bag that is easy to carry and that can fit some of my essentials, like a water bottle, a light jacket (you can never trust the English weather) and whatever else is needed that day. And guys, I think I've found it. Their Arcadia Backpack in light blue leather is to die for. It has been on my wishlist for weeks now, so I think the time to make the move and buy it has finally come.

Another backpack that I have been dying to get my hands on is this super cute black backpack. I know I have just said I was trying to stay away from black but, I don't currently own any back packs, so I need to go for the basics too...

I think the main takeaway from this post is that I really need to go bag shopping. But honestly, if you're trying to find a good-quality bag for the summer, you should check out Attavanti!


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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

TRAVEL GUIDE: A DAY IN SALZBURG


Walking around Salzburg was literally like walking around a made up town from and old Disney movie.  Think little boutiques, beautiful little houses, narrow streets and stunning architecture in general. 

It is a pretty small town, so one day is more than enough. We took a train in the morning from Vienna and two hours later we arrived to Salzburg, the place where Mozart was born many years ago. Tickets are not too expensive, we bought them the night before and paid around 40€ so I imagine if you buy them in advance they will be even cheaper.




The first thing we did is walk from the train station to a park/hill called Kapuzineberg. The walk took around one hour (including time for photos...), around 15 min to reach the entrance of the park and 45 min to reach the top. Whilst it is uphill all the time, it is very easy and you don't even need to wear trainers. You get a really nice view of Salzburg on the way and loads of photos opportunities and you know, you gotta get those 10,0000 daily steps in. It is definitely worth it! 

Then we went to the Old Town which was absolutely breathtaking. To be honest, there is not much to do other than walk around, enjoy the cute buildings and indulge in some creamy ice cream. So that's what we did, soaking up the sun. 

Mozart's house is also a must-see, we decided not to go in because, as much as I love Mozart and his music, I didn't really feel like paying to see his piano or his bedroom. But you do you.



Before going back to Vienna, we went to the Mirabell Palace and Gardens which were the most stunning gardens I have ever seen, and I am not exaggerating. If you walk through the gardens and then go up the stairs at the end, you will get a breathtaking view of the gardens, the palace and Salzburg's castle in the distance. It genuinely looks like you are in a movie set. We spent a good hour or so just sitting and enjoying the view - wondering what we had done to deserve something so beautiful. 

Finally, we made our way back to Vienna and had a quiet evening to re-charge for another day of exploring.
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Thursday, 10 May 2018

TRAVEL GUIDE: A WEEKEND IN VIENNA


If you ever want to feel like a princess, go to Vienna. 

About two weeks ago my friend and I decided to abandon London for the weekend and visit the beautiful city of Vienna. We timed it extremely well in terms of weather, as it was right after the heatwave when apparently it was rainy, cloudy and miserable in the UK. In the meantime, we were lucky enough to enjoy blue skies and 27˚C whilst drinking iced lattes and yummy pastries.

We left on Friday noon and got back on Monday afternoon. However, we spent the entire Sunday in Salzburg (a post about that to come very soon...) so we only spent about two full days in Vienna. Which turned out to be the perfect amount of time to visit everything without being rushed.


WHERE WE STAYED

Vienna is known to be quite an expensive city so I recommend you go for Airbnbs if you don't want to splash the cash. We stayed at a lovely apartment just outside the city centre, it was about 10 min away from the underground station (U-Bahn) and about a 20 min to the city centre. The host, Pietra, was super accommodating and helpful which is always a plus. 

This is obviously not sponsored by Aribnb (I wish lol) but if you are new to Airbnb use my personal link: www.airbnb.co.uk/c/ariadnam173 to get £25 off your first stay! Gotta love a good discount. 

WHAT WE DID & WHAT WE ATE

Vienna is the perfect city to simply walk around and enjoy the beautiful architecture and stunning parks. We arrived in the late afternoon on the Friday so we just dropped our stuff at the apartment and walked to the city centre, where the St. Stephen's Cathedral is. We then just wandered around and had a look at some shops and restaurants. 


We ended up having dinner at a really cute restaurant called Cafe Diglas. I had Viennese Goulash which was absolutely fabulous and also tried the famous Schnitzel (which is basically breaded pork) which was also really good. The restaurant had live music and a really great vibe, you should definitley check it out if you are int he city!

On Saturday we decided to have an early morning and go to the Naschmarkt to have breakfast, they have a wonderful selection of very exotic fruit, great pastries and looooads of baklava. We then walked to the Belvedere Palace, which was about 25 min away walking. This was the first palace we saw in Vienna and it was breathtaking - not only was the palace as majestuous and grand as you would expect but it also had breathtaking gardens with perfect flower arrangements, it even has a small lake.




We then went to a Middle Eastern restaurant in Naschmarkt called Neni. The food was great, and their hummus is simply delicious. However the food is quite heavy and I did feel a bit off for the rest of the day. So make sure you don't overeat if you go! After lunch we went to the famous Sofitel Hotel to have a couple of drinks with the city skyline as our backdrop, this was definitley one of the highlights of my holiday! 

After drinks we had a quick outfit change (gotta keep up with our Instagram) and went to the Hofburg Palace and walked around the surrounding gardens before heading to Cafe Central to have some cake and coffee. We had to queue for a bit, only about 5-10 min, but it was definitley worth it. The cafe was so elegant and beautiful, and they had a great selection of cakes. We had the Cafe Central Cake (orange chocolate cake with marzipan) and the apple strudel, both of which were pretty good. However, you are mostly paying for the venue and the environment rather than the food as it is just slightly above average. Definitley worth a visit though. 


On our way home we walked past the Vienna Opera House and, whilst it was too late to get last-minute tickets (which can be as cheap as 4€!!) they live streamed it outside so we watched it for a bit before going home.

We spent Sunday in Salzburg, I am going to write a separate post on that so stay tuned! 

The most famous palace in Vienna is the Shchonbrunn Palace, which we visited on Monday morning.  I have never seen such a massive and grand palace, probably only topped by Versailles. However, it turns out that if you don't book tickets in advance you will have to wait for literally 4 hours to be able to visit the inside of the palace. Nevertheless, you can still visit the surroundings and the gardens. 

We were SUPER unlucky and they were planting the flowers when we went...like I'm sorry but no just no I did not come all the way to Vienna to see a garden without flowers. Still pretty though. The gardens are massive and you can literally walk around there for hours.



And finaaally, we went to the Sacher Cafe. Literally a lifelong dream. I obviously had the Sacher Torte, which is essentially a chocolate cake with apricot jam in the middle, but better. Apparently the recipe is kept in a safe that only a few people have access to and it hasn't been changed since it was first invented. It is on the pricier side - 7€ per slice is a bit unreasonable, but treat yo' self.

And then sadly headed back to the airport and came back to good old England.

  
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