Italy Top Tips

Leave a Comment
Italian food is my favourite cuisine hands down, yet I'm not sure why it took me 28 years to get to Italy...

I went to the Amalfi Coast last summer and I often get DM's asking for tips, so I'm putting it all here for those hungry for an Italian adventure.



Positano has been a firm favourite on my Pinterest boards for quite some time, but as a classic virgo/hermit any where that is too busy and touristy makes me feel a bit on edge and impatient... I always crave an authentic experience, cue Vico Equense - A small town not too far from Sorrento and the port that will take you to all of the insta worthy locations dotted around the coast.


Vico Equense 

This is my ideal set up - a little town that's not chock-a-block with tourists that has cheap, local food and wine and hasn't lost it's local-ness yet. Some of  my favourite restaurants in Vico Equense were Pizza A Metro Da Gigino L'Università della Pizza - they serve pizza by the metre, Pizzeria da Franco - you sit on cheap white garden chairs and get served pizza on plastic throwaway plates but it's bloody delightful, and Ristorante Terramia - get their recommendations on dishes and wine, they really know their stuff.

In terms of day trips, sail this way hunnies...


I would highly recommend a trip to Capri, we got a boat which took us around the Blue Caves and gave us some time to jump off and get salty, then they dropped us off at Capri with a ham and cheese sandwich and gave us a couple of hours to explore. After a walk and a dip in the sea, find a frozen margarita by the port before jumping back on the boat for a sunset snooze in the sea air. 


Capri

You obviously have to go to Positano. It reminded me a little of Santorini in that it's so gorgeous but also so busy, with these types of places I like to go for a couple of hours, see what the hype is about, get a wine and be on my merry way back to a more local and quiet environment. If you're in search of a crisp glass of rose during your visit, I would highly recommend a visit to Le Sirenuse. I'm obsessed with hotels so I was in heaven here and that view was one of the best.


Le Sirenuse - Positano 

If you are a history nut you should definitely make the trip to Pompeii. We had a private tour guide which I would really recommend, he had all the goss  from back in the day that would have been completely missed if we just strolled around the place on our own. If you do head there, go early in the morning because it gets v busy, dusty and hot.



Ruins of Pompeii

Pizza buffs, this one is for you. I'm a beach girl at heart which is why we went straight to the coast but we had a couple of hours to kill before flying back to London so we went in search of the best pizza in Naples. Say hello to L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele - made famous from Eat, Pray, Love, it's supposedly the best pizza in Italy. As popular as it's become, they have stayed true to their roots. They serve one white pizza, one red pizza, one beer and that's it. You sit on a table with people you don't know and drink Peroni from a plastic cup. The walls are stained and the lighting is really bright but it's these experiences that make me feel all warm inside.


That's pure happiness right there

Tips:
  • Forget the fancy toppings, always order the Margherita. 
  • Don't rely on the Italians to make plans for you, they are the most relaxed people in the world. Urgency doesn't exist in Italy, so take a chill pill, make your own plans and just see where the day takes you. 
  • Never judge a pizza shop by it's cover. 
  • Always say yes to Lemoncello.
  • Always triple check what time the last boat leaves regardless of what it says on the ticket.
  • Whatever that coffee/slushy/ice cream thing is - have it. every day. twice.  
  • Always leave time to travel, they have timetables but they the transport just turns up when it turns up.
  • Always order the fresh tomato's at dinner.
  • Have gelato every day.


Godere

xxx

London's Best Pasta

Leave a Comment
For me, there is nothing better than being with your favourite person and sharing bowls of pasta, wine and dunking thick, squidgy sourdough into olive oil and burrata. If that sounds like your dream, I've found just the places for you:

1. Bancone, Covent Garden
My new, favourite restaurant in London. I stumbled across this by chance and managed to get a table late one Saturday evening. The pasta was honestly out of this world and every dish we had was seasoned and cooked to perfection. My absolute favourite has to be the Cacio e pepe with spaghetti ‘alla chitarra’. OH.MY.HEAVEN. and it's only £8.50 a bowl. I'll take 850 pls. 


Please note that is a huge Parmesan crisp.

2. Padella, London Bridge 

I've been to Padella so many times and I have fallen a little more in love with it each time, I adore everything about it. Although you're usually sat next to a stranger (only on one side...) it's still so intimate and as for the food, the menu is fairly small but hugely delicious. If you want to make your date fall in love with you, take them to Padella. I think there must be something in the wine but every night I've had here has been very special. Or maybe it's just because it's Padella and it's BLOODY FANTASTIC.



3. Pastaio, Soho
A very fun, buzzy vibe in here and any where that serves prosecco slushies is going to be a winner in my eyes. I know I'm raving about pasta here and trust me, it's one to rave about but I will say one thing: fried mozzarella, nduja & honey sandwich. You're welcome. 



and look at that, I even spread them across the city for you. 

Carb Diem. 

xxx

Lisbon Top Tips

1 comment
Ok, I understand the hype. This.City.Is.Amazing.

If you're heading to Lisbon to catch the last of the summer rays this is what I recommend.

To Eat:

Dear Breakfast
This is actually my idea of a dream brunch spot. Marble tables, pink menus, even pinker latte's and avocado galore. Imagine Grind, but better. 



 La Paparurcca 
This isn't just the best steak I had in Lisbon, this is the best steak I've ever had. If there is one place I would recommend for dinner it would be here. It's a little bit pricey compared to  a lot of the other little restaurants around BUT it's bloody fantastic. 



Time Out Market 
Heaven for foodies and an absolute must. 



The Mill
Give me any city and I will sniff out the #avotoast. As much as custard tarts and all things white and crusty for breakfast is dreamy, sometimes a girl just needs a scrambled egg. 



To Drink:

Sky Bar 
If you're after something a bit more fancy, head to Sky Bar at the top of the Tivoli Hotel. This is where you will find the men with tight chinos, perfectly gelled quiffs and bottles of rose. Very cool place for a pre/post dinner tipple. 

Park Bar
This leafy joint is on top of a car park and the vibe here is a lot more casual and beardy.  Order a 2 litre jug of sparkling sangria and watch the sun set over Lisbon.



The Old Pharmacy 
Make a stop of here before you go for dinner, have a browse of the menu but it's worth telling them what flavours you like and they will match you with the best glass of wine. Kind of like Tinder, but way better. You had me at Merlot.



By The Wine
This was my favourite bar in Lisbon. Order by the glass so you can try a few, get a cheese board and stay for a while. 



To do:

Beach day
It's worth scooting out on the train for some beach time. Cascais is a good shout but I preferred Carcavelos Beach (mainly because they had a bar overlooking the beach with the best frozen daiquiris...) SOLD.




Castelo De S. Jorge
Get your comfy shoes on and be prepared to get a bead on walking up to Castelo De S. Jorge. It's got gorgeous views of Lisbon and that much walking definitely deserves several beers once you reach the top. Remember you've got to get down though...



Explore on foot
Lisbon is a perfect place to get lost. You can wonder down little streets and find the cutest cafes and wine bars, and by night the streets are bouncing with young'uns necking pints of beer and green cocktails, it's GREAT. 



To Sleep:

I would suggest staying in Rossio Square, I found it was so central and within walking distance to all the fun things. I stayed in The Lift Boutique Hotel and it was the perfect location.




Lisbon, you might just be my new favourite city. 


xxx

Smoked and Uncut Festival

Leave a Comment
For me, there is actually nothing better than a day of sunshine, good food, live music and a couple of ice cold bevvies. 


 Last weekend I headed into the rolling green fields of New Forest for the Smoked and Uncut festival in association with The Pig. This was the 3rd of 4 festivals and it was a corker. 


The weather was glorious and so we kept very hydrated... Starting with Hop House 13, a crisp lager that goes down too well in the sunshine. The Chase, a bloody fantastic cocktail by the guys at Chase Distillery, multiple G&T's and some sips of Roe & Co whiskey. Who says whiskey is for winter?! 


I also had a cheeky visit to the fancy glamping area for a taste of Roe & Co, they had a wicked lock in lined up for the very special few that chose to camp, leaving them with whiskey filled bellies and the very best Irish memories to take home with them.


Cheers to that.

There is still one date left of Smoked and Uncut on the 28th July at The Pig at Combe and honestly couldn't recommend it more! 

You can book your tickets here: www.smokedanduncut.com


xxx

Australia Top Tips

Leave a Comment
I've just come back from the most incredible 3 weeks in Australia. Now that's a country that has their brunch all figured out. If you're heading Down Under any time soon, this is what I would suggest in Sydney and Melbourne.

Sydney

Brunch:
The Well in Bondi. I love how easy it is to eat well in Australia, you will find this gym/cafe right opposite Bondi beach, it's the perfect hideaway for when you start feeling crispy on the beach. I also used the gym here and it was class, the views are amazing and the Dyson hairdryers are even better.

Dinner:
Altitude at the Shangri-la. If you're looking to impress or simply love very, very good food then head here for fine dining and the best views of Sydney. They also have a bar on the same floor where you can sip on cocktails and feel fancy AF.



Drinks:
The Bucket List in Bondi. There is literally nothing better than boozing overlooking the beach, it's even better when it's Bondi Beach and it's full of hotties with surfboards.



To see:
The Bondi to Coogee walk is an absolute must. Take plenty of water, a bikini and a book for when you get to Coogee and make a day of it. Also don't forget to Instagram your pics of The Bondi Icebergs (below) to make all your friends at home jealous.



To do:
I did the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb and it was amazing, the views are incredible and you learn a lot of quirky facts about the Bridge and the city. Guess who knows how many rivets are in the Sydney Harbour Bridge? Me. (I can't actually remember now but I did know...)



To Stay: 
£££ - Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel - comfiest pillows in the world, a cracking breakfast and super close to the shopping district and the harbour where you will find the Bridge and the Opera House. 

£ - Bounce Hostel - cheap, clean, central and full of  fun people who want to get drunk. What more could you ask for?



Melbourne

Brunch:
Dr Jekyll in St Kilda. As you may already know, I love brunch and I have eaten a lot of them. Here is my advice: Pumpkin dumplings on avocado toast. 



Dinner:
If there is anywhere you go for dinner in Melbourne make it Lucy Liu. I recommend the tasting menu. You can get 5 or 7 courses and they surprise you with a selection of dishes. I am a sucker for a steamed bun and these were the best of the best.



Drinks:
Ponyfish Island. Drinking beer (or gin) on a boat overlooking the river? It's a yes from me. Always.

Coffee
St Kilda Dispensary. Popped in here to pick up my prescription. Biggest latte you can find please, Doc. The Aussie's know how to make a good cup of coffee and this was my favourite one. 



To See:
Melbourne reminded me a lot of East London, you can get lost down little graffiti laden streets for hours and stumble across hundreds of coffee shops and bars.



It really is the best place in the world.


xxx

Going Vegan at Pizza Express

1 comment
Pizza is one of my favourite things in life. For me, it's usually covered with pepperoni and smothered in cheese, so when Pizza Express invited me in to try their new vegan range that launched over summer, I was intrigued. I'm not vegan but I have played with the idea before, it's the cheese thing that gets me every time. Imagine a pizza without cheese....

WELL, Pizza Express has nailed the cheese dilemma for us worriers. 

A few of us gathered in the new, fancy Gloucester Road restaurant for a night of dough balls, vegan pizza making and wine drinking.



I have done one of the pizza making parties before and they are so fun! You get to make your pizza from scratch and put on as many toppings as you like, which naturally I did very well...



I packed mine with spinach, mushrooms, mixed peppers, jalapenos, onion chutney, those small little sweet peppers and vegan cheese. It's really crumbly but melts like a dream.

They spoke to us about the process of introducing vegan products to the menu and listening to how much work went into launching the range was amazing. The process took so long but they didn't want to rush launching something until it was flawless. 

So once being a chef was done, it was time to drink wine and tuck into our tasty creations. 





Being 100% honest, it's probably the best pizza I've had in a long time. I rarely go meat free when I go out for pizza but I was so impressed with this. 



and of course, after all things savoury, you need something sweet. I went for coconut sorbet that went down a treat. 


xxx

A Weekend in Ibiza

Leave a Comment
I have wanted to go to Ibiza since I discovered Scooter and vodka, but other holidays have always come up instead. Thanks to my bestie, Holly, and The Nudge London I finally got to go. Sign up to their newsletter here, they do the best giveaways! 

We flew out to Ibiza with Surf Air which was incredible. As soon as you arrive at the lounge your bags are whisked away and you are handed a glass of Champagne - something I could definitely get used to.



Once boarded, all you have to do is sit back and relax in the comfiest chair with a cold gin. Fine by me. 


When in Ibiza, here's what I recommend:

Friday

Glitterbox at Hi Ibiza.
You're looking at around 55 Euros to get in and 18 Euros for a G&T...BUT it's lot's of fun. It's huge in there with a couple of different rooms, there always tends to be a good DJ playing and you're guaranteed to get bum envy from the girls dancing on the podiums.

Dresscode: anything goes. 



Saturday

Ocean Beach
Do not be fooled by the pool because no one actually swims here. They just stand around the pool sipping on something cold, looking fabulous. Prices are from around 10 Euros to get in depending on what day it is (you can pre-book online) and around 9 Euros for a G&T. Put your lashes on and make a day of it.

Dresscode: TOWIE



Cafe Mambo

Make sure the Ibiza sunset is on your list, I reckon it's one of the best in the world. Cafe Mambo will get you the best seat in town, the atmosphere is spot on and really sums up Ibiza and why it's so special.

Dresscode: Heels wouldn't do so well on those rocks...




Pikes Hotel
End your evening here and expect to have the craziest night ever. I have vague memories of Wham! playing and donning a Sandy from Grease/Mozart style wig. We also had dinner here and it was delicious, make sure you order the fillet steak. 

Dresscode: Sparkles/wigs/fabulous




Sunday 

The day of recovery. Sit by the pool and sip on a cocktail or head to Pikes for the best roast in town. 



Ibiza, I've fallen a little in love with you.

xxx
Powered by Blogger.