All posts filed under: Food Thoughts

The Last Days of Rome | Day 2 ~ Part 2 of 2

We hit up all the touristy hotspots in the area, including the famous Trevi fountain, which had tourists overflowing from every crevice which was enough to send a girl running, and the Pantheon, which, although was packed with tourists too, was pretty damn amazing. The Pantheon is apparently the most preserved and influential building of ancient Rome, being a temple dedicated to all the gods of pagan Rome. The architecture is just extraordinary. Truly slap-you-in-the-face-fantastic. The front facade is like tour typical temple, build with large stone columns supporting a triangular top (sorry, I’m not much of an architectural-writer). As you walk through, a drum-like interior (the rotunda) engulfs you, the dome of which having a hole at the centre casting a beam of white daylight into itself. This dome, if it were to flipped upside down, would actually fit perfectly inside the rotunda. Luckily it’s free to enter and it’s incredible detail and design forgives the flocks of tourists that come to visit its interior. Pantheon… By this time I began to freak out …

Roman Rituals | Day 1 ~ Part 2 of 2

Mustering up all our leg strength, we left the former-arena and climbed up to Aventine Hill to reach Giardino degli Aranci – literally ‘Garden of Oranges’. This orange garden is a romantic and relaxing garden of fragrant orange trees, secluded in a square next to Basilica di Santa Sabina all’Aventino, also having a magnificent view of the city’s skyline. In the background, a trumpeter tooted the melody to ‘Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head’ as we strolled through the garden, admiring the serenity and landscape. A little further from the garden was ‘Il Buco de Roma’ (literally ‘The Hole of Rome’); this is basically a small keyhole in a large door, which when peeped through magically frames St Peter’s Basilica in the distance like this: Pretty cool huh? Well… it’s better in real life. The cloud had finally lifted and the sun bore down upon us as we descended Aventine Hill and made our way to see a pyramid. Yes, you heard me. Everyone knows of the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum and the Pantheon, but …

All Roads Lead to Rome | Day 1 ~ Part 1 of 2

We left a frosty, bitterly cold Budapest to arrive in a sunny, not-so-warm-either, Rome in the early hours of Friday morning, battling the urge to let our eyelids droop and fall into a deep sleep after waking up absurdly early to catch a 6am flight – my relationship with budget airlines is a love-hate kind of one. As a travel ambassador with Choice Hotels Europe and the Travel Top 6 site, I was pretty lucky to get sent to a swanky European destination to produce some fun travel content (and bring along a plus-one too). After landing, we taxi-pooled with some fellow tourists to get to our hotel, ditching our bags, checking out our hotel decor briefly and heading straight out into the day to make the most of our short 48 hours there. First, and most importantly, on the agenda was coffee… We headed for coffee whilst waiting for our room to be cleaned actually – a convenient 20 minutes to check out this amazing speciality coffee shop nearby: Faro. Although the coffee culture …

Sauntering through Slovakia | Bratislava ~ Part 2

The following day, we had a half day left to say goodbye to the city and experience all the Slovakian things that we could… Trying to check out some more museums and galleries but feeling sad that we had to pay *cry* Spending that money on tasty Slovakian treats instead: something which (from later research) I believe to be Bratislavske Makove Rozteky (Bratislavian “croissants”). These were absolutely divine, and thank god I had some restraint to not eat the two bags I was to bring back home to the UK. Composed of a biscuity yet kind of cakey pastry shell, they were filled with a sweet walnut or poppy seed filling (I went for walnut). Delicious. We decided to explore Bratislava’s old town hall, after eating far too many of the pastries, which had an amazing view of the city and also an extensive collection of historic weapons (random, but interesting nonetheless). The town hall from the bottom-up. We had no other business in Bratislava, and so meandered around the same spots once more to make sure …

London’s Best Food Markets | A Travel Top 6 Travel Guide!

London is filled to the brim with fine food and delicious dishes: the metropolis is a magnet for chefs and foodies alike and produces some of the finest restaurants in the world, the quirkiest cafes and, most importantly, some of the most awesome food markets. If you’re travelling, and not for very long, food markets are your best friend, serving up delicious grub and quickly too. As a devoted food lover and resident Londoner, I’ve had my fair share of London food market experience, so let me tell you where to go – you just have to decide what to eat. * Check out my latest Travel Top 6 travel guide here to read more about where to go for the best street food and food markets in London! Here are some pics to tantalise your tastebuds…

Genoa Dreaming | An Italian Tuesday ~ Part 2

Tuesday in Genoa ~ Part 2 of 2 Late-afternoon hit and I jumped on a small yellow rickety bus to a nearby former fishing village called Boccadasse. Only a 30 minutes away, the exceptionally charming village has a small enclosed bay and a rocky shore, being the perfect spot to have a quiet moment amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a small place to explore, great for an hour or two max for those on the go. There’s an amazing view on a sort of “balcony” next to a church that overlooks the sea and village just at its edge, located at the end main promenade in the area and where you’ll likely come from when getting the bus from Genoa. When you take the rocky main path down, you can walk up and down paths around the surrounding tiny coloured houses or just lay on the beach and enjoy the sound of the waves licking the rocks. Impatient to wait for the sunset, having initially thought to see it at Boccadasse …

An Apple (Day) a…Year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… no it’s not Christmas, pfft, it’s Apple Day! As the September sun sets on the year’s Summer, October brings about an annual chill, one laced with foggy breath, warm spiced drinks and the crunch of leaves afoot. Autumn spares no second to bombard the UK, Winter following behind with no mercy (although the former is rather the preferred season). But Autumn, although chilly and wet and sometimes a little miserable, by far is the most magical time of year here – at least for me anyway. I may be repeating myself from last year’s Apple Day article (which can be found here if you’re interested) but this really comes from the heart… I love Autumn and the festivities it brings about. It’s an extra delight that Apple Day falls in peak Autumn time in the UK, the annual Harvest festivities celebrating all that’s great and wonderful about this historic harvest period. I vividly remember sitting in primary school assemblies, surrounded by masses of fellow school pupils and singing …

A Foodie’s Guide to Northwest Italy ~ a Travel Top 6™ Travel Guide!

Whilst wandering through the spaghetti of streets, one can not only become lost in the city of Genoa but bamboozled as to what to sample first from the splendour that the city, situated on the coast of the North-West of Italy, has to offer.

Artistic Enlightenment (Shortly Followed by Cake)

Long needed were those mornings where, upon awakening, the glorious sensation hits that you have absolutely nothing to do whatsoever. So used to rude awakenings by a shrill 7am alarm and mounds of tasks to accomplish, these few mornings had been the biggest gift. A sleepy trip to Great Market Hall was needed, however, to pick up an assortment of compulsory holiday gifts.  Tiny bags of paprika (interestingly translated from Hungarian to “red gold”) were mandatory of course, complete with tiny hand-carved wooden spoons, traditional candies, marzipan chocolates and tiny bottles of palinka – one way of getting around the 100ml liquid restriction on flights. I lazily strolled around the great hall, walking up and downstairs in search for more surprises (and a steaming cup of coffee). I braved my way back into the crispy morning air to navigate around Vaci street to find some breakfast, stumbling on Mantra Specialty Coffee Minibar on narrow side road, snugly hid amidst larger shops and apartments – mini was definitely the word for it. Inside, you hang your …

Fourth Day, Part 2 ~ Hungarian Castles & Street Food

The magic of the New York Cafe remained as we jumped on a bus and travelled to Budapest’s Castle District across the river. Also known as the Castle Quarter, this area is a 1km long limestone plateau towering over the Danube river and is home to Budapest’s most precious and important medieval monuments and museums. A sweeping flight of paths and staircases guide you up to the centre of the district, the Royal Palace and the Hungarian National Art Gallery, home to 11th-century and present-day artworks, proudly standing at the forefront. The Royal Palace has been said to of rebuilt at least six times over the past seven centuries, it’s subsequent Kings adding to it each time. At the rear, you can find wide stretches of ruins and the famous Matthias fountain, a romantic-style sculpture presenting the young kind Matthias in his hunting uniform, surrounded by dogs. We strolled slowly through the courtyards and protruding stone terraces, the sky clear and the sun strong and warm, attempting to melt away what was left of the ice. Budapest …