Category Archives: exhibitions

16 Roof Terraces Worldwide You Have To See!

item2.rendition.slideshowHorizontal.rooftop-restaurants-bars-03-luna-rosewood

item14.rendition.slideshowHorizontal.rooftop-restaurants-bars-15-aer-mumbai

item12.rendition.slideshowHorizontal.rooftop-restaurants-bars-13-mamilla-jerusalem

Where’s Your Dream Summer Destination?

Poolside, Caribbean cocktail in hand, surfing across beautiful, frothy waves in Hawaii, or whiling away a sunset on a roof terrace overhanging city lights? I could happily indulge in all three, but found myself with plenty of opportunity to sample the latter last year, hopscotching from roof terrace to roof terrace across Madrid. 

What’s So Heady About Being On A Roof?!

The best thing about rooftops is the sense of space and freedom that you find high above the crowds of craziness down below. Peaceful, glamorous (and sometimes with a price tag to match), these treasures really are some of my favourite places on Earth. What’s more, they usually come with cracking views over beautiful cityscapes and warm, starlit climates to match. Romance at its best.

Searching For A Cure For the Monday Blues?

This is a beautiful slide show from Architectural Digest, featuring some of the world’s best designed rooftops. From Miami and Mumbai to Madrid, Chamonix and Paris, these are high points in more ways than one.

I seem to be doing a pretty good job of following them around the world and look forward to sampling Le Panoramic in Chamonix very soon :)

item11.rendition.slideshowVertical.rooftop-restaurants-bars-12-le-panoramique-chamonix

 

Librería “La Central de Callao”

Where is it?

Situated a stone’s throw from El Corte Inglés and Gran Via, this place is completely unique. A mix of academic-chic, La Central de Callao is a 3 floored treasure chest combining over 70,000 volumes of specialized books in philosophy, history, social science and literature and a super cool bistro to boot.

What’s it like?

If unpretentious Bohemia is your thing, the bistro is a real find. Open until around midnight most nights, it boasts a great selection of cakes and savoury treats and would be an original substitute to grand alternatives.

Surrounded by books a-plenty, La Central’s bistro has a unique energy. Combining the soulfulness you find tree-side, the inspiration you find in bookshops with a cosmopolitan cosiness typical of Madrid, this little eatery is a real treat.

What else is on?

The lectures and presentations on offer are fascinating ranging from this month’s GRAF presentation dedicated to comics and illustration to Yasmina Khadra (one of the most important and famous writers of Algerian literary scene, with work published in more than forty countries) speaking next month.

Why go?

If you’re a creative type who gets excited by books and new places, try La Centrale. It’s good for the soul.

Details:

Dirección: Calle del Postigo de San Martín, 8, 28013 Madrid

Website

Teléfono: 917 90 99 30

Events

Horarios (El Bistro):

Lunes, martes y miércoles - 9.00 – 00.00

Jueves, viernes y sábado - 9.00 – 01.00

Domingo y festivos - 10.00 – 22.00

Las Bravas, St Katharine Docks, London

Where is it?

Tucked away in St Katharine Docks between Tower Hill and Tower Bridge, Las Bravas brings high-end, affordable tapas to London. Having opened in March this year, it’s not surprising it’s received rave reviews on Trip Advisor given the quality of the food and staff.

What’s the food and decor like?

The restaurant is top-end shabby-chic, with cosy enclaves for the winter months and full-length windows running dock-side. The menu is diverse, ranging from Foie Gras and Brioche with Serrano Ham and Lamb Chops with Rosemary Alioli to Fried Baby Calamares and Smoked Sardines.

What’s the damage?

Prices are very reasonable. Ranging from £5-10 a dish, the food is beautifully presented with charming service that’s rare to find.

Why go?

If you’d like a taste of Spain without breaking the bank, I can’t rave highly enough. This place is the tops.

Details:

Website

Address: Saint Katharine Docks, London, E1W 1AT

Tel: 0207 481 1464

Nearest tube: Tower Hill

Barossa, Parsons Green

Where?

Neatly positioned on the New King’s Road, a stone’s throw from Parsons Green tube station, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Barossa is another mainstream cafe.  Not so. An independent Coffee House & Australian Kitchen, the understated facade of the cafe belies its character.

How eggcellent is it?

My first encounter was the result of months of sibling raving and suspicions that said sister might have over-egged the pudding, so to speak.  I must say, however, I was pleasantly surprised.  The eggs were cracking as promised with a Bondi Brekkie feast complete with smoked bacon, corn fritters and poached or scrambled eggs.  Now I’m a regular, I like to mix up the egg treats – whether benedict, florentine,or royale, I am yet to be disappointed.

Healthy alternatives?

I’m a particular fan of the sourdough toast which is an unusual addition to the fry up, giving it a healthier taste you wouldn’t associate with a naughty treat.  If you’re looking for something lighter, there are various options on offer, from avocado on toast with tomato and feta, to toasted banana bread or granola with greek yoghurt and blueberry compote.

Scrummy lunches?

If it’s lunch you’re after, you’re spoilt for choice.  With a delicious range of all day sarnies, from the classic BLT or a sausage feast, to crab cakes with chilli and lime or the superfood salad with chickpeas, quinoa and feta, there’s something for everyone.

Tea for two?

Thirsty for coffee or tea – you’re in for a treat.  A range of loose leaf teas are served in funky see-through tea-pots which sit atop your mug and are activated by pressing southerly while coffee beans are sourced by Caravan Coffee, roasted by hand in small batches daily and stamped with a frothy heart or leaf.  

Sweet tooth?

For a sweet accompaniment you can choose from a fluffy freshly made muffin, a slice of red velvet cake or other fondant fancies a guilt-ridden glutton might term ‘terribly light’.

Best bits?

Best features of Barossa? The large glass fronted facade, the delightful window seat, the range of artwork on sale and the fantastically friendly staff who give their local competitors a run for their money. If that isn’t enough to tickle your fancy, there’s also the option for hire for after-hours events, lunches, meetings and parties for up to 70, complete with canapé menus and even a wedding cake package. Tick, tick and tick.

Contact:

Address: 277 New Kings Road Fulham, London, SW6 4RD

Tel: 0207 751 9711               

Website

Nearest tube: Parsons Green

BlaBlaBla, Chueca

If you like a bit of French…

If you like 5* French food and shabby-chic, bienvenue à BlaBlaBla.  Situated between Banco de Espana and Chueca, this is a French Bistro with a twist, the kooky aesthetic making the decor as memorable as the food.  And gold star for the funky little bar area that greets you before you enter the restaurant proper – the perfect spot to have a gin and tonic before settling in for the evening.

If music be the food of love…

The menu is extensive with dishes ranging from Foie Gras Salad, Eggs Benedict, Fish and Chips, Giant Calamari, Steak Tartare and Oysters.  Prices range from 9 to 19 euros which seems like a pretty fair deal given the ambience, decor, quality of food and service.  Be warned though, ladies, if you don’t like steak you may have a job on your hands keeping the boys away from the Chateaubriand. For the non-steak lovers out there, this is a four-inch section of beef tenderloin, one of the most tender cuts of beef going.  The sort of bloody treat that turns Western man into primal beast.

Will I like it?

If cosy, cosmopolitan chic is your style, this is a wee treasure.  The perfect mix of sophisticated and eclectic, BlaBlaBla has universal charm.  Top tip – wrap the evening up with one of the chocolate shots…  You won’t be disappointed.

Contact

Address: Calle Prim, 13, 28400 Madrid

Website

Tel: 91 523 44 66

Nearest metros: Banco de Espana/Chueca

Review of ‘London’s Lost Jewels’

The Cheapside Hoard is a must-see for jewellery lovers and historians. The collection comprises the world’s largest cache of Elizabethan and early Stuart jewellery including rings, brooches and earrings in bright coloured gemstones and enamelled gold settings.  Read my review here.