Category Archives: restaurants & cafes

16 Roof Terraces Worldwide You Have To See!




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 :)



Chamonix In Pictures


Four weeks in Chamonix and I’ve survived belly-flopping face-down into the snow (unwitnessed – small mercy), breaking a pair of skis (apparently pretty hard to do at my ‘level’), four hour-long hikes and learning to cook. Those are some of the lows (not really).

The highs are a no-brainer. The daily intake of scenery is nothing short of spectacular. From snow-drenched forests and lake-side views clearer than glass, to breath-taking glaciers heaped in ice-like lava and heavenly amounts of cheese and wine (raclette, fondue, fondue, raclette), this is a place to spend a while.

Below are a few snaps of the pretty little town that goes by the name of Chamonix. A town which is bigger than I’d imagined, where St Bernard dogs drink out of fountains and vin chaud is consumed like water. I can see why the Romantics came here to feel better.


1. Chamonix Centre


The quaint little valley town is flanked by the Alps, billowing and calm all to once.




A stretch of the main shopping street which typifies Chamonix rural-chic. As one of the more prestigious ski resorts, it’s no surprise it’s on the pricier end of the scale…


The ultimate Christmas location… Chamonix by night.


La Calèche, a well-known restaurant in Chamonix centre, is one of three excellent restaurants owned by a local entrepreneur. Lined with wood and pictures a-plenty, it’s a super cosy place to while away an evening.

2. The Sky Line



The views from Brevent, one of the most popular skiing areas in the valley.


First day back on the slopes after ‘the accident’.


Trees, trees and more trees, this is the perfect place for nature-lovers and tree huggers.

3. The Glacier



The view of Glacier des Bossons and its icy, pale turquoise covering. Not a bad way to start your day.


The view of Chamonix from above, nestled between the Alps.

4. Para-Gliding and Rock-Climbing



Hiking down the mountain after my ‘accident’, I stumbled across these para-gliders setting sail across the pistes. Although things could only get better after ‘Incident Whiplash’, this was definitely the high-point of the day.



Rock-climbing in Gaillands between Chamonix Centre and Les Houches. Cold on the hands but super fun.

5. The River


The River L’Avre runs the length of Chamonix. Not a bad view from home and lovely to wake up to the rushing sounds of nature.


6. The Lake


The stunning Lake Gaillands with its mirror-like reflection of the mountains is hard to beat for wow factor.

7. The Forest



The Gaillands Forest nestles behind the lake and is a beautiful place for a run.

8. Hiking A-Plenty


Innocuous this may look, but this was the scene of a four hour hike that may have involved more than a literal stumbling block… The moral of the tale… don’t forget to use your poles properly… and be prepared to feel unfit even if you count yourself ‘sporty’ (I blame the altitude…)

Interesting fact – hiking is, apparently, a wonderful form of couples’ therapy (presumably the making up part makes up for the arguments which ensue on the way up)!



A little friend I found on the easier hike near Les Bossons. Surrounded by snow-covered trees, this really is Christmas Heaven. Like something from Narnia, I half expected elf-like animals to hop out from the undergrowth. Scenery like this is the perfect distraction from exercise!

9. The Slopes

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In the bubble on the way up Brevent to the safety of the blues slopes. Never trust a man who tells you to go on a black run on day one… Bad idea…


One of the chair lifts on Brevent where blue slopes abound – perfect for experts in clumsiness such as myself.


The skis I managed not to break…

And last but not least….

10. Apres Ski O’Clock


Tick tock tick tock – vin chaud o’clock. Whatever the hour, with bars a-plenty slope-side, elevensies and afternoon ‘tea’ abound!



Some delicious treats from a local bakery… A dangerous place to pass with an empty stomach…

Poppy’s Place, Parsons Green, London



Located at the Lillie Road end of Munster Road, Parsons Green, this new little cafe-diner is as kooky as it is tasty. Nestled on the corner of Bronsart Road, the glass facades provide a light, airy space which won’t induce Sunday morning hangover claustrophobia.

Poppy's Place, 255 Munster Road, Fulham, London SW6 6BW, United Kingdom

The Decor?

Poppy’s is beautifully decorated with white wooden walls and flooring giving it a beach-like, summery feel perfect for a summer’s day treat. A rustic, duck-egg blue cabinet houses a delicious spread of jams and breads (even crayons for your tots), while the vintage server at the front is bedecked with tea cups that little girls dream of. Cute wooden tables are adorned with beautiful fresh flowers in coloured glass vases and lab-like stools complement the uncluttered vibe.


The Grub?

The menu is varied and affordable and the quality of food, top-notch. Nothing on the breakfast/lunch menu exceeds £10 which is a pleasant surprise versus some local joints so if you’re after a bargainous, slap-up brekkie, take your pick. There’s something for everyone here, from smashed avocado on toast with poached eggs and a choice of sides such as grilled bacon or chorizo to bacon baps, porridge with winter fruit compote or greek yoghurt with seasonal fruit.


The Lunch?

Lunch options are equally diverse from house burger and macaroni cheese to a range of toasties, salads and baguettes. Steak, horseradish and rocket is a personal favourite. There’s even a Little Munsters Kids’ Menu including fish finger sandwiches, chicken wedges, baked beans on toast and boiled egg and soldiers.


Dinner too?

Open until 11pm, the dinner menu also includes a range of mouth-watering dishes, from fresh catch of the day to ribeye steak (sourced from premium Lake District Farmers, this is the priciest dish on the menu at £25). The only health-warning of note is that you’re likely to become a regular if you visit this place. After a mouthful of these goodies, you’ll be chomping at the bit for more.



Address: 255 Munster Road, Parsons Green, SW6 6BW

Telephone: 0207 920 6420

Nearest Tube: Parsons Green


Lateral, Las Huertas

Lateral, Santa Ana

What’s Lateral?

One of the most well-known tapas joints in Madrid, Lateral’s terrace in Plaza Santa Ana is a truly pleasurable place to while away an evening. A top of the range chain with a distinctly ‘unchainy’ feel, Lateral is located throughout Madrid, including the popular Calle Fuencarral in Malasaña. Understated, chic and well-run, Lateral is great value with a diverse choice of tapas to boot.

Lateral, Malasaña

What of the food?

While it may be known for its top quality Tortilla, there are many other delicious dishes to choose from, from the Murcia Blood Sausage (a personal favourite a bit like black pudding), the OxTail, the Avocado and Salmon or the Pork with Melted Brie. Add a Tinto de Verano or a generously sized Gin and Tonic to the mix and you have the perfect feast.

Lateral, Arturo Soria

What’s the decor like?

If al fresco’s your cup of tea, this is the crème de la crème. Slatted wooden tables sit beneath a discrete cream canopy with flame heaters to keep you snuggly. With buzzers table-side, there’s no escape for lazy waiters who are, quite literally (or perhaps more aptly, laterally), at your beck and call.

Lateral, Santa Ana

What’s nearby?

If tapas isn’t enough for you, you can chose from an array of desserts and cocktails. Situated in the heart of possibly the prettiest square in Madrid, there are bars aplenty for after dinner digestifs or rooftop glamour atop the famous ME Hotel (next door).

In short…

Well-located, scrumptious and beautiful, this is a great stop for visiting friends and family.


Address: Plaza Santa Ana, 12


Tel: 914201582

Nearest Metro: Anton Martin / Sol

Mews of Mayfair, London

Where is Mews hidden?

Tucked away down the dimly-lit alley of Lancashire Court, this classy brasserie come bar is cosy-chic combined.  A stone’s throw from Berkeley and Hanover Square, the cobbled courtyard comes alive with business folk winding down with a cocktail or two after a hard day’s slog. Whether sinking into the deep leather sofas in the cocktail lounge illuminated by 18th century chandeliers, or sitting nestled in the narrow outdoor alley under the stars, there’s something for everyone.  

What’s on offer?

The extensive cocktail menu offers many a zingy delight from the classic Cosmopolitan to the exotic Chilli Cuddle for the more adventurous-spirited. The food menu is equally pleasing, with a range of delicious bar snacks such as Smoked Salmon Scotch Eggs and Cheese Boards to heartier meals proper such as Fish and Chips, Guinea Fowl Leg and Scottish Ox Cheeks.  Prices range from £5-18 for bar snacks to £9-18 for mains with a South Devon 1 Kilo Double Rib Steak for a hungry twosome at £65. 

Special Features?

The basement lounge is the ideal spot for after-dinner drinks, with DJ decks built into a grand piano and glass beaded nooks that are easy to sink into. Open until 1am Wednesday to Saturday, whiling away the wee hours here is the perfect way to round off the evening.

If it’s a private room you’re after, the upstairs space is perfect for a canapé party of up to 40, a seated dinner for up to 28 guests or a snazzy meeting spot for presentations.  With antique maps adorning the walls, surround sound, wifi and a hidden 50” screen, this an an imperial experience no client will forget!

For a more decadent affair, La Cave Private Room is situated opposite Mews Art Gallery and can accommodate up to 15 guests for lunch and dinner, or 25 for a standing reception. Doubling up as a wine boutique, La Cave mixes cosiness and sophistication to perfection, the dark wood and brown leather seating set off by the wine and champagne which lines the walls. 

And finally…

I’ve always thought that Mayfair embodies the ideal man – powerful, understated and elegant. Mews is an example of all three.


Website: Here

Address: 10 Lancashire Court, New Bond Street, London, W1S 1EY 

Tel: 0207 518 9388


La Rosa Negra, Las Huertas, Madrid

What’s La Rosa Negra?

If you like cheap and cheerful Mexican food in vibrant surrounds, give La Rosa Negra a whirl. Think rainbow decor, statement sombreros and a menu to make your mouth water and you’re on the right track. Sandwiched between Calle del Prado and Calle de las Huertas just a stone’s throw from Anton Martin Metro, this is an easy to reach little gem.

What of the grub?

The menu is full of Mexican classics with dishes ranging from smaller bites such as Guacamole and Nachos to larger meals of Burritos and Tacos. There’s also a delicious range of cocktails on offer from Caipirinhas and Daiquiris to Mojitos and Margaritas. I love their delicious Tacos and Passionfruit Daiquiris and would also highly recommend their zingy Margaritas alongside the scrumptious Chicken Burritos - the ideal mix of the spicy and refreshing.

What do they say?

Jamie Oliver would probably describe this as good, honest food. The presentation is simple but it tastes great, is good value and is served with mega-watt smiles. I’d definitely recommend this joint if you’re after a vivid, fun-filled break from tapas.


Website: Here

Address: Calle León, 16, 28014 Madrid

Tel: 914 20 30 68

Nearest Tube: Anton Martin

Mercado de San Miguel, Plaza Mayor, Madrid

What is it?

My favourite place in Madrid, this should be top of your to-do list.  With an energy and buzz that reminds me of New York, Mercado de San Miguel is what living is all about. Think Borough Market Spanish style and you’re getting a little closer to conjuring up the vibe of this gastronomical treasure.

What’s inside?

Step inside the elegant glass structure and you’ll enter what can only be described as a culinary Paradise. From seafood paella and every type of croqueta your heart could desire to oysters, frozen yoghurt and sweet treats to melt even the hardest heart, this is Eden if ever there was one.

Who goes there?

Full of tourists from every corner of the globe sipping wine and beer whilst savouring tapas at chic high tables running the length of the market, this is a place buzzing with energy. I’ll never forget visiting Mercado de San Miguel having just left the corporate world – the happiness etched across the market sellers’ faces was tangible and striking. Simple pleasures. Food for thought.

Will you like it?

And a food lover you should be if you come here. If you’re happiest eating, you’re in for a treat.

Why visit? 

This is a place which will tease every sense and catapult you full-throttle into joie de vivre.

The only warnings are as follows: 1) Don’t let your bag out of your sight 2) Bring an empty tummy 3) Be prepared to feel bloated after a visit.

This is an experience to be embraced. This is living.


Plaza San Miguel, 28005, Madrid

Nearest tube: Opera

“La Infinito, café-libros-arte”, Anton Martin, Madrid

Where is it?

Tucked away in the quiet backwaters of Anton Martin and Lavapiés, La Infinito, café-libros-arte is a book-filled, bohemian musical-café on a sunny corner. Like walking into the cosy lounge of a really interesting journalist-musician hybrid, this is the sort of place you can settle down into for an afternoon.

What of the grub?

Whether coffee, tea or brunch, the food, prices and service are stellar. Juice, tea, toast with nutella and a giant bowl of cereal with yogurt and fruit will set you back a mere 4.5 euros with the priciest item on the breakfast menu being 6 euros.

If music be the food of love play on..

Apart from the deliciously kooky decor, one of the best bits of La Infinito, café-libros-arte is the musicians you can watch here. With a little glass stage, it’s home to intimate gigs such as Celia Carballo’s recent performance, mixing soulful classics and brunch for a mere 12 euros! To see the sort of quality we’re talking about, check her out performing with the Black Bones here. Incredible.

Why visit?

If you like literature, character, cosiness and great value food, give this whirl. La Infinito, café-libros-arte is super cute, super cool.


Address: Calle de Tres Peces, 22

Nearest metro: Anton Martin

Events: Check out the Facebook pages of “La Infinito, café-libros-arte” and Celia Carballo via “The Tribulettes”

Opening Hours:

Mon – Thurs: 11am – 12am

Fri: 11am -1am

Sat: 11-2am

Free Wifi


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.


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


Teléfono: 917 90 99 30


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.



Address: Saint Katharine Docks, London, E1W 1AT

Tel: 0207 481 1464

Nearest tube: Tower Hill