Drinks in Puglia, Italy

beija

We so like to hang out a bit, chill, watch people pass by and have a few tunes in the background. My favorite place that offered just this in Puglia is Baija Flor in Santa Caterina. We came to check out Barrveco, but were a bit disappointed on the place. We looked over the edge and saw this bar built on the cliffs with sun beds on the scattered decks that they built. The lounge tunes carried you away, a perfect sea view and a nice crowd was just what we needed while checking the sunset.

quantobasta

Quanto Basta is a great bar in Lecce created by two bar men with a passion. In the evening the bar gets crowded and the cocktails keep rolling. Diego Melorio is the hipster looking owner that takes his time for every customer to create one of his cocktail bests. Take a sip, check the crowd and enjoy the night.

lamadiluna

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere and with a great view over the vineyards it is a different kind of place to have a drink. Bio masseria Lama di Luna is a traditional masseria created from an old monastery with a restaurant where you can have some great drinks in total chill. No lounge music, no hip crowd, but just you and your loved one(s) overlooking the amazing Puglia landscape.

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Best restaurant in Warsaw

I’m totally cheating here. I came to Warsaw last week for the first time and only spent two days there. While I was still in the process of learning to love the city I was in the lucky position that I was taken out by a local to one of the newer restaurants that was top on his list.

Warsaw

Kieliszki na Hozej is in one of those Polish streets that doesn’t give away that you might just have come across food paradise. The restaurant has a fresh modern look with a chef’s table on the mezzanine overlooking the kitchen. The menu is a modern take on traditional Polish ingredients and the wine list is a great match. For starters we had a mix of wild chanterelles, amazing tomato salad, Polish sourdough bread with homemade mayonnaise, buttered herring and beef tartare. All with their specific sauces and dips. As a main I had the turbot, but one of the group had the more traditional deer saddles which looked great. It was a great evening in a great environment and taste buds that were challenged by new and different flavours. Give it a try when you are over and let me know if you enjoyed it as much as I did, xx

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Mini street art in Paris

I was a bit distracted the last 3 months, but I’m back to give you more of what we come across when we open our eyes on our travels. This one is about some amazing street art I saw on my latest trip to Paris. As you can see here below, it’s not always the big pieces, but often those subtle notes on walls we pass by that make us smile. Enjoy!

Invader – In Paris there are over 1000 pieces from this artist. Under this pseudonym he started in the 90s deriving his inspiration for his designs on the Space Invaders video games. I walked around Bastille and Marais and picked up on the ones below.

compuman

I loved the one below which is not just about street art, but about the love for this city and the romantic note it has.

jetaime

 

MiniArt

SOBR – The below are by an artist designing under the theme ‘It’s time to dance’. Young happy people seem to dance the night away on the walls of the streets in Paris.

SOBR

And how about this one? In Marais where a lot of fashion houses have some flagship stores, they are challenged by outspoken street art designs questioning their integrity.

chanel

Paris is wonderful for finding the bigger pieces of street art, but more so for the subtle notes on the walls of their historic buildings. It adds this temporary twist on a city that is continuously evolving. Enjoy when passing through next time and drop me a note when you have found something special.

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Dinner in Lecce, Puglia

In a historical town in South Italy which draws in thousands of visitors every day over high season, it is hard to find some authentic restaurants between those touristy ones. Let me give you three that are worth a visit when you happen to be in Lecce.

Vico dei Sotterranei – let Via Giuseppe Libertine for what it is and check this restaurant in one of the side streets. They have some lovely outdoor space in a quiet street and serve great Italian food, mainly fishy stuff. I had a great ravioli with king prawns and tomato sauce. The salad I took as a side had a lovely touch with oranges and raisins. Decoration is a bit different, and service is lovely.

Vico

‘OO’ or Doppiozero – the terrace is an eye catcher and frequented by a nice crowd. This restaurant is mainly about their charcuterie and salads, which are a great treat and should be enough to fill you for the evening. Their main dishes are an Italian twist on some international combinations, and I’m not sure they got it (salmon with soya sauce Italian style?). You will come for those charcuterie boards, the chaotic but lovely Italian service and hanging out on the terrace.

FullSizeRender

Tormaresca – again a fish restaurant, but such a great one. We came for lunch and had some seafood and the authentic tuna tartare with bread. Both inside and outside has got that special touch, the service is great and food is amazing. Just what you want when on this culinary hunt in Italy.

camascera

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Culinary heaven in Mexico

When NOMA lands in the street where you have your hotel for a 7 week pop-up you know that you might just have hit the right spot for great food. Yes, this is NOMA Copenhagen doing a side step in the tropics. This pop-up was already booked full out before it started and with a 700 USD cover charge this might surprise you, but probably not the foodies amongst us. While I was not in the know for this event to happen it set some great expectations for the restaurants in Tulum in general and I was not disappointed.

noma

Hartwood – one of the examples where a NYC chef with a passion for Mexican food decided to change his life and open a restaurant where his heart is. Eric Werner’s story is well described in this blog at Lucky Peach. Hartwood is an open air restaurant with amazing food using Mexican ingredients. They serve for example pulpo with vegetables you’ve never heard off, ceviche with fruit that is uncommon and all of this is mouth watering. Line up early, put your name on the list and wait knowing that it is more than worth it.

Hartwood

Mamasan – it was the first restaurant at the start of our holidays which we joined for lunch. We needed an airy space because we were just adjusting to the tropical temperatures, and Mamasan offered just that. On our zizag chairs we were tasting our first ceviche. I can tell you this was a great start of our holidays.

Mamasan

Casa Jaguar – run by Patricia Calles and her son Diego this restaurant combines Asian and Caribian food. In a stone setting with a wood fire for the kitchen, amazing dishes emerge and land on your plate. Casa Jaguar has that tropical vibe and the freshest of ingredients that are able to surprise your taste buds.

CasaJaguar

Cenzontle – this secret garden restaurant is a lovely candlelit place with Mexican style dishes with a modern twist. Ivan Angeles the owner, started as a waiter and then opened Cenzontle. It is indeed that hidden garden secluded from the rest of the world with lovely Mexican food being prepared for you. BTW he is also one of the founders of the stone building bar at the corner opposite Hartwood which serves great cocktails.

Arca – I quote from their website: Chef Maya Scales and Chef Benjamin Coe’s menu pays homage to the Yucatan Peninsula using the very best products from local beaches, farms, and the chefs’ own vegetable nursery. Their dishes change frequently according to the seasons and availability of the freshest produce. Below 8 people Arca accepts walk ins only and they can host you at the bar if you need to wait a bit. The best cocktails are prepared for you on the spot at the impressive bar.

Arca

Restaurare – not so upscale and a bit more humble is Restaurare. This vegetarian restaurant makes you turn to become vegetarian after one meal. I had a vegan tofu noodle dish which was amazing. The menu has theses dishes that seem not too interesting when you read their description, but they are amazing when you taste them. The waiter – there was just one – was running like crazy to support the restaurant which was pretty much full. Make sure not to miss it on the Tulum beach road hidden behind the trees.

restaurare

Gitano – A Mezcal Bar and a great restaurant that’s what is Gitano. With life music and parties organized throughout the week you will be sure to test some of their cocktails. And try to come early one day to test their menu. You will order different dishes like vegetables, carbs and fish/meat to form your meal and share amongst all on the table. And don’t forget the cauliflower Mole. This vegetable with the original Mexican chocolate sauce is their signature dish that you will probably see at every table.

gitano

Safari – The airstream serving as a kitchen will lure you in. This open air restaurant is really relaxed and camp (and cheap), with a lovely team bringing it all together. The fish taco’s are great, as is the ceviche, and with the drinks from the great bar you will have a wonderful evening.

Safari

All of the restaurants are in Tulum Boca Paila area, the trendy bit of Tulum. You pass by km 7.5 and the hippy part approximately one mile earlier and continue to find this culinary heaven and these trendy hotspots.

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Street art in Mexico

Mexico is an amazing colorful country. And this colorfulness also jumps out of the murals that you see when you travel through the country. I had the opportunity to spend some time in Tulum in Yucatan Mexico and view some great pieces when wandering the streets.

Aquarela

In downtown Tulum in the back streets there are the best pieces. This is one of my favorites from Aquarela a Miami based artist. The vibrant colors make this a wonderful decoration of the street with the Hotel sign matching perfectly with this surrounding.

animals

That the wild life in Mexico is an inspiration for many shows through the street art with octopuses, birds, tigers, and flamingos which I saw.

party

And how about these two pieces from different artist but both inspired by displaying a setting where creatures with animal heads are enjoying a night out. This must but a thing, so please if you know more about this style, drop me a note.

graphic

And the graphic influence has not been ignored here either. The Tulum Coffee Art club in downtown Tulum has decorated its doors with a nice black and white piece. And a few streets further I found this other graphic one.

So besides from the Mayan temples, Cenotes, beach, and all other great things to see in Mexico, don’t forget to spend some time checking the creativity on the walls.

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Paris: culture, fashion and culinary tips

Paris is  great place to go for a long weekend, and I don’t think I need to remind anybody of that. And while we probably all look for something else please find my tips in this blog for great food, a bit of fashion and culture.

Food – a coffee at Hotel Costes with a sweet or avocado lunch? It definitely gives you the feeling that you’re in a special place, so why not. Or go for lunch at Canard et Champagne, and indeed eat duck and drink Champagne. They serve 4 main dishes all with a different twist on the duck, and serve champagne as if it is water. For your  dinner check Miss Ko for an Asian modern twist with a great beat in the background or Monsieur Bleu for sophistication and amazing food with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

ParisResto

Culture – of course no visit to Paris without a visit to Palais de Tokyo. This museum of contemporary art is open each evening till midnight and has always been able to inspire and surprise me. I’ve been floating in a boat through the basement, stepped into a 3d artwork and saw amazing video art. Let me know when you go and whether you liked it. A few years ago Fondation Louis Vuitton opened in Bois de Boulogne. Currently artist Daniel Buren plastered the facade with its striking coloring. It has different exhibitions on, so when you’re done admiring the building and Daniel Buren’s artwork try to find some time to enjoy the inside. Or go to the other side of town and visit La Maison Rouge. This smaller museum often has exhibitions on that are related to French history or political developments. It is the perfect fun place to learn more about this country and its people.

ParisCulture

Fashion – when I was in Paris this year it was Fashion week. And staying in the Marais neighbourhood half of the galeries were turned into showrooms for fashion brands. It meant that fashionable people were all around and we run into fashion shoots continuously at the corner from our hotel. A lovely atmosphere. For the shops to go, I give you three tips. First always check Colette. Yes, it is overcrowded with Japanese, but as one of the first concept stores in Europe it is still able to provide trends and new cooperation with brands to look out for. Second Merci with a more relaxed environment and in a space that is able to give more attention to its brands. And third, if you’re brave enough to ring the bell and wait to be admitted, visit one (or all) of the l’eclaireur shops for a dramatic emersion in exclusive brands in a museum-like environment.

ParisFashio

Always beautiful, always authentic, always inspiring. Paris is a city that has it all and draws me in to come back over and over again.

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