Copenhagen: drinks at Rødder og Vin

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Back in August when the days were longer and the nights were balmy I had a whole day in Copenhagen with my friends Maria and Daniel, as per our age old tradition. It’s so nice to have a day with these two in one of my favourite cities (and “almost” capital growing up) just chatting and exploring new things.

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We concentrate on good food and drinks, but we always visit some shops and try to see a new area of this ever evolving city.

In the early evening when our legs were tired from all the walking and we needed a drink we went to the bar and wine shop Rødder og Vin for a much needed little break. The reason we stopped here was because we knew (thanks to Daniel’s research) that they sell cider from Fruktstereo here. Both Daniel and I grew up with one of the guys behind the cider brand so we want to support and try their products when we can, and in Copenhagen that’s quite easy.

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We took our ice cold bottle of Cider Maybe outside to a wobbly bench underneath some scaffolding and toasted to our friends. It was such a lovely start to the evening sitting there with a nice cold (and dry – this is NOT Kopparberg, rather the polar opposite to it!) cider enjoying the hustle and bustle of Copenhagen.

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When we had finished our drinks we got up and walked some more, to our dinner destination. So stay tuned for more Copenhagen tips!

Rødder og Vin, Ravnsborggade 10, 2200 København, Denmark

London: Trinity years later

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Most of  you long time readers will remember that I used to eat at a restaurant local to me in Clapham when I lived around there; Trinity, A LOT several years ago. I loved that restaurant so much. I had the best ever risotto there and their bread is to die for. I’ve taken most friends there, my parents and have many happy food memories from this lovely place.

But as I moved a way from the area I got other good local restaurants to try out and I didn’t make it back. Then it was closed for refurbishment for a long time and a while ago now it opened up its doors again, with an additional more informal restaurant upstairs, and they got a Michelin star for the downstairs restaurant.

So pretty much everything has changed, but I was still very curious to go back and try the new Trinity (still with head chef and founder Adam Byatt at the helm) and see how it compared to the restaurant I forever keep in my memories.

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What I noticed first was how the space has changed. The address is the same and the building looks the same from outside but the layout inside is very different with an open kitchen and a more austere decor. It’s more modern and a little less cosy. But I definitely like the open kitchen!

The dining experience has changed too; from a semi upscale neighbourhood restaurant to more of a fine dining experience. But it’s still not stuffy, which I like, and the waiters are all lovely and relaxed while keeping it professional.

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We got two amuse bouche to start and they were both delicious! The little tartlets with pea and parmesan were utterly delicious and the little cigars with olives were nice too!

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The menu has changed too, from three courses to an optional four, but we asked if we could do three each (as I know how full you get here!) and stagger them as we were sharing everything. It was no problem at all, so we shared a first course, two second courses, two third courses and one pudding! That was the perfect amount for us (I was sooo full!) especially with all the added things like amuse bouches and petit fours. I could only take tiny bites of the last sweets which felt like a waste!

But back to the savoury dishes. The tuna tartare with apple and almonds was really lovely. The fish was just perfectly cooked and the mellow flavours accompanied it really well.

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Next we had pasta with langoustines and petit pit which was really nice, but it tasted completely different to how I had pictured it in my head. More earthy than light. But still nice.

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The warm Norfolk asparagus with smoked beurre blanc (we went here before the summer so it was totally seasonal!) however was the star of the show. Please put this back on the menu next year and I’ll be there! LOVED it! We both did.

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For the third course we had one of the specials which was the glazed lamb sweet breads with more petit poi and lardon. Really nice!

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But this was the winner! Wild sea trout with cucumber and white burgundy. Such delicate lovely flavours. Love!

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And for pudding we had another cracker; their salted caramel tart with salted caramel ice cream, because there is no such thing as too much salted caramel. And wow, it was AMAZING! Just perfect in every way.

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We also had a nice bottle of British wine which I think it’s worth telling you about. I love getting introduced to interesting wines in restaurant and this was was quite different but so lovely (and at a good price too!).

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Then the petit fours came pouring in and I had to take a little breather. We were so slow but also greedy and wanted to eat it all. Lovely little almond cakes.

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As well as macarons and truffles. So generous and although I’m sometimes too full to fully appreciate them I love these little extra touches. You feel so well looked after and it elevates the dinner a lot!

So the verdict? I like both old and new Trinity. I’m sure I will be nostalgic about old Trinity for quite a while, but I like this new version too. And I can’t wait to try the upstairs bit which might be similar to the old vibe as it’s supposed to me more casual. Only one way to find out! Race you there!

Trinity, 4 The Polygon, Clapham, London SW4 0JG

Norfolk: pizza at The Jolly Sailors

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August in Norfolk is peak season, and the heat wave probably added to that. We’re talking car queues on every road leading to the beach, full car parks, looong ice cream queues, and packed beaches. So you can imagine that if you want a last minute reservation to a restaurant you have to be verrrry lucky.

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That’s why I really like places like The Jolly Sailors, where you don’t need to book (unless you’re a large group), can just show up on a whim, order a pizza and find yourself a table underneath vines and fairy lights.

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It’s rustic, semi-cosy, but also welcome to all. There’s an eclectic mix of guests and a large playground for the kiddos out back. And they make good pizzas (and offer takeaway too).

We had a very impromptu date night here on our last night, and as much as I love fancy restaurants and elaborate menus, sometimes a pizza in a beer garden with someone special is just the ticket.

The Jolly Sailors, Main Road, Brancaster Staithe PE31 8BJ

Norfolk: seafood dinner at The Hoste

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One of the evenings in Norfolk in August we all went out for dinner at The Hoste in Burnham Market. It was my first time there, but the others had all been before.

To start I just had to have the Norfolk oysters, as it’s such a treat to have fresh local seafood, and they did not disappoint. Lovely, almost buttery, oysters. So yummy!

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Most of us around the table had the Lobster Thermidor and fries as our main course and it was really nice. We had a really nice dinner here, but the service could have been a lot faster and more attentive, so I hope that improves.

But nice food and atmosphere!

The Hoste, The Green, Burnham Market, King’s Lynn PE31 8HD

Sweden: prawn sandwiches by the sea

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As you might have learnt from this blog, us Swedes LOVE seafood. I ate prawns every single Friday night through my childhood and I still love them. Like a lot.

So every chance I get to eat nice (cold water) prawns I take. Like when I was at home in Sweden in the summer and my parents suggested we try out the local café in Smyge (the most southern point in the country!) because their prawn sandwiches are talked about a lot and meant to be really good!

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So on my boyfriend’s last day visiting we had lunch there, in their cosy little garden a stone’s throw from the sea.

They offer prawn sandwiches in three different sizes and we all decided on medium as that looked pretty big to us. And what we received was the perfect specimens of a Swedish prawn sandwich. It had soft white bread that’s still sturdy enough to not go soggy, lettuce, a nice amount of mayonnaise and sliced boiled eggs and a small mountain of Atlantic prawns peeled by hand. And of course lemon, dill and tomato and cucumber slices as decoration.

So nice, and extremely filling! We only had a hot dog each for supper as we were too full to have something resembling a proper dinner. Great place!  Highly recommend. Especially when you can sit outside in the garden. Inside is quite rustic, but I can see it being cosy too.

Café Smyge, Smyge strandväg 4F, 231 78 Smygehamn, Sweden

Sweden: escaping the rain – lunch at Strandtugg

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I usually bang on about how great Swedish summers are to my London friends, and although that is completely true, we of course have some less glorious days too.

When the sky is dark and the clouds are brooding and you know the thunder and lightning are not far away. But the summer lover that I am, I refused to really believe the weather forecast and still met up with my childhood friend Henrik and his two children on the beach. Mainly because we didn’t really know what else to do!

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We managed a half an hour or so of playing in the sea and sand until the raindrops started to fall, in a rapid succession, so we packed our things and sprinted to the nearest place for shelter. Luckily the nearest place was a brand new (new for this year!) restaurant that were just about to start serving lunch. Perfect timing!

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So we installed ourselves at a table upstairs and had a lovely lunch as the storm continued outside.

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I had the weekly pasta which this particular week was tortellini with smoked salmon in a creamy sauce. It was nice-ish but nothing spectacular and I must admit I was a little disappointed and got a serious case of food envy when I saw Henrik’s Wallenbergare (basically a large meatball made with veal mince) with potato purée and lingonberries.

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He confirmed it was really good, and I know what to order next time. As we finished our lunch the storm had passed and the sun came out, so we did get that glorious sunny day after all. So we went for a walk and in search of ice cream!

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Apart from being a good place to shelter from thunder storms I could see myself sitting on the deck here drinking rosé and overlooking the beach on a balmy summer’s evening. Let’s make a plan for that next year!

Strandtugg, Östersjövägen 79, 236 36 Höllviken, Sweden

 

Sweden: pizza at Kronovalls Vinslott

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Most days I’m in Sweden I tend to socialise with friends and extended family. But I’m also trying to take some time for myself (as it is my holiday and I need to unwind just like everybody else) and to spend time with just my parents. They are so sweet and completely fit into my plans when I’m home, but just because they make it easy for me I don’t want to take them for granted. And I love spending time with them!

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So I was so happy we had a whole day (and evening) just to ourselves. The initial plan was to just hang our at home and on the beach and enjoy the lovely weather, but the weather turned so we had to come up with a plan B. At breakfast we decided to do a little roadtrip instead and although we had some ideas on where to go, we just decided to see where the day took us.

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As we drove east the weather got better (yes!) and we had such a lovely day exploring places not that far from home, but places I seldom have time to visit. Beautiful beaches and coastal villages, harbours and a few shops. And to end the trip we had dinner at the old stables at Kronovalls Vinslott, where they now serve delicious pizza. Overlooking the lovely mansion it was the perfect ending to a wonderful day!

Mamma and I had prosecco (pappa was driving) and we all had a lovely pizza each with tomato, parma ham, olives and rocket.

The menu here is very limited, but also very good. I so prefer a smaller well thought out menu than an incoherent longer one. They have one pizza, which is delicious, and a few other items on the menu. And of course, wine, soft drinks, ice cream, pastries etc. It’s sort of a hybrid of a café and a restaurant but it feels a bit more elevated because of the lovely surroundings. Highly recommend!

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Kronovalls Vinslott, 273 92 Skåne Tranås, Sweden

London: birthday dinner at The River Café

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It seems very fitting that the hottest day in the UK, probably ever, also happened to be my birthday. As my boyfriend will tell you, when it comes to body temperature and sun worshipping I have more in common with lizards and humans.

But even I was a little warm this day. At least indoors. The whole week it had been around 33C, sunny and humid and I think most people were hoping for a thunder storm to clear the air.

Of course I wasn’t, as I was hoping we could sit outside for dinner at The River Café, and luckily the birthday girl got her wish (after a quick downpour earlier in the evening but sans thunder and lightning) and we had the most wonderful evening on the beautiful terrace overlooking the Thames.

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It was a lovely balmy evening and we immediately ordered champagne and plenty of water while we browsed the menu and tried to decide what to order – because I honestly wanted to eat every single thing on the menu – but we settled on a nice selection.

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First we had the most wonderful fritto misto with scallops. The perfect starter for a hot day and we thoroughly enjoyed the simplicity and the perfection of it.

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As I can never ever resist pasta (or carbs of any kind) we shared two half portions of pasta; the buffalo ricotta ravioli of dreams and the most delicious girolle pasta.

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For the main course we shared the sirloin with various beets and rosemary potatoes. Wonderful flavours (although I would have expected the meat to be a bit more tender at a restaurant like this)!

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And of course we had to order the famous chocolate nemesis cake for pudding, but also had some roasted almond ice cream on the side.

Even though we shared everything we were so full after this feast of a meal! And it was just perfect for a low key, but still special, birthday celebration.

As much as the food is wonderful here (and it really is!), I think what makes this restaurant so wonderful is the combination of the food and the ambiance. You’re in a beautiful spot in London by the river surrounded by fun and interesting people all enjoying themselves, and I think that is part of the allure of some restaurants. They have ‘it’ even though as you break down each element they may not all be perfect, but together they work so very well.

The River Cafe, Thames Wharf, Rainville Rd, London W6 9HA

Market Harborough: a seriously good hot chocolate!

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On a grey day earlier this year I insisted on a little trip to Market Harborough when we were nearby for the weekend. We had a little walk around the quaint town, looking in a cookshop (I’m always drawn to those), some clothes shops and did some errands.

After a couple of hours it was tea time and we looked around for a nice local café, but we could only see the big chains which was not very appealing. But then we spotted a nice looking chocolate shop. And they had chairs in the window, and so must be serving something. Maybe hot chocolate?! Which was on my mind anyway since it was a cold and grey day.

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They were almost about to close but let us in anyway. We got to try different types of chocolate and choose which one we wanted for our hot chocolate. I opted for a milk chocolate while by boyfriend chose a darker one.

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We also got to choose a truffle each to go with the hot drink and then we sat down. We got a large cup of warm frothy skimmed milk (it goes better with the chocolate than whole milk they explained) which we added our chocolate buttons to and stirred until they had melted.

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I really liked that we got to do this ourselves (it felt like a lovely little ceremony, much like pouring tea through a tea strainer and adding milk and sugar) as it added to the anticipation of the drink, which (of course) was utterly delicious. Definitely one of the best hot chocolates I’ve ever had! The crunchy salted caramel truffle I got was lovely too and I can’t wait to come back here and stock up on both chocolate for drinking and some lovely truffles.

Chocolate Lovers, 14 The Square, Market Harborough, LE16 7PA

London: wonderful afternoon tea at Berners Tavern!

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When my friend Therése came to visit in April we had a really lovely weekend with shopping, dinner in and amazing sushi out. And the last day we went all out with a trip to the V&A and the dreamy Dior exhibition followed by a wonderful afternoon tea at Berners Tavern, that I will tell you all about now, and some beauty shopping in Liberty’s. Such a perfect girlie day!

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As we walked into Berners Tavern we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the dining room with its pretty chandeliers and amazing ceilings and picture covered walls, which felt both grand and relaxed at the same time.

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We sat down at our table and immediately admired the china (you may know I have a thing for blue and white china!) and were greeted by our lovely waiter explaining the menu in details with us.

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What I really like about an afternoon tea, is of course all the goodies, but also the ceremony around it; the nice china, the silverware, the pouring of the tea and just letting everything take its time.

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With the napkin in my lap I once again admired the china pattern when our kind waiter told me it was especially made for the restaurant, and the pattern is made up of the chandeliers in the ceiling that are originals from when the building was first built. Isn’t that amazing?! I love the attention to detail.

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Just as much attention to detail had been put into the sandwiches, scones and sweet treats for the afternoon tea. Such a stunning spread!

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The savoury spread from left to right; chicken and mushroom mini baguette; smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill sandwich and savoury scone with mild goat’s cheese and herbs. All delicious!!

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The scones were also perfect and came with and without raisins and we got individual silver pots of clotted cream and jam!

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The sweets were gorgeous too! From left to right; strawberry macaron with creamy ginger filling (my favourite!); chocolate and yuzu tart and a creamy raspberry and meringue cake.

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Just look how beautiful the sandwiches are close up! Love that the chefs take such care in the presentation.

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The same goes for the sweets; they were like little works of art! Our whole afternoon here was puree perfection from the service to the tea refills to the food and ambiance. Berners Tavern definitely have that little extra that makes it feel like a special place without being stuffy at all. We could just relax and chat away – which we do so well!

Berners Tavern, 10 Berners St, London W1T 3NP