Málaga: Jamon for breakfast and exploring the Alcazaba

IMG_0329.JPG

Holiday for me is all about relaxing and not waking up from alarms, but, being a night owl, that means missing breakfast at the hotel every day. So instead I’d get ready and venture outside for breakfast.

IMG_0327.JPG

Luckily I had a nice café near my hotel, it’s a chain of cafés in fact, offering everything from sandwiches to cooked food, pastries to cakes and even a delicatessen with cheese and charkuterie.

This ciabatta filled with a general helping of Jamon Iberico was a perfect start to the day and set me up for my day of sightseeing.

IMG_0352.JPG

I’m quite choosy on what I spend my time on, but for the the Alcazabar was an absolute must!

IMG_0476.JPG

This impressive citadel, overlooking the city and its harbour is very well preserved and an absolute dream to discover.

IMG_0466.JPG

It was built in the 1000s and is still standing firm offering incredible views as well as beautiful gardens and amazing architecture.

IMG_0380.JPG

IMG_0383.JPG

I mean, look at this view – incredible isn’t it?!

IMG_0384.JPG

IMG_0394.JPG

And the details to the building. Especially dating back that far is rather incredible.

IMG_0395.JPG

IMG_0396.JPG

But my favourite part was the gardens. So beautiful and serene I could’ve spent all day here.

IMG_0416.JPG

 

IMG_0461.JPG

But I didn’t, as I had more things to explore.

IMG_0486.JPG

Like the ruins of a Roman theatre just below the Alcazaba. It’s been around since the first century BC and is still part of the city landscape. At night it’s lit up beautifully and during the day one can just walk in, sit down and take a break.

IMG_0509.JPGIMG_0482.JPG

Surrounded by the hustle of bustle of modern life, I find it amazing how this old ruin is a part of modern day Malaga (and not closed off).

Alcazaba of Málaga, Calle Alcazabilla, 2, 29012 Málaga, Spain

Advertisements

Málaga: gourmet tapas and the best waiters!

ma7.jpg

I found Malaga a lot more touristy than Seville, and the type of tourists differed too. In Seville most tourists seemed to be Spaniards from different parts of the country but Malaga with its harbour, seem to attract tourists from all over Europe. And because of this there are copious amounts of tourist trap style restaurants littered around the central parts, which as you know, are not my thing.

ma8.jpg

Instead I did some research, and found La Cosmopolita mentioned lots of times as a nice restaurant.

And it was! I had a wonderful dinner here and almost went back a second time. Looking back, I regret not doing that, as where I ended up for lunch was a lot inferior, but I was rather embarrassed from almost fainting on my first visit.

The waiters were very sweet though, and made sure I got a chair (as I was standing in the tapas bar), water and something sugary. One waiter even followed me to a taxi to make sure I got home alright, which was really sweet.

But the service was like that; thoughtful and sincere, even though the restaurant was buzzing with people and all waiters were rushing around seeing to everyone.

ma13.jpg

ma14.jpg

The cooking was on par; and I thoroughly enjoyed the best Russian salad (with Jamon Iberico on top!) I’ve ever had, the most amazing cod tempura with shiso, and bread. I would have liked to have more, but as I didn’t feel very well I thought it best to go back to the hotel and lie down.

ma23.jpg

ma29.jpg

The tapas portions (which were not on the actual menu, but the items were) were quite large though, so I doubt I would have needed much more, but I would have like to try more dishes!

La Cosmopolita Malagueña, Calle José Denis Belgrano, 3, 29015 Málaga, Spain

 

 

Seville: Casa de Pilatos

IMG_9642.JPG

You may be surprised to learn that I did more than eat my way through Seville?! In between meals I walked a lots and did some proper sightseeing. Although I usually skip some of the usual tourist attractions (at least if they involve a long queue) but enjoy the smaller, less crowded ones. IMG_9724.JPG

Like this Andalusian palace built in the 1500s – Casa de Pilatos. It’s a vision of statues, mosaics and general grandeur.

IMG_9643.JPG

IMG_9667.JPG

Most walls are tiled like these, with small tiles making up lovely patterns in greens, blues and yellows.

IMG_9676.JPG

IMG_9680.JPG

Amazing details everywhere.

IMG_9694.JPG

The gardens are just as grand, with low cut ledges framing the trees.

IMG_9773.JPG

And the most amazing bougainvillas in bloom.

IMG_9752.JPGIMG_9747.JPG

Look at the details outside too. Not a petal out of place.

Casa de Pilatos, Pl. de Pilatos, 1, 41003 Sevilla, Spain

Copenhagen: Street Food at Papirøen

pap1.jpg

Being from the south of Sweden, I sometimes feel like I have two countries, and definitely two capitals. Stockholm, of course, because it IS my capital, and Copenhagen because it is a capital and so close by. It’s the airport I travel to and from every time I go home to Sweden, and it’s one of my favourite cities. Partly because I know it so well, but also because it’s just fantastic. It’s pretty, not too big, has lots of water and parks interspersed, it’s easy to get around and the people are friendly.

pap3.jpg

And they take food seriously. On my last visit, in August last year, Daniel, Maria and I were all super excited to have lunch at The Corner of Rene Redzepi’s No. 108. As we approached in the torrential rain we noticed they were closed, but luckily we were only a few minutes away from Copenhagen Street Food at Papirøen (which I was dying to visit anyway)  so we had lunch there instead.

pap30.jpg

It was the perfect place to take shelter from the rain. And walk around the different food stalls and pick a nice buffet lunch. For as you can imagine, it’s impossible to only eat one thing here. pap19.jpg

We started with traditional Danish smørrebrød (openfaced sanwiches) and they were very good.

pap13.jpgpap17.jpg

Then we shared some yummy tacos and had a little breather. The hardest thing was finding somewhere for us to sit, so make sure you secure a few chairs before you go looking for food, unless you’re happy with a quick bite standing up.

pap24.jpg

Next I had the best thing ever; a GOURMET hot dog. It had mayo, crispy onions, parmesan – the works and was the best hot dog I’ve ever had. So yummy!

pap6.jpg

I was seriously full after these different snacks but we decided we could share one more dish before throwing in the towel.

pap27.jpg

And this is what we went for; fries topped with duck meat, creamy dressing and pickled red onions. It was seriously greasy but absolutely delicious and a perfect ending to our meal.

I just read on their website that Copenhagen Street Food is closed until May this year, but hopefully the same vendors will be back then.

Copenhagen Street Food, Hall 7 & 8, Papirøen (Paper Island), 14 Trangravsvej, DK-1436 Copenhagen, Denmark

Gotland: going south

IMG_0284.JPG

Our second full day on Gotland we wanted to cover as much of the remaining half of the island as we could. We drove south and the first stop was near Djupvik to try to get a glimpse of the two islands called Karlsöarna. The large one is barely visible to the left but the small one you can see very well to the right in the photo.

IMG_0377.JPG

The coast here is gorgeous with wild flowers and clear water. It was too cold for a dip, sadly, but still enjoyable.

IMG_0440.JPG

We got back into the car and drove further south, stopping when a photo opportunity presented itself (which it did quite often). The roads here are quite small so it’s easy to stop and get out with the camera.

IMG_0438.JPGIMG_0384.JPG

Eventually we made our way down to Burgsvik and got out for a walk around the little harbour.

IMG_0427.JPGIMG_0416.JPG

The local smokehouse had a food truck there, so we bought some lunch to take with us to our next stop.

IMG_0455.JPG

Which was Hoburg, on the south-west corner of the island. There are large stone formations here, just by the waterfront. One of the large rocks is shaped like the face of a man and so the rock is called Hoburgsgubben (the old man from Hoburg).

IMG_0532.JPG

I struggled to see it though, but apparently this is him, but from the wrong angle.

IMG_0528.JPGIMG_0489.JPGIMG_0460.JPG

It was lovely to just walk around here, though. And grab one of the picnic tables and eat our lunch. We had smoked prawns (they are SO delicious!), aioli and fresh crusty bread from a bakery. So lovely!

IMG_0582.JPGIMG_0580.JPG

Next we stopped at Folhammar to look at more raukar (the unusual stone formations local to Gotland). It’s so cool to see and so different to the part of Sweden where I grew up.

 

Gotland: Amazing cider and local produce

IMG_0189

This is a restaurant review I would have liked to post a lot earlier; straight after our visit to Gotland in August. But life happened and suddenly it’s February and about time. 

My childhood friend Karl is a person I very much admire, he has so much drive and passion when he starts a project I wish I had even half. A few years ago he started making cider together with his friend Mikael under the name Fruktstereo (‘Fruit stereo’). It’s made from 100 % fruit, without any additives, so have more in common with crafted wines than commercially made sweet cider.

Mikael hails from Gotland, Sweden’s largest island and a real summer paradise, so when my parents and I went there in August, we made sure to book a table at his restaurant Nyplings Mat & Vin in Visby. It’s a summer pop-up serving local ingredients like vegetables from the family farm and meat and dairy from the island.

IMG_0196

It’s sustainable and delicious and we enjoyed our evening here so much! Especially because we started the meal with a bottle of their cider, called Ciderday Night Fever. It was dry and refreshing and so unlike all other ciders I’ve had. In a good way. This was far better!

IMG_0198

We started the meal with a selection of tender raw beans from Mikael’s family farm (picked the same morning!) and a lovely dip.

IMG_0201

Then we moved on to the starters. Dad I wanted to sample them all, and so decided to share two. The ewe tartar with beetroot, cress mayonnaise, wild garlic ‘capers’ and shoestring fries was absolutely delicious!

IMG_0209

But the other starter (which my mother also had) was lovely too. It was a poached creamy egg (almost like a 63 degree egg where the texture of the white and the yolk are similar) with kale, hazelnuts and caramelised whey.

Somewhere here the cider was finished and my mother and I wanted a glass of wine each. We tried to describe what we wanted (two very different wines) to Mikael, and like he could read our minds he poured us a glass each of what we had tried to describe! Very impressive!

IMG_0213

Then we moved on to the main course (we all had the same) of melt-in-the-mouth slowcooked chuck steak with parsnip and radish. We all loved this dish!

IMG_0227

The Swedish summer weather in general was quite poor but we had lovely sunny days on Gotland, although after the sun had set behind the rooftops we got a little cold sitting outside and moved inside the restaurant for our final course.

Which was this humble bowl. Underneath that caramel coloured layer hides blackberries and cookie crumbs, covered by that smooth and fluffy topping of yoghurt, caramelised milk and liquorice. Great flavours and textures to finish off the meal!

We had such a lovely evening here, and it was great fun to try my friend’s cider and meet his very talented business partner. Let’s hope this pop-up is here to stay.

Nyplings Mat och Vin, H10, Hästgatan 10, 621 56 Visby, Gotland, Sweden 

Dublin: bars and pubs

baileys.jpg

When I visited Dublin last year I had the perfect tour guide; my Irish friend Sinead who lives there. After brunch, shopping and a mid-shopping coffee on the Saturday, we were ready for some vino in the afternoon. The first place we went to was the cute The Bailey Bar with stripy canopies and pastel colours. We managed to snag one of the outdoor tables and spent an hour or so chatting and people-watching. What a treat at the end of October!

kehoe.jpg

Next we went to one of the most famous pubs in town; Kehoes (try pronouncing that!), and I realised I had been there when I last visited Dublin. It’s a great mix of tourists and locals here, and it still feels genuine. Plus it has the prettiest ladies room I’ve ever seen in a pub!

The Bailey Bar, 2 Duke St, Dublin, Ireland

Kehoes, 9 South Anne Street, Dublin, Ireland