Copenhagen: wine and cheese at Vinhanen

IMG_2381.jpg

It’s difficult to explain the difference between Denmark and Sweden, or the difference between Stockholm and Copenhagen, especially as both countries and cities have different areas with different vibes, but overall I would say Denmark is just so much more relaxed.

Sitting like this, on a wobbly bench on the pavement outside a wine bar amongst parked bicycles drinking wine and using an old IKEA stool for a table is very Copenhagen. The bicycles are definitely a part of the scene and I like the no-fuss approach to basically everything.

IMG_2376.jpg

I actually can’t remember how we found this wine bar, but it was on our way to the restaurant where we had dinner after, and tired of shopping we just fancied a glass of something cold and some nibbles.

IMG_2379.jpg

And that’s exactly what we got at Vinhanen. Lovely cold wine (much needed in the August heat), crusty sourdough bread and yummy cheeses. The owner was lovely and chatty and we got to try the different wines so we got one we really liked. So nice!

In the store (you can also fill a bottle and take it away) they have big barrels of wine on tap, so you can order a bottle, a glass or a carafe. Clever!

Apart from the good booze and cheeses Vinhanen also offers a nice eclectic mix of people and fun people watching on the street. It’s the kind of place you want to hang out in all night. And that’s exactly what I intend to do next time.

Vinhanen, Baggesensgade 13, Nørrebro, Copenhagen

Advertisements

Copenhagen: Hija de Sanchez

IMG_2289.jpg

When an ex-Noma chef opens a taco restaurant you just know it’s going to be good food. On my day trip to Copenhagen this summer with my usual Copenhagen travellers Maria and Daniel, we didn’t have enough time to go to the restaurant but got to taste Hija de Sanchez’ tacos at our favourite lunch place; the food market called Torvehallerne.

IMG_2291.jpg

There are several restaurant stalls here, so you can sample a bit of this and a bit of that. But we went straight to Hija de Sanchez and ordered a plate each of tacos.

IMG_2296.jpg

And some cava. Because why not?!

IMG_2301.jpg

All three of the tacos were (of course) delicious! The one with cheese and avocado (queso fresco) was nice and fresh but I also really liked the one with fried runny egg and guacemole. And the barbecoa was the best I’ve ever eaten (and I’ve sampled a few…)!

Next time I really need to go the restaurant – can’t wait to sample the whole menu! Which I’m sure my travel companions are up for.

Hija de Sanchez, Taquería and market, Torvehallerne, Frederiksborggade 21, Copenhagen

Second week of holiday!

IMG_2839

My second week in Sweden I tried to take it a bit easier than the first. Try to wind down, not set an alarm and lower the pace. The first day that didn’t happen as I had invited eight adults and five children over for lunch, but I think I managed OK the rest of the week.

But back to the lunch. I skipped a starter so the children didn’t have to sit still for too long; instead everybody could mingle around with a glass of rosé in hand and snacking on these lovely crisps with browned butter, lemon juice and grated cheese.

For the main course I made chicken with lots of garlic and lemon, potato wedges, caramelised garlic sauce and a nice salad.

IMG_2842

And for pudding I let everybody put together their own pudding of soft meringue (everybody loves this one!), ice cream, lightly whipped cream, chocolate sauce. berries and figs.

IMG_2878.jpg

In the evening I had a simple supper consisting of Danish red pølse and all the trimmings. So yummy!!

IMG_2899.jpg

The next day I went to the beach in Skanör with friends and their three children.

IMG_2906.jpg

They brought a lovely picnic and there was a lot of swimming with the kids mixed with chatting to their parents. Such a lovely day that we finished off with a late lunch in the harbour nearby followed by ice cream.

IMG_3055.jpgIMG_3063.jpg

Wednesday I slept late and spent my time in the sun in the garden before going for dinner at a friend’s new house! They’d made salmon with salad, potato wedges, two sauces and nice bread and for pudding we had rhubarb pie with ice cream. A perfect summer’s evening.

IMG_3106.jpgIMG_3152.jpg

The next day was another quiet one, with some rain but also some time on the beach (yay!) before having dinner with my parents in the evening. I made lots of pizzas which I will blog about later.

IMG_3287.jpg

Friday started off the same way (not bad eh?! three lazy days in a row!) and finished with dinner at Badhytten with all the seafood!

IMG_3322.jpg

My last full day in Sweden I spent partly with my best friend, partly with my parents. Friends of the family came by for fika in the afternoon and in the evening my parents and I had something we never get tired off; fillet of beef with homemade bearnaise sauce. This was the first time we had dinner indoors as the weather turned, but I’m grateful for the sunny days I got!

IMG_3346.jpg

Sunday was my last day and my best friend and her family came over for lunch with my parents. I got lots of cuddles from my god daughter but we also had some lovely food. Mamma cooked arctic char with potatoes, mange tout, carrots and two sauces; one with caviar and this one with apple. The pudding was a huge success too (although dad would have liked a sweeter version) and I will blog all about it later.

Then off I went to the airport with a quick pit stop at my parents’ house where I hadn’t been all summer. Thank you, near and dear ones, for a lovely two weeks! ❤

First week of holiday!

hol3.jpg

My holiday was rather busy, but that’s what it’s like when you’re living abroad; lots of family and friends to catch up with and you’re constantly behind on that front, however hard you try, as there simply isn’t enough time. My strategy this time was to start off busy and try to wind down a little towards the end, as I need to sleep and relax as well. And for once I think it worked. To say I feel refreshed might be pushing it, but I feel less tired than when I left London, which is the whole point of a holiday, isn’t it?!

hol2.jpghol1.jpg

But since I had a 7am flight on the Saturday I took that day to relax and really feel that I was on holiday. It was pure bliss to arrive at the beach house, change into a bikini and a cover up, have an glassbåt ice cream in the sun and just try to switch off a little.

hol7.jpghol9.jpg?w=640

I also walked down to the beach to dip my toes in the water and breathe the fresh air. And in the evening I enjoyed some bubbly and a nice homecooked dinner (pork fillet with lemon and herbs, new potatoes, tomato salad and a cold garlic and herb sauce).

hol13.jpg

The next day I went to Helsingborg for lunch with friends and got to see both the hosts’ lovely new house and meet other friends’ little baby for the first time. For lunch we had a lovely poke bowl with sesame marinated tuna and ice cream for pudding. It was so nice to sit in the garden catching up with dear childhood friends like that. The afternoon went by in a flash!

hol14.jpg

On the Monday I went to Copenhagen for the day with two friends, and we’ve been doing it for so long it’s a tradition we do everything to keep every summer.

hol17.jpg

We started off with tacos and smørrebrød for lunch at Torvehallerne, had fika at our favourite café and in the evening wine and cheese at one place before dinner at another. It was a perfect day chatting away with friends, looking in a few shops and just enjoying what this lovely city has to offer!

hol18.jpghol19.jpg

The next day I didn’t have many plans so started with a lie-in and a late breakfast in the garden. I did a few errands and sunbathed a bit and had dinner with my parents in the evening before a visitor from London arrived late that night as the flight was delayed.

hol20.jpg

So the next morning another lie-in was in order followed by a cooked breakfast outside. By the way, poached eggs on toast with tabasco is delicious!

hol21.jpghol22.jpg

We continued the day driving around the south coast, checking out the beaches and eating ice cream.

hol23.jpg

And in the evening we had a crayfish party complete with Västerbotten cheese quiche, fresh and smoked prawns, snaps and silly hats!

hol24.jpghol25.jpg

The following day my visitor played golf in Falsterbo while I spent the day with by best friend and my god daughter before meeting up with the golfers for lunch. Afterwards we went to Badhytten for a drink followed by a quick swim in the sea.

hol26.jpg

Then I was put to work making burgers (with fake shack sauce) for us all. So yum!

hol27.jpg

Friday was my visitor’s last full day in Sweden so we made the most of it spending most of it on the beach and after a late lunch we made our way into Malmö for drinks, dinner and some more drinks.

The next day we had time for a long breakfast and a swim before my visitor had to leave for the airport and I spent the rest of the day taking it easy and had dinner with mamma and pappa in the evening.

hol29.jpg

The next day (Sunday) we drove to the southeastern part of Skåne to have lunch with two of my cousins and my auntie. We had hot smoked salmon with new potatoes, soft boiled eggs, asparagus and a cold dill sauce. Very Swedish and so yummy!

It was a lovely week and as you can see I got to see and do a lot and catch up with many of my friends!

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

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