Theatre, BBQ and sport

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I must admit I feel slightly stressed that it’s already the middle of July. In less than two weeks I go home to Sweden for two weeks and I have quite a lot to do before then, but the main reason I’m stressed is that I don’t want this lovely summer to end! It’s been so lovely and I want it to continue forever.

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I’m really looking forward to my weeks in Sweden but London is lovely too at the moment. Last week was busy but fun and one of the highlight was definitely the RAF fly-over on Tuesday to mark their hundred year anniversary. Wow!

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In the evening I met up with the girls at Chick ‘n’ Sours for nachos (probably the best ever), fried chicken, cocktails and of course a proper catch-up. It was much needed and so lovely!

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On Thursday I was invited to Shakespeare’s The Tempest at an outdoor theatre in Covent Garden. Always nice with some culture!

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And before the theatre we had a quick meal at cosy Polpo nearby. Love those meatballs!

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Friday I had a (much needed) night in, with face masks, scented candles and a not great but fine rom-com.

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The weekend was all about sport, apart from the Saturday evening which was all about Tim (the birthday boy) and the barbecue him and Laura had arranged. We had Pimm’s and snacks in the garden, followed by a barbecue complete with burgers and two types of sausages and finished off with proper American s’mores. Yum! When it got dark we ventured inside for board games and champagne.

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Sunday started with a lie-in (yes!) followed by a whole afternoon in a lovely beer garden watching both the Wimbledon final and the World Cup final.

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It was nice and relaxing with a glass of rosé in hand. Afterwards we went for a little walk, then headed back for homemade club sandwiches and the last episode of Billions. Can’t wait for the next season to start!

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London: Taco fever!

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Tacos. It’s quite easy to get some decent ones to eat in London, there are chains everywhere, but finding some really good ones is much harder. But the search is over. Breddos Tacos (you can find them in Soho and Clerkenwell) serve up some lovely tacos and lots of nice dishes too!

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I met my friend Daisy here for dinner one night and decided to start off the evening with margaritas. That’s always a good idea, right?!

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This one with passion fruit was absolutely delicious!

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But we were hungry too and ordered some snacks. This corn and n’duja dip was amazingly good!

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And so were the baja fish tacos! This is the real deal, but my easy homemade ones are pretty good too.

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Next we had barbecued onglet which was so tender and full of flavour. Loved this! The charred spring onion and sauce was a nice accompaniment.

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I can never resist aubergine and seeing as it’s a healthy vegetable I think that’s a good rule. This grilled aubergine with tomatillo and almonds was a real delight. Soft and light but with some charred notes from the grill and acidity from the tomatillo.

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We also had the crispy pork belly tacos that were recommended to us, but I didn’t think they quite measured up to the fish ones. Can’t wait to eat my way through all the different tacos. And next time I think I’ll try the crab and bone marrow nachos too. Great menu!

I love all these smaller (although it has two levels so not tiny) restaurants in Soho where you can eat really well without breaking the bank. Most of those have a first come first serve policy but luckily Breddos Tacos take bookings, which I’m so grateful for. Queuing when hangry is hard…

Breddos Tacos, 26 Kingly St, London W1B 5QD

Barcelona: cocktails at Old Fashioned and late supper at Bar Mut

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After our fab (but early; we sat down at 7pm) dinner at Bodega 1900 we found a nice cocktail bar called Old Fashioned to chill in. It was small and cosy, had nice music on but you could still talk and an extensive cocktail list. Lovely! Also, all the staff were bearded men with white shirts and suspenders. Cute!

I went for a Gin Tonica, the Spanish version of gin and tonic served in a large glass on a stem. I tried one with strawberry notes and it was served with a dried strawberry slice. Really nice!

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Emma asked for a fruity drink and received one with strawberries and raspberries. It was good fun sitting here chatting and people watching for a bit.

Old Fashioned, Calle Santa Teresa nº 1, Gràcia, 08012 Barcelona, Spain

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Until we got hungry again and headed to nearby Bar Mut that I was drying to try. I so love that the restaurants here are open late.

At Bar Mut there’s no printed menu, but some dishes are written on the board and your waiter will tell you the rest. You can also choose your fish and shellfish from the iced counter. Everything’s fresh and seasonal. Simple, but not too simple.

We started off with white asparagus that were perfectly cooked, and served with a light mayonnaise, nuts and leaves.

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I’ve never been able to resist croquetas and this time was no exception. These big ones with iberico ham were amazing!

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Our last dish (I mean, we had had a proper dinner earlier that evening) was a this lovely beef dish with morels and a delicious sauce.

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We walked out happy and full, heading back to the hotel in our taxi for another full day of exploring Barcelona the next day.

They don’t have Uber here but other similar taxi companies (the one we used had its own fleet and all cars had free water and wi-fi – so good!) that we used a lot, especially in the evenings when we were tired from walking all day.

Bar Mut, Pau Clarís nº 192 (Diagonal), Barcelona, Spain

 

Copenhagen: Balthazar champagne bar

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After the sushi lunch and some quick shopping for me, it was time to try Denmark’s only champagne bar; Balthazar (to my knowledge not related to the New York and London restaurants).

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Although located in the famous D’Angleterre hotel the bar has its own entrance off the street (Ny Østergade), but I’m sure it’s connected to the rest of the hotel in some way. We came here in the late afternoon on a weekday between Christmas and New Year, so it wasn’t exactly buzzing but a few tables were occupied and the ambience was really nice.

So was the service. Our waitress was very attentive but also left us to enjoy our drinks. Three of us had champagne (Pol Roger if you’re wondering) while the fourth person wanted a cocktail not on the menu, but the bar staff were happy to oblige.

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I must say I really like Balthazar. Partly because they serve many decent champagnes by the glass, but also because they’ve managed the not so small feat of balancing a luxurious feeling with a relaxed vibe. Make sure to visit on your next trip to Copenhagen!

Balthazar, Ny Østergade 6, 1101 København K, Denmark

Cocktails at Tweed Bar, Stockholm

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After dinner with my parents at Den Gyldene Freden, they went back to the hotel and I went on to have drinks with my now Stockholm based childhood friend Carina at Tweed in the old town.

I’ve heard a lot about this bar (mainly through my Instagram feed) and I was so thrilled to finally try it out, as I’m not in Stockholm that often.

When I arrived, a bit early (for once), I had a glass of cava by the bar while I waited for Carina. When she arrived we were shown to our table and Chesterfield armchairs. The whole interior was similar; very colonial, but it worked just as well as an American Bar works in London. It was cosy, busy but not too busy, and the absolute best thing was the sounds proofing; we could easy chat at normal volume while the music was playing. I don’t know many bars where that’s possible!

We moved on to drinks later and I had two perfect pisco sours. Carina joined me for one but also tried a drink with elderflower, raspberries and egg white from the menu – also very nice!

This is such a gem and the perfect place to go when you want to go out but still be able to talk and not have a crazy late one.

Tweed, Lilla Nygatan 5, 111 28 Stockholm, Sweden 

Burgers at Dirty Bones, Soho

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One night after work I met up with my friend Gaby in Soho. We were both in  the mood for comfort food and Gaby suggested Dirty Bones, which I hadn’t heard of before. Situated on the top floor in Kingly Court it was really popular, but we got there just in time to get one of the last tables. And the happy hour was still on – amazing!

We started with a cocktail each, called Top Dog, made with vodka, lemon, chambord and prosecco. It was really nice an fresh – not too sweet- and we both really enjoyed it.

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Having sorted the drinks out we decided on food; buffalo chicken wings to start and then a burger each. The chicken wings were very good and seriously spicy. I missed the classic blue cheese dip that is usually served alongside the wings, as it would have been nice with a cooling element.

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With mouths slightly on fire we moved on to the burgers. Gaby ordered the most insane burger ever created, The Mac Daddy with tender beef short rib and mac ‘n cheese. I tried both toppings and they were delicious, but I’m a bit conservative when it comes to burgers so not sure that one’s for me.

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Instead I had the safe option, a burger called The burger. It was what you expect a burger to be, and it was very nicely done! Only strange thing was the piped cheese, but it tasted great!

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It’s an understatement to say we were full after those burgers but we still decided to share a pudding. I mean who can resist cookies and cream; milk ice cream in the glass and a lovely chocolate cookie on the side. Nicely done and very yummy!

Dirty Bones, Top Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London W1B 5PW

Peruvian food at Ceviche, Soho

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Still going through the posts from last year, this is definitely a review I want to share with you:

My flatmate Daisy and I wanted a fun Soho dinner after work one day in the autumn and decided on Ceviche which be both really wanted to try.

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We started off with fantastic pisco sours, and then had wine with the food. Only to have some more cocktails after dinner – I’m not a huge cocktail fun but these were great, especially those pisco sours.

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Food-wise we started with cheese puffs with quince, chilli and sour cream. I remember them being crunchy and nice, the sweet and the sour taking the edge off the fried stuff.

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Obviously we had ceviche in the place called ceviche and this one with seabass, chilli, red onions and sweet potato crisps was seriously good!

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These crispy parcels with pork, spices (more chilli) and coriander were also really nice. The texture of the pork was stringy and soft, just like pulled pork.

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One of my favourites was our second ceviche, with razor clams with chilli and borage. So delicious!

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I also really liked these skewers with extremely tender octopus and fiery chorizo, with coriander mash underneath. Amazing!

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The token vegetable dish was the grilled asparagus with chilli mayo. It worked well with our dishes and was really nice on its own too.

I must say I really enjoyed out visit here and can’t wait to go back. The busy atmosphere, the loudness and the very many tables crammed into the restaurant area together with the excellent food and drink just transports you to South America for the night. Another pisco sour, please!

Ceviche Soho, 17 Frith Street, London W1D 4RG