Seville: amazing gourmet tapas!

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If I had to choose one favourite meal in Seville, it would be a tough decision, but I think this lunch at Eslava would be my choice.

I had lots of fabulous food during my week in Spain, but the combination of gourmet tapas, great service and the atmosphere here made this lunch very special.

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The restaurant was packed when I arrived, and I thought I was early, but a nice flirty waiter (my favourite kind) found me a spot inside the tapas bar, perfect for people (and food) watching.

No sooner had I ordered a glass of wine until it arrived with a bowl of olives. I love that! I feel that Spaniards must easily get hungry too; as you’re always presented with bread and/or olives as soon as you sit down at a table.

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As you can see it was busy indeed, and a long queue that I managed to jump thanks to my waiter.

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My first dish was the award-winning slow cooked egg yolk on boletus soufflé with caramalised wine sauce and it was AMAZING!

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This is not a tapas for sharing – order one each!

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The next special dish on the menu is this cigar with brie and cuttlefish – a very strange combination of flavours but it totally works!

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After the first two must-have plates I felt I had to choose the next dish very carefully as it would most likely be my last here. (Sometimes I curse my inability to eat lots at one time; I’m more of a eat often but smaller portions type of girl.)

The courgette Charlotte with a garlicky sauce was just the thing to finish off my meal. More subtle than the previous dishes it still held its own and was very satisfying. Definitely one for sharing though as very filling.

I left the restaurant very content and ready to take in another day walking around the beautiful city. But as I’m writing this, I’m already dying to go back for another meal!

Eslava, Calle Eslava, 3, 41002 Sevilla, Spain

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Skanör: lunch at Stationen

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Most restaurants I visit back home are in Malmö, the biggest city in the area I’m from, but in the summer there are lots of smaller places scattered by the coast and in the countryside. In winter, not so much, but there are a few exceptions, like relatively new Stationen in Skanör. I had lunch with my friend Cecilia and Fredrik here one day at the beginning of the year and it was nice to see the restaurant was full, even in January.

All three of us ordered their classic burger with slaw and fries which was really nice and the portion was very generous too. On top of that coffee or tea and cookies were included in the lunch option. This is fairly common in Sweden and I think it’s really nice as you can sit for longer.

Bäckatorget 10, 239 33 Skanör

Malmö: dinner (and wine!) at Bastard

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I know, you’re probably giggling at the headline, but that is the actual name of a restaurant in Malmö. A very nice restaurant in fact. It’s been around for a few years now and is always busy which is a good sign.

The atmosphere is best described as cosy meets big city, as it definitely feels the restaurant would work just as well in London or New York as in little Malmö. The focus of the food is on meat and unusual cuts and they have the same menu in the bar area and restaurant.

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When I came here with my friend Carina one evening between Christmas and New Year we hadn’t booked but we came early enough to get a table after just a ten minute wait in the bar. We started off with a glass at the bar; champagne for me and a glass of white for Carina.

Sitting down we both had a lovely white burgundy (La Châtelaine 2015) that we stuck to the rest of the evening. We also had the charcuterie board which I would say is compulsory here. It’s more mixed than Terroirs, but just as nice.

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After a while we decided we were still hungry and ordered the burrata (mainly for Carina) and the sweetbreads (mainly for me). The burrata was really nice and the oranges and pomegranate seeds balanced the creaminess very well.

The sweetbreads were cooked to perfection (such a joy!) and the sauce was incredible too, but I found the carrots as a dull pairing. I would have liked something with more acidity or bite to balance the heavy sweetbreads.

With that said we really enjoyed the meal and our evening here. I love that every single waiter or bar staff we spoke to were so passionate about the menu, wines and the business in general.

Bastard, Mäster Johansgatan 11, 211 21 Malmö, Sweden

Malmo: Bibimbap at Namu

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There were plenty of lunches, fika and dinners with friends and family when I was back home in Sweden for Christmas and one day I got to try the fairly new Korean restaurant Namu for lunch with my friend Helena and her baby.

It was still pretty quiet in town this third day of the year but an early quiet lunch was perfect with a baby present.

The lunch menu at Namu was short but nice and consisted of three dishes; bibimbap with either beef bulgogi or tofu or a Korean wok. We both decided on the first option and very much enjoyed it!

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I had mine without kimchi and kale as my stomach can’t handle it, but it was still really nice. The creamy 63 degree egg made it feel rather luxurious for a weekday lunch and the flavour of the bulgogi was spot on. We also got a bowl of soup on arrival and coffee or tea is complementary for lunch. Can’t wait to try their dinner menu next time I’m in Malmö.

Namu, Landbygatan 5, 211 34 Malmö, Sweden

Pudding at Paté Paté, Copenhagen

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After our underwhelming dinner at Kødbyens Fiskebar, we wanted to have pudding elsewhere and decided on invitingly cosy Paté Paté that we walked past on our way to the other restaurant.

Even though we just wanted dessert and a drink the staff was really welcoming and took good care of us, so our moods immediately elevated and we had a nice evening.

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Maria chose a Pavlovaesque dessert, which was really nice – just enormous! Daniel had the über-chocolately cake thoroughly recommended by our waiter and it was absolutely lovely. I decided to go for savoury instead and had the cheese plate which was also very satisfactory.

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What a difference between these two restaurants! The first one with staff as cold as the interior and inferior cooking, the second warm and friendly and easy, but lovely, food. We obviously should have come to Paté Paté to begin with and can’t wait to come back for a whole meal.

Paté Paté, Slagterboderne 1, 1716 København, Denmark

Private dinner at The 10 Cases in Covent Garden

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The month of March was all about this lady (the one in the tiara), and after a lovely spa day we had the dinner for her hen do at The 10 Cases in Covent Garden. We had a room in the basement all to ourselves, where we could play silly games, unwrap lots of underwear and listen to our own music.

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The menu was cleverly displayed on three blackboards on the wall so it was just for us to choose what we wanted to eat on the day.

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My choice of starter was the scallop with coral croquette and samphire, very nice!

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For my main course I had the lemon sole with mushroom fregola (pearl pasta) and it was lovely too! For pudding I had the classic creme brulée, but we must have been playing a game at that time as I forgot to take a photo of it.

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We also had some wonderful wines as this is a wine bar first and restaurant second.

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This was just the sort of place we were after for Laura’s hen and I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as the bride and I did. Afterwards we headed to Marylebone for cocktails to toast the bride to be.

The 10 Cases, 16 Endell St, London WC2H 9BD

Dinner in Ravenna: Enoteca Ca’ de Ven

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After the lunch in Cierva, we drove to the city of Ravenna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the coast. We checked in to the hotel and walked around the town, which was quickly done, and then sat down outside on Pizza del Popolo for a drink (frankly, one has earned one after driving in Italy!).

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With our Aperol Spritz and prosecco we also received a basket of crisps and a plate full with different nibbles: pizza slices, toast, chicken nuggets and a ham sandwich cut into pieces. Quite random stuff, but I like the idea of receiving a snack with your drink.

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We then had dinner at Ca’ de Ven, a very large and popular rustic restaurant. There must have been well over a hundred people eating here when we arrived, so do book ahead.

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We really wanted to try the local speciality piadina, two flatbreads sandwiched with a filling in between and as this seemed to be a very popular place for it we asked the waiter to recommend a filling and we thoroughly enjoyed his recommendation of creamy cheese, ham and rocket. It was really nice but also very filling. I recommend sharing one like we did or have a whole one as a light meal.

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Then we, unsurprisingly, had a pasta each for our main course. My ravioli with asparagus was nice, but not fantastic, but it was nice to eat some vegetables after all the cheese I had for lunch.

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Caroline chose a very interesting pasta made with eggs, flour and breadcrumbs which created a coarser texture. It also came with asparagus, but also tomatoes and clams. It was nice and different.

The food here didn’t blow us away, but it seemed to be a very popular place, filled with locals and the piadina was great so I would recommend coming here if you find yourself in Ravenna.

Ca’ de Ven, Via Corrado Ricci 24, 48100 Ravenna, Italy