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Showing posts tagged with: City trip, Show all

The good old ‘Chippy’, about the most lovable nickname one could ever dream up for a ‘fish and chip shop’ has come to epitomize the true essence of British cuisine for over a century. NO! Not because it’s calorie laden and greasy, no! We mean because it’s such a simple dish of wholesome, comfort food which (when cooked to absolute perfection) can truly feed the soul!

The humble Chippy has a long and illustrious history in London, so much so that most locals feel they are as indicative of the city as their double-decker buses and unique black cabs. A survey done just three years ago revealed that most Londoners believe a plate of fish and chips to be more iconic than either the Queen or the Beatles. Who would argue?

That’s why we believe absolutely no London visit is ever complete without a super delicious feasting from one of the city’s superlative Chippies.

Starting to salivate at the thought of a beer battered fillet of your own? Well here’s our pick of the very best Chippies in London. In making our selection we’ve prioritized freshness (both fish AND chips must be fried on demand), quality of batter (thick but not so thick that it overpowers the taste of the cod or haddock) and lack of excess grease (oily fingertips = good, grease fountain down your chin = bad).

London: our top 3 very fave fish & chips shops

Aug 3rd 2014, 12:09 by Laura Pattara

It’s really not very difficult to find 1001 ways to gorge when on a Roman vacation. If the smell of freshly baked pizzette and focaccias emanating from small artisanal bakeries on every other corner isn’t enough to tempt your taste-buds, just wait until you pop into any little supermarket. You’re bound to be greeted by a deli counter the likes of which you could only dream about in most other countries. It’s no joke! I’ve enjoyed a better meal standing at the freshly prepared food-counter of a CONAD in Viale di Trastevere in Rome than I’ve had in many restaurants the world over. Mamma mia, it’s no wonder most of us swoon at the mere thought of a vacation in Italy. Stuff the history and culture...it’s really the glorious food we all come to experience!

Just because feasting in the Eternal City is a given, however, it does not mean one should take culinary delights for granted. Italian cuisine may be delectable, but it is also extremely traditional and very, very regional. There are mouth-watering dishes served in Rome that you’ll never find anywhere else.

Following are just some of our favourite Roman delights. Buon appetito!

When in Rome...feast like a true Roman!

Jul 20th 2014, 09:00 by Laura Pattara

Forgive us for stating the blatantly obvious, but we really think the last thing the world needs is yet another guide listing the 101 top things to do in Venice. Do you really need to be told that a romantic ride long the Grand Canal may be a good activity to plan? Or that watching the sun set in St Mark’s Square is not to be missed? No? Good! To be honest, if you don’t have a vision of days spent getting hopelessly lost exploring the most hidden alleyways and canals of what is arguably the most enchanting city in the world, you don’t even deserve to go!

Instead, we thought we’d share our most tried and tested insider tips on how to get the most out of your visit.

Moreover, we’ll also tell you why we think some of our tips are truly priceless. We promise there is no madness to our thinking!

Buon Viaggio!

Our top 3 tips to getting the most out of your trip to Venice

Jun 15th 2014, 08:06 by Laura Pattara

When visiting a foreign city for the week-end, there’s always an overwhelming desire to see and do it all. I don’t know about you, but whenever I plan a long-list of activities or sites to visit on a short break, I’m lucky if I even manage a third of what I initially envisaged. Nowadays, after having learnt my lesson about a dozen or so times, I’m a lot more realistic of how much I can accomplish in just three days in a city.

I now know that I need to account for time getting to and from places and I also keep my energy and interest levels in check. No matter how much I may want to museum-hop aaaalllll day, I know I get bored after about three hours. So I keep it real. My enjoyment of getting jostled in big crowds is also time limited to about four hours, so I also no longer plan a full day outing to a major shopping street or busy commercial area.

Here are some tips on how to maximise your time, and minimize your stress!

How not to make the most of your week-end away

Don’t get me wrong...I love a hidden gem as much as the next traveller. Venturing off the tourist grid just a tad, and discovering an amazing place, person, sight, smell or taste, is as soul reviving as seeing some of the world’s most celebrated attractions. These moments of unexpected finds make one feel like an ancient explorer; perhaps the first and only soul to ever stumble upon a particular treasure.

Considering the fact we live in an era when you’d be hard pressed to unearth a nook of the world not yet ‘seen’ or ‘done’ by someone else (apparently there are a few in the depths of the Amazon but I’m far too allergic to all things sticky and bitey to prove the theory myself), feeling like a 21st century Marco Polo in Europe certainly has its rewards. Yet sometimes, I do wonder if our incessant drive to unveil the unexplored has the potential to lead us astray.

Are we doing the places we visit a disservice, by blatantly dismissing some of their most revered attractions?

Can the search of the authentic ever be taken too far?

Apr 16th 2014, 15:08 by Laura Pattara

Post your intention to pack your bags for a glorious week-end away to an amazing city and your Facebook feed will no doubt be inundated with 1001 snippets of advice, insider tips and invaluable hints. Or so it will seem...

Whilst your friends’ intentions are admirable, their actions are far less ‘priceless’ than they may appear. It’s bad enough that our own governments do nothing but warn us of the dangers of travelling abroad, whilst misleadingly leaving their own turf to appear as a safe haven, now we also have to listen to Aunt Betty who is adamant that all French people are rude and that Paris is just awash with young thuds just itching to snatch your bag. Never mind that Aunt Betty has never actually even been to Paris!

The Worst Travel Advice You Will Ever Hear

Apr 7th 2014, 12:39 by Laura Pattara

I’m a firm believer that everyone should travel alone at least once in life. The benefits are so extensive (read all about them here), and at times so life changing, that it should really be at the top of everyone’s bucket-list. Yes, it can be THAT powerful!

However, I can certainly understand the trepidation felt by many who have not yet discovered this most incredible way to experience the world. The questions are many: will I get lonely? Will I be safe? Will I get bored? I may smile to myself and think ‘oh if only you knew!’, but that’s easy for me to do. I travelled alone for years, all those fears are now long past me. But I vividly remember what it was like to get out of the airport, in a foreign city, all on my own for the very first time. If I remember correctly, I was a nervous wreck, sucked a whole Ventolin in a jiffy and thought I wouldn’t last five minutes. Twenty years later and the memory of that first week-end away still warms the cockles of my heart.

Lone ranger, the world is your oyster! Here are the best ways to shuck it out of its shell.

Travel Alone: Top Tips for a Safe and Fun Adventure

Travelling alone may seem daunting to the uninitiated, yet ask anyone who has actually tried it, and they’ll likely sing lyrical about the whole experience. Solo travel can be an amazing opportunity for self-growth, as attested by all those (like me) who tried it once, got hopelessly addicted and continued to indulge for many years. Unlike what many believe, it is not a punishment or statement of failure!

Travelling alone is a gift, an indulgence...and about the best present you can give yourself.

And here’s why:

Travel alone: gift yourself this amazing experience

Mar 18th 2014, 11:19 by Laura Pattara

Spend a week-end away with a few friends and you’ll soon discover just how irritable, short tempered and impatient you are. Well I’m here to tell you that, in fact, it’s not you...it’s them! Being stuck in a foreign city with exasperating travel-personalities is enough to make even the most zen-infused guru seethe with frustration. While there are literally hundreds of things you could do or say to drive your travel companions up the wall with madness, there are a few defining ways to really ensure you crush life-long friendships and make enemies wherever you lay your hat. Is you ambition to get indicted into the Travel Companion Hall of Shame? Then by all means, follow these genial hints and success will be guaranteed!

How to LOSE friends and NOT impress people when travelling!

Mar 10th 2014, 13:23 by Laura Pattara

In retrospect, it’s fair to say that someone so accident-prone should have never been allowed to dine in the dark. Quite frankly, considering I tend to spill vino on myself and fellow diners when I am allowed to keep all my senses working...what did I think would happen when I dined with my eyes wide shut? Ooohh!! And add an irrational fear of the dark to the equation and you can just imagine the kind of delightful dining experience I had at Dans Le Noir.

What I LOVE, however, is anything remotely experimental, weird and incredibly nonsensical; which is how some people have described this dining experience. Once I read those reviews I just knew I had to try it. My adventurous spirit will override all other senses each and every time!

Dining in the dark..

Mar 4th 2014, 14:00 by Laura Pattara