Browsing Tag

modern bistro

Eating Abroad Europe France

Bordeaux – Two Must-Try Modern Bistros

November 21, 2017

Bordeaux is the only city in Europe I have visited three times; technically not a single time was of my choosing, but each time made me fall in love with it even more. The first visit was a fleeting one, just a couple of hours while we changed trains from Toulouse to San Sebastian and after which we vowed to return. I left a certain someone behind on the second visit, running off to spend the weekend with my girlfriends indulging in too much good wine and great gossip. And finally, the most romantic visit of all was enroute to a beautiful wedding just outside of the city. Three strikes Bordeaux, and you are still very much not out…

Dare I say, Bordeaux is almost the perfect weekend package – it has enough showstopper sights and attractions within the city to keep you interested while also being the perfect base for exploring the wine regions of Saint Emilion and the Médoc. I find the muted tones of the city chic and alluring, I can pass a couple of hours window-shopping both high-end stores and pretty boutiques, and in between all that, I eat and drink. A lot. I may have always ended up in Bordeaux quite by chance but where to spend my precious meal times is something I try not to leave to random selection.

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Eating Abroad Featured Germany

Industry Standard in Neukölln, Berlin

October 10, 2017

It took approximately two hours, that’s all I needed to confirm that Berlin and I were just not meant to be. It’s something I probably knew five years ago when I first set foot into the city, but was too green and travel-shy to admit it. Everyone I met raved about the German capital – the troubled but engrossing history, the edgy culture, and even the late night or early morning raves themselves. I am fascinated in the tales from its divisive past, but the transformation that followed is less appealing to me. Berlin is often praised for being grungy and alternative, but frustratingly, I have failed to find the charm in the grit as others do. I am self-aware enough to admit that the truth is, I’m just not cool enough. Berlin, it’s not you, it’s me.

However, it didn’t help that during the weekend we had to shelter in a construction site during a twenty minute torrential downpour, I felt the need to re-try currywurst to make sure they weren’t as bad as I remembered (they were), and I fell horribly ill one day which severely hindered my enthusiasm for seeing anything other than our hotel room! But there was a silver lining… and as ever, my salvation came in the form of food, in particular the food at Industry Standard. Frequently lauded as one of the city’s ambitious new bistros, it seems that when it comes to a restaurants, I might just be cool enough to appreciate Berlin’s edginess…

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A Bit Casual Eating Out London

Counter, Vauxhall

September 29, 2015

Has anyone else noticed that restaurants around major train stations are usually duds? My completely unoriginal theory is that the guaranteed high footfall drives the rents up and only the big bad chains can afford to open up in those sites. Like many a weary commuter, I’ve had to succumb to their monotonous menus and eat their average food but only after I’ve checked that the WH Smith has run out of edible sandwiches, and I’m at the point where neither a bag of crisps nor a chocolate bar will carry me through. Once the hunger is gone, the seeds of regret start forming and my default position is confirmed once again; restaurants within a five minute walk from these busy train stations should be avoided. I will exercise better willpower next time, I think to myself.

So now that I’ve got that off my chest, you can probably guess what was going through my mind one Friday evening when I was figuring out how to get from the office to Counter in Vauxhall and Google maps told me it is right by the train station. Less than a five minute walk from the station, more like one. Sceptical? Yes. Intrigued? Yes. Pleasantly surprised? Also yes.

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