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food travel

Sleepless in Seattle,…

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Last year in September, Y and I finally made our trip to the Pacific Northwest — a place I always dreamed of exploring. While we did not get to snowboard Whistler (this experience remains in the top 10 of my bucket list), we got lost in the authentic beauty of Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Y and myself rediscovered the outdoorsy side of ourselves and took in the fresh air, gorgeous views, and natural lightness of being.

Our trip came to an end when we took an early ferry to Seattle to catch a red-eye flight back to our home in Vienna.  Continue Reading

food travel

EAST LONDON: Broadway Market

Saturday markets, hip and trendy! I fell in love these sweet places of joy and delicousness when living in Florida in 2012. Getting fresh produce, munching on local favorites, and meeting friends along the way became our favorite thing to do.

Before arriving in London I heard that Saturday markets are a complete thing. Hence, I asked my friend Abigail, who lives in East London and truly knows the best spots, to show me her favorite places and spaces.

Our first stop: Broadway Market. Located in Hackney and nestled in between pretty brick houses, this market is a true find, off the beaten path of London city center craziness. It meets you with a simple and rustic atmosphere, easily and quickly having your full attention drawn to the many food stalls. Walking to the end of the market to meet my friend and not already sneakily taste all the local treats was the hardest thing I did that weekend.

Not having seen Abigail for about 6 months I was super excited when I spotted her in between other Saturday-market-lovers, stylish and sweet, strutting down the street.

We started out our day early and quickly agreed that coffee was a necessary prerequesite to having a great day with each other. Her favorite cafe in East London, Climpson and Sons Coffee was ideal, just located at the end of Broadway Market. So much excitement and so much blabbing, it was only natural one of us had to drop her cup. It wasn’t me. The barista at Climpson and Sons Cafe was just so sweet when we realized they were giving Abigail her second coffee for free. It really isn’t hard to make someone’s day.

After this sweet gesture we were ready to go explore the market stalls. We tried so many different things: Scotch eggs, different kinds of cheeses, pies, and more. The balsamic vinegar, from an Italian olive oil and balsamic vendor, tasted just like caramel, so I bought a bottle to bring back home with all the memories I had made that day.

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What is your most favorite Saturday market in the world? I’m looking forward to get some great suggestions for my future travels around the globe. Because, isn’t it simply best treat to get local advice?

 

 

 

 

 

food travel

EAST LONDON: Aida Shoreditch

Aida Shoreditch is one of those places where the storefront naturally pulls you inside to have a closer look. And at this closer look, I adored this space. The beautifully curated concept store is complemented with a small adorable cafe.

The rustic wooden tables give Aida a homey feel and the waiter was so friendly, making us feel welcome throughout our time. The cappuccino was to die for. Since they also serve their coffees with soy milk dying for  has not to be taken literally. My beautiful friend Abigail joined us for lunch and a quick chat on our plans for the weekend. The baguette she ordered was fresh and tasty.

In the two-story concept store you can find hip and minimalist attire for women and men. London didn’t live up to its reputation, namely being rainy, so the rack of trendy and functional rain coats was quite an ironic encounter.

Men will find grooming gear and women can take a seat in the parlour (hear the British accent?), and get their favorite vintage hairstyles done by professionals who have all worked on big Broadway productions. This means: the results are guaranteed to be fabulous.

However, what I liked most is the fact that Aida is one of those neighborhood cafes where you can sit down with your laptop, sip great coffee, and work away. To all journalists and writers and other location independent professionals, this place is beautiful and inspiring yet comfortable and quiet.

I always envy people who are location independent. If I were, I would travel the world non-stop and work out of my favorite cafes, hopping from one city to the other. The vibe that cafes and their individual and eclectic interior design offer spark motivation I feel I can get nowhere else. (So, if someone knows of a location independent job and wants to hire me, there is a comment box below.)

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And here is a peak into the shop attached to the back of this adorable cafe.

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Address: 133 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6J

Aida has a homepage. They are on Facebook, have a beautifully curated gallery on Instagram, and are tweeting away. Tag along, you won’t regret it.

food travel

EAST LONDON: Leila’s Shop

Breakfast at Leila’s Shop was simple and simply delicious. The little cafe in Shoreditch convinced us with its sweet and rustic design and the fact that all ingredients are taken from the neighboring grocery store of the same name, which features fresh local and organic produce.

We both ordered fried eggs, one with ham, one with salvia, and while waiting for them to be served, we snug in a homemade brownie. The presentation was as wonderful as the food itself, the staff sweet and attentive throughout our stay.

The farm-to-table concept really made me feel like I was sitting in a cafe somewhere in the countryside of England.

A true down-to-earth find in the busy city of London.

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Address: Leila’s Shop, 15-17 Calvert Ave, London E2 7JP

Find Leila’s Shop on Facebook.

food travel

Blue Surf Cafe – Wilmington, North Carolina

There is great surf in North Carolina!

Yes, you have read that correctly. While most surfers wouldn’t think of North Carolina when thinking about booking a surf vacation, the coast offers a variety of locally known surf spots. Hence, I was excited to experience that lifestyle being transferred into great vibes at cafes and restaurants alike.

So, on one of the mornings of our weekend trip to Wilmington, I dragged Yael to the BLUE SURF CAFE. Naturally, as I have loved surfing and the simplicity of a surfer’s lifestyle for years now, the name of the place sparked my attention, and all I wanted to find out was what the interior design would look like and what the food would taste like.

Entering the cafe, I was suprised by the size of the place. Even though it was quite big, the design made it coastal and comfy. The staff was extremely friendly and helped us pick our perfect choice for the most important meal of the day. The only negative, I would say, was the absence of milk options. For someone who’s lactose intolerant, not getting coffee because the only thing offered was cow’s milk, was a bit of a bummer. However, the interior design, the atmosphere, and the food made up for all of it. In the end I ordered the homemade lemonade instead of the usual cappuccino. I must admit, I am kind of glad they didn’t offer soy or almond milk – otherwise I would have never had the pleasure of trying their fabulous lemonade. So there we were, eating and drinking great food, while flipping through surf magazines.

PS: When you eat at the BLUE SURF CAFE, make sure you try their home made ketchup – it is sublime!

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The Blue Surf Cafe can be found at 250 Racine Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403.

Do you have a favorite cafe, bakery, or brunch place on the coast of North Carolina? I would love it if you left your recommendations in the comment section below.