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coffee – City Turtle
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Blog, Drink, Eat, Healthy, London

Brompton Food Market, South Kensington

October 29, 2016
Brompton Food Market, South Kensington

I love it when you come across places which you never knew existed, but have walked past a million times.  South Ken is tricky for brunch.  It’s either super touristy (Muriel’s Kitchen) or a bit chainy (Comptoir Libanais, Aubaine, Pain Quotidien).   And then you get this cute, unassuming Deli/Cafe with a secret garden which is perfect for a summer lunch or an autumn brunch.   We were actually en route to Aubaine, but then passed the Brompton Food Market with it’s inviting ‘secret garden’ sign and thought we ought to have a look.  Let’s just say Aubaine never happened after that.

The Brompton Food Market is actually also a butcher, fishmonger and greengrocer as well.  I.e really the place do all your shopping.  And the experience is ten times nicer than shopping at Tesco’s, I can promise you that.  It’s a beautiful shop with excellent produce.  You could spend hours looking at all the different jams and oils and cheese.

Brompton Food Market, South Kensington

Shopping aside, they have a great selection of wonderful salads and juices for those healthy-inclined, or a mouthwatering brunch menu with dishes like American pancakes with berries, eggs whichever way you want, the list is endless.  My cappuccino was the size of my head.  We sat outside, kept warm with sheepskin rugs and overhead heaters.

Brompton Food Market, South KensingtonBrompton Food Market, South KensingtonBrompton Food Market, South Kensington

This is the perfect place for a cosy, laid back and affordable coffee or brunch, in the heart of touristy London.  It’s ideal if you’re looking for somewhere quiet and local, and away from the tourist hordes.

The Brompton Food Market

33 Thurloe Place

SW7 2HQ

Blog, Bologna, Italy

Caffe Terzi, Bologna – DRINK

July 10, 2016
Caffe Terzi, Bologna

I love scouting out the best places for coffee.  In Italy it’s not hard to find a good coffee.  But Caffe Terzi offers a very cute venue as well as excellent, beautifully presented coffee (or tea, if you prefer).   And you know you’re in the right place when all the locals are lined up at the bar sipping Espressos.

Caffe Terzi, Bologna

But Caffe Terzi isn’t just a place to shot an Espresso and go.  Its colourful red and yellow striped wall paper and small but cosy sitting area makes it a pretty place to stop and rest your weary feet after a morning of sightseeing.  Even the biscuits you are served with your coffee are phenomenal. Terzi reminded me a bit of a cross between a Viennese Cafe and an Italian one.  The staff are all exceptionally friendly and helpful, and I’d happily have stayed here all morning sampling their various coffees and teas.

Caffe Terzi, BolognaCaffe Terzi, Bologna

It’s tiny, so blink and you might miss it.  But make sure you make the effort to come here for at least one coffee, because it truly is the best coffee in town.

Caffe Terzi

Via Guglielmo Oberdan, 10/d

 

Blog, Czech Republic, Prague

Tricafe, Prague

April 11, 2016
Tricafe, Prague

I never realised Prague was so into their coffee until I went.  I love a good coffee, but wasn’t sure whether the standard wouldn’t be up to scratch.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  They are real coffee specialists.

A lot of the great coffee bars in Prague are in the more residential areas, so not in the touristy central.  One we found (recommended by the brilliant Taste of Prague) was Tricafe.  It’s small, it’s cosy and it serves excellent coffee.  And amazing coconut passion fruit cake.

Tricafe, Prague

Because of its size it can fill up quickly, but we managed to grab some seats at the back.  Here there are nice touches like a book case in the corner selling books for 150 czk (£4).

Tricafe, Prague

It’s a great place to recover from a long day of sightseeing.  We escaped the rain and planned the rest of our weekend, with the help of Rough Guides and Taste of Prague (you can buy their Prague Foodie Map from the super cute boutique Kurator down the road from Tricafe).

Tricafe, Prague

The service is excellent; friendly and efficient.  One of the staff was horrified to find we weren’t brought a carafe of water with our coffees/teas and rushed to get us one.  We didn’t find the service in Prague outstanding on the whole, but we loved it here.

Tricafe

Anenská 3, 110 00 Prague

Blog, Czech Republic, Prague

My Raw Cafe, Prague – HEALTHY

March 19, 2016

When I’m on holiday, my ‘healthy living’ goes out of the window.  I love my weekend breaks, and love my food, so won’t hold back on the eating front when in a new city.  But whichever destination I visit, I do try and find a healthy cafe.   Somewhere I can get a dose of greens and my quota of superfoods for the weekend.  I also find it interesting to see to what extent the health craze has taken hold in each city.

My Raw Cafe, Prague

Prague surprised me.  My Raw Cafe was the perfect place for a Sunday afternoon power juice, raw cheesecake and cashew milk coffee.  The only drawback about this place is that it’s in a shopping mall (well, Prague’s take on a mall), and that it doesn’t have much natural light, or views.  The mall was dead as we walked through it, and we were convinced it would be shut, but then we arrived and it was heaving.  This is clearly where the health-conscious locals come on the weekend.

My Raw Cafe, Prague

This is an ideal place for a weekend brunch, with a lot of great savoury options (all raw).  Or you can sink into one of their comfy armchairs, read the papers and enjoy a chilled afternoon.  It’s very laid back, the service is exceptionally friendly and – most importantly – the food is delicious.

We took down the raw blueberry cheesecake as if we hadn’t just had a huge lunch at Field (only about a 10 minute walk away).  They have a huge range of smoothies and cold-pressed juices, and any coffee you may wish, with the option of cashew/almond/soya milk.

My Raw Cafe, PragueMy Raw Cafe, Prague

So while I still most definitely recommend eating the six courses tasting menu at Sansho, and trying as many dishes as possible at Field, if you’re looking for something lighter, then brunch or a juice at My Raw Cafe will not go amiss.

If you want to go a little more off the beaten track, then I’d also highly recommend The Farm in the up and coming area of Letna, where they also do great brunches and juices.

My Raw Cafe

Dlouhá 39,

110 00 Praha 1-Staré M?sto

Argentina, Blog, Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires: Where to find good coffee.

January 11, 2016

In a country where coffee is not the drink of choice (it’s all about Mate – a traditional tea), Buenos Aires has done well on the cafe front.  A lot of places are now actually serving really good coffee, and Argentines are starting to take their ‘coffee culture’ more seriously.  Palermo stays on the forefront of the cool cafes, but Recoleta and Barrio Central are not far behind.

These were my favourites:

  • Hub Porteno, Recoleta

    I know it’s a hotel, but I had my best coffee here in Buenos Aires, for breakfast.  Their restaurant Tarquino, which is meant to be really good, is open to the public.  So grab your chance and have lunch here, and finish off with one of their excellent coffees.  It helps that the china is oh so pretty.

Hub POrteno, Buenos Aires

  • Delicious Cafe, Recoleta.

    Simple, local, friendly.  There’s nothing fancy about this Recoleta favourite, where an expat told me that they served the best coffee in town.  Their Illy coffee was good, and their media lunes (‘half moons’ – similar to croissants) were brilliant too.  It’s super affordable and a good place to start the day if you’ve got limited time.

Delicious Cafe, BUenos Aires

  • Birkin.

    Palermo Botanico’s trendy hangout, which serves a delightful Flat White, even though they need to work on their service.  Brunch is meant to be good here too.

Birkin, Buenos Aires

  • Negro, Centro.

    With a coffee machine called ‘Aurelia’, it was hard not to like this place.  It has a very local vibe, with people coming in for casual business meetings, others grabbing a coffee and a sandwich on the go during their lunch break, friends enjoying an espresso and a pastry.  Service was good here for once, and they also do some great fresh mint and ginger lemonades.

Negro, Buenos Aires

  • Barrio Cafetero, Centro.

    This place is so tiny, and if you didn’t know about it, you’d completely miss it.  It’s not in the most touristy of areas, but those who value their coffee will be glad they found it.  The range of coffee on offer is wonderful, and the barista was very friendly and helpful.  Worth the de-tour and ideal for a take away.

Bario Cafetero, Buenos Aires

  • Natural Deli, Palermo.

    Buenos Aires is yet to fully catch on to the whole health craze which is taking Western Europe and America by storm, but the Natural Deli is one of those places which health junkies would appreciate.  Apart from nice interiors (don’t be put off from the outside) and a good buzz (though again, the service was lacking here), the menu has some really good options, including some lovely organic coffees.

Natural Deli. Buenos Aires

Other cafes apparently worth checking out are Felix Felices & Co and Full City Coffee House, both in Palermo (of course), and I walked past Luba Coffee Store which looked lovely too.

Argentina, Blog, Buenos Aires

Birkin, Buenos Aires – For a trendy breakfast in Palermo Botanico

December 27, 2015
Birkin, Buenos Aires
Palermo is known as Buenos Aires’ trendiest area.  But it’s quite vast, and divided into sub areas within it: Palermo Soho, Palermo Hollywood, Palermo Viejo – but it seems like the quieter and less touristic Palermo Botanico (on the edge and close to the zoo and the botanical gardens) is now very much on the up.  Birkin is a recommended cafe here, which is very popular with the locals but not yet with tourists.  Ideal.
But let’s start with what I didn’t like: the service. I was pretty much ignored for the first 10 minutes I was there. I found a table close to the front, and admired the interiors: the geometrical pattern on the floor, the designer lighting by the bar, the well used newspaper stand. There are tables outside too.  But this didn’t take away from the fact that I had to do my utmost to order a flat white (and later to get the bill – no tip for them!).
Birkin, Buenos Aires
Which quickly leads me on to the positives. The coffee was delicious. And the rest of the menu looked right up my street (though I’d just had a huge brunch at L’Orangerie at the Alvear Palace, so I couldn’t eat anymore food).  As mentioned previously, I also loved the interiors, and there was a lovely vibe – lots of locals; families, friends and couples all enjoying a relaxing Sunday morning.
Birkin, Buenos Aires
So if you’re in the area, be sure to stop by for a coffee. Or scrambled eggs with spinach.  And hopefully the staff will be more helpful than they were to me.
Birkin Coffee Bar
República Arabe Siria 3061
Palermo Botanico
Buenos Aires
Argentina, Blog

Negro. Cueva de Cafe, Buenos Aires – DRINK

November 11, 2015
Negro, Buenos Aires

Argentina is not known for its coffee, and during my trip through the country I did observe that the coffee was not quite up to the European standard. But Buenos Aires is different.  Apparently especially in the past few years the cafe scene has changed quite substantially, with lots of independent, quirky cafes cropping up which – most importantly – serve good coffee.

Negro, Buenos Aires
Negro is one of them, a caffeine triumph.  Located in central Buenos Aires, close to the famous Obelisk on Plaza de la República and the charming Plaza San Martin, this is slightly away from the touristy areas and as local as it gets. The interiors are all exposed brickwork, a bustling bar, and industrial-style lighting.  Locals come in to grab a take away coffee, others come in for their lunch break or even for a business meeting, and many just have a quick espresso and a croissant and then depart.  The coffee is excellent – and their coffee machine was branded Aurelia – so I liked it instantly. It’s a place you could easily expect in Soho (London).

Negro, Buenos AiresNegro, Buenos Aires
But almost the best thing were the people. Having stopped by quite a few cafes, I had found some staff to be quite unfriendly, or indifferent. Here it was the contrary, the staff were wonderful.  Helpful, curious, patient. As a solo blogger-tourist, I felt completely at ease here.

Negro, Buenos AiresNegro, Buenos Aires

Apart from a strong shot of espresso, I opted for their ginger lemonade and it was delicious. Refreshing and not too sweet – just what I needed after a morning of walking through the streets of Buenos Aires in the sun.

If you’re hungry then try 180 Burger Bar down the road, meant to be pretty good too.

Negro

Suipacha 637

Buenos Aires

Photo Credit: Negro

Blog, Drink, Eat, London

Shot Espresso, Fulham Broadway

August 15, 2015
Shot Espresso, Fulham Broadway

When the very tiny Shot Espresso opened a few years ago, on the cobbled pedestrian and rather lovely Jerdan Place, I had a feeling it was going to do well.  It is the project of friends of, as they say, ‘Italian, Australian and English extraction’, with especially the Italian extraction being most pronounced in their venture.  It is effectively an Italian Deli, Cafe and Aperitif bar all rolled into one, with some Aussie touches.  Every morning I walked passed I could smell their freshly ground coffee, and see tempting heaps of buttery croissants through their large window.  Every evening when I walked home, they went from offering coffee to offering Aperol Spritzes.  Or wine.

Shot Espresso, FUlham Broadway

So, I tried both.  Their coffee really is good.  And their friendly service adds to Shot’s charm.  One evening I also tried their Aperol Spritz.  And a glass of wine. And perhaps a few more of them.  And loved this local and characterful place just off the very busy and characterless Fulham Broadway (having said that, if you want cocktails then 510 Below is brilliant too).

Shot Espresso, Fulham Broadway

Soon enough they cleverly put a few tables and chairs outside, and shortly the pavement was overflowing with post-work drinkers.  And best of all?  They offer Aperitivo.  Possibly the best deal ever.  If you pay an extra £3 for your first drink, you get to sample unlimited amounts of their homemade bites and selection of cheeses, hams and breads, plates of which are placed on the bar and which they keep topping up.  I don’t know anywhere in London where they are this generous.  No need for dinner, just come here for lots of drinks and delicious aperitivo and you’re sorted.

Shot Espresso, Fulham Broadway

Their well-deserved success meant that they procured another tiny joint, right opposite Shot – called Slice & Ice.  Offering, surprise surprise, homemade pizza (Roman-style) and ice cream.  Same sort of concept, same people, same overflowing pavement where on the busier Thursday and Friday nights the crowds from Shot and Ice & Slice simply merge together.

Ice & Slice, by Shot

Their newest venture is Bistro by Shot.  A larger, a little more formal cafe/bistro just off Parson’s Green.  I enjoyed my brunch here, but my preference will always be Shot Espresso.

Bistro by Shot, Parsons Green

For more Fulham ideas, check out Fulham Brunch places, St Clements and Hally’s & Little H.

Shot Espresso

11 Jerdan Pl

London SW6 1BE

Photos Shot Espresso’s own, or mine from Instagram.

Blog, Drink, London

Love Die Late, Fitzrovia

August 5, 2015
Love Die Late, Fitzrovia

I like places which serve excellent coffee by day, and then delicious cocktails by night.  A smart thing to do, especially in bustling Fitzrovia, when there are heaps of people around all day long.  Who need feeding and watering.

I suppose the concept isn’t dissimilar to the very lovely Bar Termini, though at Love Die Late they go through even greater efforts to transform the interiors of the place from ‘day’ to ‘night’.   As they say, they ‘physically’ transform themselves.  And they really do.

Love Die Late, Fitzrovia

I came here one Thursday evening, and clearly the ‘night’ theme was very much in swing.  Subdued lighting, coffee machine gone, cocktail shakers out.  Lots of overexcited girls shouting over their drinks.  Needless to say, despite the charming New York 1950s style interiors, we sat outside (there are a few tables on the pavement).  I love people watching in Fitzrovia anyway.

Love Die Late, Fitzrovia

Love Die Late, FitzroviaThe cocktail list isn’t too long but offers some interesting options.  Lucy went for the Epicolada with almond washed pineapple juice (a bit like a fancier Pina colada I suppose?), and I went for the Steeped in Blush (Raspberry infused gin, with honey cordial, lime and Angostura Bitter).  Both were refreshing and not too sweet.  Later we ordered some of their house wine and some rabbit food to nibble on.  All in all I liked the place, the service was very friendly and I still think the area around Oxford Street can do with more cocktails bars (though I do love the Cocktail Trading Co), so I’m happy about its location.

Love Die Late, FitzroviaLove Die Late, FitzroviaNow I need to go a Take 2 and head here for a day time coffee and a cake (they have some good gluten free options too), to check out the transformation into a ‘flirty and fun’ cafe.  And perhaps I’ll sit inside this time too.

Love Die Late, Fitzrovia

Love Die Late

114 Great Portland Street

London W1W 6PH

Blog, Drink, London

Bar Termini, Soho

December 15, 2014

A small blog for a small place.  But definitely worth writing about, as it’s very cute and charming, even at 11am on a Saturday morning.

Why I liked it:

1)      It reminds me of Italy 

The main station in Rome is called Termini, and this very Italian establishment, clearly done up in a ‘railway bar’ style (I love the suitcases tucked away above the sofa), takes me straight back to Italy.  It also helped that one of the waiters was Italian.  And charming.

Bar Termini, Soho

Bar Termini, Soho

Bar Termini, Soho

2)      It serves excellent coffee.

In the morning it’s very much a café – serving (seriously strong) knock out coffees.  Their Bianco (Cappuccino) was punchy, but those who appreciate good coffee with appreciate this.   And if you fancy a quick Espresso shot by the bar, it’s only £1. They offer fresh pastries from L’Anima Café in Shoreditch to accompany the coffee.  Marco Arrigo is in charge of the coffee, and has collaborated with Tony Conigliaro to set this bar up (see point 3).

Bar Termini, Soho

Bar Termini, Soho

3)      AND cocktails. 

As per point 2, Marco Arrigo has joined up with Tony Conigliaro (from the Zetter Townhouse) to set up Bar Termini.  Tony is in charge of the cocktails and the ‘aperitivo’ side of the bar.  Cocktails start at a very reasonable £6.50 (the Negronis) and they start serving alcohol from 11am onwards, so ideal for these festive days when drinking throughout the day is perfectly acceptable.  If you feel like a nibble then they also serve Italian small plates (it is aperitivo after all); the mini panini is a bargain at £1 (it is really mini though).

Bar Termini, Soho 

4)      The service.

As this place is truly tiny (30 covers at most), it is all a rather intimate affair.  The baristas/cocktail shakers were professional and friendly.  They serve water upon arrival.  And I like their outfits.

Bar Termini, Soho

Get there early if you’re coming for aperitivo, though you can just hang out by the bar if it’s busy.   Or pop by for a coffee to wake you up.  Just don’t miss this little slice of Italy in the midst of bustling Soho.

Bar Termini

7 Old Compton Street
Soho

07860 945018

Photos my own and Bar Termini’s

Blog, Eat, London

Muriel’s Kitchen, South Kensington

March 18, 2014

I don’t know how many times I have walked passed Muriel’s Kitchen, a cafe/restaurant just around the corner from the South Kensington Underground.

Muriel's Kitchen

I’m not sure whether it is because it’s always so full of people who look like they’re having a good time, or whether it is simply its mouthwatering array of cakes and pastry in the window, but I have always been drawn to this place.  And yet, in all my years of living in London, I have never been.

THE TEMPTING WINDOW DISPLAY

THE TEMPTING WINDOW DISPLAY

RED VELVET CAKE TO DIE FOR

RED VELVET CAKE TO DIE FOR

PERFECT PEOPLE WATCHING SPOT

PERFECT PEOPLE WATCHING SPOT

 

So last weekend, having decided to meet a friend and my twin Jo in South Kensington for a coffee, we decided to meet there.  They too, both ‘Londoners’, had never been.  But were glad I had chosen it.

We were lucky, there wasn’t a queue.  We got a big table in the middle of the cafe.  The perfect place to admire the view, both outside and inside.

COLOURFUL AND WELCOMING

COLOURFUL AND WELCOMING

TEA, ANYONE?

TEA, ANYONE?

Muriel's Kitchen

LOVE IT

LOVE IT

It was busy, so the service was stretched.  But you could tell they were doing their best.

The girls just ordered tea and coffee.  I was having none of it, so order the Red Velvet Cake.  It was divine!!   Certainly gave its neighbour The Hummingbird Bakery a run for its money and didn’t feel as heavy as Red Velvet cakes often can.

'THE' CAKE

‘THE’ CAKE

Apart from cakes and pastries they also offer healthy salads, quiches and tarts, amongst other savoury dishes so it is the prefect breakfast, lunch and tea place.  Strongly recommend it in combination with an afternoon of museums in the South Ken area.

THE SALAD BAR

THE SALAD BAR

Muriel’s Kitchen

1-3 Pelham St, London SW7 2ND

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