Monday, 28 September 2015

City guide: Where to eat in Barcelona

Going on holiday can sometimes be a slightly daunting thing especially if you are a bit of a fussy eater like me, being a vegetarian doesn't make it any easier either. So when I went to Barcelona a few weeks ago I was a little worried about what I'd be able to eat when I was out there. However, Barcelona completely surprised me with pretty some amazing brunch and lunch spots! So carry on reading to find out a few of my recommendations...

picnic pancakes barcelonaPicnic Barcelona

Picnic: Carrer del Comerç, 1, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
This was the first on our list to visit, my boyfriend had put together a list of amazing places for us to try and this was one of them. If I'm completely honest the menu wasn't the best for vegetarians however I managed to find these summer berry pancakes which meant I had breakfast for lunch, something I was more than happy to do! They also sell alcoholic iced teas which would be the perfect way to relax with friends on a sunny day. It was super busy and full of the locals when we walked in so I always take this as a good sign. I saw someone eating one of the cheesecakes and I wish I had a chance to try that for myself! 

eyescream and friendseyescream and friends

Eyescream and FriendsPasseig de Joan de Borbó Comte de Barcelona, 30, 08003
I am such a huge fan of this little ice cream shop, and I'm even more excited to hear that they're going to be expanding into Europe. I first came across Eyescream and Friends during my last trip to Barcelona and knew I'd have to go back there again. I always go for the yogurt flavour as I think it works so well with the shaved ice cream. When you walk in there's lots of different sauces and toppings to cover your ice cream with! If you're looking for a great place to visit during your trip I'd put this at the very top of your list and if you're a huge instagram fan like I am, then this place is bound to make your grid look super exciting. 

brunch and cake barcelonaBrunchelona
Travel and cake Barcelona

Brunch and Cake: Various locations
This little brunch spot is from a chain of cafes dotted around the center of Barcelona, during my trip I visted both Brunch & Cake and Travel & Cake, (again another great spot for your Instagram, you may have spotted a certain doughnut sign on mine)! I tried the french toast/doughnut and then the ricotta hotcakes with halloumi which was the perfect savoury midday pick me up. Out of the two I visited, I preferred Travel & Cake as it meant I discovered a whole other area of Barcelona that I'd not visited before, what's more there's a Sephora just around the corner. 

Federal cafe Barcelona
Federal cafe Barcelona
Best coffee in BarcelonaFederal cafe Barcelona

Federal cafe: Carrer del Parlament, 39, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
My boyfriend loves his coffee and so this meant the search for Barcelona's coffee was on, three days into our trip he found. To this day he swears it's the best iced coffee he's ever had. Located in between Poble Sec and Sant Antoni we perched ourselves for the afternoon by the window and nibbled away on our delicious lunches. I particularly liked coming here as they offered great vegetarian food and made it super clear what was in their food, which is perfect for those of you suffering with special dietary requirements. There were also lots of cakes and pastries located at the bar if you didn't fancy a meal. Great to pair with one of the iced coffee's after a long day of exploring. 

La Donuteria, Barcelona

La donuteria: Carrer del Parlament, 20, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
Just up the road from Federal cafe was this doughnut shop, we popped down later on in the afternoon and most of them had been snapped up. However, we did discover this rather patriotic treat and decided to tuck in, to this day I'm not quite sure of the flavour but either way it was pretty delicious. Barcelona seems to be pretty crazy about doughnuts, at nearly every cafe or coffee shop we went to they were selling them. They even had Dunkin' Donuts in a few of the metro stations! 

Vegetarian food in BarcelonaTeresa Carles, Barcelona

Teresa Carles: Carrer de Jovellanos, 2, 08001 Barcelona
This was probably one of the food highlights of the trip for me. Teresa Carles is a vegetarian restaurant, but also offers plenty of Vegan food too. I'm so gutted that during my dinner out I forgot to bring my camera as the photos above really don't do the food justice. I loved it so much that I made my boyfriend go twice in the space of a few days, the food was just incredible. It's very rare that you find a vegetarian place that still cares about how the food tastes, as much as they care about where it was from and how it was made. Sometimes I find vegetarian restaurants to be a little bit too 'healthy' for me, (I still want my meal covered in cheese please)! However if you are after something light or want your fill of your five-a-day this place will certainly cater to your needs, if you're not a veggie this place is a must! 

Makamaka Beach burger cafeMakamaka Beach burger cafe

Makamaka beach burger cafe: Passeig de Joan de Borbó Comte de Barcelona, 76, 08039 
Located in the heart of Barceloneta, this burger place is the place to go after a day at the beach! I absolutely loved this little burger cafe, I went for their mushroom patty burger which was delicious and a great options for us vegetarians. Of course, being the chip fiend I am, I had to try the garlic, Parmesan and parsley fries, which were absolutely incredible! I loved the option of being able to have a fancy cocktail with your burger too. I think this would be such a fun place to bring a group of friends to grab a burger and a drink. I loved the fun vibe the whole place had, the toilets were even made into beach huts! How cute? Fun fact: Makamaka actually means intimate friend in Hawaiian.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Macmillan's Coffee morning 2015

On Wednesday last week I was kindly invited down to have a go at cake decorating to help raise awareness for the annual Macmillan coffee morning, this year it's happening on Friday 25th September and it's coincidentally their 25th anniversary. Apparently last year over 5 million cups of coffee were drunk, 10 million slices of cake were eaten and we raised £25 million pounds as a nation, which is pretty impressive! Here's to hoping we raise even more this year!

cock and bull galleryTramshed Old Street
how to decorate cupcakesRestoration Cake, Charlotte White
 I am Daisy-Alice blogPink glittery rose cupcake
Squash vegetarian dish Marc Hix kitchen library

The event took place in Marc Hix's kitchen library tucked away in the renowned Tramshed restaurant, we were so lucky to be here as this is his private kitchens and research space, (this is where all of his tasty creations are made)! We were treated to drinks and plates of food from his kitchens; including giant yorkshire puddings, squash with goats cheese curd and pork crackling with apple sauce (for the meat eaters). Charlotte White from Restoration Cakes taught us how to professionally decorate cupcakes. Perfect to bring along to your very own coffee morning! Charlotte taught us a few of her tips and tricks including how to ice your cupcakes with fondant icing and how to make decorative roses. I got thoroughly stuck in and gave it a good go, and when it went a bit wrong I covered it with edible glitter, the best way to cover up mistakes! 

M&S are supporting the charity by giving 10% of the sale on some their most popular cakes including the 25th anniversary edition of Colin the Caterpillar and the classic Victoria sponge. M&S cafes are also donating money to the charity throughout September to Macmillan, which I think is a really great idea! If cake isn't your thing then there are plenty of other ways for you to get involved including tea towels, coffee morning pins, mugs and aprons again all available from M&S.

Unfortunately more than one in thee of us will get cancer in our lifetime which is just such a scary statistic. The amazing people at Macmillan provide practical, medical and financial support for people suffering with cancer. Sadly, most of us know someone who has suffered from the illness so it's just incredibly important that we raise money, so please donate what you can. Even better why not host a coffee morning of your very own! 

Monday, 14 September 2015

Hotel Silken Diagonal, Barcelona

It's only been a few days since I've come back from my lovely week long trip to Barcelona. However I'm already wishing I was back there, so to cure my holiday blues I decided to throw myself straight back into blogging. I thought I'd do a little review of the hotel I stayed in, Hotel Silken Diagonal. I had already been to Barcelona once before this trip and knew I wanted to stay in a similar area again, as it's just slightly out of the busy city centre but still super easy to be right in the heart of Barcelona if we wanted. 
The location of the hotel is pretty great, it's literally right next to one of the top tourist spots, the Torre Agbar (as you'll seen in the photos below) making for a lovely view on the hotels rooftop pool and bar. There is also Design museum (which is a must and is only 5 euros for entry), Glories metro station and a shopping centre all a few steps away from you! 

Hotel Silken Diagonal, Barcelona
Hotel Silken Diagonal, Barcelona
Hotel Silken Diagonal roomsHotel Silken Diagonal rooms
Hotel Silken DiagonalBarcelona rooftop pools

About the hotel: 
I was first intrigued by the hotel because of the design of the lobby. Every time I looked 'Barcelona hotels' online I would spot the glistening copper interior of the reception area and the bar. The design of the hotel and the rooms have a super clean and modern feel to it, nothing like I would have in my home, but it suits the hotel perfectly! We were lucky enough to be told on arrival that our room had been upgraded so my boyfriend and I were pretty excited about this and it was such a lovely surprise. The room itself was great, the perfect place to stay for a city break (or a week long break like us) in Barcelona, I loved having the big windows in our room to peek through in the mornings. The hotel room was always spotless, we were given new bottled water every day, the toiletries were also topped up each day for us and more importantly the staff were friendly.
However there were two things I found a little unusual about the hotel, the bed only had one pillow for the each of us on the first night, so we had to ask for an extra one to be sent up the next morning. I find usually hotel beds have too many pillows on! The second point, and this may just be a problem for us Brits, is that there was no kettle to for us to make tea or coffees. I've never been in a hotel where they've not had this! However it did mean we explored some of the local cafes each morning and stopped us lying in until noon...
One of my favourite things about the hotel was the rooftop bar and pool, a couple of nights we popped up for a mojito or beer and soaked up the lovely feeling of being on holiday. As well as taking the time to look at the pretty impressive views. Although the bar is a little pricey 10 euros for a mojito and around 5 euros for a beer, it's nothing more than you would expect to pay in a bar in London, so it came a no shock to us. The price was totally worth it as the mojito was huge and the views/ambiance made it more than worth while. I know that during the summer they have parties and DJ's up there so it would be a great hotel to stay in with a group of your best friends. 

Barcelona rooftop bars Torre Agbar Barcelona
Barcelona rooftop pools
Barcelona rooftop bars
Barcelona rooftop bars

Have you been to Barcelona? Let me know in the comments below. Check out my other Barcelona blog posts from last year including; Las Ramblas and my review of ice cream shop, Eyescream and Friends.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Autumn Edit.

London Fashion for Autumn
It's the first of September and in my mind this means it's the start of Autumn. I think for a lot of us Autumn is one of our favouite months as its filled with cosy nights in, fireworks night, big knitted jumpers, London Fashion Week, lots of baking and the start of the Christmas build up. Yes I said the C word... The UK has had a pretty rubbish and wet summer, there's a mini storm happening as I write this. So I started thinking about my Autumn wardrobe in August and have put together an edit of a few of my favourite things. On my A/W wishlist is a new leather jacket, comfortable every day ankle boots, chunky wrap cardigan and lots of shades of tan! As usual I've gone a little shoe crazy but I couldn't help myself, there's so many great pairs out there. I'd love to know what's on yours?
P.S If you can't see my wish list below just change your ad block settings as it likes to block this feature!