A while ago my mom and I visited Lisbon for a short weekend trip. It’s amazing how the place you stay in can make or break your trip. In this case, Sofitel Lisbon completely made our holiday. We fell in love with the city and also with the hotel.
First of all – location, location, location. The hotel is well placed right in the city centre on Avenida da Liberdade. It is a prime shopping district and is very close to the Barrio Alto and most major Lisbon attractions. We didn’t have to use public transport much at all. The front desk staff were so lovely, knowledgable and helpful from the very moment we walked in until the moment we left.
Dishoom has grown rapidly in the last few years since they first opened their doors in 2010. With a unique twist of Indian and Iranian food, Dishoom definitely stands out. A very important thing to note is that the food is Halal so it caters to a wider community too.
I went for a lunch at the Carnaby Street branch a while back during their soft launch and we hadn’t booked a table. Although the queue looked very long we were inside in 35 minutes. Whilst a bunch of us were waiting in the cold they brought out some of their lovely signature spicy chai to keep us warm.
The interior is quite similar to the other branches with dimmed lighting, wooden decor and generally very welcoming. There’s definitely a touch of India and Iran. The food is served on a preparation basis and just comes as it’s ready. This wasn’t a problem at all as we shared everything anyway.
Marrakech had been on my bucket list for such a long time and I finally got to visit back in May this year.
It is such a beautiful city, full of warm and welcoming people. Having done a bit of reading online I found that a lot of people had concerns about the safety of Marrakech before traveling.
Those that visit Morocco thinking its like any other European country will be in for a culture shock. Familiarise yourself with where you’re going so that you know what to expect and you’ll be absolutely fine. As always, travel with an open mind.
What should you wear?
In Marrakech I saw people dressed in all different types of clothes, from mini skirts to top-to-bottom covered outfits. You could technically wear whatver you want – there’s no dress code and women aren’t required to wear scarves. Obviously wearing revealing outfits will attract the wrong attention, as it would anywhere in the world. Even though the locals may not say anything, they will think it and they will look.
Chiswick has recently welcomed a beautiful restaurant called 197 Chiswick Firestation. To my satisfaction (no offence), they’ve replaced the old All Bar One on Chiswick High Street. As soon as I heard about the new opening I had to visit because it definitely brings out a different side to Chiswick. Most bars and restaurants in the area are usually quite cosy and old fashioned, pub style. The interior of Chiswick Forestation is spot on, very chic and reminds me somewhat of Chiltern Firehouse. My sister and I visited on a very nice and sunny day so we chose to sit in the beautiful outdoor terrace which can fit big groups as well.
The brunch menu is quite traditional. I chose the Breakfast Sourdough Bruschetta (£8.95) with Roast tomatoes, spinach, avocado, dry cured bacon and breakfast mayo. My sister chose single Eggs Royal (£8.95) Smoked salmon, avocado and spinach on toasted sourdough w/housemade hollandaise. Both were ok but nothing above ordinary. We found the bread too stale in both dishes but the flavours were good. Having seen lots of pics of this dish, we also ordered the Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes with Maple crème fraiche and syrup (£7.5). Presentation wise the pancakes were great but again, it was ok. There was a lack of flavour in the pancakes and the taste of blueberry was vague.
The meal for 2 came up to £35 with drinks and service. Despite the slight let down I’d definitely return for drinks, nibbles and cocktails. It’s just not a place I’d recommend for food. The vibe is great, interior is beautiful and the staff is friendly.
Is £10 for an amazing steak too good to be true? Not at Flat Iron, that’s for sure. They are located in three central locations here in London. I’ve visited the original branch by Oxford Street on numerous occasions. The concept and menu is very simple but contains all you need. There is one steak option for £10, some side options and that’s it, nice and easy. The dyon’t take reservations so you most likely have to queue. As with many places, they take your number and you can wonder off until they notify you that your table is ready. With their central locations there’s plenty to do to kill time.