Brunch in Porto

The Best Brunches in Porto

Brunch is always a good idea.  Especially when you’re travelling.  And especially when you’re travelling somewhere that has such exceptional cuisine.  It’s been a while since my taste buds were as satisfied as they have been in Portugal, particularly in Porto, which has an abundance of cool restaurants and quirky cafes that serve an expert brunch.

Clearly the best meal of the day, brunch gives you a totally valid excuse to have a lazy morning and then enjoy excessive amounts of both savoury and sweet in one go, with a fun social atmosphere, all while sipping on booze before midday. I may have had a dessert overload, as you would have read in my last drool-worthy post on Porto’s most indulgent desserts, but I also brunched hard, so here are some of the best places for brunch in Porto.

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Desserts in Porto

Porto’s Most Indulgent Desserts (and Where to Find Them)

On my recent visits to Porto I have been lucky enough to have eaten at some of the most fantastic restaurants, all recommended by locals, from great brunch spots to the most divine vegetarian restaurants.  I now have so many recommendations to share that there are far too many to include in one post, so I’ve split it up into sections.  The first…desserts!  Obviously.  Because cake is the most important food group especially when the Portuguese seem to do them so well.

The streets of Porto (which you can wander afterwards to burn off all those sugar-filled calories) are full of cafés and sweet pastry shops.  The Portuguese coffee culture gives you an excuse to enjoy something sweet alongside your morning, afternoon and/or evening espresso.

So here is my list of the best places for dessert in Porto.  Warning…there are several photos of me enjoying said desserts because apparently I eat so many and enjoy them so much that it just has to be caught on camera.

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Where to eat in Lisbon

10 of the Best Foodie Spots in Lisbon

Scoping out the best restaurants and local delicacies used to be one of the highest priorities on my list when travelling.  But due to the exciteable toddler who now accompanies me on all my adventures, I don’t often get the luxury of eating out at nice places as much anymore.  My main criteria now seems to be restaurants that cater to small children, where no one would blink an eye at a bit of noise or a toddler going for a wander around the tables or crayons being thrown all over the floor.  And bonus points if the restaurant has a play area!  Ah the joys of travelling with children.

It wasn’t until we returned home from Lisbon that I realised just how many amazing places we’d eaten at in the few days we were there.  So many in fact that the food needed a whole post of its own!  All of these places come highly recommended by a local (which was the only reason we ate so well because I did absolutely no research myself), some of which are family favourites.  So they have been tried and tested by both locals and tourists (aka me) too.  None of these are specifically child friendly but they all catered very well to children, so whether you’re travelling with kids or without, these are some of the best places to eat in Lisbon.

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Princess afternoon tea London

Feeling Like a Princess at Afternoon Tea at the Tea Terrace

I remember the days fondly when I used to get lost in a book on the train to work, carefully paint my nails with colours to match my outfits, and binge watch the latest Netflix series. My Friday and Saturday nights were spent trying different restaurants or sipping cocktails in bars and Sundays were always reserved for a new adventure.

But over the last eleven months or so, my me time has somewhat diminished. Or, to put it more aptly, completely disappeared. Unfinished cold cups of coffee can be found scattered around the house; I have no idea what the latest place is on the food scene (and even if I did I wouldn’t be able to get the dish that I actually wanted anyway because my choices now revolve around the new boss); I’m yet to get through the second series of Stranger Things; and I’m lucky if I’ve rinsed all the conditioner from my hair before I have to dash out of the bubble bath that I’d so lovingly dreamed of all day.

As much as I absolutely adore my little Evie, a baby leaves very little room for time to yourself which is why, when my sister told me she was taking me to a surprise afternoon tea treat for my birthday last month, I cried. Like literally burst into tears. The exhaustion of being a mama combined with the thought of all that cake was just too much for me to handle!

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Mister Lasagna review

A Lasagna Feast at Mister Lasagna, London

When your favourite cuisine in the whole world is Italian and a new restaurant opens up in London dedicated to everything that is lasagna, it only makes sense to try it out as soon as possible.  With 21 different types of lasagna on the menu (yes, you read that right – 21 different types of lasagna!), Mister Lasagna opened up in Soho just over a month ago and has already become so popular that they’re opening up a second restaurant soon.

A very casual but cosy restaurant, Mister Lasagna is the place to go for a quick, easy meal and, considering it’s in such a popular part of Central London, the prices are extremely affordable, but that doesn’t mean that they scrimp on the taste.  With a counter to select your dishes from at the front of the restaurant (cue lots of temptation as you drool at the food in front of you) and several quiet tables at the back, it’s a cosy little place for a tasty lunch or for a relaxed meal after work.

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What to do in Amsterdam

A Weekend Guide to Amsterdam

A breezy one hour flight and we were in Amsterdam, somewhere that had seemed to evade our travel radar so far.  With such cheap and easy flights from the UK, it was the perfect destination for a short weekend break over the May bank holiday and I always welcome the chance for us to explore a new part of Europe.

There isn’t actually a huge amount of sightseeing to do in Amsterdam which made for a wonderfully chilled weekend break.  We spent most of it simply wandering around, taking in the enchanting canals bursting with colourful flowers, and satisfying our bellies with as much food as possible.  We decided to stay on our feet to explore rather than hop on a bike as the city is so full of cyclists – there are more bikes than there are people in Amsterdam (true story) – and the speed they flew past over the narrow cobblestone roads had me fearing for my life when I was on the pavement let alone actually being on one of the bikes myself!  Instead, we picked up our I amsterdam card which includes tram, bus and metro rides, as well as a host of free and discounted sights and tours, and worked our way around the city with a combination of public transport and the simple wearing out of our feet.

If you’re planning a weekend in Amsterdam and want to know exactly what you should see and do then look no further as I’ve highlighted all the best bits here including the tastiest foods and the quirkiest activities!

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where to eat in San Francisco

Brunching in San Francisco

If there’s one thing I absolutely love about San Francisco it has to be the scrumptious brunches.  We tucked into a whole lot of brunches during our American adventure, from picnic brunches by the sea in the Big Sur to giant red velvet pancakes in Las Vegas (which are just as good as they sound by the way), but the City by the Bay served up some of the best.

San Francisco just knows how to do brunch right and so we spent all of our mornings there hunting down the best spots before we went off exploring the rest of the city.

As Mr Ayla correctly posted on his Facebook wall:

“You know you’re married to a travel blogging extraordinaire when it takes you two hours to get the best brunch.  And apparently we’re doing it again tomorrow!”

Yes Alex, because brunch is totally worth it.  I even had my fabulous brunch tee all ready for the occasion so we simply had to go in search of the best brunch spots in San Francisco because my outfit said so.

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Hornblower San Francisco

Dinner, Dancing and Dazzling Vistas with Hornblower Cruises San Francisco

I always think that one of the best ways to see a city is from a different perspective – from up high at the top of the Shard in London; from a gondola exploring Venice’s canals; or from across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.

In San Francisco, where the water surrounds the city and so many of the main sights and attractions are around the Bay, hopping on a boat and taking in the views from the water seemed like the thing to do.  So that’s exactly what we did when Hornblower Cruises invited us on board for an evening of champagne, dinner and dancing.

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What to do in London

Latest London Adventures

The desire to get on a plane and step foot in a different country is currently taking over my every thought.  I haven’t been away since our trip to France back in December and although I love a staycation, our weekend break in Brighton just does not count.  I know I may sound greedy but I’m sure most of you travellers out there will agree with me – travel is like a drug and right now I am having some massive withdrawal symptoms.

So the thought of our impending American adventure next week is like the light at the end of a very long very dark tunnel.

But I’m not one to sit around at home just waiting for something exciting to happen, so in the meantime I’ve kept myself busy by becoming a tourist in my own city and exploring more of London.  I often take for granted the fact that I live in such a fantastic city but it’s little adventures like these that make me remember how great London really is.

So I’ve put together a little itinerary of some of our latest explorations over the past few weeks that would make for a fun weekend in London.

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Where to eat in Marrakech

The Best Lip-Smacking Places to Eat in Marrakech

Almost as soon as we had dropped off our bags in our beautiful riad we found ourselves stepping back out into the chaos of Marrakech’s Medina.  Cars tried to jostle their way through the dusty streets, donkeys pulling carts alongside them and mopeds speeding by loudly tooting their horns.  We darted out, joining the people (and cats) zigzagging between the traffic.  Our bellies were rumbling and we were on a mission to find some Moroccan food.

Not a total surprise, I’m sure, that the first thing I do in a different country is hunt out the local food.  But Morocco is a place where the cuisine is such a huge part of the culture – well I like to tell myself this anyway so that I have an excuse for all the eating!  With five days in this magical and mythical city we attempted to eat our way around the whole of Marrakech, from sipping mint tea in rooftop cafes, sampling street food in the bustling markets, and fine dining in luxurious hotels.

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