.: Afternoon Week :.

I really love a good afternoon tea, so couldn’t miss having one on the Afternoon Tea Week. If I needed any further reason there was also our 9th Anniversary (of living together). Probably I could have done something a bit more fancy to celebrate the occasion, but sometimes I believe you need to keep it simple 🙂

And no, I didn’t went to any fancy tea either, I’ve decided to go pretty much next door, have a walk in Richmond and enjoy a good delicious relaxing tea.

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Richmond is one of my favourite places in the world. I never get tired of having a walk along the river here, it always makes me feel really calm and relaxed.

For the tea, the choice was Muriel’s Kitchen. I had seen this place lots of times and it was on my wishlist for a long time. (You can see the afternoon menu here)

Loved the space immediately. Really lovely soft decor and friendly staff. As soon as you walk in you are made to feel really welcome.

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I’ve ordered a chamomile tea whereas he went for the classic Earl Grey. Both were really tasty (the teas were from teapigs). The smoothie was also pretty fresh

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The tea is served in a little picnic bench (which I found to be really cute)

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All of the sandwiches were pretty good, ranging from smoked salmon, to chicken and egg. Then moving to the scones.

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As soon as I’ve started to cut it in half I’ve noticed the texture, perfect. Not breaking apart and feeling really soft in my hands.

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After the first bite, yap, really good! One of the best I had in a long time! Finally the mini bakery, all the cakes were delicious and makes me want to try the big ones. All really fresh

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Might not seem a lot by the pictures, but I was really full. He couldn’t even finish all the cakes. So overall I’ve really enjoy my experience and honestly think this was a good choice! Will be back to try their other cakes and for more scones 🙂

.: Le Boudin Blanc :.

Last week we went out for dinner middle of the week with friends who were enjoying for the first time they are parents, some time just for them. For how much you love your kids I’m sure there will always be moments you also miss the times when you could do anything you wanted, including trying new restaurants on a Thursday evening. As we’re about to join their club, felt like a really good idea to go too.

One of our friends, who loves both Marylebone and Mayfair, selected the restaurant. I can’t say no to a French restaurant and I love those areas as well! The choice was Le Boudin Blanc

Loved the environment immediately! Really cosy without being pretentious with really friendly staff. One of the staff members couldn’t speak english very well, so we had to repeat a few things, but that’s ok.

We didn’t order any starters – at least I didn’t to save some space for dessert, but we had some bread to start with. The wine menu is actually really good, but I can’t say anything about it, as at the moment I can’t drink, so had a sparkling water instead.

For mains, I’ve ordered the cod, which was absolutely delicious and creamy!

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He had the lamb, which was perfectly seasoned and cooked.

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The star for me was the dessert, the Fondant au chocolat. As soon as the plate arrived I could smell it already and the small was absolutely fab! I’ve managed to finish it all and I’m glad I had saved some space for it.

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He’s crazy about lemon tarts, so he ordered the tartellete au citron. Same as my one, the smell was incredible. I had a try on it and it was superb. He was quite happy about it and said it was the best he had in a long time.

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So a really good place to go for a nice relaxing dinner, either as a couple or with a small group of friends.
Le Boudin Blanc Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

.: The Stables Pizza & Cider :.

My other half kept on talking about a new place that was going to open quite close to home, but I had no idea on what it was until he then said it was Pizza & Cider, which then reminded me The Stables (which I know from Bristol), I went to check on their website and just confirmed they had opened a branch next door!

(Photos below are from the official website)

So it was the perfect place for a Friday night after work (as we were both lazy to cook dinner).

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I hadn’t realised that before, but the menu changes based on the location. There were some specials on the menu related to the area (which is always a nice idea). I went for the pizzas again, but next time need to try a pie

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We had the garlic bread, which I totally recommend as it’s a big portion and quite tasty. Then I had a chicken and pepper pizza (even on pizzas I’m still taking into account my daily protein intake ahahahah)

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I like the pizzas because they taste like sourdough bread and are thin and crisp. They are not the best pizzas I had – for instance I still prefer the pizzas on Franco Manca and they are not that far from us either (in Chiswick), but it’s a really nice place if you enjoy trying different ciders. Their choice is really good. So I’m sure we’ll be back more often

If you want to try it you also have a Whitechapel branch.

What is your favourite pizza place in London?

.: Board Games Brunch :.

You know I like to play board games once in a while right? So once our friends told us there was a really cool cafe with board games next to their flat, we thought it was worth the try. Although today is absolutely an amazing sunny day, we’ve started by crossing London by car – which is always an adventure on it’s own with my other half testing all the swear words he knows (yap, people in this city drive really badly, especially considering this is not a city planned for cars).

Anyway, we’ve then reached Draughts – Board Game Café. This is a project that started on kickstarter (there’s some really interesting places in London that also started there, like Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium Cafe)

It’s a really spacious place, and on the weekends gets filled quite quickly. The concept is that you pay £5pp and you can stay 4h and play any games you want with your friends. Because of the weather today, there were still spaces available so we could have stayed longer if we wanted it to.

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The only draw back is that, even though they open at 10h and the food menu is perfect for a brunch, they only serve food after 12h. I hadn’t realised that and went before having breakfast. Fortunately our friends brought some snacks for us.

We’ve started by playing a Japanese game: Tokaido

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The concept of the game is that we need to cross Japan and get points along the way with the stops. As any Japanese games, the game itself is visually quite pretty and so are the cards. It takes a bit to get the rules, but then it’s quite easy to play. You can check more here and available on Amazon here. I’ve enjoyed it because it’s a game about travel (in Japan!) and about exploring.

Then we’ve ordered some food, mostly warm sandwiches to keep us going

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After brunch, we moved to the 2nd game, Pandemic. Unlike most games, Pandemic is a game about cooperation. Everyone playing will be contributing for the team to win (or end up loosing). Each player gets assigned a role, as per the cards, and the idea is to form and discuss a strategy throughout plays and as the game gets tougher. The team wins once they’ve managed to find the cure for all the main 4 diseases in the board, before they take over the world. It’s not a game I would have considered playing, but because it’s about cooperation ended up being really good fun

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Maybe because we spend so much time on social media and glued to our computers / phones, it feels quite relaxing to go back old fashion ways and just take time to play a board game with friends. Really nice experience 🙂

Draughts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

.: The curious incident :.

Yesterday was the warmest day of the year, and probably over the last few years too! I was happy to be working from the office with access to air conditioning as I’ve been struggling to face the heat. (Just happy I’m not in Portugal with 40C!)

Me and some friends had agreed that we should watch a play mid week. I did some research and found out about the “The curious incident of the dog in the night-time“. This was inspired in a book, which I hadn’t read. Since it had really good reviews I thought, why not?

Last time I had watched any play was the Book of Mormon (which I totally loved!!!). Even though London is a power house in terms of theater and plays I end up not taking much advantage from it. Mostly because I used to be out of London during the whole week working away, and weekends felt too short.

I loved it! Loved the minimalist setting of the play, loved the story, so really recommended! It was emotional, funny and really clever too.

 

I’m planning to watch another play before September, any recommendations?

.: In search for the best coffee in London :.

First of all it’s Friday and it’s finally summer in UK!!!!

For those of you that follow me for a while you’ll know I love coffee. There are photos of me, as a 3 year old, holding a small cup of coffee in my hands (it was mostly a small cup of milk with some drops of coffee). But I really love coffee since I can remember. The smell of roasted coffee in the morning, the taste of it and anything coffee related. Maybe one day I’ll be crazy enough to become a Barista and open my own space (or maybe not). I don’t drink coffee for the sake that it wakes me up, I drink purely because I love it. And I wish it would wake me up, but it doesn’t work!

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This is how I like my coffee, short, strong, no sugar!

For those of you that live in London, I’m sure you’ve noticed the growing trend over the years around the coffee culture. Whereas before it was all about the Starbucks of this world (horrible expensive coffee btw!), now we have competitions for professional Baristas and lots of independent chains. Here’s something I have to praise the hipsters, thanks guys!

The only downside of coffee culture being so linked with the hipster culture is that most of the really cool chains are located in East London. Being a South Westerner by heart, this means I normally need to wait for a small shop to start opening other branches so I can give it a go (I can’t be asked to cross the whole city because of coffee, even if I love it that much).

This week the latest discovery was the Workshop Coffee (Holborn branch)

This is a really spacious place and I was surprised to find it really quiet! Perfect to enjoy a nice coffee and sit on the coach.

I went for a flat white rather than my usual espresso, so delicious!

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Also had a small brownie which was very tasty too! Will come back more often, since it’s just a 5m walk from the office.

Workshop Coffee Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Other good places I’ve already tried:

I have loads more on my wishlist!

You can also visit the list from the Cosy Coffee Shops for more inspiration.

What is your favourite coffee place in London and how do you normally drink your coffee?

.: Home… is where the heart is :.

Everyone says: home is where the heart is. I totally agree and I have to say my heart is in so many places. Home…. once born in South Portugal, that was what I thought it was going to be my forever home:

This is home! My feet on the wet sand with the sound of the waves breaking slowly as my soundtrack. The smell of the sea, the sound of the seagulls and the boats. If I close my eyes I can easily imagine myself back.

Home was also to go to the mountains and jump between the rocks and climb trees with my sis and my dad

We had a fair amount of outdoors life when growing up and amazing weather! Looking back I feel privileged!

Then I went to uni when I was 17th and moved to Lisbon, which was my home for 8 years! I love Lisbon! This is where most of my friends live and where we’ve started to live together almost 10 years ago.

It means Fado, it means Saudade…. oh I miss it quite a lot! It’s quite funny because since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to live in Lisbon. Every time I go back now it feels like holiday, but still comes harder and harder to come back. Regardless where I am in the world, a big part of my heart will always be in Lisbon!

I also know I’ll be back one day, just a matter of when

Then more than 5 years ago I moved to London and whereas the first year was getting used to it, it started to feel like home.

It’s amazing to live in such a multicultural city surrounded by historical monuments around us. Ever since I moved to South West London, I do feel at home here. I love Chiswick, Kew & Richmond. Love the gardens and the pubs.

I’ve also spent 2 years in Bristol, which I could easily call home as well. The whole lifestyle, people enjoying life a bit more, socialising and being more friendly than in London was something I could easily adapt to

So I have to admit my heart is broken with all this #Brexit topic, because I never believed it would happen at all. The place which I’m calling home might no longer be so in the years to come. I can imagine the pain of the people being sent “home” feel heartbroken when home is precisely where they are. Hard to see a country being broken apart fuelled by lies and blindness.

So who knows what home might be tomorrow, at least I had the joy of considering a few places like home. All of them will always be special to me 🙂

 

.: A relaxing tea @ Number sixteen :.

I was thrilled to have my sister over with me for the weekend. Last time we had been together was in our weekend away in Bordeaux. I took Friday afternoon off and decided to treat us with a nice outdoors english tea. After all the miserable rain this week I really wanted a space outdoors, which lead me to do quite a lot of research. Then I found Number Sixteen (south Kensington). Number 16 is a hotel really close to south Kensington station, but at the same time once you step in you feel miles away from the city. The hotel decor is really lovely

I didn’t took any photos from the guest areas, so have to rely on those available in the official website

Beautiful isn’t it?

But to me the start was really the lovely garden outdoors

The staff was really friendly and took us to a nice lovely table. We felt so peaceful and relaxed! It was the perfect space to chit chat and talk to each other about everything we wanted to! (And the perfect place for me to forget all this misery which is Brexit!!!)

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Really cute china!

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As soon as the food arrived we were presented with quite a big portion! I’m so glad my lunch had been really light

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We’ve started from the bottom from the savoury sandwiches all the way to the sweets and finishing up with the scones. 2 scones each!

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The cupcake was my favourite! The small burgers were also quite tasty. It was the perfect afternoon to relax and enjoy a peaceful tea. We left 2h later ready for a walk to burn it all down. Would definitely be back again!!!

Number Sixteen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

What is your favourite outdoors tea? Anything you would recommend? Can also be a rooftop 🙂

.: Sounds like another food weekend :.

Is there anything better than weekend? Well there is, holidays!! I had quite a mad week this week to ensure my team was up to speed with the tasks while I’m going to be away and trying to close as much points as I could. It was a back to back week and I felt exhausted. Still doesn’t feel real I’m going to be on holiday, but I’m glad this is the case.

Anyway we have an old tradition of going to the cinema when we go on holidays, but this time there was no film available at the time we went there, so we just went for dinner instead. The choice: “The real greek”. I had been there before and wasn’t really interested, but just the thought of grilled halloumi was all I needed to go back. We’ve started with the greek flatbread

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Then I went for the grilled calamari, the lamb meatballs (really delicious!!!), the stuffed aubergine and the couscous salad.

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Finally the grilled halloumi which we both love!

I have to say it tasted a lot better this time. Finally went for the caramel cheesecake. Not memorable, but easy to eat and tasty

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The Real Greek Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Today went for a brunch with a friend. Initially thought about going to the breakfast club in Soho, but the queue was quite considerable. On our way there we’ve spotted L’eto Cafe and I couldn’t resist the display of cakes on the window. After checking the queue it was an easy decision to go back to L’eto.

I’m so glad we did! The menu has really good choices, but I couldn’t resist banana pancakes with peanut butter cream. Make no mistake, this is not your usual american style peanut butter, it’s way better then that! It tastes really fresh and not too sweet, so I would say the real deal.  The pancakes had a really good flavour too

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The combination overall, quite light and tasty. Finally we’ve decided to share the green tea cheesecake, which was so fresh!

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L'Eto Caffe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Overall was quite happy with the choice. Such a lovely experience and I’m sure I’ll be back. After brunch we went for a stroll and we’ve ended up stopping at Fortnum and Mason which is quite an institution in London. Everything is so pretty that you feel like buying everything

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So quite a lovely afternoon and a good start for the holidays!

What’s your favourite brunch place in London?

.: Welcome Spring & Natas :.

Finally spring is here, and with spring it was also the first Sunday I felt fine since the year started 😀 To celebrate we went to visit a special brand new place in Hammersmith: Cafe de Nata

You know I love a good Nata, it’s my favourite pastry from Portugal. I just can’t resist it, especially if they are warm and house made, like the ones below.

We arrived close to 11h30, and the shop was still closed as they were waiting for the Natas to come out of the oven. The smell was amazing! I couldn’t resist just having one, so we had 2 each, and extra 2 to bring home. As I’m not drinking coffee now, well just rarely here and there (ahhh so hard to resist) but he had the espresso and he said it was delicious. We were explained that they’ve decided to select their own mix of grains. So looking forward to come back and try it myself

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So welcome spring! I’m really excited for the months ahead, especially with my dream trip coming soon: Japan!!!