I am having a total memory gap at the moment, I can’t remember where and when we ate on some days so I’m just throwing everything in here. Morning started with the pistachio and chocolate scones I got from Harrod’s and coffee for him tea for me. Great, awesome start to a day. The pistachio ones leaned more to the side of a cronut, which is good, and the chocolate ones were not as firm as I thought, it was easier to bite than the ones I make at home (lol).Continue Reading…
^Trafalgar square under renovation
It was quite chilly in London at the end of October. And there were renovations being done around the city, particularly Trafalgar square. First order of business was picking up the London Pass we bought online from the physical store. It was behind the National Portrait Gallery, one of the buildings surrounding Trafalgar square. Below photo shows my shot of the NP gallery building and hubby with me in the frame taking a picture. 😉
We set out early, and we didn’t opt for breakfast at the hotel because we wanted to eat as much as we can all around the city (unfortunately, did’t work out as expected hehe). Here are some of the food stops we had.Continue Reading…
Walking in Bologna was like visiting the past and seeing present Italy in a whole new light. It is home to the oldest university in the world, the University of Bologna, which was founded in 1088 and is still functioning to this very day. Surviving many wars and reforms, it is a great feat that the city has been preserved and its rich cultural heritage can still be seen today.
Known for its architectural and artistic history, Bologna’s towers and medieval gateways are must-sees. There might be little compared to before but the towers still represent Bologna’s top spot in many arenas back in the day.Continue Reading…
North Yorkshire’s most famous town would probably be Harrogate, with its healing spas, parks and gardens, it is one of the top choices for tourists. But, the county has a lot more to offer, with picturesque towns, districts and boroughs comprising it wholly. There are a lot worth seeing in the region; International Centre for Birds of Prey Duncombe in Helmsley, Swinton Park Cookery School in Masham, Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, the National Railway Museum in York and of course, Saltholme Wildlife Reserve & Discovery Park and the historical Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough.
Situated on the south bank of the historical River Tees, Middlesbrough is a lovely place to visit. It could get up to 20 degrees at most, which is perfect for people like us who loves to walk around, exploring towns and cities. A quaint English architectural frame describes the town’s landscape. It’s a sight to see and enjoy! Also, experiencing the Transporter bridge is like etching yourself in history… The Transporter bridge, as the name suggest, carry a travelling ‘car’, or ‘gondola’, suspended from the bridge. This particular architectural feat goes across the river in 90 seconds. The gondola can carry 200 people, 9 cars, or 6 cars and one minibus! (Aight, that much!)
Area-wise, Middlesbrough is not as big as other North Yorkshire districts. Hop on a bus and you can get to the majestic town hall, walk a bit and you’ll find yourself at the Dorman Museum and the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima). To get a fix of high-art, break away from the town centre and visit Middlehaven. There stands the Temenos sculpture, steel structure, consisting of a pole, a circular ring and an oval ring, stands approximately 110 m long and 50 m high and is held together by steel wire designed by sculptor Anish Kapoor and designer Cecil Balmond. (It’s a £2.7 million.) There are a lot more to see in this humble town but all the walking and that would definitely bring your stomachs to growl and Middlesbrough has a lot to offer on this category, Michelin or not.Continue Reading…
Another city I explored on my ten-day-being-away-from-hubby was Nuremberg. It’s not my first time there, it is in fact a city I’ve often been to but, I always go about with the whole family. This time, going about alone, I searched for Albrecht Dürer’s house by myself…one on my bucket list for 12 years now and one that has finally been crossed out. ^_^
Chi va piano, va sano e va lontano. He who goes softly, goes safely; who goes safely, goes far…or go slow and you will reach your goals, safely. Simply put: slowly but surely (according to an Italian friend.) I don’t really see the connection of this proverb with food but, it is the tagline of a big chain of an Italian restaurant, Vapiano. On their website though, it says: According to an Italian proverb, “If you have an easy-going and relaxed approach to life, you’ll live more healthily and longer”. Vapiano is actually German-owned, serves made-to-order Italian dishes – they will cook your food in front of you and you can pick from fresh herbs they grow on site and from pasta made straight from the machine…
I always try to watch how they make pasta (just a bit) whenever I dine at one of their branches. These ones are in Nuremberg, very near the St. Lorenz church. Like their other branches, they have these cute scribbles with funny quotations, memorable movie quotes and sometimes life lessons done in chalk on boards. I try to enjoy each of these pieces of art whenever I wait in line or for my food.Continue Reading…
Naples would be one of the city that surprised me…and not positively. Compared to the other European cities we’ve been to, it is quite unsightly – but, maybe because it is quite an old city, aged to experience and history. It has a busy urban landscape feel and you might feel unsafe as you walk by but no, we didn’t encounter anything untoward (gott sei dank!) during our stay.
Apart from wanting to see Dante Alighieri’s statue at the plaza named after him (pictured above), hubby made clear his intent to eat pizza from where it originally came from – that is, Naples. So, any pizzeria, the establishment that makes and sell pizza would do, I presume. It was unknown to us then that Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, the pizzeria widely believed to be the very first one was just a few steps away from the plaza. 🙁 (I truly regret not having researched before this trip…blame my excuse of too much blogging.)
So walk we did, as we reminisce how very familiar the surrounding ought to be. It was like walking the old roads of Quiapo. Dust clinging on to walls, clothes hanging out to dry, old buildings with peeled paints and lots of people walking around and waiting for vehicles – well buses, not jeepneys. It was all too familiar, like walking there was something I had done so many times – to buy rolls of film or just take photos of Manila life, only…I was sure we were still in Europe.
The walking was a good idea as we were getting tired and hungry, teehee! We ended up at this bright red building, the Naples National Archeological Museum. Since it was getting late already, the museum has been closed – unfortunately so we decided to look for a place to eat instead to fulfill hubby’s goal.
We didn’t walk far to find a pizzeria, they actually abound like lined palm trees on Santa Monica’s Palisades Park. The first one at the corner street was rather inviting. Scroll down please to see my chunk of reality: a table setup outside the establishment, the windows and the lights coming from the pizzeria spelled cozy. It’s sign read Ristorante Pizzeria F. Aiello, just across the Museo Archeologico Nazionale.Continue Reading…
As mentioned on my other blog, I had a few hours of me-time or more like alone-time walking about in Rome. I braved the crowded streets, took photos of important landmarks, fed my senses with everything Roman. I met people here and there, most of them were tourists too and oh how I love meeting people from all walks of life! We engaged in bits of discussions before going about our businesses – being tourists.
No, I don’t really want to bombard this post with lots of photos so here’s a few. Outside the Vatican was this genius of a musician/street performer. His sign reads “I need money to fix my time machine and go back to the 50’s” – he was playing Elvis! I of course put in some money and noticed as I took a photo that he looks like Johnny Depp! 😛
I walked around a bit more, shopped a bit and afterwards felt the pangs of hunger and left with a phone almost battery-dead. I ended up at one of Rome’s longer streets, Viale Giulio Cesare, with a mission: find a decent restaurant where I can charge my phone, lol. The train station Ottaviano is in that particular street, it’s where you get off in case you want to visit the Vatican.Continue Reading…
Budapest, would be one of the unexpectedly beautiful cities we’ve visited – unassuming but totally enchanting, clean and full of surprises. Above photo shows Pest, the eastern, flat part comprising the Hungarian capital. This was shot from the western side or Buda – the other part, when we went up to a castle on a hill. But, before the walking and going up, hubby and I were searching for a lovely spot to have breakfast in. We haven’t had anything for the day and it was already 10!
Truth be told, it was hubby who did the research – landmarks to see, which station to get off on and all those little details. We enjoy going about any city even though we just ride the trains, trams and buses, makes for additional adventure if we take the wrong route, lol. We boarded off the station Oktogon – I totally forgot now why. 😀 It must be the nearest to some place hubby wanted to see first (?).
As we walked, we saw what seemed to be a newly opened restaurant, Muvész Café & Lounge, all cozy and very inviting, at the heart of Budapest’s 6th district. It may have just opened for the day so we were the first customers. I really like the interior and atmosphere, refreshing and easy.
The display had sandwiches, cakes and other pastry but the menu offers breakfast selections and bigger meals too. The joint is different from the famous Müvész Kávéház, a meeting place for artists and bohemians and is still a popular spot for residents of Budapest and their visitors, that one can be found a few steps away. Well, this branch was at #46, the other at #29 – two streets away.Continue Reading…
Bratislava and Vienna are perhaps the only capital cities so near each other (Bratislava=Slovak Republic, Vienna=Austria). Just one hour apart! Bratislava is part of the ten countries where the Danube River flows, that’s why cruising from Vienna to Danube is very convenient. However, the same could be said for a train ride – at 15€, you can get to Bratislava in an hour inclusive of a 3-day train ticket around Bratislava, what a steal!
So off I go to tour the city with hubby and 3 other friends. We set off at 9 and it was enough for us to tour the city, hike up the Bratislava castle and even visit the Devin castle and be back in Vienna at 6 in the afternoon.
It was a bit puzzling that we never got hungry so easily – we ate lunch around 15.00 or 16.00 already, I think. But, thinking back we had breakfast when we arrived at 10 and had bagels. We saw a Sbarro somewhere while on our way to the Bratislava castle and agreed we’ll eat there, we haven’t dine in Sbarro for years!
Unfortunately, or not, Sbarro has closed out already – we didn’t notice the sign earlier so we looked for another restaurant to dine in. And we saw a local restaurant by the side street, cozy offering al fresco dining. The restaurant serves traditional Slovak cuisine – home-cooked describes their menu best along with other international dishes. Truth be told, I didn’t research on Slovak’s national dish so I won’t be able to present those today. One of their national dishes, Bryndzové Halušky (English: potato dumplings with bryndza sheep cheese and bacon), is actually on the menu….(Sayang!!)
Hubby and I shared a plate of beef steak with pepper sauce. That’s 200g of buttery, soft steak bathing in rich, smooth pepper sauce, served with roasted potatoes along with sauerkraut and side salads. There are actually two pieces of the steak but I badly took a shot…and of this I only ate half of one. ^_^ (Reason that I can’t be a good candidate for an eat-all-you-can type of restaurant!)
Kuya O had a chicken meal – Spicy Chicken soté PIKANT – it wasn’t as spicy (he let me took a bite for the sake of this blog). The dish reminded me of a Filipino dish called afritada but instead of having the dishes cooked with the sauce, they were on the plate as a side dish -roasted potatoes, bell peppers and such. The rice appear to be very scanty but that’s actually a lot(it must’ve have been the framing that makes it look small). Our other friends both had a chicken dish but I didn’t get to try those. Shame! (lol)
Lastly, we had strudel for dessert – I had wanted to try each of their strudels but our server left too soon so we all had poppy seed strudel. (The Slovak republic is famous for its poppy seed roll.) Soft-baked strudel filled with a combination of butter, sugar, warm milk, poppy seeds and all the secrets a sweet-toothed foodie would drool for. Just the perfect finish for a hearty meal!
Prasiatko means piglet in Slovak, thus a piggy figure stands outside the restaurant.
SLOVENSKA REŠTAURÁCIA U PRASIATKA
Rybárska brána No. 8
Bratislava – Staré Mesto
Tel.: 0254 777 333
interior photos on their website:
-View from the upper deck of Wharfside Seafood Grille and entrance –
It was a lovely morning in Victoria B.C. and we went about the gardens, sightseeing at the port and taking photos. It is to be expected to dine at one of the cozy restaurants there after all those walking. We decided to dine at Wharfside Seafood Grille.
It’s all over the internet yet I failed to research what to expect when dining here. I should have been warned but I was with a group and we were hungry plus the view from inside the restaurant is inviting, so we took precious time dining at Wharfside.
It was only now that I got the time to actually look at reviews for this joint. Just like they said, servings are small for the price tags…which aren’t cheap and I can’t help but show you how much the servings really are since those reviews I read didn’t include photos.
Many also rants about the time food is taken to be served, the not-so-engaging attitude of the servers and the manager/s who kept apologizing for their shortcomings. Some also mentioned the place being a tourist-trap…the prices stated on menu might be different from what you’d actually pay without proper explanation why. There’s a secret that I learned too; they have a tourist menu and a local menu which is way cheaper of course…this and many other reasons where cited for the restaurant to be nicknamed “tourist trap.” Other complains include stinky toilets, dirty windows, paid for appetizers that also took longer to be served and a lot more reasons.
Maybe we got there at a wonderful time of the day, never really experienced much of what I read and I’m not justifying them nor was I got paid for saying these. For the other points as food taking longer, well, food cooking in a non-fastfood restaurant really takes time. It’s understandable. However, most reviewers mentioned that their food were served lukewarm, like it was only heated and not cooked. Some others complain of having theirs overcooked, you’d think that the cooks there don’t know what they’re doing. — Maybe there were different cooks at different times of the day too, we don’t know.
The windows were clean that day we dined and the view of the harbour was lovely, can’t help but shoot. Our servers too were ok that day…there were not too full of themselves as some said.
Overall, I’d say food is ok though not something commendable. Next time, I would definitely research first around this area….perhaps to a restaurant that Victoria would be truly proud of.
Wharfside Seafood Grille
1208 Wharf Street
Victoria, BC V8W 3B9, Canada