Tuesday, 30 August 2011

arty tarty

On our last morning in Amsterdam, Tom and I got up early to visit Anne Frank's House. It is situated on the beautiful Prinzengracht, next door to a beautiful church and overlooking a canal - it's so sad to think that when the Frank family were forced into hiding they became deprived of such lovely sights.

Our afternoon was a stark contrast with the sad reminders of the war we encountered during the morning - we had cake at De Taart van m'n Tante, which has fabulously over-the-top decor with brightly coloured flowers and cakes adorning the cafe, which is world famous for its extravagant cakes. We chose their poopy seed, chocolate and hazelnut and chocolate amaretto truffle varieties, which certainly lived up to their outrageous reputation!

Friday, 26 August 2011

MOMOoching around

I began my second day in Amsterdam with a morning stroll along Utrechtsestraat, stopping for breakfast in a cute patisserie with beautiful handmade cakes, before visiting the Tassenmuseum (Museum of Bags and Purses). The collection is exquisite, with wonderfully crafted gems dating from the 16th century onwards, and it also had a very pretty tearoom overlooking a canal.

Tessel, Tom and I met for lunch at De Drie Graefjes on Rokin, where we gorged on New York cheesecake, red velvet cake and tiramisu muffins from their American bakery - heaven.

We came back to the apartment to make some incredibly white chocolate Bailey's truffles (as if our sugar levels weren't high enough already - recipe here, if you dare...), and then Tessel worked her magic on my hair to beautify me for a fabulous night out with my friend Myrthe.


We met for lychee and watermelon martinis at Momo before having dinner at The French Cafe, an amazing restaurant in de Pijp. We both had sole with lemon and ricotta tortelloni, which was to die for!

We went back to Momo for another drink with some friends we had got talking to earlier, and then stopped by at Door 74 and Chupitos for some very inventive shots!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

rosie in the rozengracht

I'm currently in Amsterdam spending time with my beautiful friends Tom and Tessel, who lives in a gorgeous apartment with four poster beds on the Rozengracht. On our first night we ate lobster spaghetti and zingy torta della nonna and sipped scroppini (a fluffy, meringue-like drink made with lemon sorbet, vodka and champagne) at Mazzo, a newly-opened, chic Italian restaurant nearby.

The following morning we had brunch at De Bakkerswinkel, which has irrestistible illustrated menus and even yummier blueberry scones, caramel and walnut cakes and baba ganoush on huge chunks of rye bread...

Having been suitably fed and watered we wandered around some cute boutique shops around Dam Square and tried on some gorgeous clothes and shoes at de Bijenkorf. We stopped for cannoli and cinnamon chocolate almonds at Metropolitan Deli, a glass of strawberry lemonade at V&D's La Place, and frozen yogurt topped with stroopwafels from Frozz to top up our energy levels for some serious shopping! We also discovered a lovely tea shop called Geels & Co, where we bought cinnamon tea, apple and ginger tea and amazing chili truffle tea, which was a perfect antidote to the rain outside once back in the apartment.

The evening was spent watching a jam session at Hannekes Boom, a chilled-out bar by the water with views of the spectacular Nemo building and the world's largest floating Chinese restaurant!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

back in the big smoke

After seven weeks in Asia I returned to London to be plied with endless amounts of familiar food, shop in Western stores and soak up the lovely London sunshine without sweating horrendously!

My boyfriend and I had fabulous dinners at Wright Brothers Oyster and Porter House, Black & Blue, the Gallery at Sketch and The Pantechnicon, as well as a morning stroll around Borough Market that involved heavenly cheeses, smoothies, cakes and pastries...

Savoury cacao crepe with duck, dried cherries, dark chocolate, creme fraiche, coriander and cacao nibs at The Rabot Estate, Borough Market

I returned to Sketch with my girlfriends to have afternoon tea in the Parlour to celebrate my friend's birthday, and had an incredible chocolate mousse cake decorated with golden popping candy!

We celebrated my boyfriend's birthday at a club called Public, where the drinks come in inventive boxes to share...

My friend Alison and I went on a sunny Boris bike ride along the Thames, past Buckingham Palace and through Hyde Park before having a picnic and a compulsory frozen yoghurt to satisfy my ongoing addiction...

In the afternoon we wandered around Knightsbridge, had tea and sfogliatelle at Patisserie Valerie, and looked at the gorgeous jewellery displays at the V&A.

Whilst at the V&A we tried on their amazing costumes and found the handbag of my dreams...


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

temple tantrums

There are hundreds of beautiful temples in Bangkok - turn down any street and you'll probably pass one. Unfortunately there are strict dress code policies in operation which meant that we weren't able to visit the Grand Palace or Wat Arun, although we were constantly harassed by people offering to rent us long shirts and trousers to wear inside if we wanted.

Sadly this was the closest we came to seeing the Grand Palace...

We also climbed up the Golden Mount, from which we could see quite how many temples there are around Bangkok!

A final banana flower and mango salad brought our fabulous Thai trip to a close and we began our return home, sorry to be leaving such an amazing place but looking forward to not being perpetually sticky and sweaty any longer!