restaurants

Writing is a key way to refine my thoughts and keep a clean record of my experiences. I love composing thoughtful post ideas and choose and work on the photos that best go with the topic. However, sometimes I just want to share my thoughts, goals and the little things that make me smile on a day to day basis.

At the end of each month, I will put together a behind the scenes post in which I’ll give you a peek of my weekends, business travels, goals and favourite links.

Click here to read my previous Behind the Scenes.


On the road

Weekend in Paris

One of the great perks from working in a travel-intensive industry is, well, travel. Two or three times a year, a team members gets invited to a fam trip – a marketing program designed to acquaint travel agents or event planners with a specific city or region. This November, I had my first fan trip – but instead of exploring a city, we were invited to explore two of the most luxurious hotels in Paris – Plaza Athénée and Le Maurice.

Our fully packed Saturday in Paris included lunch at Le Relais Plaza (at the Plaza Athénée), a behind the scenes tour of the Eiffel Tower, champagne at a private roof top and dinner at Le Dalí (at Le Maurice). Needless to say, we spent most a lot of time swooning over Alain Ducasse‘s food creations.

I only arrived to my room at Le Maurice in the evening. Imagine my surprise when, on the next morning, I stepped outside the balcony and realised I was watching the sun rise over Paris!

Believe me – I never wanted to leave.


 Weekend Scenes

Blood swept lands and seas of red

On the 11th of November, Armistice Day, the last of 888,246 poppies was planted at The Tower of London, transforming the attraction into an incredible art installation that commemorates the start of World War One.

Early november, I grabbed my camera and left home to immerse in British History. Unfortunately I wasn’t the only one with this idea – that Saturday was the busiest one since the beginning of the installation. Even though I’m not usually a crowds person, the experience was absolutely worth it.


Reads

Coffee at Milk, London

I’ve had an ebook filled month – but my favourite read has been by far the psychological thriller by Sibel Hodge, Look Behind You. Anyone who enjoys dark, mysterious thrillers with twists and turns should definitely grab this one for the next flight!

And now onto my favourite online reads this month:

  • Nobody hikes like the Germans. If you ever wondered why, you should schedule in a visit to the Black Forrest. What makes this place so special is, among others, is its timeless presence – perfectly captured by Becki on her fall hiking trip. With landscapes like these, you would hike like no other, too!
  • Torre DeRoche is one of my favourite writers on the web. I might not be living in Australia, be an admired writer or sail across the Pacific (yet?), but a lot of what Torre puts down on words resonates strongly with how I feel. We even share an irrational fear of falling – which we’ve both faced during a tough hike. I love how vividly she writes about confronting this fear while climbing Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia.
  • The first time I came across the word sonder was on Christine’s article. It’s incredible how your life perspective can change with the simple realisation that each person you cross paths with is living their own life, has their own world fitted with personal worries, routines, ambitions, etc. It makes all of your worries loose importance in the grand scheme of things.

 Mantra

 “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

– Thomas A. Edison


November Goals Review

Modern architecture in London

  • Blog more often. What high achieving bar did I set this time… 5 blog posts in November? I certainly fell a bit short (3 in total) – but hey, this one could almost count as two, right? 
  • Take more photos. Mission accomplished. In November, I carried my camera  around London and took it for an amazing trip to Paris (more on that to come!).
  • Run twice a week. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, but… I’ve been more like a once-a-week runner. It’s cold. It’s rainy. On a related note, though, I’ve started Bikram (Hot) Yoga. It might have something to do with the fact that the studio is heated to 40ºC and it kind of feels like you’re in Bali instead of London.

December Goals

Weekend in Paris

  • Let go of perfectionism. 80% of the time I’m incredibly excited about going skiing in Austria this month. It was my idea – I wanted winter, snow and a challenge. The other 20%, though, I worry about having forgotten how to turn, falling and making a fool of myself. This month I need to learn to focus on progress, not on perfection (specially when it comes to skiing!).
  • Review my mid- and long-term plan and readjust if necessary. One year later, it’s time to put aside a few days to reflect on where I am, where I want to be and how I will get there. I have lots of plans for 2015!
  • Unplug and immerse in family time. I have a confession to make – whenever I’m away from my desk, I’m usually glued to my blackberry and iPhone. I’ve found that it has been increasingly difficult to unplug from my obligations. I don’t like people who constantly excuse their absence with conference calls and stop listening the second their Blackberry starts to light up. But to a certain level – I’ve slowly become one of them. I’m going to take my Christmas holidays as a chance to forget I have a Blackberry and, instead, focus on family time.

What are you planning this month?


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Last September, I promised myself to return to Terrazas del Sauzal when I was back in Tenerife. Several flights back to the island and I finally got around returning to one of my favourite terraces on the island.

Terrazas del Sauzal, Tenerife (Spain)

I never get enough of this view. 

As we sat down and scanned through the menu, I noticed that, since last year, the menu had taken a twist, offering some new and refreshing choices. As much as I enjoy their tuna tartare (ah, one of my favourite picks from last time!), I was on the mission of trying out their latest creations.

The first thing that caught my attention was the tuna goldbrick. I pictured a brick of tuna – carefully decorated, resting on a delicious avocado puree and was immediately sold. After each of us chose a starter and main, we waited, expectantly, for the food to come.

It didn’t take long for our appetiser to arrive.

Terrazas del Sauzal, Tenerife (Spain)

I’m a big fan of small portions, and this cherry tomato and mozzarella brochette dipped in home-made pesto sauce was no exception.

Shortly after, our colourful starters were placed on the table. We ordered a vegetable tempura salad with iberian ham and prawns, decorated with mango sauce and caviar, and a foie strudel with goat cheese, topped with caramelised apple and combined with duck ham and papaya. The foie brick (which to be honest looked like a crema catalana) was an incredible combination of flavours that I hadn’t expected at all!

Terrazas del Sauzal, Tenerife (Spain)

Terrazas del Sauzal, Tenerife (Spain)

By this time, I had eaten so much of their delicious bread and starters that I was a bit worried about being able to eat the tuna brick. Note to self: put a limit on the amount of bread you want to eat that evening and actually stick to it!

Anyway, when our mains arrived, I was pleasantly surprised with my choice.

Terrazas del Sauzal, Tenerife (Spain)

My tuna goldbrick was actually, well, gold!

I had read before about the trend of using edible gold in restaurants and always thought: “Well it can’t be actual gold. Who would eat gold?”. The truth is, using gold in cuisine has become more and more popular – and there are different types of edible gold. If you’re living in NYC (or like me, are just curious about the crazy things some people do for marketing) – you might have heard of the Douche Burger (a burger sold for 666 USD – which, among many other luxuries, includes gold leafs).

My tuna was not covered in gold leafs (I doubt I’d be able to afford a meal at a restaurant that did!). Instead, it was sprayed gold – a much more affordable version of decorating your meal. While there was no difference in taste (it didn’t taste metallic, by the way), it was a creative touch that made me smile. 


There’s a lot of debate about the trend of adding gold to food and drinks – although these debates do refer to the much more expensive gold leafs (which are, in fact, thin pieces of the metal). For some, eating gold is an act of inexcusable opulence. For others, the ultimate in gourmet luxury. 

Would you try edible gold?

PS: I’m linking up on Treat Yo’ self Thursday with Treasure Tromp and The Happy Type!


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It’s been a while – but there’s a perfectly acceptable excuse to my absence. Birthday parties, afterwork drinks, a girls trip to Frankfurt and a surprising visit from Spain. What a great way to slowly settle back into London!

So, even though I have plenty of things to share on travel and getting closer to 30, I decided to make my return with one foodie discovery in London that I’ve fallen head over heels for – Sushisamba. Those of you from the States might already have heard of the concept – a creative blend of Japan, Brazil and Peru all under one roof.

However, there’s something that makes Sushisamba in London special:

View from Sushisamba, London

The restaurant is set in the 38th floor of Heron Tower (finished in 2011), which at 230m is currently the tallest skyscraper in the City and the 3rd tallest in Greater London (after the Shard and One Canada Square). The see-through elevator takes only a few seconds until the 38th floor (nothing for the faint-hearted!). Being in the heart of the financial district gives this height an entire different meaning – from here, you can see how the city stretches over the surface and it´s easier to appreciate the heights of other skyscrapers around the area. For instance, on the other side of Heron Tower is 30th St Mary Axe (the first shot of this building was actually taken from the restaurant back in April – when I had only come in for a coffee, ignorant to the food heaven next-door).

So, what’s a Japanese – Peruvian – Brazilian fusion like, anyway?

Lunch at Sushisamba, London

Lunch at Sushisamba, London

Lunch at Sushisamba, London

Lunch at Sushisamba, London

The fusion doesn’t come as a surprise – after all, Brazil is home to the largest Japanese population outside Japan, ever since early XIX century. Actually, I recently read that sushi is one of the most popular dishes in Brazil – it’s so popular, that it’s often even served at Churrascarias (with a Brazilian twist). Nobu offers a famous blend of peruvian japanese dishes, while others like Sushinho focus on the brazilian – japanese connection. Either way, the result is light, refreshing and delicate – and incredibly beautiful.

Best Sunset in Tenerife - Las Terrazas del Sauzal (Canary Islands, Spain)

I had been looking forward to having dinner at Las Terrazas del Sauzal for months. It’s one of these hidden gems that still not many people know about – maybe because getting there is quite an adventure itself. We drove to El Sauzal – a village with about 9.000 habitants. This part of the island used to be made up of farmlands, but over the past few years, it has shifted to a more urban focus with beautiful villas along the hillsides. We cruised up and down the steep and narrow one-way roads for almost as much as it took us to drive to the Village in the first place (about 15 minutes on the highway).

At arrival, we were greeted by this…

Best Sunset in Tenerife - Las Terrazas del Sauzal (Canary Islands, Spain)

IMG_0155-2

Best Sunset in Tenerife - Las Terrazas del Sauzal (Canary Islands, Spain)

From the open terrace, we had a clean view of the island’s north side – its coastline, beaches, hills and villages. We saw mount Teide, the island’s dormant volcano, and the Atlantic Ocean. Everything tinted in a diffused orange and pink light.

The moment was perfect. As soon as the last ray of bright orange light hid behind the horizon, we sat at our table and were ready to enjoy dinner. Their menu is short and simple, but it still took me a while to decide what I wanted. It’s difficult to do so, when you’ve been looking forward to this moment for so long and know that it may be a while until your return.

Fine dining and a perfect sunset in Tenerife

Homemade foie terrine, crunchy brioche and creamy green apple.
Tuna tartare, guacamole and Doritos.
Salmon wrapped in sesame seeds, artisan tomato jam and ginger vinaigrette.
Beef tenderloin, caramelized foie and sweet wine reduction.
Duck breast with guava sauce, potato terrine and mini vegetables.

…You get the idea, right?

Fine dining and a perfect sunset in Tenerife

Fine dining and a perfect sunset in Tenerife

I had the tuna tartare and beef tenderloin, but made sure to try a bit of everyone else’s plate, too – a quite ambitious task, by the way – we were 9!

Las Terrazas del Sauzal is one of my favourite restaurants on the island and I am already looking forward to my next visit in a few months time.