After you visit Belgrade it will stay in your heart forever.

Belgrade is an amazingly vibrant city, full of life and amazing things to see and explore.

And to me, one of the highlights is most certainly its gastronomy. Belgrade has a vast number of one of a kind restaurants that will leave you speechless. Each of them has its own concept and is unique in the food that they are offering, the design of the restaurant, the ambiance and its atmosphere.

A great example is Ambar. We spent an amazing afternoon indulging into the its unique concept and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect and every minute of it.

Ambar is a restaurant which offers Balkan food with a modern twist. The Chef plays with different fusion combinations combining the Balkan cuisine with some other cuisine – a different one with every dish.

The amazing unique interior design of the restaurant located by the river gives the clients a relaxed atmosphere, perfectly supported by the great music. At night after dinner the restaurant becomes a night bar, with an amazing selection of their own signature and traditional cocktails as well as all sorts of other drinks. And on the music front, they also have a DJ to cater to the crowd and their wishes and desires.

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Everybody from all the waiters to the chef de maitre was extremely friendly and professional. The explanation of every dish and the stories behind them were both entertaining and intriguing.

This time around we decided to surrender ourselves to the hands of the amazing chef and the whole team that served us and to go with an *Experience* menu.

The amazing thing about this menu is that it will give you the real overall taste of what Amber is and you will have the possibility to try among most of their best dishes.

It gives you the overview of how tasty Balkan food can be and how well it combines into great dishes with other different cuisines.

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Selection of different spreads that Balkan is known for, amongst which “kajmak” cannot be missed.

Kajmak is an irreplaceable ingredient of numerous specialties, always delicious. It will always and unstoppably lure you to another bite. You don’t know it? Kajmak is a thick creamy dairy product with an unforgettable smell and taste. It is made of fresh cow milk and it will possess all your senses at the very first bite.

Here we tried different spread combinations: tuna spread with pears, kajmak with mushrooms, lamb pate with Kalamata olives.

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One of the dishes that let us speechless was the octopus. It was so soft that it was literally melting in our mouths. The octopus is cooked for 24 hours and then mixed in pepper paste and grilled.

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This unusual combination was one of the big surprises. The lamb meat with radish, pineapple and kohlrabi and on the top, you have an amazing fresh and full of flavors sauce: sour milk with cumin and mint. So light and refreshing – simply incredible!

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Light crispy shredded pork on mash potato and with red cabbage (and vinegar).

And if you have any space left in the tummy you must try one of their desserts. Just pick one and you will be delighted.

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Dining at Ambar is not only food but an amazing experience! And with the incredible selection and always creative Chef, it is worth coming back – both for their classics and the new creations and interpretations.

 

If you grow up in a coastal Mediterranean town and you are a little bit spoiled when it comes to seafood, One-O-One seafood restaurant is the place for you.

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Highly recognized and awarded as one of the finest seafood restaurants in London, One-O-One brings the flavors of the sea straight to the plate in the most exquisite way. My husband and I visited the Knightsbridge-based One-O-One restaurant on Friday evening. Immediately when we entered the restaurant, we were welcomed and felt very comfortable immediately.

Growing up on the Adriatic Mediterranean coast, we have always been spoiled for fresh and delicious seafood. Not only does One-O-One give you the finest principle elements, it prepares and offers them to you in ways that even we were amazingly and positively surprised and literally blown away with exquisite tasty combinations.

 

Once seated, we were immediately offered an aperitif. My husband went for a cocktail, while I decided to wait for the food and go with the wine.

We immediately started looking at the generous menu, which offers upmarket seafood dishes and a tasty menu created by Breton chef Pascal Proyart.

Menu highlights include Jersey rock oysters, which can be served in four different ways; there is also the Norwegian red king crab legs from the Barents Sea; also offered with four flavorings; yellowfin tuna tartar, Dover sole and whole sea bass baked in guarded sea salt.

Because we really wanted to get the best possible overview and taste of all the seafood specialties from Chef Proyart, we opted for the 5-course tasting menu.

We decided to leave the decision of the wine in the expert hands of a very professional sommelier lady and went for a wine pairing. We didn’t have to wait long until we started with our amazing food journey.

After the fresh and delicate smoked amuse bouche de Jour, our bellies were ready for one of the best tuna tartar that I had in my life: Yellowfin tuna tartar, duck foie gras, sushi rice, truffle, radicchio, beetroot, hazelnut.

The Sauvignon Blanc de Touraine, Loire Valley, New Zeeland 2014, was a very good paring to follow this sweet and sour, citrusy dish.

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We continued with the Scallops, pork belly, onsen quail eggs, potato espuma, bisque, and jus gras.

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After the success of our starters, we were very much looking forward to the remainder of our meal.

Cod, red prawn, paimpol coco beans cassoulet, Iberico chorizo, piquillo, parsley

The interesting thing about this dish is that even though the cod is relatively a simple and dry fish, the chef’s choice combination with coco beans and chorizo gave it that moister and textured additional kick. So, everything elevated the fish very much.

The wine was Chardonnay,Tangley Oaks, North California, USA, 2014. It brought back some nice memories of our trip to Nappa valley that we took some time ago.

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But the biggest culinary surprise was yet to come. The Terre et Mer Lobster, king crab, beef fillet, celeriac, heritage carrot, and Pinot Noir was absolutely to die for. The surf and turf combination was so sweet and full of strong flavors that I remember waking up next day and still having this amazing combination of flavors in my mind and my mouth. My husband said it was the same for him. The mix of bisque and Pinot noir sauce was heavenly.

The colorful Bourgogne, Hautes Cotes de Beaune, Domaine Rollin, France, 2014, was a wonderful choice just to elevate the whole dish, if elevation was even possible.

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Even though we were so full and in heaven with the dishes that we tried and chose, we couldn’t resist the amazing Coupe liegeoise, Manjari chocolate, coffee foam, salt caramel ice cream.

I can honestly say that the whole experience at One-O-One was amazing and all our senses were involved. The whole menu was impeccably inventive, with a lot of creativity in taste and texture.

Besides our big compliments to the chef, we must say that also the waiters, and especially our sommelier lady, were very professional and very welcoming.

We definitely recommend that you try this amazing experience that we had at One-O-One. This restaurant is well worth a visit.

And in case I didn’t stress it enough: the surf and turf was amazing!

 

Address: The Park Tower, 101 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RN

oneoonerestaurant.com

 

The time is always right to visit Mauritius

We decided to ditch the horrible November weather in Europe and exchange it for the beautiful crystal clear sea and sun of the Mauritius island.

I honestly believe that the time is always right to visit Mauritius. Whenever you decide to fly there, be it February, July or November, you will always have the time of your life.

Mauritius, an Indian Ocean island nation, is known for its beautiful beaches, lagoons and reefs.  But there is so much more to do besides swimming, laying and relaxing on the beach or scuba diving! The wildlife of Mauritius will leave you speechless, but let’s not forget also about the food. Mauritius is a winning destination for the excellence of its food, and that goes for fine-dining restaurants at five-star resorts as well as beachside old houses serving fish just off the boat.

Accommodation

We stayed at the Shangri-La Le Touessrok Resort & Spa ( http://www.shangri-la.com/mauritius/shangrila/). The hotel lies on a beautiful stretch of sandy coast, overlooking the stunning Trou d’Eau Dauce Bay.

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The hotel honestly represents all that luxury is. If you are staying there as a family or only a couple, you will find that the hotel is suitable for you either way.

The breakfast buffet is amazing and offers so many things from so many different cuisines that you cannot even imagine.

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Since we were there with our son Tristan we really loved their kids club; T-Club. It is amazingly well organized and offers a fantastic range of activities for kids. Since the hotel property includes two islands, Ilot Managenie and Ile aux Cerfs, the children were also doing daily trips to the islands. When they did a trip to one of them that included a Zip Line, Tristan had the best time of his life with his buddies that day.

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In fact, the T club was so good that there were days where we didn’t see him from morning ‘til dinner as he was having so much fun and engaged in so many different. Amongst other things, children can enjoy golf, tennis, windsurfing and swimming, as well as a variety of educational exercises.

During that time, me and my husband of course had the time to relax, read a book (or two) on the beautiful beach, enjoy the water and have some treatments in the amazing Chi -The Spa.

But we were mostly presently surprised when we discovered that the Spa also offers massages for kids! Tristan has been begging us for years to take him to a spa as he would also love to have a massage. As most spas only accept children from the age of 12, this has never been possible – until our Shangri-La Mauritius! So of course, we booked a treatment also for our little one. To say that he loved it, is a complete understatement! See for yourself… 🙂

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And the best thing was that we all had a chance to enjoy our massages together!

The resort includes five restaurants that serve the finest Western and Asian cuisines. From the spices and fragrances of India to the pure, fresh ingredients of Japan, there is something for every taste and occasion at the resort’s numerous dining venues. And every evening was a great and very different experience for a curious little home chef!

Experiences:

Wherever we go, we always like to rent a car and explore the destination as much as possible – at our own pace and not necessarily with a predefined plan. One day we just took the car and drove around the island to explore the amazing nature.

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For us always a must (since Tristan loves the animals): a visit to the local Zoo or Safari experience at the destination. In Mauritius, we went to the Casela Park: (http://www.caselapark.com/en/). There are so many animals that you can see here and activities that you can do that you will surely spend several hours here – indeed it is a great day trip. What particularly impressed Tristan were the beautiful (white!) tigers.

Another trip worth taking in my view is to the capital Port Louis. Although not necessarily a main tourist area, we liked its vibrancy. In fact, you will be overwhelmed by the intense activity that prevails across the boulevards and along the streets. The history of Port Louis first starts in the eighteenth century when the French took possession of the island. There have since been several changes of rule, so there is a lot of history to explore and historical monuments to see, including impressive old canons, Le Caudan Waterfront, Blue Penny Museum, St Louis Cathedral…

Of course, being the foodies that we are, we also discovered a most amazing Asian restaurant with some of the best dim sums ever: Yuzu restaurant.

(http://www.labourdonnais.com/world-class-restaurants-labourdonnais-business-hotel-mauritius/yuzu-restaurant.html)

The restaurant brings together the best of Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese cuisines. With the elegant decor, it is situated in the full of history Waterfront hotel. If you love Asian food, you must book a table at Yuzu!

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Unfortunately, this was a rather short family vacation, certainly leaving many more places and things to enjoy, relax and explore on the beautiful island Mauritius. Therefore, we are coming back for more. Have I mentioned that anytime is good time to come to this island with crystal blue water and fullof nature?

In Cannes you will feel like a movie star

Upon arrival at Nice airport (with a great approach over the water), a very comfortable limousine was waiting for us to take us to Cannes – it took just 25 min to arrive to our beautiful, full of history Martinez hotel.

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Accommodation

The Grand Hyatt Martinez hotel (https://cannesmartinez.grand.hyatt.com) is so full of history and you can see it immediately from the multitude of photographs of some of the celebrities that have stayed there over the years. In a way, the pictures are constantly reminding and showing you the movie history which Cannes itself, and the Martinez, are so very much a part of.

I also love that the hotel very successfully combines the beautiful old building with some modern twist. The service was excellent throughout our stay and we have to point out Phillipe the concierge who was very helpful and full of great ideas on how to make our stay in Cannes even more interesting and unforgettable.

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The location of The Martinez is perfect for long evening walks. Surprisingly, the hotel beach is so nicely organized and private that you can enjoy in peace the crystal blue sea, listen to the soft music and relax – although pretty much in the middle of the Cannes promenade. The food and the drinks at the Z Plage restaurant on the beach (https://cannesmartinez.grand.hyatt.com/en/hotel/dining/restaurant-zplage.html) were also greatly complementing the whole Martinez hotel experience. We tried the King Prawn Skewers from Tandoori oven and the New York Salad. They were both to die for. And their Straw basil and Passion fruit mojitos were wonderfully accompanying the food. Just a perfect combination for relaxing and enjoying food at the beach.

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We spent the rest of the day just swimming and reading at the beach. In the late afternoon we took a walk along the promenade and could just not help ourselves not to do some shopping since along the promenade you will find all the main brands with their very own clothing and shoe shops.

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Food in Cannes – an amazing experience in the Indonesian stile

img_6888-2We had heard a lot about the Bâoli restaurant and club so we just had to try it. Located in the Cannes marina, it is a wonderful exotic restaurant, bar and club decorated in Indonesian style. You can hear the music beat both in and outside. The music is velvety and relaxed in the restaurant while pretty haywire on the dance floor later on in the night.

The food menu includes some of their signature dishes. We love trying and sharing different dishes and we have to say that single dish we tried was a unique combination of amazing flavours. To give you a taste: amongst others, we tried the duck foie gras with muscat as well as whole lobster, avocado and mango tatar. They were delicious and very fresh. The pan-seared scallops on a truffle potato puree and some wild rocket leaves is something that you must not miss out on.

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All in all, Le Baoli is one of the Côte d’Azur’s key spots, worth every minute you spend there.

Unfortunately, our stay in Cannes was very short and was more of a couple escape. On the second day we has an afternoon flight which meant we could still use the morning for some more beach time. Again we swam, relaxed and enjoyed the music in the sun.

I would definitely recommend to go to Cannes in September, as the weather is absolutely prefect for swimming and relaxing on the beach, but you will avoid the fuss and craziness of the overcrowded high season. And the prices of the very best hotels are much more affordable. What is more: you can get to Cannes from most places in Europe quite easily which makes it a perfect escape even for a day or two both in or out of the main season. We are most certainly coming back!

The amazing holiday experience at Mykonos

The amazing holiday experience at Mykonos

Travelling with family and friends is perhaps one of the surest ways to enjoy a fun-filled and memorable trip. My trip to Mykonos with my girlfriends was no different! We absolutely had a blast fun wise. From the activities to the food and accommodation, Mykonos proved to be an absolutely great destination. The shops filled with galleries revealed the unseen beauty of this destination. The experience here was one of a kind and I would certainly recommend this location to anybody looking for a life transforming trip. So, what went down at Mykonos?

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Welcome to Mykonos 

Upon arrival, we immediately felt relaxed and simply wanted to go and find a nice beach. We decided to go to Principaute de Mykonos Panormos beach (http://www.panormosmykonos.gr) and enjoy all the natural beauties that Mykonos has to offer. This beach has perfectly clear blue water and beautiful sandy beaches.  It brings out the very best definition of a beach and explains why both residents and tourists found it so irresistible.

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Panormos is a private beach with limited capacities so reservations are essential. On the other hand, the limited numbers mean that there is never a crowd. We immediately got our Nescaffe cold coffees followed by a splash in the perfectly clear blue water. The chill out music follows you everywhere, from the restaurant to the water.

The beach restaurant has just been refurbished and is a perfect merge of the (what I understand as) Greek and lounge styles. We booked a table in the open area. Again, the music was everywhere but at the right level so that we could also speak and enjoy each other’s company. We tried and shared a lot of different dishes as we always love to do. We can certainly recommend to try the black pasta with squid ink and scampi. And their signature Greek salad – it is unlike any other Greek salad you have tried before. Finger licking delicious! After the fantastic lunch we spent the rest of the day at the beach just lying on the beach, swimming and listening to the music. I may have mentioned this but the most amazing aspect about Mykonos is that music is absolutely everywhere – and we love this!

All in all, Panormos is just a perfect place for a bunch of friends chilling out after a long tough couple of weeks and getting into the “Mykonos groove”. Hell, even there slogan is amazing: “Feel the Elegance”!

Later In the evening, we decided to try out Scorpios bar and restaurant (http://www.scorpiosmykonos.com). According to the grapevine, it was supposedly topnotch. We simply had to check it out! What a disappointment: this joint did not meet our expectations in any way. The food was average and the music…! Let’s just say a younger generation would probably prefer it more.

Food – the more local the better

The most amazing restaurant experience we had during our trip definitely had to be at the Ling Ling Hakkasan restaurant (http://lingling.hakkasan.com/). Conveniently, it is situated in the heart of the old town center. Founded in London in 2001, Hakkasan has grown to become one of the most revered restaurant, lounge and nightlife brands. Ling Ling takes the Hakkasan DNA and twists it to create a restaurant and bar experience that reflects its environment but has signature elements from Hakkasan. The first Ling Ling was open in Mykonos in 2015.

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The Hakkasan kitchen is run by executive chef Tong Chee Hwee and it is courtesy of his dedication to Chinese cuisine that the brand has won numerous accolades including the Michelin stars. The food offered in this restaurant will leave you craving for more. BTW: the duck salat is their signature dish. One word for it, Scrumptious!

Possibly our best experience on Mykonos was a day trip on a private catamaran. We felt heavenly throughout the day. The catamaran was more than big enough for the five of us: we could pick our own music and dance to our liking. Our skipper suggested an itinerary with several bays and beaches which included some of the most beautiful ones we have ever seen – we could only agree!

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We indulged in the ride and the pleasant wind. We stopped in several bays where we could swim freely and had a really good time. But the best was yet to come: Diana, the second in command, prepared the most amazing meal with fresh ingredients for us – on the boat, in the super small kitchen! She somehow managed to include all the primary tastes of Mykonos and Greece and prepared several restaurant-level dishes, including fantastic scampi, authentic Greek salad, spicy grilled cheese, mixed calamari.

After this spectacle we slowly headed back to the port. On the way back we also had the possibility to a sail a little bit which was another fascinating experience. Thank you, iTravel Mykonos (http://www.mykonos-web.com/) for this perfect day and an amazing 5-star day.

Night life

At Mykonos you can find exciting beach bars but also lounge bars for a romantic evening out. The most frequent spot for vibrant nightlife is Mykonos town, boasting some of the best bars that party till early morning hours. Little Venice is another very nice nightlife option, where you can find lively bars hosted in charming terraced buildings.

And that is where you can find the one and only Caprice of Mykonos bar(http://caprice.gr/en). The moment you enter you will feel at home and this feeling never goes away. After the first drink the full of energy, kind and always smiling waters will become your best friends. Caprice bar is located in the seafront of Little Venice. It is party time all day and night in Caprice. You will be greeted with the most amazing dance music that will satisfied the most picky music lovers. The best thing about this place is that people immediately (yes, already at the entrance) embrace the positive energy of the place – and you inevitably find yourself surrounded with people who are happy, smiling and just having fun.

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Accommodation

There are numerous hotels in Mykonos. You’re absolutely spoilt for choice!  We decided to stay at the Porto Mykonos hotel for 3 nights. Unfortunately, the hotel is not the ideal place for anyone looking for privacy. In addition, the quality of services was poor! Why you wonder? Well, we had to wait for 15 minutes before having a simple cup of coffee served.

The amazing view of the Mykonos Port from the hotel came in handy engulfing the unwelcoming experience at the hotel. In addition, this hotel is the ideal place for anyone looking for close proximity to the town.

Conclusion: strongly recommended!

Mykonos will steal your heart! There are so many different things to love and it does not matter, if you are there with your friends, as a couple or a family: this place is so diverse and unique that everybody will find something they will want to take back home.

Not everything is perfect for a regular traveler. But Mykonos is certainly very close to perfection for a music lover looking for a relaxed amazing place to get away from everyday stress and fill up those batteries! So just pack your bags and GO!!! See you there, we’ll surely be back!