Vive la Cote d`Azur

The French Riviera is known all over the world for its glamour and beauty. On our recent trip to the French Riviera we stopped at a few places, which are a must-see spots.

Along the way, we dined in some of the best gourmet restaurant that French Riviera offers. In order to really leave an impact I have divided all the places we visited in their own posts. In that way, I can really describe every trip and experiences we had at some excellent fine dining restaurants. So keep tune!

GRACE OF MONACO

So, our trip began in Monaco. To be exact we landed in Nice and from there drove to Monte Carlo in a rented cabriolet. It was exciting driving along side the beautiful beaches and spotting some new destinations on the way. Monte Carlo is the perfect mix of the excitement of city life with quiet old town charm. The main street are filled with all luxury fashion brands boutiques where they sell the newest collection. They are also surrounded with some of the best restaurants. We stayed at the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel which embodies the classic glamour and timeless chic of the French Riviera. The Hotel offers some exquisite dining experiences, so we have decided to try some French Mediterranean food in their Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant, called Le Cap.

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After a delicious meal, we stopped for a drink at the most famous and touristic Casino Square, where you can admire all the luxury fast cars parked in front the casino or either the Hotel. Close by is the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, the current and official residence of the Prince of Monaco.


Most of the time when people travel to this kind of places forget about the charm of beautiful historic villages outside the cities. Eze village is one of the most picturesque spots in the region.

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Another place worth seeing while in Monaco is the Oceanographic Museum. It offers a unique opportunity to know, love and protect the oceans. The museum itself is one of the finest in Monaco, holds some of the best exhibits, which some were very interesting and educational for kids. My son absolutely adored it! I would also suggest to check out the rooftop and admire the beautiful view of the whole city.

Our journey on the French Riviera continued in Cannes, so stay tuned for the next blog post to find out more about luxury spots and gourmet dining.

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.

 

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!