Travel

Valencia

The beautiful cathedral

It’s surreal with the corona virus situation where Spain experiences a complete lock down and isolation. I visited Valencia 2 weeks ago, when first cases had just been explored there. As I walked down the streets, I noticed an alertness and afraid of being exposed. But still it didn’t stop me from exploring this beautiful cathedral. Neither could I help myself eating delicious food. My worries were long gone.

Churros! Couldn’t miss that when I had just arrived Spain
Dulce de leche everybody

This place was just heaven on earth! I mean look all the desserts displayed on the counter, how could you possibly choose just one thing? I told myself I have to come back one day and keep trying everything haha. It was a difficult choice, but the winner in the end; the banana bread.

Looking back, it makes me reflect on how privileged we are to travel around the globe, what a freedom we have. Being in quarantine makes me appreciate the traveling even more, in addition to move and go wherever we want to. My advice is to use the quarantine time to charge batteries and being grateful for have lived the way we do. It’s time to take care of our health and the world, and things will fall into place, they always do. With a little faith and trust, stay calm.

With love & care, Melanie

Ps: another café worth visiting with cool vibes, healthy food and yummy cakes, cookies and milkshakes: rawcoco!

Travel

Santiago de Chile

From my hotel room I was waking up in awe as the sun shimmered through the curtains and you saw the mountain silhouettes in distance through the dusty window.

This week I started to do a detox yoga in the morning which helps your digestive systems, exits toxics in your body and releases tensions and emotions stored that no longer serves you. It’s such an awesome way to start the day, I can really feel my digestive tract working better, I start moving my body and feel ready for the day and what it brings!

While living in Santiago city, I stayed at Hotel Rugendas. A beautiful hotel in a quiet, clean and green neighborhood outside center. I was here during the political manifestations and protests, when it was some issues with safety and convenience. However, in this part of the city you couldn’t notice it. It felt like a different world far from the reality you experienced from tv sendings. This is a wealthy and rich area, a modern zone with tall glass buildings, bank offices and helicopter roofs. Despite the modernness and daunting atmosphere by the mighty architecture, it keeps a grounded and natural feeling of greenery, with planted trees where you’ll walk by orange trees, bushes, a small park and small hidden cafe spots like one I will mention more about later.

Here you see the beautiful sunset over plaza Perú.

Colina

A resort on the country side hidden behind the mountains and 30 minutes away from the hectic city.

Here everything is taken with care, the grass so green, plants cut perfect and in a harmonic composition. It’s quite the contrary when driving to the place from the city and witnessing on the way mostly dead trees covering the landscape. It makes me sad because it’s a problem of water supply and care of a potential agriculture. However, the climate here is very dry, there aren’t many lakes or rivers to spot.

The sunsets overshadowing the mountain tops are breathtaking with colors of light pink and turquoise. Here I was so lucky and fortunate to eat my dinner after a long day at work. What is also to note are the cozy lighting hanging on threads over your head.

The center court. Hoping to come back next year and play here again!

Ciro’s restaurante

So I did some google research about the restaurant and wasn’t convinced. But that was very different when I took my first bite of the best vegan lasagne I’ve eaten so far. I was so happy when I saw they had vegan options in the menu, I’ve had a belief that it’s really difficult to be vegan on travels, but reality is different as the world is changing. The consumers are asking more of it and also it’s becoming “trendy”. However, I’m eating this way because I’ve noticed I recover quicker and thrive from this healthy lifestyle. Honestly, you will be surprised about how a vegan lasagne can be so good, even tasting better than a normal one, at least that’s what my tastebuds have agreed on! Oh and because when you are eating a plant based diet you need to eat more than usual, so I shared cooked potatoes and quinoa salad on the side, but the lasagne was really filling my tummy up!

Cafetin ~ a hidden café treasure

The coziest café you’ll find at plaza Perú, hidden behind the Main Street and close to the quiet neighborhood houses in the background. You’ll escape to a different place, with only good vibes, leaving you fulfilled and harmonized. Surrounded by small plant pots hanging from the ceiling, a simple interior which makes it not extravagant but rather making you feel at home and more relaxed, even more relaxed as the chilled music is played behind. Oh and cannot forget either the cute light bulbs hanging on wires over you, plus a warm blue color of paint on the wall behind you. It’s truly an environment and space beyond its location, it’s like time stops for a moment. And almost as a time machine taking you to a different space, filled with magic and joy.

The food was beyond my expectations. The plan at first was to grab ice cream at an heladeria / ice cream shop. But it was closed.. Despite our disappointment, it led us to this café or hidden treasure I would say. Which turned out to be way better!!! It surprised us with the best desserts I’ve tasted, the most silky & creamy consistency ice cream with a delicious vanilla flavor, spooned artistically on top of the fudgy and rich chocolate brownie! And it keeps getting better, an incredible cake composition of chocolate fudge that melts on your tongue but with competition of the dulce de leche layers in between and glazed on top of the cake. The experience left me speechless and so happy hehe. Oh and order a chai latte with it and your evening is complete.

Address: Don Carlos 3185, Las Condes, Region Metropolitana, Chile.

Visit their website for more information:

https://www.cafetin.cl

With love & care,

Mel x

Travel

Miss Sophie ~ Oslo

I was here with my sister for the first time, I’m barely at home and didn’t know about it. I’ve lived in Barcelona where they have amazing brunch places to go during the weekend, to name a few of my favorites; Brunch & Cake and Flax & Kale. So I was so happy to hear that my sister had heard about the place and on late Sunday morning we went. Both of us were excited, we had even checked out the place on internet and their menu already beforehand haha.

Gosh so many options to choose! However, we both had it clear that we wanted an açaí bowl and of course pancakes!! The brunch place didn’t disappoint us. With beautiful and creative servings, cool vibes, fancy interior and delicious flavors, we were happy campers.

I do love it when a café/restaurant shows care passion, and love in the plate they serve. When they think about the details, like putting old jazz songs in the bathrooms, decorating with plants and being surrounded by lots of daylight through big windows. It makes you feel welcomed, and gives the place a warm and open atmosphere & space.

After a delicious brunch, it was nice to go for a walk outside in the park. The day was sunny and beautiful, and when the weather is so nice in Norway, you better make the most of it! Miss Sophie lies just in the center and next to the castle. Therefore it’s very worth it to have a stroll. It was in May, spring season, you could see the flowers in full blossom and the grass so green. The garden at the castle had lots of beautiful tulips in all colors, the perfect background for a picture;)

I highly recommend to have brunch at Miss Sophie and take a walk after you’ve been eating, it will make your day:)

Travel

Svartskog Kolonial ~ Norway

I’m back and have been absent due to lack of motivation to write, because I’m not sure if somebody out there is reading my blog posts. If you are, I’m hoping the content is something for you and that you like my blog.

I was on a quick visit home, and it felt like “there’s no place like home”. It’s an attachment to memories, places, family and friends. It reconnects me, makes me centered again and refuels my soul with a fresh spirit, ready again to take on the world.

While home, I visited this beautiful, charming café in Svartskog, about 20/30 minutes outside Oslo city. It’s definitely an escape from all the buzz, noice and stress a city life can cause you. Here it feels like you are taking a small road trip to the mountains, surrounded by nature and quietness. There are people who live here, their houses in traditional Norwegian housebuilding style of wood, looking similar to cabins, and others in white color, Victorian style. It’s a nice walk through the neighborhood and into the woods, leading the way to the water side.

The café is a golden spot. It’s original, real and true to its personality. It has a charm inside and out, with an old, but cool sofa inviting you to relax outside the café’s door, you get it, very inviting right? And so when you step inside, it’s like coming inside a home, it’s so cozy. You get a feeling of being taken good care of, and that they define by the food, interior and spirit. It’s small, but that makes it more personal, you feel more connected through the place and the food they serve.

They serve Norwegian pastries and baking goods at mastery level, and I dare to say they make the world’s best waffel the Norwegian way. Order it with the famous brown cheese called “brunost”. Other pastries to make sure you get your hands over is the cinnamon roll and “skolebolle”; it’s a baked sweet dough with powdered sugar icing, coconut flakes topped and in the middle of it egg cream! I’m already getting water in my mouth by writing all these deliciousness this café serves.

It’s a place for everyone, for those who want to escape from the city life in Oslo or for the tourists who wants to experience the Norwegian woods and real, authentic Norwegian baking.

Travel

Sunday means pancakes

At least from my understanding and point of view;)

And there are so many delicious pancakes to order, here are some of my favorite picks…

Brunch & Cake ~ Barcelona

A super yummy matcha pancake, so good! And first time trying it. I’ve also tried matcha in other pastries, and the flavor is really good.

The gluten-free ricotta pancake with granola!!! Mmm

Flax and Kale ~ Barcelona

I love this restaurant, they have so many other delicious and healthy plates to offer. The atmosphere here is incredible, sitting on the roof top and being surrounded by flowers and plants, made me feel complete. Definitely a place to visit when in Barcelona!

Oh, and in my opinion these two restaurants serves the best and healthier pancakes in town!

What are you waiting for? Go and get your Sunday pancake, you deserve it when the week has finished:)

Travel

Feeling adventurous

But before you get on with your adventure, you need to start the day well by eating good food right? And so I did with eating a delicious brunch this Sunday at “Federal Café”. As you can see, I ordered poached eggs, with avocado, spinach and bacon, together with toasted rye bread, mmm. Oh, and when in Spain you can’t miss freshly pressed orange juice!!!

The café is located at Passatge de la Pau 11 in Barcelona. I must be honest, it was not easy to find, but that’s why the café lies in a quiet area, away from the tourists and the city traffic. You feel tranquility, and you forget you are in a busy city like Barcelona.

Next time when I come back, I want to try the French omelette with kale, mushrooms and ricotta, and their matcha brownie! It’s sounds really interesting, plus it’s gluten-free, I have a feeling it’s a good one…

I sat on a pillow at the window, it was such a cool spot to eat. You should try to get that spot too when you eat here;)

After a solid brunch, I was ready to take on my adventure, which was leading me to “La Donuteria”. Walking around can be such a good therapy, and strolling around the less busy streets of Barcelona was even better! I had longed for a donut, so I did some research and wanted to try out this place. It didn’t disappoint me at all…

They had so many interesting flavors that it got impossible to choose! I could easily have just ordered all of them, but reality stroke me to having one. After a tough decision, I chose “crema de chocolate y dulce de leche”, dulce de leche is typical Spanish so I wanted to try their take on an American donut. Oh my goodness that was good, too good to be true!

It was a perfect balance of sweet and savory. The coating was salted caramel, already by reading those words you can understand why it’s good;)

I wanted to try “crema de chocolate con mango”, which is dark chocolate with mango flavor, but they didn’t have more of it. However, it’s a good excuse to come back and try it next time! Other variants which were also strong candidates were white chocolate and raspberry flavor, vanilla and café latte, plus chocolate donut with matcha flavor. You can understand why I struggled in the first place.

La Donutería

Carrer del Parlament 20, 08015, Barcelona

http://ladonuteria.com

From there I took the bus D20 at stop Paral•lel – Marquès de Campo Sagrado to Creu Coberta – Plaça Espanya.

Barcelona amazes me, there is so much to do here and there are endless discoveries to take on. One I had long wanted to visit was the “Palau Nacional”. It’s Catalunya”s national art museum. Even though I didn’t get inside this time to see the 250 000 different artworks, you can’t always get it all done at once right? But for a first time, walking around this amazing building was more than good enough.

What better way is there to enjoy the donut on top of the Palau Nacional building! Eating with a view, and walking to the top after all those stairs, yup that was something! Ps: they have escalators on the way up there if you are too tired to walk all the stairs up! I did cheat a bit, I must be honest I was one of them who were too tired to walk all the stairs. After all, I was kinda happy they had escalators. But at the same time, it felt weird when looking at an old and historical building and taking the escalators! However, I got reminded by that we live in modern times now haha.