Year: 2016

The Dogs, Edinburgh

When we travel we plan our days around the places where we want to eat. Yes, that’s how we roll. We investigate the best lunch spots and then we plan the routes according to that. Priorities. While planning our trip to Edinburgh there was a restaurant that we knew we had to try. The Dogs, located in Hannover street, which was convenintly close to our hotel, The Howard Hotel. We have read a killer review of this small restaurant in one of our foodie/traveller bibles: Where chef eat. Small menu based on Scottish and British ingredients? Easy vibe? Cosy decor? We booked a table, of course. The Dogs is located in Edinburgh’s New Town and it’s almost hidden in the first floor of a building. Once you enter you are welcomed by an unusual mix of a classic style with quirky touches. And two dogs, obviously.  They have two small dining rooms and we were lucky to have a small table by the window in the main, bright one. And then we felt it again: …

Understated jewellery

We’ve been following the work of Monica Vinader for a few years now. And I say following because we discover this brand in different blogs and social media channels. Her delicate pieces looked subtle and beautiful in many online editorials, but it was never an agressive approach, it was a piece here and a piece there… which brand was it? Where could we get one of those elegant and sober pieces? Monica Vinader is a British jewellery line that makes unique pieces. We are sure that you have seen some of their famous friendship bracelets in the most stylish wrists. But maybe you didn’t know it was a piece by Monica Vinader. It seems that this brand runs away from the obvious, so everything around it is discreet, evocative and always elegant. We adore the minimalist, stackable signature bangles, which have a tasteful Scandi vibe to them. However, we particularly love Monica Vinader’s gemstone jewels, which are bespoke cut to expose their natural variations. These Siren Stud Earrings are the perfect example of understated luxury. They look wonderful …

Salted Caramel Brownies

I remember the first time I tried salted caramel. We were in Bruges, spending a lovely long weekend away. I loved the mixture of the creamy, velvety, sweet fudge and the and the crunchy, strong salt. I was surprised and delighted. Since then it has become my favourite flavour after chocolate, that is. Chocolate is my true love. It will always come first. This recipe, however, combines my two loves: the comfort of dark chocolate and the excitement of salted caramel. It’s a match made in heaven. Besides, it’s really easy to prepare (I think I’ve written this sentence in every recipe published in this blog but we love easy preparations with amazing results). At first I was scared of preparing salted caramel myself, but if you have a non-stick pan and a little bit of patience, it’s actually quite simple. Or you can always buy pre-made salted caramel and add it to your brownie mix. No judging here. To make the salted caramel you will need: 50 gr unsalted butter at room temperature 100 …

The Howard Hotel

When we thought about visiting Edinburgh we had a very clear idea about how our accommodation should be: cosy, traditional and it had to involve tartan somehow. Because as much as we love design, when we travel we want to soak up the local vibes, traditions and hospitality. Whether it is an ancient palace in the Algarve coast or a renovated old building in Madrid, we love hotels that give you a sense of place.   And we found The Howard, a luxury boutique hotel located in Edinburgh’s New Town. It’s classic, elegant and remarkably traditional. However, the atmosphere is absolutely relaxed and the service is genuinely kind. You can say that staying at The Howard is like visiting your dear great aunt’s house: you feel welcome, you want to curl up with a nice book under a blanket, wear soft socks and nibble some biscuits, but the atmosphere feels so special and different from your own house… because probably your great aunt has only cashmere blankets and serves biscuits imported from Holland. Homey but …

Stop the glorification of busy

A few years ago I read this post, which led me to this article, which changed my approach to life completely. When I read it I was recently promoted, in a new country with all the mess that moving to another country implies, this online space was born… I was really busy. But, was I? Deep down we all think that being super busy is super cool. It’s like when we complain/ brag about being in a worst situation than the person we are talking to. Somehow we’ve made suffering cool. With my catholic background is something understandable: that guilt that the nuns teached us at school sticks with us for the rest of our lives. But how is that possible in today’s society? We are the most hedonistic generations. Wellness is the new religion, but still the fact that we don’t have enought time is something we are even proud of.  Isn’t it absurd? Since I read that article I’ve tried to give priority to what is really important (Instead of saying “I don’t …

Lip balms for windy days

Is there anyone out there that loves a statement lip but just wears lipbalms, lip perfectors and other products that you can reapply without a mirror  on a daily basis? And is there anyone out there that even when wearing products that you can reapply without a mirror does never reapply them during the day? Well, that’s me. However, I do carry about 50 lip products in my bag. You never know, the day might come when I want to reapply my lipstick everytime I go to the bathroom. I don’t want to be caught off guard. In the meantime I stick to easy, comforting formulas in pink / peach/ nude shades.  They give a light coat of colour to avoid the 8-hours-in-front-of-the-computer face and they moisturize your lips in a nice not too sticky way. You can still wear you hair down in a windy day, I promise. My favourites are the wonderful Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors. Subtle shades, nice pigmentation for a lip balm and a surpising longevity. My favourite is …

Tips for beautiful, healthy indoor plants

Our house is full of plants. I never get tired of  them and I’m always thinking about new ways of introducing new green touches to decorate our home. As my mum always says: plants make any space better. I can’t agree more: they add life, bring a little bit of nature indoors and clean the air. Besides, taking care of them is utterly relaxing and going to the flower market is my favourite Saturday morning activity. Yep, I’m a granny. #loudandproud! While outdoor plants don’t survive more than a fortnight in our balcony (I blame the weather and the pollution),  I think we are pretty good with houseplants. Here you have our tips for taking care of your plants and our suggestions about which plants to buy if you want to create your very own indoor garden. Let’s start with the plants that you can buy if you want something undemanding and easy to grow, which we all want because there are so many complicated things in life already. Zamioculcas, Calatheas or Peace Lilies are fantastic: …

7 Instagram accounts to follow if you are in love with London

London is without the slightest doubt our favourite European metropolis. It’s absolutely riveting. Everytime we visit we discover something new. Sometimes by accident… but truth to be told, we usually do a bit of research. There is so much going on that we need help! In order to find inspiration and recommendations we always turn to Instagram. We’d say that nowadays Instagram is the best guide to plan a trip. Just search for #thecityyouwanttovisit and voilà! thousands of pictures, local tips, the best cafes, restaurants, parks, views.. all kind of information beautifully illustrated with wonderful images. Today we want to share with you our favourite Instagram accounts in case you are planning a trip to London… or if you just want to procrastinate scrolling gorgeous pictures of beautiful London corners: Mondomulia @mondomulia Giulia travels a lot, so basically you will find useful (mostly food & coffee related) recommendations for any trip you are planning, but she also shares incredible coffee spots in London and the restaurants you need to try.  If you are looking for foodie …

Caramelised leek tart

These last days have been the perfect mix between visits to the flower market, afternoons sipping coffee and eating cake and long walks enjoying the faded, warm Autumn sun. Autumn is my favourite time of the year and, therefore, I tend to eat my favourite food. One of these recipes that I always prepare when I have people over, when I have to bring something to a party or when we want something really comforting to eat, let’s say after a long walk on a Sunday, is this caramelised leek tart. Actually I don’t know why it hasn’t made an appearance in this blog until today, but better late than never. Everyone loves it and they always ask me for the recipe, so here it is.I make the pastry myself, but you can buy it at the supermarket. Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s ok to cheat. But in case you want to prepare the pastry, you’ll need: 225 g plain flour 140 g butter A pinch of salt 1 egg 2 tbsp cold water …

How to avoid wrinkles

Don’t laugh, don’t cry, don’t sleep without silk pillows, don’t move, don’t live. Actually, this post should be entitled: how to avoid wrinkles without looking  like a wax sculpture. But if you want to laugh, cry, sleep, move and, well… live! you should look for a nice cream that will keep your skin moisturised. It’s not going to be miraculous (none of them are) but it’s going to help. I once heard a dermatologist say: no matter how big or tiny your budget is, you should look for the best cream you can afford. Clean your skin and apply said cream every day. Basically that’s what we’ve been doing since we were eighteen. Clean and moisturise every single day. During the last few years, however, we’ve added some new products to help us in the dewy, jewy, toned skin department. We’ve also added a quick and easy routine at night. It’s something that feels good, the famous me time. It’s a cliché but it does help us relax and unwind. Lately we’ve been loving this …