The first time I came across horchata was on a hot summer day once upon a time in Valencia, sweat streaming down my face, as I was desperately searching for something cool, something refreshing. I found it in the street, not in the form of ice cream, but in the cold, sweet, lip-smackingly delicious horchata ladled out from big metal cylinders built into mobile roadside street carts and poured into paper cones. And if you see orxata written on them, don’t be confused, it’s the same thing, written in Catalan.
When I came across a TimeOut voucher for a cream tea and scones afternoon at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, I could not pass up this opportunity to visit one of only two cat cafés in London, and take one of my best friends with me – an easy decision to make really, since we’re both cat-crazy.
sketch, with a lower-case, becomes a world of wonders as soon as you enter the building. It invites you to let go of your adult worries, and become a child yet again, immersed in the rustling leaves of a dense jungle, and the glamour of a grand tearoom entirely dressed in pink, with men in boiler suits, a tea master, and the caviar man at your service. The hopscotch greeting you at the floor of the entrance hall is only a hint at what’s to come. Be prepared for not just tea and food, but for an enveloping experience that includes everything from quirkiness in decoration to pure style in performance.
I am almost reluctant to share this secret local spot, because somehow until now it has remained hidden in plain sight to visitors streaming past in surrounding streets right in the heart of Madrid. Yet at the same time it is too good to keep secret – I’m simply too riveted by it to not share with you my experiences of El Pezcador and Spanish Tapas culture.
For me the most amazing and exciting thing about travelling is – you can probably guess – food. But it’s not just the food itself that gets me all worked up, it’s also the culture around it. Because if you try to separate the food from the culture, it’s like taking a tree, removing it from its soil and environment, and then planting it somewhere else – it’s probably still going to grow, but not in the same way. Sometimes separation can result in entirely new cultures around the food. Sometimes it’s nice to not just appropriate the food but also parts of the culture. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Swedish fika at least once during a regular working day? Wouldn’t you love to regularly fika?
Intrigued by the name of this afternoon tea, or rather “Not Afternoon Tea” as it is called, I decided to take my partner with me, mark the occasion as a romantic date, and see what it was all about. Cocktails and a view seemed like pretty good date material as well. But it could just as easily have been a girls’ night out too.
Although this is an unlikely spot for a tourist or visitor to ever get to, for you adventurers out there Schloßcafé, a café in a conservatory-like space adjacent to a garden center named Schlößer, at a country road in Moers, Germany, is definitely worth a mention, a write-up even. Personally, I discovered it on a trip to the garden center, which I knew of since my brother lives in the area. But for those of you who think you’re unlikely to venture further afield, if you haven’t had a waffle with hot cherries and cream before, then it’s about time to find out about it.
#10 in the series – challenges & innovations for Korean restaurants abroad
“We’re not interested in carrying the Korean flag, but it’s important for us to give people good, tasty food in a nice, friendly atmosphere with traditional family recipes.”
On my recent trip to Sweden I had the pleasure of chatting with sisters Byung-Hi (the manager) and Byung-Soon (the chef) Lim at Korean restaurant Arirang in Stockholm. Family-owned since the restaurant’s establishment in 1975, it was in fact the first Korean restaurant to open in the whole of Scandinavia. In a very modest way, however, they point out that they didn’t really think of themselves as a restaurant at that time.
When my friend and I decided to meet for afternoon tea in London, she told me it would be her first proper British one in the UK, so I decided to go for a classic one. I’d never been to The Montagu at the Hyatt Regency before, but the menu and presentation looked promising. We were seated at the window in what was a large, open space with high ceilings, a bar to one end of the room, an open kitchen to the other. Divided by only a few pillars, the more lounge-like area next to the restaurant/afternoon tea space was alive with people chatting away. In our more quiet space, the atmosphere was relaxed, free from any disturbances.