Travel Inspiration #5

The island of Palma de Mallorca is one of my favourite places in the world! You should go and see it too!

There are hundreds of beautiful places to visit and see, especially if you travel beyond the mass tourist spots Mallorca has become known for. There are beautiful landscapes, roaming sheep, olive trees. There are the mountains, the oranges and the views. There are white sandy beaches, clear blue water perfect for swimming and boat trips, local harbours and fishermen.

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There is bustling Palma, with delicious  restaurants, great tapas bars and chic stores. There are the harbours, glitzy and quaint. There’s culture, museums and monasteries.

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You get it, Mallorca has it all. And now’s the perfect time to go. The weather is warming up and the throngs of tourists have yet to arrive.

Hotels that are perfect for a long weekend are the La Residencia in Deja, tucked away in the mountains, north of Palma, and the La Reserva Rotana a luxurious country finca hotel near Manacor. If you want to stay in Palma, try the chic and cool Sant Francesc. If you are staying longer, consider renting a finca with friends and soaking up island life.

Mallorca also has great restaurants. A family tradition of ours is going to Hostal d’Algaida, where you can enjoy some of the tastiest local cuisine and wine in a 400+ year old building. Note that the restaurant may change slightly and offer a different menu, as the two sisters, who own and run the place, are entwined in a longstanding feud that has resulted in two separate alternating restaurants! But don’t worry both restaurants are fantastic! In Porto Colom there is the elegant and very fancy (and very pricey) Restaurante Colon. The beautiful setting, tasteful interiors and delicious food make this place perfect for a lunch and glass of wine. It’s neighbouring restaurants are less pricey and serve some great local cuisine. Otherwise, have a break on one of the many town squares and enjoy a cortado and a fantastic Ensaïmada de Mallorca. For my favourite restaurants in Palma have a look here.

Travel to this beautiful island and enjoy!

The Montefiore 36

Last week I had the pleasure of spending the night at a perfect little boutique hotel in Tel Aviv! It was sleek, chic, elegant, with attention to detail, personality, a great location, and perfectly encapsulated everything you expect of Tel Aviv! Let me introduce you to the Montefiore 36!

The rooms are perfectly designed with modern decor and flair. What makes everything so special is the attention to detail. Paintings, statues, a fantastic wall of books, a beautiful carafe with mineral water, and a welcome treat. The bathrooms feature a luxurious rain shower and comfy, soft bathrobes. Also, the location is great, ideal to go out and explore the hip Nevetzedek neighbourhood and stroll along the Rothschild Boulevard.

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I loved this sculpture!

What’s even better is the restaurant and bar downstairs. Like everything else in the hotel they exude chic and cool.  There was beautiful porcelain and silverware, stunning bouquets of red roses and soothing Jazz in the background.

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Dinner_MontefioreWhat I found particularly cool (and which I will totally do at home) was the use of silver trays, baskets and pots to serve food and beverages. I enjoyed my Earl Grey that much more poured from the beautiful silver teapot.

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Perfect presentation and great use of beautiful silver trays, pots and baskets

Just as noteworthy was of course the food. We had breakfast and lunch at the hotel and both tasted just perfect! The restaurant is Asian fusion and I enjoyed a miso soup, raw tuna with yuzu sauce, and Chinese greens. It was perfect and light and just what is needed for lunch.  The breakfast was a treat, especially as it was served outside. I stuck with my favourite breakfast combination of granola, yoghurt, fresh orange juice and tea and treated myself to a basket of delicious pastries! Those pastries were some of the best I’ve had in a quiet some time!!

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So, if you are considering a weekend trip or mini escape to Tel Aviv, the Montefiore 36 is your place to stay! Enjoy the luxury it has to offer and let yourself be absorbed by the hip and vibrant city!

Indulging your sweet tooth in State College

State College isn’t usually known for its food. However, if you are passing through town or visiting a friend or exploring PennState University, there are two places you must absolutely try! 

First, there is Ye Olde College Diner. An institution if there ever was one, faithfully feeding students since 1929! Famous for it’s sticky buns, which really are perfectly sticky and sweet and utterly divine. Try them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and experience the yummy-ness. (I couldn’t resist taking an extra box back to DC with me!) 

In fact, these sticky buns are so delicious and famous, they’ve stared in a number of Hollywood productions, most recently in “The Perk of Being a Wallflower.” Aka not to be missed when in State College!

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   The Ye Olde Diner as time goes by (Photos courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/YeOldeCollegeDiner)

Your second destination has to be the Berkey Creamery. Part of PennState University, and the largest university creamery in the U.S., it is a place of research that processes approximately 4.5 million pounds of milk and produces icecream, sherbert, sour cream and a number of different cheeses. Thankfully, all of this can be tasted and bought at their store! You may have to join a considerable cue to taste some of the delicious icecream flavours on offer, but I promise you will not be disappointed. 

This is also where Ben and Jerry learned how to make ice-cream and thanks to whom we are now able to enjoy cookie dough, half baked and fish food whenever life requires! Taste some of the abounding flavours and enjoy really delicious icecream made right there just for you!

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  The Berkey Creamery, inside and outside (Photos courtesy of http://creamery.psu.edu)

The Perfect Paris Beurre

The perfect Paris Beurre from Le Petit Vendome in Paris

The perfect Petit Beurre from Le Petit Vendome in Paris

Paris has many treasures that often stay hidden to those who don’t live there. One of these is the Paris Beurre. I only came across this delicious concoction thanks to my sister Teresa. While she was living in Paris she’d text me telling me she was sitting in the Jardin des Tuileries enjoying a Paris Beurre for lunch. Ignorant me assumed she was eating baguette with butter. Oh was I wrong!

While baguette with butter is pretty fabulous already, the Paris Beurre is that much better. It consists of baguette, rather a lot of delicious salty, creamy French butter and the perfect slice(s) of ham! There is something about the combination of butter, ham and bread that make for instantaneous deliciousness! Different forms and variations of the combination can be found in numerous cookbooks, in different cultures and throughout history. This French version remains a classic and for a damn delicious reason! I promise you nothing short of a simple delicious pleasure! Many many thanks to my awesome sister for sharing this treasure!

Now the trick is finding the perfect Paris Beurre. My trusted favourites is Le Petit Vendome (8 rue des Capucines, 2e Paris – just around the corner from the Place Vendome and a few minutes walk from the Tuileries). This fantastic little place is only open for lunch and always packed – you really have to hustle through the crowds to place your order! What makes the Paris Beurre so special here is the baguette from Boulangerie Julien (which has won Best Baguette of Paris!), the Brittany Ham, and the best French butter! I promise it is a must while in Paris!!!

So, try a Paris Beurre on your next trip, sit in the Jardin des Tuileries and marvel at beautiful Paris!  Bon Appétit and let me know what you think!

A Trip to the Market

I love going to markets! I love walking through the different aisles and tasting and exploring the different foods on offer.  Not surprisingly then, one of my favourite things in Mallorca is going to the Santa Catalina Market in Palma. You can shop any kind of food possible – seasonal fruit and vegetables, meats catering to all tastes, perfect jamon, fresh fish of the day, locally made olive oil and (my favourite) delicious, ripe and tasty tomatoes! Everything is of the highest quality, making shopping here a little pricier than in your average supermarket but the quality you get makes all the difference. Fishmarket_Palma

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But what makes this market truly amazing is the fact that you can have your fresh fish, prepared right there and then. Buy at your favourite stand and then head over to Bar des Mercat where you can have them prepare your fish anyway you like. This is not haute cuisine but simply really good food! Sit at the bar and enjoy your catch of the day.

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Enjoy a cortado or beer at one of the bars…

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…and then head over to Bar Des Mercat to have your fish prepared! Buen provecho!

For more food info on Mallorca, have a look here or just shoot me a mail or tweet. You can also comment down below. Mallorca is one of my favourite places and feels like a second home, so feel free to ask away.

Travel Inspiration #4

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The beautiful Cap Ferrat bathed in perfect sunshine

Since spring is still a while away and most of us can’t go to the Maldives for a quick sunny getaway, I suggest you treat yourself to a long weekend in the South of France instead. I went over New Years with a group of friends and loved it. I hadn’t been down to the Cote d’Azur in years and remembered it as overrun, crowded and everyone engaged in a hectic who’s who.

However, during the off season you get to enjoy the balmy weather and the striking beautiful coast all by yourself. The weather is perfect to go for long walks along the Cap Ferrat and up in the mountains, sit outside and enjoy the sun. The restaurants are not overbooked and you can enjoy the fantastic food.

The food is truly fantastic and I would suggest trying the lovely La Petite Maison in Nice, where the menu is to die for! For a divine French lunch outside try La Mere Germaine in Villefranche-sur-Mer. Otherwise, enjoy a drink at Le Bar Americain at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco.

To enjoy village life visit the village of Èze. Then head up to the beautiful Le Sanctuaire Notre Dame de Laghet, where people have come to pray and give thanks since hundreds of years.

And don’t miss the fantastic Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul de Vence, where the couple Maeght, in collaboration with architect Josep Lluis Sert and artists Joan Miro and Georges Braque, built the beautiful complex that now houses their extensive and stunning private collection.

Enjoy and let me know what you discover!

My Travel Map

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The purpose of Travel Deliciously is to be that friend you can ask where to eat and stay when you’re in X. To make this as easy as possible, I’ve made a map of everywhere I’ve lived, travelled and visited. Write me a comment, email or tweet and I’ll share all the tips, tricks and information I’ve gathered over the years.

I look forward to sharing and very much hope to make your next trip a little more delicious!

All the best,
Julia

p.S. I used matador network to make my travel map and then included all my favourite places. Have fun making and sharing yours!