Bornholm

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read somewhere recently that the quality conscious foodies of the world have now collectively announced Copenhagen old news and are instead hopping on the boat to Bornholm located in the Baltic Sea. Though this might be overstating it, I sort of see why. The Danish island with its fields covered in poppies and corn flowers, colourful little towns, and not to forget: hip and happening restaurants is about as tasty and picturesque as it gets around here during summertime.

We spent a spontaneous two-and-a-half day on the island last week as a car was leaving from Copenhagen offering us a ride. Both Esben and myself being self-employed, we brought along our laptops and worked when we had the chance. However, we also did the things that are mandatory for summertime in Denmark: biked around the island and took the bikes on the bus back (it's hilly out there!), jumped in the sea from the granite cliffs, enjoyed ice cream cones at least once a day, and ran for shelter when the summer rain came.

The island of Bornholm is branded as being a foodie's delight, and with a fair amount of restaurants for its size, local chefs take pride in fresh ingredients bred from the warm and somewhat exotic climate compared to the rest of the country. Whilst the Michelin-starred Kadeau is the landmark of the island, there are quite a few great (and more affordable) spots to opt for, one being the seasonal restaurant at the iconic beach hotel Melsted Badehotel (pictured above). The restaurant is run by Frederik Bille Brahe, the chef behind the much hyped café Atelier September in Copenhagen, and their terrace on the beach with the sounds of the ocean was the perfect backdrop for enjoying foraged chanterelles, halibut ceviche and a fresh and fruity tart for dessert. Please scroll down to end of post for a curated guide to Bornholm.

During our stay, we visited the towns Allinge, Gudhjem and Svaneke on the eastern coastline. Whether you're getting around by car or bike, the route through these three towns along the coastline is quite spectacular offering nature views unlike anywhere else in Denmark. We stayed at Hotel Grønbech in Allinge, which is a newly renovated hotel with a central location and a nice homely feel (plus, their breakfast rolls were the best—I can never control myself at a buffet, and these home-baked ones didn't make it any easier for me).  

Bornholm was my third visit to Danish islands this summer—as we spent a week on Aeroe and a day on Skaroe in the archipelago of South Funen—and I don't regret for a second that we decided to spend our summer in Scandinavia. Especially since these past few weeks have been warm and sunny with loads swimming both in the sea and the Copenhagen harbor. With a population of about 40,000, Bornholm is much bigger than Aeroe and during the summer season, the island gets quite busy with tourists. However, as with all destinations, the key is to find your own path, and we enjoyed some quiet moments on a small beach that we had to climb cliffs to get to (worth the hassle!), an early morning on Dueodde beach while everyone else was sleeping, and a sunset from the cliffs north of the Allinge harbour. It's becoming quite the cliché, but there's something special about Danish summers—Bornholm being a first-class example.

Bornholm guide

Eat

Kadeau | Seasonal and regional Michelin-food with sea views.
Sommerpony | Kadeau's pop up sister restaurant offering a simpler and more affordable menu.
Frederik Bille Brahe x Melsted Badehotel
| Beautiful dishes from local ingredients at the charming beach hotel.
No. 9 | Best restaurant in Allinge with a cosy backyard and a good selection of fish dishes.
Kalas-Kalas | Combined ice cream and coffee shop located right on the cliffs by the sea.
Svaneke Is | Tasty home made ice cream in Svaneke.
Bornholm smoke houses
| Visiting a smoke house in one of the island's harbours is a mustorder local dish 'Sol over Gudhjem' (smoked herring served on rye bread with a raw egg yolk). It may sound odd, but it's one to try!   

Stay

Hotel Grønbech | Budget-friendly and newly renovated hotel with 29 rooms in the centre of Allinge.
Melsted Badehotel | Charming and classic beach hotel with a bright and airy feel. 

Do

Beach | Visit Dueodde with its white sand dunes
Shop | Pay a visit to ceramics shop Lov i Listed.
Music | 'Gæstgiveren' in Allinge presents well-known Danish artists throughout the season.

Download guide as PDF

Matcha Bar by Menu

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irst off: I can't believe it's been four months since my last post! This blog has been neglected big time, and it's about time it's brought back to life (because I really like it here). The reason for my absence is the same old one.. I have been busy with work which, as a freelancer, is a pretty good situation to be in. But when work means writing and photographing for a living, doing the same on this blog for myself is often downsized. Irony has it that as I am typing this, I'm actually on holiday - apparently, that's what I needed to find the time to post here. However, I am shutting down my laptop for the week as soon as my better half wakes up, and that notorious holiday mode kicks in.

Anyways, I wanted to share this beautiful space with you that is should be on your list when visiting Copenhagen. Especially if you're into clean, minimalistic design and matcha tea. Not long ago, I had a meeting with Scandinavian design company Menu at the newly opened Matcha Bar on Vesterbro. Redesigned by Menu, this place is already an Instagram darling, but more importantly, the Iced Matcha Lemonade is the best I've ever had.

In this all-white and clean space, Menus beautiful furniture really come into their own, and visiting made me even more excited about the work we are doing together (coming up on my Instagram and website soon). Not only are brother and sister Joachim and Michaela behind the brand the sweetest people, but Menu's aesthetic also has my name written all over it (just for the record, this post is not in collaboration with Menu. I just really like what they do).

Matcha Bar serves food as well, and even though I haven't had the chance to try it yet, the different salads with chicken, tun and avocado look mouthwatering on the photos I've seen. Definitely stopping by next time I need a healthy detox.

Matcha Bar
Helgolandsgade 13, 1653 København V

Hamburg

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wo weeks ago, I received an email from DSB (Danish railways) asking if I would be interested in taking the train to Hamburg to photograph the city for them. Discovering new cities and doing so with a camera around my neck is pretty much my favourite thing to do for work, so I jumped at the opportunity. Just a few days later I found myself on the Central Station boarding the train to Hamburg. I didn't really know much about Hamburg, but this elegant German city up north soft but steadily won me over day by day.

A busy old port, Hamburg is a charming mix of raw and industrial combined with wealth and grandeur. I found the city, often referred to as 'the Venice of the North' with its canals very diverse. The Berlin-like colourful and somewhat 'trashy' neighbourhoods gives you one impression, whilst the more classic architecture of the city centre combined with the characteristic brick houses offers an entirely different one. Given the proximity to Copenhagen (as well as reasonable tickets to get here, by train and airplane alike) I honestly don't understand why I haven't visited before.

On my first day, I spent a few hours exploring the neighbourhoods Sternschanze and Karolinenviertel located just north of Hamburg's well-known Sankt Pauli. These areas came up a lot in my research, and supposedly, they are the hippest in town. Honestly, I found them a bit boring and quickly discovered other areas much more to my liking. I stayed at the beautiful Hotel Ameron in Speicherstadt, which was the perfect place to explore the city from close to the city centre. This historic warehouse district in the Hamburg harbour is extremely charming with canals, bridges and strictly red-bricked houses. Just a few minutes walk from the hotel I came across Nord Coast, a lovely café with a view to the canals and a seriously delicious poached egg with avocado on sourdough bread. From Speicherstadt, I had easy access to Große Elbstraße around the old fish markets by the harbour, which was a cool area with a few restaurants and cafés; much like the old Meat Packing District of Copenhagen (or NYC) but still less developed and invaded by hipsters.

Other neighbourhoods I really liked were Eimsbüttel in the Northwestern part of the city and Rothenbaum east of it. Part residential, part cosy cafes and cool shops, I spent hours just walking around these areas, popping in for waffles at Salon Wechsel Dich in Rothenbaum, enjoying a French lunch at Eclair au Café and some Scandinavian interior inspiration at LYS Vintage and the smaller but lovely Human Empire Shop; all in Eimsbüttel. Some of the time, I went determined for specific locations I wanted to photograph (such as the charming houses by the canal on Nikolaifleet, pictured above, and the famous Peterstraße in Neustadt, pictured below), and the rest of the time, I just went in whichever direction seemed like the best option. Luckily, Hamburg is of modest size, and two days here will leave you with a good look of most of the city.

Hamburg definitely made a great impression on me, and this first visit will not be my last. Irony has it that just a few weeks before this job offer ticked in, I tried persuading my better half to go here for a weekend — because I had never been, and because I desperately needed to get away for a little while (as desperate as one can be when talking about the luxury of traveling and discovering new places). And above all because of the distance and traveling expenses, that alone seemed like a great excuse to take a weekend trip here. Hopping on a train from Copenhagen won't set you back more than an average restaurant dinner in the city will, and even though I had imagined the about five hour journey to feel like forever, the hours flew by and I arrived in the centre of Hamburg with just a few minutes to my hotel. It doesn't get much easier than that!      

I was invited to Hamburg by DSB, and I have received payment for the destination photography assignment

Dubai

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onestly, I don't know if I'm ever going back to Dubai. I think, for me, it was probably a once in a lifetime experience. But that doesn't change the fact that Dubai is a spectacular place, one of a kind. It was overwhelming, mind-blowing, thought-provoking and definitely over the top — exactly how I had imagined it. And of course it was much more than that, because there are always two sides to every story, city and people.
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As my Instagram posts stated, I was invited on a press trip by Visit Dubai. During these past months, I've had to say no thanks to a few of these kinds of trips (Hong Kong hurt the most!) because of the last stages of my master's thesis. So when an email ticked in with this trip taking place just a week after I'd handed in my thesis, I jumped at the opportunity. Perfect timing!

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And even though Dubai is indeed a disputed destination, I am glad I went. Because I have never seen the sun that huge and red before, I have never sat in a Jeep cruising through sand dunes in the desert before, and I have never seen such an impressive man-made city that rose from the sand only a couple of decades ago. Nor have I experienced such a welcoming people anywhere in the world — in this regard, what they say about the Emirati culture is true. Dubai is a city of details, and even though the many luxury hotels, restaurants opened by international Michelin starred chefs and out-of-this-world-malls mainly attract the deep-pocketed visitors' attention, it was a huge experience to visit this crazy city.

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The sweet Eva from Visit Dubai's Swedish office had arranged an itinerary that showed us the high lights (or at least some of them. Dubai has many sights!) and also left us some time for a couple of relaxing hours by the beach of our hotel One&Only Royal Mirage, where we spent the first few days. We were a small group of Scandinavian Instagramers and bloggers (hence the #ScandisInDubai hashtag) and I had the pleasure of hanging out with my Copenhagen based friend Allan of the blog Bungalow5, the lovely Rebecca Fredriksson from Stockholm (on the morning of our first encounter, we were invited to experience a traditional Hammam at the hotel. That sort of broke the ice between us!) and Mårten and Malin Nylen (two Swedish fitness gurus - they got up at 5am every morning to do hand stands and exercise at the beach; that's dedication).

Together, we experienced the city wide-eyed. We were given a royal treatment, and I almost felt like we were celebrities or movie stars (not just Instagramers and bloggers!). We had lunch on top of Burj Al Arab, the most luxurious hotel in the world, with a view to the ocean where ever you looked. I felt pretty sea sick, which was probably my fault since I hadn't been drinking enough water that day; temperatures rose to 40ºC (110ºF), but the food was absolutely outstanding as it was on the entire trip. We also went to the top of Burj Khalifa, the highest man-made building in the world (yes, a lot of superlatives can be used to describe Dubai!). It wasn't at all frightening as expected, and a thing to check off the bucket list, I guess!

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The wealth of the city is definitely showing, and Dubai comes off as being very polished. The money comes from the oil they found back in 1966, and now they live happily ever after of said oil. At least, that's what I thought. But apparently, the Sheikh quickly learned that the amount of oil found in Dubai wasn't going to be enough for longer periods of time, so they invested in tourism, infrastructure and technology. Which is why the tourism board treated us like VIP's I guess, why the highways have seven tracks and why smart internet whizzes move to Dubai with their start-ups to receive all sorts of benefits in Internet City. In this tax-free part of the city, the standard legislation about assigning a local with 51 percent of your company to grow your business here does not apply which makes the city admirable for the tech industry. For the record, no one pays taxes in Dubai. For real. Coming from a Scandinavian welfare system, that is completely nuts to me.

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In many ways, Dubai reminded me of a mixture between New York City, Las Vegas and Marrakech. Skyscrapers, malls built as pyramids and beautiful mosques in the old part of the city — or rather the 'older' part of this new city. This part of town was definitely my favorite, and when sailing the traditional 'abra' on the Dubai creek into the old town, I experienced a charm I had been missing a bit. We discussed it for a while, Allan and I. What is 'authentic', 'real' here? I think we were expecting a more traditional Middle Eastern city, and thus had a hard time finding this kind of charm in fancy hotels or shiny malls. As a person we met there said, Dubai is not traditional in any way. It's a world of its own, and the 'real' and 'authentic' here isthe clash between beautiful traditional ceramic mosaics decorating the mosques, the desert sand and the skyscrabers in the horizon. Whilst there, I asked a lot of questions, got a few answers and left the city in awe but also in a contemplative state of mind. I wouldn't move there tomorrow, but as always when traveling, I learned something new  — this time about a city whose identity is charaterized by ideas and dreams very far from the ones I know of. And that's a huge part of traveling for me. Experiencing, learning, meeting. New cultures, new perspectives, new ways of doing life. I might not agree with every political or enviromental decision being made there, but I am glad I was given the opportunity to experience it. Because one thing is certain: Dubai is a extraordinary experience, in every sence of the word.

STAY | Vida Downtown (Central Dubai) + One&Only Royal Mirage (beach resort)
EAT | Qbara (amazing modern Middle Eastern food)
DO | Burj Kalifa + desert safari

— Invited to Dubai by Visit Dubai, which means they covered all expenses in relation to the trip —

Road trip in Central Italy

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few months ago (yes — this blog post is long overdue), we took a road trip around Central Italy, driving through the three regions Umbria, Tuscany and Marche. I hadn't been to Italy since going to Rome with my high school class, and I had forgotten how much I that country — the light, the people, the language and the food, of course. Pasta, pizza and white bread are some of my favourite things (very politically correct nutrition, I know!) so I was pretty much in heaven.
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Our vacation started off in Cinque Terre, the five picturesque villages on the Ligurian coast, and after spending a few days in Lucca, a charming medieval town in Tuscany, we rented a Fiat 500 and set out for four days of road tripping with not much planned. This is by far my favorite way of traveling — I love the freedom of having a car and being able to go anywhere you wish. This might have to do with the fact that I am always on the passenger seat, and thus able to just enjoy the ride and ask the chauffeur to stop when ever a good photo op appears. Which happens quite often when driving around these parts!

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From Lucca, we headed towards Florence to catch the SR222 towards Siena. This road took us through the Chianti region, which you have probably heard about if you have the slightest interest in wine. I really don't and neither does Esben, so after a quick lunch in Panzano, we continued south. Having driven just an hour or so from the Florence area, the forest like feel of the roads sort of reminded me of the landscapes we have here in Denmark which was a little disappointing (I was expecting sun flowers in abundance, enormous fields and Tuscan vineyards in the middle of nowhere). But then, suddenly, the surroundings changed and it was even prettier than I had imagined it.

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For our first night, we found a bed&breakfast on Airbnb that fitted its name 'Welcome to Paradise' perfectly. Located just a few minutes drive from Assisi in Umbria, an absolutely beautiful town which I would definitely recommend visiting if you're ever in the area, this bed&breakfast had lovely decorated rooms and a pool with the most amazing view of the area.

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We were kind of sad to leave this little gem, but with just a few days on the road, we wanted to see more of the area. So we headed east via roads so deserted and windy it seemed like no one before us had passed them, and we reached the coast in Marche. We stopped in the two coastal towns Fano and Pesaro, hoping to find a nice place to spend the night, but we didn't — and with a desire to see more of the countryside instead of staying in a town, we searched for a new b&b on Airbnb, 'pool' checked off in the filters, and found this great place in the countryside near Tavullia that had availability that same evening. I really am a huge fan of Airbnb when traveling like this. Italian websites seem to be from another decade, and the Airbnb app provides a fast and easy way of finding great places to spend the night on a spontaneous trip without having booked beforehand (just for the record, this post is not in collaboration with Airbnb).

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We spent our last night in beautiful Florence. With only half a day here, we still managed to squeeze in a walk over The Arno with a view to Ponte Vecchio, sipping Aperol Spritz on the charming square Piazza Santo Spririto south of the Arno (an area my research told me was the hipster hip-and-happening part of town) and a view of the city from Piazzale Michelangelo. All of a sudden, the skies opened and it thundered severly, so we found a cozy restaurant and enjoyed a great meal while the water masses practically flooded the restaurant floor. Our waitress smiled apologetically, and served us Limoncello, the spaghetti carbonara was the best I've ever had and it was the perfect imperfect end to the trip. And here, just a few highlights:

Drive | Strada statale 444, Marche
Visit | Asciano, Lucca, Assisi
Stay | Welcome to Paradise, Umbria
Eat | Osteria Pozzo della Mensa, Assisi

Paris

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love Paris for many reasons. I love that the city is so picturesque and not just in the touristy parts of town. I love that the Parisians' English is still generally so bad it forces me to speak the French I've almost forgotten. I love that Paris has been the world's most fashionable destination for hundreds of years but still kept its charm.
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I enjoy sitting at a café or boulangerie that are everywhere to be found, just watching the classy men, women and children as they enjoy life all day, every day. I love the bright tones in the architecture, the streamlined parks and the cobblestone streets. The monumental buildings, the speciality shops and the loud French arguing in the streets. But mostly I love Paris for the memories.

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Since I spent six months studying French in the city back in 2011, I promised myself to go back once a year. Up until two years ago, I'd kept my promise, but then other dreams (read: NYC) came in the way. And I actually thought I had found a new favorite city. But then, going back and staying near the Canal Saint Martin as I did back then as well, I learned that I am far from over the French capital. This area in the 10th arrondissement will always be my favorite one with all of its cafés and restaurants in abundance, its enormous chest nut trees, beautiful blue bridges and boats sailing up and down the canal. Definitely a must when visiting Paris! A good starting point is taking the métro to République and just walk your way around the docks and side streets by the canal where where you will find many hidden treasures.

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There are a million beautiful travel guides and blogs about Paris out there, so I won't make a full description of all the different neighborhoods since you probably know these already (but if you read Danish, do check out the site Parisertanker.dk I made after returning home a few years ago - that one will give you the full story!). What I will tell you is that we had great coffee at The Broken Arm in the Northern Marais and at the hipster friendly Ten Belles by the canal, a flavorful lunch at the food market Marché des Enfants Rouges nearby, amazing New York-inspired brunch at Ellsworth in the city center, the best drinks I've ever had made solely from French alcohol at Syndicat and delicious and exciting 'nouveau bistro' food at 52 Faubourg Saint-Denis, both on the very trendy street of the same name (Rue Faubourg Saint-Denis) in the 10th arrondissement. For African beer and a great atmosphere, we went to Le Comptoir Général one evening and the morning after, we enjoyed a nice and simple breakfast at Boot Café in Northern Marais followed by a perfect coffee and pastry break in the beautiful courtyard belonging to The Swedish Institute in Marais as well. Actually, we spent most of the time on Rive Droite (The Right Bank) although I did venture down south one morning to meet the two very sweet and talented ladies Carin Olsson running the blog Paris In Four Months and Marissa Cox blogging at Rue Rodier for breakfast at the beautiful Rose Bakery in Le Bon Marché (check out both their blogs for gorgeous photos and great tips to Paris!)

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Even though eating great food is one of my favourite activities when traveling (and Esben's as well - thank god for that!), we did also manage to squeeze in a museum or two and just stroll around the Parisians streets in some of my favourite areas. There is so much to do in that city, and I will share some of my favourite places to visit that does not involve food in a second blog post - and if you have any questions, please just leave a comment. Paris definitely did steal my heart all over again, and it was so nice to revisit the city has meant so much for me. Because I do believe it really is as Hemingway once put it: 'There are only two places in the world, where we can live happy: at home and in Paris".

Hotel SP34

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espite being a capital with an abundance of great design, finding a beautiful and affordable hotel to stay at is not necessarily that easy here in Copenhagen. Most of these come with a price tag or a location that is a bit too far out in case you're just in town for a few days and don't want to spend too much precious time on the subway. Which is why this relatively new Hotel SP34 is a great choice that I would recommend to anyone coming to Copenhagen. Located perfectly in the Latin Quarter in Central Copenhagen, the hotel has beautifully decorated rooms and a nice and relaxed ambiance.
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These photos are all taken in different rooms, and since I haven't stayed there myself, I can't really do a full review of the place (our apartment is about five minutes from the hotel so spending the night here would seem a little foolish). But what I do know is that the staff are super friendly, there is a great burger restaurant called Cock's & Cows plus a brand new Cofoco restaurant in the basement and a roof top terrace. And most importantly: the location is perfect, pretty much as central as it gets with the Town Hall Square just down the street, but still in a nice neighbourhood that doesn't feel as touristy or crowded as it does around the square.

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SP34 is a boutique hotel decorated with Danish design classics and custom-made furniture. The style is typically Scandinavian but with a warm and cozy feel. Even the Single Standard Room was beautiful and if I were travelling alone or on a budget, I'd definitely book that one and save some money for restaurant visits and shopping. And if I wasn't, I'd book the Penthouse with a balcony and a view to the Copenhagen skyline. Oh my, that one was beautiful!

Hotel SP34
Sankt Peder Stræde 34
, 1453 København K

Swiss alps with Olympus

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couple of months ago, I received an email asking if I wanted to go to Madeira for a weekend to shoot with a new Olympus camera and share some of the photos on Instagram. Beautiful weather, sandy beaches and Portuguese specialities during what feels like the longest Danish winter in a long time? Yes, please! However, just a couple of weeks before departure, our destination was changed to the Swiss Alps. And I was just a tiny bit disappointed that my chance of Spring was now replaced with ice colds winds (plenty of those here in Denmark!). But of course, the trip was nothing short of amazing and the Alps turned out to be the perfect destination for a bunch of photo and film-nerds playing around with the Olympus OMD E-M5 Mark II for a couple of days.
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The trip was organized by Olympus and Helsinki-based design agency and production company KAUAS. They had invited Swedish Instagramer Julian Castaneda, Finnish filmmaker and photographer Markus Kontiainen, Norwegian cinematographer Espen Gjelsten and myself to spend a couple of days with the sole purpose of snapping away and having fun with the new camera. These guys were all super talented, and as soon as the cars stopped somewhere with a scenic view (which basically meant everywhere) they scattered all over the place to get the perfect shot or footage. Espen on his skateboard whenever the road allowed him to, Markus disappearing into the woods, Julian snapping away very (very!) close to the water. Their results were great as you might have seen on the hashtags for the trip #SWISSMYOLYMPUS and #KISSMYSWISS and after the photo sessions, we got back into the cars, turned on the camera's wi-fi and transferred the best photos to our smartphones, edited and uploaded. It doesn't get any easier than that!

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Being a food and travel writer, I can't go anywhere without having done a lot of research beforehand. However, this trip was different, and it was actually nice to just lean back and let someone else be in charge of everything. The guys had planned our schedule perfectly, and in just three whole days, we got to experience everything from walking around the snow-covered Mount Titlis at 3000 meters above sea level, exploring water falls peeping out through mountains walls, taking portraits by small lakes so clear you just wanted to dive right in and visiting the tiny and idyllic village of Quinten by Lake Walensee with a micro climate full of fig and lemon trees.

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Obviously, taking photos is a big hobby of mine, which has also in some ways turned into a profession of some sort. Still, I am not a photographer, and I have a lot to learn. I usually shoot everything with my iPhone 6 for Instagram and this blog as well, but this new Olympus friend of mine will definitely change that. The wi-fi feature (which works perfectly) is a huge plus and this compact mirrorless camera has just the right size in my opinion. Luckily, the camera is mine, so I won't have to go back to iPhone when shooting for online features and articles. Quite excited about that!

Check out Espen's cool video from our trip here, shot entirely on Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II (makes me want to practise and start shooting film!).

– Invited to Switzerland by KAUAS x Olympus, camera sponsored by Olympus –

Mielcke & Hurtigkarl

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ecently, I did a guide to the most beautiful design restaurants in town for Copenhagen Food and included Mielcke & Hurtigkarl, a heavy weight in the Copenhagen restaurant scene. When they asked if I wanted to come by one evening and taste the menu, I was excited to say the least. Praising reviews of this place are everywhere online as well as beautiful photos of the restaurant's interiors that the chefs had some talented Danish designers and artists help decorate. And so, on a freezing cold Friday night in February, we went to Frederiksberg Have, one of the prettiest gardens in town and the location of the restaurant and were blown away by the amazing food, great service and beautiful surroundings at Mielcke & Hurtigkarl.
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The menu created by the two chefs Jakob Mielcke and Jan Hurtigkarl draw inspiration from all over the world but still manages to keep it simple, clean and local using herbs from the garden just outside the door. At Mielcke & Hurtigkarl you choose from two options; The Full Experience (around 140 USD) or An Experience (around 120 USD). We were treated with the full experience and the wine menu and this dinner was the most spectacular and delicious one I have had in a very long time. From scallops to miso to deer to cheese and croissant with truffle and macaroons made with herbs from the garden to finish off; everything stood out and made a lasting impression.

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One thing about eating out is the food which in this case was Michelin-worthy (why the guide has not yet provided Mielcke & Hurtigkarl with a Michelin star is a bit of joke according to Danish food critics) and just as important is the service and ambiance of the place. At Mielcke & Hurtigkarl you get the whole package, and it was so refreshing to be taken care of by professional waiters and sommeliers, who helped make this fine dining experience very pleasant and welcoming. Even on a cold winters evening, this place is magical and I can only imagine how a lunch or dinner here during Spring or Summer in the romantic garden is like. Definitely a night to remember!

Mielcke & Hurtigkarl
Frederiksberg Runddel 1,
2000 Frederiksberg

Stockholm

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'm not sure if it's the beautiful forest lakes surrounded by red-painted houses, the fashionable Swedes or just that our neighbours always seem to be on the forefront of a lot of things, but Sweden has always fascinated me. Whether it's in politics, design, or food trends, the Swedes know what they're doing, and even though the political correctness is somewhat of a running joke here in Denmark, I often find it quite admirable. So, ever since I got lost in Knausgård's books about his life in Sweden this past Summer, I have wanted to go to Stockholm, the epicenter of that Swedish coolness (that Knausgård pretty much despises the Swedish political correctness and polished attitude is another story, and I'll leave that to him!).
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This weekend, we finally went and I had teamed up with Visit Stockholm who were kind enough to set us op in the nicest hotel (more on that further down) and provide us with a Stockholm card giving us access to a bunch of museums and sights in the city. As always when traveling, I had done my research from home, and considering that we only had three days in the city, I feel like we managed to squeeze in quite a lot! Because let me tell you this: Stockholm sure has loads of pretty cafés and beautiful restaurants serving mouth-watering meals.

One of my favorite places was Färgfabrikens Kafé (photos above), a beautiful café in an exhibition space showcasing experimental art. No exhibitions were on when we visited, but we had a great brunch in the café (I had the eggs benedict with the best cold smoked salmon!). We also had an amazing dinner at Svartengrens, a cool restaurant in Östermalm and a perfect place for meat lovers. They only serve high quality local meat and organic vegetables sourced from the Stockholm archipelago, and their barbecue styled menu combined with beautiful decor made for a great evening. Another place to highlight is Speceriet, a perfect place for an affordable and low-key dinner full of flavors. In the kanelbullar-section (a Swedish must try!) Fabrique had some delicious ones, and if in the city center, don't forget to check out Snickarbacken 7, a hip café/shop serving lunch, pastries and selling well curated fashionable items and interior designs.

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We stayed at Hotel Skeppsholmen, and if you ever go to Stockholm, you must promise me to stay here! The city is pretty amazing because of the waters constantly surrounding you, and Stockholm is basically built on islands. One of these is called Skeppsholmen, and staying at this modern hotel on a tiny island was like being in the quiet nature in city center. Just a few minutes' walk from Gamla Stan (quite touristy, but a walk through the narrow streets is a must) and just a quick boat ride from Södermalm, Stockholm's trendiest neighborhood. Imagine that, taking a boat everyday to and from your hotel! I was in heaven. A freezing cold heaven, but still. Our room had the most amazing view to the sea, Södermalm and Fotografiska (definitely worth a visit!) and the hotel breakfast buffet was the best. During summer, the patio outside the hotel fills up with beach chairs, and Stockholmers come the island to enjoy a meal in the café/restaurant or to jump right in the water from the wooden pier.

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All in all, I really enjoyed our weekend in Stockholm. The city was absolutely beautiful covered in snow, and it more than lived up to my romantic ideas. Stockholmers are super friendly (despite some langauge difficulties.. My Swedish is terrible, and even though conversation in English with next-door-neighbours seemed foolish, I learned that this was the best way to go about it. I did manage to make Esben laugh a lot when I tried in Swedish, though) and this pretty city should have anyone travelling for good food, great shopping and loads of culture feel more than satisfied. After a lovely couple of days, we checked out of the hotel with one last kanelbullar in hand, and walked past a music studio located the hotel's garden where one of the ABBA guys was rehearsing. Joachim, the managing director at the hotel had told us about the extra bonus of a free ABBA concert in the backyard, and when we later got on the bus with a blond guy, the most hipster-like bus driver I have ever seen who dropped us of right next to an IKEA shuttle bus, I felt my Stockholm experience was pretty complete. I'll come back a Summer before long though, so I can jump in the water from the small islands and enjoy some more of that special Swedish charm.

– Invited to Stockholm by Visit Stockholm –

Botanical Garden

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here is something magical about botanical gardens, and this one in the center of Copenhagen is no exception. Ever since I went here on an overcast day this Spring to shoot it for an Instagram guide to Copenhagen for Guided by Cereal (some of you might recognize the first photo in this post), I have been meaning to go back and take some photos of the greenhouses from the inside. Yesterday, an opportunity finally arose when I met with Karen, a very sweet journalist and friend of mine. Karen is doing a feature on me for a Berlin based travel site, and when she asked me where we should shoot the photos, I immediately thought of these greenhouses.
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The Botanical Garden is a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city. As part of University of Copenhagen, the garden and greenhouses hold the largest collection of living plants in the country and the whole garden with hills and lakes is beautiful year round. The light in here is absolutely stunning, and the greenhouses hold collections of palm trees, cacti, succulents, and many endangered species. To be honest, I don't know the first thing about botanics, but these surroundings are well worth a visit either way. Karen and I started contemplating the great potential of these glass houses - imagine having a big gathering here with long tables, white table cloths and the setting sun reflected through the windows? That would be pretty amazing. And probably impossible (or crazy expensive, at least).

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We had a lot of fun taking photos in here - mostly, she was shooting me; a situation I am not normally that comfortable in.. But the surroundings made for some pretty good shots! If you go here whilst visiting Copenhagen, please note that opening hours are kind of quirky. The garden is open all days until 4pm (winter) and 6pm (summer), but the different greenhouses are only open a couple of days a week - from what I can tell, coming here on a Wednesday at 2pm is ideal!

Botanical Garden
Øster Farigmagsgade 2B, 1353 Kbh. K

Café Auto

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uite often, when I'm making lists of places I want to include in guides to Copenhagen for different types of medias, I go out of my way to mention only the very best. The best coffee, the most beautiful and trendy café, the restaurant serving the tastiest Nordic dishes. I try to imagine where I would be happy to go if I were a tourist visiting Copenhagen for the first time. In this quest to guide people to the very best this city has to offer (as seen from a somewhat shallow point of view, some would probably argue!) I forget about a lot of places. The cosy neighborhood café serving a good and affordable breakfast, the best place for kebab on Nørrebro that often acts as a lifesaver a Sunday afternoons and the places I normally go for a coffee with my girlfriends.
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So, I thought I would share Café Auto with you since it is one of my favorite places on Nørrebro, just a few minutes from where I live. This means that I frequent this café quite a lot and just within the last two weeks, I've had a great dinner here in the company of two girlfriends, a couple of hours of cosy work time with another girlfriend and yesterday, a great brunch with Esben. Café Auto doesn't have marble tabletops or a crazy overpriced slice of bread with avocado. On the contrary, prices here are extremely reasonable, and the dishes are tasty and down to earth. A great burger, delicious french toast, steak tartare, chili con carne and goat cheese salad. Simple and good. The staff is friendly, the vibe is relaxed and you are welcome to stay for as long as you wish. I would recommend this place for both a fulfilling brunch and a low-key but tasty dinner and since you're in the area, don't forget to take a walk in the nearby Assistens Cemetery which will take you to Jægersborggade with a lot of nice places.

Ps. I apologize for the somewhat grainy photos. The light isn't great in there and my beloved iPhone doesn't suffice.

Café Auto
Griffenfeldsgade 22, 2200 Kbh. N

Round Tower

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ack in Copenhagen. Back to real life, overpriced coffee, everyone looking beautiful and exactly the same, dark afternoons and freezing nights, quiet streets in the city center and a very low-key ambiance all over the city. No more wonderfully weird New Yorkers, no more exploring new neighborhoods, no more of that breathtaking skyline as a constant reminder of the many different lives in that huge city.

Moving from one place and back to the other hasn't completely dawned on me yet, and this weekend, I needed a dose of Copenhagen. So I dragged Esben up in one of the city's main tourist attractions; The Round Tower. He thought I was a little silly, but I needed to see the city from high above to really understand where I was. And doing a touristy thing in our own city did help a little, perhaps making the transition a little easier. Because Copenhagen really is a great city. And the view from this tower built in 1642 and now the oldest functioning astronomy observatory in Europe is spectacular. Built with a spiral walk so the astronomers' heavy instruments could be transported up and down on wagons, the inside of the tower with brick floors and white walls is quite a pretty sight.

Although it takes a bit of a hike to make it all the way to the top (no elevators!) the view is definitely worth it. It does not compare to taking in the Manhattan skyline from Top of The Rock, but that's OK. Because the two cities can't be compared, and CPH does have a lot of good things that NYC lacks. Like most of my friends living in the same neighbourhood just a couple of minutes apart, thousands of bikelanes making it so easy to get around compared to the subway system in NYC, peace and quiet and a whole lot of stunning and historical architecture like this well visited tower in Central Copenhagen.

The Round Tower
Købmagergade 52A, 1150 KBH K

The Noguchi Museum

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t's about time I add a splash of culture to this collection of my favorite places in NYC. The list is characterized by a distinct overload of restaurants and coffee shops (which makes sense because I am a foodie especially when traveling, and I often find that the best way to discover a city and its neighborhoods is by locating the best places to eat!).

But eating out isn't all we've been up to during the past couple of months, and I have been taking advantage of living in a city with some of the most amazing museums in the world. MoMAThe GuggenheimPS1 and The Frick Collection are a few of my favorites so far but unfortunately, these well-attended spots are always difficult to capture photos of (at least when one prefers these to be tourist-free).

The counterpart of the crowded museums of Manhattan is The Nogushi Museum in Queens. Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi founded and designed this place in 1985 and in ten galleries and beautiful sculpture garden he features some of his own sculptures and design (I love the concept of creating an entire museum to showcase your own work - brilliant!).

When I visit museums and exhibitions, the architecture, light and surroundings often capture my attention more than the actual works of art. Noguchi's museum is no exception, and even though his sculptures and design are beautifully done, the rooms they're exhibited in speak for themselves. Huge windows overlooking the garden, creaking wooden floors, lots of light and a silence that you will not find at many other museums in the city. Feeling inspired by this extraordinary space, I got myself a book in the shop; 'New York's 50 best places to find peace and quiet'. I haven't had time to read it yet, which is kind of ironic, isn't it?

The Noguchi Museum
9-01 33rd Rd Long Island City, Queens

The Fat Radish

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esterday, I had the best pancakes of my life. I had to share them with three persons, but luckily, these three are the ones who know me best in this world, so I got to eat the majority of them without anyone feeling cheated. Phew! They were Lemon Ricotta pancakes served with blueberry jam at The Fat Radish, and they were soft, not too doughy and so tasty.

As the name implies, fresh and seasonal vegetables are a big part of the farm-to-table menu at this place, but there's something for everyone here. I have only visited The Fat Radish for brunch and the 'all greens omelette' with ricotta cheese is delicious. So are the crostini with smoked salmon and the potato cake with poached eggs!

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You will find the restaurant on Orchard Street in Manhattan's Lower East Side, my favourite neighborhood in Manhattan. Quieter and less crowded than some of the other areas (I'm thinking SoHo and Greenwich Village), but still so diverse and so much to do, see and eat.

The Fat Radish
17 Orchard Street

Okonomi

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fter nearly three months in this amazing city with too many Shake Shack burgers, too many Five Leaves pancakes and too many cocktails, I am almost fed up (almost!). This is why a dinner at this fairly new Japanese restaurant a few weeks back did me very good, so good that after a delicious serving of ramen one night, we had to come back a few days after to get a taste of the Japanese breakfast.

With this place, chefs Tara Norvell and Yuji Haraguchi aim to give New Yorkers a taste of a more healthy kitchen. In the morning, the place is named Okonomi and serves a traditional Ichiju Sansai set meal for breakfast, and in the evening it shifts to Yuji Ramen serving ramen. The breakfast (pictured) consists of five small servings, a bowl of miso soup and a bowl of rice with an optional egg. I would have imagined eating fish and rice in the morning feeling weird (I cherish my oatmeal and fruit highly) but it was surprisingly normal and tasted great.

The room is tiny - seats about 8 people at a time - and you feel like you've just entered a private living room somewhere in Japan. The menu which changes daily is handwritten and whenever someone leaves the place, many 'thank yous' are given to the kitchen. Both times I've been by, almost all of the other guests looked Japanese, which adds even more to the authenticity of the place.  

When I went by a couple of days after our feast to take some photos of the place, I had a chat with Tara and she explained how one of the ideas behind this place is to minimize food waste. They use the whole fish, the bones go into a broth and the menu changes daily after what's available. Before opening up the place earlier this year, Tara was a chef at Bushwick's pizza-hipster-haven Roberta's and Yuji was running a successful ramen pop-up noodle bar inside Wholefoods whilst supplying a bunch of the city's restaurants with seafood. Their love for Japanese food and their excellent sense of style (they redid the entire room themselves!) shine through, and the location on Ainslie Street in Williamsburg is perfect with a bunch of nice cafés and other good restaurants near by. And just look at the place. Japan is next on my list (I wish!).

Okonomi / Yuji Ramen
150 Ainslie St.

Glasserie

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o be honest, I went to Glasserie because of the pretty walls. Then I had dinner, and now I think it might be one of my favorite restaurants in NYC so far. Those chefs with Mediterranean backgrounds sure know what they're doing!
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You will find Glasserie in the northernmost part of Greenpoint in Brooklyn, just a creek and a bridge from Queens. Every New Yorker I've talked to about this place has looked at me with surprise that I would go all the way out to Greenpoint, where subways are few and streets somewhat quiet, but Greenpoint is actually one of my favorite areas of Brooklyn. Mostly because of the good cafés and restaurants, but also because of the quietness.

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Glasserie serves Mediterranean food drawing inspiration from both the Middle East and southern Europe, and most of the meals are designed for sharing. We were four people for dinner, and we ordered three starters, three main course plus two desserts. We were lucky enough to be treated with some extra dishes that the chef wanted us to try (thank you!) and left the table more than satisfied. We probably should have stopped at some point, but everything was so good, it was impossible! The menu changes quite often, and we had some delicious servings of Yellowfin Crudo with watermelon; squash kataif pastry, goat cheese and okra; lamb rib with fresh corn polenta and manchego just to name a few. My stomach is rumbling writing this post, that dinner was amazingly good! Every flavour of the ingredients, all fresh from farms, was something else and it tasted like no kind of Mediterranean food I've ever had before. At Glasserie, their goal is to cook with intuition and they always consider how much technique and seasoning the products need to be elevated to manipulate the products the least. I think that's a pretty good ambition to have working with food!

Given the quality of the food, prices at Glasserie are extremely reasonable, the servers were beyond friendly and there was almost a small party going on there on a Tuesday night (that's NYC for ya!). Booking a table is a good idea, and if you find yourself hungry for a tasteful dinner in Brooklyn, I'd definitely recommend this place. There are so many places I have yet to discover in NYC, but I will need to go back here before we leave, that's for sure. And not just because of those pretty walls!

Glasserie
95 Commercial St.

Upstate NY: Spruceton Inn

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ou know that feeling when you wake up on a Monday morning and could almost cry because the weekend just ended? That's me today and I really have no reason to complain because I'm in NYC and life's pretty great. But still, our weekend at the Spruceton Inn was amazing and I already miss waking up in the most comfortable bed ever with a view to a meadow of wild thyme (it smelled heavenly out there!) and the tree-covered mountains.
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Located in West Kill in the Catskills area of Upstate New York this inn is the perfect weekend getaway whether you're a nature loving hiker or just want to replace the hustle and bustle of NYC with some peace and quiet and fresh air for a couple of days.

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In December 2013, Casey and her husband Steven (two former Brooklynites; one's a writer and designer, the other's an illustrator and writer) moved out of the city, bought an old inn and proved everyone who thinks coolness doesn't exist outside of NYC wrong. Because seriously, this place is the best. Have you ever stayed at a b&b and felt as if you were sleeping in an old woman's bed with too many personal things and lace curtains in horrible colors? That's very far from the Spruceton Inn. The rooms here are simply and beautifully decorated with everything you need and nothing more, every room has a private bathroom with a shower and some of the rooms a kitchenette, where you can prepare dinner for the Weber grills outside. That's exactly what we did on our first night; grilled salmon and corn for dinner (someone was very happy he got to prepare a home cooked meal for us for the first time since we came to NYC a little over than a month ago!) and enjoyed it by the camp fire in the pitch dark under a sky full of stars.

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Casey and Steven only opened up the place in August this year and they've already gotten a lot of media attention (from The New York Times and Vogue just to name a few). Cool New Yorkers seem to go on a pilgrimage to the Catskills every weekend, and it's easy to see why everyone loves this place already. Casey is the perfect host, chatting with guests in the bar and Steven is the Outdoor Expert, who will help guide you in the direction of the good fishing holes and hiking trails. And if you're just here to relax (which was our plan) that's totally cool too! You can hang out in Room 1 where you will find everything you need; The Canteen serving Cafe Grumpy coffee, tea and pop tarts for breakfast; the bar serving wine and beer for both guests and locals passing by and the wifi spot, where you can get a fix of normal life when needed (wifi only works in Room 1 but as it turns out, waking up in the morning with no reception at all is pretty great!). Or you can chill in the hammock, go for a swim in the creek, enjoy a snack with a mountain view, meet new friends over a beer whilst barbecuing or go for a drive to one of the cute little towns in the area (and of course, there's also the possibility of going hiking and maybe meeting some black bears, if you're into that sort of thing!).

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It all sounds pretty great, doesn't it? It really is and there's a lot more praise to give to the Spruceton Inn. I am already planning on going back for a day or two before we leave The States in end October, but I might have to hurry up since word on the street is that weekends are pretty much fully booked for a while! If you are planning on going, you probably have a ton of questions and you will find all answers (plus Caseys lovely graphics and writing) over at their website. Just some quick facts: it's simple luxury and there are nine rooms ranging from $69 to $229. For food, Room 1 sells frozen burger patties and buns, supplies for hotdogs, s'mores and charcoal for the grills (you can also grocery shop on your way up there or visit one of the cafés and restaurants near by - Phoenicia Diner was great!). Bringing a car is a good idea (but taking the bus is an also an option), there's no TV but a lot of pretty nature right outside the window and the inn is open year round.

- The Spruceton Inn kindly let us spend two nights free of charge in exchange for a couple of mentions on my Instagram-profile. As always, I only feature places I really like on this blog (and on Instagram) and all opinions are my own. - 

Spruceton Inn
2080 Spruceton Road, West Kill, NY

The Apartment by The Line

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he best part about following so many cool New Yorkers on Instagram is that I always know where to go whenever I have some free time and want to take pictures. Thus, because of Eva, Kessara, Tamara and Lily (all of whom I've had the chance to meet several times in real life here in the city - isn't that great, all because of Instagram!), The Apartment on The Line had been my list for a while.
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The Apartment is a showroom with wood floors, high ceilings and beautiful furniture and decor. If you visit this place and wish that you could live like this, the good news is that you actually can! Everything is for sale from the bike to the bed to the clothes in the walk-in closet and everything is so pretty! I want new huge windows, those drapes and a tub in the bedroom, please.

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The showroom is open Wednesdays from noon to 8pm and Saturdays from 11am to 6pm (I actually went there on a Tuesday by mistake since my head was in the clouds that day, but they kindly welcomed me and it is possible to arrange visits out of the normal opening hours by emailing them). Oh, and it's located in Soho on a charming cobbled stone street with pretty facades!

The Apartment by The Line
76 Greene Street

Colonia Verde

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his beautiful place has now become one of our New York favorites. It might be because of the charming backyard, the tasty food, the perfect location in Fort Greene just a nice walk from our place or the always friendly staff. Either way, we keep coming back and if you ever find yourself in this big city, you should swing by too.
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Colonia Verde is a Latin American restaurant great for brunch and even better for the weekly Sunday pig roast. A succulent pig has been roasting inside a Caja China all day and starting from 3pm it's served with tortillas, rice, guacamole and dippings. To set the mood, they start you off with duck fat popcorn and to end the Sunday feast properly, Latin American style s'mores with chocolate and biscuits from South of the border satisfy the sweet tooth.

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The menu changes weekly based on what they'll find at the market (naturally - any self-respecting NYC restaurant will depend on their local farmer's market for fresh produce!) and the couple of times we have been by for brunch, we've enjoyed dulce de leche pancakes (so good!), shrimp tacos, warm brussel sprouts Ceasar salad with a poached egg and so much more. It's a true neighborhood restaurant, and I feel like gathering all of my friends in that backyard on a Sunday to enjoy a slow cooked meal and cocktails.

Colonia Verde
219 Dekalb Avenue, Ft. Greene