Three Rooftop Bars To Visit In Madrid

Monday 27 June 2016

When its warm, rooftop bars are so much better than ground level ones. Fact. The open air, the amazing views and the sun on your face while you enjoy a drink, what more could you want? So while I was in Madrid and of course it was super warm, I made it my mission to seek out as many rooftops as I could. Over the two evenings, I managed three, each with a totally different vibe, which isnt bad and I am pleased to say they were all much less crowded and much cheaper than London so if you're off to Madrid any time soon, I'd definitely recommend having a little look.

The Roof At ME, Madrid 

The roof at ME opened at 7pm on the Friday (& 1pm on Saturday) and we got there just as it was opening. I would highly recommend doing the same if you are looking to find a table - we had our pick of the seating area but it started to fill up very quickly and was already rammed by the time we left for dinner at 9.30!

 Entry is usually €20 which also gets you a free drink at the bar. I went for a glass of cava which usually only costs €5 and is incredibly cheap if you ask me; whilst Andrew had a 'wild' cocktail which would usually be €16. The whole place had a very expensive feel to it as we expected from a ME although drink prices were pretty much the same as the other two bars. It was modern, sophisticated and very white - and it had incredible, undisturbed views over the cute little square below. We both loved it here.

La Terreza At The Principal

The rooftop at The 5* Principal hotel was definitely prettiest of the three with its quaint chairs with red cushions and pretty plants. I loved the vibe up there, it was the afternoon so still quite relaxed but just very classy. The bar snaked around the top of the building and has lots of different hidden sections, we even found one part with sunbeds and a water feature. There was no entry fee for this one but as I said, the drinks cost just as much. I went for mocktail which still cost us €10 and it was lovely, very fruity and very refreshing. Andrew has a rossini which was only €2 more than mine at €12. 

The Roof at The Mint, Madrid

The other two, I knew I wanted to visit but this last one was a bit of a surprise find after I ran into the hotel, desperate for the toilet and spotted a sign to their rooftop bar. I fell in love with The Mint hotel from the second we arrived - it had a bit for a Firmdale vibe to it and cool designs and I loved the quirky furniture. It was clean, sophisticated and pretty cool!

Up on the rooftop, it was very chilled and relaxed. We were the only ones up there for quite a while and although there wasn't actually a pool up there, it was much more like a pool area than an actual bar. We ordered a drink from the camper van and lounged around on the sunbeds for an hour!

Have you visited any of these?

*Thanks to The Roof at ME for our complimentary entry & drinks although all thoughts are 100% my own

Shopping in London: Brent Cross

Thursday 23 June 2016

This year, what my parents described to me as the original shopping center, Brent Cross, turned 40 and the lovely team there invited me along for the day to celebrate!

I've written a post over on their blog all about my trip; which involved a little bit more than just shopping so if you want to see what I got up to and what I came home with you can check it out here!

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Flats Wishlist Via LYST

Monday 20 June 2016

It's been a little while since my last wish list but with summer approaching pretty fast and my brand new layout I thought now would be a good time to get them started again since theres so many pieces that I've fallen in love with recently! I have been on the hunt for bikinis so thats what my next one is going to be about but this time around its shoe themed and all of these can be found on LYST which is a site that brings designer items together so you can shop for them all at once! Pretty cool.

So I know this is supposed to be a flats wishlist but I'm kicking it off with a pair of heels (1). I did actually come across the flats first but they are so super cute that I had to include the mid and high heeled version too! I already have a pair from ASOS that are very similar but I just love these and all their cute little pom poms!

Moving on to something a little less fluffy but just a cute - these sparkly lace up flats (2). I love in my plain black ones in the summer but this just adds something a little different. They'd be perfect around Christmas time!
More cuteless on the scene comes from these Charlotte Olympia kitty flats (7). I know they are a little bit old news now but that doesn't stop them being super cute! I love the simple black and gold but I didn't realise they came in so many shades! My favourite pair from LYST's collection has to be these leopard ones (3).

This summer, I'm all about the espadrilles and although I haven't come across and high street versions that I like yet, I instantly fell in love with both of these! I love the super thick sole, black leather Kenzo espadrilles (6) which have the brand tiger embossed on the front and these beige, lace up the leg versions from castaner (4).

As for trainers, I live in my black and white roshes so I am really ready for another style when it comes to every day black and white trainers (5). I cant do with trainers that look to exercisey so these will do perfectly!
and lastly, I know everyone loves the Valentino heels but I think these these flats (8) versions are actually much nicer! What do you think? 

Afternoon Tea At Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

Monday 13 June 2016

Our long awaited booking for afternoon tea at Dalloway Terrace finally came around, and let me tell you, it was worth the wait! It was pretty good and Andrew even decided that it was the best afternoon tea he's ever had which is quite a bold statement considering some of the places we've visited!
Located in The Bloonsbury hotel, (which was covered in beautiful flowers for their #ChelseainBLOOMsbury campaign) less than a minute from Tottenham Court Road station, Dalloway Terrace is just like a secret garden hidden away from the busy streets of the west end. You wouldn't be blamed for forgetting you were in London altogether with calm and very relaxed atmosphere, the prettieness of the surroundings and a DJ playing jazz style old skool kisstory. Amazing.
Brick walls adorned with trees, a retractable roof & marble tables with wicker chairs and a blanket incase you got cold. It was pretty amazing when the sun was in but ever more so when it came out of the clouds - the perfect place to spend a relaxed Saturday afternoon. 

The Drinks

We begun with a glass of skinny prosecco whilst we decided on which tea to have. Has anyone else noticed this new trend of skinny fizz? Is it just a London thing? They only had skinny champagne whilst we were at selfridges earlier this month and now I see it again here. It definitely changes the flavour but it's not bad at all. 

As for the tea, we both went for a good old English breakfast in the end.

The Sandwiches

The stand soon arrived, adorned with delicious sandwiches, warm scones and pretty little cakes. You probably know this by now but the sandwiches are usually my favourite part and these varied between a very simple egg mayo and a ham and then a little bit more interesting salmon rillettes, and chicken brioche, all of which were delicious. I actually liked the ham one best which has never happened before. I think it was the simplicity of salted butter, very thin layer of mustard and normal sandwich ham that won me over. The salmon and crab rillettes, were also really lovely as it was something a bit different, texture wise, from the usual.

The Scones

We got one plain and one sultana scone each which is always far too much for me. I love scones and these were delicious, warm and fluffy but I just can't handle them so I settled with drowning the one half that I did have with as much cream and jam as I could possibly fit on it. The jam was oddly quite runny but I think that was the only fault of our whole day so I'll let them off. Everything else was perfect. 

The Cakes

On to the cakes. For the first time ever, I enjoyed each and every one on offer - Bloomsbury Cupcake, mango & passion fruit dome, Chocolate éclair & Lemon meringue mousse plus a custard and compote each! It was down to the lovely mix of chocolate desserts, light fruity ones and the custard one as well. My favourite was the mango and passion fruit dome which was a lovely bright yellow with a pretty purple petal on top. It was thick and creamy with intense flavour. I couldn't eat it all in one go but kept coming back for a little taste until it was gone.
We stayed for another hour or so after we finished food as it was just such a lovely setting. Tea at Dalloway Terrace costs £30 or £35 with fizz and £40 with Champagne. 

If your looking for someone a bit different from a traditional afternoon tea at a London hotel then I'd definitely recommend trying it here. The amazing food and unique location is definitely worth a visit!

*Our food and drinks were complimentary although all thoughts are 100% my own.

Where To Eat In Madrid: Breakfast & Dinner at Ana La Santa

Thursday 9 June 2016

We was only in Madrid for two and a half days, and whilst we ate in lots of cute little cafes and restaurants out on the street (as well as one cheeky McDonalds) there was only one specific place that I would recommend. Its Called Ana La Santa and its the restaurant at the ME hotel in Madrid. We spend quite a lot of our trip at the hotel visiting for breakfast, dinner and the bar there too but I have a separate post altogether for drinks so I just want to cover the food here.
We arrived at The Santa Ana Terrace in the early evening and it was the perfect place to sit and watch the world - I love people watching. It was calm, comfortable, there was good wifi and the food was delicious. The room we ate in was filled with pretty green plants and the big windows at the front which opens up to look out over the busy square outside. It was so full of life and had a lovely atmosphere with people eating in the street and a man playing an accordion.

We started with cocktails of course; I went for a virgin frozen strawberry daiquiri (I was very pleased when they arrived just as I remember from ME Mallorca) and Andrew had an Aperol spritz which cost a grand total of €14. No bad when we are used to paying more than that for just one.
For dinner, we shared a chicken wings to start and then an incredible paella. It was a little different to the usual bright orange touristy dish with clams and tiny octopuses' and a thin layer of brown rice which had a more baked feel to it. All the sticky bits had settled on the bottom of the pan and it was seriously packed full of sticky, intense flavour. 
We loved it there so much that we went back to the hotel on our last morning in Madrid. Andrew remembered how much he enjoyed breakfast when we stayed at ME Mallorca, so when we arrived at 11.59 and were given the option of breakfast (assuming that we could decide what within the minute) or lunch we picked breakfast there and then.

They had a whole selection of breakfast combos which each had loads of components. They all cost between  €10 - €13 which we thought was amazing value for money. Between us we had two glasses of orange juice, a peppermint tea, a cup of coffee, two rounds of toast, a fruit salad, scrambled eggs and bacon and a portion of eggs royal; and as expected, it all tasted great too! My eggs weren't exactly poached (they look fried to me) but the yolks were still runny and it was drowning in hollandaise which is just how I like them!
So if you are planning a trip to Madrid, I would definitely recommend this place for a sophisticated and tasty meal.

The Alchemist, Bevis Marks London

Sunday 5 June 2016

I always see people tweeting photos of incredible cocktails from The Alchemist but for some reason, I was convinced that they only had one branch and that it was in Leeds. Well, I got an email a couple of weeks ago confirming that in fact, I was wrong and there are actually five branches including one in London. Doh. This mysterious email also invited me along to come and try the amazing cocktails for myself as well as a meal while I was there.

We booked in for Friday night and as you can imagine a bar in the city at that time of week, it was packed out. Initially, I thought it looked great as a bar, but I was a bit worried about having to eat a meal in those surroundings, although that didn't last long at all when they lead us upstairs to a much calmer, romantically lit, dining area. 
After a quick look through the very cool menus, we started off with a cocktail for two. Someone suggested trying the Mad Hatters Tea Party and once I saw the components, (aka elderflower, passion fruit and vodka,) I was happy to oblige. I knew these cocktails were going to be alot of fun as soon as we started seeing big puffs of smoke appear around the room every time someone ordered something.
 Ours arrived in something that reminded me of GCSE science and was heated up at the table with a little blue bunsen burner. It soon started to bubble away after which the waitress removed the flame and poured the concoction into a conical flask. Soon enough, we had our very own puff of smoke. 
Once that had disappeared, our hot cocktail was poured into pretty china cups ready to be drunk. While all of this was happening, our starters arrived. They have got their starters down and I would happily have just ordered a few starters and nothing else. Sticking with just one, I went for the duck spring rolls which were stuffed full of meat, which was great with a side of hoisin sauce. Very tasty. Andrew went for chicken wings and although mine tasted great, I was pretty jealous of how cool his looked! How blogger is this copper mug?!
 The mains were pretty average but then again, they were pretty good for a bar that does food. I was impressed with the presentation of my fajitas but chicken was a bit dry and wraps had steamed to each other. Andrew had a big juicy burger and we also ordered a side of kale which tasted just like seaweed from the chinese and sweet potato fries!
I decided against dessert for the first time in my life and went with a white chocolate and raspberry cocktail instead. Andrew had a slice of chocolate fudge which he did go on about quite a bit so it must have been good.  My cocktail on the other hand arrived, looking and tasting for that matter, more like jelly and cream. It was neon red and topped with whipped cream. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting but still very desserty and filled my dessert spot!
I quite enjoyed my night there and would defitenly return although I'm not sure I'd order mains again but just lots of yummy started to share!

*Our food was complimentary in return for this review although all thoughts are 100% my own
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