London: Exploring Richmond

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Our home for the weekend

I love that every time we’re in London we stay in a different neighborhood – this time in Richmond! Richmond is all the way west, almost in Surrey and borders the River Thames. Most famous in the district is Kew Gardens and Palace, but unfortunately we didn’t have time this visit to go (definitely on the list for next time!). Our friends live here and recommended if we have time to go for a walk along the river. So beautiful and peaceful – hard to believe we were still in London!

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Stockholm: Fika

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Fika at Drop Coffee

I don’t think I can describe fika better than the official Swedish website:

“Swedes prefer not to translate the word fika. They don’t want it to lose significance and become a mere coffee break. It is one of the first words you will learn when visiting Sweden, right after tack (thank you) and hej (hello).

Fika is much more than having a coffee. It is a social phenomenon, a legitimate reason to set aside a moment for quality time. Fika can happen at any time, morning as well as evening. It can be savoured at home, at work or in a café. It can be with colleagues, family, friends, or someone you are trying to get to know. It is a tradition observed frequently, preferably several times a day.

Accompanying sweets are crucial. Cinnamon buns, cakes, cookies, even open-faced sandwiches pass as acceptable fika fare. It comes as no surprise that Swedes are among the top consumers of coffee and sweets in the world – or that Swedes appreciate the good things in life.”

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Moscow: Sahli Georgian Restaurant

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Inside Sahli

For Koen and my big trip this year, we planned a three week trip from Moscow to Beijing, traveling by train on the Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian Express. After a ton of research, an intinerary was made and we were ready to go off and explore!

The first day we arrived in the late afternoon and wanted to start off slow, to save our energy because the next day we had a lot of planned to do. So we decided to head to Sahli for a delicious Georgian meal.

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Girls’ Night Out

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Hannah and me

This past weekend Koen was away in Rotterdam for a boys’ weekend, so I invited Hannah to come to Antwerp for a girls’ weekend! We planned for a delicious Japanese dinner at Osaka (edit – Osaka has since closed its doors after 20 years), followed by drinks at Dogma. The next morning we had a delicious breakfast at Lints, coffee at Caffènation, and then a walk in the Botanical Gardens to see the cacti! A great weekend!

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Barcelona: Quimet & Quimet

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Round One

If you are researching the best place for tapas in Barcelona, you will definitely find Quimet & Quimet on the list. The café was recommended to us as well by a friend of ours so we decided to go our first evening!

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London: King’s Cross

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St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London

The last few times I’ve been in London have been for work, not really for sight-seeing. But this time Koen needed to go London for work, so I tagged along and was able to do some exploring – including the neighborhood where we stayed – King’s Cross, while Koen was in meetings and conferences.

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Japan: Harajuku (Tokyo)

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Daily morning coffee in Harajuku at The Roastery by Nozy Coffee

We were in Japan for 3 weeks, the first week in Tokyo, a week of travel, then the last week again in Tokyo. The first week we stayed in east Tokyo in the neighborhood of Ginza, so we wanted to have a different experience for our last week – Harajuku in west Tokyo!

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Japan: Hoshi, the world’s 2nd oldest hotel

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Relaxing in my yukata, close to the garden

For a small getaway before heading back to Tokyo, Koen and I spent the night at Hoshi, the world’s second oldest hotel, founded in 718 and operated by the same family for 46 generations.

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Scotland Day Six: Glasgow

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Empire Biscuit

 

Day Six was our last day in Scotland before heading back home. We started the day with a coffee and breakfast from Riverhill Coffee Bar. I finally tasted the Empire Biscuit – a cookie I had seen everywhere during the trip – and it was so delicious!

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