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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London Day 3

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The Lighterman

For our last day, we started for brunch at The Lighterman on Granary Square. If you read my blog often, you’ll recognize The Lighterman – I always try to come here for breakfast if I’m in London. Great location and delicious food!

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London: Balenciaga Shaping Fashion at the V&A

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Victoria & Albert Museum

I was so happy we were in time to see the exhibit Balenciaga Shaping Fashion at the Victoria & Albert Museum. To quote the V&A site “This exhibition examined the work and legacy of influential Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga, with over 100 pieces crafted by ‘the master’ of couture, his protégées and contemporary fashion designers working in the same innovative tradition.”

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London Day 2

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Ready for brunch

We started our second day in Chelsea at The Ivy Chelsea Garden for brunch. Chelsea is one of my favorite neighborhoods and Koen and I both really love the brunch at The Ivy, so I definitely wanted to take Koen’s family here!

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London Day 1

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Arriving in London, first stop: Granary Square in King’s Cross

For Christmas, we gave Dook and Els a 3 day trip to London in February. I really love London and have been lucky enough to go quite often over the years, so I volunteered to create the itinerary. Not everyone had been in London before, so I created a 3 day introduction to London planning!

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Koen’s Chili Cookoff 2.0

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For Koen’s birthday we held a second edition of the Chili Cookoff! In 2016 Koen placed in 2nd, so now after two years he was ready to compete again!

The rules: everyone invited brings a chili to be evaluated with the winners announced at the end of the evening. The prizes: 3 hot sauces. The world’s hottest chili for the winner, 2nd hottest chili for the 2nd place, and 3rd hottest chili for 3rd place.

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Les Saveurs de Yamada (Koen’s Birthday Dinner)

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Les Saveurs de Yamada

For Koen’s birthday, we decided to try Les Saveurs de Yamada, a Japanese restaurant specializing in Kaiseki Ryori. We had the pleasure of discovering kaiseki when we were in Kyoto in 2016 and were excited to discover we could experience it in Antwerp, as well!

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Pkhali

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3 types of pkhali with Koen’s sour dough bread

One of the best things about traveling is bringing inspiration back home. Our first day in Moscow we visited a Georgian (the country!) restaurant and we fell in love with the cuisine. During the week we try to eat vegetarian, so why not try making pkhali ourselves?

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Christina and Rafaël Visit!

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Christina and Rafaël at the Christmas Market

I’m so happy my best friend is married to someone from the Netherlands. That means every once a while she’ll be closeby and we can see each other! Antwerp/New York City  is a long distance, but when we’re together it’s like no time has passed!

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