Monday, 31 March 2014

Travel in Style: Palazzetto Madonna Hotel Review

We had a short but sweet city break in Venice at Palazzetto Madonna which is a 4 stars hotel centrally located in San Polo. The location was so good that we didn`t really need to take any water taxis or water buses as all the attractions and restaurants were within walking distance but still away from the main (very crowded) touristy bits. 
palazzetto madonna hotel review
1. The room (14/20)

The room we had was very Venetian inspired- purple curtains, chandelier and red wallpaper. Normally I would stay as far away as possible from this type of interior but hey when in Venice it`s part of the charm. My boyfriend actually spent a lot of time (and by a lot of time I mean 10 minutes) trying to find a hotel that didn`t have silky sheets which I`m glad he did as that would have probably been too Playboy mansion for me. 
palazzetto madonna venice review
palazzetto madonna review
The room was very large which I`ve heard it`s quite the novelty in Venice as most of the hotel rooms tend to be extra tiny. I also really loved the bathroom and particularly the sink and the shower. 
palazzetto madonna room review
Sink glam.
palazzetto madonna room
palazzetto madonna room
2. The breakfast & other dining options (10/20)

Unfortunately the hotel didn`t offer lunch or dinner and the breakfast options were very limited. 
palazzetto madonna breakfast
palazzetto madonna breakfast
3. The garden & surroundings (12/20)

The hotel also has a lovely garden where you can enjoy your breakfast or have a drink. We didn`t really spent time here as we were trying to explore as much as possible but it`s a very lovely space to relax after a long day walking. 
palazzetto madonna hotel review
 First & last photo from:, rest of photos my own.

Overall the hotel is a great affordable option for a short city trip with very good service and great location although the breakfast definitely needs some polishing.

Room: 14/20
Breakfast & other dining options: 10/20
The garden & surroundings: 12/20
Service & atmosphere: 15/20
Location: 17/20

Overall score (4 stars hotel category): 14/20

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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Tapas with a kick: Ember Yard Restaurant Review

Ember Yard is a great place for a casual but chic night out in London making it perfect for both friends get togethers or a date night. I went here for the latter and absolutely loved it. The food was good, the atmosphere was great, and the service was amazing. One of our dishes was mistakenly sent to another table (the pork ribs) so because we had to wait longer to get ours they have taken it out from our bill which I thought was a very nice touch as many other restaurants would have just made some lame excuse. 
But let`s talk about the food. We started off with some bream carpaccio with blood orange (14/20). This was good but not as good as the one we had in Zucca and I thought the bream could have been cut thiner. 
ember yard bream carpaccio
A refreshing leaf salad with carrots and raddish (14/20).
ember yard leaf salad
Followed by chargrilled cod with beans (18/20). This was my favourite dish of the night. I love beans and these beans were absolutely delicious!
ember yard chargrilled cod with beans
Iberico pork fat chips with chorizo ketchup (10/20). This dish could have had so much potential, unfortunately the chips were far too dry and a bit plain. 
ember yard pork fat chips
The showstopper: chargrilled Iberico pork ribs (18/20). Another really delicious dish that left us licking our fingers. Each their own fingers to make it clear. 
ember yard iberico pork ribs
As a dessert I had this really lovely brown butter panna cotta with ice cream and spiced biscuit (16/20). I`m not usually a big fan of panna cottas as I think it`s hard to get a really amazing one and this one was pretty much the best panna cotta I`ve had. 
ember yard brown butter panna cotta
Date, walnut and quince cake (13/20). This tasted a bit like sticky toffee pudding which don`t get me wrong I like but I was expecting slightly more from this. 
ember yard date quince cake

Overall score: 15/20
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Monday, 24 March 2014

Travel in Style: Venice Photo Diary

There`s a picture perfect moment around every corner in Venice. A city made for walking, exploring the labyrinth of alleys and getting completely lost. We spent a short city break in this beautiful city and we enjoyed every second of it. March is probably the best time to visit Venice as the weather was mild, there weren`t huge crowds of tourists or couples making cheesy confessions everywhere, and the prices were considerably lower. 
Although Venice isn`t really famous for food there are still plenty of hidden, local gems with delicious food, you just need to stay as far away as possible from the restaurants near the main tourist attractions that offer tourist menus. On our last day we stumbled over one of these amazing foodie gems where we had the most delicious aubergine and cheese pasta (last photo). It was so good that I seriously considered ordering one more portion for takeaway to enjoy during my flight. But more on that on my upcoming Venice guide. 
venice travel
venice canals
venice at night
venice food
venice street
venice at night
venice canals
venice market
venice travel
venice water
stylish venice
stylish venice
venice streets
venice pasta

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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Delicious London: The Botanist Restaurant Review

Coming back to work from holiday is always pretty hard for me. I tend to remain in holiday mode for days after it finished and spend the days dreaming about all the things I`ve enjoyed while travelling. To make things better and remind ourselves of the laziness of holidays we`ve decided to go for a full blown breakfast at The Botanist in Chelsea. My boyfriend had the full English breakfast while I had eggs Benedict and blueberry pancakes with bacon. By the end we were so full we could barely move and that for me is pretty much the definition of a good breakfast.
the botanist breakfast
Single egg Benedict (18/20)- really good and definitely my favourite.the botanist eggs benedict
My boyfriend`s decadent full English breakfast (14/20).
the botanist english breakfast
My blueberry, bacon and maple syrup pancakes (10/20)- these ones were ok although a bit too dry on the inside. 
the botanist pancakes
The Botanist overall score: 14/20.

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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Today`s Outfit: A tartan dress in Venice

venice outfittartan dress
tartan dress
tartan dress outfit
tartan dress
venice fashion
venice fashion
tartan outfit
tartan fashion
(Tartan dress from Bangkok, Asos bag, Asos ankle boots)

Bought this dress in Thailand and didn`t get to wear it till 2 months later in Italy. I am now back from beautiful Venice and you couldn`t imagine how much I miss the sunny days, the picture perfect moments at every corner and of course the gelato. I found the perfect gelato place exactly around the corner from the hotel we were staying in so I was there every day more or less camping in front of the shop, waiting for my daily pistachio gelato dose. Double scoops. 
I`ll be posting soon the photo diary from my trip but till then I hope you enjoy these first set of photos we took at the Peggy Guggenheim collection which is definitely worth a visit if you`re an art love or just to enjoy this amazing view.

Alina Anghel.xx
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