Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Weekend in Madrid

Plaza Mayor

This weekend I made my way for the first time to Madrid. I really didn't know what to expect but I can say that I fell in love with this amazing city. One of the things I was excited about was the food of course, and the famous Spanish Tapas. The weather was amazing, sunny and hot. I found the 'Madrilenos' to be amazing people, they are extremely friendly and really made an effort to understand my embarrassing efforts to speak Spanish. While walking around the city I found a few "Museo del Jamon', which literally means 'Ham Museum'; this was my paradise. An entire store selling exclusively pork products, and sandwiches stuffed with any kind of ham you could possibly imagine.
I loved the Spanish lifestyle, people were so relaxed during the day, and so active at night, it was really amazing. Pan y Tomate for breakfast, Jamon sandwich for lunch, Patatas Bravas for dinner, and the warmth of the sun on my face made this weekend a truly memorable one. I will definitely make my way back to Madrid!

Croquetas y Patatas Bravas 

Amazing Tapas Bar/Cervezeria in Plaza del Tirso de Molina

Amazing night-life

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Haggle Vinyl

I recently just happened to walk into this store, trying to find a place to hide from the rain, not knowing exactly what I was going to find inside. I am not a vinyl collector, but I always love looking at them, and this is the place for vinyl lovers, and was a lovely discovery to make while hiding from the rain. The first thing I noticed when walking inside is the owner, an extremely charismatic and friendly man who started talking to me as if he had known me for years. The store itself is a real treat, packed with records that span entire genres and decades, I can easily see how someone could end up spending hours in there, chatting with the owner and looking at records. It's very easy to get to and only minutes away from Islington.

Haggle Vinyl
114 Essex Road
N1 8LX London

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Rock 'n Roll at Ed's diner

One of my favorite things about eating in the States is the diners. There really is nothing like them anywhere else in the world, and sometimes I really just crave a Burger or a Hot Dog and Milkshake, and of course the atmosphere of the diner with its booths and its bottles of mustard on each table. The other night we had dinner at Ed's which is an American themed diner; it is a chain so there a few of them in central London. I must say the burger wasn't the best I've ever had, but the rock and roll music was fun, the waiters were extremely friendly, and it all came with a very reasonable price; and for a night it kind of felt like we were in a real American diner.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Sea and fish in Bari

This weekend I was lucky enough to go back to Italy for a long weekend, but instead of going directly to Rome, I found flights that go straight to the south in Bari. There are many reasons why I love going to Bari: first, my grandmother, my perfect Italian grandmother who starts calling me every day a week before my arrival, just to be sure she is going to buy the right food for me and cook the right meals. Just because she is scared I am going to go hungry, and because according to her "There is no real food in London". The other main reason I love Bari is the sea; and along with that comes the raw seafood. I personally do not like Sushi, but there is just something about the raw seafood that you can buy directly from the port that makes me go crazy. Not all of the restaurants serve them because things like raw mussels, sea urchins and oysters can be quite dangerous, but I always make sure to go to Il Sorso Preferito, where the chef Pierino always makes sure to let me have a whole plate of raw 'Frutti di Mare' just for me. If I don't go there, I go to the fish-seller on Via Melo, who now knows me as 'La Romana' (The girl from Rome) and lets me have a taste of everything he has in the shop. Amazing.

Orecchiette con le Cime di Rapa cooked by my Nonna
Burrata and Focaccia in the backround

Sea Urchins or 'Ricci'

Frutti di Mare at the restaurant