A visit to Stockholm isn’t complete without having fika, or a coffee and sweets moment! This time we visited Vete-Katten, a Stockholm institution for coffee and princess cake. I tried princess cake for the first time in February and had to have it again this visit. Vete-Katen’s “royal cake is baked according to our own secret method, which gives it its unique taste and creaminess. The sponge bases are layered with freshly-prepared custard and raspberries, enveloped by a thick quilt of whipped cream, all encased in green marzipan powdered with icing sugar.” It was soooo delicious! The coffee is also excellent!
The Majestic Café dates back to 1921 and still exudes a Belle Epoque-era ornate interior featuring carved wood, mirrors & chandeliers. The Majestic was a recommendation by someone we know from Porto, an old, beautiful café with a lot of history. I particulary liked the idea that JK Rowling spent a lot of time here writing the first Harry Potter book!
All over the island of São Miguel, you can’t help but find the white wrapped pastries with green ribbons – the Queijadas da Vila Franco do Campo. Koen and I had some time in the afternoon and decided to explore the namesake town! Our favorite way to start a city trip is with a cup of coffee at a local cafe. When I searched the best places for coffee, I was so excited to see that the Queijadas Bakery was open to the public!
After exploring Quinta da Regaleira, I was really craving a cup of coffee and sweets. Before heading to the Pena Palace, we decided to head back in town and try to find a cafe that wasn’t too crowded. We thought heading up hill was the best bet and spotted a cute yellow cafe with a huge line at the to-go counter but almost no one in the dining area. Perfect!
Downtown Lisbon consists of the neighborhoods Bairro Alto, Chiado, and Baixa. We were staying in Alfama, in east Lisbon, and walked downtown to explore these neighborhoods over a few days. On my list of things to see and do included: Praça do Comércio, the Rua Augusta Arch, Ascensor da Gloria and da Bica (didn’t do either – so crowded with tourists!), Jardim de Sao Pedro de Alcantara Miradouro, Café A Brasileira, Livraria Bertrand, and the Elevador de Santa Justa.
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!
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.”
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.
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!
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!