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!
Koen and I love gastronomic tourism – you really are able to get a sense of the city and culture by eating the food. While in Porto, we couldn’t pass up the chance to eat at The Yeatman, one of only two 2 star Michelin restaurants in Portugal (the other being Belcanto in Lisbon). Most notable is the wine cellar at The Yeatman. Maybe the name sounds familiar if you’ve been reading my posts – it comes from the port house Taylor, Fladgate, & Yeatman, more commonly just called Taylor’s Port.
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!
Sunday we headed to the neighborhood of Alcântara to check out the LXFactory, a creative island in a factory setting with cool shops, restaurants, and galleries. Because it was Sunday, we were also able to see the weekly flea market. We loved walking around the photogenic LXFactory and enjoying all of the art.
One the biggest attractions in Lisbon is the district of Belém, situated west of the city center. We were staying in Alfama, and although we like to walk every where, Belém is more than hour away. So we took an Uber! There is not so much to do in Belém – it’s more things to see, so you only need to plan in a half day.
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!
Koen and I are married 10 years today! Where better to celebrate than the 75th Best Restaurant in the World, Belcanto by Chef José Avillez? We really had such a wonderful evening discovering Portuguese cuisine. The food and service were outstanding. We also loved how the food was served in riddles and poems!
I love any excuse to eat at Het Gebaar – my favorite restaurant in Antwerp by Chef Roger Van Damme! This time we went with Koen’s parents to celebrate Dook’s birthday! Het Gebaar is located very close to our apartment right next to the Botanical Gardens. The cuisine is typically Belgian with local, seasonal ingredients and can’t-miss beautiful, fantastical desserts!
While in Normandy, we used Courseulles-sur-Mer as our base for traveling. It’s a small town on the coast famous for its oysters (25% of oysters in France come from Courseulles-sur-Mer) and June Beach (one of the 5 D-Day beaches).
The town is very lovely and relaxing. When I researched Courseulles-sur-Mer before booking, I read it’s mostly a resort town with the houses owned by Parisians. I wish we had planned more time to enjoy the city – so beautiful and the seafood and fish are outstanding!