All posts tagged: Europe

Review: Geranium (3 Michelin Stars) in Copenhagen, Denmark

As soon as I booked my flight to Copenhagen, I was ready to splurge on a gastronomic experience. At the top of my list was Noma and, unfortunately, it was closed during my visit. A good friend recommended Geranium, the only three Michelin star restaurant in Denmark. It was one of the best meals that she had eaten and that was good enough for me. I managed to book a reservation for our group of six for lunch and eagerly anticipated the feast. The cuisine at Geranium is modern Nordic with international influences. Lunch and dinner set menu at Geranium costs 2,000 DKK per person (approximately $320) and requires a deposit of 750 DKK per person (approximately $120). I also selected the juice pairing, which was something I had not seen before. With tip and tax, the meal came out to approximately $400 per person. It was a very expensive meal…but the inventiveness of the cuisine and the experience were worth every penny. Upon entering Geranium, the interiors projected a cool Nordic vibe with its …

5 Days in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona has been on my bucket list for a long time, but I did not have the opportunity until recently. My goal was to really explore Barcelona at a leisurely pace. My friend came on this adventure with me and we settled on a Tuesday to Sunday itinerary. In this post, I will highlight our trip to Barcelona and what we learned from it. Day 1: Tuesday (Arriving in the afternoon) We arrived in Barcelona in the early afternoon and both of us took separate taxis from the airport as we were in different terminals. Prior to this trip, my friend and I were warned to be cautious of taxis and pickpockets in Barcelona. I did not truly believe that Barcelona was an unsafe city as it is an international European destination.  Unfortunately, the following taxi incident shook my faith in the city. After getting dropped off a block away from my destination, my taxi driver grabbed a 50 euro bill out of my hand and drove off after I disputed the fare. The fare …

Weekend Unexplored: 4 Days in Southern France (Marseilles, Aix-en-Provence, Lourmarin, Bonnieux and Cassis)

Provence has always been on my list of places to visit in Europe. I had an opportunity to visit Europe again this year and made it a priority to visit this charming region. My sister and I choose to visit the region in early May before the tourist crowds descend onto the area. Luckily my good friend grew up in the region and planned my trip for me. There is nothing better than having a local show you the best of their home region! Friday-Saturday: Provence/ Marseilles Sunday: Aix-en-Provence, Lourmarin and Bonnieux Monday: Cassis Arrived Friday My sister and I flew into the Marseilles International Airport Friday morning to uncharacteristically rainy and windy weather. Marseilles Airport is very small and the car rental lot is right next to the airport. We rented a small automatic car from Hertz prior to arriving in Provence and the whole process to pick up the car took over an hour and a half. Things move very slowly in southern France. We were advised to book our car months in …

Weekend Unexplored: Sintra, Portugal

During our stay in Lisbon, locals insisted that we must visit Sintra before we left Portugal. Since we were staying in Cascai, we added Sintra to our itinerary. Both locations are within one hour drive from Lisbon and have a completely different taste of Portugal from what we’ve experienced in Lisbon. In this post, we will recount our experience  and the recommendations that we received from the locals. Sintra is a small town on the Estoril Coast of Portugal and located only 28km away from Lisbon. Sintra is a 25 minute drive from the airport and 45 minutes train ride from Lisbon. This small town could easily fit into a fantasy land with its palaces dotting along the hills and peeping out under the thick forest. There are many fantastic castles and estates located within this small town that are listed below: Pena Palace – This palace is a cross between Gaudi’s creation in Barcelona and Disneyland. It was built in the mid-19th century on the site of the former monastery by the king consort, Dom …

Weekend Unexplored: Lisbon, Portugal

I recently had an opportunity to visit Portugal for a long weekend this past May. Portugal, over the years, has steadily become a travel destination for those that have visited other major parts of Europe and are open to explore smaller capitals. Lisbon is an easy destination to get to, especially with the increase in low cost carriers that service it. I had the weekend planned for good weather; unfortunately, I arrived into Lisbon on Saturday morning to torrential rain. I rearranged my schedule accordingly and had a good first visit to Lisbon despite the weather. These are the highlights of my 1.5 days in Lisbon. Day 1 (Saturday): Arrived in Lisbon to pouring rain Lisbon International Airport is a small international airport so it was not difficult to get out of the arrival terminal. My sister met me there and found a Starbucks right at Arrivals  (outside of customs) with free Wi-Fi to wait for me. This is also a great spot if you need to meet up with other folks flying in from other …

Hotel Review: Millennium Bailey’s Hotel (London)

I am a huge fan of BBC shows that showcase 18th century London scenery. There is something ultra romantic about the ornate mansions and row houses around the city. I can imagine the Victorian ladies with their lace parasols taking a stroll around the block. For my trip to London, I decided to stay in a converted mansion instead of the usual hotel chains.  Millennium Bailey’s Hotel came up during my search and  I fell in love with the impressive 19th century London mansion that is situated in the affluent Kensington area.  Let’s find out if the interior and hospitality are just as impressive. Address: 140 Gloucester Road, London, SW7 4QH, United Kingdom PROS: The hotel is perfected located for sightseeing. You can walk to the Natural History Museum, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and of course, the Palace. It is conveniently located across the London tube Gloucester Road station. The rooms are recently renovated and has a highly stylized decor. It conveys a the hip boutique hotel vibe. There are plenty of mirrors and good lighting for girls to …

Weekend Unexplored: Bakewell, England

As a weekend excursion from London, I traveled with my family to Bakewell, a small town in Derbyshire in the heart of Peak District National Park.  It was their first trip to the United Kingdom, and my parents were eager to see the countryside of this region as well as the grand estate of Chatsworth House, the setting of Pemberly in Joe Wright’s 2005 film adaptation, Pride and Prejudice (also my mother’s favorite Jane Austen novel).      Getting there: We took to our destination by public transportation, setting off at London’s St. Pancras to catch the East Midlands train to Chesterfield.  From there, a 12 minute walk through town brought us to the 170 Hulleys of Baslow bus stop to Rutland Square in Bakewell.  In total, the trip from London took about four hours.   Where to stay: Although tired, we were met with warm hospitality by our Bed and Breakfast hosts, John and Marie, of Melbourne House. The rate for a double room is 70 GBP/night. A short distance from the town’s center, the …