J W Marriott hotel, Washington D.C.

Last week, I was in Washington D.C. and stayed at the 4* J W Marriott Hotel.

Location:

J W Marriott Hotel is perfectly situated just a couple of minutes walk from the White House in the heart of downtown Washington D.C. . It has a perfect location as it is close to all the major sights and museums of Washington, steps from the U.S. Capitol and a short 5-minutes walk from the National Mall.

Service:

The reception desk is open 24 hours. The service was friendly, attentive and always happy to suggest the places to visit or restaurants to dine in.

Rooms:

I stayed on the 2th floor in room 225 which features some breath-taking views of downtown. The room was chic, comfortable and it was furnished with a spacious desk, modern armchair to rest on and a comfortable king-size bed. The room was also equipped with Air Conditioning, flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a minibar. There is Wi-Fi connection to Internet available throughout the Hotel at an extra charge of $12.95 per night.

Bathroom:

Our marble bathroom had a beautiful modern décor, a bathtub and a shower. There was a selection of natural bath toiletries provided.

Facilities:

Breakfast is offered for a surcharge and provides a selection of cold and warm dishes to choose from and costs $26 per person per night.

All hotel guests have a complimentary access to the heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna and fitness area. There are 2 restaurants available to dine in-Avenue Grill and 1331 Lounge. In addition, all guests can grab a coffee at Sturbucks located on a ground floor past reception to recharge their energy levels.

Overall experience:

J W Marriott Hotel offers everything you need for a wonderful visit to Washington- a great location, friendly staff and comfortable rooms.

Website:

For more information and to book visit:

https://www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/travel/wasjw-jw-marriott-washington-dc/

Address:

1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington  District Of Columbia

20004  USA

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, Croatia

A few weeks ago, I visited Zagreb in Croatia with my husband. We decided to stay at the 5* Esplanade Zagreb Hotel.

Location:

Esplanade Zagreb Hotel is situated just few minutes away from the heart of historic Old Town center of Zagreb. It has a good location for anyone wishing to do a bit of sightseeing as it is close to all its major sights.

Service:

The reception desk is open 24 hours. When we arrived we went straight to the receptionist to check in. We were welcomed by quite a grumpy receptionist… Throughout our stay, we were disappointed with the friendliness of the staff and none of them smiled. I was surprised as most of the exclusive hotels I stay in have extremely friendly staff which wasn’t a case in Esplanade.

Rooms:

Esplanade Hotel dates back to 1925 and is one of the most famous buildings in Zagreb.

It is famous for welcoming many distinguished gusts such as presidents, politicians, film stars and musicians. Esplanade Zagreb Hotel has 208 rooms and suites. We stayed on the 4th floor in room 404.

Our room was elegant, spacious and offered traditional art deco suroundings. It was furnished with soft carpets, spacious desk, modern armchairs and a comfortable king-size bed. The walls were decorated with some basic paintings.

Our room was also equipped with Air Conditioning, flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a minibar. There was a free Wi-Fi connection to Internet available.

Bathroom:

Our marble bathroom had a classic décor, a bathtub and a shower.

There was a selection of natural bath toiletries from L’Occitaine collection.

IMG_0681

Facilities:

Breakfast is offered for a surcharge and provides a selection of cold and warm dishes to choose from. As my husband doesn’t normally eat breakfasts, we decided to skip it as it was around £20 per person per night.

All guests have access o the health club and the use of sauna and fitness area is free to all guests staying at the hotel. Hotel doesn’t have a swimming pool.

Overall experience:

Esplanade Zagreb Hotel has a great location, comfortable rooms and nice small relaxation area. There is also a couple of restaurants on site if you are too lazy to walk to the city centre. The only negative aspect of our stay was the service we received and I hope that it will improve as other than that the hotel has the facilities to enable anyone to have an enjoyable stay.

Website:

For more information and to book visit:

http://www.esplanade.hr/

Address:

Mihanovićeva ul. 1,

10000, Zagreb,

Croatia

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Dinner at Vinodol restaurant in Zagreb, Croatia

A couple of weeks ago, I was with my husband in Zagreb in Croatia. On our last evening, we booked a table at the popular local restaurant – Vinodol.

Location:

Vinodol Restaurant is located in the city’s center on Nikole Tesle’s street.

IMG_1344

 

Atmosphere:

Vinodol Restaurant serves meals that are prepared according to traditional recipes, with a modern approach.  The restaurant has a large inside area that can hold up to 180 guest in addition to a green and spacious outdoor terrace that sits 100.

The atmosphere of the restaurant is warm and inviting. We were welcomed by Lucy who was attending our table through the night. She was really friendly and professional.

The menu:

All guests can choose from A La Carte as well as great daily menus made from selected fresh seasonal foods. They both looked great. We decided to have a glass of Prosecco to start with while considering what we should have.

IMG_1333

Starters:

While sipping our Prosecco, we decided to order some asparagus, shrimp and wild mushroom risotto from a daily menu. It was delectable and I wish I could recreate it at home.

IMG_1331

Mains:

There was a great choice of mains on the menu. We asked our friendly waitress for a recommendation as we couldn’t decide and agreed to share some lamb prepared on spit from Cres island.

IMG_1339

It was really tasty and tender. It also came with a couple of sides and some potatoes.

Desserts:

We were full after having our starters and mains but we still decided to try some desserts: some hazelnut fantasy cake and a creme carmel. They were both delicious but the hazelnut cake was simply amazing! It was definitely the best cake I’ve tried so far this year and you should definitely try it if you visit Vinodol.

IMG_1342

Overall experience:

We both had a lovely time Vinodol as the restaurant serves delicious food based on fresh, seasonal ingredients. I loved my hazelnut cake and will definitely reccommend it to anyone with a sweet tooth. The service was really friendly, restaurant is located in a city center and it serves great quality, traditional and Mediterranean food with a modern influence so I would definitely visit it again.

Website:

For more information and to book visit:

http://www.vinodol-zg.hr/en/

Address:

Ul. Nikole Tesle 10,

10000 Zagreb, Croatia

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

 

Holiday destinations: Zagreb, Croatia

Two weeks ago, I travelled with my husband to Zagreb in Croatia. Zagreb is not the first city that comes on anyone’s mind when thinking of Croatia but it should definitely change. For me, it was the third Croatian city we’ve seen so far as we previously visited Split and Dubrovnik known from Game of Thrones.

Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of Croatia. It is located in the northwest of the country, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb’s metropolitan area is the biggest in Croatia with a population of over one million.

Zagreb is a city with a rich history dating from the Roman times to the present day. The city smells of roses and there are many flower shops as well as a flower market located in center of the town.

I love how colorful and vibrant it it. It is a perfect destination for a weekend / city break. There are hundreds of great restaurants and bars located in there and even the most demanding foodies like me can choose from a range of local and international cuisines.

If you like sightseeing then there is a lot to see. Here is a short list of my suggestions of places worth visiting:

  • The Upper Town
  • Zagreb Cathedral
  • Zagreb Eye
  • King Tomislav Square
  • Maksimir Park and Zagreb Zoo
  • Ilica Street (for a bit of retail therapy)
  • Museum of Broken Relationships (if you would like to read some heartbreaking stories told by hundreds of personal belongings of past lovers from all over the world).
  • And many more hidden gems like these:

How to get there?

Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, operates year round flights and holidays to Zagreb from London Gatwick and Manchester airports with fares, including taxes, from £42 one way (£79 return). It is a great cheap airline with the friendliest flight attendants I have ever met.

For further information or to book Monarch flights, Monarch Holidays or Monarch Hotels, please visit www.monarch.co.uk

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

X

Pauline

Lunch at Sofra Green restaurant in Zagreb, Croatia

During the last full day of our trip to Zagreb in Croatia, we decided to head to Sofra Green Gold- a traditional Bosnian food restaurant. I have never previously had any opportunity to try Bosnian cuisine. It is known to be often prepared with good quality meat that is one of the key ingredients of some of the most popular Bosnian dishes such as bosanski lonac, ćevapi, begova čorba, burek, and grah so it took no time to convince my husband to accompany me to a lunch at this restaurant.

Location:

Sofra Green Gold restaurant is located in a business district of Zagreb, around 20 minutes’ walk or 5 minutes taxi ride from in the city’s centre.

Atmosphere:

The atmosphere at this traditional Bosnian restaurant is homely and it features lots of traditional features. I really enjoyed its décor and, for a minute, it felt like I was taken to a different country.

We were attended by a few different approachable waiters throughout our lunch.

The menu:

Sofra Green Gold restaurant offers traditional Bosnian specialties served in authentic Bosnian environment.

IMG_1274

Starters:

To start with, we tried some Begova čorba. It is the most popular soup in Bosnia– Bey’s soup made of chicken meat, vegetables, cream and okra.

Mains:

For our main we decided to share some meat pie (burek) and Cheese pie (sirnica). They are both traditional pies from Bosnia made of meat and cream cheese. I really liked burek and the meaty filling was amazing.

We then had some ‘Dragon of Bosnia’. This massive platter comes with a selection of meat accompanied by some rice and mashed potatoes. Firstly, I tried the beef steak with dry prunes, peppers, cognac and Worchester.

It was really tasty and I liked the gravy sauce accompanying it. Secondly, I digged into minced meat “čevapi” with beef prosciutto, cheese and vegetables in white cream sauce.

IMG_1303

Again, I wasn’t disappointed. All flavours worked perfectly with each other. In addition to our platter, we aldo had some traditional Šopska salad- a season salad based on tomatoes and cucumber with cheese and some cucumber in cream.

Desserts:

For our dessert we had some home-made baklava and Tufahija, which is basically a boiled apple in a sauce served with nutty filling and topped up with some whipped cream. They were both yummy!

IMG_1304

Overall experience:

We both enjoyed the food and atmosphere in this Bosnian restaurant. The restaurant is very popular-when we arrived at 12:00 there were just a few other tables taken but in around 30 minutes the restaurant was full of locals and expats so I would advise to book a table in advance.

Website:

For more information and to book visit:

https://sofra.hr/

Address:

Radnička cesta 37b

10000 Zagreb, Croatia

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

 

 

Dinner at Tekka-Japanese restaurant in Zagreb, Croatia

During my weekend break to Zagreb in Croatia, I decided to have some traditional Japanese cuisine. Some of you might ask why did I decide to have a meal in oriental restaurant while in Croatia. The answer is simple-I love sushi and have it at least once a week so I asked for a few recommendations and booked a table at Tekka restaurant.

Location:

Tekka restaurant is located in a business district, around 20 minutes’ walk or 5 minutes taxi ride from in the city’s centre.

IMG_1190

Atmosphere:

We were welcomed by a friendly Croatian waiter-Svetlan who made us feel welcomed and attended our table throughout the evening.

Tekka has a modern and chic décor and it is perfect for a romantic meal with its dimmed lights and soft music playing in the background.

The menu:

Tekka offers traditional Japanese cuisine and hospitality. The restaurant’s head chef-Tomislav aims to deliver a superb quality Japanese cuisine to local diners. There is a vast choice of hot and cold dishes to choose from for any Japanese cuisine lovers.

I decided to start my meal with a glass of refreshing white wine. IMG_1181

Starters:

There was a nice selection of hot and cold appetizers to choose from. We decided to share some Torikarrage-a Japanese style fried chicken. It was cooked to our liking and presented beautifully.

IMG_1182

Mains:

For our mains, we both decided to have a sushi set. I went for a Kyoto set and my husband had an Osaka set.

My Kyoto set included: 6 uramaki with Age-Ebi with prawns, 4 hosomaki Tuna rolls and some salmon and tuna sashmi. The Osaka set ordered by my husband consisted of 6 hosomaki salmon rolls and a mixture of 6 nigri including: tuna, salmon, shrimp, octopus and white fish sushi.

IMG_1185

They were all an absolute treat in every way, including visually. I am sure that they all took a lot of careful preparation. What’s most important though, they were all freshly made to order not pre-prepared.

Desserts:

My husband skipped the dessert as he was full. I decided to have ‘Goma no Pafe’-a sesame mousse with green tea ice-cream. It was tasty and refreshing.

IMG_1189

Overall experience:

We both enjoyed the food and atmosphere in this Japanese restaurant. Tekka offers irresistible succession of tastes and textures, served with extraordinary precision and elegance. We ate, a lot and everything was good, very, very good. All dishes were freshly prepared and if you like watching chefs preparing your food then you have an opportunity to do so as you can admire the work of Tekka’s top-chef through the open kitchen space.

IMG_1162

Website:

For more information and to book visit:

http://tekka.hr/en/

Address:

Radnička cesta 37b 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

 

Lunch at Lanterna na Dolcu restaurant in Zagreb, Croatia

Last week, I was with my husband on a short weekend break in Zagreb in Croatia. During our stay in the Croatian capital, we dined in a range of traditional and oriental restaurants.

During the second day of our sightseeing, we booked a table at the popular local restaurant – Lanterna na Dolku.

Location:

Lanterna na Dolku is located in the city’s centre, on one of the oldest streets at the Dolac Market.

IMG_0883

Owners pride themselves of sourcing most ingredients from the local market traders called ‘kumice’ to make sure that their all dishes prepared at the restaurant are fresh and use locally sourced ingredients.

IMG_0955

Atmosphere:

Lanterna na Dolku has a lot of heritage to it and up to 40 people can be seated inside in an over 300 years old basement. In addition, up to 25 guests can sit on a terrace which overlooks the cathedral. When we arrived, the weather was lovely so we decided to sit outside, enjoy the weather and admire the surroundings.

We were welcomed by one of its founders-Tom. He was extremely professional and made us feel like we known him for ages. His customer service skills were excellent and the smile was constantly present on his face. He made us feel relaxed and joyful even before we started our meal.

The atmosphere of the restaurant is cosy and it has a homely décor. There were nice small flower arrangements on all the tables.

The menu:

The goal of restaurant’s founders was to combine the modern and the traditional in both the interior design and on the plate. The menu at Lanterna na Dolku offers a great selection of authentic Croatian dishes that were inspired by an old cookbook from 1854 that owners found in the Zagreb City Museum.

Starters:

Before we ordered our starters we decided to have a glass of white wine from a traditional Croatian winery.

While sipping our refreshing wine, we decided to share some cheese strudel wrapped in prosciutto which was really tasty.

IMG_0930

Mains:

There was a nice choice of mains on Lanterna na Dolku’s menu. For these of you that read my blog regularly, you will probably know that I often choose fish as I love all seafood. I decided to have a sea bass fillet in truffle sauce with fresh truffles accompanied by some homemade croquettes. What can I say? Wow! Wow! Wow! It was simply amazing! I could have that meal every day. The flavours all worked perfectly with each other and it was simply delicious.

IMG_0934

My husband decided to have Pil-grill- a chicken fillet with tomatoes, cheese and peas. It was flavoursome and he finished it all in no time.

Desserts:

We asked Tom to recommend 2 desserts to us and he told us that we need to try: Lanterna štrukli and Lanterna mousse which are both restaurant’s signature sweet courses. We listened to his endorsement and decided to share both of these desserts.

Lanterna štrukli in blueberry sauce recently won a prize at the Austrian baking competition and it was mouth-watering.

Lanterna mousse on the other hand was a perfect blend of mousse with cookies and chocolate. They were both delicious.

Overall experience:

We both had a great time in this family run restaurant. Lanterna na Dolku serves delicious traditional food with a modern twist using only the highest quality, locally sourced, fresh ingredients. I absolutely loved my sea bass so if you like sea food then you should look no further and give it a go. The service was excellent, location is superb and the restaurant serves real ‘homely’ dishes so I would recommend it to anyone visiting Zagreb in a heartbeat. Lanterna na Dolku is where you come to if you want to feel at home to have a beautifully presented and flavoursome traditional meal.

Website:

For more information and to book visit:

http://www.lanterna-zagreb.com/en/

Address:

Opatovina 31,

10000 Zagreb, Croatia

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline