Dinner at Cantinetta Ristorante & Bar in Hamburg, Germany

If you are adventurous then there are a lot of traditional dishes worth trying when in Hamburg including fish sandwich with pickled herring, labskaus served with fried egg and herring or kale served with fried potatoes and sausages. Don’t judge me but I love Italian food so on the second day of our mini-break, we decided to visit Cantinetta Ristorante & Bar and I really enjoyed it so I would like to share our experience with you all.

Location:

Cantinetta Ristorante & Bar is located in Ameron hotel in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt which in the heart of the port city. It is only a short walk away from one of the city’s main attraction – Elbphilharmonie Hamburg a modern concert hall in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg built atop old warehouse.

Atmosphere:

We booked our table for 6:00 p.m. We were greeted by a friendly waitress who made us feel welcomed took us to our table.

The restaurant has a modern and stylish décor which keeps the tradition of Speicherstadt. It features mid-century style stools and a library with a fireplace whilst the tables have a minimalist look with some fresh flowers featured. There was some soft Italian music playing in the background.

The menu:

Cantinetta Ristorante & Bar offers its diners famous Italian specialities with a twist which are creatively and perfectly prepared by chef Christopher Gieritz and his team. During the lunch, you can order from ‘Pranzo con espresso’ menu which changes daily in whilst it’s dinner à la carte selection of dishes changes seasonally.

We commenced our evening with a refreshing aperitiv. Our waitress also brought us some complimentary bread and olive oil.

To start with, I fancied some beef tartare with avocado cream, guacamole, fried garlic bread & herb salad.

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My husband had some Vegetarian soup with fresh vegetables, Grana Padano & chili.
Both dishes were tasty and nicely seasoned.

Secondly, I had some fried halibut fillet with creamy truffle risotto & fresh truffle
which was mouth-watering. My husband decided to have fillet of beef, truffle jus, Mediterranean leaf spinach & gorgonzola gratin. It was exceptional.

Lastly, it was time for some dessert. My favourite Italian dessert is tiramisu so surprise, surprise – I ordered TIRAMISÙ ALLA CANTINETTA which was served with white coffee ice cream. Delicious!

My husband ordered arachide – a peanut brownie served with peanut ice cream, marshmallow & peanuts. It was scrumptious.

Overall experience:

We really enjoyed our meal at Cantinetta Ristorante & Bar. All dishes were tasty, nicely presented and the service was faultless. I would definitely recommend this restaurant if you are a fan of Italian food with a modern twist.

Address:

Speicherstadt
Am Sandtorkai 4
20457 Hamburg

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

2019 Travel Must Haves

Happy Tuesday my lovelies! The weather has been so good recently so I was spending some time in my garden. I have even planted some colourful plants, can you believe it? Living in the countryside is definitely having a positive effect on me. Nevertheless, today I put together a short ‘2019 Travel Must-haves’ list. My aim was to give you some inspiration on the products worth getting this season. Most of them are a great investment and you will be able to benefit from them throughout a year – not only during the summer.

  1. Gate8 cabin bags and accessories

As a frequent traveller, I wanted to get a new, innovative travel bag that would be suitable for most of the airlines whether I was flying business or economy. Prepare to take off onto a new journey with Gate8. The brand has recently won the Best Travel Product from British Travel Goods & Accessories Association and it has been invited by Etihad, easyJet, Oman Air and Titan Airways to design their crew and pilot luggage so I wanted to check it out. The company vision is to make every journey as hassle-free as possible – be it air, rail or road, business or leisure. I decided to order the Spin MATE Plus. I travel a lot and spend a lot of time in airports and hotels so has this bag passed my test? Oh yes! I absolutely love it!

Spin MATE Plus comes in an upright, hard-wearing ballistic nylon shell and has 5 years guarantee. Its design was planned to make every journey as hassle-free as possible. As you are most likely aware the hand-luggage restrictions vary from airline to airline and Gate8 luggage can help anyone to avoid baggage check-in fees due to its smart design and detachable backpack. This zip-off removable backpack is perfectly sized to store under your seat for take-off and landing or to keep your tech and valuables secure and close to you.

I travelled with RyanAir to Hamburg last week and took Spin MATE Plus with me. I simply removed my backpack before I boarded the plane, put my wallet and laptop inside and took it onto the plane with me avoiding being asked to pay extra for my hand luggage. I was very impressed by it.

What’s more, Spin MATE Plus is super easy to navigate due to its 4, 360° spinner wheels. The inside of the bag, again has been beautifully designed with a netted panel on the left site of the bag and tie-down compression straps to reduce creasing on the right.

You can personalise the bag for no extra cost whilst ordering. Isn’t this great?

Lastly, Gate8 offers a range of handy accessories – I’ve tried their PACKER mate – a handy luggage organiser set that helped my packing to be organised and protected without adding extra weight. In addition, I got Shirt MATE – a perfect shirt carrier & folding board. It’s perfect for when I am travelling on business and need to wear a shirt as it enables me to store up to 5 shirts or trousers almost crease-free. There are some more, very handy accessories and you should definitely check them out yourself.

To discover the whole range and order visit:

https://www.gate8-luggage.co.uk/

Prices range from £15 for accessories to £159 for cabin bags.

     2. Jet candy 

Jet Candy is a new, homeopathic remedy developed to help combat jet lag. It spent over 10 years in development and was launched in Cannes in 2017. For all of you taking any intercontinental flights this summer, you should definitely consider getting it as jet lag catches us all regardless where we are going and in what direction. ‘Don’t take the time zone hit: take Jet Candy.’ Wouldn’t it be great to reset your body clock and enjoy the destinations you are travelling to? Jet Candy helps with fatigue, dehydration, disorientation, mental sharpness and other symptoms associated with the disruption of the circadian rhythms. What’s more, Jet Candy allows the internal body clock to function during long-haul flights. It comes in a practical pill distributor cap and has enough pills for 8 long-haul flights in it.

Available from http://www.jet-candy.com

Price: only £19.99 for 100 pillules.

I love all products featured in this review and if you decide to get anything from my list then I hope that you will enjoy them as much as I do 🙂

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Hamburg, Germany

As it was a Bank Holiday weekend last week, we travelled to Hamburg in Germany. I’ve never there before so I was looking forward to discovering this second largest German city with the largest port. Hamburg has became one of the major centres for international trade due to its location and it continues to be one of the wealthiest cities build on maritime stories. Locals have mastered how to live well and if (like me) you like to indulge in diverse cuisine then you would enjoy your stay here as there are a plenty of great restaurants, bars and breweries to visit.

If you like sightseeing then you can take one of the sightseeing walking tours showing you the city’s highlights or grab a map and discover the major sites by yourself.

Here is a short list of my suggestions of places worth visiting:

  • Speicherstadt – the largest warehouse district in the world located in the port of Hamburg with some signature red-brick warehouses, canals & museums.

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  • Elbphilharmonie Hamburg – a newly constructed concert hall in the HafenCity on the Grasbrook peninsula of the Elbe River. It is one of the largest and acoustically most advanced concert halls in the world which cost 8 times more to build than the Sydney Opera House.
  • Townhall and Alster – the seat of local government which is one of Germany’s 16 state parliaments. Located next to Hamburg’s most popular river – Alster leading to many shopping malls and boutiques.
  • Planten un Blomen – a large city park with a size of 47 hectares featuring themed gardens, a lake & Japanese tea house

How to get there?

If you live in the UK then you can easily get to Hamburg from most of major cities. We’ve flown from London Stanstead and it took us slightly over 1 hour to get there. Perfect for a short weekend break.

Other tips:

Hamburg has a very good transport network and you should definitely get a Hamburg Card when you visit – it will cover all your travel in addition to some discounts i.e. to some of the top attractions, restaurants, river cruises etc.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

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Pauline

Dinner at Oliver’s restaurant in The Woburn Hotel

A couple of weeks ago, I travelled to Woburn with my husband. We stayed at The Woburn Hotel and as we are both massive foodies, we decided to visit ‘Olivier’s’ – 2 AA Rosette restaurant.
Olivier’s Restaurant is recognised to be one of the finest restaurants in Bedfordshire in addition to maintaining its 2 AA Rosettes for 11 years it has won multiple awards most recently “Best Restaurant in Bedfordshire” at the Bedfordshire Business SME Awards held in May.

Location:
Olivier’s Restaurant is based at The Woburn Hotel, which is perfectly located in the heart of Georgian village of Woburn, at the gateway to the historic Woburn Abbey Estate. It is easily reachable from London, Milton Keynes and the surrounding Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire areas.

Atmosphere:
Olivier’s Restaurant has a modern, stylish décor following its recent refurbishment. Guests can enjoy a relaxed setting whilst having some of the best of English and continental dining prepared by talented chefs under the supervision of Olivier Bertho.
Our table was attended by two waiters – Sergio and Mateusz. They both made us feel welcomed and relaxed whilst being attentive and polite.

The menu:
Olivier’s Restaurant offers its dinners a few menus to choose from – A La Carte, Sunday, Lunch, Children and Afternoon Tea. Each of the menus offers dishes that were created by its talented chefs who all have a real passion for good quality food. Due to Oliver Bertho’s french heritage and his experience in quality restaurants the dishes combine classic French and English influences to create signature dishes. Most of the ingredients are sourced locally to make the most of seasonal ingredients.
We had an afternoon tea on Friday in The Repton Room when we arrived at The Woburn Hotel, which we really enjoyed. Having said that, today I would like to tell you about our dining experience when we decided to dine from the A La Carte menu.

Starters:
For my starter, I had some pan-fried scallops with a crispy chicken skin, sweetcorn purée and black pudding crumb. I love scallops and they were simply delectable.

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My husband had a lovely home smoked duck breast with pickled berries served over some green asparagus salad. He really enjoyed it and finished it in no time.

Duck Salad

Mains:
For my main, I decided to order a ginger glazed salmon fillet with sesame and bean salad accompanied by some wasabi mayonnaise. The dish was luscious.

Salmon SC
My husband had a beef fillet with honey roasted baby shallots, pea purée, crispy bacon and buttered baby vegetables. The dish was cooked to perfection.

Beef fillet

Desserts:
I have a very bad sweet tooth and always look forward to having the last course. Whilst dinning at Oliver’s Restaurant, I decided to have a strawberry bavarois with a crème brûlée glaze, lemon curd, shortbread and meringue drops, which was fabulous. My dessert not only looked amazing, but it was also mouth-watering.
My husband ordered a cheese board served with homemade green tomato chutney and traditional sides, which he enjoyed with our leftover wine.

Overall experience:
If you love great food and faultless service, then I would definitely recommend booking a meal at Olivier’s Restaurant. It is perfect for special occasions or if you just want to treat yourself to a remarkable dining experience.

Website:
For more information and to book visit:
https://www.thewoburnhotel.co.uk/oliviers-restaurant-bedfordshire/

Address:
1 George Street,
Woburn,
Bedfordshire,
MK17 9PX

Hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Birthday celebrations at The Woburn hotel

Someone wise once said that as you grow older, you learn to understand life a little better… I turned 34 a couple of weeks ago and as I love relaxing, being surrounded by nature and animals, we’ve decided to travel to the picturesque Georgian village of Woburn in Bedfordshire to celebrate it. We’ve stayed in ‘The Woburn Hotel’ – an award winning, 4 AA star hotel.

Location:

‘The Woburn Hotel’ is perfectly located in the heart of Woburn village, in the historic Woburn Abbey Estate that is home of the 15th Duke of Bedford. It can be easily reached from London (~1 hour), Milton Keynes (~20minutes) and in about 30 minutes from Luton Airport.
If being surrounded by nature and animals appeals to you then the hotel’s location should exceed your expectations as it a stone throw away from Woburn Safari Park and Woburn Abbey and Gardens. We visited all of these attractions on Saturday and I really enjoyed our drive through Woburn Safari Park which has over 1,000 wild animals roaming in 300 acres of beautiful parkland. Following from that we discovered an amazing deer park and visited Woburn Abbey which has been home to the Dukes of Bedford for nearly 400 years. In addition, if romantic walks around the gardens are of interest to you then you will be able to explore the 28 acres of award-winning, Humphry Repton inspired, Woburn Abbey Gardens.

Service:

As soon as we entered the hotel, we were welcomed by a very helpful and professional receptionist. He was really approachable and handed us our tickets to Woburn Safari park, which we were going to visit the day-after. He also provided us with some leaflets about the village. Once we checked in, we dropped our bags at our cottage, and we went straight to our afternoon tea. We found all hotel staff at reception and restaurant extremely attentive and friendly.

Rooms:

The Woburn Hotel offers its guests a selection of rooms to choose from in the main hotel ranging from double standard rooms to Abbey rooms to suites in addition to one of seven lovely cottages adjacent to the hotel to suit all budgets. All rooms have stylish décor providing you with everything you need for a relaxing stay. We stayed in a lovely, two storey cottage with a mezzanine floor called – ‘Wispers’ which was overlooking the hotel and its front garden. Each of the cottages have been designed to reflect their connection to the Russell family. The cottage we stayed in was named after an Estate in Sussex, which was purchased by the 11th Duke of Bedford for his wife, Mary back in 1927.

Our cottage featured a comfortable bed, luxury linen, safe, a TV and a telephone.

In addition, there were tea and coffee making facilities a selection of delicious complimentary chocolates, which were freshly prepared for us and waiting for us on our arrival.

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The cottage was perfect to celebrate my birthday and relaxing in after our adventures with its separate, large lounging area.

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Our en-suite bathroom had a classic décor. A selection of The White Company bath toiletries was also provided. In addition, some soft towels, slippers and soft bath gowns were available – perfect for lounging in before and after our sightseeing.

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Facilities:

In addition to some charming rooms, hotel features the drawing room, The Tavistock bar, The Repton Room and 2 AA Rosette restaurant – Olivier’s.

The restaurant offers its dinners some of the best Bedfordshire cuisine. A Polish waiter, which assisted us – Mateusz made our stay extremely memorable by always being chatty and professional.

The hotel also has a lovely patio where its visitors can enjoy a drink or a snack.
Breakfast is offered in the main restaurant and provides a selection of made to order dishes.

Overall experience:

The Woburn hotel is perfectly located just steps away from Woburn Safari Park, Woburn Golf Club and estates. If you have a special occasion coming up, then the hotel offers a range of escapes to choose from. We loved the hotel’s charming accommodation, which being part of the Woburn Estate helped us to create lots of unforgettable moments in the English countryside. In addition, the service was faultless so I would recommend this hotel to anyone who plans to travel to travel to Woburn or surrounding areas.
I would love to stay in this hotel again one day!

Website:

For more information and to book visit:
https://www.thewoburnhotel.co.uk/

Address:
1 George Street,
Woburn,
Bedfordshire,
MK17 9PX

Hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Lunch at Cantine Milano in Milan, Italy

On the last day of my trip to Milan, we had our lunch at Cantine Milano which is the first Italian Restaurant with wine shop. The concept for Cantine Milano was born from a passion for wine and the love of good food. All the wines displayed in the restaurant can be tasted and purchased.

Location:

Cantine Milano is located within the Isola district and overlooks Via Traú. The restaurant is only a 5-minutes walk from Zara tube station and is easily reachable from the centre of Milan.

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Atmosphere:

The restaurant has a charming and exclusive décor and the entire dining area as well as the cocktail bar (which counter is entirely made of marble) are surrounded by a unique atmosphere created by the play of lights on the glasses and the dark walls. In addition, Cantine Milano has a private dining room and a spectacular open wine cellar downstairs.

The menu:

Cantine Milano accommodates great Mediterranean cuisine and fine wines with over 300 national and international labels to choose from. All dishes are created following the Apulian recipes and freshly made from high-quality locally sourced ingredients.

Starters:

For my starter, I had some roasted octopus on fondue with cheese, pepper and crispy leek. The dish was flavoursome.

My husband had a trio of mini tartare with tuna, yellowtail and salmon which he enjoyed.

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First Course:

For our Primi (First Course that Italians normally have before a main) we had a couple of dishes to share. I ordered some Gnocchetti (home made potatoes pasta) with cheese and pepper fondue, crispy bacon and parmesan waffle. My husband had some Spaghettoni pasta with raw and cooked crustacean with red bisque and purple potatoes. Both dishes were appetising.

Mains:

For my main, I decided to have some Tataki of tuna in black sesame crust with citrus soy sauce. This Asian-inspired dish was simply phenomenal.

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My husband had some beef with cheese, cognac with green pepper, potatoes and spinach which was delectable.

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Desserts:

My husband decided to skip his dessert but I ordered some tiramisu which was mouth-watering and had a perfect, light consistency. Everything I had was tasty but it was my favourite dish.

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Overall experience:

Our last meal in Milan in Cantine Milano was definitely my favourite and this restaurant is definitely a hidden-gem. From the beginning of my meal until my dessert, everything I ordered was cooked to perfection. In addition, the service was friendly and attentive which is always appreciated. I would definitely recommend anyone who loves good food and wine to visit Cantine Milano next time they are around.

Website:

For more information and to book visit:

https://www.cantinemilano.com/

Address:

Via Traù 1

20159 Milano

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Mother’s Day Gift Edit 2019

Mother’s Day is one of the few opportunities when I can spoil my mum a bit and make her feel loved and appreciated. We are very close but as she lives in another country, I always consider what to send her across for this special celebrations.

I created a shortlist of products that I’ve sent her this year. I hope that you will like my ideas and perhaps even consider them as gifts for your mum.

Firstly, I bough my mum a bottle of her favourite perfumes – J’Adore from Dior.

Secondly, as my mum loves skincare so I got her some natural products from Made for Life Organics:

  • Head and Hair Treatment Oil – a deeply nourishing and conditioning treatment for head and scalp. Based on ingredients like: rosemary, burdock nettle, almond and apricot kernel oil which are rich in vitamins D and E. The product is known to boost circulation, clear the mind and condition hair so I though that it would be a perfect gift for my mum as she loves to have a healthy and shiny hair. It comes in 100ml bottle at the cost of £30.
  • Tone and Firm Body Oil – offers detoxifying combination of organic herbs and essential oils including green tea, rosemary, mint and lemon stimulates circulation. Active nutrients penetrate the skin, encouraging the elimination of toxins from the fatty tissue. It comes in 100ml bottle at the cost of £30.

Both of these products are 100% organic and full of natural botanicals, created to nurture anyone with the purest organics packed with active ingredients from the wild world. They come in a pretty packaging so would be a great gift for anyone. For more information and to purchase visit:

https://www.madeforlifeorganics.com/

Thirdly, as my mum has likes unusual and trendy accessories I got her a couple of products from BasketBasket range:

  • African inspired Raffia Fruit basket – a beautiful, colourful fruit bowl to add up some vibrancy to her bedroom. Made from straw and raffia.

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  • Raffia Beach Basket – a lovely beach / shopping basket with wooden button and cord fastener, inner pocket, plus leather handles, along enough to go over the shoulder.

bag

Both of these products are handmade with natural, sustainable products, mainly from Morocco and Madagascar. Website offers a lot of other handmade products and there’s something for everyone with the prices ranging from £19-£50.

https://www.basketbasket.co.uk/

Lastly, I decided to get my mum a Gioteck TX-40 headset as she is a music lover. It took one year in research & development and now all TX headsets deliver an impeccable blend of features, quality and design. I loved how stylish it looks as it combines sleek black with cooper finishes. Gioteck’s range not only looks good but also is durable, reliable and stylish so I am sure my mum will enjoy using it.

headset

Product can be purchased from Argos for £24.99:

https://www.argos.co.uk/product/8361851

I hope that I gave you some ideas which might help you to come up with a perfect gift for your mum.

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Pauline