If there’s one thing London does well, it’s brunch. From the classic English breakfast to the smashed artisan avocado with wildflowers, there are so many cool places to eat in London. It’s only in the last five years that brunch has become a weekend necessity in London, and when you read through our chosen cafes, it’s not hard to see why!
Here are our absolute favourite places to eat brunch in London:
Nestled on the busy streets of Leather Lane lies Prufrock, founded by three coffee enthusiasts back in 2009 and now housing a team of 13 coffee professionals. The seasonal menu means the food is ever-changing, and they only use ingredients that are readily available for the time of the year.
If you visit, you absolutely have to try their coffee (they use Square Mile), as well as the ‘Prufrock Benny’. It’s made with Cackleberry Farm poached eggs, Red Brick hollandaise on toast and served with pork belly, and is a favourite locals.
Dominating SW London for arguably the best brunch in London is Brickwood. Australian owned and operated, they have cafes in Clapham Common, Balham and Streatham. Each cafe is a different colour, and has a real Aussie feel about them.
You’ll be able to get Australian classics like vegemite on toast or a tim-tam muffin, but it’s in the cooked brunch where Brickwood’s magic lies. Their smashed avocado is easily the best in London, and their corn fritters, served with haloumi, capsicum, sour cream and homemade beetroot puree are a crowd favourite.
This Kiwi cafe is located on Leonard Street, and is the perfect pit-stop for a meeting, brunch or quick coffee to go. Hailing from New Zealand, Ozone is a large cafe that brews their own beans, and you can see it when you walk in! They’ve got a wide array of brunch items on the menu, and on the weekends you’ll always see a gigantic line out of the front.
This is a must-visit for the best brunch in London, as not only does the food impress, but the entire atmosphere of the cafe makes you feel right at home. If you’re after something that will give you a taste sensation, go for the whipped ricotta, quince and puffed quinoa on toasted brioche. Sweet, savoury and a whole lot of crunch thanks to this brunch in a London hot-spot.
Not only is this cafe one of the most photographed in London, it also serves a delicious brunch-time menu. With two locations on Park Lane and Brompton Road, Elan cafe has influencers and bloggers flocking to it. Elan cafe is known for being the “pink cafe”. Filled with flower walls, plush pink furniture and seasonal pop-ups, it’s been labelled as ‘Instagram-heaven’.
Their menu is elegant and modern and includes amazing drinks like golden, ruby or jade lattes, freddo cappuccino, chilli hot chocolates and tea-mojitos. If you’re after something fresh, the tropical bowl kiwi, watermelon and star fruit is a must. Hungry? The shakshuka will change your life… try adding both feta and lamb if you’re feeling adventurous.
Brunch in London is made a million times better thanks to Dishoom. Known for their incredible dinner menu, Dishoom offers an Indian brunch that will satisfy even the fussiest of eaters. With an accolade of awards across their five locations in London and beyond, Dishoom has something for everyone.
Service is fast, the menu range is incredibly designed and it’s one of those places you can’t help but order one of everything. The most difficult question… will you order a bacon naan or big bombay for brunch?
Think modern, pink and a foodie’s dream. Introducing GRIND, a series of cafes across London that are always jam-packed no matter what day it is. GRIND roasts their own beans, and actually sells their own range in-store, so you can take home your favourite flavoured coffee.
With an incredible NINE locations across London, GRIND is a very cool place to eat brunch in London. Whether you’re after coffee or cocktails (or perhaps both?!), it has a great atmosphere and menu (we love the sweet potato harissa cakes!)
Duck & Waffle
Feeling fancy? There’s nothing quite like a brunch in the clouds, especially when it’s at London’s highest restaurant, Duck & Waffle. Make life easier for yourself and book a table, as this is a brunch hot-spot. Towering 40 floors above London, brunch has never tasted quite so good.
Their decadent brunch menu includes items like the classic ‘Duck & Waffle’ (crispy leg confit, fried duck egg with mustard maple syrup’ and the ‘Duck Congee’, with confit duck, egg, spring onion, hot sauce and ginger hazelnuts).
Last but certainly not least is Lantana cafe, who is known not only for their delicious brunch but their bottomless brunch in London that they offer.
Between 9am-3pm every weekend they offer the option to upgrade your brunch; you can have bottomless bloody Marys, prosecco, mimosas and coffee for £35! Lantana has all the classic brunch items that you’ve been craving… corn fritters, french toast, smashed avocado and a duck & sweet potato hash!
Whether you’re after a decadent sky-high brunch or now craving a bacon naan, the brunch options in London are endless. If sitting down for a meal isn’t your thing, we’ve got you covered with our guide to the best street food markets in London.
The post The most delicious brunch spots in London appeared first on Eating Europe.
If you’ve already fallen in love with dreamy destinations like Paris and Venice, why not try something new with one of these lesser-known romantic destinations in Europe?
Holiday Lettings has hundreds of rentals to choose from, whether you’re yearning for a plush apartment packed full of facilities or a rustic gem brimming with character. All you need to do is decide which one captures your heart.
So, without further ado, let’s find out which are the 14 romantic hidden-gems in Europe…
#1 Ghent, Belgium
Belgium’s fourth-largest city is home to a quarter of a million people and a flourishing flower export trade. An important port, Ghent’s city center is a pedestrian area that is like a museum of early Flemish architecture, and a testament to the city’s medieval might. Impressive Gothic sites, such as dramatic St. Bavo’s Cathedral and the Castle of the Counts, are awe-inspiring. The works of the Flemish masters are housed in the distinguished, Museum voor Schone Kunst.
Find a romantic place to stay in Ghent
#2 Positano, Italy
Once a vital part of mighty sea power, Positano today is a sophisticated resort on the central Amalfi Coast. Moorish-style architecture rises up steep slopes that gaze out on the Sirenuse Islands. Smart boutiques, selling fashions for visitors to display on Grand Beach, abound in the village. And it’s a great base for exploring the area—you can easily travel by boat to Capri, Ischia and the Grotta dello Smeraldo cave.
Find a romantic place to stay in Positano
#3 Utrecht, The Netherlands
This ancient and historic city houses many buildings going back to the early Middle Ages. Until it was overtaken by Amsterdam in the Dutch Golden age, Utrecht was the most important city in the Netherlands. It was, and still is, the See of the Archbishop of Utrecht: the most important Catholic leader in the Netherlands. The University of Utrecht is the largest in the Netherlands. One of the unique features of the city is the wharf system in its inner canals. Most prominent of the historic buildings is the Gothic Cathedral of Saint Martin, the construction of which lasted for almost 200 years, beginning in 1254.
Find a romantic place to stay in Utrecht
#4 Zell am See, Austria
The picturesque lakeside town of Zell am See offers about 80 miles of ski slopes, with beginner, intermediate and advanced runs all well represented. One hundred and twenty-five miles of cross-country trails offer gorgeous panoramic views. The neighbouring town of Kaprun is famed for its glacier skiing.
Find a romantic place to stay in Zell am See
#5 Sintra, Portugal
Long the home of Portugal’s monarchs, Sintra is a magnificent town of marvellous historic mansions, all set against the backdrop of lush hills. Sintra’s many castles include the Palácio Nacional de Sintra (a main abode of Portuguese royalty until the early 20th century), the hilltop and storybook Palácio da Pena, Quinta de Regaleira (incorporating several architectural styles and with gorgeous surrounding gardens), the Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle) and the Palácio de Monserrate.
Find a romantic place to stay in Sintra
#6 Annecy, France
Romance is the lifeblood of Annecy; a town in the Rhone-Alpes region of southeast France that’s replete with castles, cathedrals and softly curving architecture. Stroll hand-in-hand with your partner across Pont des Amours (the lover’s bridge) before taking in the Imperial Palace and the baroque Cathedral of Saint-Pierre. A walk down the Rue Royale will be rewarded with prime shopping, dining and people-watching, especially at the fountain of Saint Jean.
Find a romantic place to stay in Annecy
#7 Bled, Slovenia
With its iconic fairy-tale church steeple perched atop the tiny rock island at the middle of Lake Bled, this stunning spot is a sight that stays in your memory. The town has also long been a destination for those seeking relaxation, through its sunny alpine air and thermal springs, which are especially welcoming after a day of mountain trekking, golf or touring on horseback.
Find a romantic place to stay in Bled
#8 Isle of Arran, Scotland
Packed to the gills with antique silver, porcelain and furniture, the red sandstone Brodick Castle is one of the highlights of the Isle of Arran. The castle overlooks Goatfell, a majestic hill that’s a popular day hike. The Machrie Moor stone circles make for a mystical field trip, as does a tour of The Arran Malt whisky distillery.
Find a romantic place to stay in the Isle of Arran
#9 Taormina, Italy
Volcanic Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea provide the cinema-worthy backdrop for Taormina, Sicily’s legendary resort town. Twisting medieval streets and a second-century Greek theatre add to its romantic air, which inspired the writings of D.H. Lawrence and Truman Capote. Take a cable car to the beach, or walk uphill behind the Church of St. Joseph for panoramic views.
Find a romantic place to stay in Taormina
#10 Segovia, Spain
Segovia is a picturesque old city with twisting alleyways, the highest concentration of Romanesque churches in all of Europe and pedestrian-only streets; all bordered by a medieval wall and two rivers. In 1985, this sleepy Castilian town was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. One of the main tourist attractions is Alcázar: a royal palace built around the 11th century where Queen Isabel agreed to fund Christopher Columbus’ exploration of the New World. The picturesque palace is said to be Walt Disney’s inspiration for Cinderella’s castle.
Find a romantic place to stay in Segovia
#11 Tenby, Wales
Tenby is lovingly protected from the outside world by an embrace of 13th-century stone walls, which, ironically, attract—not repel—visitors from all over the world. The town is simply adorable, teeming with the archetypes of pubs and shops. Adding further appeal are the miles of gorgeous beaches and the gently lapping waves of the sea.
Find a romantic place to stay in Tenby
#12 Girona, Spain
One of the most historic sites in Spain, Girona lies in northeast Catalonia, just 99 km (62 mi) from Barcelona. Founded by Romans, the city was later taken over by Moors and Franks before finally falling under the rule of Barcelona. Influenced by different cultures and religions, the city beckons visitors with beautiful architecture. The Old and New Town offer many opportunities to pleasurably get lost and observe local life and culture.
Find a romantic place to stay in Girona
#13 Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
The southwestern castle city of Cesky Krumlov is one of the Czech Republic’s finest medieval sites. Its Old Town is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site, a maze of twisting alleys built around the extensive Cesky Krumlov castle. Saunter through crooked, cobblestone streets on foot and soak up the atmosphere of this impeccably preserved medieval gem. The gushing Vltava, popular with rafting enthusiasts, darts through the town.
Find a romantic place to stay in Cesky Krumlov
The post 13 Romantic And Off-The-Radar European Destinations for 2019 appeared first on Holiday Lettings Blog.
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Castles near Edinburgh
Edinburgh Castle. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?
One of the undisputed iconic images of Scotland, it sits looking very chuffed with itself atop Castle Rock, bejewelling the crown of one of the world’s prettiest city centres. But it’s not the only show in town. Ruins are strewn across Central Scotland and there are numerous alternative castles near Edinburgh to satisfy even the most insatiable of history hunters. Sticking just within The Lothians, see what you think of this hit-list.
Edinburgh and Midlothian
In 2018 I now realise that I found myself at this guy on 3 separate occasions (I didn’t visit Edinburgh Castle at all incidentally). Even for me that’s rare and says much about its growing status in Scottish tourism. Its role on-screen is the single biggest reason for this of course and it’s been a feature in both the Outlander and Outlaw King Scotlanders campaigns from recent times.
While its manufactured status as Ardsmuir Prison and the Bruce Castle may have piqued your initial interest, its genuine story is engrossing too. The interior remains an impressively deep labyrinth that brings out the hide-and-seek enthusiast in us all. Dating from the 14th Century, it was never a place for thunderous sieges but did receive a visit from herself, Mary Queen of Scots, while she was recovering from childbirth. Is it even really a castle if Mary hasn’t popped in at some point? Not as far as this blog post is concerned.
Still within Edinburgh herself, you’ll find it in the south-east outskirts of the city. The views from the ramparts see the capital spreading in front of you and I guarantee you’ll find this a much more intimate experience than its big sister on the horizon. It is in an excellent state of repair (another part of its appeal for the cameras) and the vantage point from the south is particularly strong on the visuals.
Barely a stone’s throw from Edinburgh, this rural relic makes for the ideal escape. Set amid Midlothian’s seemingly remote country landscapes, it also has one of the most impressive approaches (from the north) of all of our castles. Photographers will delight with the view from the roadside and the loneliness of the fortress gives it its own powerful presence. Birds of prey outnumber humans as the desolate surroundings bring unavoidable comparisons with Hermitage Castle in the Borders.
Built in 1400, it grew with the powerful Crichton family before passing to the even more prominent Bothwells. The 4th Earl was of course husband to Mary Queen of Scots and Mary was a repeat visitor here as well. It was a doomed marriage and ultimately led to the Queen’s legendary downfall.
The ruin is within 15 miles of Edinburgh’s city centre and is ideal territory for cyclists and horse riders. Signs of modern life are at an extreme minimum, enjoy.
While I’ve never quite worked up the fortitude to boldly proclaim any Scottish castle to be my absolute favourite, I’ve also never been shy about placing Tantallon in my top five. There is something undeniably magnificent about clifftop castles and only Dunnottar can really match this guy in the coastal drama department.
Another from the 14th Century, it was the last medieval curtain wall castle to be built here and endured a bit of a blasting from the siege engines in its time. Historic Scotland themselves call Tantallon ‘the last truly great castle built in Scotland’. Belonging to the Douglas family, it took a doing in 1491, 1528 and 1651 in particular, with the Douglases perennially keen on upsetting the powers that be from the south. The rogues.
Although by no means a secret now, most visitors will miss a golden opportunity for the best vantage point. Seacliff Beach is another loved by the cameras and appeared in both of Scotland’s aforementioned recent movie titans. Looking up at the ruins from the rocky waterline makes for one of my favourite vistas in Scotland. Of all the castles near Edinburgh, this one requires the furthest hike and is about 45 minutes away by car. Worth every bit of it though.
I feel a little sorry for Dirleton. It’s near-neighbour Tantallon dominates my historical thoughts in these parts….but if Dirleton was almost anywhere else it would be right up there in my mind’s eye. A truly magnificent ruin that has all of the atmospherics and brooding rage that I’m after, all it is missing is a cliff.
The 13th Century fortress was one of many north of the border to change hands several times as the English and Scots duelled in the Wars of Independence. As one of the most robust castles near Edinburgh, it’s hardly surprising that it was in high demand. Its imposing walls show the scars of centuries’ worth of brutal conflict. Oliver Cromwell’s 1650 siege was the most savage and defenders were left hanging from the castle walls with the kind of brutality that we’d expect from Gregor Clegane’s Lannister mob in Game of Thrones.
A walk through the main gate, imagining fear and fury pouring down on you from the ramparts, is a must. Once inside take half an hour to explore the nooks and crannies thoroughly, there is much to set your mind racing. Pit prisons, massive kitchen spaces and drafty bed chambers await. The surrounding gardens will provide you with the perfect tranquil contrast and do ask the staff if Andrew Spratt is around for one of his fabulous re-enactments on-site. Kids and adults alike will love his chat on medieval attire and behaviourisms. You’ll find Dirleton just a few minutes inland from North Berwick and the East Lothian coast.
The excellent Hailes Castle is a further East Lothian option for those that can’t get enough.
Very much a Palace more than a castle, but it ticks every box and more for what us modern-day ruin-seekers are after. Perched picturesquely aside Linlithgow Loch and within easy reach of the population centres of Central Scotland, it’s not hard to appreciate what its strategic importance would have been in centuries past.
It was a base for Edward I’s forces in the Wars of Independence, Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobites were here, Mary was actually born here in 1542 and it stood as a long-standing retreat for the Royal House of Stewart. A convenient home from home when city life got too much, they would have converged on the Palace’s opportunities for a life of leisure with some enthusiasm I imagine. Cromwell’s destructive efforts and a devastating fire in 1746 brought its rich dynasty to an end however, and it was to never fully recover.
I’d love to see Linlithgow Palace get an upgrade. It’s a hollow shell of what it clearly once was and funding sent its way over recent decades has been limited. Were it to be shown as much love as an Edinburgh Castle or a Stirling Castle, I’m quite sure it would be rewarded in visitor numbers. As it is, it’s got the atmosphere, the scale, the grandeur and the charisma of a titan and is still one of Scotland’s most impressive structures.
Why is it that school trips live so long in the memory? It doesn’t seem to matter how much time passes, I bet everyone can recall at least one school trip from their youth. Among my most prominent was wee me’s visit to Blackness Castle in Primary School. Even now, I vividly remember how grim I found the place. Draftily plopped on the banks of the River Forth and with a dark soul of an appearance, it really is a brute.
A 15th Century residence, it was built for the powerful Crichton family, the same ones from above. Although its intentions were as a home fit for a lord, it ended up also serving as a state prison and artillery depot. ‘The ship that never sailed’ it is called, with its intriguing shape best appreciated from above. A tough nut to crack, guess who showed up in 1650 with siege guns to leave it permanently damaged?
In a recurring theme for the castles near Edinburgh, Blackness has shot to renewed interest with starring roles in all three of Outlander, Outlaw King and Mary Queen of Scots in recent times as its once largely forgotten status has been stratospherically revived, in terms of visitor numbers anyway. With a completely different feel to majestic Linlithgow Palace, these two put West Lothian firmly on the history hunter’s map.
Nearby Hopetoun House (and its outlying Midhope ‘Lallybroch’ Castle) are other castles of a different kind in the area.
Which Castle is for you?
A visit to Scotland without a castle on your itinerary seems glaringly incomplete. I’m simply not having it. Who does castles better than Scotland? None of these castles near Edinburgh occupy the big-hitter tourism status of the likes of Eilean Donan, Stirling, Dunnottar or Urquhart, but they are all fast closing the gap. Film tourism is doing its thing and bringing them into the spotlight. Whether as day trips from the capital or as part of extended sojourns around Scotland, their secrets are just begging to be explored.
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As a foodie traveler, having an afternoon tea designed around London Landmarks is the ultimate dream. Town House Kensington beautifully achieves top marks for this new themed afternoon tea.
Simultaneously the most hated thing tourists do but also the most popular thing they actually do. Ever since cell phones got cameras, a self-shot (or “selfie”) photo is the norm for most of us. Whether you want to capture a memory or blow up Instagram while you’re in London, the city certainly has plenty of excellent spots for a selfie. Of course, there are places not to take one, such as hanging from a lamp or in front of a Buckingham Palace guard, but we’ve identified ten places where it’s perfectly okay and will give you some truly memorable photos.
Police Public Call Box – Earl’s Court
Sure, you could do a touristy thing and find one of the city’s remaining red telephone boxes, but for a truly unique selfie, you can find the last remaining Police Box outside of the Earl’s Court Underground Station. Fans of Doctor Who will certainly want one here as it is the closest to the Doctor’s iconic ship as they will find in London.
St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel Staircase
I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want. I want you to take a selfie in the historic St. Pancras hotel, namely at the staircase made famous by the Spice Girls video for “Wannabe.” The Telegraph has called the Grand Staircase one of the “most Instagrammable” in the world, owing as much to its beautiful design as its place in pop culture history.
The London Eye
Great heights make for great selfies, and a flight on the London Eye will offer one of the best views of the city. The thirty-minute flights will reach their apex about 15 minutes in, so that’s your chance to snap a photo with much of the city behind you. The capsules offer a 360-degree of London, so there will be plenty of famous landmarks to catch in the background.
Tower Bridge is a top location for selfies thanks to its iconic status. Designed by Sir Joseph Bazelgette, the Victorian towers of the bridge offer many opportunities for a good selfie whether you’re taking your picture from the bank of the Thames, on the bridge’s walkways, or even above on the Tower Bridge Exhibition.
Churchill and Roosevelt Allies Statue
Known simply as “Allies,” if you ever wanted to take a selfie with Winston Churchill or Franklin Delano Roosevelt, this is your best chance. The two former world leaders and great friends are immortalized in bronze on this Bond Street statue with just enough space in between them to slip in and act like you’re one of the gang.
Most museums won’t let you take photos inside, but the British Museum is certainly one of the exceptions in London. While it’s still recommended that you not use a flash on your camera, it’s not really an issue when you’re taking a selfie, plus some of the exhibits as well as the architecture offer the chance for some spectacular photos.
One of London’s many charming alleyways, Neal’s Yard is also its most colorful, with buildings painted in a bright array of greens, blues, yellows, and more. Whatever you’re wearing, you’ll be able to find one of the shops or cafes to accent your attire as you pose, and be sure to go inside and sample the many wonderful wares.
If you’re looking for another opportunity to get a great view of London in the background of your selfie, Primrose Hill offers one of the best natural spots for it. The hill in Regents Park rises well above the city and offers some pretty fantastic views if you’re facing south. While the landmarks might be at a distance, you’ll fit in more of them here than anywhere else on this list.
Westminster Bridge (facing Parliament)
While Tower Bridge will make a great selfie location itself because of its architecture, do people really know you were in London if you don’t have a picture of the Palace of Westminster and Elizabeth Tower (aka Parliament and Big Ben)? Westminster Bridge provides the best opportunity to get both of them in your selfie along with the historic bridge itself.
Now, if you want to take in as much of the city as possible and get the highest view you can, there’s no higher place than the Shard. With its observation deck 801 feet above the street, it is easily the tallest place in the city for you to take a selfie. The observation deck is ticketed, so make sure you get yours before venturing to the top of London.
Top 10 London: Ten Places in London for the Perfect Selfie – Londontopia – The Website for People Who Love London