Our Stay at Lilla Roberts, Helsinki

 
Delicious Finnish breakfast at Hotel Lilla Roberts

Delicious Finnish breakfast at Hotel Lilla Roberts

It was our first time in Finland, as we have never been to Scandinavia before. We were invited to stay at Lilla Roberts in Helsinki. It was a former 20th century power plant converted into a stylish hotel. Just a few minutes walk into the heart of Helsinki.

The rooms are chic, with comfortable beds. We are loving the doona covers (they come in two, his and hers). Plush sitting area with high ceilings and windows.

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Breakfast buffet at Lilla Roberts is a traditional Finnish breakfast filled with smoked salmon, rye bread, quiche, cakes and biscuits. The Scandinavian restaurant is cosy, with indoor plants and floor-to-ceiling windows.

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Hotel Lilla Roberts, Roobertinkatu 1-3, 00130 Helsinki
 

Hotel The Exchange Food Guide : Quick and Comfy

 

Back in Holland for the third time, this time, I’ll be spending a week in Amsterdam, exploring the Dutch cafes and bars that are unique to travellers and foodies. 

Leon (of @hungrysydneysiders) and I were all checked in at Hotel The Exchange. This Dutch fashion hotel is located in the heart of Amsterdam. Just a few minutes walk from the central train station, it’s close to many awesome cafes and bar. 

The quirky Rembrandt room in Hotel The Exchange, Amsterdam. Photo by May Leong.

The quirky Rembrandt room in Hotel The Exchange, Amsterdam. Photo by May Leong.

Here, I’ve teamed up with Hotel The Exchange to create a yummy food guide. Read up to find out all the best places to grab a bite around this fashion hotel. This food guide collaboration will be Quick and Comfy, followed by Comfy with Typical Dutch and Foodie's Delight in the next two months.

Breakfast

Café STOCK is just next to the Hotel The Exchange, smacked in the middle of the busy Damrak street. Pop over from Central Station. It’s a great spot for people watching. I love Café STOCK’s quirky interior of hand illustrated wallpaper and simple furnishing. 

Yummy apple pie and chocolate cake at Cafe STOCK. Photo by May Leong.

Yummy apple pie and chocolate cake at Cafe STOCK. Photo by May Leong.

We started off our day with a delicious spread of apple pie, chocolate cake and muffins. The chocolate cake is rich and oozing with dark chocolate. It goes perfectly well with a hot cup of tea. 

Hotel The Exchange is currently having a free breakfast special when guests book on their website. Use the promocode "MORNING!" to receive free Cafe STOCK breakfast on one day of your stay until 1st of November (max for 2 persons).

Café STOCK Damrak 50
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Snack

Melly’s Cookie Bar is a great place to grab a quick espresso coffee, and a light snack (cookies, of course). It has a cute mint green colour interior with loads of natural lighting too. Melly’s has a good selection of cookies,  my personal favourite is the Double Chocolate.

A nice spot to have a cookie and a cup of latter with my #instagramhusband :) . Only 5 minutes walk from Hotel The Exchange. Photos by May Leong.

A nice spot to have a cookie and a cup of latter with my #instagramhusband :) . Only 5 minutes walk from Hotel The Exchange. Photos by May Leong.

It is just a 5 minute walk from Hotel The Exchange, through narrow and quirky lanes to Melly’s, away from the hustle and bustle of the Damrak. It’s a perfect stopover if you need a quick snack to recharge.

Melly’s Cookie Bar, Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 137

 

Lunch
De Laatste Kruimel (in Dutch, it means ’The Last Crumble’) is only 10 minutes walk away from Hotel The Exchange. The apple pie, goats cheese quiche and courgette cake with lemon curd are all to-die-for! It’s true to its word, we ate every last crumble of the delicious treats.

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My favourite has got to be the courgette cake (courgette is also known as zucchini to some). Mouth-watering from the moment I had my first bite. This place is a local (and also a tourist) favourite, so be prepared to stand in line or wait for a table. Small and narrow, I’m surprised how many people De Laatste Kruimel could squeeze in sometimes. 

 

De Laatste Kruimel, Langebrugsteeg 4

 

Dinner

Just two streets away from Hotel The Exchange, it takes only 4 minutes to pop over the Cut Throat Barber Brunch & Bar. This bar also doubles up as a barber shop, great for men who are looking for hipster haircut and a shave.

Oh those mouth-watering Chicken 'n Red Velvet Waffles with Surf 'n Turf Burger. Photo by May Leong.

Oh those mouth-watering Chicken 'n Red Velvet Waffles with Surf 'n Turf Burger. Photo by May Leong.

We’re here at Cut Throat Barber Bar to try their famous Chicken ‘n Red Velvet Waffles. It does not disappoint. On top of that, we also ordered Surf ‘n Turfburger and Spiked Shakes. The Spiked Shakes comes in three yummy milkshake flavours, and we went for Chocolate and Strawberry milkshakes, with a dash of Vodka in it. Cheers to our first night in Amsterdam!

Cut Throat Barber Brunch & Bar, Beursplein 5
Cheers to our first night in Amsterdam. Photo by May Leong.

Cheers to our first night in Amsterdam. Photo by May Leong.

 

Thank you for reading this blog post. More to come in October and November on what to eat when staying at Hotel The Exchange!

Have a great weekend all!

xom

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grand Hotel Central, Barcelona

 
Honestly, the best roof top pool view of Barcelona. I could stay up here all day. Photo by Leon Korobacz of @hungrysydneysiders.

Honestly, the best roof top pool view of Barcelona. I could stay up here all day. Photo by Leon Korobacz of @hungrysydneysiders.

Grand Hotel Central is located in the heart of Gothic Quarter, Barcelona. It was so central and it is certainly grand. This, I must say, the best roof top pool in Spain! I kid you not. You have to see it to believe it.

I spent every morning and evening up on the rooftop pf Grand Hotel Central, Barcelona. The reflection on the infinity pool is unreal, especially when the sky is clear. The bar is opened to the public till early morning for those who'd love a drink or two while looking over at the cityscape.

We had the best time ever at Grand Hotel Central. Wish we could stay here longer! 

We had the best time ever at Grand Hotel Central. Wish we could stay here longer! 

Our king size bed was the comfiest, with soft pillows and comfortable doona to keep us warm at night. The window in our room actually opens up to the view of Barcelona's famous Gothic Quarter. Popped a little further to the right, and you'll see the Roman walls and the tip of Cathedral of Barcelona. 

Our favourite has got to be breakfast in bed. It was so easy to tick off anything we wanted from the breakfast menu. When our big breakfast arrived early in the morning, we couldn't wait to eat them on the rooftop. It was all peace and quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of the streets below us.

Thank you for such a wonderful time, Grand Hotel Central! Everyone there was so nice, friendly and genuinely helpful, we really had a good time. We felt very much welcome and it feels like a one, big family here at Grand Hotel Central, Barcelona. I'd highly recommended it if you're ever in Barcelona, this is the place to stay :)

xo

m

Our comfy King size bed with the view of Gothic Quarter. 

Our comfy King size bed with the view of Gothic Quarter. 

 

Grand Hotel Central 
Via Laietana 30, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

 

 

Dining at City Bar & Restaurant, Barcelona

 
Dinner time at City Bar & Restaurant, in Grand Central Hotel, Barcelona. It was a lovely dinner date. A night to remember. Photos by May Leong and Leon Korobacz.

Dinner time at City Bar & Restaurant, in Grand Central Hotel, Barcelona. It was a lovely dinner date. A night to remember. Photos by May Leong and Leon Korobacz.

Leon (of @hungrysydneysiders) and I were invited to dine at Grand Hotel Barcelona's City Bar & Restaurant. This stylish restaurant is set in the heart of Barcelona.

After a couple of days eating tapas, we booked a table for two. It was a couple's date night indeed. 

City Restaurant offers one of the best fine dining in town. The cuisines here are more of traditional Mediterranean bistro-style cooking, which we love. There is also a good selection of local wines to pair with our dinner.

For appetizers, we ordered Roast Meat Croquettes and Cod Fritters wiht Honey and Lime. It all sounded too delicious, as we have never tasted croquettes with roast meat, let alone tried, soft Spanish bread with tomato spread on it. It was all yum!

I am a seafood lover, and when I saw the Entrées Tomato Gazpacho with Peach and Lobster, I had to try it. The gazpacho is a yummy Spanish cold soup, made with fresh, organic tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers.

Now, Tomato Gazpacho with a Peach and Lobster as a starter that sounds truly exotic to us, Sydneysiders :). They ran out of lobster, and replaced it with caviar which is a bonus! We had the Potato, Quinoa and Kale salad.  

We are loving the modern twist to our mains. Leon has the Rossini Beef Tenderloin, cooked medium rare while I have the
Charcoaled Grilled Turbot with Tomatoes and Capers.

For desserts, we had to try Catalan Crème Brûlée and Red Berry Cheesecake. They were 'berry' nice indeed.

Thank you for having us, it was an unforgettable evening dining at City Bar & Restaurant. Great service and delicious food. We are looking forward to be back again!

 

 

City Bar & Restaurant  
Via Laietana, 30, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
 

Lunch time at Cecconi's, Barcelona

 
A wonderful lunch for two at Cecconi's in Barcelona.

A wonderful lunch for two at Cecconi's in Barcelona.

Cecconi's in Barcelona is an intimate Italian restaurant, serving one of the city's best Italian food. We popped in for a beautiful lunch for two. 

We had the Meatballs with Tomato Sauce and Chicken and Kale, Salata. The starters were delicious especially the perfectly seasoned meatballs and yummy salad topped with fennel, almonds and ricotta.

For mains we had the Cavatelli, Wild Boar Ragu and the Paccheri with Langoustines with Zucchini. The Cavatelli was fresh and the ragu sauce was full of flavour. The paccheri was equally fresh and the sauce was well balanced with the langoustines.

Dessert was a real treat we ended up ordering three! The gelatis and the pistachio profiteroles with chocolate sauce, they all delivered in quality and flavour. Nothing was left behind.

Overall, it was a wonderful lunch at Cecconi's. 

It's always dessert time. The best gelati in Barcelona one can get along with mouth-watering pistachhio gelato and profiterole.

It's always dessert time. The best gelati in Barcelona one can get along with mouth-watering pistachhio gelato and profiterole.

 

Cecconi's
Passeig de Colom, 20, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
 

Yurbban Trafalgar Hotel, Barcelona

 
Happy days with my unicorn at Yurbban's rooftop pool. Photo credit : Leon Korobacz of @hungrysydneysiders.

Happy days with my unicorn at Yurbban's rooftop pool. Photo credit : Leon Korobacz of @hungrysydneysiders.

In collaboration with Barcelona Tourism, Visit Barcelona, we were invited to stay at Yurbban Trafalgar Hotel. A former textile factory, the boutique hotel was restored to a contemporary, industrial hotel. Yurbban Trafalgar Hotel is in such a nice spot too, just minutes away to Las Rambla Street and Catalunya Placa.

Now, the best part about Yurbban Trafalgar Hotel has got to be the rooftop terrace with an outdoor pool. The panaromic view of the Barcelona cityscape is amazing. With uninterrupted view, thanks to the glass panels running along the terrace, I must say, it is to-die-for! A great place to rest and relax, after a busy day exploring the streets of Barcelona.

The rooms are beautifully furnished with light charcoal walls and mustard coloured bedding. I simply adore the handcrafted timber furnishing.

A tour around Yurbban Hotel, the bedroom, pool and dining area. Photo by May Leong.

A tour around Yurbban Hotel, the bedroom, pool and dining area. Photo by May Leong.

This hotel has everything that I was looking for in a hotel. Yurbban Trafalgar Hotel actually provides free laundry service (which is definitely a plus!) and complimentary bikes for guests. Biking is a great way to explore the quaint alleys. And, to top it off, there is a Wine Hour from 7-8pm. Too good to be true!

A Yurbban breakfast was a delight with Catalan sausages, bacon, eggs, fruit, cereal and toast. It was a wonderful spread indeed to start off the day in the Spanish city.

It was a wonderful stay at Yurbban Trafalgar Hotel. The staff are friendly and helpful, as always. We felt very much welcomed. I look forward to returning to Barcelona!

Yurbban Trafalgar Hotel 
Carrer de Trafalgar, 30, 08010 Barcelona, Spain
 

SNCKBR WEST, Amsterdam

 
Milkshakes and delicious dinner at SNCKBR WEST, Amsterdam with May Leong and Leon Korobacz.

Milkshakes and delicious dinner at SNCKBR WEST, Amsterdam with May Leong and Leon Korobacz.

When you say, 'Snackbar' in Holland, it simply means having a snack at well known fast food chains. Well, SNCKBR WEST in Amsterdam begs to differ. It is simply one of the healthiest and yummiest food I ever had in Holland. I was here last year and now I'm back again hehe.

Well, we did a little cheeky SNCKBR treat, even the vegan freakshakes are free of additives. Using soymilk as base, we are loving the Tha Sugadaddy and The Macho Mango. Who doesn't love whipped coconut cream, raw cacao and fruity mango in their milkshakes?

For dinner, we kicked off with the Chef's Platter, which consists of the Hummus Superbowl (super yum), Aubergine Canneloni and Falafel. The pita bread that came with were so soft and fluffy, they go so well with the hummus and falafel. Loving it!

We had the Meat Platter and Fish of the Day, served with salad on the side. Everything was just fresh and beautifully cooked, I was so happy I returned to SNCKBR and am looking forward to have another feast the next time I'm in Amsterdam again.

x

m

SNCKBR WEST Kinkerstraat 10 1053EC Amsterdam