Jenny's Blog


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Goodbye.

Hey, guys.

I have come to a decision to delete this blog. There are many reasons, but the bottom line is: it’s all swings and roundabouts. Life goes on, no matter in which direction at the moment.

The content will be available for another month or so before I shut the page down. So, if there were any recommendations you particularly wanted to use once you travel somewhere, make sure to note them 😉

It has been fun. Thank you everyone for traveling, eating and thinking together with me.

Love,

Jenny


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Lignano-Rome-Saint Petersburg-TBA

I love this feeling, when I’m writing a post while almost boarding a plane to somewhere new. Because I know that once I am there – I’ll have so many fresh impressions that going back to previous trips will be tough.

So, a quick recap of my August before the last trip of this summer (unbelievable!) starts.

Lignano, Rome and Saint Petersburg, together with Barcelona and Venice where I went just before, are my most visited cities. Nevertheless, I am no less excited to go there every summer again and again! Lignano is like my second home now, a short vacation getaway at any time when I need it; Rome, Venice and Barcelona are just my perfect cities for a weekend, despite tourist crowds and all that what the locals hate, for me their energy I get charged with is worth making my way through any crowd; Saint Petersburg… well, I used to call this place home. And it still has a big part of my heart that I left there forever. It’s nice when it’s not broken but is left with my best friends who live there, and I can always visit and dive back into how it used to be; priceless opportunity.

This time in Lignano was special, because I went with Dani. It’s amazing to bring along someone you love and show them “your” place, with special corners, favourite restaurants, tennis courts from where I sent him so many pictures with parents. For him it is also a special area, where he spent a big deal of his childhood. Chilling on the beach sipping Aperols, stuffing ourselves with the best foods, reading on the rooftop while he is getting his sleep recap for the past year. I already can’t wait to be there next June again and reopen another amazing season!

Trip to Rome was also very cozy and full of comfort. You see cities completely differently once stop being a first-time tourist there. When this rush to see/eat/photograph all the musts is over, comes the time to fully enjoy the city. I was also very glad to go with Lena and spend some quality time together before she moves to Moscow.

Regarding the places, we were mostly sticking to my favourite route that I described last year, with mandatory meals at Urbana 47 and Cantina e Cucina, adding Campo de’ Fiori, rooftops at Forum Hotel, Monti Palace Hotel and Capo d’Africa, pizzeria Emma and cultural stiff outside of Vatican for the first time: MAXXI Museum of Modern art impressed us a lot; whereas Galleria Borghese where I wanted to go since many years turned out to be a big disappointment. Everything is relative!

We visited during Ferragosto, so a lot of places I wanted to visit were closed. It’s like I could’t manage to see Trevi Fountain for like 4 years in a row while it was on reconstruction, same is happening with Mercato Monti for me now. Next year, maybe!IMG_3894 2 Going to Saint Petersburg had even more wonderful purpose than eating and looking at Caravaggio. I was invited to my dear friend’s wedding. Skakun is Skakun no more! This was so beautiful and full of love that I couldn’t be happier for my friends.

Saint Petersburg is a place full of love for me even without such magical events as weddings, thanks to my friends and the memories there that don’t fade after more than 7 years.

I got to meet many more people than are in the pics, which makes it an absolute strike in terms of amount of cathing-ups in 36 hours. I love you, guys!

So do I love crab meat! Lisa, as always, took me on a gastro tour. Last time shawarma was what impressed me the most, together with Subzero, which I hit again for breakfast (because why not sushi for breakfast). The new discoveries were Harvest and DuoAsia, and they brought to an absolute ecstasy state.

As hard as it always is to say goodbye to my friends in Russia, was saying goodbye to those who are leaving Vienna now. Too many goodbyes at once for me!

As always when writing a post on the go, I have no time to properly wrap it up now. But maybe it’s even better this way, before I get too sentimental. Time to pack suitcases! For someone it’s bringing a new stage of life, may it be marriage or moving from Vienna, to me it will be opening a door that I closed 10 years ago.

Yup, I am finally going to New York!


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BCN: food

Tapas life and more. Let’s finally dive into this world of Catalan food.

Some data was gathered by me back in 2017, and even though I tried my best to check if all the places are still there and asked my local friends if they are still just as good as before, slight changes on the Bcn food scene from what I will describe here may have occurred. 

BRUNCH

The most important meal of the day for me. Even though I believe tapas are quite suitable for breakfast just as much as they are for dealing with evening craving, I still worship brunch in its classical understanding. So, top my avocado waffle with that poached egg!

  • Cafe Alsur. That’s a chain. All of the places are very cozy, with friendly stuff, air conditioner (not a must for cafes thing even in Bcn heat) and great ambient. I wrote most of my thesis there as well as got wasted at 11 am a few times, so it’s a place for any occasion; and their waffles are the best!
  • la Boqueria. A food market in the heart of Barcelona that attracts both locals and tourists with its choice of anything fresh, from juices to seafood delivered straight from fishermen. I love walking in early in the morning to grab a fresh juice and empanadas for breakfast on the beach.
  • Brunch&Cake. The most instagrammable brunch in Barcelona. Expect to wait quite long to be seated though. But if you want a perfect picture of your brunch, with the brightest mimosas and the fluffiest pancakes decorated by flowers and colorful sauces – that’s a place for you!
  • Federal Cafe. Even though hidden on a tiny square in the Gothic Quartet labyrinth, there are queues to be seated as well during brunch hours. I preferred to come in the afternoon for a brinner and enjoy all the same amazing egg dishes, toasts and coffee, but in a less crowded vibe. The place is very stylish but minimalistic. I love their tiny tables at the window seats. Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
  • Lulu. Also a bit hidden from pedestrian streets most of tourists take, but quite popular, it’s a place with quite a small menu made mostly out of simple toasts, but they are delicious. And they have 1L sangria on cava, wohoooo!
  • Milk. Another popular place, which is no surprise. I’d recommend coming earlier. We came already at 9, and by 11 it was impossible to get a table. But it’s located on the street with a few other amazing brunch places, so you can always give it a try, and if not – you won’t have to look for something else long. Turkish eggs and Crab benedict are love! milk
  • Tropico. A more quiet place, nevertheless great breakfast choice, fresh juices and design. A famous map of the world where everyone takes pics is found there, for sure you’ve seen it once if checked Barcelona in instagram locations. Omelette with goat cheese and honey impressed me so much that I started making it at home. tropicoA few more places where I loved brunching but can’t find pics now:
  • Flax&kale. Also very instagrammable. For me was a bit too healthy, but vegans and those who would rather replace sauce hollandaise with a watermelon in the morning will love it.
  • Benedict is a famous place, that’s one of those on the same street with Milk. It recently opened a new location, Belliny. Same menu, 400% less crowded. Loved their variations of Benedict, just ham seems boring for me after seeing how much one can actually make out of it!
  • EatMyTrip was a tip from my local friend. The dishes are just soooo pretty! Definitely on my list for the next trip!
  • Caravelle. Old good brunch yet so new and different.

TAPAS

I will be honest, I am not a fan of Spanish cuisine. I prefer my seafood completely raw, which is not a Spanish way, and my bread basket containing at least 6 kinds of breads, which is definitely not a Spanish way. And tapas excite me only if they are REALLY unique. So you can be sure that those will blow your mind, because I’ve tried a lot.

  • Bormuth. Located on my favourite street in el Born, it’s quite a typical tapas place. But they are just so delicious there! Croquets, tartare toasts, patatas bravas with an egg on top, jamón on a warm plate…I even ate the russian salad there! And never have I ever though I’d be amazed by meatballs. Sorry USA fellas, but the American way made ones gross me out. bormuth
  • Cañete. Just the freaking best tapas place in the world. All said.

     

  • 9 Granados. More chic, but still fits within tapas culture with its menu to share. Delicious! Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
  • El Quim. And we are back on the Boqueria market. Who said it’s only bites to go and juices there? You find soooo many proper haute cuisine, just in a market stand format, that I am pretty sure I haven’t even tasted the best things there yet. But this one place had such attractive smell that I even ate fried fish there which I normally dislike.

     

  • Honest greens. A new place in town that already won people’s hearts with it’s smart concept of building up bowls and salads from whatever you want, but if that whatever includes raw tuna, shitake and all the freshest greens – I’m in! Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

SEAFOOD

What would be a trip to Barcelona without the best seafood? Don’t go for it anywhere, it is just as likely to be frozen as it is in the city far away from the coast. Sitges where we used to go on a holiday with family has much better fish and seafood to offer than Barcelona, however surprising that may seem. But there are great fish restaurants in Bcn as well, just make sure you know where to go.

  • Can Fisher. Fresh. What else is there to say? Amazing view to the sea itself, too. Far from the city center, which is often great for a fine dining experience. Ironically, I only have starters that include meat captured in a picture. The seabass in salt was so huge that couldn’t fir in one. I guess. So you’ll have to believe me on that one.Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
  • Mordisco. Seafood classics as well as dishes like squid ink risotto. Charming room with a glass ceiling. You can take me on a date there!
  • Xemei. This place won my heart. I’d say it’s the best dinner I ever had in Barcelona, not counting pizza from Frankie Gallo maybe. It’s not a seafood restaurant but a Venetian cuisine one. Great when you can’t see tapas anymore 😉 It has the best seafood pasta though! Their menu has meat choices, too. The place itself is so special that it’s worth going there if you don’t care about the size of clams in your plate.

    A dinner bonus for those who don’t eat fish. The best meat restaurant in town – Buenos Aires. This steak will make you go crazy!

BARS

Here we are on my favourite page of gastronomy. The bars. No, THE bars.

  • Creps al Born. My number one place in Barcelona. Great cocktails, cool staff and amazing vibe of the bar adds up to a bonus of great sweet and savoury crepes they make there. I would totally include this place in my brunch list as a Sunday hangover must-do (on other days it opens at 6 pm, so use your chance for a proper Sunday funday!)
  • Numeronueve. Located just around the corner from Creps al Born, a classical bar with original cocktails menu, cozy corners for dates and a wide bar for those who wanna chat with a cure barkeeper. You get to dance there a lot as well. It was one of my first bars in Bcn where I went with Dasha already 6-7 years ago, so I love it tenderly. numero 9
  • Boca Chica. A fancy beautiful bar. Everything there is just iconically beautiful, from bathroom mirrors to coasters. Make sure to dress up a bit. It’s so different from typical Bcn bars where anyone can come in shorts that this contrast brings you to a royal feeling. Processed with VSCO with m5 preset
  • Pulitzer Hotel rooftop. A great daydrinking place, too. Almost always has a DJ, crowded but with a cool crowd, not with tourists who walked in from the beach still in their flip flops.
  • Ocaña. Located in the centre of Bcn tourism, you would never expect it to be so special.Just walk inside, go downstairs to a speakeasy bar Apotheke, take beautoful stairs up to observe an amazing Mexican restaurant. Sit on the terrace to feel this energy of the city – it’s so concentrated in Plaça Reial!

Presumably me and Dani saw each other for the first time in Ocaña, when he was managing it and I was visiting Barcelona, before we actually met again in Vienna 3 years later. So this is a special place foe me not only because of their delicious octopus and silky cocktails.

  • Mr Robinson. A bar where you can brunch as well. Not sure what makes it so attractive to me, a cute menu styled as a journey around the world book, wooden bar or suitcases, but I really like it there.
  • Bar Brutal. The coolest wine bar I’ve seen.Processed with VSCO with g3 presetAhhh can’t believe I FINALLY managed to share my favourite places in one of my favourite city! No idea why it was so hard in the past 3 years to finalise this post! Maybe one day I’ll even write about Hong Kong! Anyways, eat, drink, love, travel to Barcelona! I definitely will soon again!


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BCN’19

5EB73EA4-D97E-435E-946F-1AEE62BD89CABarcelona! Even the sound of this name drags the happiest moments out of my memory. I spent my happiest sunny days in that loud, fast and crazy city. From going to Port Aventura first time when I was 12 to actually living in Barcelona as a local in 2017, I have seen so many sides of it, including fixing air conditioner myself and being robbed or caught in a terrorist attack, yet I love it with all my heart and will always be coming back.

Two year break was longer than I could expect when left it last time. But maybe it was needed in order to see it again with fresh eye and appreciate even more. I was happy to bring along Anfisa who had never been there and enjoy the tourist stuff together with the local hidden places from my own experience and from tips that local friends always share.

Walks from el Raval to el Born through the Gothic Quarter, eating hangover crepes at Creps al Born, finding the most stylish tiny boutiques when getting lost in chaotic streets pattern, grabbing empanadas on Boqueria mercat when on the way to Barceloneta for a swim and a lemonade at Surf House – I swear I started crying few times from all the emotions and flashbacks those three days gave me.

But in fact, the first reason for our trip was visiting Sónar Festival.

I must admit the lineup was not as amazing as one could expect on a festival of such scale, and sound quality was suffering a few times at the venue of Sonar by Night. But it was nevertheless a great party, and we were happy we didn’t expect too much and definitely weren’t frustrated. Our main focus was still Barcelona itself. I can’t describe the beauty and energy of it – you have to experience it yourself! I can, however, describe my favourite thing, the food, which I will FINALLY do in the next post, together with all the previous tips I gathered in the past years. One new place to see was Casa Vicens – one of the first Gaudi masterpieces. It opened for visitors in 2017 and I am more than glad we made it there! It’s so much more worthy to see in comparison with the other venues that are flooded with tourists since years and lost their charm already. If you are in Bcn any time soon – make sure to visit it before the world knows about it 😉

My summer in Bcn in 2017 was so intense that I never kept on writing any posts that I was planning (I really tried). The emotions are still with me, but let me leave some memories from the best summer ever here ❤

Bcn, 2017:

See you soon again, hottie!


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Summertime’19

Another original title to the post, huh?

In fact, this is a note devoted to Lignano – a lovely seaside town in Italy that has become our summer home in the past 2 years. But it IS my summertime so far. I went there already 5 times this year, planning to go again in a couple weeks. IMG_6882_Facetune_31-03-2019-13-27-15Lignano is a typical summer resort, crowded in July and August and turning into a ghost town between October and April. The most beautiful time is, however, off season. First time this year we hit it with the girls as early as in March, and loved it!

Empty beaches, yet already warm sun (the header picture is taking during my visit at the beginning of April), no people, tidy streets, absolute peace around…and most restaurants still closed. You have to know where to get your food off season 😉 Bidin and La Botte are open almost all year round (on some weeks only Friday to Sunday); places on the main shopping street in Sabbiadoro also have longer operating season. I really like  O’Sole mio, but better go for pizza there (Diavola is amazing!), we were more impressed than by pastas. Agosti and a restaurant at Hotel Blue Marine are one of the best fish places in Sabbiadoro, if you ask me. But off season a picnic with prosciutto, mozarella, fresh bread and some wine on the beach will do, too!

I am sure I mentioned it about 20 times in my previous posts about Lignano, but my favourite restaurant there is still Sandrocchia ❤ From their tartares and crunchy focaccias to red prawns and burrata (!) pasta and mussels in wine sauce. Incredible! We chose it to celebrate Birthday of our beloved Anna when went there another time with the ladies; it also happens to be one of the restaurants open until really late (1 am), and their tiramisu is delivered straight from heaven.

In June parties are already starting, all restaurants open up, and the sea, as it’s not deep in that area, warms up very fast. So far June is my favourite time to visit. September is great, too, but it can occasionally get rainy, like 2 years ago. We came for the first time back then and still fell in love with the place. So much that we decided to stay. I’m really happy to have Lignano just 4,5 hrs drive away, get away for long weekends there, be so close to my parents, pine forests which I could ride with a bicycle for hours; tennis courts I am ready to hit at 7 am every day (and then polish with beers and croissants),warm silky sea and all those amazing foods. I’m super glad when friends come visit, too, so if you happen to stay in Lignano – give me a note 😉

There’s a lot to do in the area, from foie gras farms in Palmanova and fishing markets in Aprilia Marittima to golf clubs, bicycle routes, cruises to Croatia and Slovenia and just exploring ancient villages filled with artefacts around. But for me the main attraction is still Venice.

I go to beautiful Venice every time I’m in Lignano, may it be even a 3-days stay. Never thought a place this touristy can get my heart. It’s always crowded, just live with that and search for secret routes, like I mastered after about 25 visits there. Yet, it is always so new and unexplored. Charming during any season and even weather, I’d say.

On my pre-last visit I was lucky to catch up with Polina there! We checked out Fondaco dei Tedeschi: a place with one of the best views, where you don’t even pay for entrance, but have to register for a time slot in advance, Isn’t this place just magical from any perspective???

Lignano, thanks for making my summer that I spend in Europe this year for the first time bearable! See you soon ❤


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Cyprus, 5 years after

IMG_9410Cyprus! A sunny island with no concerns. I haven’t been there since our trip 5 years ago. Back then we went as typical tourists looking for parties, so we stayed in Ayia Napa. Nissi beach is still one of the most spectacular ones in my memory, and rocky landscapes are breathtaking. Not even commenting on the parties which I now would be too old for, same as Malta last year.

This trip was more chilled because I was visiting my friends at their house not far from Larnaca.

Feeling the heat for the first time this year was just so amazing for such a weather dependent person as I happen to be! And the food!

We drove down to Ayia Napa, I dived into my first trip memories while eating the best tuna and seafood at Vassos Tavern. Those restaurants seem all the same, even menus are quite similar, but quality of the food can differ gradually, especially at tourist areas. So don’t rely on what flyers your hotel might have at the reception desk, but better ask some locals or check out blogs for the best Mediterranean food experiences.

This time we hit Limassol, as well! Last time the hangover was too harsh on us to let us drive what seemed so far, but the guys made sure I check it out and meet with Polina, who lives there. Going to a place with the local is always a different experience, so I’m sure we had the best oysters at Puesta Oyster Bar and Grill. The place is said to have one of the best oysters you can find on the island, but it’s so charming, hidden from tourists, and offers such an amazing variety of seafood and local dishes, that it’s worth a visit even of you are no oyster fan.

Having always thought that Cyprus is a place solely for parties or getting old in a nice house in the rock, I didn’t expect Limassol to be so dynamic. The island is still more of a resort than a modern country, but that’s what islands are attracting us with, isn’t it? Definitely coming back soon to visit the guys again!

Summer, hello! IMG_9476_Facetune_12-05-2019-19-44-00

 


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Mallorca

4D6DDEFD-6929-4893-8B5C-E3ACC36F06E1Hola, Mallorca!

This year my Easter getaway surprisingly didn’t bring me to Portugal again, but back to Mallorca, where I haven’t been since 5-6 years. In fact, it was the first time I saw Palma in daylight. My previous visits started in lines to Pacha and Tito’s and ended on a kebab search mission mostly either still before the sun was up or after I could process the information from my eyes to the brain. So, that was quite a new experience.

Mallorca is great. Is it a great party place? Yes! Would I go to the famous clubs being 26? Nahh. But, again, because I already had all of this when I was 18 and Avicii was still alive. This time it was meant to be about bars, especially taking into consideration that I was with Dani the Barprofi there.

  • Bar Abaco is a place to see. Insanely beautiful. It is something in between Garden of Eden and a place of ancient Greek worship. Never seen decorations this crazy and at the same time harmonised. The drinks quality, unfortunately, as it most always is in such iconic places that attract crowds anyways, very average.
  • Botanic De Can Bordoy wasn’t on my list, we were just walking a tiny street and a beautiful inner yard caught our eye. The sweetest little garden looked something like those hotels on Garda lake. The staff wasn’t interested in a young couple wearing jeans, crowding solely around older guests who looked more representative – an unforgivable mistake for a good place, in my opinion, because you really NEVER know who might be in front of you. But we enjoyed the time in this beautiful and very quiet for the center of a capital city location.
  • Bar Central is a complete opposite: terrace on a pavement of the loudest avenues, tourist crowds passing by, noise and rush concentrated around this oasis of chilling and slowing life down. I love how the southern folks do that thing. Mallorca Delicatessen of Mateu Pons next to the Bar is definitely a shop to visit for typical Catalan souvenirs: jamón, jams, wines and cheeses.
  • Bar Cafe Coto is very bright, Argentinian style, with tiny wobbly tables, great sangrias and pink houses around on beautiful Plaça de la Drassana. It’s cozy both daytime and at night. The colors there saved our mood once we got a rainy day.
  • Ombu is a place that was recommended to me by most of my friends who had visited Mallorca. It’s touristy, but indeed good so to say haute cuisine of tapas.
  • Ca’n Toni – this is where tapas hit the new level. I am no big fan of Spanish cuisine in general and it tires me very fast. This place we found on our last but one evening,  but the line waiting to be seated was so enormous that we only had some wine standing there. So we came back on our last night in Palma – and it was worth it!
  • WhyNot is the smallest bar I’ve ever seen. 8 chairs and the bar – that’s it. Very cute, intimate but not boring thanks to its owner aka bartender always being there and hosting people with his heart and soul. Good drinks and creative and personalised (obviously, in such a tiny place) approach.
  • Brassclub was recommended to us by the owner of WhyNot. It’s a less traditional and more commercial bar, but with great design and classical approach to drinks. A place to visit if you want no sangria but a proper gin tonic.
  • More of the dude’s recommendations are: Door 13, Ginbo, Clandestino, El Neo & Nicolas 
  • Santina is a place for brunches in a non-spanish understanding. For those who can’t replace avocado breads with tortillas.

Palma is great, but the island is so much more. The capital is the best off-season, but for beaches you’d have to explore Mallorca a bit further. Last time we lived in Magaluf – purely a party-resort with an ok beach. There are gorgeous bays like Port de Soller, Cala Deia, Puro Beach, Puerto Andratx, Cala Millor and many more. Even around Palma there are very nice beaches. Bugambilia is a charming hidden restaurant easy to access by public transport or even walking the coastline but impossible to come across unless you know about it. Valldemossa is another beautiful location hidden in the mountains that brings you back in time and just steals your heart away. I am quite sentimental about Mallorca compared to those posts from Pacha in 2013, huh?

Another thing I would definitely recommend doing in Mallorca is flying a hot air balloon.  I did that last time and was enthralled. So, don’t be lazy to get up early one day and see the beautiful island from above during sunrise.

Mallorca, thanks for kicking the summer 2019 off! Only summer views from my window airplane seat as of now! IMG_8163