All posts filed under: travel

How I spent 48 hours in London

When I first visited London I had just broken up with my girlfriend. I was heartbroken. Depressed. Miserable. Much like the weather. This time, however, I was there with my wife. The trip was part of our fifth wedding anniversary celebration. And it was perfect. Like her. As usual, I checked out Travelstart for the best price. And as usual, Ethiopian Airlines had the best price. I found the hotel at Booking.com. Although, this time I wish I used Airbnb. More about that crap hotel in another blog post. Anyway, back to how I did London. I did coffee. Are you surprised? I visited only 4 spots in 2 days. I’m a proponent of the “too much of a good thing is bad” theory. Although I forget that regularly with sushi. Or Haagan Dazs. Or Krispy Kreme. I digress. Here’s a little photo essay that’ll give you a taste of where I went. Kaffeine Monmouth Coffee Company, Covent Garden Monocole Café Prufrock Coffee Monmouth Coffee Company, Borough Market My thoughts overall I loved each shop. …

The Midlands has a new coffee hotspot

The part of my ongoing education in coffee which I am enjoying the most is the discovery. Discovering new coffees, new perspectives and new coffee shops. And after I saw  photographer and designer Julie Patrick‘s lovely photo essay, one spot that’s made in onto my bucket list is Ground Coffee House in Hilton, KZN. Here’s a sample of the photographs that inspired me to add it to my 2017 list of coffee places to see. To see more, go to her blog post on this new hotspot in Hilton.

There’s a coffee culture brewing in Saigon. You just have to know where to find it.

The day I first set foot on a Saigon street by myself, without anyone demanding my attention, a cacophony of honking, scooters speeding by, and construction work greeted my morning. I took out from my pocket a newly bought reporter style notebook. In it is a list of cafés I curated myself from various blogs, writing down the ones that caught my interest – making sure I wrote each one’s idiosyncrasy. Most of them were within a two-kilometer radius from where I stayed so everything was a few minutes’ walk. Which café to visit all came down to an arbitrary decision. Never has the selection process of where to drink coffee been this interesting Being a tourist, I did not care to equip myself a local phone plan. That meant that my connectivity to the rest of the world and Google was kept within the walls of my apartment. Nevertheless, I had managed to load the route to the day’s choice café. After a few minutes’ saunter in the Saigon heat, I found that I …

This coffee shop in Antwerp sounds amazing

These days flavored syrups are the latest development in Antwerp’s bustling coffee scene. A hype I never understood. Why would people be eager to gulp down a cup of coffee loaded with Oreos and Monin? Add less to your drinks and appreciate your coffee just as it is. Ladies & Gents, that’s why today I’m gonna take u on a journey exploring one of Antwerp’s most versatile coffee shops. Vascobelo V-bar serves more than just a decent cup of coffee. Good coffee needs to be accompanied with distinguished dishes. A concept they call “Café Brasserie”. The menu offers a variety of modern delicacies like burrata and tempura Nobashi. The coffee menu includes classic espresso based coffee drinks. Just as a coffee shop should be! In addition to coffee, you will find an selected assortment of exquisite tea. The elegant interior and the timeless chic barista uniforms also make an undeniable impact. Both contributing to Vascobelo’s upscale, yet accessible vibe. Just a perfect spot for a modern-day meeting place! Find Vascobelo on Instagram, Facebook, at http://www.vascobelo.be/ and vbar.antwerp@vascobelo.be This post & photography …

Matt Preston does a delicious tour of Cape Town food & coffee spots

  Without a doubt, my favorite of the Masterchef franchise is Masterchef Australia. It’s where I was introduced to Matt Preston – who has done as much for the Australia food scene as he has done for the humble cravat. I came across this piece he did for Delicious.com.au about the food & coffee scene in Cape Town. It was written in November but still very relevant. It’s making my mouth water for another trip to Cape Town. While we’re on the topic, here’s my idea of how to spend the perfect weekend in Cape Town.

Istanbul’s third wave coffee map

Istanbul, has taken its share of the current phenomenon that glorify artisanship behind coffee. Are we complaining? Of course not! Here are my top 5 coffee houses: #5: Sunday Coffee Bar Sunday Coffee Bar offers you Sunday Spirit everyday. Its very quiet and peaceful, you can work/chat/read/think while watching the street. And flat white is served with a mini cookie! #4: Kronotop Kronotop is a small but well equipped coffee shop in Cihangir. They claim making the best “specialty coffee” with their unique roasting machines. We agree 🙂 #3: Mahalo Coffee Shop In Hawaii language, Mahalo means “Thank you”, and you’ll also be thankful to spend time here. You can get lost while finding it but don’t worry! It’s between old buildings and repairers. The chef in the kitchen bakes fresh cakes & pastries all day. They are really delicious! On top, flat white was smooth like a cotton candy! #2: Drip Coffeeist Asmalimescit Interior design with rustic touches makes you feel like home in Drip Coffeeist. When you find its street, don’t forget to …

Here are the ingredients for a perfect long weekend in Cape Town

I was lucky enough to visit Cape Town again last week. For business. And at the end of a very productive week, I had a long weekend to do with as I please. Here are my ingredients for a perfect long weekend in the Mother City. Airbnb I love Airbnb. If I could marry Airbnb I would. We’d move into a loft. Have 2 kids. And drive a Prius. The process is simple. The hosts are great. And the prices are amazing. I got this view for $55 a night. Lunch at Maison Chris Weylandt has expanded his taste empire to include a wine farm, Maison. Lunch at the bistro-style restaurant, The Kitchen, is a must. Every dish will impress your palate. And any lady accompanying you. Which on this visit was my mom. Coffee For me, no trip to any city is complete without a sampling of it’s speciality coffee. And Cape Town has some of the best in the world. It was a short but perfect weekend. And it was good to home …

My Top 5 Travel Tips

I travel a bit. For Work (and pleasure, of course). And stay in hotels. I’ve been doing it for a while now. And have picked up a few tricks along the way to make my trips as comfortable as possible. I want to share some of those with you now. 1.  Don’t fly the airline, fly the loyalty program Do the research and find out which airlines belong to which loyalty programs. Then stay under that umbrella. I fly SAA whenever I can. SAA belongs to the Star Alliance program. So when I can’t fly SAA, I’ll fly with one of the partner airlines. For one simple reason: miles. Life is expensive. Might as well get something for free. I have enough air miles today for a great overseas holiday with the wife this year. 2.  Forget taxis, get a driver Truth be told, I think this makes most sense in Africa (where most of my travel is to these days). Reliable, safe, formal taxies are stupidly expensive. I’ve done the math and have saved …

Paris

I remember the first time I visited Paris. It was everything I hoped it would be. Charming. Romantic. Just like the movies. On the day I arrived I did what I normally do on the day I arrive anywhere. I boarded a red bus tour. It’s a quick and easy way to get the lay of the land to map out what you really want to do for the rest of your stay. I ticked all the boxes on that trip. Went up the Eiffel. Ate a crêpe. Got shouted at by a local. Ate a crêpe. Got lost on the subway. Ate a crêpe. Shopped on the Champs Elysées (for a t-shirt that said “Paris”). Ate McDonalds (maybe it tastes different in Paris?). Saw the Mona Lisa. Ate a crêpe. I left the city 5 days later with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Thinking that I had seen all of Paris. Loving her even more. And accepting that I would never again be able to stand the sight of crêpes. I’ve been lucky enough to return to …

Café a Brasileira

The Café a Brasileira (the Brazilian Café) is one of the oldest and most famous coffee shops in Lisbon, Portugal – a favoured watering-hole of intellectuals and academics back in the day. And because of those facts, a tourist Mecca. We were lucky to pop in on a less busy morning. And even so, service was shocking. I got the sense that the waiter expected me to feel lucky & thankful to be attended to in such a fine establishment. Having said that, I did enjoy myself. It’s a beautiful space and a must-see on your visit to Lisbon. If only to see this hole-in-the-wall newspaper stand on the way out…