Summer is slowly coming to an end, it started with beautiful hot sunny days right at the beginning of June and continued like that all the way through to July, yet summer heat faded early here in the UK with many autumn-like days during August. Nevertheless, summer treated us well with lots of sunshine during our Portugal trip, even hotter weather during our weekend in Munich, as well as, fantastic sunny days here in London to enjoy al fresco dining, drinks in the garden & delicious summer treats. And even though that it already feels like autumn at times, the official end of summer & beginning of autumn is the 22nd of September so lets hope for a few more sunny spells to enjoy the last days of summer and let me also give you a little preview to the food and travel plans I am looking forward to in autumn!
Summer season started for us with a trip to Lisbon with a group of like-minded friends, we had the most beautiful weather during our trip which made discovering this amazing city even more fun. It was the first time that I visited Lisbon and was surprised by how much there is to see & do from stunning architecture, incredible landmarks to great foodie places – my favourite restaurant certainly was A Cevicheria (full review here) and the Pasties de Nata from Pastéis de Belém are worth the hype! Thankfully, overindulging is not a problem in hilly Lisbon as it is easily walked off 🙂 Lisbon is also a great autumn destination with its Mediterranean climate if you are looking for a spontaneous trip.
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Pasteis de Nata are ever so slightly addictive especially the original ones from Pastéis de Belém and since it is not always possible to just hop on a plane to Lisbon, I have an easy to follow recipe to make them at home, they are great for garden parties or to bring along to picnics.
Not too long after our trip to Lisbon we decided to discover more of Portugal by car, starting in charming Porto, known for its port wine and historical centre, we continued our journey to the beautiful Douro Valley where we had a wonderful & relaxing stay at Six Senses (full review here).
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L’AND Vineyards Hotel & Restaurant was next on our tour through Portugal – another fantastic place to unwind and enjoy good food at their on-site Michelin-starred restaurant and with just a little over an hours drive from Lisbon it is easily combined with a city trip. We ended our Portugal trip with some surfing lesson and hiking in the Algarve before we headed back home to London.
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Another memorable trip this summer was our weekend in Munich, it is a fantastic summer destination (not only for Octoberfest ;-)) with lots of amazing rooftop terraces, fine dining options, culture and gorgeous lakes that are very easy to reach in under an hour by public transport – the sunset image at the top of this post was taken at lake Ammersee. For a special occasion, I highly recommend dinner at Matsuhisa (full review here) and cocktails on Mandarin Oriental’s rooftop terrace and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at The Charles Hotel (full review here).
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One of the best things about German cuisine to me are German desserts, like this German Style Cheesecake (recipe here), it is originally made with quark and much lighter than American cheesecake (pssst Triple Layer Oreo Nutella Cheesecake recipe coming soon!)
This summer in London, Big Ben fell silent on Monday, the 21st of August and will stay silent for the next few years due to conservation works. Big Ben is the name of the bell inside the Elisabeth tower which weighs unbelievable 13.7 tonnes and usually strikes every hour. Its famous bongs will be greatly missed!
Summer’s are best spent on one of London’s gorgeous rooftop terraces like the one at The Terrace Jumeirah Belgravia which has a lovely Mediterranean feel to it – still open until mid-September it is a great place to spend the last few summer days! We have also enjoyed great cocktails & lunch at The Bingham in Richmond (full review here) which has great views over the Thames from its small balcony, Richmond now also has a new vegan cafe The Retreat Kitchen which is well worth a visit (full review here) – for fine Indian Dining we chose The Cinnamon Club in Westminster where we had a meal in wonderful company and one of my favourite places for hummus (and fantastic Turkish cuisine) in town is Pasha in Islington – the best seats are the ones overlooking upper street with the glass wall fully opened.
Pamban Chai & Coffee House in Camden just opened this year where I was invited to try some of their delicious homemade chai and other incredible drinks, like the gorgeous pink faluda, I also learned a lot at their chai master class which brings me to what I am looking forward to in autumn.
Home made chai latte is the perfect drink to warm up during the colder days and wonderful after a long autumn walk – you can find the recipe here.
Chocolate covered apples do not only look pretty, they are a nice ‘healthy’ treat as well and are so easy to make! (recipe here)
London is beautiful during autumn, I love it when the leaves change colour and on rainy days there is nothing nicer than visiting one of London’s small museums like the Geffrye Museum (full review here).
When it gets darker earlier I am always looking forward to a good book – it is also fun browsing through London’s independent bookstores during the autumn season!
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Late summer & autumn is also the time when the apples on our two apple trees are ready to be harvested. We tend to have a huge amount of apples every year which I distribute to friends and neighbours and of course, they end up in delicious recipes that I will share with you soon!
What I am also looking forward to are our travel plans for the next months, we have just come back from a weekend in Regensburg which will be on the blog soon, I am also looking forward to a few relaxing days in Mallorca and a long trip to St Lucia to recharge and energize at the Bodyholiday – we have been to St Lucia before at Hotel Chocolat where we had an amazing time!
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What were your highlights this summer and what are you looking forward to in autumn?