Once in a lifetime ryokan ASABA

Shuzenji (between Kyoto and Tokyo) – When in Japan, a visit of a ryokan (Japanese inn) is a must do!

We selected this beautiful place and enjoyed every minute of it. The rooms are in traditional Japanese style with tatami mats in the whole hotel, so you are only allowed to walk in socks or bare feet. As soon as you arrive at the hotel you get rid of your shoes anyway and you receive a beautiful kimono (yukata) to wear throughout your stay…so you can dive into this other world and let yourself get indulged.

During all your stay you can take a bath in the natural hot springs inside and outside (open air). If you feel too hot you can also feed the koi fish (yes, they are always hungry!) in the pond or just relax and enjoy the calming atmosphere.

Dinner is served at any time you want in your room. This time we were also sitting on the floor at a low table, but luckily for us and our bones with a big cushion :-). This food was again beautifully prepared and decorated in the theme of autumn. For the second time we tasted fugu fish…and luckily are still alive.

After dinner the staff prepares your futon beds at the very same place in your room. In the morning you can choose between continental breakfast and Japanese breakfast…after a little discussion I agreed to the Japanese breakfast. I am really NOT fussy at all with food and I bravely ate the grilled barracuda, eggplant, miso soup and rice but when I opened the mussels soup bowl I had to give in 😉

Definitively a place I will never forget!

www.asaba-ryokan.com

Adlerhitta – Aery in Zermatt – 2’200 metres above sea level

Zermatt – I have been many, many times in Zermatt. But this year I first managed to visit restaurant “Adlerhitta” near Chez Vrony and Findlerhof – and the location and view are not less spectacular.

Book your table in advance and enjoy a wide range of good quality and fresh products.

www.adler-hitta.ch

La Guingueta and Xiringuito Escriba

Barcelona (Playa del Bogatell) – As we wanted to spend some time at the beach but also have a decent lunch, we chose La Guingueta/Xiringuito Escriba – actually two restaurants working together: one restaurant at the beach, the other just over the beach foot path.

The great thing is, everything you can eat in the restaurant can also be served at your beach space. The umbrella and the sunbeds cost some extra but it is so relaxing and therefore so very much worth it.

The food was very good, if you are a frequent reader of this blog you remember my post about the other “La Guingueta in Barceloneta“. The food quality was the same high standard. Escriba is also a bakery/shop in Barcelona…so desserts should be great as well, sadly, we were full and not able to try any more….

xiringuitoescriba.com/#guingueta

La Guingueta – Catalan version of the chiringuito

Barcelona – Barceloneta beach is just some 5 minutes walk from the city centre and actually really nice for a city beach.

If you become hungry after all the volleyball, swimming or just laying around – there are loads of restaurants, but the Guingueta caught our attention as it looked so open, friendly and modern. You can just have a freshly squeezed fruit juice or a wheat grass shot (….it felt like I just ate a whole golf green) or get a whole lunch.

The sandwiches and burgers are really tasty and the desserts looked great as well. This concept by Carles Abellan is the modern interpretation of a chiringuito “Guingueta” in Catalan (small restaurant with simple but good food at the beach). And I was so happy to find my very Spanish and favourite drink on the menu as well: Tinto de verano (but do not mix it up with Sangria!).

www.carlesabellan.es/la-guingueta-de-la-barceloneta

The Standard High Line Hotel – Hotel, Roof Top Bar and Lounge – way above the standard…

New York – One of my favourite location during my last visit in New York was definitively the Standard High Line Hotel besides the High Line Park.

The complex is located in the Gansevoort/Meat packing area where there are other countless great places to shop or eat/drink.

On the ground floor of the Standard is a  lounge “The Standard Plaza” where you can relax outside in summer and drink or eat all day/evening long. The Biergarten also belongs to the hotel…I do not have to explain what the Biergarten is?

But my favourite spot is on the very top of the building: The BAR. “The Top of the Standard”. You have stunning views over the city and the water. But you should also look inside: The architecture, decoration…and most stunning staff with the most amazing shiny silk mini dresses I have seen as a “staff uniform”….So it does not really matter if you go during afternoon, enjoy the sunset or the night scenery, your eyes will be delighted anyway.

The also do brunch on Sunday, book in advance, cocktail attire is required.

www.standardhotels.com/high-line

The Fat Radish – Breakfast, brunch and more

New York – What to do on a Sunday at noon after walking up and down the galleries (Whitney with cool bar and lounge, restaurant) and you haven’t had a real breakfast yet?

You should have brunch at The Fat Radish and indulge yourself with some food from the farm to table -concept. We wolfed down our delicious brunch and ended it with some fresh oysters accompanied by bubbling cava and fresh squeezed juice. It is a really nice atmosphere with a lot of air and light shining through the glass windows on the ceiling. But don’t forget to book in advance.

www.thefatradishnyc.com

Pinxto Bar Plaza Euskadi – from breakfast till late afternoon

Bilbao – If you are looking for a really delicious coffee and croissant in the morning you should go to the bar at Plaza Euskadi in Bilbao (just 5 mins from Guggenheim museum). They also serve a wide range of mouth watering cold and hot pinxtos, freshly squeezed orange juice, and wine and beer in the afternoon.

You better don’t go around 10ish, when the Iberdrola office staff queues for their morning break.

no internet page, Plaza Euskadi, Bilbao (next to Iberdrola building)

Milchbar – Lunch, dinner and hotel

Zurich – Last week there was probably just one sunny day. This was perfect to have lunch on the terrace of MIlchbar: a small restaurant in a cozy patio with a waterspout fountain near Paradeplatz.

I had graved salmon with cucumber soup – very refreshing and light. My colleague chose the pasta which I heard was great too.

The Milchbar even has one room to stay. So if you are a visitor in Zurich and look for a special room, in the heart of Zurich….looks ideal.

www.milchbar.ch