Tag Archives: cosy

Bar & Grill Marathonweg

From the same chef as Amsterdam’s fancy and trendy Lion Noir, there is now a new restaurant: Marathonweg.
It’s situated in the south area of Amsterdam, near the old olympic stadium. At this place, they have heard from gemutlichkeit before: candles, amazing flower pieces and cosy little tables and chairs. But not at the least they know how to cook. They serve good meat, and tasty fish, all grilled on a special charcoal grill. No complicated dishes or ingredients, but what they serve is simply good and tasty. But the best feature is without a doubt the huge sunny terrace which is open in summertime.
Marathonweg Marathonweg

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Hotel Teatro Pace

Swimming pools, spa’s and ultra luxurious penthouses are not supposed to be your first concern when hitting the city of Rome for the weekend. If not mistaking, you will be indulging yourself with fine wining and dining, espresso sipping and of course loads of culture and history. So what’s most important is an ideally centrally located hotel, that has fresh linen on the beds, a clean shower and a good breakfast (not the greasy muffin they try to get away with at most of southern European hotels). Here’s your best bet: Hotel Teatro Pace. The interior is nothing but modern. But hey, who wants modern when visiting one of the most historical cities in the world? The warm woods and romantic details in the rooms are cosy but stylish at the same time. The hotel is situated around the corner of Rome’s cosiest square Piazza Navona. Of course Rome has a lot more to offer when it comes to good locations. To be honest: almost every location in the city centre of Rome is a great location. But the area around Piazza Navona just has a special charme that makes you smile every time you set foot out the door. Just walk around enjoying Italian gelati and wine and forget about the 21st century for a while.

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La Maria

The place is tiny: no more than 8 tables. The menu is small and simple: no more than 5 main courses to choose from. The location is not ideal: all the way in the South neighbourhood of Amsterdam. And on top of all this: the place doesn’t even have it’s own website. But all of the above is inconsiderable once you’ve had your first dinner at La Maria. The Southern European (mostly Italian) food is fresh and amazing. Everything is prepared with fresh ingredients. Don’t believe it? See for yourself. The food is cooked and prepared in the open kitchen, with the brick kiln right in the corner of the restaurant. You can watch the chef’s every move. It’s like eating in the owners’ kitchen. Food prepared with love, that’s what you get at La Maria. The wine menu is very good as well. You can even order any wine on the menu by the glass. Ready to go? The address is Vechtstraat 79 in Amsterdam.

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Brasserie Les Halles

New York with a hint of Paris: entrez-vous Brasserie Les Halles for a classic French meal in a fun setting. This Park Avenue location (there is another one downtown) opened in 1990 and operates continuously from 7:30am to midnight, seven days a week. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, but gets loud and boisterous at night – just like a true French brasserie! The setting is unpretentious and resembles a Parisian brasserie is every way: scarred wooden tables, tiled floors, stiff white table cloths and a waiting staff that’s friendly, but rushed. French classics such as onion soup, steak tartare, and foie gras are served with a simple salad or pommes frites. Thanks to celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who ruled the Les Halles kitchen for over a decade (and is still referred to as the restaurant’s “Chef-at-large”), we can even try to prepare these dishes ourselves with the help of his cookbook.

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Even though its name is a little misleading and its location is almost impossible to find, Cookie’s is by far the most welcoming, quaint and romantic little cafe in Bruges…once you found it. Locals love to recommend this place for the great atmosphere and tasty food. The dishes are tapas-size and made with a mix of Spanish, Italian and Belgium ingredients. You can’t go wrong with these three countries! Next to that, they offer a large range of wines, whiskeys and – of course – beers. The restaurant is small and cosy and perfect for a romantic night out or dinner with friends. Avoid the restaurants on the “Markt” where most tourists get trapped; Cookie’s is within 2 minutes walking distance (but hard to find). Reserve in advance as this small place fills up quickly and make sure you get detailed directions before you go.


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Bar Moustache

For all the fans of small, busy, popular places, Bar Moustache is where to go. This place recently opened in one of Amsterdam’s nicest streets: Utrechtsestraat. This is where the fashionable Amsterdam crowd comes to get their Italian meals and wines. Former travel- and lifestyle editor Stella Willing helped decorating the place. She has really put her creative mark on the interior of the restaurant. She did a wonderful job on such a tiny place. The brick walls and various chairs really carry out the cosy atmosphere of old Amsterdam manor houses. But don’t just go here to behold the amazing interior: the food’s great too. The lamb loin is highly recommended! Have a nice glass of red wine with this and you will come crawling back to the Utrechtsestraat very soon!

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Naia Bistro

Naia is an enjoyable bistro that is highly recommended by locals but fortunately not (yet) overly mentioned in tourist guides. It’s located on a charming cobblestone square in the Latin Quarter of Madrid. The outside terrace is very inviting and most groups tend to linger until late in the evening. Inside seating is just as delightful, with wooden floorboards and mismatched chairs to create a cosy, rustic ambiance. The menu boasts wonderful Mediterranean dishes such as foie shavings with Ruby port reduction, red tuna tartare with avocado ceviche and monkfish over truffle and egg risotto. Portions are generous and the food is presented beautifully – definitely not what you would expect for main courses that are all under € 20! These people definitely know their foods, which might explain the periodic table of food on the window… Make a reservation to avoid disappointment. You don’t want to miss out on that Cheesecake de “Oreo” now, do you?


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Number 11

Number 11 is definitely the most charming place to stay in Bruges. Even though prices are a little steep for a regular Bed & breakfast, the whole experience makes it worth it. Owner and host Carine Destrooper-Deprez ensures a warm welcome, makes one hell of a breakfast and is eager to share the city’s touristic highlights with you but also recommend great local restaurants. The 17th century house is located on a quiet street in the heart of Old Bruges and everything within the city walls is within walking distance. The whole house is beautifully furnished and the three guest rooms are named after their dominating color schemes: Vanilla, Chocolate and Grey-white. Next to the comfort (with so few rooms, it’s practically your home) and romantic ambiance, everything is arranged perfectly down to the smallest detail. The generous and far-reaching hospitality of the host is what sets this Bed & Breakfast apart from any luxury hotel in the area. Fun fact: several scenes from the movie In Bruges were filmed in Number 11, and actor Colin Farrell enjoyed a three-month stay in the guesthouse while making the movie.

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The Waverly Inn

This ordinary-looking restaurant seems to have the greatest appeal to everyone cool and famous. Why? – We’re not sure. Location: townhouse on a quiet street in Greenwich Village. Food: delicious but simple American specialties. Interior:  a lot of wood, chandeliers, paintings and a crackling fireplace to create a cozy atmosphere. One of the owners once explained: “The Waverly Inn is a neighborhood joint. Many of our neighbors just happen to be famous.”  At first glance, The Waverly Inn doesn’t appear to be the town’s most fashionable hot spot. However, if you manage to get a table you will instantly feel part of an exclusive dining club. This might be the reason why everyone from A-list celebrities to captains of industry have been fighting over reservations since the beginning. Luckily for us “rabble” it’s now possible to book a table online. The pricey menu is totally justified: anyone who fancies up a good old mac ‘n’ cheese with truffle deserves something extra!

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A special name for a special restaurant. Since 2010 Amsterdam’s neighbourhood De Pijp has been enriched with this fantastic, not merely Italian restaurant. Aside from great pasta dishes and other local Italian food Pekelhaaring also serves French fish soup or caesar salad. They hate to call themselves an Italian restaurant, because they don’t want to adhere a stiff, inflexible concept, and just want to serve good food. Hey, who cares what you call yourselves? The food is magnificent! For the Pekelhaaring cooks substance is more important than form and presentation. So you won’t find fabulously decorated and garnished plates, but just simple, good food, in a wide open, cosy interior. The entire space is surrounded by big, wide windows which gives the restaurant a great, very international atmosphere. Good to know: during lunch hours they serve very tasty sandwiches for a very good price!

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