Dining in Soho: Le Coucou
The vibrant Soho district’s famed culinary gem, Le Coucou has been on our list for a long time, apparently even before our stay at 11 Howard last year. And so good it was; both the level of excitement and expectations were sky-high. Speaking of experience, the restaurant has quickly become one of the hardest tables to get in the city, but we’ve got lucky. Coincidence or destiny? You decide. In a lavish and enthusiastic manner, we’ve finally visited Le Coucou the other week, craving classic French cuisine the restaurant is renown for. The menu reflects the chef, Daniel Rose’s personal vision of classic French cuisine aimed at bringing great food and conviviality to the table. An exceptional menu, the lush list of wines and cocktails, paired with the utmost of hospitality, takes dining at Le Coucou to the next level.
The lore of Cambridge: Meet Gina Wong
What do you associate Cambridge with? Historical university buildings, mysterious libraries, huge gardens, don’t you? Like in a fairy tale. Well, you are not far. Cambridge is amongst others home to the world-renowned University of Cambridge, which was founded in 1209. Only 22, Gina, a Cambridge graduate and our ambassador is living a real cosmopolitan lifestyle, yet she’ll always feel home in Cambridge. She's just recently moved to London yet she knows every corner of Cambridge by heart, but most of all its coolest brunch spots and architectural gems. She calls herself quite lucky as she has visited 26 countries, thanks to her parents' love of travelling, which they have passed on to her. Curious about her favourite places in Cambridge or maybe her three-months road-trip to the US? Read on and start using her guide!
Top 5 restaurants to visit during MFW by Mary
No matter if you are in Milan for the Fashion Week, MIDO, Salone del Mobile or MIA Photo Fair in between shows and fairs one only has the time to grab something quickly. Therefore, we have collected you Milan's top restaurants to dine in according to our local ambassador, Marianna Zuliani aka Mary. We suggest you to book your table in advance as each place gets quite busy especially when the city is packed with visitors. Local's Lore's team is striving to discover local niche places, restaurants with a story, places that are blurring the line between fine dining, traditional local cuisine and new-wave cuisine. Some days we prefer restaurants that are hip, on others that are luxurious and delicate, some days we are chasing the best local street food spots. We are in for every type of culinary experience as long as it's delicious. Let's see the 5 best one in Milan according to Mary. To be precise 5+1 which is our Local's Lore pick and currently our most desired place to eat out! Find out which one it is on the bottom of our list.
The lore of Milan: Meet Marianna Zuliani
There are so many reasons to hit Milan apart from its beauty and refined cuisine in the upcoming weeks; first of all Milan Fashion Week is approaching, so as MIDO and let’s not forget Salone del Mobile. The city has long been named fashion capital of the world and the world's design capital, thanks to several international events and fairs, including Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair, which are currently among the world's biggest in terms of revenue, visitors and growth. If you’re up for discovering Milan beyond its creative fair scene, the very best of Milan, let us introduce our wonderful ambassador: Marianna Zuliani. She’ll be your guide throughout your stay. Use the Milan guide in order to experience real Milanese vibes through a local’s senses in this fast-paced Italian city. Read our interview and get to know more about your guide, Marianna and Milan's thriving gastronomy scene that goes much beyond traditional Italian cuisine; pizza and pasta.
12 Hours in Lisbon
You are probably well aware of our fascination towards Portuguese culture by now so it’s not much a surprise if I say that it’s hard not to be deeply charmed by Lisbon. The picturesque city scape indeed has its unique vibe with all of its hills, narrow streets, viewpoints, the River Tagus, the old town filled with colourful tiles, yellow trams and traditional patisseries. The city is divided intro districts; Barrio Alto, probably the most vivid and boheme area, it is the centre of the Portuguese capital's nightlife, attracting youth culture and gives home to many concept stores and local showrooms. The heart of the city is the Baixa or city centre; the Pombaline Baixa is an elegant district, primarily constructed after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Belém – our very favourite one, is famous as the place from which many of the great Portuguese explorers set off on their voyages of discovery. From this part of the city you can have a perfect view at the famed 25 de Abril Bridge designed by the same architect yet it is often compared to San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge. The city is connected to the far side of the Tagus by two important bridges; The 25 de Abril Bridge, and the Vasco da Gama Bridge, which is the longest bridge in Europe. If you are lucky enough to not only spend 12 hours in the city but more, you may rightfully ask; where should we wake up? I’d immediately say; Santa Clara. The building's sense of intimacy is accomplished through a sensitive interplay of interior and exterior features. The generous windows frame the unique brilliance of the Lisbon light which spills over the city and can be seen reflected in the river below. If you are opting for a less minimalistic choice Valverde Hotel with its classic and elegant style, it's contemporary furniture, works of art and antiques is a nest to embrace. Its warm colours, the comfort of its fabrics and materials, its homey arrangement of space, are what distinguishes the Valverde Hotel from any other hotel in the surrounding area, an "Oasis of comfort and discreet luxury."
Azores: São Miguel
Choosing nature over skyscrapers have never felt this good. In all of us there is a desire for slowing down just for a week and replace our daily yoga routine with a real retreat; fresh air, forests, ocean and hiking. Only a place where peace and sustainability comes from within can give you the ultimate luxury of a real retreat. Wondering where to find all these at once? Let us guide you! Until recently, not many of us were able to pin immediately right on the map when hearing the word “Azores”. Yet the growing number of air routes and the cheaper fairs made it a lot easier to reach this pure Eden, we call it. Still far away from crowded tourism it is hard to imagine a place better suited to nature and adventure seekers, yet for those who are in need of a break and wish to immerse in the sustainable way of living. Though the island is not at all one-track, you'll find the only tea plantation of Europe, pineapple ranches, and great remarks of contemporary architecture too besides the wonders of nature.
Azores: Pink house
Pink color is indeed having its heyday as do rural destinations. How about combining the two? Only a few kilometers away from the capital of the oh-so-coveted island, São Miguel, Azores you’ll be able to enjoy both at the very same time. Built in 2017, the Pink House is juxtaposing traditional architecture with the contemporary vision of Mezzo Atelier in a way that it reflects nothing but smooth harmony. Joana Oliveira who happened to be one of the founders of the Atelier and whose family owns Pink House as well envisioned a wide open space with full of natural light that spread over two floors. The architectural project has also involved local artisans into the production process of custom-made furniture and objects. Therefore the ethereal scope is filled with local artisan pieces, and a delicate mix of modern and mid-century furnishing. The whole place is balancing the fine line between the traditional and the modern. Upon our stay we have experienced the warmest welcome in a cozy atmosphere that felt like (a dream) home. The upper floor is the so-called social space that includes the kitchen as well and has the full height of the roof so it feels rather airy. From the kitchen there is access to a terrace situated on top of the smaller ground floor house. By the way kitchen, our breakfast was literally delivered in style; a flowery basket filled with home-made goods and seasonal fruits from the wonderful garden. We could enjoy the beauty and calmness of the gardens, orchards, lawns and inner woods throughout our stay. There is around two-hectares of land to explore, including a huge swimming pool. Peak season travelers have the upper edge! Whether you are opting for the main house (accommodates five to seven people) or the studio (accommodates three) you are going to have one of you best quarters experience ever. In the meanwhile, read our interview with Joana about her creative vision in terms of redesigning an old barn and adapting it into the Pink House; one of the coolest nest we have ever visited.
Azores: White Exclusive Suites & Villas
Are you dreaming of a real retreat accompanied with laidback luxury? We might have found the ultimate rural getaway for you. Stepping feet in the magnificent work of Mother Nature - the land of the thousand-shades-of-green, São Miguel, Azores - after a couple of hours in the air no one can wish for a greater nest than the White Exclusive Suites & Villas. Located on the south coast of the island of São Miguel (only a fifteen-minutes-drive from the airport) right by the Atlantic Ocean, the White used to be two 18th-century summer houses. History has it that it belonged to a winery at the time. The resort has been flawlessly renovated to a house of nine suites and one villa, yet you’ll still be able to see the old house parts incorporated in the new design. The whitewashed modern look of the White is mixing typical Azorean architecture with a Greek influence. Opened last summer, the manor has all the retreat facilities one craves to indulge in. Ready to take a look around?
Local’s Lore’s Top Travel Destinations for 2018
The first few days of the New Year are many times spent on planning and making resolutions; organizing upcoming projects, opting for more sports and a healthier lifestyle and not least arranging the next travel destinations for 2018. By the way what are your travel resolutions for 2018? If you did not make any yet, we have collected our top eight places to discover from remote hidden treasures to hectic fast-growing capitals. Thanks to Instagram, travelers today are more aware than ever of what the world has to offer. These eight editor-endorsed journeys are the best ones to discover this year with the help of the Local’s Lore guides from a local’s perspective thanks to our ambassadors! If you already know where you're going, share your plans with us on social media with #localslore to get featured!
Although Vienna is not one of those tropical cities the 2050 sqm. building of a kind is housing a breathtaking greenery, a butterfly house and not least one of Vienna's most popular restaurant is a must-visit spot in the city no matter in which season you are visiting. The restaurant which successfully combines the sophistication of a café-slash-bar and the relaxed atmosphere of a brasserie, the Palmenhaus attracts an ever-growing number of guests all year around. When the weather is fine, visitors can now sit on the Palmenhaus´ outside terrace overlooking the beautiful Burggarten gardens and enjoy the finest culinary delights from breakfast through lunch to dinner. But the 15-metre high conservatory-style restaurant with its numerous exotic plants also provides a cosy retreat in winter: the cocktail bar with its comfortable leather sofas is the perfect place for an intimate tête-à-tête. From mid-November the Christmas menu tempts with innovative specialities so it really does worth a try even in the Winter. This time we opted for breakfast in Viennese style; fresh croissant with homemade butter and jam but the menu features bio-eggs with every kind of garnish from salmon to goat cheese.
Christmas Giveaway: A night at The Guesthouse Vienna
As the best time of the year - CHRISTMAS is approaching, we have a big surprise for you! We have teamed up the The Guesthouse Vienna to give away a one-night-stay for two. By entering our GIVEAWAY one of you'll have the chance to win an overnight in a deluxe room with view towards the Opera and the Albertina Museum. Equipped with a huge lounge window, cosy living room area, bathtub and rainforest shower, you will be experiencing one of your best hotel adventures ever. To participate and be the happy winner do as follows: 1. Follow Local's Lore and The Guesthouse Vienna on Instagram and Facebook. 2. Tell us with whom you would stay at the hotel in the comment section and tag #localslore on your cosiest Christmas mood picture on Instagram. 3. The winner will be asked to share a story of her/his journey in Vienna as using our Vienna guide. The giveaway starts on the 4th of December 2pm CET and ends on the 25th of December 2pm CET. The winners will be announced on the 25th of December 4pm CET here on the site, in The Guesthouse Vienna lore. We wish you the best of luck and happy holidays! Our winner is @linneajv! Congratulations and Merry Christmas!
The Guesthouse Vienna
To get into the festive mood we have spoiled ourselves with a special getaway weekend in Vienna. Being truly one of our favourite cities and having the chance to explore it many times already, we decided to stay at The Guesthouse Vienna right next to the Opera and Albertina Museum. Being famous for its stylish rooms and amazing brunches, we had one of our greatest hotel-experiences. HOME. HONESTY. HERITAGE “Be a guest in your own house” – this is the philosophy of The Guesthouse Vienna. This hotel concept enables people visiting Vienna to feel as if they were in their own home – giving them the chance to experience the proverbial “Gemütlichkeit” or “chillaxed” atmosphere of the Austrian capital. This is exactly the mood we felt, when sitting in the reading corner and staring out to the city filled with Chrismas lights, while sipping hot tea. Want to get in the mood too? Read on! Want to experience the mood? Enter our giveaway!
The Hoxton Amsterdam
We have a confession to make; first time in Amsterdam, first time at The Hoxton. But definitely not the last! This miracle place was a great surprise indeed. Venice is said to be the city of canals but as you walk and look around the only thing you see; little boats floating on the water. Setting foot in Amsterdam, we can easily say that we've just arrived to the land of canals, which we got to enjoy even through our hotel room's windows. Just like their doors, their minds are open too, says The Hoxton about themselves, rightfully. This is exactly what we have experienced throughout our stay last weekend where we got to meet and blend with locals just as much as with like-minded people from all over the globe. Ever since the first Hoxton opened in Shoreditch, way back in 2006, they’ve never just been about offering a bed for the night. They want to be more than that: providing a place where guests can hangout alongside the locals and submerse themselves in the neighbourhood with vibrant, welcoming public spaces. Welcome to Hoxton!
Giveaway: On the go with Motorola Sphere+
On the occasion of the festive season, we teamed up with Sphere to gear your next adventures with the best tunes. By entering our GIVEAWAY two of you'll have the chance to win a Motorola Sphere+ with the color of your choice (black or white). The 2-in-1 bluetooth stereo speaker delivers your favourite tunes in full, bright and HD audio while you will experience epic freedom with the Motorola pulse Escape headphones! To participate and be the happy owner of the Motorola Sphere+ do as follows: 1. follow Local's Lore and Motospheremax on Instagram. 2. regram one of the images of the "On the go with Motorola Sphere+" or "GIVEAWAY: On the go with Motorola Sphere+" lores with the color of your choice (black or white). Share it with the folllowing tags on your Instagram profile: #localslorexsphere #localslore. 3. answer the question as follows in the comment section on Local's Lore's Instagram profile: Where are you heading next with your Motorola pulse Escape headphones? Besides answering the question please tag your travel mate whom you'd like to be the other lucky winner. The giveaway starts on the 14th of November 2pm CET and ends on the 30th of November 2pm CET. The winners will be announced on the 30th of November 4pm CET here on the site. We wish you the best of luck!
Restaurant & Bar Design Awards
Announced last week, the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards now in its ninth year is a globally recognised competition dedicated to the design of food and beverage spaces. This covers every imaginable space, from ships to airports, museums to burger vans, and from revered Michelin-starred establishments to the fleeting dynamism of pop-ups. The Awards attract the world’s top designers, hospitality operators and judges from the UK and globally. Recent names include Zaha Hadid, Kengo Kuma, Foster & Partners, Stephen Alden, Gordon Ramsay, Tony Chambers (Editor in Chief, Wallpaper*), Alberto Alessi, Thomas Heatherwick and many more. Here are three of our very favourite spots:
Escaping to the countryside
Living in big cities like London, Paris or Moscow will always have its advantages: constant sources of inspiration, being connected , having access to whaterver you need in any minute. But it can be hectic, overwhelming and exhausting as well. Balancing your big city life with countryside getaways is the greatest option to refresh and recover from the hassle of everydays. Finding peace in the middle of the forest sounds more than ideal, does not it? Thanks to Katherine we discovered the The Orangery on Airbnb. It’s in the grounds of Henley Hall just a two-minutes-drive from Ludlow.
Ricardo Bofill is one of the world’s leading architects – who happened to live and work in the most striking "office"; the former cement factory outside Barcelona called La Fábrica. Cosmopolitan by definition, Ricardo Bofill returns always to the factory, that old industrial building that he never ceases to renew for the past fourty years, enlarging and embellishing its spaces as writing the history of his life, a biography in constant evolution. “The factory is a magic place which strange atmosphere is difficult to be perceived by a profane eye. I like the life to be perfectly programmed here, ritualised, in total contrast with my turbulent nomad life”. It is an unusual yet fascinating fusion of cement and nature. Bofill is probably best known for his social housing projects, but also for iconic constructions like La Muralla Roja, the W Hotel or Barcelona Airport Terminal 1. Read our short interview with one of our favourite visionary in the world; Ricardo Bofill.
12 Hours in Paris
What's common in Boot café and Ob-La-Di? Well, both' menu is so delicious that people tend to queue before opening hours. We are saying this not to deter anyone, just to prove ourselves right. Our addiction towards these places started the last time we visited Paris, but now it evolved completely. Boot is very tiny, yet hearty coffee place just a corner away from the famed concept store; Merci (which we happened to visit after a perfect cappucino with double dash of espresso). Paris is all about the cosy little places and nice walks.
A new Parisian address on the border of the 8th and 17th arrondissements, LE CAMONDO has opened its doors within the eponymous museum, just next to Parc Monceau. Upon entering, a large bar acts as the central element of the space, like a huge dining table inviting guests to share some time together. As if it were suspended in time, this former parking garage of the hôtel particulier has retained its coffered ceiling and metallic columns that make up the structure of the space. It also opens onto a paved courtyard that’s protected from external noise, just like a secret garden. Perfect for lunches and dinners on beautiful sunny days. This warm and inviting space boasts a cosy atmosphere featuring an interior design that mixes styles and materials with the spirit of an elegant conservatory, echoing the feeling of a private club. We sat down with the director, Aret BulBul to talk about moving to Paris, the French cuisine and his future plans.
Hotel Bienvenue Paris
It does not matter whether it's raining or there is constant sunshine, Paris is just charming, we can agree on that. So as it's booming boutique hotel scene. In the 9th district you will find the intimate and highly coveted hotel called Hotel Bienveue, which is the freshest project of Adrien Gloaguen (Hôtel Paradis and Hôtel Panache). The place is just the perfect nest for design-savvy travelers with crave for modern aesthetics and comfort. Amongst other things an outdoor terrace - which was our favourite spot in the hotel other than our room's window facing a huge gothic rose window tracery - for eating, drinking and relaxing provides your serenity during your stay. The hotel's location is ideal too; close to both the La Palais Royal and the Sacré-Cœur. So if you were wondering where to stay in Paris whether it is the Maison & Objet or the Fashion Week, we would highly recommend Hotel Bienvenue.