Written by Yasmin
The blog series about wonderful Lisbon continues! Read the other blog posts of how we activated Zen-mode on a rooftop bar and where in the city we found some good vibes. Next up was discovering the best places to eat in Portugal’s magical capital. Here are three of our favourite restaurants!
SeaMe, Chiado – Trendy fish and seafood restaurant in Barrio Alto
By accident (or perhaps because of the good energies we had collected), we stumbled across SeaMe when we strolled around in the city. Although the sign on the door said “Closed”, we gently knocked on the door and were let in by a smiling waitress. With the energies on our side, we were offered the last free table for the evening. It turned out to be a good decision.
We arrive at 10 PM, typical Portuguese dinner hour. The trendy and popular restaurant which specializes in fish and seafood is a great place to begin a night out. Typically, a visit begins with a tour of the restaurant’s fresh fish market from where you choose your dinner ingredients. We handed the decision to our waiter, and were later treated with a plate of lobster, crayfish and scallops with side orders, lemon and sauces.
Time Out Mercado Lisbon – Perfect stop for a wine lunch
The best market hall I’ve ever visited! Our initial thought when stepping into Time Out Mercado Da Riberia was ‘how are we going to be able to decide what to eat?’. The market hall is filled with small restaurant, so we had to take a long and thorough inspection around the hall. Our mouths watered at the sight of the delicious (and incredibly affordable) dishes. After many ifs and buts, we ordered food from Alexandre Silva. I went for seared tuna with sweet potatoes and Linnéa ate a fresh salmon dish with coriander – along with a large glass of refreshing wine of course.
The market hall gets a big plus for plenty of seating opportunities, good logistics with devices that inform you when your food is ready and last but not least; the incredibly high quality of the food.
Time Out Mercado Da Riberia Lisbon
Address: Mercado da Ribeira, Avenida 24 de Julho, 1200-479 Portugal
Telephone: +351 213 951 274
As Zebras Do Combro – A priceworthy “Hole in the wall”-restaurant with delicious food
We had ‘Eat at a Hole in the wall-restaurant’ on our Lisbon bucket list, and we couldn’t have found a better one. As Zebras Do Combro was MINDBLOWING! When we got our 21 euro-bill, we looked confused at each other and went; “There has to be something wrong with the bill, it can’t be this cheap”. We shared a pot of amazing octopus and rice with coriander, a small bottle of Vinho Verde, smoked olives and bread.
The staff was unbelievably nice and service minded and the food was both delicious and priceworthy, this gem was just to die for when you want a steady meal that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
As Zebras Do Combro
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Zebras-do-Combro-restaurante
Adress: 53, Calçada do Combro 51, 1200-433 Lisboa, Portugal
Telefon: +351 21 346 2110
Stay tuned for more of our Lisbon advantures!
Written by Yasmin
A long-awaited weekend in Lisbon has come to an end! Portugal’s capital has been on my (Yasmin’s) bucket list for a long time, and my expectations were sky high. Spoiler: They were exceeded by far! Here is the first part of our blog series about the hottest weekend destination in Europe right now.
The official Lisbon energy trip
The purpose of our Lisbon trip was basically to gather as much positive energy as possible. I got to experience the city with one of my best friends, Linnéa, who was fortunate enough to be there on her third visit. A real highlight of our stay was our Friday afternoon wine-stop at design hotel Memmo Alfama’s rooftop bar, located in the historical Alfama district. The hotel is situated only a stone’s throw away from the Cathedral and the São Jorge Castle, and is entered through a quiet cross-street. We quickly slipped in to the peaceful oasis, escaping the 30-degree (Celsius) heat.
Memmo Alfama is part of Memmo Hotels chain which has three hotels in Portugal, two in the capital and one in Sagres, Algarve. Learn more about the Memmo Hotels and destinations here.
Rooftop bar with a view over Lisbon
We were certainly not mistaking when we anticipated that the magical view, combined with the chic hotel design and a glass of good wine, would give us the energy boost we had been longing for.
Gazing out over the heights of Lisbon with the cooling breeze in your neck, and a terrace partly in the shade, with a glass of wine in your hand was the perfect activity to begin our trip with.
Practical information about Memmo Alfama
Address: Travessa Das Merceeiras, 27 -Alfama, Lisboa
Phone number: +351 210 495 660
Some while ago, we started to hear rumors about the ‘Epic Coffee Man’ and decided to look him up. His real name is Andreas and he is the owner of Himalayas coffee bar, located in Hötorgshallen, a market hall full of restaurants and stalls with fresh meat, fish, cheese and other delicacies. Himalaya Coffee Bar opened 2012, after the big renovation of Hötorgshallen, and is a blessing to all coffee enthusiasts!
Brilliant customer service
It does not take long to understand why Andreas’ good reputation is spreading. Despite long queues, the owner does his best to share knowledge about coffee beans and methods with all of his customers. His passionate and friendly customer service, making you walk away from the counter with a smile, is something you rarely run across in Stockholm.
Andreas is teaching us more about the V60-method while brewing an organic coffee from Ethiopia.
“High quality coffee comes with a price,” Andreas explains. “Sometime people ask why some coffee beans are so expensive, when they should ask themselves why others are so cheap. The answer is simple: They are not as good. ”
Skip the Takeaway
Most Himalaya Coffee Bar-customers order their coffee “to go”. However, if you are not in a hurry, we would advise you to skip the takeaway, and sip on your freshly made coffee at the counter desk instead, while soaking in the vibrant and international atmosphere in Hötorgshallen.
Recommends coffee bars in Berlin
We ask Andreas where we can find the best coffee abroad. Here are his top 3 tips:
1. Berlin has a lot of really good coffee bars. You will find the best coffee at The Barn, it is unbelievably good!
2. The Coffee Collective in Copenhagen.
3. I’m also a sucker for the laidback service in Italy, I continuously return to Rome and Florence. There, you can find high-end coffee almost everywhere.
Private coffee tastings
Himalaya Coffee Bar offers private tastings for coffee entushiats who want to get a better understanding of the world of coffee. Contact Andreas to schedule a private tasting.
Himalaya Coffee Bar
Monday – Thursday: 10.00-18.00
Address: Hötorgshallen, 11157 Stockholm. Metro station: Hötorget
Contact details: Phone: 0046-821 88 70. Email: email@example.com
Want to know more about what to do and see in Stockholm? We have gathered all our previous blog posts about our beloved hometown. Read our Stockholm guide »
In recent years, we have developed a family tradition of taking our little brother on a fishing weekend somewhere in the Stockholm Archipelago. It started a couple of years ago, as a birthday present to our little brother who is a true fishing enthusiast, and we quickly agreed to keep the tradition alive. A mini getaway is the perfect way to soft-start the autumn – and in just 30 minutes from Stockholm by car, you arrive to a completely different world, full of tranquillity.
Location: The Sea Cottage, Värmdö
The Stockholm Archipelago consists of over 30,000 islands and Värmdö (or Värmdön) is a municipality in Stockholm’s inner archipelago which is entirely made of islands. Some of the well known and popular islands that belong to Värmdö is Sandhamn, Grinda and Möja, but this time our choice fell on a charming red cottage in Myttinge.
Judging by the pictures (and the Elle magazine cover), it appeared to be the perfect weekend escape; offering both fishing, sauna and barbecue opportunities. So with a car fully equipped with food, fishing rods and board games, we hit the roads, eager to get away from a hectic Stockholm.
An interesting arrival
Although we had received detailed directions and been told that the cottage was quite secluded, we probably weren’t prepared for how secluded or difficult it would be to find the cottage in pitch darkness, with no road signs or street lights. After driving the wrong way one or two times, we finally found the “big red barn” where we had to park our car and walk the last bit (through a forest!). While we navigated our way through the forest, using our mobile flashlights as our only source of light, it was impossible not to let the mind wander to various horror films.
The cottage in daylight.
After a five minute walk, we arrived at the cottage and immediately began making the usual Friday taco. After dinner, we played cards, drank tea and talked for a couple of hours until it was time to hit the bed.
‘The early morning has gold in its mouth’
The next morning, we woke up with the sun. We opened up the doors that overlooked the ocean to soak in the view and breathe in the fresh island air. With the ocean as our backdrop, we made a big weekend breakfast with lit candles and some relaxing acoustic background music. Unquestionably the best way to start the day!
The rest of Saturday was spent outside in the fresh air where we went fishing, barbecued and enjoyed the sun. Unfortunately, we didn’t catch a big pike (this time), but apparently Zlatan who also was fishing somewhere in the archipelago had better luck.
Our evening plans? Sauna bathing and watching horror films.
And on Sunday, after another long breakfast and a bit of fishing, we packed our bags and said goodbye to the archipelago for this time. It really is amazing what a little bit of vitamin sea and fresh air can do for the soul. Until next time!
Book a cottage in the Stockholm Archipelago
There are many websites where you can rent houses/cottages for a week or a few days. We booked our cottage here (but fritiden.se is another website with more options) and paid 2400 SEK for two nights. A week costs 8000 sek.
The cottage was equipped with:
– Double bed
– Extra bed
– 2 hotplates
What is your favorite island in the Stockholm archipelago or do you have any recommendations on where we should go next time? Leave a comment!
Want to know more about what to do and see in Stockholm? We have gathered all our previous blog posts about our beloved hometown. Read our Stockholm guide »
It’s July and the rain is pouring down. As usual, our umbrellas are left at home, so when we get off the bus stop at Järva Krog, we run the short distance to The Winery Hotel as fast as we can. Nearly out of breath, we step into a huge lobby, designed in industrial style with a raw warehouse feeling and magnificent ceiling height. The lobby with tables made of old wine barrels, stands out from all the hotels we have visited before. We are Nodes have been invited to The Winery Hotel to get a private tour by the hotel’s very own Jan Söder, Design and Concept Manager, and Moa Söder, Marketing Coordinator. Our guides for the day welcome us with big smiles.
The Winery Hotel felt like an exciting topic to write about for several reasons. The increasing curiosity and engagement around wine has created new ways to network and socialize through, for instance, dinners, wine tastings, wine tours and trips to different wineries. The Winery Hotel is therefore very timely. Wineries, a property where wine is produced, in combination with accommodation, food and drinks is already popular in big cities like New York and London. Now, the owner families of Winery Hotel (Söder and Ruhne) hope that the Swedes will jump on the trend too.
Jan Söder has been the concept manager from day one. Together with Lina Östlund, he got the responsibility to create a design concept for the building inspired by the heart of the hotel; the winery. With inspiration from wineries and renowned concept hotels in New York, Jan began to formulate a vision for the hotel (some of his biggest source of inspirations was the New York City Winery, Red Hook Winery, Ace Hotel and Wythe Hotel). Jan and Lina also travelled to Tuscany and visited many different type of vineyards to get additional inspiration.
The urban winery/boutique hotel is located close to the bus stop Järva Krog in Solna, a suburb approximately 10 minutes from Stockholm. The location is strategic from several perspectives. Since the highway (E18/E4) where the airport shuttles stop is only a stone’s throw away, the Winery Hotel indirectly becomes an airport hotel. Rental rates are naturally lower than in the city center. Another reason for the location choice is the growth and development of Solna. The city was recently elected Super Municipality of Stockholm and is growing every day. Jan nods when we ask if the fast growth of Solna has something to do with the location choice:
“We probably would not have chosen this location if we had not known everything that was planned for the area. Friends Arena was already built and we knew that Mall of Scandinavia and several big companies would move their headquarters to Solna. The hotel has now become a destination, you come here to take part of a whole experience.”
Moa Söder agrees:
” The hotel packages that include guided tours, wine tastings and three-course dinners are very popular. Our impression is that people who come here really want to experience the whole concept.”
Working with concepts is Jan’s area of expertise. He created the concept for Nordic Light Hotel and Nordic C Hotel with the well-known ice bar. From experience, he knows that it takes about 1-2 years for a concept to “break through”. It took nearly five years for Nordic Light Hotel to be known as Stockholm’s first design hotel. Therefore, he is aware that it requires time and a great deal of patience before the word of Winery Hotel’s unique concept will reach a majority of the public. Despite their expected time frame, the hotel already has received a lot of attention and press coverage, both locally and internationally.
Jan and Moa show the way to the restaurant and it is noticeable how proud they both are of the venue. The same warehouse atmosphere that stroke us in the entrance is also apparent in the restaurant.
The restaurant can fit up to 140 guests. Additionally, there is a chambre séparée which is primarily used for wine tastings. The buffet table, where the breakfast is usually served, is the same place where the popular “Winemaker’s Dinners” are held.
“Instead of people saying that they are going to AG, they will start saying that they are going to WK”, Jan smiles and continues the tour.
The hotel rooms
Next stop on our tour is the hotel rooms. Our first thought when entering the room (a standard room of 20 m2) is the striking contrast between the industrial interior with colours from the nature and the heavily trafficked highway outside the building. We can see treetops and greenery emerge somewhere far behind the rushing cars. The window itself is framed by a New York-inspired brick wall. Urban meets Tuscany in its purest form. “It feels a bit surreal, right?” Jan says when he notices our reaction. “Like being on the countryside but with a city feeling.”
We curiously look around in the hotel room. The bathroom has white tile and fashionable gold taps. The closet in the hallway does not have any doors, a result of Winery’s own design in order to preserve their distinguishing interior style. Jan points at the mini-bar: “It is located at a good height. Usually mini-bars are hidden and placed very low, but ours are more visible which has been really profitable – we have increased sales a lot!” Jan does not seem bothered from sharing the best practices of the hotel, an entrepreneurial and modern attitude that we really like.
“The industrial table-, floor- and bedside lamps are from a French company called Lamp Gras. There is an incredibly wide range of industrial lamps today, but these are of very high quality, which was important for us”, says Jan.
It’s all about the details
As we walk towards the meeting rooms, we point out how beautiful and carefully thought-out all the details in the hotel are, something even an untrained designer eye easily can notice. Jan lights up: “It’s not the first time we’ve been told that.”
He explains how the designer team spent hours on finishing the graphic profile and how time-consuming it has been to apply it to the entire hotel – as far as to material, color selection and fonts on the Do Not Disturb-sign. Jan talks about his passion for design in a joyful tone and claims he could talk about areas like radiators for ages. Speaking of heaters, Jan persistently opposed the radiators that were ordered to the hotel by Faberge. “They asked me if I could for once be happy with something they had chosen,” Jan laughs.
However, it did not take us long to understand that Jan is not the type of person who backs down in a discussion about something he believes is important for the hotel experience. It is the same will power that, for instance, has made sure that the notebooks in the meeting rooms have printed wine stains on them as an extension of the hotel’s soul.
We are excited to check out the meeting rooms, especially since Yasmin has a background in event planning and production. The Winery Hotel has chosen shutters instead of the classic blackout drapes and brick walls instead of the typical discreet light colors.
“The chairs are from a brand called Offecct that I did not really like because their design is so ‘corporate’. They have tried to sell their products to me for more than 10 years, but when I saw this chair I really got fond of it,” explains Jan when we test sit the chairs.
The Winery – The heart of the hotel
“Are you driving? No? Then you can have a glass of Winery Red!”, Jan proclaims as we are done with inspecting the meeting rooms. Our host and hostess leads us back to the winery. The hotel’s heart and pride. The same spot where the hotel’s wine is produced and where the popular 20-minute guided tours are arranged. The guided tours are always finished with a tasting of the hotel’s own wine; Winery Red. The really wine interested can add an in-depth wine tasting to their visits. At some occasions, the hotel fly in renowned winemakers from Italy to host their own ¨Winemaker’s Dinner¨ in the restaurant.
We are Nodes’ Yasmin Tilles & Sheida Tilles.
Visitors can also purchase an electronic card that can be topped off with the amount of their choice. The cards are later used to try different wines from the hotel’s ‘Vinotek, located on the ground floor. Guests can choose between a small sample, half or a whole glass.
The hotel’s own Winery Red is sold as assortment order at Systembolaget for 179 SEK per bottle. The main grape in Tuscany is Sangiovese and it constitutes 80% of Winery Red. The remaining 20 percent consists of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grape. “I think it’s pretty damn good,” says Jan with a smile and pours up two glasses for us.
Travel Q & A with Jan and Moa:
What is your favorite weekend destination?
Jan: New York, the city has everything when it comes to the areas I like; interior, design and atmosphere.
Moa: I will go for Copenhagen, although it might be a boring answer. It is located on a convenient distance from Stockholm, but has a nicer and more relaxed atmosphere. Plus, many great restaurants!
Where do you prefer to go on holiday in the sun?
Moa: I recently discovered a new destination in India called Varkala, it is a surf town with nice and calm vibes. Those who previously traveled to Bali to surf and find it’s too much tourists there now are going to Varkala.
Jan: I am absolutely crazy about Mallorca and a hotel called Esplendido in Puerto de Soller, 5-6 (Swedish) miles from Palma. (Read our Palma guide here.)
The Winery Hotel
Adress: Rosenborgsgatan 20, 169 74 Solna
Phone number: +46 (0) 8-14 60 00
Have you been to The Winery Hotel or do you have any questions? Drop us a comment! We’d love to hear your thoughts!
Want to know more about what to do and see in Stockholm? We have gathered all our previous blog posts about our beloved hometown. Read our Stockholm guide »
Our best Stockholm tips
We want to take the opportunity to highlight a couple of our local favorites in Sweden’s beautiful capital Stockholm. We have gathered all our previous blog posts about our beloved hometown. If you want to know more about what you should do and see in Stockholm, this is a great place to start!
Sweden’s first Hobbit Hotel
Sweden’s first Hobbit Hotel has opened – and it’s located in the middle of a residential area in Stockholm suburb Nacka, 15-20-minute drive from the city center. You can now spend the night in a replica of the Frodo and Bilbo Baggins-house, and experience the magical Hobbiton setting IRL. Continue reading »
Elegant breakfasts at Greatas in Scandic Haymarket
Gretas, influenced by the 1920’s and decorated in pink colours in a glamorous setting, is one of our absolute favorite breakfast spots in Stockholm. Continue reading »
Restaurant Art on Döbelnsgatan, Stockholm
This restaurant has it all! Great food for affordable prices, friendly staff, cool vibe and an entrance to die for (we don’t want to spoil too much, but the entrance alone is worth a visit). Just reserve a table asap!
Visit their website »Photo by Restaurant Art
Burlesque dinner at Melt Bar, Stockholm
How about dinner accompanied with burlesque and jazz performances? Every Friday and Saturday evening, Melt Bar has some of Sweden’s best burlesque dancers, jazz singers, magicians and dancers performing until 1 a.m. It’s the perfect dinner option if you are looking for something out of the ordinary. The 1920’s restaurant and bar inspired by the prohibition New York, is suitably located at the infamous Malmskillnadsgatan 45 in Stockholm – and it really lives up to its expectations! Continue reading »
Roller skating at Rollers n Bowlers in Haninge, Stockholm
Rollers n Bowlers in Haninge Centrum offers an typical American diner, a cool bowling alley and roller skating rink which makes the venue optimal for a fun date night!
Continue reading »
Stockholm’s best coffee in Hötorgshallen
Stockholm’s best coffee is served by the ‘Epic Coffee Man’ in Hötorgshallen. His real name is Andreas and he is the owner of Himalayas coffee bar, located in Hötorgshallen, a market hall full of restaurants and stalls with fresh meat, fish, cheese and other delicacies. Despite long queues, the owner does his best to share knowledge about coffee beans and methods with all of his customers. His passionate and friendly customer service, making you walk away from the counter with a smile, is something you rarely run across in Stockholm. Continue reading »
Mini-getaway to the Stockholm Archipelago
How amazing as the vibrant capital of Sweden can be, sometimes it is nice to leave the city pulse for a calm and relaxing weekend in the Stockholm Archipelago. We had a great fishing weekend at a charming red cottage in Mytting, known from the Swedish Elle Interior. It was the perfect weekend escape; offering both fishing, sauna and barbecue opportunities. Continue reading »
Hallwyl Museum in Östermalm, Stockholm
The Hallwyl museum in Stockholm is more than a hotspot patio with a jam-packed outdoor seating during the summer. Behind the gates hides a unique and preserved building which belonged to a Swedish upper-class family from the turn of the century. We met the museum Director Heli Haapasalo and got a full tour of the museum! Continue reading »
Vaxholms Hembygdsgårds Café
Traditional Swedish dishes and probably one of Stockholms best desert buffets… Vaxholm Hembygdsgårds Café is a real Swedish summer dream in the heart of Stockholm archipelago. Continue reading »
Winery Hotel – tastings and dinners for wine enthusiast!
Wineries, a property where wine is produced, in combination with accommodation, food and drinks is already popular in big cities like New York and London. Now, the owner families of Winery hope that Swedes will jump on the trend too. We got a private tour of the winery (the hotel’s heart and pride), hotel rooms, restaurant and meeting rooms. Continue reading »
One last stop… ’Pontus in the Air’
When you are about to leave Sweden, make sure your last stop in Stockholm is worth remembering. ‘Pontus in the Air’ is the latest addition to Pontus Frithiof’s collection of restaurants in Sweden. The restaurant is located at Arlanda Airport, terminal 5, and is probably among the better airport restaurants in Europe! We recommend the Market Breakfast Buffé för only 99 SEK (10,40 Euro) or the amazing Lobster Salad for lunch. It is also worth mentioning that ‘Pontus in the Air ‘ is one of three restaurants in Sweden who are official Krüg ambassadors. Continue reading »
Other Stockholm guides that we recommend
Sandras Guide to Stockholm http://sandrabeijer.se/2015/03/20/sandras-guide-till-stockholm/
We originally wrote this travel guide for Travellink Sweden, published 2016-07-11 on Travellink’s Travel Blog.
Barcelona’s little sister and a popular charter destination for Swedes. That was basically all we knew about Palma when we boarded the plane for a week of much-needed vacation. Instead of letting Google and TripAdvisor setting the itinerary for us we decided to try a new tactic; asking locals to share their best travel tips. So we asked. The cashier at Mango, the waiter at our daily breakfast spot in Plaza España, a trendy couple on the bus and of course; our Airbnb hostess. The result? Paradise beaches with white sand, turquoise water and exceptional beach clubs. We are Nodes have listed our top 6 things to do in Palma de Mallorca.
Mallorca’s best beach club is (without a doubt) Puro Beach Palma. The beach club opened 2005 by the Swedish entrepreneur Mats Wahlström as a complement to the concept hotel Puro Hotel. With its excellent location on a secluded peninsula, 180°-view of the coast and a fantastic pool area, it is not difficult to understand why the beach club was a success from the moment the gates opened.
If a full day at Puro Beach won’t get you in vacation mode nothing ever will! Park yourself on a sunbed by the pool, order a bottle of chilled rosé (We are Nodes recommends Puro’s own house wine for € 27/bottle) and take a refreshing dip in the Zen-like pool to the sound of relaxing lounge music. When it’s lunchtime, head over to the restaurant area to enjoy a delightful meal from Puro’s “M3-inspired” menu with influences from Miami, Marrakech and Melbourne.
Today’s lunch: Salmon and avocado Tiradito with fresh coriander and yellow aji-sauce that is best enjoyed with a bottle of Puro Rosé.
No room for dessert? Take a siesta in the shade and order a Gino for dessert a few hours later. Fresh fruits gratinated with white chocolate and vanilla ice cream does wonders during hot summer days and is the perfect ending to a relaxing pool day!
Price: A regular sunbed costs 40 € for a full day and includes (N.b: during low season, until the end of June) a bottle of water, a small fruit platter, a little after-sun lotion and a smoothie in the afternoon.
Address: Carrer de Pagell, 1, 07610 Can Pastilla
Tel: +34 971 74 47 44
Making a well-deserved stop at the ice cream-parlour Amorino on Plaça de Weyler is an absolute must when your feet gets tired from all the walking. Not only will the ice cream at Amorino make your taste buds jump of joy – they are also a treat for your eyes! With a large selection of ice cream flavours, the staff creates beautiful (and photo friendly) ‘ice cream roses’ in rainbow colors, and the best part is that you are not limited to a specific number of flavours. Regardless of what size of cone or cup you choose; you are allowed to pick as many flavours as you want! It is safe to say that Amorino is any ice cream lover’s dream come true, us included.
Price: One medium cone/cup (note: the portions are in general very big) costs €4.60 and is worth every cent!
Address: Plaça de Weyler, 11, 07001 Palma
One advice we got from several locals was to skip the beach in central Palma (which wasn’t very pleasant) and take bus number 3 from Plaza España to Illetas instead. Just 30 minutes from Palma’s city centre, you will find a small but magical beach with turquoise water that quickly became one of our favorite places in Mallorca. Here you can reserve sunbeds with charming straw parasols for only € 6.50/person (our favorite spot was on the cliff) and swim until the sun goes down.
The nearby beach restaurant has a great view and is well suited for ice cream or coffee, but we wouldn’t recommend the food there. Bring fresh fruits, a lunch box and plenty of water with you, and you will get a beach day to remember. And come early, the sunbeds run out quickly!
Address: Passeig Illetes, 54B, 07181 Illetes.
How to get there: Take bus number 3 from Palma, and get off at the final destination. Once there, you can choose between two different beaches – our favorite is the small beach located on the far right.
Making a day trip to the village Sa Rápita on Mallorca’s south coast and visiting the beaches S’Arenal de Sa Rápita and Es Trenc was well worth the 1.5 hour long bus drive from Palma. When we arrived at the beach and saw the white sand and crystal clear turquoise water, it was hard to believe that we were still in Mallorca and not on a tropical beach somewhere in the Caribbean. Who knew there were beaches like this in Europe?
We have our Airbnb hostess to thank for discovering Sa Rápita. When we asked her which her favorite beach in Mallorca was, the answer came quickly: S’Arenal de Sa Rápita. Said and done. We set the alarm early and jumped on the 8 a.m. bus. Curious as we were, we wanted to see both beaches, so we started our day with a walk along the kilometre-long beach of S’Arenal all the way to Es Trenc (which is said to be one of Europe’s most beautiful beaches). Later, we “beach hopped” our way back to S’Arenal (and the bus station). In this way we managed to see everything and didn’t get too tired from walking in the heat.
It is easy to be deceived by the cooling breeze here, so don’t forget to put on a lot of sunscreen!
Just like the name suggests, Port Blanc is a luxurious port restaurant with white interior and a stunning view over the luminous yachts. You come here to eat seafood, fish and drink champagne – an excellent dinner option before a big night out.
Port Blanc, like most other restaurants, closes at 1:00, which really is a shame; we would have liked to stay there longer! If there is something Palma should learn from its “big sister” Barcelona, it definitely is the night life. There are only two clubs in Palma; Pacha and Tito’s. The clientele consists mostly of young students, and thus it is the bar streets in Santa Catalina (with the Swedish-owned Havana Bar in the lead) and Paseo Marítimo that has become popular for the older crowd. We would have loved a real nightclub close to the port. But who knows, maybe that’s something for the future?
Address: Marina Moll Vell, Local N ° 2, 07012 Palma.
Tel: +34 971 25 54 22
Nassau Beach’s slogan is “sea, sand and sunset”, and yes, we’d say that sums up the vibe at Nassau pretty well. The restaurant/bar is located a roughly ten-minute walk from the beach in Palma, and is well suited for a chilled-out sunset dinner or cocktail. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, and when the sun starts to go down, the staff lights up torches that burn nicely in the sunset.
Address: Passeig Portitxol, s/n, 07004 Palma
Phone: +34664 44 90 53
We are Nodes super travel tip: Download the free app Maps.me and have access to maps in offline mode. This app saved us many times, for example on bus rides without names on the bus stops.
Do you have any questions or have you been in Palma and want to share your favorite places? Please comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Last time I was in Rhodes was more than 10 years ago. When I (Yasmin) return from my stay at one of Greece’s most visited and beloved islands, I note with satisfaction that I:
1) at least have advanced from the cheap and pool-less hotel I stayed at the age of 19 to a luxurious all-inclusive hotel (stay tuned for a separate review).
2) am still able to keep up with the young kids on the notorious bar street. Sort of.
Nevertheless, the highlight of our latest trip to Rhodes was to explore the island by car. Our best discovery? A wonderful sandy beach with clear water and a super Instagram friendly photo motive as backdrop! Follow us as we spend a full day at the locals’ very own favorite beach; Tsambika Beach in Rhodes.
Getting to Tsambika Beach
Tsambika Beach is located on the east coast of Rhodes, a roughly 40-minute drive from the city center. We rented a Suzuki Jimny (cab) through Galaxy Cars, a car rental company whose price, customer support and quality of cars we were really pleased with. The rental price for two days was 120 euros, but the prices vary depending on the car of your choice. The delivery and return of the vehicle took place smoothly at our hotel.
The cooling breeze catches our hair as soon as we hit the roads. It is more than 35 degrees and the soaking sun makes us really look forward to reach our destination.
Tsambika beach is named after the Monastery of the Virgin of Tsambika, located on the top of the enormous rock that surrounds the beach. Unlike many of the other beaches in Rhodes, Tsambika consists of a bed of sand instead of rocks.
We quickly understand why so many of the Greeks we have met in Rhodes call Tsambika their favorite beach. Although there are many tourists on site, the beach is far from crowded and the relaxed atmosphere makes us forget that we are in one of Europe´s most popular charter destinations.
Tsambika beach is well suited for both families with kids, couples and teens. The restless beach visitors do not need to worry; Tsambika offers several watersports and an adventure area with water slides and a climbing wall. And for the brave ones; a sign at the parking lot tells us that there is a naturist part further down the beach…
After a couple of hours in the sun, we decide to take a long anticipated lunch break with Gyros plates, fresh orange juices and cold beers. The beach restaurants offer priceworthy food and drinks, but remember to bring cash to the beach, since a majority of the restaurants or sunbed rentals do not accept credit cards. In the heating sun, there are plenty of other things you would rather want to do than to drive to the closest village to find an ATM (like we did).
The perfect photo motif
At the end of our beach day, we head over to the beautiful Greek flag that rises over the beach and creates a popular backdrop for photos. Definitely worth a stop – and a snap? Despite several Google searches, I cannot manage to find the story behind the flag. Does anyone know more?
TL; DR: The Hallwyl museum in Stockholm is more than a hotspot patio with a jam-packed outdoor seating. Behind the gates hides a unique and preserved building which belonged to a Swedish upper-class family from the turn of the century.
As amazing as it can be to travel across the world to explore unknown destinations, it is almost an equal feeling to discover a new spot in your hometown. Therefore, we want to take the opportunity to highlight a couple of our local favorites in Sweden’s beautiful capital Stockholm, our beloved hometown. First up in our blog series on Stockholm is the Hallwyl museum, located a few steps from Berzelii Park on Hamngatan 4.
Despite the huge yellow banner flapping outside of the museum, it is surprisingly easy to walk past the building without taking any notice. But behind the gates lie a magical gem that should not be left unexplored by neither tourists or locals. Join us when we visit the Hallwyl museum!
The Museum Director of Hallwyl
We meet with the museum director Heli Haapasalo in the museum shop, located on floor one. She joined the museum in 2010 after a long career in art, with previous positions at the Museum of Modern Art (Swedish: Moderna Muséet) and the National Museum. Although Heli’s original focus was contemporary art, she could not resist the opportunity to work with the Hallwyl museum.
The home of Hallwyl
Wilhelmina von Hallwyl (born Kämpe) is a central character in the story of the Hallwyl museum. She was born into an upper-class family in Sweden by German parents in 1844, and later met her husband Walter in the German health resort Homburg. Walter von Hallwyl moved to Sweden when the couple decided to tie the knot and he later took over his father-in-law’s business. The Countess von Hallwyl always had a keen interest in art. Early on, the spouses decided that their home, in its time the most expensive private residence in Stockholm, should be turned into a museum after their death.
The house on Hamngatan, including decorations and furniture, was given to the state when they passed away. Many have wondered why Wilhelmina von Hallwyl insisted to save so much of their items for the museum. Heli explains how she believes the Countess reasoned:
“It was a time marked by change – by, for instance, the labor movement and modernization. Women’s role in society began to change. This was Wilhelmina’s way of showing what it was like to live back then. She was conservative, yet very modern. If she had wanted it to be a ‘nice and superficial’ museum, she would not have wanted us to save items such as pots and graters. It was important for her that the everyday things would be treated as good as their expensive possessions. She really wanted people to get an authentic picture of what it was like to live back then.”
We notice the pride in Heli’s voice. Unquestionably, it is unique to have so many everyday objects preserved in the way that the Hallwyl museum has. They even have a piece of the couple’s wedding cake stored! Entering the house of Hallwyl is like stepping into another time, allowing visitors to stroll around expensive marble bathrooms, beautiful wine cellars and impressive knight equipment.
“The heart of Hallwyl is that we have it all. And everything is documented. 78 directories with information about where their items were bought, what they cost and who owned them before the Hallwyl family”, Heli explains.
One of Heli’s favorite parts of the house is the marble bathroom with exclusive gold taps. However, she points out that the longer she works at the museum, the more she appreciates the whole house and the unique opportunity to get access to a authentic home from the turn of the century.
The family stored their everyday wine Dôle in this beautiful wine cellar. Bordeaux wines were served for the more formal dinner parties.
The famous Blom porcelain is still produced. The staff on site told us that many of the visitors recognize the porcelain – but bear in mind that this was the servants’ porcelain, the Hallwyl family used a different tableware.
In addition to the authentic environment, the staff are dressed in period costumes. Heli proclaims that the staff has won the award for “Best staff” three repeated years, in a competition arranged by a market research company called Evimetrics.
More than just a patio
It is a pity that many only associate the Hallwyl museum with its patio. The patio is a haven from the city pulse, and it is no wonder that well-dressed Stockholm locals are flocking around the bar and restaurant. Heli naturally welcomes the new bar and restaurant visitors, but sees an even greater value in how museum visitors now can extend their experience with a visit to the restaurant where they can continue to soak in the environment.
“Many people ask me if the restaurant has generated more visitors. Of course it has, but I consider the restaurant to be even more valuable for our museum visitors; who now can enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of coffee after the exhibition.”
We are Nodes encourages guests to enter the former house of the Hallwyl family. The museum offers free entrance, like all state-owned museums in Sweden. The guided tours costs, but gives you a much deeper understanding of the history. However, the financial support given from the government is not enough, the museum needs to bring in additional revenues in order to be a viable business. “We generate about 40 percent of our revenues on our own, through the shop, guided tours and the restaurant.”
Art as a social influence
According to Heli, the museum has up to 35 different guided tours. The newest tour is based on the current discussion about refugees and what is defined as ‘Swedish’ today. Since Walter von Hallwyl, the Countess’s husband, came to Sweden as an immigrant, the museum decided that the tour should revolve around the perception of an immigrant at that time. Heli explains how Walter was mocked by the press for his accent and since he was not a fit with the perception of a Swede, even though he was a part of the aristocracy.
We are Nodes are impressed by the way the museum has been able to influence and add to the (complex) discussions of today in their own way.
Women’s role is also emphasized in one of the tours. Heli says that there has been a great deal of anecdotes and rumors about Wilhelmina von Hallwyl. People used to call her crazy because of her frequent storing of art and other items. However, after her death, the Countess actually became a female role model.
“She was a rich woman in her time, and many were horrified by her and wondered why she wanted to create a monument of herself. But in the 90s, people began searching for female role models; women who had made an impact on history. The Countess suddenly got a different reputation, and earned many people’s respect. She is important for the history of art and seems to have been a very strong woman.”
Accessible for everyone?
One of Heli’s main missions is to attract new groups of people to the museum, such as teenagers, young men and people living in the suburbs. Another mission is to improve the physical accessibility. The staff has worked with accessibility for a long time, but as a public museum they must be even better, Heli states. The museum has already introduced guided tours to people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, hearing loss or visual impairment.
“We lack in physical accessibility right now. There was a young wheelchair-bound girl who wrote to us that it hurt her to read how we stated on our web that everyone was welcome here. She did not feel included.”
We notice that Heli takes the task seriously, and we hope that the improvement speeds up so that everyone can experience the house of Hallwyl in the near future.
Q & A with the Museum Director of Hallwyl; Heli Haapasalo
Your top three culture tips in Stockholm?
1. I like opera, it is a visually cool and amazing art form that I enjoy.
2. Since I am very interested in contemporary art, I really like Moderna Muséet (Museum of Modern Arts).
3. Visit the fantastic sceneries in Waldemarsudde and Millesgården.
Where do you prefer to travel?
I am not an adventurous traveler who wants to swing around in lianas in the jungle or bicycle around in Vietnam. I like big cities with culture and good food, such as New York or Paris (read our Paris-guide here). I would never want to sleep in a beach house in Thailand, since I hate dreadful insects!
Do you have any summer plans?
I actually never go abroad in the summer. We spend the summers in our house in Skåne (located in the south of Sweden). I rather travel somewhere in the autumn or in the spring, when the temperature is not that high.
Want to know more about what to do and see in Stockholm? We have gathered all our previous blog posts about our beloved hometown. Read our Stockholm guide »
Bastille Day, the French National Day, is celebrated 14th of July in memory of the storming of Bastille, which took place 14th of July 1789. The French history has been very eventful, so there is no wonder why the French people look forward to celebrating the anniversary of the liberation of France on this yearly occasion. You can find festivities in almost every city in France which makes the Bastille Day an excellent period to visit the country. Join the locals in their celebrations – in everything from parades, fireworks, concerts to family picnics!
Our favorite way to celebrate this historic day is – you guessed it! – on the French Riviera. Spending a full day on the Cote d’Azur is never wrong – but adding Bastille Day to the regular festivities makes it even better!
Head out to any of the beach clubs along the Riviera that has announced that they will throw a National Day party. Usually, they are filled with a bunch of surprises and guest performances. Last time we were in France, we celebrated National Day at Moorea Beach Club, located in Pampelonne in St Tropez. The 5 kilometer beach area is filled with awesome beach clubs like the famous Bagatelle, offering nothing else than good vibes that you don’t want to miss out on!
The evening is best spent watching the traditional fireworks, which are accompanied with nice music and crowded beach picnics. Cannes is the perfect spot to watch the magnificent pyrotechnics (read our Cannes City Guide here).
Dressed out nuns, spectacular dance shows, plenty of rosé and good tunes made Bastille Day on Moorea Beach Club a blast. Many beach clubs throw amazing day parties to celebrate the French National Day and the best spots are located on the famous Pampelonne beach.
Name: Moorea Beach Club
Address: Plage de Pampelonne, 83350 Ramatuelle, France
Phone: Telephone restaurant : 04.94.97.18.17 / Telephone beach : 04.94.97.06.09
Interview with Jameson Farn – The expert shares his best French Riviera tips
Since Nodes is not able to fly in to the French Riviera this summer, we asked our friend Jameson Farn at Experience French Riviera & Gay French Riviera to give us his best tips on how to celebrate Bastille Day 2016. Jameson turned his passion for the Cote d’Azur into his business and has been obsessed with this part of the world since his early 20’s. So, while we had the chance, we also took the opportunity to ask Jameson about his hidden gems and best French Riviera tips.
Where are the best spots to celebrate Bastille Day?
Up and down the coast and within the region there are many events to experience that you will stumble upon during Bastille Day whether you are on your own or with family and friends. The Jazz à Juan starts on July 14th in Juan-les-Pins with a whole range of artists to get the music flowing so for sure that will generate a great crowd.
And if you are in Nice there will be the traditional military parade followed by various concerts along the iconic Promenade des Anglais to enjoy with many other gatherings.
Every village or city tends to have their own set of fireworks display to celebrate the day and if you time it correctly and are in Nice, make sure to head to the beach where, because of the outline of the coastline you will be able to watch the fireworks in the distance going off in Cannes close to the same time they are set off in Antibes and then in Nice itself, it’s quite something to see.
Tell us about any of your hidden gems and favorite places in the South of France?
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat has always been a personal favorite place. There is something almost magical about the peninsula that allows you to retreat and recharge if you choose. It’s easy to find your own small private beach spot along the seaside trails and the people you meet are wonderfully calm and cultured plus there is a great sense of community.
Of course while there one can visit the beautiful Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and it’s magnificent ever-changing gardens and a hidden gem located close to the lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula that you must book ahead for is the Villa Santo Sospir that has a fascinating history along with a grand display of artwork throughout the villa mainly done by the artist Jean Cocteau with touches by Picasso.
What destination are you going to next?
In the past year I have been learning more about Italy and its history, culture and architecture through my partner who is from Milano. It’s great to learn about a country through a resident, especially if their family has a long ancestral line, so I’ve been lucky enough to get a background perspective that way. We don’t have any definitive plans on where we will go to next because we also like the element of surprise for a sense of adventure but it will likely be more around Italy,exploring the seaside towns or we also enjoy going to various parts of Lake Como as it is absolutely enchanting.
Follow Experience French Riviera to keep up with the latest news and hotspots!