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!
We had been strolling around in the ‘Capital of Design’ for a couple of hours, when the rain suddenly began to pour down and reminded us that it was time for lunch. Juuri was on the top of our list of restaurants that we wanted to visit. The restaurant was located on Korkeavuorenkatu 27 (Swedish: Högbergsgatan), a roughly 10-minute walk from Helsinki’s city center, and the sign outside told us we had come to the right place.
Juuri opened 2004 and quickly stood out with its focus on traditional Finnish food culture. Since the opening, it has been elected ‘Restaurant of the year’ by the Finnish Gastronomical Society (2010) and mentioned in the Michelin Guide. It is currently ranked #3 on TripAdvisor’s list of best restaurants in Helsinki, and holds a Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence, which, according to the website, is only handed out to “restaurants and attractions that consistently receive great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor”.
Since we arrived at nearly 2 pm (lunch is served from 11 am to 2.30 pm), the majority of the lunch guests had already left, and the staff could seat us right away. Reserve a table if you want to eat an earlier lunch, since this is a popular spot for lunch dates. The tables were set with colorful glasses and jugs from the well-known Finnish design brand Marimekko. Our waitress directed us to our table, right next to the window, where we could watch people trying to escape the rain. We quickly threw ourselves over the menus and it did not take long until I decided to try ‘Sapas’, the Finnish version of tapas. Juuri’s website declares the history of the name: “The name Sapas originally comes from the Finnish words for small Finnish starters” (Suomalaiset AlkuPAlaSet). Any similarity to the Spanish word “tapas” is purely coincidental.
My boyfriend went for the lamb and shortly thereafter, we were served our dishes. My first thought was that I should have ordered more Sapas (a main course consisted of a selection of four sapas for 16 Euros). When I thought about it, the waitress might have mentioned that I could add the two piece Sapas from the starter menu to my main course. Despite my Finnish background, it can be difficult to keep up when the locals start talking really fast. However, the first bite compensated the small portion – the dishes are extremely well-made with outstanding flavors and impeccable presentation! Juuri gets an additional plus for the small but very appreciated details, like the butter, which was served in beautiful paper bundles.
Overall, we were extremely pleased with our visit to Juuri. Friendly staff with good English, central location, clean toilets, but above all; well-made, beautiful food with carefully thought-out, authentic flavors and nice details. The portions are however small, so do not come starving.
Craving another Finnish classic for dessert? Take a short walk down to Helsinki Market Square after your visit at Juuri and top off your lunch with coffee and the Finnish pastry Munkipossu.
To be headed to Stockholm Arlanda Airport without having to worry about forgotten passports or tickets is new to us. We are on our way to ‘Pontus in the Air’, the latest addition to Pontus Frithiof’s collection of restaurants in Sweden. The restaurant is located in terminal 5, which boasts the majority of international departures at Arlanda.
There is no escaping security even though we’re only visiting the restaurant. In addition, a visitor badge is needed to enter the area. We collect it from the airport service center after a thorough identification check. Walking around at the airport without having a flight to catch feels strange. Pontus Frithiof, restaurateur and entrepreneur, on the other hand is used to spending a lot of his waking hours at the airport. But he points out that he is very careful not to neglect his other restaurants. Before our lunch at noon, he has managed to fit in four visits to his other restaurants. “You do not really have a choice, it is a must when your restaurants are built on personal presence.”
The idea to open a restaurant at Arlanda was born two years ago. Business travellers, a target group with great purchasing power, attracted Pontus. This, in combination with his frustration over the lack of good food at Arlanda, got Pontus to send an an email to Swedavia (Swedish nationally owned company which owns and operates the major airports) at 9 pm on a Thursday evening. To his big surprise, he received an immediate reply. Swedavia had been on the lookout for something new for Arlanda for a long time, but other restaurants had previously turned them down because of the location. Now, this was about to change.
After months and months of planning and venue hunting, the decision finally fell on a 1000 m2 location, which at the time was empty and unused. “Travellers come to airports as late as possible to avoid eating there. Therefore we want to offer something brand new. We are one of the few restaurants at Arlanda with a fully fitted kitchen and we cook all dishes from scratch. Our goal is to become the best airport restaurant in Europe”, Pontus declares in a determined tone. When asked which restaurant he benchmarks to, he quickly answers: “Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant at Heathrow.“
Pontus guides us through the main floor, past all the boutiques and cafés, until we arrive outside of the restaurant. “Pontus in the Air is located on floor one, which gives you a very peaceful setting in comparison to downstairs where all the other restaurants are located. Positioning airport restaurants on a higher floor is actually a European airport trend that has worked very well”, Pontus explains as he walks up the two flights of stairs.
The elevated location actually does make a big difference. The frantic vibe disappears as soon as we walk up the stairs and enter the restaurant. It is almost instantly replaced by the pleasant view over the runways where you can watch airplanes take off, without being disturbed by jet engines and stressed travellers. Maybe the calmness is due to the fact that it is still quiet when we arrive at the restaurant. The typical lunch rushes are rare, since people naturally adjust their dining after their flight tickets.
The restaurant is enormous (1000 m2) and divided into two areas: ‘Market”, which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets, and the ‘Brasserie’ from where the restaurant offers a la carte dining for up to a hundred seated guests.
What stands out with regards to the interior are the two red and white wine cellars in the middle of the restaurant. We immediately notice them and Pontus proudly shows us around the numerous bottles: “We have really invested on wines and can therefore offer a wide selection of wines here”, he says.
The white wine cellar.
Airport restaurant, but how?
At first glance, the only thing that reveals that we are in an airport – other than the view of the runways of course – is the departure board that hangs on one of the walls of the restaurant. However, Pontus lists several reasons how the restaurant is tailored for travellers.
- Multiple power sockets where travellers can charge theirphones and computers.
- Private bathroom for restaurant guests (most restaurants refer their guests to the public airport bathrooms).
- Own Wi-Fi
- ‘Pontus in the Air’ ensures a maximum wait time of 12 minutes, from order to table, for parties up to 6 people. If the staff would fail to deliver the food within the timeframe, they won’t charge for the food.
- Through the restaurant’s app you can pre-order food and pick it up at the restaurant before getting on the plane. Do not let long-distance flights stop you – the food will be handed to you in a thermal bag! The next step that Pontus is looking at is offering delivery at the gate for travellers in a hurry.
Food and Beverages
The menu consists of hot and cold dishes in the price range from 175-395 SEK (19-42 euros) for a main course (see the full menu here). From previous experience from his other restaurants, we know that the Nicoise salad is fantastic, but we want to try something new. Pontus diplomatically responds that everything on the menu is good, but his chief sommelier Mario E Moroni, who worked together with Pontus for over 16 years, is quick to list his personal favourites: “I like the sautéed reindeer, tortellini and the burgers the best”.
Large veal carpaccio with asparagus, olives and parmesancrème.
Price: 275 SEK (29 euros)
Steamed char with spinach, mushrooms, cucumber noodles served with a cold caviar and chive sauce.
Price: 295 SEK (31 euros)
We are Nodes recommends:
Pontus Dressed Lobster Salad
The amazing lobster is first kibbled out of its shell and mixed with cucumber, avocado, mango and tomato, before served in its shell. The fresh mango adds a perfect touch the salad. It is served in two sizes, but half portion is enough for us.
Believe it or not, but you can even get the lobster salad to go. It is not served with its shell though, for obvious reasons.
‘Pontus in the Air’s offers both a breakfast buffet (served in the ‘Market’ area) and à la carte options at the Brasserie – with the possibility to add a glass of Henriot Champagne for 99 SEK. We are Nodes are huge fans of champagne breakfasts, so from now on this will be the starting point of our journeys. The restaurant has a liquor license that allows them to serve alcohol from 6 am, so even early travellers can enjoy a champagne breakfast on site. “I love Champagne, it is the best drink there is”, Pontus agrees. But considering most of his days begin at 4 am, we doubt that Champagne breakfasts are that frequent.
We recommend the Market Breakfast Buffé för only 99 SEK (10,40 Euroc), including Coffee/Tea, orange juice, turkey and cheese sandwiches, organic yogurt with muesli, scrambled eggs, bacon and a lot more . Not that hungry? The A la carté-menu includes smaller alternatives, like Greek yogurt with homemade granola and fresh crushed berries (50 SEK/5.5euros) or scrambled eggs and toast (65 SEK/7 euros).
Speaking of Champagne, it is worth mentioning that ‘Pontus in the Air ‘ is one of three restaurants in Sweden who are official Krüg ambassadors (Krüg is considered to be one of the most exclusive champagne brands in the world). This means they can serve Krüg by the glass and have a wide selection of their Champagnes on the menu.
Travel Q&A’s with Pontus Frithiof
Favourite weekend city? London, it is a very good weekend destination located on a reasonable distance.
Favourite spot for holidays in the sun? If I get to choose anywhere in the world, I would choose the Maldives. I also spend a lot of time in the south of France. I love Cannes (read more about Cannes on our city guide).
Favourite airport? Heathrow and Copenhagen airport.
Worst airport? Two Ryanair airports; Beauvais in Paris and Stansted in London. You get treated like cattle there! I rarely have a problem with people finding ways to make money, but the whole business model, which is based on having to purchase a bunch of things just to not have to stand in a 40km long line, is not for me.
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 »
7 tips to get a full-blown Cannes experience!
Perhaps it is the fantastic beach walk (Boulevard de la Croisette), the extravagant hotels or the over the top-parties that has lingered celebrities to visit this French pearl time and time again. The city that has hosted the glamorous film festival since 1946 offers plenty of things to do and see. And let us clarify something straightaway – you do not need to be a millionaire to enjoy the French Riviera. It helps, but it is not in any means necessary. We are Nodes have spent months and months in this French gem, and here are our best tips for a full-blown Cannes experience!
Baoli Beach Club
The first thing you need to learn in order to avoid confusion is that there are two Baolis in Cannes: Le Bâoli Club, a nightclub located in the end of the La Croisette, and Bâoli Beach Club, located in the heart of the La Croisette, naturally next to the beach. This is where you want to spend your lazy beach days! Bâoli Beach Club is one of Cannes top daytime hot spots, so if you are planning to spend a full day here, we suggest you go all in. Start off by renting sun beds and an umbrella (do not forget to bring sun screen), because this is going to be a long day! Order in some cooled Rosé wine and share a plate of amazing sushi or fruit salad. Bâoli Beach Club is pricy, but the atmosphere, lounge music and crowd definitely makes it worth a visit.
Bâoli Beach Yearly Highlight – Remember the Coulisses/Fete de la Musique-party
If you happen to be in Cannes in June, make sure to attend Baoli Beach’s yearly Fete de la Musique-party (previously called Remember the coulisses party), the epic beach party that kicks off the festive summer season. The fact is, We are Nodes accidentally ended up at this party a couple of years ago, and it was this specific event that made us fall in love with the city!
Address: 50 Boulevard de la Croisette, 06400 Cannes
Phone: +33 4 93 99 49 26
The best public beach in Cannes
Spending every day at beach clubs like Bâoli can get quite expensive, so why not take advantage of Cannes public beaches for no cost at all. However, do not make the mistake of choosing the La Croisette beach. The best public beach in Cannes is located on the other side of the Croisette Boulevard, behind the Old Town (Le Suquet) and close to the Port in Cannes. It is a 10-15 minute walk from the city center. If you have troubles finding, just ask for Radisson Blu (the hotel has got an awesome rooftop terrace, btw!) and you will find the beach in front of the hotel.
Address: Boulevard du Midi Jean Hibert
Ice coffee at Armani Caffé
Armani Caffé, located on Boulevard de la Croisette, is the perfect spot to sneak into when you want to take a break from your shopping. The Armani store has an elegant patio, partly shaded (super appreciated during hot and sweaty summer days!), where they offer food, snacks, drinks, fresh juices and hot beverages. We are Nodes recommends the iced coffee – it is to die for!
Address: 42/43 Boulevard de la Croisette
Phone: +33 04 93 99 44 05
Champagne Breakfast at Carlton Hotel
Not everyone can afford paying 7056 euro per night for the Suite Executive with ocean view at 5-star luxury hotel InterContinental Carlton Cannes. 42 euro for their Champagne breakfast is much more reasonable – and a fantastic way to experience the renowned hotel that had legendary guests like Sean Connery, Sean Penn, Sophia Loren and Grace Kelly (the hotel also offers extraordinary, but expensive, suites named after the movie stars).
The breakfast itself is nothing too remarkable, but the chilled Champagne in combination with the luxurious setting at the most prestigious hotel in Cannes makes the breakfast experience worth its price.
Fun trivia: Did you know that Carlton Hotel was the target of a massive jewel theft in 2013, where robbers came across jewels worth $136 million.
Address: 58 Boulevard la Croisette, CS 40052, Cannes
Phone: +33 (0)4 93 06 40 06
Website: Official page: http://www.intercontinental-carlton-cannes.com/
Restaurant/Breakfast info: http://www.intercontinental-carlton-cannes.com/en/your-stay-in-cannes/carlton-restaurant/
As it is most known for its glitz and glamour, it is easy to forget that Cannes also offers a lot of interesting history. A great day excursion to escape the vibrant pulse in Cannes is to take the ferry over to Ile Sainte-Marguerite (one of several islands belonging to the Iles de Lérins island group). Walk around this little island where the ‘Man in the Iron Mask’ was once held prisoner – you can even visit his actual cell at Fort Royal!
The trip from Cannes does not take more than 20 minutes and costs only a few Euros. Tickets are bought in ticket stores close to the Port. Do not forget to buy your ticket in advance, during high season the boats tend to get full.Website for ferry tickets: http://www.trans-cote-azur.co.uk/cannes-ile-sainte-marguerite.php
Gotha Club and Le Bâoli– A little party ain’t killed nobody
Where’s the party at, you wonder? It is at Gotha Club and Le Bâoli, the two biggest nightclubs in Cannes. During high seasons these hot spots are packed with famous celebrities and enthusiastic tourists from all over the world. International artists and DJ’s are performing almost every evening, so keep an eye on the event schedule (most easily done by following the club’s Facebook pages) since some nights one club is ‘the place to be’, while the other is more or less empty.
And let us be honest here; being a girl or reserving a drink table helps the nightclub experience. Most clubs charge an entrance fee which varies depending how well-known the artist performing is, and a drink costs around 20-25 euros. The clubs in Cannes are not the cheapest, but they have without doubt given us some of our craziest and best nights. There is just something special with the party vibe in Cannes.
It’s party time at Le Bâoli!
High season nights at Gotha Club.
Address Le Bâoli: Port Pierre Canto, Boulevard de la Croisette, 06400 Cannes
Address Gotha Club: Place Franklin Roosevelt, 06400 Cannes
Boat life in Cannes
“You spend time on land, you live life on water”
Boat life is always fun, and there is no better way to experience the French Riviera than on water. Bring a bunch of snacks (the French’s love their classic baguettes, cheeses, Prosciuttos), wine, Champagne and other beverages (but hey, remember to drink responsibly!). Prepare the ultimate Spotify list and you are all set! There are services on the sea of course – taxi boats to take you to the adjacent beach clubs or service boats from where you can buy coffee or ice-cream.
How do you throw the perfect Yacht party? There is a saying that explains it pretty well: One’s a company, two’s a crowd and three’s a party. Meet up with likeminded people on other boats, set anchor and join (party) forces in a mutual boat party until the sun goes down!
When, or if, you have had enough of partying, swimming and tanning, it is time to head for food at Marco Polo Beach. We love love love this cozy and relaxed beach restaurant, suitable for both families and leisure travelers! The restaurant is located right next to the beach, which makes it possible to moor the boat at their pier.
We are Nodes recommends the amazing seafood risotto that still makes us drool.
Address: 47, avenue de Lerins, 06590 Théoule-sur-Mer (read more about how to get here if you do not have a boat on this page)
Phone: +33 (4) 93499659
Cannes, we will be back soon!
Visting the French Riviera for Bastille Day? Don’t miss our blog post
How to celebrate Bastille Day on the French Riviera.
Cannes is of course also featured in Yasmin’s Travel Q&A, read more here:
Travel Q&A with Yasmin from We are Nodes
Costa Rica is ranked one of the most popular international destinations and having spent a couple of weeks there – we can clearly see why. Very few countries offer the same wide variety of activities, wilderness and scenery, and the locals’ hospitality and pura vida-attitude quickly puts a permanent smile on your face.
Santa Teresa is one of Costa Rica’s most visited destinations. The village is mostly known for its magical sunsets and amazing surfing, and those two alone are worth putting Santa Teresa on your roadmap. But the city is more than a surfer’s paradise. We can almost guarantee that there is something for everyone in this Central America located gem. The village is crowded of tourists during high season and the pulse is higher than in many other places in Costa Rica. Here are We are Nodes’ top 3 list of things to do in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica!
Banana Beach Restaurant
If Banana Beach Restaurant does not get you into vacation mode, nothing ever will. The beach club is one of the hot-spots in Santa Teresa, located next to the beach, and is perfect for both late night exotic dinners as well as chill day hangouts. Cool down under the palm trees while sipping on tropical drinks and watch surfers as they hit the waves.
Address: Villa Bonita Dr, Costa Rica
Phone: +506 2640 1117
Banana Beach Restaurant on Tripadvisor
Hotel Vista de Olas
If you are into infinity pools and extraordinary views, you need to put Hotel Vista de Olas on your list. The pool is open for both hotel guests and visitors (you pay an entrance fee of 16 dollars which can be used to purchase food and drinks). Lay back and enjoy the lounge music that gradually turns up during the day – and why not catch the sunset from this mountaintop hotel and restaurant. It’s going to leave you speechless!
The easiest way to get to Vista de Olas is to take a taxi there since it is located on top of a mountain a little outside of the city centre. Even though they serve food, the hotel is best suited for drinks and snacks – save your money for any of the restaurants in the city center instead.
Address: Vista de Olas, 160 5361, Costa Rica
Phone: +506 2640 0183
The amazing sunsets
“After a visit to the beach, it’s hard to believe that we live in a material world.”
When adding Santa Teresa’s spectacular sunsets to that beach experience, you could not agree more with the quote above. The famous sunsets are even more spectacular in real life. This is by far the best part about Santa Teresa, so we urge you to breathe in the atmosphere together with other travelers, surfers and locals.
Stay tuned for more travel tips in Costa Rica!