Tag Archives: europe

My Top 5 Bars in Rome

10 Oct

5. Abbey Theatre

No matter where you go, you’re gonna need an Irish pub, right? Abbey Theatre is charming, with lots of smaller rooms linked by narrow corridors. The owner is friendly and fun [he called Nina a bossy cow while we were there and the name has stuck], there’s free wifi, they show major sports on their many TV screens, and basically it’s a go-to pub for a Guiness. Sit at the outside-facing counters for some great people-watching opportunities.

Via del Governo Vecchio 51

4. Bar del Fico

Bar del Fico is right across from Da Francesco and near Baguetteria del Fico, as the name suggests. It’s vibey and loud, perfect for a Saturday night out. It kind of reminded me of my student days in Stellenbosch- almost like Bohemia in Rome. The music is loud, the people are a mixed bag of fun and wild, and it’s the perfect spot to start of end a big Saturday night.

Via San Marcello 19

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3. Baguetteria del Fico

I mentioned the Baguetteria del Fico as one of my top five food experiences in Rome, but it’s great for a drink. Grab a craft beer and seat yourself on one of the wooden stools next to the old-school cars, and enjoy summer afternoons in Rome. Perfect.

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2. Birra del Borgo

I had hat hair and feet that felt like they were bleeding when I walked into Birra del Borgo. And the combination of great, friendly staff, cool music, and delicious beer made it all go away! It’s a cool, laid-back vibe, and I highly recommend you sit at the counter and have an Isaac Weiss beer in one of these fancy glasses. I really enjoyed Birra del Borgo and when we left I just wanted to stay, and hang out there all night, being chilled and drinking the most delicious beer. If I lived in Rome, I’d make this my spot to go to after a hectic day, or to start the weekend.

Via del Colle Rosso

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1. Anywhere

Honestly, the best place to enjoy a drink in Rome is anywhere. It’s legal to drink in public until 11pm every night, so your best bet is to grab a beer or a bottle of wine from a supermarket or deli, find a cool spot, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Rome in all its glory. Rome is so beautiful and vibrant, and I love the people, so I could spend hours sitting somewhere pretty and just taking it all in. I would recommend the Spanish steps, Trevi Fountain, or a walking drink: There is something mind-blowing around every corner in this city, so you’ll never tire of walking it!

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My Top 5 Food Experiences in Rome

2 Oct

I had heard good things about the food in Rome. Amazing things, in fact, and I was excited. We did Rome with two friends and this is a list of my favourite food experiences:

5. Pane, Vino & San Daniele. San Daniele is a famous type of ham from the region of San Daniele in Italy. It’s sort of like a prosciutto, with a strong, delicious flavor. So we went to Pane, Vino & San Daniele to have some of this. We ordered a bottle of red wine, two huge plates of San Daniele, and two plates of fior di latte [which, did you know, means “tears of milk”]. Trust me, it’s all you need. Simple, high-quality food is the epitome of Italian cuisine so this was such a treat.

Via della Panetteria 42.

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4. Baguetteria del Fico. Near the well-known Piazza del Fico [fico means fig], this place is super charming and quaint. The interior is small and can probably seat about 6 people, but outside, next to an old car, there are a few wooden stools which we always used. You have to pick up your stuff and move out of the way if a car comes past, but it’s all part of the charm. The make sandwiches [as the name suggests] and you can choose from a variety of breads. Most options of 4-5 euros, and with combinations like prosciutto, mozzarella, and truffle paste, it’ll be some of the best sandwich money you’ve ever spent! Pistachio paste is another delicious spread, and I can highly recommend the pata negra, which is essentially a grilled Panini with thin slices of lard and balsamic vinegar. If you like Weiss beer, try a bottle of Mikkeller Belgian Tripel. Ideal for a long, lazy lunch.

Via della Fossa 12.

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3. Carlo Menta is proper local. We were the only people in the entire restaurant who were not speaking Italian, and that’s always a good sign! The place is packed, I mean almost shoulder-to-shoulder dining, and there are three things not to expect here: Space; quiet; and fanciness. It’s a bustling little restaurant with honest-to-goodness, well-priced, delicious Italian food.. Marguerita pizzas are 3 euro, and you should know that a plain, good ol’ Marguerita pizza is pretty the best thing to have in Rome if it’s quality. But the best dish on their menu has got to be the Gnocchi di Carlo Menta: Perfect gnocchi with a tomato-base sauce, mussels, and baby clams. Incredible flavours, well-priced, and the cause of much order envy.

Via della Lungaretta 101.

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2. Ginger was our “fancy lunch” for the trip. It was a hot, perfect summer’s day and we sat outside under the umbrellas, watching the stylish Romans go about their usual day. The interior is chic and simple but truly beautiful, and the menu is extensive: Everything from daily dishes depending on the available fresh produce to healthier options like juices and smoothies, Italian food like interesting pasta dishes and meat and cheese platters, gourmet salads – the list goes on. We had some champagne to celebrate my successful Jimmy Choo and Tiffany haul, and each enjoyed a pasta dish. The food is fresh, the décor is gorgeous, and all ‘round I think if I could have lunch at Ginger every day I would. Dishes cost less if you opt for take-away.

Via Borgognona 43/44.

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1. Da Francesco. The place where all four of us had the best meal we’ve ever had. No, really. The best meal ever, in four people’s lives with a combined age of 100. Neighbour to Bar del Fico [we’re back at this piazza], you’d be forgiven for not noticing Da Francesco. Some of the reasons you should go there are that it’s central, well-priced, the staff are delightful, and it’s a lovely spot to sit outside for lunch. The main reason to go there: Truffle and buffalo mozzarella pizza. Need I say more? I don’t think so. It was incredible. It was mind-blowingly delicious, and I pine for it daily. Truth be told I don’t have the words to explain how good this  pizza was, so go there and experience it for yourself. And bring me a slice, will you?

Piazza del Fico, 29.

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How To Visit A French Bakery

16 Aug

See you in three weeks, Paris!

25 Random Facts About Me, Before I Turn 25

2 Aug
  1. As a kid, I had a fear of pineapples.
  2. My pinky toe on my left foot grows skew, kind of over the other toe, and when I was little they wanted to amputate it because a doctor said it would hurt me. I said no [OBVIOUSLY! It’s my toe, you sickos!] and so far I’m still alive. Phew!
  3. When I was about two and a half, and then when I was three, I had two really bad drowning experiences. The first was in the pool- I was wearing one of those Bentley belts things [is that what they’re called?]. My sister went inside and as Murphy would have it, I tipped over. The Bentley Belt prevented me from being able to right myself, so I just had to kind of drown until my sister got back [she saved me]. The second time was when this freakishly huge freak wave took me in when I was playing in the teensy little baby waves. A teenage boy tried to save me, but got taken in as well. Eventually his dad and a lifeguard saved us. Obviously this was all fairly traumatising and while I can swim, it’s not exactly anything I’ve pursued further than splashing around to cool down during poolside cocktail hour. Stupid water.
  4. My favourite flowers are tulips. Peonies are a close second.
  5. I’m a maths freak. Not in any useful way, but I can multiply big [ish] numbers in my head. I found this out when I was 11 and I am almost always doing sums in my head.
  6. I learnt to ride a bike on Christmas Day… of 2012.
  7. As a kid, I stuttered really badly. I also couldn’t really cope with people so I had to be taken out of pre-primary school for six months. If you met me now, you’d never guess. What a dud kid I was! Jokes. I was adorable and perfect.
  8. I speak five languages. English, Afrikaans, French, Mandarin, and German.
  9. I did horse riding for thirteen years. I even made the provincial team for show jumping, showing, and equitation on a tiny little thing whose owners wanted to shoot him because he threw their daughter. I miss horse riding every single day of my life, so if you’re in Cape Town and need help with your horses, call me. I will love you forever.
  10. My family and close friends call me Lili [pronounced Lee Lee], which I love. My English teacher in grade five once told me Lize is a fat girl’s name. Humph.
  11. One of the absolute highlights of my life [thus far] was seeing Goya’s black paintings when I was 16 at the Prado Museum in Madrid. I can’t explain it, I was just so moved and overcome with emotion. I will never forget that. We saw an exhibition of his sketches in Prague last year on honeymoon which was also cool, although nothing like the black paintings.
  12. The coolest job I ever had [so far] was being a rugby presenter on TV.
  13. I’m an entrepreneur! I own a CC, and so far it hasn’t made us millions but it’s early days and I’m  confident it will be a success. I’ve also gotten funding for a second business idea I recently pitched and next week, on my birthday, I’m pitching this to the woman who I hope will be my partner. Hold thumbs!
  14. My  favourite songs are Hallelujah [by Jeff Buckley], High and Dry [by Radiohead], and Milk [by Kings of Leon].
  15. I am utterly and completely, absolutely obsessed with Paris. I dream of living there someday with SC and Eponine, and I cannot wait to be there next month.
  16. I have a fear of moths, and I hate birds [except owls].
  17. I am always craving salt and vinegar crisps. Like, at any given moment, if you asked me, I would be in the mood to have salt and vinegar crisps. Even if I have just eaten twenty kilograms of food, or am dying of food poisoning, I will have them. Macarons and champagne are a close second, though far classier.
  18. I can’t do a cartwheel or whistle.
  19. I’m one of five kids: A sister eleven years older than I am, a brother eight years older than I am, and two baby half sisters who are four and five.
  20. My hair has been super long, super short, shaved off, pitch black, snow white, silver, and pink.
  21. I have a tattoo on my left side of Jimi Hendrix lyrics, in his handwriting.
  22. I’ve never broken a bone, and besides for being born I’ve never gone to hospital. Up until recently I’d never had stitches, but then I had a mole removed from my face and got two stitches. IN MY FACE. Hard core.
  23. Up until the age of about fifteen I was going to be a vet. I even used to shadow my horse riding instructor’s father, who was a vet, and I’ve put stitches in a sheep, vaccinated sheep and cows, done blood slides, slaughtered a sheep [after which I took it apart to study all its insides], and did an artificial insemination. Yup, I made a baby cow when I was fifteen.
  24. I always had this theory that I was adopted. Sometimes I still do. See, EVERYONE in my family has dark hair and dark brown eyes. Extended, too. Secondly, my mum was adopted, so she would possibly want to adopt a child too, right? Also, everyone except me got a second name. And while there are pictures of my mum and my siblings in hospital, there are none of me. Not even one! I only come onto the scene at age one or two. Suspicious? Absolutely. And till this day, no one has been able to show me my birth certificate. It’s always missing, or with the other parent. *scratches chin*
  25. I actually do believe that Unicorns exist. For real.

Skiing in Paris

14 Mar

These are a few of my favourite things!

5 Feb

 

Louis Vuitton, and Paris.

See you in September, Paris. Can’t wait.

Ich Liebe Deutsch!

29 Nov

I am currently on a mission to improve my languages. English and Afrikaans are fluent in reading, writing, and speaking, but my German, French, and Mandarin could use some attention. I decided to start with German as it is easier for me [as English and Afrikaans are both Germanic] even though my French is better than my German, then onto French, and then, when I’m feeling strong, Mandarin.

Last week I was shown a great app called Learn Like Kids. We;ve all noted that kids can get to grips with a language in a matter of months, whereas adults take years to do the same thing. Most people think this is due to the different developmental stages. But these app developers have stepped forward and said that the key difference is the teaching method. Children are taught in a different way to adults [obviously], but the method used for kids is more effective.

The app has 30 lessons, each with ten components consisting of six words or sentences. Each lesson is pretty quick and I do them when I have a few minutes to kill, generally when I’m walking to work or waiting for SC to finish getting ready [yup, I get ready faster than he does!]. Each word or sentence is accompanied by a voice note [they’re read in a female voice and then also a male voice], and an image.

Anyway, it’s been a great tool to help me improve my Deutsch, but I have to laugh at some of the stock images they choose. I had to share just a few:

 

Sexy.

Why is the musician wearing no shirt, but a scarf?

What did your mum say? If you have nothing nice to say…

Well, this is a kinky kind of office romance.

This poodle looks like he’s protecting himself from a punch to the hoohah!

Oh, ve do love ze Germans!