As life becomes evermore busy and more fast-paced than ever, we are often left with little desire to slave over the kitchen hob and rustle up something inspiring after a very long and stressful day at the office. Pop-up kitchens are the new trend, to not only sample delicious food, but also as a new-age way to socialise within the comfort of your own home, or even host fabulous dinner parties without the pressure of doing the cooking yourself.
I was delighted to discover Anisha’s Pop-up kitchen here in La Zubia, Granada. I was even more thrilled to discover that she also offers the service of cookery classes within the comfort of your own home too! Specialising in healthy cuisine, she prides herself on using all locally produced ingredients in season, so you are guaranteed only the highest of quality when you dine with her. Moreover, she works alongside many food manufacturers that supply sustainable produce, supporting local businesses in the south of Spain.
The type of dishes you can expect to find, range from a plethora of multicultural delights. Anisha successfully draws her inspiration from her heritage and travels, as well as her decade working in the food industry, to produce dishes from Thailand, India and Spain to name but a few! She utilises her expertise to create unique recipes she has developed herself over the years.
When I had the pleasure of dining with her, I was treated to a gluten-free menu consisting of a revitalising Asian chicken and ginger soup, courgette and halloumi baked fritters served with a greek yoghurt lemon dip, and a seasonal summer salad with jamón Serrano, blueberries and figs. These were served with the perfect sparkling white wine and strawberry accompaniment on her gorgeous sunny terrace in Andalucía. What more could a girl ask for?
How better to spend an evening than listening to some live music with a glass of aperol? Especially if the bar lays out some snacks to go with your drink, as is tradition in Italy. This was the scene my friends and I were presented with at Senza Nome, a bar crowded with groups of friends chatting loudly with a jazz band accompanying the lively atmosphere. This very popular bar situated in the central via Belvedere has a defining characteristic: it is run exclusively by deaf people. Senza Nome was born from the initiative to unite different cultures and languages, and to integrate deaf with hearing people, which as we looked around and struggled to find a seat, has obviously proved a very successful enterprise.
Ordering a drink is by no means difficult or awkward, it can be done in many ways: sign language is of course ideal, but if you’re not fluent in this form of communication don’t worry, the wall opposite the bar has bits of paper with different drinks written on them, for customers to hand to the bar staff. Basic hand gestures are also valid, and you may even learn to order your drink in Italian hand gestures with some help from the instructions posted on the walls.
With somewhat messy, lighthearted decoration, the setting is as much of a bar as a space for concerts, workshops, talks and even film events. The cheap prices are also an attractive aspect, and there seems to be an endless supply of peanuts which customers definitely take advantage of….But most of all Senza Nome is a friendly place, and reflects the tight sense of community unique to small cities like Bologna.
If you are lucky enough to grab one of the few tables outside on the terrace, you will be able to relish in the bustling ambience of the other surrounding terraces. However, do not fret if you are unable to find a free table outside, because the real beauty of this bar lies within.
There is a hipster-vibe oozing throughout the bar, in the decor, furnishing and clientele. Whether it’s Friday night drinks with friends, or a romantic date with a loved one, you’ll be able to relax in this quirky, yet sophisticated setting. Not forgetting the staff who are incredibly friendly, they cater to your every need, and even speak English!
Whether it’s a delicious Ribera or a sweet bubbly Yllera, El Conde has a great range of wines to tipple your fancy. The prices are not the cheapest you will find in Granada, although they are also in no way steep, with a large glass of Ribera setting you back around €3.50. What sets El Conde aside from the plethora of other bars in this neighbourhood, is it’s exquisite attention to detail.
The tapas range from simple yet deliciously effective, succulent breaded chicken, to a homemade mini burger with caramelised onions and fried quails egg on top. This comes complete with a cute shot glass of crisps to nibble on as you enjoy your drink.
My personal favourite tapas here is a modern twist on the classic dish, jamón serrano (Cured ham from the mountains). I’m pretty sure Spaniards are fed jamón serrano from birth, as it forms a pivotal staple part of their diets. In fact, if you ever find yourself stuck for conversation with a Spaniard, rest assured you can always talk about their sacred jamón serrano ’til your hearts content! What I loved most about El Conde’s twist on this classic dish, is their successful audacity to modernise the dish, by topping it with brie cheese and a drizzle of sugar-cane honey and sweet chilli sauce. Successfully managing to merge the sweet and savoury boundaries to perfection!
Calle del Rosario 12,
+34 958 05 06 28
With incredible views of the towering Catedral de la Almudena, Terraza Atenas bar is a tranquil oasis in the middle of an otherwise busy and touristy area of Madrid.
My friend and I stumbled across this unique bar whilst walking from the Palacio Realin the sweltering heat. We had done the ‘tourist thing’ and we ventured down towards the neighbouring gardens to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and find refuge from the sun. We came upon the Terraza like a herd of thirsty animals would come upon a lonely drinking hole in the middle of the desert. Situated in the middle of Parque Atenas and far removed from other shops and businesses, Terraza Atenas is well and truly a hidden gem in the city. It was mid-afternoon on a Friday when we paid our visit; the bar was quiet and we shared it with only a handful of other in-the-know locals. It all felt very exclusive and intimate.
The shaded terrace area is centred around a futuristic spaceship-like structure that is reminiscent of an art-deco London underground station, and is surrounded by lush greenery. However, what makes the bar experience so truly unique and special are the mini paddling pools dotted around the decking. Needless to say we cooled off rather nicely with our feet dipped in a pool whilst sipping on a G&T and a passion fruit Capiroska!
All drinks come served with a complimentary mini dish of mixed nuts and jelly sweets. A much appreciated touch, and ideal for those who can’t quite decide whether they’d prefer a sweet or savoury accompaniment to their drink (i.e. me).
I have since heard that Terraza Atenas turns into a lively bar-come-club at night; the perfect spot to enjoy a balmy Madrileño summer evening. Although it may not be the cheapest spot Madrid has to offer, the splurge is well worth it for the whole experience!
Südblock is a cafe, bar and brunch buffet situated in the heart of buzzing Kreuzberg, Berlin. Expect Middle-Eastern and Turkish oriented cuisine, with events and occasional drag acts in the evenings.
On the corner of the Kottbusser Tor roundabout, where Arabic snack stalls meet Turkish falafel stands, groups of youths loiter the streets under tall colourful building blocks. At a standstill for most of the day, the Kreuzberg traders quietly observe the hundreds of faces passing through central Kreuzberg minute by minute and hour by hour.
Taking a step back from the mayhem of anxious tube-goers and beeping car horns, ‘Sud Block’ café-restaurant situates itself on the quieter side of the Tor; an adequate amount of tables and chairs stretching their way across a large plot of paving, taking pride and place under the foundations of the southerly tower-block.
When the sun shines this place is a glorious reflection of the concentration of cultures that have found their home in Kreuzberg or in Berlin in its entirety. Huddled together across wooden tables and down long benches, groups of people speaking languages European in nature or rooted further afield enjoy Sud block’s brimming buffet brunch. Normally not a fan of buffet breakfasts, finding them to be more quantity over quality, yet there is something to be said about S block’s authenticity and general quality of taste that has led me to write this article.
As well as the more generic breakfast options from Germany, parts of Europe and America, Süd block cooks up a feast of Arabic, Turkish and North African dishes allowing you to ‘brunch’, ‘lunch’ or even ‘linner’, whenever you so may please. My favourite part is the sauce and dip section, boasting German ‘käsequark’ and freshly ground ‘hummus’.
Now for the price tag. It starts at 8,50€ and you pay what wish up to a maximum of 14/15 euros. Sound fair? I think so. Drinks are not included in the 8€ benchmark, but are not that expensive all the same. For quality, convenience and general enjoyment, Süd block has got it down to a T. You will leave feeling satisfied with what you ate, paid and with no real need to eat for the rest of the day.
Admiral Straße 1-2
U-Bahn Kottbusser Tor
+49 30 60941853