My first time in Greece was seven years ago, and like most people, I fell in love with the landscape, the blue and white architecture, the fresh seafood, and the warm, laid back culture. So when I received an invitation from Casa Cook to the opening of their hotel on the island of Kos, I was excited to return to Greece. Having already seen the stylish design of their first hotel which opened last summer in Rhodes, I knew this was an opportunity not to be missed. Turns out: it’s the hotel of my dreams.
The property itself resembles a modern Greek village, with cubic, one- and two-story buildings and lots of open communal spaces, like gardens, terraces and a pool, in between. The sun was setting when I arrived and the white buildings were painted pink by the light as I watched the sun slowly disappear behind the mountains across the sea. It was the kind of sight that makes you fall in love with a place.
Stylish and minimal, yet warm and inviting, the interior of the hotel is made up of cool pale grey concrete surfaces, and is strategically furnished with wood and wickerwork pieces. I stayed in a luxurious junior suite, which came with a semi-private pool shared with two connecting suites. I think that what I enjoyed most about Casa Cook and its layout, is that even though the it’s very open and airy, there are lots of intimate ‘pockets’ where guests can enjoy their privacy as well.
In my four day stay at the hotel, I managed to try *almost* everything on restaurant’s farm-to-table menu (a tough job, but someone’s got to do it) and can attest that every dish is delicious! The kitchen uses ingredients grown on their own farm, located next to the hotel, and the menu is made up of Mediterranean dishes with a modern twist. The cocktails, created by David Wiedemann, bartender and owner of Berlin’s popular Reingold bar, are works of art. I was especially delighted to discover that David and I share a mutual love of mezcal. It’s hard to pick favourites from the cocktail menu, but if you get the chance, don’t miss the Oaxaca Tribe, an herbal whiskey sour, and the refreshing Melon Smash.
With its perfect harmony of minimal luxury and earthy, restful decor, Casa Cook is the perfect Greek getaway. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, sipping a killer cocktail on the terrace or enjoying a quiet minute in your room, you’ll never want to leave this one-of-a-kind sanctuary. I know I didn’t…
For more on what to do while in Kos, I’ll be sharing a separate blog post on activities on the island soon.
After three trips to London in the space of one year, most of which was spent eating my way across the city, I’ve gleaned a fair amount of knowledge on the city’s vibrant food scene. When it comes to brunch, Londoners know how to deliver.
From a hearty British breakfast to Taiwanese baos, there are delicious addresses for all tastes. After sampling the best the city has to offer, I’ve put together a list of some less-traditional brunch experiences and tips for what to order!
You can’t skip Bacon naan and bottomless chai! This modern Bombay-style cafe has already received high praise and is on everyone’s ‘best of’ lists. Their breakfast menu is unique and especially noteworthy. We ordered almost the entire menu and each dish was packed full of flavor. All the location are beautifully designed, but my favorite is the big warehouse at King’s Cross.
07 Upper St, Angel
The breakfast of my childhood. Baozi, dumplings, and scallion pancakes topped with fried egg are musts. My favorite on the list, the menu from this kitchy Chinese eatery in Islington transports me back to the breakfasts I had growing up in Taiwan.
Duck & Waffle
Breakfast with a view! Located on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, Duck & Waffle is one of the most sought after reservations in London. We made it there to watch the sunrise while enjoying the sweet-salty combination of crispy duck confit over waffles for an unforgettable experience!
Although they technically do not serve brunch, I couldn’t leave Bao out because I love them too much. These pillowy soft and intensely flavorful baos keep me coming back each trip, sometimes for multiple visits in one weekend! If possible, order a variety of baos (their classic is a must!) with a couple of side plates, such as pickled cabbage, tomatoes in plum powder, and sanbei octopus.
18 Chiltern St, Marylebone
For brunch from around the world. This trendy cafe in Marylebone with the recognizable black and white awning offers a wide array of different breakfasts, from Scandinavian cardamon buns to Japanese onigiri.
My passion for photography comes
hand in hand with my passion for cooking. When I first started food
photography, it was all meals I’ve made at home. Photography was a way to
document them to share with my family and friends. So when Hellmann’s asked me
to come up with 2 delicious recipes using their new product, Carefully
option that’s plant-based and made with non-GMO sourced
ingredients, I was happy to get back into the kitchen to slather up some
spread on my favourite sandwiches!
I love trying different cuisines and
the great thing about Hellmann’s Carefully Crafted is that it’s so versatile.
Being a fan of having a little ‘heat’ in my sandwiches, here are 2 recipes with
Lemongrass banh mi sandwich with sriracha spread
The perfect sandwich for your next spring picnic!
- 3 tbsp of Hellmann’s carefully crafted spread mixed with 1 tbsp of Sriracha sauce
- 1 piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 1 lemongrass stalk, shredded
- 2 green onions, thickly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp liquid honey
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp sodium-reduced soy sauce
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 baguettes
- fresh cilantro leaves
Pickled radish and Carrot:
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp liquid honey
- 1 carrot, 1 daikon radish, and cucumber halved lengthwise and thinly sliced diagonally
Lemon grass chicken: In a food processor, purée lemongrass, ginger, green onions, garlic, honey, lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, oil, pepper and 3 tbsp water. In bowl, pour lemongrass mixture over chicken; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Pickled daikon radish and carrot: In bowl, whisk vinegar with honey. Add daikon and carrot; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Place chicken on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning once, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 6 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and tent with foil; let stand for 3 minutes before slicing.
Spread bottom halves of baguette with sriracha spread; top with chicken, cucumber, pickled carrot, daikon, and cilantro.
Recipe adapted from Canadian living
Fish burger with jalapeno spread
- 3 tbsp of Hellmann’s spread mixed with a dash of lime and bits of jalapeno
- cod, haddock, halibut or other firm white fish
- 2 buns (hamburger, ciabatta)
- 1 avocado
- pico de gallo (tomato, red onions, cilantro, lime, salt)
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan the cook the fish for 2-3 minutes on each side until it is golden and cooked through.
Toast buns (optional), and slather the jalapeno spread on both sides (I like a lot of sauce!) Place fish on bottom, top with sliced avocados and pico de gallo
Recipe created in partnership with Hellmann’s. All views my own.