Total relaxation at hidden Spa Mika in London

Last week I traveled west, to Shepherds bush. Known for it’s amazing Westfield shopping centre and the one place in London where you can find a decent roti wrap. Right at the areas focal point lies the Dorsett Shepherds Bush Hotel with hidden gem SpaMika.

The Dorsett Shepherds Bush has that amazing Great Gatsby and Art Deco vibe, which completes a perfect London feel. Maybe it’s the fact that the building used to be a cinema, built in 1923 that gives you that royal 20’s luxury feeling. Tucked away in this beautiful 8-story hotel you will find SpaMika, where you enter a world of luxury and tranquility.

exterior
The Dorsett Shepherds Bush

Time to Relax
SpaMika is the perfect place to get away from all the noise of the city and hear yourself think again in the sauna, steam room or in one of the four therapy suites. There’s even a room for a couples massage, is it Valentine’s day yet? 
After a good sweat and steam I chilled in the relaxation room. I might have enjoyed this one the most, it’s so lovely and light and you can just relax on a sofa bed and think about how good life is in that moment. And after I had my zen-moment and cup of English tea I enjoyed the Elemis facial. Elemis is known for their luxury products all sourced from nature but with a scientific proven result. The brand is constantly evolving and researching new methods to improve people’s skin. The anti-aging facial I had made my skin soft and radiant without greasing my skin, loved it.

Spa Mika, London
Time to relax!

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Every girl needs a me-day every now and then, I know I do! This is my new go-to spot in the city to unwind and treat myself. Although, maybe next time I’ll bring a friend as the afternoon tea looked AMAZING ;)

*The Dorsett Spa Taster and Afternoon Tea Package is £84.00 per person and includes a 25 minute treatment, up to 1-hour access to the heated facilities and viewpoint relaxation lounge and refreshments. The facilities include changing rooms with amenities, robe, slippers, and towel with access to the Eucalyptus Finish sauna and Aroma steam rooms before your treatment. Classic Afternoon Tea serviced at the Dorsett Atrium Jin Bar.

SpaMika at Dorsett Shepherds Bush
58 Shepherd’s Bush Green, London
Website

Love,

Jantine

*Jantine is a hip hop & cheese enthusiast and a city girl with a love for everything local. After having explored everything there is in Amsterdam while living there, London became her new playground. Her best days are spent exploring the city off the grid, into neighborhoods where you can eat, drink, dance and chat with locals and become one yourself. She will write for Wander-Lust on a monthly basis where she will tip you about the places to be in London! Follow her on Instagram @jantinevanbloois.

QO will be one of the most sustainable hotels in Europe

Last week I was invited to the QO Amsterdam that is set to open at the end of this year. Fully under construction, i got an exclusive tour and even managed to see one of the finished rooms. I’ve been to many hotels in my life but there has never been a hotel I’ve looked this forward to. Why? Because it’s set to be one of the most sustainable hotels in Europe.

At the entrance of QO I meet Inge van Weert, the general manager of the hotel. She tells me an important detail. “There won’t be a reception downstairs but on the first floor”. “People don’t like to walk into hotels because too often they walk into a reception, and hotels, that’s something for tourists right? We want to change this. Our guests should feel comfortable, meet friends for a coffee or enjoy a dinner”. I can totally relate to that. It’s proven to be an effective strategy that you also see at successful hotels like the Hoxton and the W Hotel in Amsterdam.

groundfloor QO, Amsterdam
An impression of how the entrance and restaurant Persijn will look like

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QO is going to grow it’s own vegetables, herbs and even fish in the rooftop greenhouse

Sustainable, yet luxurious
The QO Amsterdam reaches 22 floors and is partly build with the old concrete from the Shell tower, now known as the ADAM Tower. The hotel will have 288 rooms with stunning views over the city. QO wants to show people that sustainability and luxury can go hand in hand. The outside of the building is extremely innovative and very special to say the least. It’s provided with revolutionary climate control through the innovative moving panels is making savings on heating, cooling and ventilation possible. The moving Aluminum panels on the outside of the windows respond to time and climate. I had a look at one of the finished hotel rooms and it looked amazing and super cozy, with warm colors, designed by the Conran Design Group from London. The interior of the open spaces and restaurants are designed by award winning agency TANK.

suite QO Amsterdam
One of the suites at QO

Raw Food & Cocktails
On the 21st floor you will find Juniper & Kin, the hotel bar that will serve cocktails with a combination of small “raw food” dishes, meaning that they are only heated up 41 degrees. The ingredients will come from the greenhouse, situated on the top floor. This will be an important element of the hotel, as they will grow fruits, vegetables, herbs and eatable flowers here. When I was there I was able to taste at least 4 different basilicum leaves, so I can only imagine what else they will grow! Besides plants they also grow fish (omega perch) in the greenhouse. This means they are growing fish and plants together in a mutually beneficial way. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the plants, and the plants purify the water for the fish. So it is a circular greenhouse. They aim not to waste anything at the QO; so once the fish have lived their natural lifecycle in the tanks, you’ll get to enjoy them on your plate. You can’t get anymore local than this! Downstairs on the groundfloor, you will be able to enjoy an exquisite Dutch menu at restaurant Persijn. There will be plenty of vegetables on the menu that will have the overhand, with fish and meat as a side. It’s perfect for a Sunday brunch but also great for a business lunch or dinner and will be able to seat 140 guests.

QO Amsterdam, rooftop bar
Juniper & Kin

We can’t wait for this hotel to open!

QO
Amstelvlietstraat 2, Amsterdam
Website

Love,

Elke

Read about the 5 most sustainable hotels in Amsterdam here:

Sustainable hotels in Amsterdam

Parallel Amsterdam brings Spain to the city

Girls, put on your flamingo dress. Boys, practice your salsa moves. There’s a new kid in town and it’s bringing Amsterdam some Spanish passion. El nuevo restaurante Español will be located at the Overtoom where restaurant BUUF used to be. With pain in our hearts we had to say goodbye to the cozy restaurant that used to feed us the best (and healthy comfort food). But dry your tears, Parallel Amsterdam is here to make it up!

Passionate Spanish cuisine
If I say Spain, you say tapas. However, there is a lot more to discover (and to eat after you discover it). I lived in Madrid for a year and had to go on a strict veggie diet back in Amsterdam. Not because of the tranquillo culture or the whole swimming pool of Sangria that I had drunk. I just couldn’t resist the Spanish cuisine. For me it was like living in comfort food paradise and I’m happy you can soon experience the same at Parallel.

Traditional Spanish food with modern influences.

The owners Roel de Haas and Imre Swaanswijk made it their goal to show Amsterdam the Spanish cuisine is more flavorful than the well-known tapas. With a chef named Alvaro Santiago it seems quite likely they will exceed their goal and the Amsterdam inhabitants are destined to amplify their taste palette to the next level. Their promise: traditional Spanish food with modern influences. Well I say, bring it on! Cause me and my appetite are ready. They serve 3 different versions of gazpachos (cold Spanish soup), crunchy favorites like patatas bravas but also offer a croquette tasting and ceviche. There is a lot of meat and fish but they’ve added some veggie and vegan options on the menu too.

Food at Parallel

Location
Not only you can experience the Spanish food at Parallel Amsterdam, the culture is also there to taste. Wander yourself on the promenade in Barcelona on their wide terrace (definitely for Amsterdam standards). No need to cancel your trip if the thermometer doesn’t match Spanish standers, the terrace is heated.

Parallel Amsterdam

Swap your bike for a bull and let’s pray for some late mid-September summer nights (I still got hope). Parallel is the perfect spot for a Spanish micro-vacation. No heavy suitcases, you only have to bring an empty stomach and your appetite.

Love,

Eva

Parallel Amsterdam
Overtoom 495 – 497, Amsterdam
Website

*Eva is one of our guest bloggers from Amsterdam. She’s a city girl who only leaves her heals at home when wearing a backpack. Living by the urge to be where she’s not, to explore, experience, fall and get up. You can follow her on Instagram.

 

Bakers Dough is coming to Amsterdam!

Time to indulge yourself to the max because cookie dough bar Bakers Dough is also coming to Amsterdam.

After the successful opening in Rotterdam, the insta-famous Bakers Dough is finally coming to our capital city. Never heard of this sweet food trend before? Well, it’s pretty simple; remember the dough you used to secretly eat when your mum baked a cake? It’s just like that only this is the kind that doesn’t make your tummy hurt at the end. The cookie dough is topped with all sorts of things like chocolate, sprinkles, m&m’s or fresh fruits. They even have a gluten free and vegan option!

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The location in Rotterdam has visitors from over the whole world and it was only a matter of time before opening up a second store. The new location is still a secret but we will let you know here first!

Bakers Dough in Rotterdam
Bakers Dough in Rotterdam

For now you can visit Bakers Dough at the Pannekoekstraat 82A in Rotterdam. Check out their Facebook Page for more impressions.

Love,

Elke

*All the images in this articles are courtesy of Bakers Dough

More lusty hotspots?

LUST Spots

 

The Dutch Weed Burger Joint

You must have seen The Dutch Weed Burger at various food festivals, markets or events. If you haven’t, you should try it because it’s one of the most innovating burgers in the world right now. You could already order the special burger at many restaurants around the country but now it’s time for the venture opened it’s first vegan-seaweed-fastfood-bar in Amsterdam West called The Dutch Weed Burger Joint.

The Dutch Weed Burger Joint, Burgers
The famous Weed Burgers Source

Sea Weed is a natural product and the food of the future

Come to this new vegan hotspot for a tasty bite with a beer in your hand and enjoy a 100% plant based menu. Besides the Weed Burger you can also order Seawharma, The Dutch Weed Dog and Wish ‘n Chips. The Joint will also serve freshly made Mylkshakes 100% vegan sweets like the Galaxy Doughnut. Sounds good!

the-dutch-weed-burger-joint
The new location. Source

So Why Seaweed?
The burger is made out of seaweed but don’t be alarmed, it actually taste very good plus there are a lot of health benefits. Sea Weed is a natural product and the food of the future. Sea Weed natural contains protein, omega 3 and minerals. Many scientists believe that this powerful plant could save the world if we run out of resources. It hardly needs any sweet water or space so it’s good for the environment. A win-win situation!

Dutch Weed Burger Joint
Nicolaas Beetstraat 47, Amsterdam
Open: wed – sun 11.00 – 21.30
Website

Love,

Elke

Looking for more tasty hotspots in Amsterdam?

LUST Spots

 

NEW! A Vegan Ice-Cream Bar in Amsterdam

When it’s hot outside, we want ice-cream. But when you’re vegan, it’s not always that easy to find the Ice-Cream you want. If you are vegan or you’re trying to cut down on dairy, you will be happy to hear that the Juicebrothers are selling amazing vegan ice-cream flavors at their new location in Amsterdam!

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The Ice-cream bar at Juicebrothers Haarlemmerplein Source

In collaboration with Van Leeuwen Ice-Cream, they now sell delicious flavors like Black Sesam, Tumeric and even Spirulina! Van Leeuwen Ice-Cream is an organic brand that originated in Brooklyn New York. Besides their New York and Los Angeles stores, they are now making waves overseas. The vegan scoops are made with housemade cashew milk, organic coconut milk, organic extra virgin coconut oil, organic cane sugar, pure cocoa butter, and organic carob bean. 

vegan-ice-cream-bar-in-amsterdam

 

Van Leeuwen Ice-Cream in Amsterdam
Van Leeuwen Ice-Cream announcing their collaboration with The Juicebrothers

We’ll can’t wait to try it!

Juicebrothers
Haarlemmerplein, Amsterdam
Website

Love,

Wander-Lust

This coffee bar in Amsterdam serves Coffee In A Cone

Just when you thought you had seen it all in coffee land, there is something new to be exited about. Coffee bar The Cone Masters serves, well, coffee in a cone. We needed to try this out of course!

Besides the innovating way of drinking your coffee, you can also experience 3 different flavors into one! The inside of the cone is coated with chocolate and you can choose between milk, pure and white chocolate. Yummy!

coffee-in-a-cone
The Cone Masters Source

The Cone Masters are located in the Vijzelgracht in central Amsterdam and is a project from 4 students. They discovered the trend in South Africa and they brought it to Amsterdam. Clever thinking indeed! The bad news is that it’s a pop-up project so hurry if you want to try this cookie-coffee in a cup! The Cone Masters are here until the 18th of June. (They did just told me that they are planning on selling them online!)

The Cone Masters
Vijzelgracht 41, Amsterdam
Facebook

Love,

Elke

Wanna know where you can find the world’s best coffee bars? Check it here!

ZAPPAZ Amsterdam » Restaurant & Cocktail Bar

Zappaz Amsterdam is a brand new restaurant and cocktail bar with influences from Casablanca. It was time to try this new jewel on the IJdok.

Read more

Vegan friendly » BarTack in Amsterdam West

Oh how I love Amsterdam West. I can’t get enough of it and it may has to do with the fact that I live there. Well, I live in Amsterdam New West (yes boys and girls, that’s outside the center of Amsterdam). But I also love it because it’s fast developing. Since I have a baby, I walk around a lot more instead of using my bicycle and by doing so, I discover new shops, restaurants and coffee bars. This is also how I discovered Bartack.

Bartack
You may have heard of Bar Spek on the Admiraal De Ruyterweg in Amsterdam West. Well, they are the same owners of Bartack, so when I walked past the other day I had to check it out. The look of Bartack is industrial combined with a little touch of vintage. Round tables, mixed with some big lounge chairs and small stools. The space is not wide but long with the kitchen in the back (or front, depending on which way you are entering)

Interior Bartack

The Menu
They are open for breakfast from 8am (go for the fluffy pancakes!), up to lunch and dinner. I noticed that the menu offers a lot of vegan options, something you see more and more of in Amsterdam. I love plant based foods so I was happy to see this. From soup to salads or a variety of filled pita breads, I decided to go for the vegan falafel with coleslaw and tajine saus. The open kitchen is always good news and this dish didn’t disappoint me al all! (yummie!) Oh, and another important note; the coffee is great! Yup, bad coffee will turn me off completely and that would have been a shame.

Falafel at Bartack

Add this one to your hotspot list!

Bartack
Postjesweg 124, Amsterdam
Website

Love,

Elke

NYC Hot Spot »The Standard Biergarten, High Line

Once the long winter comes to an end and we get into the early days of Spring, New Yorkers have one mission: to drink outside! The Standard Biergarten – located on the street level of the trendy Standard Hotel and directly under The High Line, is an unexpected outdoor oasis in the midst of the Meatpacking District. This area (typically known for its boujee nightlife scene) plays host to a relatable clientele of young business professionals, college students, and tourists. If you’re looking for a relaxed place to grab a beer, chat with old friends, and hopefully meet new ones – this is a great place to do it!

standard biergarten
Busy and buzzing!

The Standard Hotel has really added a touch of Europe with their Biergarten

After lining up at the door to buy food and drink tickets, $9 each, and settle in for a German brew and tasty snacks (bratwurst, currywurst or pretzels!), bar-goers enter an open brick-walled space filled with picnic tables and benches. Groups gather for fun-spirited conversation as a festive staff, dressed in festive T-shirts and Oktoberfest-inspired dirndls, serves rounds of beer. The communal tables add to the room’s chipper vibe and make mingling and flirting that much easier, while two free games provide a great ice breaker for meeting other trendy but laid-back neighborhood regulars.

standardbiergarten2

Although the place gets packed wall to wall and can be extremely noisy, the ambiance remains more playful and carefree rather than rowdy. Combined with the sociable crowd, open-air space, and casual atmosphere – makes The Standard Biergarten a solid, upbeat hangout for those looking to waste away the hours over a favorite brew.

High Line Walk
If the weather is particularly nice, make sure to take a walk along the High Line while you’re there! This 1.5 mile long, elevated park was built on an old NYC railroad line and is the perfect portrayal of urbanization. Since opening in 2009, the High Line has become one of Manhattan’s most talked about attractions and possibly the best location for sunset viewing since it’s located on the West side and overlooking the Hudson River!

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From The Standard Biergarten to the Highline

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The View from the High Line

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Enjoy a bit of European fun in the middle of New York!

The Standard Biergarten
848 Washington St, New York, NY 10014, USA
Website

Love,

Casey

*Casey is one of our guest bloggers from New York. She’s a 25 year old that grew up in Long Island NY. After graduating college, she moved into NYC and took a job in marketing. She and her large friend group of about 9 girls are all about trying out trendy restaurants and keeping busy with all this amazing city has to offer. She also has her own personal blog, Adolescent Adulthood. She will publish an article in the beginning of each month.