Home and away, I love to travel. Posts from trips in the UK and overseas including hotel and restaurant reviews and visits to specialist producers.

 

I’m conscious that nearly a year has passed since our last trip to Japan and I still have so much about the trip that I haven’t shared yet.

One of my favourite mornings was a visit to Kyoto’s Toji Temple for the monthly Kōbō-san flea market that’s held in the grounds on the 21st of each month. It was surprisingly busy, with a food-to-eat-now and produce market alongside the stalls selling both second hand goods and new products. I loved it! I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Click on any image to view a larger version.

Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2356 Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2359
Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2362 Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2404
Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2411 Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2403
Approaching the entrance; entering; within the temple grounds

 

Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2370 Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2372
Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2371 Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2380
Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2375-2 Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2379
An area of prayer by a statue of Kōbō Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism in Japan and the head priest of the temple about 30 years after its establishment

 

Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2357 Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2365
Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2383 Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2386
Random market wares

 

Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2358 Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2397
Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2395 Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2400
Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2391 Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2382
Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2388 Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2389
Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2390 Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2398
Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2369 Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2399
Food vendors, to eat on site and to takeaway; I was surprised to recognise the man in the yellow apron and headgear from our trip the previous year, I remembered him being at Takayama Miyagawa morning market!

 

Toji-Temple-Market-Kyoto-Japan-(c)KavitaFavelle-2394
There were peaceful corners even amid the bustle of flea market day

Find more of my Japan content, here.

 

 Bacon-Wrapped-Icelandic-Hot-Dog-KaveyEats-(c)KFavelle-addedtext-8442

Icelanders love their hot dogs! Who knew?

Well, anyone who’s spent any time in Iceland, that’s who; recommendations to seek out Icelandic pylsa abound and I’m adding one more to the pile!

An Icelandic pylsa is much like a hot dog anywhere in the world… with a few little touches that make it a little different. Firstly, if you order your hot dog með öllu (with everything) you’ll get crispy fried onions – usually the kind you can buy ready made from the supermarket – and finely diced crunchy raw onions, both spread along the roll underneath the frankfurter. You can skip the raw onions if you must by ordering með öllu nema hráum (with everything except raw) but why would you? On top you’ll get ketchup and mustard, as you might expect, plus another condiment you might not; remúlaði. Remoulade is a mayonnaise-based sauce most commonly served with fish but in Iceland (and Denmark too) it’s become a key hot dog condiment as well.

The most famous hot dog vendor in Iceland is probably Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, sold out of two mobile vans in Reykjavik. Their sausages are made by Sláturfélag Suðurlands, a food-producing cooperative owned by farmers from southern and western regions of Iceland. I’m curious as to why these are named vinarpylsa, which I think translates to ’friend sausages’. Anyone?

Iceland2014-KaveyEats-(c)KFavelle-7247 Iceland2014-KaveyEats-(c)KFavelle-7244
Iceland-2014-KaveyEats-(c)KFavelle-142840 Iceland-2014-KaveyEats-(c)KFavelle-111330

I liked my Baejarins Beztu Pylsur hot dog a lot but personally I was just as happy with the hot dogs I ate elsewhere in Iceland at tourist sites and in petrol station restaurants. My favourite was the bacon-wrapped example from an Olis petrol station’s Grill 66 fast food restaurant.

Bacon-Wrapped-Icelandic-Hot-Dog-KaveyEats-(c)KFavelle-addedtext-8438

The remoulade served with hot dogs in Iceland is pale yellow but my recipe (below) is green as I’ve upped the quantity of parsley. I’ve also skipped the mustard since mustard is one of the other condiments to be squirted on anyway. By all means, adjust your remoulade recipe to better match the Icelandic style.

Icelandic Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog

Ingredients per hot dog
1 frankfurter sausage
1 rasher of streaky bacon, smoked or unsmoked
1 hot dog bun
(Optional) 1-2 tablespoons finely diced raw white onion
1-2 tablespoons crispy fried onions
Squirt of ketchup
Squirt of sweet mustard
Squirt of remoulade sauce (see below)

  • Wrap a rasher of streaky bacon around each frankfurter. Fry gently in a pan until the bacon is cooked and has taken on a little colour.
  • Slice the hotdog bun from the top, without cutting all the way through.
  • Open the bun and add a layer of raw onion (if using) and a layer of crispy onion.
  • Top with the bacon-wrapped frankfurter.
  • Add ketchup, sweet mustard and remoulade over the top and serve immediately.
    Tip: I spooned some remoulade into a freezer bag and snipped off a tiny corner, in an attempt to make it easier to pipe, but I still made quite a mess. If you have an empty nozzled squeezy bottle, that would be perfect.

Bacon-Wrapped-Icelandic-Hot-Dog-KaveyEats-(c)KFavelle-8426 Bacon-Wrapped-Icelandic-Hot-Dog-KaveyEats-(c)KFavelle-8433 Bacon-Wrapped-Icelandic-Hot-Dog-KaveyEats-(c)KFavelle-8435

Icelandic Remoulade Sauce

Makes a small jar, can be stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

Ingredients
120 ml mayo
2-3 tablespoons flat parsley leaves
2 medium spring onions
2 medium pickled gherkins
1 tablespoon pickled gherkin brine or cider vinegar
Optional: 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
Optional: 1 teaspoon mustard

  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor or a grinder that can handle wet ingredients.
  • Blend until smooth.

Of course, there’s more to Icelandic cuisine than hot dogs. I’ll be sharing more from our trip soon!

 

My baby sister got married in Croatia a couple of months ago. I can honestly say it was the joint happiest day of my life so far. (The other, for avoidance of doubt, was my wedding to Pete, exactly 20 years ago today). It made my heart so happy to see my sister and her fine fiancé tie the knot, surrounded by friends and family – utterly magical.

I thought I’d cry during my speech but breeze through my reading. In the end, my emotions (and voice) caught during the reading, which was part way through the ceremony and caused my sister to cry as well, oops sorry about that! But I managed the speech without sobbing, though it caused a few (good) tears amongst some of the wedding party, I think!

Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-153405 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-184241

The setting for the ceremony was breath-taking, in the truest sense of the word – a hotel’s outdoor terrace overlooking the old town harbour, city walls and red tiled roofs – a view that made us gasp. The weather was searingly hot and we sat (or stood in the case of the bridesmaids, best man and groom) wilting in the heat, but still all of us grinned at her beauty when we saw her arriving on my dad’s arm. The ceremony was lovely and soon they were married. Such an adorable couple.

Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-120151 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-115419

After the ceremony, the entire wedding party walked down to the harbour for a champagne reception on an old-style sightseeing boat. As the group walked through the old town, local buskers spontaneously switched to playing Here Comes The Bride, and fellow tourists stopped to watch and applaud. Boat trip around the city walls and nearby Lokrum island over, we walked back to the hotel where tables had been set up on the terrace for the evening meal, speeches and dancing.

Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-184108 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-183919Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-183831 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-203223

The entire day was glorious!

Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-142043

Pete and I travelled to Dubrovnik a few days before the wedding and also booked to stay on another 4 days afterwards. We spent the first few days in a beautiful villa with pool with my sister and brother-in-law-to-be and the bridesmaids, best man and partners. For our last few days, we were very pleased with our choice of the Hilton Dubrovnik, with an enviable location right by Pile Gate and a very enjoyable breakfast buffet to boot.

Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-101657 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-100231Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-104647 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-210538

We had plans to do lots of sightseeing locally in Dubrovnik and take day trips to nearby islands.

Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-212003 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-160139Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-160012 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-160057

In the end, the weather in late June/ early July was so hot and humid that I was zapped of what little energy I can ever summon within minutes of stepping outside. I’ve certainly endured hotter but Dubrovnik’s summer heat was astonishingly oppressive. We hoped that early starts in the morning might allow us to evade the heat but discovered that it was already hotter than Hades by 8 o’clock in the morning!

All of which is why we did little more than eat out and walk the city walls for the entire week of our visit!

Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-091021 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-091103Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-091346 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-091525

… and we only managed to get half way around the city walls walk before my abject terror of heights (and the resultant need to scale most of the stairs sideways like a crab, clinging to the railings for dear life) combined with the excessive heat (even though we started the circuit the moment the gates opened at 8 a.m.) saw us admit defeat after an hour. Presciently, we began with the half that afforded us views of Dubrovnik old town with a backdrop of indigo blue sea and the island of Lokrum behind.

Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-151412 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-212042Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-212242 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-101048

But we did fall for the beautiful old town and quickly came to understand why my sister and brother-in-law chose this pretty place in which to tie the knot.

Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-224617 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-211941Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-211609 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-211028

We had many delicious lunches and dinners but here are my top picks; all three are located in the old town, inside or just outside the city walls.

Pizzeria Tabasco (Cavtatska ulica 11)

The company from whom we rented the villa gave us some excellent restaurant recommendations, including this lovely pizzeria located just outside the city walls, near the lower entrance to the cable car.

Enormous, wood-fire oven-baked pizzas with really delicious toppings, these were not only top quality but incredibly good value too. One of the toppings on mine was a local fresh cheese which quickly melted into puddles a minute or so after it was served to the table. One of the best Italian-style pizzas I’ve had, anywhere.

Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-145230

Restoran Dubrovnik (Marojice Kaboge 5)

In the maze of narrow streets within the old town walls, this elegant restaurant is a little out of the way of the busiest thoroughfares and feels a little more peaceful as a result. The tables are on an open rooftop, with sliding roofing panels available to provide protection should the weather require. We loved this outdoor seating with its surround view of the beautiful stone buildings of the old town.

The menu is modern European with a focus on local ingredients and we enjoyed our first meal so much we booked to go back on our last evening.

Pricier than the other two, but (from our Londoner perspective) still reasonable for the quality – and much less expensive than other high end restaurants in town.

Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-200138 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-200051Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-194153 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-195659

Taj Mahal (Ulica Nikole Gučetića 2,

In spite of the Indian name, this is actually a Bosnian restaurant and the tables are tucked along one edge of a narrow old town alley.

By far the most popular dish amongst customers was cevapi – little grilled minced meat kebabs. They were simply served inside soft warm bread with raw red onions and the most amazing butter and fresh cheese condiment that I devoured (and then asked for more of).

They also do some delicious local meat and cheese platters and a range of other Bosnian dishes. Various others in the wedding party visited during the week and enjoyed the Taj Mahal as much as we did.

Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-151310 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-150821Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-151121 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-151225

As for ice cream (or gelato, as it’s mostly in the Italian style), there are many excellent ice cream vendors to choose from and I suggest you go for the nearest when the mood for ice cream strikes!

Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-211652 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-151616Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-211848 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-211810

Our plan is to head back to Dubrovnik (and the rest of Croatia too) in the next year or two for a spring or autumn break, when the weather is a little more conducive to more active exploration.

IMG_20140630_140951 IMG_20140702_132812 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-142050
Message on a bottle – words from Croatian natural water brand

 

P.s. Happy 20th wedding anniversary, Pete. I love you!

 

When it comes to tourism in Belgium, Brussels gets a bad rap.

Go to Bruges, they say, for the picturesque canals and mediaeval centre.
Go to Antwerp, they say, for world class art and hipster fashion.
Go to Ghent, they say, for more of the same plus cycling too.
Go to Ypres, they say, for WW1 history.

But Brussels? Brussels is often dismissed as little more than a hub for politicians and lobbyists.

Of course, there’s much more to Brussels than politics! Yes, Brussels is the home of the European Union, NATO and the United Nation’s European office…

…but it is also the capital of a country of two halves – the Dutch-speaking Flemish region of Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia in the South. Multicultural Brussels, the third region of the country, is bilingual though French is now more prevalent than Dutch. These days English is widely spoken as well as many other languages, indeed it’s said that as much as half the population speak neither French nor Dutch as their native tongue.

As a Londoner, one of the things I find most appealing about Brussels is this sense of multiculturalism. Although the issue of language is still a hot potato for many Belgians, especially when it comes to education and cultural identity, Brussels is a city that is very open to the world.  Indeed, we chat to Pierre from the local tourist board who tells us that the people of Brussels refer to themselves as zinneke (bastard dogs), wearing their mongrel heritage with pride. Pierre is himself the perfect example – his mother is gipsy, his father Walloon and Flemish, his wife Brazilian and his sisters are married to a German, a Frenchman and a Czech, respectively!

Brussels is a vibrant city with a historic heart and a modern outlook. And the Eurostar service takes you from London St Pancras to Brussels Midi-Zuid in less than two and a half hours!

Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-142707 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-145325 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-103446 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-5652

When it comes to sightseeing, you still can’t beat a good old-fashioned guide book, or the website equivalent. I won’t try to recreate that here but suggest that as well as the popular Gothic and baroque buildings of the Grand Place and surrounding narrow cobbled streets, the shiny Atomium housing a variety of exhibitions and the incomprehensibly mobbed corner where the Mannekin Pis resides you might want to look up Jeanneke Pis and Zinneke Pis – the squatting female and doggie equivalents of Mannekin, the Belgian Comic Strip Centre (and the Comic Strip walk that takes you past comics painted on the walls of a number of buildings), an amazing array of grand buildings such as the Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula, the Bourse (stock exchange), the Royal Palace, the Basilique du Sacré Coeur and the architecture of art nouveau architect Victor Horta. Lovers of literature, art, history and even cars, will also appreciate several excellent museums in Brussels.

Instead, I’m going to share my tips for some great places to eat, drink, shop and sleep.

 

Chocolates and Patisserie

Brussels is awash with shops selling chocolate, but much of what’s on sale is cheap, bulk-manufactured products that are hardly worth wasting suitcase space for. Here are the ones that are worth seeking out.

Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-5647 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-5640 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-103147
Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-5651 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-111942 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-112235

Laurent Gerbaud is one of Belgium’s rising chocolatiers and is fighting an uphill battle to move Belgians on from the idea of “Belgian chocolate” to an understanding of the actual origins and varieties available.

Like several chocolatiers I’ve met, Laurent was a chef first; he came to chocolate via chocolate sculpture with an artist friend, and that lead, eventually, to his current career. As a child, he developed an interest in China, perhaps because of several friendships he had with Chinese and Taiwanese families. He worked in Chinese restaurants, took courses in Chinese and, after a university degree in history, finally moved to China for a couple of years. There, he discovered that the Chinese don’t have as sweet a tooth as Europeans and he lost his taste for high sugar sweets. When he came back to Belgium, he had the obvious thought of bringing his experiences in China into his chocolate making but realised he wasn’t inspired by fusion flavours. Instead, he focused on quality ingredients, including some sourced from Asia.

Today, the Chinese influences is perhaps most evident in his logo which is an artistic interpretation of the Chinese hanzi characters for “chocolate” and his name.

Laurent is keen to make chocolate that people love to eat; he says “one of my purposes is to make junk food – you eat one and you want another because it’s really good”. Judging by the chocolates we tasted, he’s nailed it – I could have eaten a whole box of the chocolates made with dried figs from Turkey and candied oranges from Italy. His shop on Rue Ravenstein is also a boutique tea room, with plans to extend the service to offer a savoury menu too.

Tip: Of course, you can visit his shop just to buy some of his excellent chocolate, but for a more personal experience, book a chocolate tasting or chocolate making workshop.

Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-144237 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-6583 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-144633

Pierre Marcolini is one of the few Belgian chocolatiers to make chocolate from bar to bean, before then using it to make a range of chocolates. His chocolate shop at 2 Rue de Minimes is certainly full of temptation but what I recommend above the chocolate is a visit to the address around the corner at 39 Grote Zavel, where his spectacular patisserie is sold. I found the macarons surprisingly disappointing but a glossy strawberry patisserie was a winner.

Other famous chocolate brands in Brussels include Wittamer (a long standing bakery and chocolate business) and Frederic Blondeel (a chef turned chocolatier who also makes chocolate from bean to bar).

 

Speculoos Biscuits

Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-5657 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-5660
Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-5661 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-5667
Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-121238 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-5672

Speculoos, hailing from Belgium and The Netherlands, are spiced shortcrust biscuits that were originally associated with the feast of Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) in early December. Made from flour, brown sugar and butter with a spice mix that usually includes cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom and white pepper, these days they are popular and available all year round.

Maison Dandoy, established in 1829, makes a range of sweet bakery products but is best known for its traditional speculoos and gingerbread biscuits. These days, it has a handful of shops in Brussels, but its worth making a trip to its oldest remaining store at 31 Rue au Beurre, to admire the beautiful wooden biscuit moulds lining the shelves. The Tea Room on Rue Charles Buls (also known as Karel Bulsstraat) is larger, offering the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of biscuits, pastries and drinks inside. There are an additional four shops in Brussels, plus one in nearby Waterloo.

Having tried several supermarket brands of speculoos biscuit, I was surprised to discover that it’s not just a case of fancy shops and branding – the Maison Dandoy speculoos biscuits are definitely superior!

We also tried Dandoy’s pain à la Grecque, a crunchy bread-cum-biscuit coated with pearled sugar crystals. I was more fascinated by the origins of the name than the biscuit itself – over two centuries ago, the monks of a local Augustine abbey used to support the city’s destitute by giving them bread. The abbey was located near a place known as Wolvengracht (Wolves Ditch); the gracht pronounced grecht in local dialect. Over time, pain a la grecht morphed into pain à la Grecque, confusing generations of shoppers with its erroneous suggestion of a Greek origin.

Tip: If you’re as huge a fan of speculoos biscuits as we are, make a quick visit to a supermarket to pick up a couple of extra large packs of mass-produced biscuits as well. There’s a mini supermarket in Brussels Midi Station.

 

Cuberdons

Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-145630 Cuberdons-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-184109

I first fell for cuberdons over two decades ago, and if anything, I love them even more today. A purply-dark red colour and conical in shape, the cuberdon is a raspberry-flavoured gummy sweet, firm on the outside with an oozing interior. In Dutch, it’s known as a neus (nose), in French it’s called a chapeau-de-curé or chapeau-de-prêtre (priest’s hat).

You can find cuberdons in quite a few sweet shops in Brussels, several of which sell multiple colours and flavours, a relatively recent phenomenon. But we’ve found that the best prices for regular raspberry cuberdons is from the Cric-Crac sweet shop inside Brussels Midi station, which sells by weight.

Tip: These sweets are best eaten within a couple of weeks of purchase, as the liquid centre can crystallise and harden if left for too long.

 

Waffles

Belgian Waffles fall into two types.

Firm, rich and chewy Gaufre de Liège (Liège Waffle) are made from an adapted brioche-dough and work well both hot and cold. These are usually oval in shape and have a slightly crunchy exterior from the crystallised sugar that has caramelised against the waffle iron. They’re great for eating on the hoof as they’re traditionally eaten plain (though you can buy them with toppings too if you prefer).

Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-144058

Rectangular Brussels Waffles are made with a leavened batter, resulting in a much lighter and airier texture and are definitely at their best enjoyed hot, fresh from the waffle iron. Traditionally, Brussels waffles are served with a dusting of icing sugar but these days you can choose from a wide selection of toppings including ice cream, chocolate sauce and fruits. But I suggest you ignore all of those and ask for your waffle with a generous dollop of speculoos paste. With a texture much like smooth peanut butter, this sweet spread is the same flavour as the famous biscuit and melts wonderfully into the indentations of a freshly-cooked hot waffle.

Tip: You’ll find waffles on sale all over Brussels, often from hole-in-the wall vendors, but if you want to sit down and eat, try Maison Dandoy’s Tearoom.

 

Beer & Bars

Belgium is world famous for its beers and rightly so, with a rich tradition that goes back many, many centuries. The range of beers produced by Belgian breweries is impressive, including pale, golden, amber, red and dark ales, dubbels and tripels, Flemish sour brown, Champagne beers (which receive a second fermentation using the method now most strongly associated with Champagne), wheat beers and lambics (spontaneously fermented with wild yeasts that are native to the brewery, as opposed to the addition of cultivated yeasts).

Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-5680 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-124551

Both Pete and I absolutely love what owner Jean Hummler is offering at his two bars, Moeder Lambic and Moeder Lambic Fontainas, located at 68 rue de Savoie and 8 place Fontainas, respectively. He started the first bar less than five years ago, after a career working for industrial food businesses in France.

He starts off by telling us why he wanted to do something different; “most places are not very selective, they sell coca cola and junk food” and their beer selection is not very inspiring either. He is committed to selling only quality produce and that applies to the beers, the food and even the soft drinks. He has two key criteria, the way a product is made and how it tastes. “Making money and brewing great beer are often not the same job”, he laughs. He looks for products that are made by hand, adding that he doesn’t want “industrial anything”. For a beer to be selected it must be made with craft and it must pass the taste test – it must taste good! Right now, he has approximately 150 beers on the menu of which 46 are on tap. These include beers from around the world, including a number from the UK.

The same principles apply to his sourcing of cheeses and charcuterie (which form the main thrust of the simple menu) and the non-beer drinks menu (which includes some delicious farmhouse apple juice, for those less interested in the beers).

The cheese selection (€12.5) is utterly wonderful; all are raw milk cheeses and range from soft and mild to fantastically pungent, each one a genuine delight. In the centre of the serving board is a bowl of pottekees – a blend of fresh white cheese, onion, pepper and lambic beer. Just as excellent is the meat selection (€12.5) which includes garlic sausage, French sausage, paté made with geuze beer, hâte levée – pork cooked slowly in bouillon with garlic and spices, Tierenteyn mustard, Belgian pickles (which are a lot like piccalilli). Both plates are served with a basket of bread and a superb raw milk butter.

As he introduces each item on the plates, his enthusiasm for the producers and their products is self-evident; “The idea is to offer another selection, another quality, another explanation that most people don’t know exists”.

Two other key policies for Hummler are ensuring that all his staff know and love the product range, and establishing strong relationships with each supplier – and one (of many) ways he furthers both is the Moeder Fucker series of beers brewed by Le Paradis microbrewery not far from Nancy, in France. For each beer he sends two of his staff to the brewery to help make it; they decide which style of beer to make and work with the brewery team to create their vision. During our visit, Moeder Fucker IV was on tap.

As we talked, Pete tried five beers, guided by Hummler through the staggering range available. He drank Taras Boulba by local Brasserie de la Senne (Belgium), Moeder Fucker IV by Le Paradis (France), Mozaic Black by Mont Saleve (France), Cuvée De Ranke by Ranke (Belgium) and Fièvre de Cacao by Thiriez (France).

In the end, Hummler is a man after my own heart. “We all have to decide. Each citizen has to decide what they want to do with their life. I decided for myself that I wanted to eat very good food. I eat less and less meat, maybe once a week but what I eat is very good, like the chicken that is aged 120 days on a small farm. Taste is very important to me.

Tip: Ask staff for guidance in selecting beers for your own beer flight.

Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-182429 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-6552
Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-6549 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-6548

Small and traditional pub La Fleur en Papier Doré was the perfect place to meet local friends for an evening drink. At 55 Rue des Alexiens, it was very close to our bed and breakfast, and also easy to reach by local bus. The menu shares a little of the history of the bar, housed in a small maisonette that dates from the mid 18th century. In the past it housed a convent, which moved to a new home in the middle of the 20th century. As a pub, it became the favoured meeting place of the Surrealist cultural movement with regulars including René Magritte; a few decades later it was a focus point for the Cobra (avant-garde) movement, creators of experimental art and philosophy. Mementos of both remain on the well-worn walls of the cosy pub, protected (along with the façade, the ground floor rooms and some of the furniture) by the local government which has decreed them of historical value.

Stop for a few beers (and some charcuterie) or for a simple meal.

Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-133942

The Cantillon Brewery welcomes visitors for brewery tours (7 Euros including a beer) or to buy beer. You can buy to drink in or takeaway; lovers of lambic will particularly enjoy a visit. The address at 56 Rue Gheude is only a short walk from the central tourist district.

 

Lunch Stops

My first recommendation for a light lunch is the cheese plate and charcuterie selection at Moeder Lambic, above. Super quality, and each provides a generous portion for the price.

Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-122600 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-123841 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-124204

Another great option is recently opened Peck 47 (amusingly named for its address at 47 Rue Marche Aux Poulets). This all day cafe offers a short menu of home made sandwiches, salads, soups, cakes, fresh juices, smoothies and a small selection of local beers. For just €8, my poached eggs on sourdough with smoked salmon and homemade relish was far more generous than I expected and all the items were of excellent quality. The eggs were perfectly poached, the salad nicely dressed and the home made relish very good indeed. Pete’s sandwich – roast chicken, rocket, lemon and basil mayo and slow roasted tomatoes – also impressed, for €5.

Tip: A particularly nice touch is that the free tap water is stored in the drinks fridge in large bottles stuffed with mint. Ask for some!

 

A Traditional Dinner

Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-200702 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-6555 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-6556
Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-6560 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-6563 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-202535

I have to say from the off – don’t go to Restobieres if you’re looking for great service. The three staff on duty ranged from friendly but incompetent through utterly disinterested to downright sullen. That usually stops me from recommending a place but Restobieres is a good option if you’re keen to try traditional Belgian dishes alongside a range of Belgian beers.

Herve Cheese Croquets (€10) were a tasty comfort food, served hot and freshly fried. Homemade paté with Rochefort and foie gras  (€12) was a generous slab; light on the foie gras but tasty nonetheless. My calf’s liver with shallots and Chouffe  (€20) was decent; I really liked the beer and shallot sauce. Pete had satisfactory steak and chips with another good sauce and a generous well-dressed salad. The star of the mains was our friend’s bloempanch blood pudding (€12) which was both tasty and generously portioned for the price.

The only duff note (with the exception of the service) was a scoop of speculoos biscuit ice cream (€4) which we decided could only possibly have been made by a chef who’d never tasted speculoos (and not bothered to look up a recipe for the spices usually used). The texture was unpleasantly gritty too.

Located at 9 rue des Renards, not far from the Jeu de Balle flea market.

 

Brussel’s Modern Dining Scene

Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-190324 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-6607 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-210428
Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-6608 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-6611
Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-6615 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-6617
Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-6625 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-6627
Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-6635 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-5712

I already explained how much we liked the multicultural vibe in Brussels. This goes equally for the food scene, which has some great restaurants to explore. One such place launched just a few weeks before our visit; located along very trendy Rue de Flandre in the Sainte Catherine district, Gramm is a restaurant offering bold, inventive and modern food. It’s headed up by Chef Erwan Kenzo Nakata, who grew up in Brittany to a French father and Japanese mother, thus explaining some of the eclectic Japanese touches to otherwise modern French cooking.

The evening offering is a fixed tasting menu, 6 courses for €38. Although the courses are individually quite small, we felt very satisfied at the end of our meal, having enjoyed the array of tastes, textures and colours in Nakata’s self-assured dishes.

While I felt the food was good value, I was less impressed with the drinks pricing, for wines, beers and soft drinks (which were served in shockingly tiny glasses) so if you’re on a fixed budget, keep an eye on your drinks orders to avoid a shock at the end of the evening. Also, do set aside plenty of time. Service is very warm and friendly but the wait between courses, even in a nearly empty restaurant, is a little longer than ideal.

Tip: Don’t be shy about asking for more of the excellent bread and butter, by the way, it’s great for mopping up some of the juices and sauces!

 

The Marolles Flea Market

Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-103519 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-103538
Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-105344 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-105047

Usually, I’m not much of a shopper but offer me the chance to browse a car boot sale or flea market and I’m instantly excited, so I was very keen to return to the famous Marolles Flea Market held daily in the Place du Jeu de Balle. On sale is a charming mix of cheap tat and more expensive “antiques”; it’s definitely a case of one man’s rubbish being another man’s treasure. With my love of retro kitchenware, I was in heaven as there’s plenty of it here, at very bargainous prices. It’s actually a miracle I came away with only a couple of ornate old teaspoons and two Nestle branded cups and saucers in amber glass – there was, I think, a complete set of six in the box but most were too chicken-shit-and-feather covered to assess very well, so I just bought the two cleanest ones for a whopping €1!

The market runs every day of the year. Official start times state that it starts at 6 am and finishes at 2pm on weekdays, 3pm on weekends.

Tip: Take lots of small change with you and of course, be prepared to haggle!

Brussels has many more markets to visit including markets for art, food, flowers and vintage clothes.

 

An Elegant Pillow

Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-213355 Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-211310
Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-6578

X2B Brussels is a family run luxury bed and breakfast in the heart of Brussels, just a few minutes walk from the Grand Place. The three guest bedrooms are each on a different floor – we booked the first floor double and were delighted to discover a vast room with soaringly high ceilings, simple and elegant furnishings and a very generous en-suite bathroom. Do note that none of the rooms have step-free access and, as you’d expect in a private home, there is no lift. Guests are welcomed either by owner Xavier or his mother Monique, who sit down with guests on arrival to share tips for visiting Brussels, personalised to their guests’ interests. Breakfast is excellent: a basket of fresh bread and pastries with an enormous selection of jams and spreads, cheese and cold hams, yoghurt, eggs however you’d like them, rounded off by coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice. The hot freshly made raisin bread pain perdu is a lovely touch. Free wifi is also a boon, for those of us who like to stay connected. From £160 a night including breakfast.

Tip: make sure you jot down the house number as well as the street name; there’s no obvious sign on the outside so we walked up and down the same stretch of road several times, eventually identifying the B&B only by peering at the tiny labels for individual doorbells.

 

Getting Around

Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-1

In terms of getting around, the key sites in Brussels are within a fairly small area and its certainly possible to walk. But you can also make use of the metro and tram network, as well as local buses. The Brussels Card gives unlimited use of public transport, free entry into some attractions, discounted entry into many more and discounts in shops and restaurants too. You will also be given a free city map. Available for 24, 48 or 72 hours for 24€, 36€ or 43€.

 

With thanks to Eurostar for the complimentary return tickets between London and Brussels and thanks to the Brussels Tourist Board for their assistance in planning some of our sightseeing highlights and their insight into historic and modern Brussels.

 

Call myself a foodie* and never been to the home of the pork pie? Shame on me!

Luckily, an invitation to attend the Artisan Cheese Fair in Melton Mowbray gave me the chance to fix this oversight and Pete and I made our way North on the first Saturday in May.

Held in the Cattle Market, which itself is in the heart of this ancient market town, the Artisan Cheese Fair is now in its fourth year and bigger and better than ever. We spoke to organiser Matthew O’Callaghan about how he came to create the event.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXF4NIsHvgM&feature=share&list=UUKdQswQXJXh8KiDjuikxOPg

Unlike other cheese festivals we’ve attended, entrance is just £1 and there are no hidden costs to worry about. Free on site car parking is available and the various talks and musical entertainment don’t require additional payment.

The majority of the stalls were given over to cheese, as you’d expect, though of course, the famous local pork pie was represented by a couple of producers, as was locally produced beer. There were also a few non-cheese stalls selling fudge, cakes, bread and other bakery goods, a variety of alcoholic and soft drinks, ice cream, jam and samosas (though, surprisingly, no paneer-filled ones!)

Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5536 Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5535
Hunt Cake and Pork Pies at Dickinson & Morris aka Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe – I can recommend both!

As Matthew said, over 50 British cheese makers were represented, most of them showcasing multiple cheeses. We spent a few hours at the Fair so I was able to sample at least one cheese from nearly all of them. Here are my top picks.

Kavey’s Favourites From The 2014 Artisan Cheese Fair

Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5507 Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5505

Quickes Oak Smoked Cheddar & Goat Cheddar

Smoked with oak chips from their own woodland and made with milk from their own dairy, the Quickes oak smoked cheddar had a beautifully natural smoke flavour which was perfectly balanced with the cheese itself – in so many smoked cheeses, the only flavour is the smoke itself. The texture of the cheese was lovely with a pleasing creaminess from the fat content and I liked the level of salty sharpness.

The Goat Cheddar was also fantastic, indeed it’s one of three cheeses I purchased to bring home.

Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5515 Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5514

Cote Hill Blue

Mary Davenport’s family have been dairy farmers in Lincolnshire for 40 years, but turned to making cheese 9 years ago when the falling price of milk made running the business solely as a dairy less viable.

I loved Cote Hill’s soft mild blue cheese made in particular; though the cheese is mild, the blue flavour comes through clearly and the rind is lovely. The Cote Hill Reserve was also delicious – a semi-hard washed-rind cheese which uses Tom Wood Beers’ Bomber County to add flavour to the rind.

Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5516

Cheesemakers of Canterbury’s Canterbury Cobble

This stand had a wider range of cheeses on display than most exhibitors, as well as butter and biscuits. It was their Canterbury Cobble that appealed the most. Cheesemaker Jane Bowyer explained that it is made like a brie but then matured into a hard cheese. It was creamy but sharp, with a lovely hint of lemony citrus.

Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5520 Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5521

Belvoir Ridge Rutland Slipcote

Jane and Alan Hewson from Belvoir Ridge Creamery were showcasing a new soft curd cheese called Colwick, having recently revived an old 17th century recipe. It was perfectly pleasant but it was the oozing Rutland Slipcote that stole my attention, and was another cheese I purchased to bring home. Slipcote is a white mould-ripened cheese and is delightfully pungent and gooey when ripe. The Hewsons make their cheeses with milk from their rare breed Red Poll & Blue Albion cattle.

Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5525 Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5524

Hafod Welsh Organic Cheddar

As she cut me a sample, Rachel Holden explained that her father Patrick (who was busy cutting and wrapping cheese) looks after the family dairy while she and brother Sam make cheese. The milk from their brown and white Ayshire cows produces a creamy nutty cheddar with a distinct brassica flavour. It’s the kind of cheese you could accidentally eat far too much of!

Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5540 Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5538 Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5539

Thimble Little Anne & Dorothy

I confess I ended up spending ages chatting to cheese maker Paul Thomas and his wife Hannah Roche. The couple have been in the cheese industry for many years and Paul is also the head cheese maker for Lyburn Farmhouse Cheesemakers. Their own cheese making business is in its first year and currently has just two adorable little cheeses called Little Anne and Dorothy. Little Anne is a fresh lactic cheese and Dorothy is a soft washed-rind cheese; both are made from unpasteurised raw cow’s milk.

Paul also teaches cheese making classes at the The School of Artisan Food.

Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5541

Hampshire Cheeses Tunworth

I almost didn’t stop at the HC stall, as I’m already so familiar with Tunworth – it’s a cheese a buy nearly every time I visit Neal’s Yard Dairy. But I saw a window of opportunity when the stall was miraculously free of fellow visitors and took the chance to chat with cheese maker Stacey Hedges.

Of course, the Tunworth was delicious as always, but I was particularly excited by Stacey’s news that they started making a new cheese last year. Called Winslade, the new cheese is wrapped in a band of spruce bark, which adds flavour to the rind. It’s currently produced in limited volume, but she told me to look out for it in Neal’s Yard Dairy.

Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5542 Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5544

Whitelake’s Goddess

I didn’t mean to make cheese maker Peter Humphries blush when I asked if one of his cheeses was named for someone in particular but his embarrassed expression as he said “yes” was utterly charming. As too was his cheese. It was the oozing yellow centre making a break for it that drew me to the stall – the cheese is (commercially) known as Goddess and is produced (for musician-cum-cheeseman Alex James). Made from Guernsey milk, this is a delicious mild and creamy soft cheese.

Ticklemore Harbourne Blue (no photo)

Ticklemore had three cheeses on sale – Devon Blue (made from cow’s milk), Beenliegh Blue (made from sheep’s milk) and Harbourne Blue (made from goat’s milk). The Devon was a bit plain and the Beenliegh too acidic but the Harbourne Blue was a wonderfully tasty cheese. The balance between sweet, salty and blue was delicious and the rich full fat creaminess was a real delight. This was another of the cheeses I bought to bring home.

Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5503

Sparkenhoe Red Leicester

I wasn’t able to chat to anyone at this busy stall as they were busy selling cheese but did taste both their hand made Red Leicester and a mild and chalky blue cheese.

 

Talks & Entertainment

Luckily, we learned a lot about the history of Red Leicester (and exactly how anatto came to be used to give it that distinctive bright colour) by attending one of the free talks, An Unusual History of Cheese. In this entertaining and hugely informative talk, Matthew O’Callaghan shared a light-hearted history of cheese that was perfectly pitched to convey lots of information in a very engaging way. His abiding love for cheese itself and for local and national history was self evident!

Outside, visitors were entertained by the Melstrum Ukulele Band and the New St Georges Morris Dancers.

Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5519

I was drawn to a recreation of an old milking parlour, set up in an open-sided trailer.

 

The Melton Cheeseboard

Artisan-Cheese-Fair-Melton-Mowbray-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-5531

A special thank you to Tim Brown of The Melton Cheeseboard, a local shop specialising in a wide range of British cheeses and local specialities, for his very warm welcome and the generous selection of cheeses and local products he gave us. His shop is located in the heart of Melton Mowbray at 8 Windsor Street and is open 6 days a week.

 

* Actually, I’m more likely to refer to myself as a greedy glutton than a foodie, but you catch my drift…

Kavey Eats was a guest of the Artisan Cheese Fair. Thanks to Matthew, Lin, Rachel and Tim.

 

Although we always chose Japanese breakfasts when our morning meals were included in our ryokan or hotel stays, our Kyoto accommodation was room only, so we headed out for breakfast every day.

Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2354 Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2352
Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2353

On the first morning, we headed out to Toji Temple (for the monthly flea market) and decided to find breakfast once we reached Toji Station. Just as I was starting to despair of finding anywhere, we came across a lovely little coffee shop called Kissa Ippongi. We were warmly welcomed and took two seats at the large communal table to one side. We noticed most of the Japanese customers eating a Western breakfast set and followed suit. This was our first encounter with the fabulously light and thick-cut Japanese sliced bread and we both really liked it. We also appreciated the crunchy dressed cabbage salad and the fresh oranges that came as part of the plate. The bill, including coffees, was just ¥880.

We enjoyed our coffee shop breakfast so much that we sought out other Kyoto cafes for more egg and toast breakfasts throughout the week. Don’t worry – we made sure to eat lots and lots and lots of wonderful Japanese food during our trip!

Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2497 Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2493
Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2488 Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2490
Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2492 Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2495

Coffee Smart on Teramachi Dori clearly belongs to a true coffee lover, judging from the careful attention given to roasting beans using an impressive Probat roasting machine just inside the entrance. I couldn’t help but be charmed by its retro interior and I suspect it’s original rather than a modern-day replica. For breakfast, Pete ordered toast and egg, which turned out to be a very generously stuffed omelette sandwich. My French Toast, made with that same thick-cut fluffy sliced bread, was superbly light and served with a pot of maple syrup. A little more pricey than our Toji breakfast, the bill came to ¥2000.

Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2437 Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2440
Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2438 Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2439

Between the nearest bus stop and Ginkaku-ji (Temple of the Silver Pavilion) we stopped at this “Morning Cafe Evening Bar” called Bear. Indeed, there were a number of soft bears inside including a large one perched on a bar stool wearing a Halloween outfit, who was our only fellow customer. Breakfast was ok but the coffee was too bitter for us here. The bill was ¥960.

Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2958 Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2953
Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2956 Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2957

It was the resident cat that first drew us to Shiroi Hana (“white flower”), a coffee shop we passed several times during our stay, walking back and forth along Aneyakoji Dori as we made our way to and from Teramachi Dori (and its neighbouring covered shopping streets). Inside, we were charmed by the bright, polished interior and the row of fancy glass coffee syphons at the counter. Breakfast, with a particularly fine iced coffee for me, came to ¥1000.

Japan2013-KyotoBreakfasts-2960

As we were leaving Shiroi Hana the waitress saw me taking a photo of the exterior and came running out to take our photo in front of the entrance; just another example of the proactive kindness we encountered so often in Japan.

We also tried similar Western sets in a couple of coffee chains, but they were not worthy of sharing.

 

You can read more about this and our previous Japan trip under my Japan tag. More to come soon!

Thanks to Michael for help identifying the names of a couple of these coffee shops and to Ish and Chloe for the coffee syphon know-how.

Feb 272014
 

A random set of images from Japan:

Japan2013-Misc-2426
A friend of bread is a friend of mine

Japan2013-Misc-2695 Japan2013-Misc-2840
Cupola Sanjo, the covered segment of Sanjo Dori (and its delightful chicken logo)

Japan2013-Misc-2989
Waiting at a tram stop, Osaka

Japan2013-Misc-2432 Japan2013-Misc-2434
Details, Pontocho, Kyoto

Japan2013-Misc-2708
Children’s book, Kyoto Coffee Shop – rather surreal to try and understand it from the pictures alone

Japan2013-Misc-3167 Japan2013-Misc-3175
Osaka Marathon support crew; Peeking into an Osaka games parlour

Japan2013-Misc-3266
Takoyaki stall octopus dressed for Halloween, Osaka

Japan2013-Misc-5283
Ice cream twins, Kyoto

Japan2013-Misc-5286 Japan2013-Misc-5295
Fortune slips and berries, Kyoto

Japan2013-Misc-3590
My sweet and malty near-namesake

Feb 242014
 

More images from our last trip to Japan – these ones have a shopping theme.

Japan2013-Misc-2326
Cat and dog purses

Japan2013-Misc-2327 Japan2013-Misc-3139
Trouser mannequins; Hello Kitty Pez dispenser

Japan2013-Misc-5818 Japan2013-Misc-4040
Giant wasp or bee in honey; Mentaiko

Japan2013-Misc-3515 Japan2013-Misc-5817
Kumamon charms; Maneki-neko (beckoning cat) ornaments

Feb 152014
 

A few more images from Japan:

Japan2013-Misc-5311

Japan2013-Misc-5310
Cats of Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto

 

Japan2013-Misc-2727 Japan2013-Misc-2726
Pampered Dogs, Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion), Kyoto

 

Japan2013-Misc-2429
Model of a biting dog outside a restaurant in Gion, Kyoto

 

Japan2013-Misc-2997 Japan2013-Misc-3000
Cat in a hat, Sumiyoshitaisha Shrine, Osaka

 

Japan2013-Misc-3679
Cuddly Dominion, Kyushu

 

Grammarly is a writing tool that checks spelling, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary usage. It also provides a plagiarism checker which offers suggested citations if references to existing material are found within the text. Please note that this is a sponsored link and I have received payment for sharing this link with you.

 

A photo album of Pete and I enjoying Japan.

 

Japan2013-Misc-3753 Japan2013-Misc-4070 Japan2013-Misc-3944
Pete loved his vending machine coffee and got antsy if he couldn’t find his favourite brands; Pete buying ramen

Japan2013-Misc-2342 Japan2013-Misc-2419 Japan2013-Misc-3816 Japan2013-Misc-4079
Pete feasting on gyoza, katsu don, beef don and yakinuku

Japan2013-Misc-2786 Japan2013-Misc-2800
Us enjoying okonimiyaki in Kyoto

Japan2013-Misc-3234 Japan2013-Misc-3850 Japan2013-Misc-3703
Us, feasting again

Japan2013-Misc-2815 Japan2013-Misc-2449
Pete with coffee and beer

Japan2013-Misc-2524 Japan2013-Misc-2962
Japan2013-Misc-5590 Japan2013-Misc-3290
Pete on the bus, local train, tram and shinkansen

Japan2013-Misc-2905 Japan2013-Misc-3349
Pete enjoying ice cream; Pete buying doughnuts

Japan2013-Misc-3250 Japan2013-Misc-5744
Kavey in the tower; Kavey with Kumamoto Castle

Japan2013-Misc-2817 Japan2013-Misc-2875 Japan2013-Misc-5902
Japan2013-Misc-2901 Japan2013-Misc-3260 Japan2013-Misc-5747
Kavey with Hello Kitty, zebra and giraffe, Tanuki-san, Snoopy, Daruma-san and as a Samurai

Japan2013-Misc-5750 Japan2013-Misc-4094
Pete as a Samurai (with amused schoolboys) at Kumamoto Castle; Pete with tiger bag, in a Tokyo shop

Japan2013-Misc-5594 Japan2013-Misc-2872 Japan2013-Misc-2874
Japan2013-Misc-3005 Japan2013-Misc-3006 Japan2013-Misc-5759
Pete with Kumamon, with his hand up a pink sheep, behind a stone pagoda and with another Kumamon

Japan2013-Misc-3960 Japan2013-Misc-5686
Pete trying (and failing) to win chocolate in an arcade; Pete in front of street art shutters

Japan2013-Misc-2718 Japan2013-Misc-2734
Japan2013-Misc-3933 Japan2013-Misc-3990
Pete at various temples and shrines

Japan2013-Misc-5841 Japan2013-Misc-5824 Japan2013-Misc-5873
Pete placing a stone on a torii, throwing a coin and admiring lilies at Umi Jigoku

Japan2013-Misc-5835 Japan2013-Misc-5899
Us at Umi Jigoku

Japan2013-Misc-5812 Japan2013-Misc-3391
Pete ringing the large bell at a temple in Usuki; Pete admiring Takachiho Gorge

Japan2013-Misc-3447 Japan2013-Misc-3757 Japan2013-Misc-3797 Japan2013-Misc-3823
Views of Kyushu, as Pete drives

Japan2013-Misc-3489 Japan2013-Misc-3525
Pete outside the entrance and Kavey in our private outdoor onsen at Sanga ryokan

Japan2013-Misc-3621 Japan2013-Misc-3619
Japan2013-Misc-3636
Us at Mount Aso

Japan2013-Misc-4039 Japan2013-Misc-2960
Pete being a chicken, Us outside a Kyoto coffee shop

© 2006 - 2014 Kavita Favelle Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha