Lunch at the Beautiful Chiltern Firehouse – London

Chiltern Firehouse London Hotel

Chiltern Firehouse, once the Marylebone Fire Station built in 1889, has been transformed into a luxury hotel and restaurant by André Balazs (The Mercer, Chateau Marmont) and is favored by celebs and posh Londoners.

The proper doorman will guide you past the gates, through the patio and  into the plush dining room with red leather booths, cream and red patterned fabric ceiling and bustling wait staff attending to all of the beautiful people’s needs.

Go for the scene and drinks. For food, breakfast or lunch is your best bet price-wise – sit at the bar along side the kitchen to see all of the action.

Peek inside:

My favorite part of lunch: Dark Chocolate Tart with clementines and whipped ricotta.

Chiltern Firehouse London Dark Chocolate Tarte

Rest of lunch:

Sip Cocktails in Hidden Underground Station | Cahoots, London

Cahoots Katherine Hepburn & White Cloves of Dover London

“Cahoots, where the spirits run high and drinks never run dry.” Secure your reservation, memorize the password and make your way to this secret-ish underground station with a 1940s vibe in London. Once you receive the go ahead, head down the stairs and step back in time to a world of debauchery and fun. Cahoots is a unique experience, here is a peek into this hush-hush hot spot:

-Reservations are recommended or be prepared to wait in line
-Along with the incredible experience, Cahoots has spectacular service to help you figure which of the over 60 cocktails is for you.
-The food menu, dubbed “Rations”, has enough options to serve as dinner.
-Check out the cheeky posters in the loo.

Cahoots Entrance Kingly Court London

Entrance | Cahoots, London

The Underground station is lined with subway tile, crates for tables, an old subway car section and of course sandbags for fortification – we are in newly post-war London after all.

Grab the newspaper menu and peruse the dozens of drinks while taking in the old-timey music. Wine and champagne are available as well. Some favorites:

White Cloves of Dover: Clove-and-orange-infused Bacardi Carta Oro rum, amontillado sherry, cinnamon syrup, fresh lime, cranberry juice and raspberry

Katherine Hepburn: Earl-Grey-tea-infused Bacardi Carta Blanca rum, Saint Germain elderflower liqueur, fresh lime and honey syrup

Gracie Fields: Ketel One Vodka, rose liqueur, home-made rhubarb-rose-peppercorn syrup with Prosecco foam

White Cloves of Dover | Cahoots, London

White Cloves of Dover |Cahoots, London

Rations: Meat + Pickles, Bangers + Roasties, Smoked Almonds

Cheers!

Cahoots Mind The Gap Kingly Court London

An Ode to Berlin’s Favorite Snack – Currywurst Museum in Berlin, Germany

Currywurst Museum | AliciaTastesLife.com

Currywurst Museum | AliciaTastesLife.com

Make your way past the wiener-shaped seating, giant french fries and enormous ketchup dripping from the ceiling and enter the Deutches Currywurst Museum – ideal for foodies, museum-goers and anyone that likes to have fun. Conveniently in the Mitte neighborhood close to popular tourist spots like Checkpoint Charlie so you don’t need to veer off the path too far to participate in something different.

Currywurst Musuem Berlin |AliciaTastesLife.com

Currywurst Musuem Berlin |AliciaTastesLife.com

Invented by Herte Heuwer in 1949, currywurst is German bratwurst (pork sausage) steamed and fried, usually sliced, served with a spicy ketchup topped with curry powder. The Currywurst Museum is designed to be an interactive experience that takes you through the history of Berlin’s favorite fast food snack. From the currywurst food truck where you can make a currywurst, to the Curry Up video game and the room full of spices, you can smell, listen, see, touch all things currywurst. Best of all the admission includes a delicious sample.

Still hungry? The cafe attached to the museum serves a variety of currywurst including a vegetarian option.

Spiral Staircase – Cotton House Hotel, Barcelona Spain

Cotton House Hotel Barcelona Staircase 1

The only hotel I took the stairs instead of the elevator every day. It was a joy winding my way around and looking up at the beautiful yellow globes of light that changed with the sun.

The staircase in the Cotton House Hotel is protected by the city of Barcelona as a historical architectural feat. Built in the 1960s it’s the first of its kind –  a hanging spiral staircase suspended by cables.

Shop Local – Milk Handmade in Andersonville, Chicago

The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce recently celebrated their 50th anniversary and they hosted bloggers for a culinary, shopping or medley tour. The tour included tastes, history, discounts and a chance to speak to the owners at each stop. Today I want to show you one of the spots on the medley itinerary: Milk Homemade.

Milk Handmade has independent, handcrafted goods from local designers. Including clothes, bath items, jewelry and more. An absolute must is the horchata scented candle –– fresh cinnamon scent will make your mouth water, home smell delicious and makes a great gift.

Consider shopping local the next time you are looking for something unique for yourself or others.

Milk Homemade Candles

Milk Homemade Candles

Red Square: Steam, Drink & Eat at Chicago’s Oldest Russian Bath House

Image via redsquarechicago.com

Image via redsquarechicago.com

I can get a drink delivered to me in the hot tub? A group of Russian friends were happily chatting away with cocktails in hand when I stepped into the locker room to change before heading into the Turkish steam room. Sure enough I saw the phone to dial-up to order from the bar. I see why Al Capone liked to hang out here.

Check out my Tastemade video to look inside Red Square.

Red Square Call Front Desk

For thirty dollars you get Continue reading

It’s Here! The Best Foodie Gift Guide via Chicago Food Bloggers!

Chicago Food Bloggers Gift Guide Cover

It’s here!

Check out the Chicago Food Bloggers holiday gift guide for the foodie in your life or to give yourself some items for your own holiday list. 100 pages full of treats, kitchenware, gadgets and many items from local Chicago shops. This is *the* foodie Holiday Gift Guide.

Including 4 of my holiday picks! Happy Holidays!

Chicago Food Bloggers Gift Guide Truffle Salt Chicago Food Bloggers Gift Guide Mouth.com Chicago Food Bloggers Gift Guide Tartella Chicago Food Bloggers Gift Guide Flavor Bible

Love Letter To The Perfect Hotel: Sa Pedrissa, Deià Mallorca

Sa Pedrissa View From BBQ Area

Sa Pedrissa will ruin you. It will raise the bar so high that other hotels and travel destinations pale in comparison.  Located in the small town Deià known for its famous resident Robert Graves, Se Pedrissa is steps from the Mediterranean with a unforgettable view of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains. Absolute perfection.

I was in Spain for a family vacation and my wedding so expectations were high. I chose Sa Pedrissa because of its location, size and commitment to organic food as an agrotourism hotel. After a scenic thirty-minute winding drive from the Palma de Mallorca Airport we arrived to a warm greeting from the manager Carlos with champagne in hand.

The first thing I noticed was Continue reading