I’m a real beach junkie. I couldn’t imagine living somewhere where there is no beach in a 20 km radius of my home. Whenever I get a chance, I go to the beach either to have a stroll, dinner, or to get a tan. I also love to just sit and take things in or collect shells for my home: see here my blog post Life’s a Beach. There are 3 different beaches close by, but I usually go to Noordwijk Beach. My favourite spot to hang out is Beach Club O. The beach club is hip, trendy and classy with a Key West meets St Tropez kind of feeling. They always have relaxing lounge tunes on, and the food is delicious. The sun beds out on the beach, that are extremely comfortable, can be rented for 10 euros per day. On windy days you can also rent an additional wind shield. At night, they serve up some of the best food in the area.
When I was in Greece in early May, I noticed that most homes and shops had a flower wreath hanging above or next to their door. Naturally I was intrigued by it, and soon found out it is a typical Greek tradition called Protomagia, the Festival of Flowers. Annually, on May 1st, the Greek celebrate spring and their flowers. They decorate their doors or facade with wreaths of various handpicked flowers to welcome nature and spring. The wreaths stay there until June 24, the day of Saint John the Harvester, when people gather in the neighbourhood and burn them in a bonfire. I loved the many wreaths and decided to adapt this tradition next year. It is a lovely thought to celebrate the season, and in fact, why not do this each season? Isn’t it charming to have fresh summer flowers or autumn foliage on your door when you come home? The Greek used flowers that dry nicely and retain colour. Greece, what’s not to love about the culture?
I love to be outside in nature to enjoy summer’s flowers, green landscapes and the smell of the season. A perfect day trip for the weekend or your staycation is an excursion to the Dutch Fruit Garden, the Betuwe. Usually I go to the Betuwe in spring to do my annual blossom tour. The region is however gorgeous in all seasons. As I’m an avid orchard fan where there is a pick your own section, it didn’t take me long to find one in the Betuwe. In the small village Tricht you’ll find fruit farm De Hoenderik. It is situated in a gorgeous area, and easy to reach by car. There is also a B&B if you would like to spend a whole weekend. You can pick raspberries and strawberries, enjoy their own fruit juices, jams, and other delicacies, and have a refreshing lemonade in their charming garden where the chickens freely walk around. If you are not into walking long distances, you can rent a bike to explore the countryside with its fruit trees and flower fields along the river. A perfect day out for anyone who loves nature!
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Last week I was experimenting in the kitchen and I came up with a finger-licking good recipe that I even surprised myself! It is an excellent treat for lunch or as a light dinner in summer. What about Middle Eastern spiced chicken patties in spiced fried wraps, topped with a mango salsa and garlic sauce?
Matched with a salad, fries or couscous it would also qualify as a full dinner I think, depending on how much you eat. First I made Mid Eastern spiced chicken patties from ground chicken. Once those were finished I wanted to complement them with a salsa so I mixed mango, pickled red onions, avocado, and coriander. While I was contemplating what to serve it with, a package of mexican wraps caught my eye. What if I season them and fry them, I thought. And so I did! The flavours are awesome, and I love the crunch of the wrap, with the sweet and sour salsa and spicy patties. To give it a bit more moisture, I mixed a garlic sauce with mint, but I bet it would also be great with a fresh yogurt sauce with mint. (For the complete recipe, scroll down)
For the chicken patties (10 pieces) you’ll need:
- 300 gr ground chicken
- 1 large mashed potato for firmness
- 1 tbs of fresh chopped coriander
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- pinch of salt and black pepper
- 4 tsp ground cumin
- 4 tsp Laos (Galangal) Powder
- 4 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp crushed ginger
- 2 crushed dried chilli peppers
- tbsp almond slivers
- bread crumbs
- olive oil
- a skillet
- Mix all of the ingredients and make small balls
- Flatten the balls into patties and cover them with bread crumbs
- Bake them golden brown in olive oil in a skillet
For the salsa you’ll need:
- 1/2 mango
- 1/2 avocado
- tbsp of pickled red onions, chopped (available canned in stores e.g Kesebeke, or make your own with vinegar, sugar and boiled water and let it steep for a night)
- chopped coriander
- almond slivers
For the spiced wraps you’ll need
- small mexican wraps
- olive oil
- kurkuma powder
- ground cumin powder
- ground red bell pepper powder
- a frying pan
- Brush both sides of a wrap with olive oil (this is to make the spices stick)
- Then season both sides with the 3 spices
- Heat the pan and add a little bit of olive oil in the frying pan
- Fry the wraps both sides on medium low heat
- Put them on a piece of kitchen towel to discard excess grease
Ever been in a design hotel where luxury is considered walking barefoot across the property, eating at communal tables and sleeping in a room without a TV? Earlier this week, in part 1, I featured the interior of the San Giorgio Mykonos Hotel and an exclusive interview with the designer. The exterior is just as impressive and blissful, maybe even more. The poolside is where it is all happening really. Here is where you find the bar restaurant Cantina where they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and some killer cocktails. The food is a chapter in itself. I will write a separate post about the food next week.
Around the pool there are hammocks and lounge beds to relax and tan. Downstairs you’ll find more lounge beds and hammocks in the palm garden. The small herb garden ensures that the food is always fresh with home grown herbs like thyme and mint. The views of the sun-kissed Aegean sea are soothing and the sound of the waves calm you down.
The hotel is also a popular wedding destination as there is a charming little chapel on the property. Imagine booking all rooms and having the whole place to yourself! You’ll find all these charming spots with Greek pottery, or small lanterns that light up at night. A perfect place to tie the knot I would say!
I loved the San Giorgio Hotel and hope to visit again soon. You can slow down and be yourself, rejuvenate and relax. And isn’t that what luxury is truly about?
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