The 12 Prettiest Streets in Paris

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Much of Paris’ charm lies in its cobbled passages, quintessentially Parisian streets and tree-lined avenues, but sometimes you need a little insider knowledge to locate them. This guide features and will steer you towards some of the prettiest streets in Paris including market streets, pedestrianised streets and pastry-lined ones.

Rue Cler

Rue Cler

You could easily do all of your food shopping along this market road. Bring your wicker basket and pile it high with brioche from Pralus, cheese from La Fermette Fromagerie, honey from Famille Mary, roasted chicken from Darius Rotisserie, fresh fruit and vegetables from the market and ice cream from Martine Lambert and you’ll return with a household full of French delicacies. This is where chic Parisians come for local produce. After all that shopping, stop for a well-earned alcoholic beverage at the charming bar l’Éclair.

Champs-Elysees

Champs-Élysées

A list of the prettiest streets in Paris wouldn’t be complete without the most famous of them all, the Champs-Élysées. With the Arc de Triomphe at one end and Place de la Concorde at the other, its proximity to Parisian landmarks is only one the reasons it’s so popular. A great avenue for shopping but it can feel overwhelmingly long so make sure to stop for plenty of coffee breaks.

Rue des Rosiers

Rue des Rosiers

In the heart of the Marais, the Jewish area, lies the bustling rue des Rosiers. The faint smell of falafel tempts passers-by into Middle-Eastern eateries and the trendy window displays lure shoppers into vintage shops and concept stores. Stop off at l’As du Falafel for your falafel fix, Sacha Finkelsztajn for sweet pastries and spiced breads and Sabon for beauty products.

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Rue Saint Dominique

Rue Saint Dominique is bursting with French clichés: bakeries selling baguettes by the dozen, pastry shops with delicately placed creations in the window and beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower in the not-so-far distance. This traditionally Parisian street is also home to an array of restaurants serving classic French food, among them Café Constant and Les Cocottes.

Rue Bonaparte

Rue Bonaparte

With a Pierre Hermé at one end and a Ladurée at the other, two of Paris’ most prestigious pastry shops, this a dream street for sweet tooths. Pastry shops aside, Rue Bonaparte is a charming street leading from St Sulpice to the Seine with an abundance of chic clothing shops and archaic book shops en route.

Rue Montorgeuil

Rue Montorgeuil

This popular market street is a feast for the eyes: flower stands abound, fresh fruit and veg piled high and confectionary shops with mouthwatering window displays. Make sure to pop into Paris’ oldest pastry shop Stohrer and hot chocolate specialist Charles Chocolatier.

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Avenue Montaigne

The chic Avenue Montaigne is a shopoholic’s dream with flagship stores of the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Dior and Céline. It may cost a pretty penny to shop along this road, but when in Paris… If you don’t fancy breaking the bank, then window shopping is equally as fun with all of the beautiful displays and pretty Parisian architecture.

Rue des Martyrs

Rue des Martyrs

Located in the trendy So-Pi area, rue des Martyrs is teeming with speciality coffee shops, health-conscious eateries and trendy hang-outs. Trinité church lies at the bottom of the road and Sacré Cœur can be seen from the top. Grab a coffee on the sun-drenched terrace at KB Coffee Shop, a multi-coloured salad at Rose Bakery and some salted caramels from Sebastien Gaudard.

Rue Cremieux

Rue Crémieux

Pastel-hued buildings with colourful shutters, adorned with pretty plant pots line the charming Rue Crémieux. Tucked away in the peaceful 12th district, there’s little to do along this pedestriansied road other than admire the colourful houses and quirky nature of the cobbled passageway. (Photo by Paris la Douce)

Rue de l'Annonciation

Rue de l’Annonciation

Come Saturdays this charming road comes to life with a traditional market selling cheeses, roasted chickens and fresh seafood among other French staples. The ordinarily quiet road bustles with chic Parisians, children and weekly market-goers picking up the freshest produce in the neighbourhood. Even when its not market day, it’s the place to come food shopping with two grocery stores, two boulangeries, a fromagerie and a boucherie. Also home to the very first Aux merveilleux de Fred, a heavenly pastry shop where they make the pastries in the window daily – impossible to pass without stopping.

Rue de Seine

Rue de Seine

Parallel to the aforementioned rue Bonaparte, this street is equally as pretty, equally as Parisian and as equally laden with pastry shops. As the name would suggest, the road leads to the river Seine and passes through the charming St Germain des Près en route. Sweet tooths should head to Pierre Marcolini for divine chocolates, Gérard Mulot for pastries and Grom for Italian gelato.

Rue du Bac

Rue du Bac

Another quintessentially Parisian street which is always a favourite with visitors. Meander this quaint road and take in all its beautiful doors, peaceful parks and great shops. Chocoholics should stop at Chapon, taxidermy enthusiasts at Deyrolle, food lovers at le Bon Marché and pastry fans at La Pâtisserie des Rêves.

Words and photography by Faye Bullock

10 Things You Must Do in Croatia

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Croatia has it all: rugged coves, pristine beaches, medieval towns and natural wonders, making it the perfect holiday destination for adventurers and sun worshippers alike. There is so much to do and see in this beautiful country that it would be impossible to do it all in one short trip. To narrow it down for you, here are 10 things you cannot miss when visiting Croatia!

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Explore Korčula’s backstreets

Korčula is a beautiful island of rugged coves and fragrant pine trees, the kind of place which instantly stole my heart. The town is idyllic with its waterside restaurants, medieval churches and some of the prettiest backstreets I’ve ever laid eyes on. Take a day to meander all of the cobbled streets and have a leisurely lunch beneath the pines. The best way to explore the rest of the island and all of its hidden corners is by hiring a scooter or quad bike.

Hvar

Climb the Spanjola Fortress in Hvar

It may be a steep and arduous incline, but the views which await at the top are worth every second of the walk. The panorama overlooks the old town of Hvar, the marina and the cluster of Pakleni Islands. Go at sunset for a golden glow over the terracotta-hued rooftops.

Krka waterfall

Swim underneath Krka waterfall

Krka waterfall is the second most visited in Croatia, after Plitvice lakes, however what makes it so special is you can swim in the fresh waters beneath the powerful waterfall. The water is cold, but how could you not take a dip in such a surreal surrounding!?

Dubrovnik

Climb the city walls in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is as pretty as a postcard with its winding backstreets, orange-hued rooftops and medieval architecture. The best way to see the city and the surrounding Adriatic sea is by walking the city walls.

Plitvice

Visit UNESCO Plitvice lakes

Plitvice lakes had been high on my bucket list for as long as I can remember so I was so happy to finally tick them off. Standing atop the cliff edge watching the powerful waterfalls cascade below was one of the most surreal moments of the trip. The lakes are overwhelmingly big, you could easily spend a whole day or multiple days exploring. Plitvice lakes is one of the most visited sights in Croatia, so be prepared for lots of people, especially in the summer months. Come early and be the first to enter so that you have the lakes all to yourself to appreciate them at their most tranquil.

Trogir

Visit the medieval town of Trogir

Trogir is a city built within medieval walls and surrounded by water. It has earned itself UNESCO world heritage status for its Romanesque and Renaissance architecture. Spend a day weaving in and out of the cobbled backstreets, stocking up on Croatian olive oil and climbing the fortress for views over the historic city center.

Sibenik

Eat at Croatia’s best restaurant

Šibenik is home to Croatia’s best restaurant: Peligrini. It has earned this award for the second year in a row at the annual Dobri restaurant awards. On the menu you’ll find traditional Croatian dishes with a twist such as truffle and prosciutto pasta with sheep’s cheese and lamb with paprika puree. The restaurant prides itself on the quality of ingredients sourced in Croatia, as well its Dalmatian wine list. Whilst there make sure to explore the beautiful town of Šibenik, climb the fortress and visit St James’ cathedral.

Dugi Otok

Experience island life on Dugi Otok

Dugi Otok is completely off the radar making it the perfect island getaway. There are no chic bars, no fine dining, few commodities but there are also very little tourists so you’ll feel as though the island is all yours. Visit idyllic beaches such as Sakarun and explore its rugged beauty by visiting Telašćica Nature Park.

Croatia

Swim in the Adriatic sea

Croatia’s beaches are sites of beauty. The colour of the sea varies from deep turquoise to emerald and often the beaches are surrounded by pine trees and verdant trees. The Adriatic sea is one of the best in the Med with its beautiful colour and underwater life so be sure to swim in it as often as you can.

Split

Explore Split

Often overlooked and used as a jumping point to Croatia’s islands, Split is not only the best connected town for catching ferries but it is also a very pretty town. Climb the bell tower for panoramic views over the city, have dinner in Diocletian’s Palace and explore the cobbled backstreets and you’re sure to fall under its charm.

Words & photography by Faye Bullock

WOW Contributor

Story & images by World of Wanderlust contributor Faye Bullock.

Istanbul Bucket List

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As far as cities go, Istanbul is hands down one of the most intriguing, inspiring, endlessly chaotic and yet somehow charming cities I have ever visited (and I’m sure I will ever visit). This city is so full of fascination at every turn, that it can quite easily become overwhelming, whether visiting for a couple of days or a couple of weeks.

In light of the recent events that have shaken this city, I think it is important to remember and celebrate, just as I suggested in the wake of Paris, just how beautiful this city is. With so much history – from Byzantium to Constantinople to Istanbul as we know it today, this city is one of the most intriguing to visit the world over. Thus is you have plans to visit and are looking for some encouragement, here are some great ideas to encourage you to visit Istanbul!

No matter how much time you spend in Istanbul I’m almost certain you will never “see it all”, but to make sure you see, do and eat your way through the Turkish capital to the best of your ability, I’ve gathered an Istanbul Bucket List full of everything you can’t miss! Let the games begin!

ISTANBUL BUCKETLIST! Everything you must see, eat and do in Istanbul Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia 

To get an instant feel of just how much this city has changed over the years, step inside Hagia Sophia – once a Christian basilica, then a mosque, and now finally, a museum. This monument was important both in Byzantium times and throughout the Ottoman Empire, with so much history that you could quite literally spend an entire day here (which might be the case by the time you get to the front of the line!)

See a Whirling Dervish Show

Chances are you’ve seen a video or images before of the mesmerising (and somewhat nauseating) Whirling Dervishes – so what better chance than to see them perform here in Turkey! Of course the best chance to see them perform is in Konya, but in Istanbul you still have a handful of great performances to enjoy. Arguably the best chance to see them perform is at the Galata Mevlevi Museum on Sunday evenings at 17:00. Tickets go on sale at the location around noon on the day of performance.

Grab a takeaway Döner

Instead of asking where to get the best Döner in Istanbul, you might find yourself asking if there are indeed any bad versions? If this city knows one thing extraordinarily well, it is food.

A'jia Hotel Istanbul

Catch a Ferry Across the Bosphorus

The Bosphorus bridge is what connects Europe with Asia, thus leading to the references of a “European side” to Istanbul and an “Asian side” to Istanbul. What amazed me during my visit is that there is indeed a big difference between the two, with the heart of Istanbul (European side) being heavily commercialised, incredibly busy with crowds, etc. and the Asian side being a complete contrast: calm and much less developed. To see it for yourself, be sure to cross the Bosphorus and visit both sides – or at the very least take a cruise along the river to see the city from afar.

Experience a Turkish Hammam Bathing Ritual

One of my favourite activities in Istanbul was to try a traditional Turkish Hammam (spa activities are hard not to enjoy!) But this was a spa treatment with a difference. The ritual focuses more on water and cleansing rather than traditional Roman baths where steam bathing is the primary activity. I found my experience to be invigorating and unique – would totally recommend!

Take in the view from Galata Tower

When strolling around Istanbul you will often see a tower that stands out amongst the cluttered buildings and immediately the thought of a great view will come to mind – trust that instinct! The Galata Tower has one of the best views in the entire city, though at around $9 is a pretty hefty entrance fee when you can get a similar view from rooftop bars (take your pick!)

Blue-mosque-Istanbul

Step Inside the Blue Mosque 

While popularly known as the Blue Mosque with thanks to its’ appearance, Sultan Ahmed Mosque is the formal title of this still active place of worship. The best way to see the mosque is to take a Westerly approach, approaching the Hippodrome. When visiting remember to cover your legs and for ladies a head scarf is required.

Visit Topkapi Palace

Once the residence of Turkish Sultans from the Ottoman Empire, Topkapi Palace is a great chance to brush up on your Turkish history or just to see how the other half lived! Entrance is around 30 Turkish Lira (around $14) and since this is one of the most popular attractions in the city I’d recommend arriving at opening time (9 am!)

Head to one of Istanbul’s iconic rooftop bars

If you’re after a view of the city you won’t have any trouble finding one – rooftop bars in Istanbul are increasingly popular and offer a great chance to see the city at night! Some popular choices include: Le Fumoir in Galata, Raika in Taksim Square and Mikla (arguably the best view in all of Istanbul!)

Baklava Recipe

Try a Turkish Baklava

I mean it when I say – you have not lived until you have tasted Turkish Baklava in its’ mother country. This deliciously sweet and indulgent pastry is an all time favourite of mine, though I have been constantly introducing it to sceptics over the years! (If you’re keen to try at home before you go or recreate once home, there’s a great recipe here).

Visit the seafood stalls under the Galata Bridge

Although being a vegetarian I don’t eat seafood, I still enjoyed walking along the base of Galata bridge to soak up the atmosphere at lunch time! If you enjoy seafood this is where you’ll find the best on offer in the city, though the street food vendors on either side of the bridge offer amazing alternatives (and are very cheap!)

Eat a Kumpir

If you like potatoes, you’re in for a real treat. A Kumpir is incredibly popular among locals and could be said to be the Turkish equivalent of a hot jacket potato. This is a great street food option for veggies AND meat eaters as you can get plenty of variations on toppings!

Basilica Cistern Istanbul

Climb down into Basilica Cistern

After seeing a line that replicated a serpent winding for hundreds of metres to enter Hagia Sophia, I decided to look elsewhere to fill in time in the area and wait for the line to die down. I wound up at Basilica Cistern, which didn’t really interest me at first but I’m so glad I went in for a look! This is the largest and most impressive cistern lying underneath Istanbul and definitely worth a look (even if it is a tiny bit creepy inside!)

Ride the red street tram

While most trams in Istanbul are modern, there is one that remains old-fashioned for visitors to the city to feel as if they have stepped back in time. The İstiklal Caddesi tram (red street tram) connects Taksim Square with Galatasaray and Tünel Square and is more a novelty than anything… but a good ol’ serving of nostalgia nonetheless!

Shop in the Grand Bazaar

If you want to step inside a time warp and feel as if you’ve been transported back to the days of Byzantium or Constantinople, then look no further than Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. Full of trinkets and treasures, there quite literally is no other market in the world quite as enchanting.

Grand Bazaar Istanbul

Buy a mesmerising glass lamp

Whilst at the Grand Bazaar, be sure not to walk away without a trinket of some kind. The colourful glass lamps are a crowd pleaser (and start a great conversation back home) but don’t be afraid to grab a handful of goodies to take home – who knows when you’ll be back!

Drink Turkish Tea

I’d recommend tea anywhere, but if you’re up for something different and unique, be sure to try Turkish tea. Teamed with some pastries this makes for a great afternoon treat after a day of exploring Istanbul on foot.

Stroll through the Jewish Quarter 

By far and large, the Jewish Quarter was my favourite neighbourhood to walk around in Istanbul and I’m sure you will enjoy it just as much! Although there are lots (and I do mean LOTS) of stairs to conquer, this area is full of great souvenir stalls, boutiques and handicrafts. It also has a stellar view of the cities’ rooftops and Bosphorus in the distance – hard to beat!

Spice Markets

Sift through spices at the Spice Market

Located adjacent to the Grand Bazaar is one of the most colourful areas of the city – the spice markets. Even if you don’t try or buy anything, this is a great place to come for interesting photographs and interacting with the friendly locals!

Eat an authentic Turkish Delight

Although I’m not a huge fan of Turkish Delights, I concluded with myself that “When in Rome” was applicable here. Covered in a little powdered sugar dusting they aren’t too bad – though I’m more inclined to stick with the pastries if given the choice!

Grab a Pomegranate Juice on the Go!

If there’s just one thing I remember about Istanbul its the heat… and I wasn’t even there in the heat of summer! One of the best ways to negate heatstroke is to make use of the many juice stalls and soft serve ice creameries… believe me when I say they are there for a reason!

Have you been to Istanbul? What was your favourite memory to share with other readers!?

All American Brownies Recipe

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As a last minute Fourth of July addition following my visit to the USA this month (and well, any excuse for brownies really), I’ve decided to share my jaw-dropping, ground-breaking, all time favourite brownie recipe. Having (over) indulged in brownies on this trip and every trip to the USA, I’ve got a good feeling this recipe is up there with legendary brownie recipes.

Although I tend to find brownies all over the world through my travels, there just seems to be none that compare to those you find in America. Full of gooey goodness and all the fun stuff (these are most certainly NOT sugar free, gluten free or any of the fun stuff free), these are pure indulgence with every bite.

As such, I like to cut my brownies into bite size indulgences, giving me all the more reason to eat a few in one sitting and provide some sort of portion control (although control, especially self-control, has never been my strong suit).

All American Brownies Recipe | World of Wanderlust All American Brownies Recipe | World of Wanderlust All American Brownies Recipe | World of Wanderlust All American Brownies Recipe | World of Wanderlust

All American Brownies Recipe

Author: 

Recipe type: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 1 tray

  • 226g butter
  • 450g sugar
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 160g cocoa powder
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 192g all purpose flour
  • 300g choc chips
  • 150g crushed walnuts
  • sprinkle of icing sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF)
  2. Grease a 9×13 inch brownie pan
  3. Mix together the butter and sugar in a microwave safe bowl & heat in the microwave, stirring about every 30 seconds, until the mixture is bubbly and smooth
  4. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and flour
  6. Add dry mixture to the butter mixture, mixing until smooth
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips & walnuts
  8. Pour the batter into the pan
  9. Bake for about 28 minutes
  10. Once cooled, coat with icing sugar using a sieve

3.5.3208

Recipe Notes

While I like to measure my ingredients exactly (out of habit), you can use cup measurements for rough conversions as brownies are pretty forgiving.

Baking a couple of minutes less will result in a more gooey brownie (delicious served warm).

Serve with summer berries and double cream for ultimate indulgence!

All American Brownies Recipe | World of Wanderlust

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

WOW Book Club: Seven

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Helloooo book clubbers!

Firstly I must apologise for the few days delay on announcing this month’s book club selection, as I have just stepped off my 30 hour flight journey back to the Southern Hemisphere (to winter – booo!)

But alas, I can assure you this month’s selection is worth the wait. On my flight journey home I read through two NY Times best sellers that are currently big in the USA, having seen both of the titles on hot lists in various book stores through my travels in the States. It was a tough call to decide which one to select for this month’s book club, but as Primates of Park Avenue was so damn entertaining, I couldn’t help but to make this book this month’s selection.

WOW BOOK CLUB

Primates of Park Avenue

Anyone who loves New York City (and the idea of one day living there) will love this book. Imagine Manhattan through an xoxo Gossip Girl lens, but this time being 100% real, brutally honest, and incredibly entertaining.

If you’ve ever wandered what life would be like to uproot yourself from a small town lifestyle, move to the city, marry a man and live in the Upper East Side… then here’s your chance to find out just how that might play out!

I really can’t wait to chat about this one with you all – happy reading!!

xo Brooke

Gold Coast Brunch Guide: 10 Places you Must Try

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Of all the tasks I set myself whilst travelling, taste testing brunches around town is by far one of the best. As someone who believes breakfast can be eaten at any time of day (no, not even dinner is out of the question), I’m a huge fan of brunching all day every day. So if you find yourself on the Gold Coast of Australia, I’ve got you covered for the top ten brunches around town (all tried and tested and all delicious!!!)

Commune Cafe Gold Coast Commune

Start off with the cream of the crop and drive yourself to Commune Cafe in Burleigh Heads. This suburban cafe is colourful, playful, and most importantly the food is some of the best in town. They’re trendy without going too far in to trends, so when you order that smoothie you can rest assured you’ll get a tasty, milky creation just the way a smoothie should be!

1844 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220

Elk Espresso

Another of my favourite brunches was had at Elk Espresso in Burleigh Heads. I opted for the bircher museli, a colourful creation topped with all sorts of wonderful (though if I could have left anything out I would have skipped the sprouts). Truthfully, however, it was the caramello koala thick shake that really stole the show (and yes, it comes with a full caramello koala in your drink. Winning!)

16 Chelsea Ave, Broadbeach QLD 4218

The Yard Cafe

If smoothies and raw treats are your kinda deal, you’ll find lots of creative goodness at The Yard Cafe in Mermaid Beach. What impressed me most about this place was the service – super friendly and welcoming the minute you walk in the door.

17 Lavarack Rd, Mermaid Beach QLD 4218

Where to Eat Vegetarian & Vegan in Gold Coast Australia

Blendlove

If you’re looking for somewhere to escape refined sugar and all things fun, head on over to Blendlove. I’m kidding – the menu is super fun and delicious, but it is incredibly healthy so you’ll need to be open trying new things. Surprisingly the meals are very filling and plentiful, however the tiny raw cheezecakes are said (by locals) to have shrunk in size due to the ever-rising popularity of Blendlove and their yummy treats.

1/253 Ferry Rd, Southport QLD 4215

Bam Bam Bakehouse

I mean, who wouldn’t want to head to an eatery with this kind of name to kick things off!? Bam Bam Bakehouse in Mermaid Beach is full of lots of yummy goodness like eggs benny, buttered croissants or a bag of shaker fries if you’re visiting closer to the lunch side of brunch.

2519 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach QLD 4218

Paddock Bakery

Imagine a bakery so homely that it actually is, wait for it… inside a house! This homey eatery is great for an acai bowl or eggs any way you like – but arrive early as you’ll have to wait for a table on weekends!

Hibiscus Haven, Miami QLD 4220

Best Cafes on the Gold Coast Australia Paradox Coffee

Hands down, no questions asked, the best coffee on the Gold Coast (if you ask me!) While I can’t say that I indulged in the brunch offerings (I visited as early as the sunrise itself), I can certainly say the coffee is worth the while. The staff were also some of the friendliest I met on the Gold Coast so if service is as important to you as the food, head on over whilst in Surfers.

The 4217, 7/10 Beach Rd, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217

Espresso Motto

Over in Palm Beach you’ll find another great coffee spot worth heading out of the way for at Espresso Motto. The food is uncomplicated, fresh and delicious… just the way I like it!

2/1389 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach QLD 4221

BSKT

Another beach side location with an enviable menu is BSKT in Mermaid Beach. The food is much more on the delicious side than the smoothies, so I’d recommend skipping these or looking out for the freshly squeezed juices instead.

4 Lavarack Rd, Gold Coast QLD 4218

Burleigh Social

This list would by no means be complete without mention of one of Burleigh’s main hot spots: Burleigh Social. Another great home-style eatery with a casual vibe and if they know how to do one thing better than anyone else, its a burger!

2 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

Checking In: The InterContinental New York Barclay

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There’s no other city in the world that gets me like New York. Complex, multi-faceted and with a neighbourhood to suit any personality, I’m always eager to jump on a plane back to the concrete jungle and continue exploring one of the few cities in the world I don’t think I could ever get enough of! On this trip I wanted to re-explore midtown, so I checked myself in to the beautiful (and recently renovated) Intercontinental Hotel Barclay for a short but pleasant two-night stay.

This hotel is an experience the minute you walk in the door. The gold plated mirrors, marble floors and elegant splashes of colour had me feeling as if I had stepped inside a time warp back to the days of Audrey Hepburn a la Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Indeed, being a few minutes walk from 5th Avenue, this hotel felt as classy, classic and timeless as hotels come in The Big Apple.

Intercontinental Barclay Hotel New York | World of Wanderlust New York | World of Wanderlust

InterContinental New York Barclay

The hotel is located right in the heart of midtown, a short stroll from popular favourites such as Grand Central Terminal, Times Square, Broadway, the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Building, 5th Avenue and even not more than a 15 minute walk from Central Park. Thus for first time visitors to New York City, you really couldn’t get a better location.

Having recently undergone extensive renovations, I was excited to see the new interiors and wander around the hotel to explore all of its grandeur. Sure enough, the hotel is quite literally sparkling with new marble, chandeliers, an incredible gin parlour and beautifully appointed rooms.

Taking a walk around the hotel’s public spaces, I could soon see why this hotel is a popular choice for visitors looking for that ultimate Midtown experience. Gloved doormen, swanky elevators and an impressive in-room dining menu are just the beginning. The only downside is that you’ll want to spend so much time in the hotel before heading off to explore New York!

Intercontinental Barclay Hotel New York | World of Wanderlust Intercontinental Barclay Hotel New York | World of Wanderlust Intercontinental Barclay Hotel New York | World of Wanderlust

Inside the Room

During my stay I visited both a standard room and a corner room suite, and I’m sure it comes at no surprise that the latter was much more enjoyable! My first room was on the 11th floor but with so many high-rise buildings neighbouring the hotel, there wasn’t much of a view to enjoy. The standard rooms are fine for a short stay, but I’d certainly recommend considering the Suite option if you’ve got a little budget to spare.

The suites offer a separate living room from the bedroom, with a large couch to cozy up on for those nights in. One of my nights I decided to go and grab takeout from Shake Shack nearby at Grand Central, which was a great way to unwind on my last night in New York!

New York | World of Wanderlust

What to Do Nearby

My absolute favourite aspect of the hotel is the close proximity to all of New York’s hot spots. In just a few minutes you’ll find yourself at most of the attractions in town.

Grand Central Terminal – Just a couple of minutes walk away, Grand Central Terminal is one of my all time favourite locations in New York, not just for its iconic role in Gossip Girl, but also for the array of food offerings in the lower food court. Shake Shack and Magnolia’s are my favourite picks!

Chrysler Building – Viewable from some rooms in the hotel and easily from Grand Central Terminal, the Chrysler Building is perhaps my favourite building in the entire city.

Rockefeller Center – You can’t come to New York and not make your way to the Top of the Rock, which has unquestionably the best view of the city from above.

Radio City Music Hall – Just a block away from Rockefeller Center is Radio City Music Hall – another NYC icon an a great photo opp!

Times Square – Yes it is touristy and yes, it is chaos! But you just can’t come to the city without seeing Times Square at least once. I’d suggest seeing it once during the day and once at night, or even booking a Broadway show (my favourite thing to do for a night out in New York!)

5th Avenue – Perhaps the most renowned shopping street in the entire world (thanks largely to pop culture), 5th Avenue is a must see (even if you can’t afford to shop at the fancy high-end stores!)

Central Park – In about a 15-minute walk from the hotel you will reach the base of Central Park – an absolute must visit for that all-rounded NYC experience!

Empire State Building – Another popular viewing platform (though I still prefer Top of the Rock), the Empire State Building is just as popular and around the same price point.

New York Bagel Intercontinental Barclay Hotel New York | World of Wanderlust

Finding the Best Food Nearby

In Room Dining – On my last morning at the hotel I ordered room service breakfast as I had an early morning flight out to Los Angeles. Although it was pricey, it was a great way to grab a bite to eat before heading off for the day.

Gin Parlour – If you’d prefer not to leave the hotel for an evening, I can highly recommend the hotel’s very own Gin Parlour for a delicious dining experience. The menu had plenty of snack choices which accompanied a few cocktails perfectly!

Grand Central Terminal – There are also plenty of cheap eats on offer just a five minute walk from the hotel at the Grand Central Terminal lower food court.

Ess-a-Bagel – After asking concierge where to get the best bagel in Midtown, I ended up at Ess-a Bagel and had the (hands down) best bagel of my life. You can grab a plain bagel with cream cheese or fancy it up a little with a “Bagel with the lot”, including egg, bacon, and all the trimmings.

Whole Foods Market – A few blocks up town you will also find a Whole Foods (upscale, healthy supermarket) should you wish to eat indoors or grab a picnic to go. You’ll find them on East 57th Street.

Intercontinental Barclay Hotel New York | World of Wanderlust Intercontinental Barclay Hotel New York | World of Wanderlust Intercontinental Barclay Hotel New York | World of Wanderlust Intercontinental Barclay Hotel New York | World of Wanderlust

World of Wanderlust would like to thank InterContinental Hotels & Resorts for extending the invitation to visit + experience New York City as an InterContinental Hotels & Resorts guest. All opinions and oodles of photos are my own! 

Lisbon Bucket List!

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Lisbon is a city that will surprise you, intrigue and delight you… but most of all, leave you in a world of unexplainable happiness. This city is bursting with life at every turn – colourful buildings, friendly locals, a great local community vibe. There quite honestly is nothing I did not enjoy about my last couple of tripe to Lisbon which gives me all the more reason to share the absolute stand outs from the city to ensure you enjoy your trip just as much! Here we go!

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1. Walk through Alfama Neighbourhood

Hands down my favourite part of Lisbon and what sets Lisbon apart in my eyes is Alfama Neighbourhood. This area has an incredible old world charm, is covered in the colours of the rainbow and is where you’ll also find great local eateries!

2. Check out the views from São Jorge Castle

This Moorish castle is one of Lisbon’s most popular attractions and for good reason – it has one of the best views of the entire city! The ruins are interesting to walk around and the view is gorgeous on a clear day.

3. Indulge in a little Queijo da Serra & Portuguese Wine Picnic

If you love your cheese, you’re in a for a real treat when visiting Portugal! Locals will be quick to tell you to taste this creamy yellow cheese made of sheep’s milk and with hint of thistle flower (said to be the ingredient that makes this cheese so delicious). Paired with a bottle of Portuguese wine (also fabulous), you’ll have the perfect picnic!

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4. Mingle with the Locals

One of my absolute favourite things to do in any city is to meet the locals, however it would be a crime not to make special mention of the locals in Lisbon as they are honestly some of the friendliest, most charming individuals I have ever encountered. Whether its the taxi driver or the bell boy, be sure to strike up a conversation and see what you learn!

5. Visit the Local Markets

One of the best places to see the local life of Lisbon happening right before your eyes is at one of the local food markets. My favourite would be the Mercado da Ribeira near the riverfront, though if you visit Lisbon on a Tuesday or Saturday, make your way (in the morning) to the Feira da Ladra flea market – not to be missed!

6. Take in the view from Rua Augusta Arch

Another great view of the city up close can be found at Rua Augusta Arch, centrally located amongst the hustle and bustle of the city.

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7. Find a Great View – ANYWHERE!

On the point of views, it is important to mention that often the best views of the city are completely FREE and will be completely sprung upon you without a moment’s notice. Wander on foot and you’ll find many great views without even trying to!

8. Step Inside Jerónimos Monastery

As far as monasteries go, this is certainly one of the most impressive I have encountered. If architecture interests you and you’d up for something completely different, head over to Belém to encounter this beauty. Just be sure to stop by Pastéis de Belém for an afternoon snack!

9. Take a day trip to Sintra & Cascais

Whilst I love Lisbon and would say to anyone visiting you need at least 3 full days to explore the city, any days on top of that offer a great chance to get out of the capital city and venture to nearby Sintra and Cascais. Both of these small towns are full of charm and cannot be missed.

Lisbon_Guide

10. Eat yourself stupid at Pastéis de Belém

If there’s just one thing you eat in Lisbon, make it a Pastel de Nata from the famous and highly publicised Pastéis de Belém. Don’t do any further research on the topic – just go there, order a whole bunch, and eat yourself into a warm-eggy-tar-induced-coma. You won’t regret it!

11. Visit Belem Tower

Whilst visiting Pastéis de Belém, be sure to take some time to enjoy the local area (a little out of the city, but has a way of feeling a world away!) Nearby Belém Tower is an icon of Lisbon and should not be missed!

12. Ride the streets in a sidecar 

One of my favourite things I have ever done in Europe is riding in a sidecar in Lisbon. The tour lasted a few hours and took in most of the sites of the city, making it a great option if you’re short on time.

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11. Eat Miniature everything at Mini Bar

DO NOT EAT ANYWHERE ELSE IN LISBON BEFORE YOU HAVE EATEN HERE! Sure, that may sound a little dramatic… but trust me when I say this place is out-of-this-world good. The food is inventive and melts in your mouth, but you’ll always be left wanting more as the portions are tiny and the food just keeps on coming all night! Seriously one of my favourite restaurants – ever.

12. Step Inside Lisbon Cathedral

Whilst exploring the hilly terrain of Lisbon, you might happen to stumble across Lisbon Cathedral, by which case you should certainly step inside for a look. The old trams run by here, making for a fantastic photographic opportunity if you can catch one as it passes by!

13. Visit Carmo Convent

Sometimes you don’t read about a certain attraction or disregard it as not of interest to you, but quite often these points of interest are the ones that surprise you and leave you in awe. Carmo Convent is one such place you should make an effort to visit as the architecture is stunning, especially in the Portuguese summer sun!

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14. Enjoy Sunday Brunch at the Four Seasons 

One of my most fond memories in Lisbon was a Sunday afternoon brunch (yes, afternoon – in Australia we have brunch between breakfast and lunch, but in Lisbon it is more of a lunch time affair). I sat down with 3 of my close friends and enjoyed what can only be described as a FEAST – the kind that leaves you in a food coma all day because your eyes were too big for your stomach.

15. Go on a door-hunt

Lisbon is an absolute wonderland for door lovers (yes, that is a thing!) The streets are filled with colourful and quirky doors, often paved with intricate tiles around the door frame and even more often adorned with an array of pot plans. Throughout Lisbon you will find many beautiful entrances to homes – so be sure to open your eyes whilst you wander!

16. Visit the Lisbon Aquarium

Although I’m fairly certain that once you’ve seen one aquarium you’ve seen them all, there’s no denying that the Lisbon Aquarium is a huge attraction in the city and for good reason. If you’re visiting Lisbon with kids this is a great half day activity and not just because they have penguins (but largely because they have penguins!!!!)

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17. Ride the tram lines

One of the most distinct features about Lisbon is the antique charm – trams that look as if that have been caught in a time warp and winding cobblestone alleyways throughout the centre of town. Be sure to hop on board on of the trams and venture off in any direction – there is always something new to be discovered!

18. Step inside the National tile museum

One thing I will never forget about Lisbon is the intricacy of tiles, on display almost everywhere you look in the city. If you start geeking out (like me), then there’s a whole museum dedicated to tiles where you can appreciate the many different styles and patterns that have formulated over the years.

19. Visit Praca do Comercio

For something a little different and certainly a lot less quieter than central Lisbon, head down to Praca do Comercio, which is located not far from the water. This public plaza shows another side to Lisbon, which by now you’re probably certain has many different facets!

20. Venture beyond Lisbon 

One of the biggest mistakes travellers make when visiting Lisbon is to only visit the capital city and not venture further into Portugal. On my first visit to Lisbon I did just that, but by round two I had learned better and made sure I spent four nights in the Algarve (Southern Portugal) to really get a grip on Portuguese culture. I have also heard rave reviews about Porto in the North – maybe next time!

Over to you! What are you favourite memories from your trip to Lisbon!?