Charm of little towns

Do you like little towns? We love them and we are actually planning to make much more investigation on them in the near future. In the meantime some lovely photos from Kazimierz Dolny nad Wisłą – one of my favourite places in Poland.
It’s small, cosy and cute and absolutely perfect for a nice weekend. As a teenager, I went there on my first no parents summer trip. Great memories…. :)

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I love these characteristic wooden roofs, don’t they just make everything so much more romantic?

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I have been so many times in Kazimierz but to be honest I don’t think I have ever eaten in a restaurant there. When I was camping with friends we were happy with more or less anything (mostly the kitchen of my friends parents who had their summer cottage there) but I promise to go back soon and make a proper investigation for you. The cafes look great though and are always full, in and out of the season.

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In Poland Krakow is known as artist towns – many of them, especially painters, come here to look for inspiration. And who wouldn’t be with this wonderful nature?

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So come yourself and enjoy :)

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Photo credits: Hejma / Foter / CC BY-NC-NDHejma / Foter / CC BY-NC-NDHejma / Foter / CC BY-NC-NDHejma / Foter / CC BY-NC-NDHejma / Foter / CC BY-NC-NDPolandMFA / Foter / CC BY-NDHejma / Foter / CC BY-NC-NDMariusz_Kucharczyk / Foter / CC BY-NC-NDJeroen Fossaert / Foter / CC BY-SA

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It’s not too late for ice-cream yet…

I know I should have shared this with you at least few weeks ago but like they say, better later than never.
I am not a big ice-cream lover, in fact I may be the first person you have heard of that doesn’t really like them… Yes, it is possible. So if I actually happen to like an ice-cream that means they must be quite incredible.

sorbetsFew weeks ago I read an interview with a wife of Poland’s notable patisserie chef. They operate their own ice-cream factory for mass production and some local pastry cafés across Poland for more homemade products.

In the interview she told a story of one of their customers who came back to their shop to ‘complain’ that during a dinner she gave to her French guests they found a pip in their lemon sorbets. And how proud she was when the French people surprisingly asked if they make ice-creams with real lemons in Poland.
This little anecdote convinced me completely and I finally made it to this ice-cream heaven, Lodziarnia Grycan, with my sister Marta and our lovely cousin Ola.
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The place itself is nothing special, just a typical, slightly boring, slightly modern, kind of lost-somewhere-in-mid-90s type café but their ice-creams are, indeed, the best you can get in this part of the world. Creamy, rich, not too sweet – they still make ice-cream with real ingredients in Poland and they are so good that even I could eat them almost every day.
I was also very surprised with their sorbets, too. I never thought I would like any to be honest but the strawberry one I had at ‘Grycan’ was simply perfect!

For locations in Poland check here.

Italy and ice-creams – is there a anything in this world which works better? Every real Italian will take you to their favourite pasticceria to buy you few scoops of gelato after a good lunch. Or when trying to impress a girl on their first date. Or without any particular reason really…

Even I managed to find a place that overcame my little ice-cream phobia there.
Gelateria Buosi (via Veratti, 12) in Varese, again a family business, makes their products in hundreds of flavours according to ancient receipts and keeps the highest standards of quality where each ingredient is carefully sourced. And the results are, of course, quite incredible, enough to keep me coming back each time I am in the ‘wider’ neighbourhood. As no other ice-cream tastes the same after you tried Buosi!

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Those who like chocolate will like Pasticceria Buosi as well and their wonderful chocolate creations, among which my favourite drink – buosino, a combination of coffee, milk and chocolate. I mentioned it one of my older posts about breakfast places.

So hurry up, book your trip and enjoy before you can.

Paris is always a good idea.

Always and in any seasons but there is nothing better than an autumn weekend in Paris. See you there!

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Here you can find few ideas what to do in Paris in Autumn.

And here more Paris photos by Monika.

Photo credits: @Jasmin / Foter / CC BY-NC-SArunintherain / Foter / CC BY-NC-SAjohn-aïves-1946 / Foter / CC BY-NC-NDWorld-wide-gifts.com / Foter / CC BY-SA,  john-aïves-1946 / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Checking coffee in Warsaw

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Thanks to my sister, Marta, I have recently been introduced to a new trend of making coffee. Since I lived in Italy I always thought that the only way of enjoying your coffee was having it dark roasted and really, really strong. The most fashionable espressos are still, fortunately, very strong but are made with lightly roasted beans to bring the real coffee flavour and its natural acidity.
I am completely converted to this new method; almost believe it’s worth buying a ticket to Warsaw to try some of those extra strong and extra flavoursome coffees. Below few suggestions to you where to start if you want to check yourself:

  1. Filtry (Niemcewicza 3) – Marta’s favourite café. Little, cute, off the beaten track and a perfect place to start your weekend. They are so crazy about their coffee that they run a regular blog to inform its clients (and fans) where their blends come from and who roasted them.
  2. SAM (Lipowa 7a) – and this is currently my favourite place in Warsaw. Cool but not pretentious, with great food and probably the best bread in Poland (available to take away as well). It’s quite close to the University Library (a building worth checking as well) in a nice, fashionably run down street in Powiśle. I love the eclectic mixture of people they attract – students, hipster mums with their even more hipster babies, businessmen looking for a bite for lunch, few lost tourists, few celebrities and all those who know what’s going in Warsaw nowadays. It’s probably as close to my ideal café at the moment as it gets – my criteria change often though…
  3. Kubek w kubek (Grażyny 16) – my latest discovery. The street where it’s located reminds me a bit of Krakow (not the historical centre, rather those quirky streets somewhere off Karmelicka) but it’s not the main reason why I go there. Date where the coffee was roasted is marked on the board at the board along with its flavour – for me it tastes of coffee rather than citrus, chocolate and nuts though. Great lunches at great prices, nice cakes (including gluten-free options) and completely relaxing atmosphere.
  4.  MiTo (Waryńskiego 28) – some say it’s best coffee in Warsaw at the moment. The place itself is bit cold and modern for my taste (with some seriously disturbing modern art) but their coffee is definitely worth trying.
  5. Relaks (Puławska 48) – maybe not the most friendly place on earth, not my sort of atmosphere but their espressos have probably the purest taste of coffee I have ever experienced! So despite being slightly afraid of their baristas (I have a feeling they will tell me off one day for using sugar with their perfect coffees) I will be coming back and I advise you the same. Plus they are steps away from my favourite burger places – more details here.
  6. Kafka (Oboźna 3) – reminds me of my first trips to Warsaw where I didn’t know that much of the city. It lost its charm a bit now but their coffees are still perfect and their deckchairs the most comfortable in the whole city!

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Together with Marta with are working very hard to check other places in Warsaw so watch this space in the future.

Photo credits: Kuba Bożanowski / Foter / CC BY