Vacation’s all I ever wanted… vacation had to get awayyyy. OK- now that I’ve gripped you with my beautiful singing voice, I’ll lead into talking about this epic vacation I went on in June. If you follow me on Instagram, you are probably familiar from seeing my Eiffel tower, macaron, tapas shots for 10 days straight. SIGH – how I miss it. This whole trip came about with my friends and I nearly a year ago discussing how we wanted to visit Ibiza, somehow it snowballed into a full on 3 countries in 10-days type of vacation which let me tell you – IS WORK. But also AMAZING. I saw, did and ate SO MUCH. I’m here to show you favorite excursions and restaurants with some tips I picked up, so if you ever find yourself visiting any of these amazing countries – you have some tricks up your sleeve.
We stayed in Paris near Rue de Commerce at a lovely AirBnB (my first time using it, and I used it in all 3-countries successfully!) We were close to a few metro stops and minutes from the Eiffel Tower. There was shopping down the block where I scored a sweet Italian bikini and DELICIOUS bakeries (aka Boulangerie). For amazing almond croissants, visit: Boulangerie Pichard (88 Rue Cambronne 75015) – they were not by any means gluten or allergy friendly, but you better prep yourself in Paris. If you absolutely cannot eat gluten, check out: Chambelland (14 Rue Ternaux, 75011).
For dinner and drinks, I highly recommend: Le Perchoir Restaurant & Rooftop bar. Make a dinner reservation and if you can arrive early – hangout on the chill and laidback rooftop which has a lovely view and little couches with tents everywhere. It was very “Brooklyn-esq” if I had to describe the vibe. The actual dinner was out of this world. You don’t select from a menu, instead you tell your waiter what dietary restrictions or allergies you have, and they proceed to bring you 3 course meal with all that in mind even if only one of you has allergies. I asked for nothing with lactose or gluten and they adjusted everything perfectly.
Now. On to Macarons – which are gluten-free since they’re made from almond flour! You have to try Pierre Herme and Laduree. You can see if one is your favorite over another, I must say I love them both differently but Pierre Herme has some crazy unique flavor combinations like Chocolate Passion Fruit – wow.
BONUS- We had brunch. I know, such Americans. We went to HolyBelly… which is an adorable brunch spot, casual and FYI- they all speak English. I recommend you try the hashbrowns and if you can, the pancakes… their granola is also delicious. You may have to wait when you arrive, but it’s worth it and moves pretty quickly… they’re very efficient.
- Eiffel Tower (durr…), Arc d Triomphe, Notre Dame, The Louvre (just remember museums take a lot of time).
- Walk along Champs-Elysses, shop – if you like shopping, save up and treat yourself to something to remember Paris by (hehe, I did).
- Dedicate a day to Versailles, the whole experience is amazing, and you’re full day of walking will help you burn off all those croissants.
- Find a flea market, called Brocantes.
- Eat what you want if you’re not allergic! Take in the beauty…
Two words: STREET FOOD. That is what your mission is in London, folks. Borough Market and Brick Lane were my favorite!! Brick Lane is in a highly eclectic, artsy neighborhood called ShoreDitch (say it like “shortage”). There isn’t just an array of food vendors in this part-indoor/outdoor space, but also great shopping. Find clothes, jewelry, arts & crafts, sunglasses, fancy tea and more. I tried some lovely Ethiopian food while there which is all vegetarian… so good. They had EVERYTHING, you can kill some serious time in here… and money.
Borough Market is mostly or all food. This was in a more business-y type of neighborhood and we went right after the Tower Bridge for lunch. We knew we wanted to try a little bit of everything, so we went family style! Fish and Chips, Scotch Eggs, Salted Beef, and a Meat pie with mashed potatoes and peas. We wanted the real London food experience and it was all finger-licking good.
Dishoom Restaurant is the best for Indian food, awesome, dark and romantic ambiance but you don’t need to get all decked out or anything. Still fairly casual. We went to the ShoreDitch location (after Brick Lane)… make reservations in advance if you can, we did and I was happy since it was HOPPIN’.
Ottolenghi is a mecca for veggie lovers, they also have meat and fish options. The seasonal and clean menu is a delight, another place you should make reservations ahead. We went to the Islington location which was really cute, we passed by sugar fee and gluten-free bakeries, goats milk ice cream parlors and other unique storefronts that were all busy. I can’t even remember everything we ate, but the good news is it’s family style, small plates to share… so you too can gorge on several plates and forget what you had after.
- Tower Bridge & Big Ben.
- If you’re strapped for time on sight-seeing, the London Eye is a unique way to see the city!
- For the Sherlock fans out there (oh yes I did…), visit 221b Baker Street for an adorable gift shop and museum.
- Have Afternoon Tea at The Chesterfield Mayfair and guess what, they have a gluten-free tiered dessert option and those trays are unlimited. The place is gorgeous, fit for a Queen- and a bit whimsical too, they have a Charlie & the Chocolate factory themed dessert tray.
In between the beach hopping and partying… a girl’s gotta eat. I found some standout places with delicious tapas, seafood and more. I’d highly recommend renting a car if you go, this is an island not a city. While they do have buses, a car rental is likely the most convenient and cost-effective option… if you don’t drive manual, book an automatic way in advance if you can find a place that has one. Now that we have that out of the way… on to my favorite restaurants on this gorgeous island.
La Bodega (Talamanca location) is so lovely. This was our first dinner in Ibiza which was colorful, delicious, and right on the water. The staff was friendly, all the food was on point. I’m sad just thinking about how badly I want it right now! Casual/fun atmosphere.
Vi Cool was a friend’s pick, this place is a luxe rooftop with superb fine dining. The view was breathtaking, you can see the Old town and castle as well as the water and cityscape. It was a bit chilly up there, and so they gave us scarves to wrap in… I must say the service in Ibiza was wonderful!
Sa Punta was our last dinner of the trip, it basically contains 2 other restaurants in one… we had the legit Sa Punta one. There is also a designer store with jewelry and clothes on site. It was recommended for sunset views, but we were too late for it! The venue is gorgeous, white and beige… delicious food, less tapas style and more entree. However, we shared everything because that’s how we roll. The staff also here, was amazing. The atmosphere is a bit more polished, but in Ibiza, you can roll up in flip flops if you own it enough and no one will think twice.
- Beach hop! Cala Salada & Saladeta were the most hidden and unique with some light “rock climbing” required… I did this in flip flops so you can too, Cala Conte is gorgeous! Cala Bassa is more populated for sure, they also have shops and cafes very close which are really nice.
- If it’s there when you go… you have to visit the Hippy Market. International artists, craft makers and vendors all gather there and this is where you’ll find the most unique gifts or souvenirs.
- Visit Formentera which is a 30-min ferry ride away, rent bikes to get around the island and visit the beaches there.
- PARTY! Buy tickets in advance if there is a DJ you really want to see, Pacha was my favorite, Ushuaia is gorgeous (outdoor pool party).
- Last but not least… go to Port San Antoni and purchase the 3-hr boat cruise to Es Vedra (3-6pm daily)… read why here. It was beyond magical!