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Top 20 European Destinations

Manarola1

Out of all the continents, Europe is the one that I have travelled the most (living in Scotland helps!  What doesn’t help is the fact I have to take at least 2 planes to get anywhere…).  I’ve decided to make a list of my Top 20 European Destinations.  Some of these I’ve been to, some I’m desperate to visit but I hope you enjoy my list!

Just a head’s up, this list isn’t in order of how much I like the destinations, as they’re too amazing to put in order!

                                                                                                       20. Dubrovnik, Croatia                                                                            telegraph.co.uk

If you wanna pretend you’re in Game of Thrones (although, you’ll probably end up killed off like the rest of the characters…), then this is the destination for you!  Dubrovnik is a beautiful, old town, full of amazing history and museums.

Picture 02619. Saas-Fee, Switzerland

I need to go back here.  Saas-Fee is amazing for skiing.  Only electric cars are allowed in the town, which is full of cute buildings and amazing shops (and hot chocolate!)

                                                                                                                18. Monaco                                                                                              hotel-r.net

The world’s second smallest country (after the Vatican), Monaco is one of the glitziest places in the world and I badly want to visit it.  It’s very expensive, though!

                                                                                                          17. Barcelona, Spain                                                 timeout.com

I’m desperate to visit Barcelona and see the Sagrada Familia, get lost in the alleys, and enjoy everything Gaudi!

DSC_025216. Prague, Czech Republic

One of the most beautiful places I’ve visited, Prague is full of amazing architecture, history and everything is so cheap!  And you need to try a trdelnik – they’re so good!

                                                                                                      15. Amsterdam, Netherlands                                                           digital.fespa.com

Full of brilliant museums, Amsterdam is also famous for its biking, culture and history.

Edinburgh114. Edinburgh, Scotland

I lived here for 4 years, so Edinburgh will always have a special place in my heart.  Make sure you visit the many museums and the castle (and palace!).  And you must get lost in the small back streets! (The above photo is the street I lived on – isn’t it gorgeous?!)

                                                                                                       13. Budapest, Hungary                                                                            lvs.luxury

Budapest is probably up there for culture and architecture.  And I’ve heard it’s a good place to travel to if you’re on a budget.

DSC_073212. Verona, Italy

I love Verona.  It’s so small, cute, rustic and full of history – and it’s so easy to get away from the crowds as well!

                                                                                                     11. Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic                                               czechtourism.com

Another small, cute town, Cesky Krumlov reminds me of The Grand Budapest Hotel (one of my favourite films!)

                                                                                                             10. Athens, Greece                                                                   lonelyplanet.com

I love anything to do with Ancient Greece, so what better place than Athens?

                                                                                                             9. Lisbon, Portugal                                                           worldwanderista.com

Lisbon is up there as one of the places I’m probably going to visit soon (fingers crossed!).  This beautiful city is full of amazing culture, great food, and gorgeous, tiny streets.

                                                                                                                8. Colmar, France                                                              thousandwonders.net

Probably the cutest town in France – how can you resist all of those gorgeous, brightly coloured houses!  And they’re next to a river!  Can’t go wrong there 🙂

                                                                                                             7. Ronda, Spain                                                                    malagatogo.com

I badly want to visit this cliffside village – imagine the views!  And the history of the place is amazing.

Picture 0046. Paris, France

The romantic City of Lights, there’s so much to do in Paris – amazing nightlife, culture and food, to name a few!

                                                                                                          5. Dordogne Region, France                                                       leseyzies-tourist.info

So many castles!  I need to go here!

                                                                                                         4. Santorini, Greece                                                                                   foundtheworld.com

You’ll recognise the pictures – the gorgeous, white buildings with blue roofs.  I’ve also heard the sunsets are amazing.

DSC_00053. Venice, Italy

I love Venice.  It’s so unique and unlike anywhere I’ve ever been before.  It’s impossible to walk over a bridge and not take a photo of the canals.

                                                                                                            2. Seville, Spain                                telegraph.co.uk

As well as the history and the amazing architecture, Seville is also famous for tapas, flamenco and sangria.

DSC_00681. Cinque Terre, Italy

Five gorgeous, small towns by the coast.  Hike or catch the train between each town.  Be prepared, though – there’s not a flat area anywhere.  It’s all hills or stairs.

Cake Number 12: Marmalade Cake (Scotland)

Marmalade Cake1

I don’t know why I’ve never made this cake before, as it’s full of oranges and marmalade and I love marmalade.  If it wasn’t so full of sugar, I’d probably have marmalade on toast for breakfast every day.  (And, in case it wasn’t obvious, I kinda burned the top.  But you can’t really taste it and it gives it a nice crunch!)

Marmalade Cake3

This cake is apparently Scottish and, like the other two Scottish cakes in 80 cakes from around the world (treacle scones and Dundee cake), I’ve never tried it before (I’ve still to make the Dundee cake, but my excuse for never having had it before is that it’s from Dundee and, apart from passing through it on the train on the way to Edinburgh or Glasgow, I’ve never properly been to Dundee before.  I need to rectify that!)

Marmalade Cake2

Before making this cake, I (somewhat naively) thought that my caramel-making skills were pretty good.  Not this cake!  I think I burned the sugar and had to start over about 3 times before finally getting it right.  And I managed to mangle every slice of orange that I caramelised, except for one (which is why it’s the only one that you can see the whole of.  I’ve cleverly – in my opinion – managed to hide the mangled mess of the other oranges…Not…).

Marmalade Cake4

Learning from my mistake with the Tourva coconut cake, I didn’t use all of my syrup on this cake – and I was rewarded when it wasn’t swimming in a puddle of orange goo!  Get in!!  And the taste of this cake – wow!  So orangey!  I love it!  It’s not too overpoweringly sweet, either, which just adds to its charm.  I think I’ll have to make it again – and hopefully have better lucky with making the caramel and not mangling the oranges!

Cake Number 11: Welsh Cakes (Wales)

Whoops!  I forgot to take photos of these…

…Actually, I didn’t really get a chance to take a photo as they were snapped up almost as soon as they were off the griddle.  Think these are gonna be a regular!  (along with poffertjes.  If you haven’t tried poffertjes before then you need to.  They’re amazing.)

These are similar to scones, except they’re cooked on a griddle and have a faint cinnamon-y taste.  They taste so good!  And they’re nice and crunchy on the outside, too 🙂

Cake Number 6: Treacle Scones (Scotland)

Treacle Scones1

Admittedly, scones aren’t as interesting as the other cakes in 80 Cakes From Around the World, but, if I’m gonna complete this challenge, then I need to make them.  Good thing I love scones!  As you can probably see in the picture above, a couple of the scones look different.  That’s because they’re cheese.  My mum would have killed me if I’d made scones and not made her any cheese ones.  So I made some cheese ones, because I like being alive 🙂

Scones are amazingly easy to make, and that was definitely the case with these ones.  You’d think, having been born and raised in Scotland, that I would have had a treacle scone before.  But nope!  These are my first.  And they’re delicious – but I definitely need a drink with them.  They’re so sweet!

I haven’t tried the cheese scones – I’m not allowed to… – but my mum seems to like them!

Treacle Scones2

Top 8 Places to Eat in Edinburgh

Even though I lived in Edinburgh for four years, I didn’t eat out an awful lot – what with being a broke student and all that.  But my friends and I did treat ourselves every now and again.  These are my favourite places to eat in Edinburgh!

Be prepared for your minds to be blown at the quality of these restaurants.  Just kidding!  Half of these are probably takeaways – I told you I was a student at the time, right?


(Edinburgh Spotlight)

8. Amarone – This was where my friends and I went for a little treat when we actually had money (we only went twice…).  This is a lovely restaurant with amazing pumpkin ravioli.  And so much good wine!  I love wine 🙂
Address: 13 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH2 2AF


(Elevator Musik)

7. Dragonfly Cocktail Bar – This isn’t technically a restaurant – it’s a cocktail bar – but it’s still amazing.  I recommend the Joe le Taxi cocktail – definitely my favourite!
Address: 52 West Port, Edinburgh, EH1 2LD


(Hard Rock)

6. Hard Rock Cafe – Even though it’s a chain restaurant, I still love this place.  It’s a good place for a fun time with friends – and the Long Island Iced Tea is a favourite of mine (I like a good drink 😛 )
Address: 20 George St, Edinburgh, EH2 2PH


(Yelp)

5. The GY Chinese Takeout – Technically, this is not a restaurant either but this was a staple for my flatmates and I when we were in the mood for Chinese food.  The guy who served us was always really smiley and we got heaps of free chopsticks.  Plus, the crispy seaweed is amazing (I have one of my vegetarian flatmates to thank for introducing me to it!)
Address: 27 Roseneath Place, EH9 1JD


(Yelp)

4. Salvatore’s – This again, is mainly a takeaway, but there’s a small area for sitting in – although I’ve never actually sat in the restaurant bit before.  This was where my friends and I used to end up after a night of drinking – the best chips and cheese in town (but that might be because we usually had a few drinks before going here!).  Also, get a macaroni pie!  I love macaroni pies but they don’t seem to be very common outside of the North East of Scotland – Salvatore’s was the only place I could find them in Edinburgh!
Address: 16 Roseneath Street, EH9 1JH


(Edinburgh Cafe Enthusiast)

3. Black Medicine Cafe – Definitely my favourite cafe in Edinburgh.  It was just around the corner from my flat and my flatmates and I used to end up here whenever our internet was down – or if we wanted an amazing sandwich!  It also has freshly squeezed juice, gorgeous smoothies, and there’s a piano!  I loved playing that piano 🙂
Address: 2 Nicolson St, Edinburgh, EH8 9DH


(EH1)

 2. Illegal Jacks – If you love burritos, then this is the place to go.  You choose all the individual ingredients you want and the burrito gets made in front of you.  And it’s right across the road from the Odeon cinema – so if you want a pre-movie meal, then I recommend going here!
Address: 113-117 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 9AN


(Edinburgh Spotlight)

1. Kismot – My favourite restaurant is Edinburgh.  This is an Indian restaurant – and they have an amazing selection for a really good price!  They have the ‘hottest curry in Scotland’ and it even comes with its own warning in the menu – I was there when someone ordered it and the waiter came out to the ‘Jaws’ theme tune, with a gas mask over his face – it was very amusing.  If you do go here, you have to try the chocolate naan – if you like chocolate spread or Nutella, then you will love this.
Address: 29 St Leonards St, Edinburgh, EH8 9QN