Mexico City 

When I started planning a trip to South America last year, I knew I had to include Cuba in the journey somewhere.  When I realised that it was easiest to fly through Mexico City to get there, the choice to stop a while to try some food was easy. What was not so easy was the decision about which foods to try in the short time we would have there. Honestly, it’s a blessing I don’t have to make real decisions in my life because the one between a street food tour and a taco tour caused me a truly unnecessary amount of angst!

We stayed in a great Airbnb on Isabel de Catolina, just down the road from the central historical district and across the road from a university campus. Being deliriously tired from the preceding 30 hours of transit, we took our Airbnb hosts recommendation and just wandered downstairs to a place called Hosteria La Bota for dinner when we arrived. We ordered molletes especiales and enchiladas verdes, with only a vague idea of what they would be as the menu was all Spanish – should have worked harder on those duolingo lessons! The former turned out to be a crusty bread roll filled with refried beans and chorizo and topped with melted cheese, with pico de gallo on the side, while the latter was corn tortillas swimming in verde sauce with cheese, creme fraiche and chicken. Both were delicious – full of flavour, a decent amount of spice and not too heavy. My favourite part was the refried beans and chorizo mix in the Molletes especiales. And of course, we had a jug of margarita to accompany them – when in Mexico and all that jazz.

So we had ended up booking a street food tour with a company called Eat Mexico. Although the taco tour did truely tempt me, I went with the option with more variety in the end. The trip advisor reviews of the company were glowing, so I had high hopes for the day. We turned up at 9.30am in the city centre jet lagged, but with our walking shoes on, tummies empty and cameras at the ready. Our guide, Anais, was super friendly and really knew her stuff – she grew up in Mexico City and had a qualification in gastronomy from a the university across the road from our Airbnb! 

Over the course of the day we tried tamales, fresh tortillas, burritos, quesadillas, chicharron, fresh juice and a bunch of other things I can’t remember the name of because the jet lag was real and I didn’t write anything down. All the different types of tortillas had different names depending on the shape and it got complicated quickly! We saw cactus ready to be de-thorned and we later ate some cooked, and we got to visit inside a tortilla shop to see how the magic happens. We had a taco made from pig stomach (a bit chewy for my liking, but the other option was uterus!). My favourite was the octopus tostado which was just dreamy with the crispy tortilla, large chunks of octopus, creamy avocado and fresh lime.

After the food tour we headed home to relax after that incredibly taxing morning, stopping by the beer shop to purchase something to enjoy on our sunny rooftop. That evening we headed over to the central historical district to check out the cathedral and see what the area was like. There was a lot of construction work going on, but thre was a good vibe around.  We took a few snaps with the hordes of people and then escaped to a quiet rooftop for a drink. We took the opportunity here to try some Mezcal, which is a drink made from agave plants native to Mexico. To put it in context, tequila is a type of Mezcal made from a specific agave plant, the agave tequilana. I am not sure what type of plant our Mezcal was made from, but it was made to be sipped not taken as a shot. It was served with lime and purple salt, and although not my favourite taste it was interesting to try. 

And that was about it for our short and sweet Mexico stopover. It definitely made me want to come back one day and spend more time in Mexico, but for now Cuba was calling!

Passata day

Recently, I tagged along with some friends from work to an event that has been on my bucket list since watching looking for Looking for Alibrandi as an impressionable teen – passata day. Otherwise known as tomato day, this annual tradition is carried out by  Italian families around the world, usually in the middle of summer when tomatoes are at their most abundant. It’s a whole day sort of affair, with many hands boiling, chopping and pureeing their way to enough sauce to last for the following 12 months – after some has been set aside for a well-deserved lunch of course!   Continue reading

Exploring the Great Southern

While the South-West of Western Australia in the summer is undeniably amazing,  with no shortage of white sandy beaches to stretch out on and trails to explore, there is also something attractive about jumping in the car and heading down south in the cooler months. Lush green landscapes, clear cool days and red wine by the fire make for a fine weekend away, and that’s exactly what Ollie and I jumped in the car to experience this winter. Our destination of choice was Denmark, a small town resplendent with natural beauty right in the middle of WA’s rainbow coast.

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Festival Frenzy in Perth

How good was Perth last weekend? It’s been a little bit of a crash landing back into reality, arriving back home after our extended holiday. Before I knew it I was back at work with the paperwork piling up, and trying to get back into a reasonable exercise regime to counteract all the eating and drinking we had done overseas. Despite all the walking we did, I hadn’t managed to burn those extra treats off! It’s not all work and no play though, and this weekend just past had plenty of opportunities to get out and about to have some fun. From Friday evening drinks in Northbridge to Sunday evening spent doing the time warp with a bunch of other Frank-N-Furter fans at Luna Palace in Leederville, it was the weekend that left me needing a weekend to recover from it! Continue reading

Eating everything I see in Germany

After a short stop in the Czech Republic, there we were jumping on a train to what would be our last country on our trip – Germany. We had a couple of weeks here though, and a number of exciting things planned out for our time including birthday celebrations, a football game in the famed Dortmund stadium and of course, the largest celebration of beer in the entire world – Oktoberfest! I had also heard a lot of good things about the Berlin food scene so I was looking forward to eating my way around the city. With so many events, so many people to see and so much good food expected in Germany, we arrived with our game faces on ready to knock the next couple of weeks right out of the park. Continue reading

Checking out the Czech Republic 

So we had finished up with our trip around Austria, dropped the car back with a small sigh of relief that we hadn’t crashed it and made our way up to the Czech Republic for the second last country of our Euro adventure.  Although it was a relatively short stop, there was one big reason I was looking forward to the Czech Republic – beer. Nicknamed the liquid bread of the nation, the Czechs are great fans of the stuff, and rank amongst the top nations for consumption per capita (as if I hadn’t drunk enough on this trip already!). Beer wasn’t the only exciting thing about the country though, the Czech Republic promised a number of cultural gems from the UNESCO listed Cesky Krumlov to the capital Prague so read on – I promise it’s not all about the amber liquid!
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Aussies in Austria 

Austria. The country of Mozart, of the Sound of Music, of spectacular mountains, rolling hills, of jaw dropping buildings in the capital and beyond. We arrived in Vienna on a Monday afternoon, a bit worse for wear after our last minute dash to the train at the other end of the line in Budapest. With only the challenge of navigating yet another public transport system standing between us and a shower and a change of clothes, we jumped off the train and joined the crowds of people heading towards the U-Bahn and managed to get to our air BnB apartment with minimal fuss. After freshening up, we were ready for the start of our Austrian adventure which was going to involve some time in the cities, some time driving on the autobahn and hopefully a lot of alpine scenery, schnitzels and sausages. 
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