Friday, November 12, 2010

My summer in Europe... wild strawberries in Germany, granadilla in Spain, and a visit to raw restaurant Saf in London!

wild strawberries in Schwarzwald, Germany

This year I was fortunate enough to skip part of the Australian winter and soak up the sun in Europe…. and boy was it warm! 

One of the highlights was walking in the gorgeous forests of Schwarzwald in Germany, munching on the most sweetly perfumed wild strawberries!

Here are some more photos from the trip!

la Bouqueria market, la Rambla, Barcelona

Above is a stall at the market 'la Bouqueria' in La Rambla, Barcelona. The range is IMPRESSIVE! Imagine, so many varieties of locally grown wild mushrooms, cherries, berries, figs, heirloom tomatoes and imported tropical fruits such as dragonfruit and avocado. They even had one of my all time favourite fruits: granadilla!! Granadilla is a type of passionfruit native to the Andes. It is golden on the outside and can be cracked with your fingers to reveal the sweet sweet goodness inside! This is very much unlike the passionfruit available in Australia, which is often quite acidic. I haven't eaten granadilla since 2006 when I travelled to Peru and have dreamed of eating granadilla again so it was a special treat for me! I must say though, they taste so much better fresh from the markets in Cusco, Peru :) 

Here is the granadilla passionfruit, with a backdrop of the Pyrenees in Andorra:

granadilla passionfruit

And... alpine walking in Andorra... gorgeous views, fresh alpine air, a plethora of wild alpine flowers, bees and butterflies!

alpine walking in Andorra

Alpine walking in Chamonix, France. Simply stunning!

alpine walking in Chamonix

And then a yummy lunch in Globus department store in Geneva: (marinated mixed wild mushrooms, a caprese salad, delectable olives stuffed with truffle paste, and roast eggplant and capsicum on sourdough)

lunch in Globus department store in Geneva

The richest and best tasting double cream with raspberries in Gruyère, Switzerland!

double cream with raspberries in Gruyère

Yummy local cheeses in Gruyère, Switzerland:

local cheeses in Gruyère

Raspberries, cherries, strawberries and peaches in Germany:

raspberries in Germany

strawberries in Germany

peaches in Germany


Stunning scenery and a viking boat in Naeroyfjord, Norway:

Naeroyfjord, Norway

... and the famous Scandinavian Daim cake!

Daim cake

In London I visited the World Food Cafe in Neal's Yard, Covent Garden. I have had the World Food Cafe cookbooks for years - some of my favourite vegetarian recipes are from these books - so it was amazing to eat from there and see the place firsthand! If you've never heard of the books, I recommend from 'World Food Cafe 2': the East African wilderness sweet potato patties with piri piri sauce, briq a l'eouf (Moroccan style egg and potato pie), the cashew nut stuffed capsicum in a coconut and curry leaf sauce, and the Guatemalan breakfast... these are family favourites around here! :)

Mexican plate at World Food Cafe, LondonWest African meal at World Food Cafe, LondonFalafels and hommus at World Food Cafe, London

And to end on a wonderful note, on my last day I had lunch at Saf botanical restaurant! Amazing food and excellent mocktails and cocktails! I highly recommend it!! Please forgive the bad quality photos, they are from my phone! I feel funny taking out my big camera in a restaurant! ;)-

We had raw zucchini ravioli filled with cashew cheese and served with basil tomato sauce, shiitake and woodear mushroom gyoza, the Saf salad bowl (parsnip rice, kimchee, radish, avocado, zucchini noodles, oyster mushrooms), Caesar salad with raw pine nut parmesan, and cashew cheese with sage pesto, crushed pink peppercorns, dried tomato with a balsamic reduction, and flaxseed crackers.

For dessert we had the chocolate ganache torte, the berry cashew cheesecake with coconut crust, and a fantastic cocktail of cinnamon infused cognac, amaretto, agave syrup, and espresso! What a superb meal!

lunch at Saf restuarant, Londonlunch at Saf restuarant, London

lunch at Saf restuarant, Londonlunch at Saf restuarant, London

lunch at Saf restuarant, Londonlunch at Saf restuarant, London

lunch at Saf restuarant, Londonlunch at Saf restuarant, London

Thank you for reading! :)

P.S. If you are interested in colourful gemstones, check out my etsy jewellery store: Ara et Orchidée! :)