Monday, May 28, 2012

Cannes film festival - Gotha - best frigging club!

Oh Cannes film festival. How I love thee. I will plan this better next year though.Met Adrian Brody in the VIP section of Gotha. He wasn't too happy about all the attention and left pretty fast. Unfortunately he looked a lot older irl...guess the film industry has taken its toll on him.
Kanye West paid a visit and sat next to us at Nikki beach, managed to miss P Diddy's yacht party (Booooo!) and embarrassed myself in front of Michelle Rodriguez :P
Alec Baldwin was also spotted at the Carlton and a few other minor celeb spottings.But the PARTIES...lurved it, though someone needs to invent inflatable gel cushions for us ladies running around in high heels 7 days straight...

Can say that the food is pretty crap everywhere and ridiculously overpriced.
A cappuccino at the Carlton for 20€ anyone? ;)


Went for a very short and intense weekend trip with my ex colleague and good friend Önay.

We left Friday after work, landed around 22:00 at Schipol and went home to change and freshen up before heading to Jimmy Woo around midnight. turns out midnight was a pretty good time to show up...people were just starting to fill the place and the much more lively Leidsleplein outside was buzzing.

I had guest list and as I heard it's difficult to get in if you don't have.
We weren't sure if there was a dress code so we got our swag on :P
Turned out to be a rally cool, bohemian chic place....more trendy and def not posh which was great.

The music was amazing and this gorgeous bartender names Simon made us fab and ridiculously strong Mojitos all night >P

At 5am we left for Bubbles - a student bar and it was crazy in there. A lot fo men thought I needed a shot so I wasn't feeling all too amazing the next day - but hey. I live for the moment :P

Next day we did sightseeing..I think I was drunk/hungover all day so the bike ride and cold air kept us awake. Bless em bikes!

Bikes were 15EUR a day and I definitely recommend getting around that way, but do not recommend filming on them. Ducth people on bikes are dangerous! :D

That evening we weren't feeling too hot, so we went to Bocinq for some tapas (the lobster croquettes were delicious!!) and after that to Club NL.
Can't really say I recommend was good, but it was a rather peculiar mix of people which might be worth the look but it took us ages to find as the place had a not so easily spotted sign; and we weren't feeling too great, so we went home at 2 or 3am in the end to do a little more sightseeing the next day.

In Stockholm at the airport. Finally done with work and ready to leave

Vondel Park
Random canals

My fabulous ride ;)

The tulip/flower market

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I was in Malta for a conference for nearly 4 days and you all know a conference is packed with speeches and activities so there's only little free time and in general you're exhausted :)

There was practically no free time so this is all I could throw together.
Better than nothing I hope :)

While recording our commercial I took some snapshots

View over Valetta

Dinner at the end of the conference was held here

Pictures taken from the bus due to the lack of sightseeing time :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Stockholm guide

It's been a while I updated this blog and mainly cause I'm traveling for work and I haven't had time for anything else, but I wanted to put together a guide for people visiting Stockholm. So this is my take! :)

To motivate my preferences in Stockholm, just a short summary of myself: 
I'm a foodie, a fitness freak, I love dancing tango and salsa and being on a dance floor and I love places that are unpretentious and relaxed and enjoy seeing people have a great time.
As I'm a diplomat/expat, I'm not keen on Stockholm night life - even after 13years here. 
Swedish people get very drunk when they go out, aren't exactly courteous and a lot of the posh clubs are very pretentious and stiff in my opinion.
If it's glitz and glamour you want, stick to the travel guides of Stockholm you can google or just head to London :D
If you don't want the typical commercial places and enjoy a bit of diversity, read on :).

Check out for up to date events happening here.

New place that is great for coffee, after work, dinner and drinks is Mood.
It's buzzing and the place to hang out at, so check it out.

Won this years prize for the best dining experience. Feels like having dinner at home with friends

Råkultur (amazing!! Sushi chef was internationally awarded being the 2nd best sushi chef 2010)
Hattori Sushi Devil
Blue Light Yokohama
Miss Voon (fusion)
Bon Bon Spanish/Swedish fusion tapas - only authentic and amazing tapas place I've found.
Tapas Aqui  Good tapas, cheap (for Stockholm) and great service.




this is more like a second home for me since 2007 so I'm (kinda) part of the interior ;)

Ardbeg Embassy
(game meat, elk carpaccio, smoked reindeer heart etc - delicious! Located in old town
Griffin's Steakhouse Extraordinaire
amazing interior design, great for the winter months as it's super cozy
Vassa Eggen
good for drinks, dinner and before heading out clubbing
Restaurang AG
Köttbaren and next door is Grill as köttbaren is very tiny, you can move there after eating
Grill Food isn't fantastic,but it's good.At times they overuse salt, so ask them to be cautious ;)
Pontus (have only enjoyed drinks here, but I did enjoy them!)
Pontus by the sea (in the summer - go for the seafood platter. You know you want to!

SUMMER TIME (the only time you should be in Stockholm)

They're next to each other so have a walk by the water after seeing the city hall
Josefinas: The only place in Stockholm you'll think you're in Miami, good weather for this place is a must as its outdoors - dress appropriately otherwise or you'll regret it :)


(I'm a slave to their cocktail skills..
Good cocktails, food overpriced and not that amazing IMO but it's a beautiful hotel and rated one of the top 50 boutique hotels in Europe
Lydmar Hotel
Beautiful, trendy but more casual and chic. Lovely in the summer and right next to museum island, so if the sun is out bask with the Swedes with some Pimm's.

Still one of the best of the overly commercial/posh/trendy places. If you don't like it, walk 100-500m in any directions and that's where all the other posh/trendy places are too


Ardbeg Embassy (listed above under food) 
Bishops Arms 
Monks Cafe 
Man in the Moon 


located in Restaurant 1900. This is where the cool bohemian chic crowd like to hang's also a lot closer to hit the clubs after 2 when they close. As it's extremely popular you need to get there before 10pm or come with a regular to get in after as they're strict though especially if you're a group.

I love going here as it's perfect for after work, dinner and starting your night as well as a good mix of people. there's a club downstairs if you want a more upbeat night and to get in the mood. There's a garden too which I love in the summer.
Say hi from Jasmin and that I said they don't disappoint ;)
if you would like a more mixed crowd of people, different dance floors and a big terrace.
It is very busy on the weekends...
Warm up with AW or dinner & drinks. Open to 2am
As this is in Stockholm's bohemian district Södermalm and there's a different and more relaxed crowd and a nice change from the more "pretentious" clubbing district Stureplan/Östermalm. There are more bars than clubs here.
is cool if you want more full on electronic/dance/club vibe. The crowd is quite young but music is generally also great. There's a more commercial hip hop/pop dance floor and upstairs the electro/dance/club hits. Other places (posh ones) are all this is your only hope unless you're coming for Summer burst or some other gig/festival.
Hell's Kitchen plays descent music even if I'm not a fan of the crowd and it feels like being in a mosh pit with no ventilation. If that bothers you, you have all the posh clubs around that area:)


For a country that has built a culture around one word ("fika"), I still have a hard time finding cozy cafés to curl up in for hours!
Let's try add some good ones here:

Cafe Saturnus
French café with big cups of coffee and the biggest (if I dare say) Swedish cinnamon bun you will find. Quite packed especially weekends for brunch.
Cafe Xoko
This place serves tantalizing small desserts. Love sitting there. They have their own bakery too, so grab some buns!
Ifyou're around the area and craving cupcakes
Urban Deli 
Bustling, busy and relaxed but noisy on weekends. Big like! 

Ask for Martin and say Jasmin sent you :)
Coziness factor, nice brunch, several around the city.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gili Trewangan

Aaaah Gili...
I wanted to stay 4 days in order to fly to Flores and from there to Komodo as well as the Southern beaches of Lombok locals told me about and while making my way back visit Borobudyr temple and stop over in Jakarta.
Didn't happen!
I did my Advanced Open Water certificate, dived 6 times enjoyed a peaceful but amazing Gili full moon party and went all in on the last night with dive master Mike.
I didn't even make it over to Gili Meno or Gili Air - considering there's not really a lot to do on Gili T but surf, dive, snorkel or rent a bike during the day, it's rather fascinating how time flew by!
I love that Gili T gave me the same vibe as Koh Tao - just with more oceanic diversity and less dead coral which is the tragic fate of Thai reefs :(

Like Koh Tao one gets to the Gili's from Sanur, Padang Bai or even Amed (sporadic services).
I stopped at Lembongan on the way there and did a dive but the island was completely dead otherwise I'd have done some exploration but after Ubud I was dying for some party and meeting fun backpackers.
According to my dive master the Lembongan dive center should have not let me dive at Toyapakeh slope as the currents there claim around 15 lives each year so hearing that afterwards, my heart jumped a teeny bit but I wanted to high five making it out of there :)

I was a bit too busy enjoying Gili T so not much filming was done but here a glimpse of my so far favorite spot on earth! :)

JOSS!!! I had NEVER heard about this before and was intrigued I had to try it before leaving. Seems it is most commonly consumed with vodka. According to my dive instructor (in the video) it enhances the effect of alcohol without you feeling bad and it instantly wakes you up. I did 2 vodka joss shots but as I heard the hangover was horrid, I didn't continue. I had a third joss shot to stay awake and as great as the effect was I woke up the next morning with slight heart palpitations...wish i would have brought some home. This stuff would do miracles for students or working late :D Anyway, here's a video of Mike taking my Joss virginity :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ubud - not in a nutshell

I've been in Ubud for 5 days and I love the atmosphere.
It's so relaxed and you realize there's no reason to stress - apart from maybe the Balinese men asking you if you need a motorbike taxi every 20m (even if you're on one yourself) and the shop owners saying hello and trying to get you to buy something - it's really relaxed :P

I have to admit I have slacked on cultural activities.
I preferred watching the monkeys in monkey forest from afar and being in Asia for so long means I have had my share of temples.

Bali in general consists of temples. Home stays and hotels are built around temples and I did not do any of the tours to any cultural sights.
I did want to see the volcano and rice fields but driving to beaches I saw so many beautiful rice fields and the volcano I think I enjoyed these in my own way.
People are relaxed but there's quite a few elitist yoga/hippie and health freaks - I've avoided that entire cult.

Have just enjoyed the beaches, Juan and James company and am re energized and ready to leave and party and taint this healthy temple of a body :)

I'm heading to the islands and reason for this is that everything in Ubud closes around midnight and CP Lounge seems to be the only place open late. So if you want to go out, choices are limited as people here like to get up early for freakishly early yoga sessions it seems :)

As for the Balinese, I learned quite a bit from the expats living here.
Tourists like James got pulled over onthe scooter and told that his international drivers license is not international at all - just to get a bribe of 2 million Rupiah. If not he'd have had to appear in court in 8 days.
The only other solution is driving past and hoping the police don't follow you according to Juan but we realized being in a car they don't pull you over.

If you rent a car make sure to mention this as the rental agency will offer to help you deal with this by having the police call them.

There are quite a lot of other examples, most common that Balinese nearly ever give you the correct change back in try to slip some in their pocket.
Out of principal I always demand the correct change back and in several cases the Balinese get really pissed off because you bring it up.
Had an argument with a cab driver cause he didn't give me the correct change back and then he told me he thought it was tip.

Being in Eat Pray Love spirit and constantly getting ripped off ruins is just some what but just head into a rice field and you'll forget these small sorrows again ;)

As for places to check out:
I enjoyed Laughing Buddha, CP Lounge, Bar Luna (Tuesdays & Thursdays).
On the same street as Bar Luna there's really good and cheap Indonesian food - worth checking out!

Cafes & restaurants: Cafe Clear, Kafe, Taco Casa & Grill (Mexican), Bridge's (French), Sari Organic

Random of many beautiful sights in Ubud

Driving to Amed

Stopping by Vincents's for dinner
Ubud Monkey temple. Refused to go in. I know monkeys from Kenya and they're evil lil bastards!!