Damiana Mariani


Chef Flynn

On the fast track to making it big

When his father was on detox, he sought refuge and found it in cookery books. At the age of 15 he opened his first pop-up-restaurant. Today at the age of twenty the only thing missing is a michelin star. Flynn McGarry is New York’s youngest prodigy cook.

Since it opened a year ago, everyone has been talking about the New York restaurant Gem. Back then, shortly before his 19th birthday, Flynn McGarry had the contract in his hands, however his sister had to sign it because you do not get an alcohol license in the USA at the age of 19. Since then every step he takes is followed with eagle eyes. „Everybody expected that I would fail.“, said McGarry in a documentary. And one of his chefs agrees with him: „They don’t want us to be this good, but we are anyway.“ Gastronomy is a hard business and in particular the New York market is highly competitive. Nowhere else do you find so many star chefs in one place. If you want to survive here you cannot afford to make mistakes. McGarry feels the pressure but says that nothing great has been achieved without pressure. A sentence that is characteristic for him.

McGarry works painstakingly, 16 to 18 hours a day. He blocks out any thoughts about enviers or hate mail. Some hold it against him that at the age of twenty he has achieved what others begin dreaming of at twenty. But they forget how long Flynn has been practicing his culinary skills.

When his parents divorced, his father went into detox. Flynn was lonely and quickly fed up with ready-made meals from the supermarket. He experimented his way through cookery books that were lying around the house. And all of a sudden he can’t think of anything else. Famous chefs become rock stars, who he adores. His obsession went so far that his parents built a kitchen in his bedroom on his insistence. And so it began, a tender ten years young, flambéing and caramelizing. His most expensive item was a 300 dollar sous-vide cooker, for which the entire family pooled together.

At the age of twelve McGarry began his career as a professional chef. While his school mates arranged to go to baseball games, the freckled redhead worked meticulously on recipes. He hosted dinners for family and friends, served several exquisite courses with ingredients that his peers could not even spell. As his mother then cannot afford to lug home heaps of food so her boy can perfect his skills, Flynn launches official pop-up dinners.

Boy wonder at work

When he was only 15, The New York Times Magazine celebrated him as the discovery in gastronomy. The cover shows the boy wonder at work, highly concentrated. At the same time he opened his first pop-up restaurant, Eureka, in West Village. After one visit, journalist Christopher Noxon wrote for the New Yorker about moments when he thought: Damn, I have never had anything better than this in my mouth!

And now the Gem. Flynn serves most of the dishes in the same way as when he was cooking at home. A relaxed atmosphere is important, you should feel at ease when eating. A typical dinner in Gem consists of 12 to 15 courses, for which you should allow yourself two hours. The cost for the experience is 200 dollars. In New York you can easily spend the same amount on a meal or some other commodity, justified McGarry. When you read reviews from the patrons, you could trip on the superlatives, for example culinary discovery, explosive experiences. At the moment it does not look as if he could possibly fail …

Flynn McGarry is coming to Switzerland for the first time. As part of the Gourmet festival `19 the “culinary wunderkind“ will be cooking from 8th until 9th November 2019 on the Excellence Princess during a river trip from Basel to Strasbourg and back. For more information and tickets go to

Photos Copyrights: Restaurant Gem, Joshua Aronson,, Angela Pham/

Revolution in Tourism

It is a change to fulfill an ideal: to make tourism ecologically justifiable. In her new illustrated book Bon Voyage the french journalist Clara le Fort takes us to the most beautiful sustainable hotels in the world. They promote environmental and species protection as well as school education on site.

Indonesia’s most popular travel domicile is sinking in waste. On a daily basis countless lorries tip much in excess of 1’000 tons of waste onto the Balinese garbage mountain. The waste includes PET bottles, plastic bags, sanitary towels, polystyrene packaging. Most of it comes from hotels. It is the high price of the tourist swarms, as can be seen throughout the entire world: contaminated seas, polluted beaches, dying flora and fauna surrounded by mass tourism. Some areas are suffering to such a degree from the thriving travel sector that the authorities are forced to take drastic action such as access restrictions or total bans.

Bawah Reserve

The antidote to the tourist swarms can be found in the South China Sea, where the Anambas archipelago, an Indonesian group of islands, is situated. Its water is glass clear and sapphire blue, the beaches seem to be untouched. Just a few years ago illegal dynamite fishing threatened to completely destroy the colorful underwater world of the archipelago. Now the Anambas islands are one of the first sea protection areas in Indonesia and the home of the Bawah Reserve. In collaboration with the Bawah Anambas Foundation, the luxury hotel is advocating for the preservation of biodiversity in the archipelago, educating the population with regard to the environment and is a role model for sustainability. For example, the perma-culture system is watered with waste water, there is sea-friendly sunscreen, environmentally-friendly detergent and no use of plastics. All waste is recycled, food is composted. Only electric buggies drive on land and the two boats used are solar-powered. The price for one of the Bamboo Bungalows runs to four figures, but you get something than has become difficult to find: Nature in perfect harmony.

The Bawah Reserve is one of over 50 resorts that made it into Clara le Forts’ Bon Voyage. The almost 300 page illustrated book is devoted to pioneering ecological resorts that are in the process of revolutionizing the travel branch. However, it addresses much more than solar cells and organic gardens, it is about environmental and species protection, as well as the need of the indigenous population for schools and education. According to studies, the tourism branch is responsible for eight percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. And an increasing number of people are reconsidering their lifestyle, which has become unacceptable for our nature. Without doubt, it is better for the environment not to get into an airplane at all, but if you do you can soothe your conscience with gentle tourism.

Omaanda Lodge

Soft tourism can also be found in South Africa. Namibia, with its nature reserves, now ranks as one of the forerunners worldwide for nature conservation. And here, not far from the capital Windhoek, in the middle of a 9’000 hectare nature reserve the Omaanda Lodge welcomes its guests. Omaanda means rhino in Oshiwambo and is a reference to the surrounding protection area for wild animals. In conjunction with the N/a’ankusê Foundation, which was founded in 2006, the luxury lodge is developing guidelines for the protection of its sensitive ecological system and campaigns for responsible tourism.

They also care for abandoned and injured wild animals and assume the medical and social care for the indigenous people of the San. In contrast to conventional wildlife safaris, guests can visit the San and get first hand impressions of animal protection in the Shiloh Wildlife Sanctuary. In the sanctuary rhinos and elephants that have been injured by poachers can recover before they return to the nature protection area.

Le Barn Hotel

You can find out how sound sustainability works on a farm in Le Barn, in the French Fôret de Rambouillet. Between oaks, elms and silver birch, surrounded by free-range hares, horses and deer, there is a refuse of joy nestled in idyllic countryside. The estate covers 200 hectares, an area where only nature has something to say. A former mill, several barns and a sheep pen have been converted into a modern hotel for relaxation, which operates both energy efficiently and sustainably. Its guests are free to go riding, hiking, cycling, pick mushrooms and most of all to switch off. Meals are served at the long wooden table under a glass roof. The ingredients for the dishes come from their own organic garden or from local producers.

Photos Copyrights: Le Barn, Leonardo Finotti, Peter Guenzel, Cyrielle Astaing / Rigotang, Eleven Experience, Micheal Turek, Günter Standl, Roman Cho, Bon Voyage, Bawah Reserve, Omaanda Lodge

“Art is life”

Mario Mazzoleni ranks as one of the most renowned gallerists in Italy and the greatest collector of Andy Warhol’s works. But he would still save his family first in a house fire. “I am not materialistic.”, claims Mazzoleni. At what point he considers a picture to be too expensive, what makes Warhol such an exceptional artist and why his passion for art collection does not replace a lack of motherly love.

Mr Mazzoleni, do you remember the first work of art that you purchased?
I remember it very well. It was a beautiful drawing on wood from Gianfranco Ferroni, a prominent Italian painter. I bought it directly from him, with my savings; I was fifteen at the time.

Sotheby’s grossed a record price of 157 million dollars last year for the painting „Nu couché “(to the left) from Amedeo Modigliani. Is that not absurd?
The art market is evolving more and more in this direction. I would not say absurd but certainly exaggerated. As long as there are interested parties willing to pay that sort of money for a painting, there will be prices of this magnitude. I like the fact that there are people who would rather pay these amounts of money for a piece of art than for a yacht.

When does a picture become too expensive?
When the price exceeds the quality. Unfortunately these days art is more about marketing and less about technique. I see an abundance of improvisation, in particular in the case of young artists. Major galleries are encouraging critics, who feel an affinity to works that have little substance. A good balance is important. The quality should justify the price.

Have you ever paid too much for a picture?
No, my foundation is extremely vigilant with regards to price and quality.

Which piece of art shaped your understanding of art in the long term?
I was born in Caravaggio’s country. Even as a child I was fascinated by his sculptures. In my opinion Caravaggio is the greatest artist of all.

Another artist who you hold in high regard: Andy Warhol. What makes his work so special?
Warhol was a genius. Eccentric and talented. I had the pleasure of meeting him on several occasions. His works have become increasingly popular for collectors over the years. More than anyone else he understood how to make marketing work for his creations. But that required a lot of skill. He strongly influenced the contemporary art scene. The idea of the factory was simply brilliant and led to a series of similar projects throughout the whole world. It is unfortunate that he was a one-off. The world needs a thousand Andy Warhols.

Is there still one piece of his art that you simply have to have?
I would claim to already have his most interesting works and relicts. Starting with Michael Jackson‘s guitar, signed by the pop star and Warhol personally, to the invitation sent to Marilyn Monroe for the exhibition at Castelli’s gallery, through to Mao. My last acquisition was a purple coloured electric chair, the 85th from a total of 250 copies. A beautiful, historical work.

Is it objectionable to collect art for purely financial interests, without understanding its beauty?
Yes, absolutely. I cannot understand how someone can view art as merely a commodity. I only purchase and collect art works that thrill me and that tell a story. I would never exhibit a painting in my gallery, which I don’t like or that does not convey a message.

What do you say to Sigmund Freud‘s theory: Collectors are compensating for the deprivation they suffered as a child due to a lack of maternal love?
I admire Sigmund Freud, a great thinker, and of course he was right. For my part I can only say that it is pure passion. I grew up with pictures under my bed. I always lived and breathed art, it has been implanted in me, do you understand? And for this reason my foundation means so much to me, it is about creating my own museum to give the younger generation an understanding of art, to make it available to them free-of-charge.

It has been proven that creative people are less aggressive. If we give young people an understanding of art, can we impel them to create art themselves?
I constantly see so many pieces of art and buildings that have been destroyed by vandals without any respect for our past and culture. Young people are often distracted by the wrong things, they prefer a tablet to a book, would rather go to the shopping centre than to a museum. That’s exactly why museums should be free-of-charge for all those under 21 years of age.

Because if you understand art, you affirm life, at least its beauty?
Exactly. Art is emotion, it is life. It is our duty to love it.


Photos Copyrights: Mario Mazzoleni LDS

The legend – Jean-Michel Basquiat

Nobody wanted to belong to a generation that misjudged another Van Gogh. How Jean-Michel Basquiat took the New York art scene by storm.

He did not win one competition as a child. His drawings were considered chaotic. He once lost against a boy, who submitted an exemplary Spiderman. It did not undermine his self-confidence, Jean-Michel Basquiat knew or believed he knew that he was destined to become an icon, a legend. And he was actually soon to make his breakthrough as the first Afro-American in the New York Art Scene.

Four years to get famous, six to get rich

The majority of Basquiat’s paintings are rich in colours. He has painted over everything that he does not like or that he does like. One layer follows the next and no, that is not chaos, it is richness, has depth. There is a concentrated brute force. The pictures are loud, scream at you. Four years to get famous, six to get rich, that’s how much time Basquiat set himself. At the time it sounded utopian for the boy without competitive acknowledgement and without enough money in his pocket for canvasses, but it wasn’t. Jean-Michel Basquiat was to soon find a visual language and it would take New York by storm.

At the age of six, Jean-Michel was knocked down by a car. When his mother visited him in hospital, she brought him a book about the human anatomy. The accident, his first memory, the book, his first source of inspiration. We still constantly discover scars, organs and skeletons in his works. Initially Basquiat wandered through the streets of New York under the pseudonym SAMO (same old shit) and sprayed everything that wasn’t moving. His aphoristic graffiti soon arouses the interest of gallery owners and one thing lead to another. One day he sold Andy Warhol self painted postcards for less than five dollars. Two years later his pictures cost up to 10,000 dollars. Money is thrust at him, there is not always a contract, sometimes the payment is made in drugs. An extravagant lifestyle that cannot last at this level, runs its course. Expensive parties, caviar and crystal meth. In some weeks Basquiat squanders up to 2000 dollars for drugs alone. A fruitful relationship developed from his encounter with Warhol; however their common work earns little applause, Warhol and his industrious protégée drift apart. When Warhol dies, Basquiat plunges into a crisis. Interviews, which he now gives, are difficult to bear, he stutters, swallows his answers, misunderstands the questions. He goes to detox and the 27-year old comes back with life and vigour again. In his diary Basquiat writes that he would like to buy a saxophone, a short time later he dies of a heroin overdose.

The more I paint, the more I like everything.

Basquiat, the Celebrated

In only eight years Basquiat managed to create an extensive oeuvre and to establish new figurative and expressive elements in the American art of the post-war period. His works rank today as the most sought-after art objects in the 20th century.
In 2017 Sothebys auctioned one of his pictures for 110.5 million dollars. Consequently Basquiat reached the highest price segment on the international art market. Taschen Publishing House has now published an XXL-Monograph, JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT, which allows us to study the works of the idiosyncratic artist in its often wild and not always easy to decode overlap of text and picture. A wonderful book, an absolute must for art lovers, which shows that Basquiat’s works have lost none of their power even after over thirty years.

When I paint, I do not think about art, I try to think about life.

Photos Copyrights: Taschen Verlag, © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York

Cultivated Design

Minimalism is stylish and timeless. The Dutch Interior Brand HKLiving shows that it can also be warm. The two childhood friends Emiel Hetsen and Sander Klaver bring us nordic design with an Asian touch.

Jungle fever in the modern city apartment: The Wall Chart of printed linen-cotton material.

The current collection presents Asian influences in the lamps. These traditional fabric and bamboo lanterns are available in different models.

HKliving places emphasis on natural elements in the kitchen such as wood and tree slices as well as creative glazes on beautiful ceramics.

Sit comfortably so you can spend more time together.

Minimalism stylishly applied – the HKliving living room looks like this. 
The couch can be assembled individually from different elements.

Japanese minimalism and the courage to use unconventional colours make a minor but significant difference.

It’s all in the quantity and of course the style: At HKliving the cushions in different colours and shapes win us over.

Photos Copyrights: HKliving

Michael Haneke – the exceptional director

„Of course the audience prefers to encounter a well packaged lie. The truth hurts, that’s why we don’t want to see it.“

He presents those sides of real life that we prefer to avoid. Hoffmann & Campe are now publishing all this major scripts in one volume. Why Michael Haneke is one of the last superb filmmakers.

An elderly woman has a stroke. From now on she is imprisoned in her own body, bound to a wheelchair and her bed, dependent on care; she has to endure the shame of wetting herself, having her hands washed by strangers. Everything trickles away, freedom, dignity, language, everything that made life worth living, but he is still there, Georges, her husband. And with him love. He has promised her that he would not let her be taken away. And now she is pleading with him to put an end to it all. That is LIEBE, Michael Haneke’s eleventh film, a stroke of genius. In 2012 he received an Oscar for the film, although the Austrian writer-director works on a level far removed from any Hollywood formula. His films are free of clichés and void of sentimentality. „In the mainstream you have rules“, claims Haneke, „Nothing can happen to animals or children. But in reality something does happen to them.“ And it is all about this reality. Haneke‘s films are hard and cruel and at the same time hold a warm beauty. They show us life, how it is, not more beautiful, not better. During the process, the visionary avoids trying to convey any messages. In a Haneke film there are no answers, but issues are raised.

Haneke grew up in Wiener Neustadt in a family of actors. Allegedly he wanted to give up school at an early age to be an actor himself, but then studied philosophy, psychology and theatre studies in Vienna. At the age of 47 he presented his first cinema film, DER SIEBENTE KONTINENT, disturbing, it arms us for the ruthless truth that will shower down on us in his coming works. To name but three: In BENNYS VIDEO a teenager kills a girl for pure sensationalism in 1992 and films the crime. In an attempt to get the boy out of the situation he has got himself into, his parents become liable for prosecution themselves. A level of loyalty that the protagonist himself will not reciprocate. In 2001 in DIE KLAVIERSPIELERIN Haneke adapted the novel of the same name from the Austrian winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Elfriede Jelinek. Without any frills he stages the story of the internally blunted piano teacher, who is drilled by her control-addicted mother to become a pianist and who fails in her endeavours to have a sadomasochistic relationship with one of her students. DAS WEISSE BAND – EINE DEUTSCHE KINDERGESCHICHTE deals with mysterious occurrences and traumatizing attacks on children made compliant from an overbearing upbringing in a protestant village. The film, demanding, difficult, but ingenious, was awarded with the Golden Palm in Cannes in 2009.

Hoffmann & Campe have now packed all major scripts from the 76-year-old between two book covers in DIE DREHBÜCHER. Plus: The completed script to FLASHMOB, not yet released. A special treat for cineastes and deep thinkers alike.

Photos Copyrights: Hoffmann & Campe, X Verleih

Fireworks for your Palate


He triggered a vegetable revolution and serves us the most sinful desserts. Star chef and bestselling author Yotam Ottolenghi tempts the word with unconventional recipes

From time to time a tantalizing world lies in wait between two covers of a book, in terms of SWEET maybe even the sweetest. In his new recipe book star chef Yotam Ottolenghi, together with Helen Goh, celebrates sinful moments with promising desserts. Their composition may sometimes seem unconventional (Brownies with tahin and halwa), but always guarantees a high level of enjoyment (Grappa fruit cake). Ottolenghi himself has a sweet tooth. And his cooking career actually began with him whipping sugar and egg whites. In the nineties he completed his training at Le Cordon Bleu School of cookery. Ottolenghi is 30, a late starter in the gastronomy world. Because although his first word was „war ma“, a short form for marak, the Hebrew word for soup, and his father calls him a goloso (greedy glutton), in his early twenties Ottolenghi studied philosophy and literature at the university of Tel Aviv. Where he was to experience freedom as a young homosexual for the first time. While studying for his doctor title, he decided to take a break. He moved to London, enrolled at a renowned school of cooker, dropped out and became an assistant to the head pastry chef at Launceston Place,

an exclusive restaurant that was frequented by Princess Diana at the time. When a waiter called out to him one evening through the service lift: „that was the best Brownie I’ve ever eaten!“, he knows that he has taken the right path. However, Ottolenghi did not make a name for himself with his legendary desserts; but rather his unique way of cooking vegetables. Ottolenghi shows that vegetables are not simply an accompaniment but the star of every dish. And his success proves him right: In 2006 the Guardian called and asked him to submit a vegetarian column. There followed major TV specials. Ottolenghi now runs several restaurants and delis in London. He has published seven cookbooks, two of which are dedicated exclusively to vegetarian cuisine, and most recently SIMPLE: dishes with minimum effort and maximum taste. Almost every day the 49-year old creates new recipes and perfects existing ones. „Unconditional praise is rare and there is often a plethora of improvement suggestions“, says Ottolenghi, „but when you do come across the missing puzzle piece that makes the recipe complete, it is like a revelation. Everything disintegrates into harmony.“

“When dining, I always look for the drama taking place in my mouth. Not every bite has to be a statement, but I am always on the lookout for the little firework.”

Photos Copyrights: Peden + Munk, Adam Luzsniak, DK Verlag

Lissabon – Insider Guide

One of a kind

So it is officially the most beautiful city in the world. Fresher than Rome, more relaxed than Rio, more romantic than Paris. Nevertheless, beauty does always lie in the eye of the beholder. And if this city would put a crown on itself, it would be a little crooked. Because Portugal‘s capital is above all one thing: enviably modest. And at the same time thrillingly authentic. A metropolis in the midst of a culinary boom with excellent Street Food and innovative Michelin-acclaimed Haute Cuisine. Lisbon will completely bowl you over, that’s a promise, and yes, because of the food, but not only.


The AlmaLusa Baixa/Chiado is a small, select boutique hotel situated in Lisbon’s historical district, not far from the famous Praça do Comércio (a popular spot for events of every kind) and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (on the banks of the Tagus River, from which Portuguese explorers set sail back in the day). The AlmaLusa offers 28 beautifully decorated rooms, adorned with striking wallpaper from the British hotshot designer Andrew Martin. Classic Portuguese dishes are served in the in-house Delfina restaurant.

AlmaLusa Baixa/Chiado
Praça do Munícipio, 21
1100-365  Lissabon 

The renowned architect Luis Rebelo de Andrade worked for almost six years with the owner Heleen Uitenbroek on the Santiago de Alfama project. The former Palace from the 15th century is now a 5-star hotel with 19 rooms – each one unique and hard to top for stylistic confidence. Great value is attached to the personal needs of the guests, for example, one of the luxuries is the hotel’s own driver, Kevin, who on request brings you to the most beautiful parts of Lisbon in the polished Jaguar.

Santiago de Alfama

Rua de Santiago 10 a 14
1100-494 Lissabon

Sometimes more is simply more: The Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisboa is without doubt a venue of superlatives. It is the look: Art Deco coupled with a modern Louis-XVI style. The abundance of indigenous artwork. In the lobby you can view the works of Almada Negreiros. And the view from the Veranda restaurant, where you share promises over brunch and sunrise, or can put them into practice over a glass of wine and sunset.

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisboa
R. Rodrigo da Fonseca 88
1099-039 Lissabon
Reservations: +351 (21) 381-1400


Sugar, butter, eggs: Pastéis de nata is Portugal‘s sweetest temptation. You can delight in the best example of these custard tarts sprinkled with cinnamon and as big as a plate in the Pastéis de Belém confectioners. They make 20.000 of them every day. The exact baking method is a strict secret and as old as the Hieronymite monastery that is located in the same part of the city. The recipe should never have passed through its walls but an epicurean monk was concerned that the recipe might die out.

When you book your flights, you would be well advised to book a table in the Michelin acclaimed LOCO at the same time. Star chef Alexandre Silvas‘ Discover menu promises fourteen unforgettable moments, consisting of four snacks, six dishes and two desserts – at a current price of 86 Euros. Organic Fine Dining conjured up in an open kitchen

The Belcanto is Portugal‘s first restaurant to be distinguished with two Michelin stars. One of the many requirements in star chef José Avillez‘ kitchen: Art combined with craft. And the objective: to trigger memories of people, places and times gone by with the created dishes.

Another Michelin star is the Catalan Sergi Arola, who produces veritable works of art on a plate in his LAB. If the dishes did not promise to give you an oral orgasm, it would be a crime to eat them. In addition to creative contemporary cuisine with a Portuguese touch the little gourmet temple offers 550 wines, exclusive cognacs and Armagnac.

In Tapisco the celebrity chef Henrique Sá Pessoa fuses Spanish and Portuguese delicacies. There are tapas and petiscos, paellas, etc. The dishes are a dream and are served in a small, modern restaurant in a relaxed atmosphere.

For those who aim high: Topo is perhaps Lisbon’s most beautiful rooftop bar. Peppered with a diverse crowd, live DJs, tasty drinks and an impressive panorama over the historic district of Mouraria. And if you are really lucky, they may even show a film.

Staying at this level, the spacious Sky Bar, in the ninth story of the Tivoli hotel. The view extends over the city to the open sea. And delicious small dishes are served to keep hunger at bay.

By the Wine is the first flagship store from the family of José Maria da Fonesca, who began to produce wine himself in 1834. You can sample fine wines at the bar, accompanied by cheese made locally, or oysters, salmon ceviche, meat and of course heavenly desserts. Occasionally you can take part in wine tastings and courses.


Tivoli Skybar

By the Wine


It’s up to you if you can tear yourself away from eating to have time to go shopping or not. It is well worth it in the Centro Comercial Colombo situated in Carnide; it is one of the largest shopping centres in Europe and in the mini mall Embaixada, situated in the trendy Principe Real district. A short walk away from the São Domingos Church, you can find a small millinery, the Chapelaria Azevedo. It was founded in 1886 and specialises in making hats of all kinds, the majority of them timeless classics. They are also happy to create customised pieces. International designers are represented mainly in the Avenida da Liberdade. But there are also a number of enticing little alleys or even whole streets to wile away the shopping hours. On one such street, the Calçada da Estrela, directly in front of the pretty Park Jardim da Estrela, you will encounter sweet Portuguese taste sensations. In the Casa dos Ovos Moles there are all sorts of delicacies, from the encharcada (an eggy sweet dessert with cinnamon), through to the pastel de Tentúgal (a filling mixed with yolk and sugar and wrapped in sweet puff pastry). If you have time book a workshop and learn the art of baking traditional desserts.


If there is a heaven on earth then at the Avenida 24 de Julho, in the Time Out Market Lisboa, an absolute Gourmet Mecca. Thirty of the best, coolest, most innovative chefs in Portugal offer their most delicious dishes under one roof. In one huge hall there are 23 restaurants, ten stands, eight bars and four shops in a row. Entertainment is provided in the form of live concerts and cooking courses. You can for example learn how to prepare pastéis de nata in a workshop. Open from Sunday to Wednesday, 10.00-00.00, Thursday to Saturday, 10.00-02.00.

Instead of getting into the legendary tramline 28 and getting your feet trod on, follow its tracks to the stop Sé, to Catedral Sé Patriarcal; you have a spectacular view over Lisbon from here.

Visit one of the many Fado Bars, get enraptured by Portuguese folk music, dance til the wee small hours, and forget all your sins. The best place to do this is Bairro Alto, Lisbon‘s scene district. The Park (Calçada do Combro 58) is located here, a bar, if you will, loaded down with plants and lamps, built on the roof of a parking garage, with good cocktails and a great view over the city.

A must for cultural savvys: a visit to the Hieronymite monastery. It is considered one of the most significant buildings in the Portuguese Manueline style, a splendid Portuguese style of architecture. Guaranteed to amaze even cultural philistines.

If you have the time, we recommend a trip to the Museu do Design e da Moda (in short MUDE). Housed in an old Palace, the collection covers thousands of works from design and fashion, including treasures from Yves Saint Laurent and Vivienne Westwood. Admission free.

The journey to Sintra, 25 kilometres West of Lisbon, is a journey back to the Palaeolithic period. The natural landscape is a UNESCO world heritage site and particularly unique because of the centuries’ old palaces and castles. The National Palace of Sintra is especially worth a visit; a former Royal Palace, its construction represents a conglomerate of different architectural styles with its large conical chimneys.

An hour away from Lisbon, you can find the picturesque fishing village Ericeira with numerous sandy beaches, also known as surfers’ paradise. Not far from here is the National Palace of Mafra. Its library is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

Photo Copyrights:

Madrid Insider’s Guide

The passion of Spain

Falsa modestia is not Madrid’s thing. Madrid is not modest; it is grandiose, with magnificent buildings and impressive squares, the Plaza de España with its handsome Miguel de Cervantes to name only one. Madrid offers countless photo opportunities. However, those who think that the 7 million metropole is only nice to look at, should take a second look. Madrid pulsates with life. In the centre of Spain they express their emotions – the people chat to each other, kiss on every street corner – and cuisine is celebrated – they eat late, preferably lots, and particularly well. Admittedly, for some that may be a little too much of a good thing. On the other hand, can we ever really get enough of something good?


In a central location, not far from numerous attractions, you will find The Principal. The stylish boutique hotel will captivate you with its own terraza, one of the most beautiful in Madrid, delicious cocktails and exquisite haute cuisine. If you have come to Madrid to relax, we can recommend the wellness suite with integrated sauna.

The Principal Madrid Hotel
Marqués de Valdeiglesias, 1
28004 Madrid

The 5-star Único hotel also serves exquisite award-winning cuisine. The in-house restaurant Ramon Freixa Madrid has already been selected as the best in the city and is popular among wine connoisseurs. On Sundays, Único invites you to a sumptuous foodie-brunch, serving dishes ranging from delicious detox smoothies to leg of lamb on Oriental sauce.

Hotel Único Madrid
Claudio Coello, 67
28001 Madrid

Tótem is situated in the heart of Salamanca, the fashion district in Madrid.  The rooms and suites win you over with their unpretentious, elegant design and a walk-in rain shower. You can treat yourself to a drink or a small appetizer at the cocktail bar before you dine at the Hermosos or immerse yourself in the Madrid nightlife.

Tótem Madrid
Calle de Hermosilla, 23
28001 Madrid

The old and new Madrid merge in the trendy Urso Hotel & Spa, in the reception hall, in the restaurant, in the rooms and in the praiseworthy spa with hydrotherapy pool. You can choose from special treatments including a selection for men such as Hot Shells Massage or the Royal Oxigen Ritual.

URSO Hotel & Spa Madrid
Mejía  Lequerica, 8
28004 Madrid


A trip to Madrid is synonymous with a gourmet trip. Or rather it should be. The selection of fine restaurants in the Spanish capital is considerable. And in the past while there has been a particular surge. In the newly opened Chow Chow, for example, there are Japanese specialties with a South American touch. The dishes are just as mesmerising as the restaurant interior: sleek chic with plants and leaves that hang from the ceiling.

In contrast, the Coque, which has been awarded two Michelin stars, is three generations old but none the less innovative. The Sandoval brothers potter about here and work wonders. Mario, Rafael and Diego offer their guests a superlative culinary experience. The legendary Q17 menu consisting of six starters, nine main courses and three desserts provides three hours of gastronomic pleasure.

Madrid’s most authentic restaurant is the Taberna La Revoltosa. One feasts here with the gatos, in German cats, in other words the Madrileños from the hip parts of town, because it is in their nature to go out, stay out late and to have fun. You can eat your fill of braised meat, sandwiches and hamburgers and partake of diverse alcoholic beverages.

In Pointer you are in the company of the Madrid jet set. They offer the best dishes from all corners of the world because you do not have to commit yourself, as long as it tastes good. And it always does in Pointer. Nice touch: The cosy seating groups offer room for five to six people.

If there is one place where one has to have eaten in Madrid, it is the Peyote San. The menu offers Japanese-Mexican delicacies. You should have a good appetite, but if not, it will be stimulated by the sight of the sumptuous, creatively presented dishes.

Fismuler’s menu offers traditional Spanish dishes (with a slightly Nordic touch). They are simple, fresh and very very good. Fismuler places a high priority on local produce. They advocate understatement. Simply typically Nordic, everything a little unflustered, with modest charm and a guarantee of quality.




If you discover Madrid on a culinary level, you are on the right path, but Spain’s capital does not only offer gourmet highlights. Here are a few of the most beautiful venues: The Almudena-Kathedrale is like no other cathedral. It was only completed in 1993 and captivates with a modern interior of Pop-Art deco from the Madrid artist Kiko Argüello. The Madrid city palace, Palacio Real, is as pretty as it is worth visiting, however it has been claimed that the Spanish royal family resides in the somewhat more modest Zarzuela palace. The gateway to Europe (Puerta de Europa) is another attraction, two high-rise buildings converging into each other at the Plaza de Castilla, also called KIO towers. And when the time comes to take it easy, you can visit one of the idyllic parks, of which there are many in Madrid. The largest is the recreational area Casa de Campo, former hunting ground for the Spanish royal family. Today it is the location for an amusement park, a funicular, a zoo, diverse sporting facilities and the Feria de Madrid on the 1700-hectare site.


Madrid’s shopping miles are the Calle Fuencarral (hip), the Calle Preciados and Calle Carmen (inexpensive) or the Calle Almirante (classic fashion at a classic price).
Or the Concep Store El Paracaidista. The selection: Clothes with that certain something (from Cog Sportif, Teekes, Bataasta, William Webster, Bultaco, etc.), accessories, every kind of lifestyle gadget, modern deco and furniture, tech stuff and some toys for Peter Pans. There is also a gourmet department, in case you have just run out of olive oil or the wine supply is disappearing fast. And the best feature: an in-house Movie Bar.


Warhol. El Arte Mécanico, Exhibition @ Caixa Forum, 1.2.-6.5.
Documenta Madrid, Documentary film festival @ Cineteca Madrid, 3.5.-13.5.
Madrid book fair @ Retiro-Park, May-June
Bruno Mars concert @ Stadium Wanda Metropolitano, 22.6.
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Madrid @ Exhibition Madrid, 5.7.-9.7.
Vogue Fashion’s Night Out @ diverse shops,
Madrid Exquisito @ diverse gourmet restaurants, October

Ibiza Insider’s Guide

Pearl in the Mediterranean

On one side of the island there are evergreen forests of pine trees, white washed fincas in the mountain hills, abandoned coves, where dolphins dare to jump, an idyllic picture that characterizes Ibiza. On the other side: pulsating nightlife. Ibiza, the island of contrasts. Or maybe not? In reality does not differentiate, it unites. Live and let live, is its unspoken motto. And that is one of the reasons for the popularity of this island ninety kilometres east of the Spanish mainland. Go on a culinary mission with us, follow us to our favourite spots – you won’t regret it …


You can relish your holiday with all your senses at Finca Can Marti. The seventeen hectare farm lies at the foot of a hill and is surrounded by pine trees in the Area Natural de Es Amunts, a protected valley in the north of the island. Dreamy bays are in close proximity, as is the picturesque village of San Juan with its weekly market. The fruit and vegetables from their own organic garden are served for breakfast and can also be purchased from the farm shop. Can Marti also has the very first eco pool on the island and a biotope with frogs, butterflies and dragonflies. Relax in the Hammam or book a yoga class outdoors. There is a selection of suites and two Casitas for your overnight stay.

Finca Can Marti
Venda de Ca’s Ripolls 29
07810 San Joan de Labritia, Ibiza

Finca Can Marti


Discover real Ibiza and follow the narrow paths through wild countryside, past hidden coves to this nature hotel: Atzaró lies far off the beaten tourist path inland. A pearl with an open spa in the middle of orange groves. Drink a detox juice in the 43 metre long pool or treat your palate in La Veranda Restaurant with Ibizan and Mediterranean delicacies.

Crta Sant Joan KM 15
07800 Santa Eularia Des Riu, Ibiza

The NOBU is a top-class luxury resort, situated in the picturesque Talamanca bay, a short walk from Botafoch yacht harbour. In the restaurant of the same name Nobu Matsuhisa conjures up innovative Japanese fusion cuisine. There are also another three restaurants to choose from: Chambao beach restaurant with delicious fish dishes and relaxed parties in the moonlight. Celisioso-Café with its fresh smoothies and gluten free dishes. And Peyotito with its Mexican specialities and excellent tequila cocktails.

NOBU Hotel Ibiza Bay
Cami ses Feixes 52
07800 Ibiza



A visit to Amante is an absolute must, a pretty beach restaurant, directly on the Sol d’en Serra bay. The menu offers modern Mediterranean dishes with ingredients from their own organic garden. During the week there are outdoor yoga classes in the morning with breakfast afterwards. And in the evening you can get comfortable on the beanbags under a starlit sky with sparkling wine and popcorn and watch classic films. The organised film nights were even selected by the Independent and the Daily Mail as one of the most beautiful cinematic experiences in the world.

Amante Ibiza

Amante’s little sister is called: Ayianna and is situated on the Cala Nava. You can take a yoga class here as well. The cuisine is fresh, seasonal and healthy. A gem of the restaurant is the silver coloured Food Truck, in which delicious Sharing Plates and fresh juices are prepared to name but a few.


In Bambuddha you go on a journey along the spice route in Spain, through Thailand and Vietnam to Japan. All sorts of delicacies are served, predominantly of Asian origin, such as Baos (steamed Chinese buns), Korean beef Tatar, octopus carpaccio, Yuzu Hamichi, Wafu beef, curries and Sushi. And the desserts bear enticing names such as
Coconut Milk Foam, Group Orgasm or Kisetsu. They are of course enjoyed in the presence of Buddhas and bamboo, in the temple or outdoors.


Cas Costas is in the truest sense a rustic, traditional Ibizan restaurant near Sant Josep and Playa d’en Bossa. It specialises in meat – for example Spanish veal loin, a sirloin steak or a premium Galician beef entrecôte – hot from the grill. A nice touch: There is a playground for the little ones, for the adults an organic shop with delicatessen and a wide selection of Spanish wines.

Cas Costas

The Giri Café in San Juan follows simple principles: eat in season, eat sustainably, eat in company, plant a garden, buy from the market, cook simply, recycle, set the table carefully, captivate all your senses and: every dish is a present. And if you accept the present in Giri Café, it is a true culinary delight. We recommend that you book a table directly in the garden.

Giri Café

Hidden away behind high stone walls lies Las Dos Lunas, a lushly planted courtyard, the ideal location for a romantic dinner for two. The cuisine is Italian, a lot of the ingredients are from the organic garden and the bread is baked directly on the patio in a wooden oven.

Las Dos Lunas

The best Tapas in Ibiza can be found at El Zaguán. Both locals and tourists agree, there are a few more of the former and a few less of the latter. The owner comes out of the kitchen every ten minutes with fresh Tapas, which he offers directly at the table, reinforcements can be collected at the bar. You should try as many Tapas as possible, it’s worth it, and it won’t break the bank.

The Sa Punta promises fine Dining with five-star service and on top of that a truly spectacular view of the Talamanca bay and Ibiza’s old town. You can enjoy the same view in Patchwork, on the rooftop terrace, Ibiza’s number one for Lebanese delicacies. You can share dishes, nip at your cocktail and relax to the music. The final jewel in the restaurant chain is the Ginger, an Asian Food Bar. The same view, similar colourful decor, but this time with Asian dishes and exotic spices.

Sa Punta



Stroll through the Old town, it is a UNESCO world heritage site and harbours numerous restaurants, bars and boutiques. The Santa Maria cathedral crowns the highest point – from where you have a perfect view of Ibiza – and is a magnificent treasure from the 14th century.

Discover the island and its coves from the water and book a catamaran, a sailing boat or a yacht from Chateralia. The sailing trips around Ibiza or over to Formentera are a dream. The boats can be rented by the hour, day or even for by the week. The comfort level corresponds to the price, but is always first-class.

Book your boot camp or Body & Wellness Retreat. Top Hill retreats offers both in pretty villas in the North of the island, all just a few steps away from the beach and furnished with every possible comfort. The concept is a combination of intensive training (power, stamina and movement), the corresponding food and relaxation (yoga and massage). On request you can take part in additional activities organized outside the boot camp such as kayaking, wind surfing, riding or mountain biking.


It is worthwhile hiring a car for your holiday and getting to know the island on your own. There are a number of secluded coves to wile away the hours. Just in case your sense of adventure abandons you, here is a list of our favourite beaches: Playa de Aigües Blanques, Cala d’en Serra, Cala Comte, Cala Xuclar, Cala Saladeta, Cala Salada, Cala Tarida.






Photos Copyrights: Shutterstock, Ginger, Cas Costas, Giri Café, Sa Punta, Las Dos Lunas, Patchwork, Nobu, Amante, Aiyanna, Bambuddha, Finca Can Marti, Atzaró, Amante