13 Days in the UK.

Hello hello, radio silence over! If you’re following me on Instagram, you are probably aware that I had a blast on my holidays. I’ve been back for a little over 2 weeks now and I still think about my trip every day because it was bloody perfect. I saw some old places that I love and many new ones I quickly fell in love with. I went to a new country (Wales!) and finally had a meal at Ottolenghi’s (heavenly).
I know that I won’t be able to sort out my camera photos for a while as I’ll be away for another 2 weeks starting next Friday so I thought I’d at least post a little overview of those magical 13 days in the UK. I should note that this is a very brief post and only a taste of all my adventures. There’s much more up on my Instagram and I’ll definitely get to the much more detailed posts after I’ve sorted out all my camera photos.

Firstly, London.
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I took what I think is the best photo ever on our first evening there.😀

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I took my sisters to see all the places she fell in love with last year.

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And shower her some new ones.

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It was very early in the morning when she and our dad left for the airport so I used the opportunity and walked to the Millennium Bridge to watch the sunrise there. It was a beautiful summer morning and I was the only person on the bridge at that hour. For that one fleeting moment, London was all mine.

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A morning I’ll never forget.

Then my mum turned up and we got on a bus and went to Bristol.
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It’s safe to say I’ve never seen (or smelled) more beautiful roses than those in England. Neither has my mum. Exhibit A. ^

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Visiting Brunel’s ss Great Britain is a must when you’re in Bristol. Also it is an absolute blast!

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We went to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant for lunch. This pate bruschetta was particularly good.

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Also it turns out that my dream garden/doorway is in Clifton Village.

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And that the Bristol Suspension Bridge is indeed breath-taking.

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And that The Bristolian has got some amazing food on their menu. I had a Quesadilla with chorizo, salsa & guacamole and mum had Goats Cheese Bruschetta. Both meals were incredible!

We also went to Bath. It is stunning and I very much hope to visit it again.

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The Roman Baths & the Bristol Cathedral.

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We also visited the Jane Austen museum and had afternoon tea in their tea room. What a treat!

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And then we took another trip to Cardiff. It was a very Doctor Who/Torchwood-themed day.

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Roald Dahl’s Plass.

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Torchwood!

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It probably won’t surprise you to see where we had lunch. The burger was mediocre but the diner is a must for every Doctor Who fan.

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Cardiff Bay is gorgeous.

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We did the Doctor Who experience, too, of course. We hadn’t booked tickets in advance but we got in! It was so great and I kind of want to go again.😀 I mean… having a real Dalek approaching you and going through a forest full of the Weeping Angels is what dreams (well, nightmares) are made of.

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I loved this place.

And then we returned to London for a day and a half.

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We strolled through Little Venice.

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I do love seeing my mum so happy. ♥

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On our last evening there had a late lunch at Ottolenghi’s. It was incredible and worth every penny.

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I hope we’ll go again in December.

New adventures await.

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My holiday has just officially begun. I’m all packed and so, so ready to go. The past few weeks at work have been gruelling and I definitely need to rest, relax and sort myself out a bit.

I’m so ready to leave it all behind me and think about everything but work for the next few days. It always does me a world of good.

I won’t be around on the blog but I’ll definitely be posting up a storm on Instagram. See you there!

My Midsummer!

This year I actually celebrated Midsummer a week early – and I’m very glad I did because I was in no mood to celebrate anything after the Brexit fiasco last Friday.

Also, there was a festival of rose wine in my town on the 18th so it all worked out rather nicely.

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It was a very warm day and the air smelled like summer.

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We had to queue quite a bit but it was all worth it in the end.

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The food stalls were very popular.

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And you could pop a strawberry into your wine if you fancied it!

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My mum was pretty happy with her choice of wine.

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And so was I, to be honest.

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They also had some delicious looking pink cake which I skipped because we’d made a wonderful strawberry cake that morning and it was all I could think about.😛

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It was far too hot to only drink wine so after about an hour we made for the food stalls.

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And of course we immediately ordered mussels.

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They were incredible.

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Then we got us some more wine and sat in the grass.

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The view was not at all bad, either.

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It was a perfect summer day.

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And then we were hungry again. This time we went for the prawns.

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On our way back home we went through the Jewish quarter. It’s full of amazing streets like this. I love this part of the town.

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How did you spend Midsummer?

Al fresco dinner.

There’s a heatwave rolling in and I’m trying to enjoy every second of it. I finished an hour earlier than usual today so I had time to have a relaxing dinner outside on the terrace and it was so lovely!

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Rye bread with soft cheese, avocado salsa, strawberry pie and a smoothie of young coconut, banana, lime juice and chia seeds.

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Day 2 in Geneva: the UN, Botanical Garden, Old town & Ice Legends.

The post about day 1 is here.🙂
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On our second day in Geneva in April we started by visiting the site of the UN. We hadn’t managed that the year before and I felt like it was really something that should not be missed.

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The Broken Chair sculpture, symbolising opposition to land mines and cluster bombs.

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From there we continued to the Botanical garden.

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Find the frog!

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This was like something from Labyrinth.

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The very hot and humid glasshouse.

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Mum loved it there!

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Photo op.😛

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Look at the giant bee!

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Squirrel spotting.

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The tulips were breathtaking.

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Too cute!

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I always got very excited when a bus with this ad passed by.

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After visiting the Botanical garden we were in a mood for a cup of coffee and some cupcakes so we headed to Cuppin’s.

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I’d been looking forward to these cupcakes for more than a year. They’re quite possibly the most delicious cupcakes I’ve ever had.

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Then we walked made an attempt to walk off in the town.

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This place must be even more charming in the summer. It was buzzing already and it was only April.

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I found George Eliot’s house!

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It was warm enough to eat out – our first lunch out in 2016. Pretty amazing!

After lunch we went back to the hotel to relax for a bit because we had a big evening coming up: Ice Legends, Stéphane Lambiel’s incredible figure skating show.

It’s been two months now and I’m still utterly thrilled by it. It was something so special and I feel so privileged to have been able to been there to witness it first-hand. If you know anything about figure skating, you’ll probably be able to tell how amazing it was just by the line up: Stéphane Lambiel, Carolina Kostner, Daisuke Takahashi, Mao Asada, Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir, Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov, Sarah Meier, Brian Joubert, Ilia Kulik…. I mean, it doesn’t get better than that. And seeing Stéphane’s Poeta, Caro’s Bolero, Tessa & Scott’s Carmen, Daisuke’s Mambo or Tati & Max’s Masquarade Waltz was truly a dream come true.

However, the magic of it wasn’t in the absolutely flawless programs. It was in the complete and utter joy and passion that every single skater there exuded. You could honestly feel all of it from the second they stepped on the ice and you couldn’t help but be floored by it.

What also needs to be mentioned is Le Poeme – a wonderful number, a poem of three parts. I had been looking forward to seeing some of my favourite progammes from the past year but I have to say that Le Poeme was, for me, an absolute highlight of the evening. The choreography and musicality of the entire piece was incredible. I mean, I feel like there aren’t nearly enough adjectives to describe. (But it’s on up on Youtube so you can see for yourselves. :))

I didn’t really take photos during the show because I wanted to be fully immersed in every single moment and I was afraid I’d miss a lot if I took photos. I only got a few snaps at the very end.

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Tessa & Carolina were being just too adorable.

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I hope with all my heart that there’ll be a third edition next year. And if so, I’ll do my best to be there because this really was one of the most magical nights in my life.

June food diaries.

For some reason, Junes and Decembers are the craziest and toughest months for me. It seems like so much extra work always pops up right before Christmas and right before I leave on my holiday that instead of planning my trips and/or Christmas I work all the time. Does that happen to you too?

Anyway, I finally managed to put together photos of some of my meals from the past two weeks that I thought should definitely be posted.

Sunday brunch from two weeks ago: sweet pastries with special plum jam, pear, spinach, banana, ginger & yogurt smoothie, scrambled eggs with lamb sausages and radishes.

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Last week I had one of my favourite summer lunches: curd & strawberry dumplings.
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Last Sunday we had brunch on the terrace, which was super lovely! There were bagels, salmon, avocado, radishes and a mango lassi smoothie.
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I tried to match my nail varnish to my peonies.😛

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Another lunch last week was this incredible Yotam Ottolenghi Royal Potato Salad salad. I can’t recommend it enough!
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Last Friday supper was tacos:
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Sunday brunch was again scrambled eggs with spring onion and bacon, the same smoothie we had the week before and some cherries and leftover meringues.
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And on Saturday we had this very special Eton Mess which we decorated in celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday.🙂

Smells like summer.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m pretty excited about June and I think that this post may sum up why. There are certain smells that always remind you of the best memories of the summers past, and these are mine.

1. Peonies

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On Thursday, my friend brought me some peonies from his garden. They are exactly the same peonies we used to have in our garden when I was a child. Exactly the same colour and smell; a perfect match. I can’t get enough of them and I carry them around with me wherever I go now. Back then, my love for them was a little tainted by the fact that there were these huge green bugs that used to live in them and every single time we brought them home, they would fly out of the flowers and (as I am convinced to this very day) try to kill me. They were green rose chafers, by the way. Horrid creatures.

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Peonies are my favourite flowers in the whole wide world. With lilacs being close second.

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2. Elderflowers

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Here with a bonus elderflower cheesecake, which I have to admit I did not make. I bought it last Friday at my favourite vegetarian bistro and it was out of this world. I may have to try to make it myself some time soon. Anyway, elderflowers are just intoxicating!
I finally had my tick shot sorted out on Friday so now I can go out and get some. I want to dry them for tea because elderflower tea is the best tea ever and it’s never as good from a teabag. And there’s no better cure for a common cold than an elderflower tea with honey and lemon.

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3. Strawberries

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An obvious choice. I love all summer fruits (I currently can’t wait for cherries to start popping up at the market) but strawberries are just irrestitible to me. They’re in season now and I try to buy some at least twice a week because the season will be over way too soon and I really want to enjoy it while it lasts.

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So how about you guys? What smells always remind you of summer?

Last May food post.

It’s almost June, which means it’s almost summer. I’m so looking forward to long, warm days which I hope with all my heart will come. And I’ve got plans for a rather wonderful trip at the beginning of July and I can hardly believe it’s only a month away now. Time to start planning, I think!

Anyway, here’s some weekend food inspiration that I found worthy of photographing.

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This was breakfast on Sunday: eggs, ham, Red Leicester and some veggies. A much simpler one than those asparagus pancakes I had last week but it was delicious nonetheless.

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A smoothie made out of blueberries, vanilla extract, one date, one tbsp chia seeds and 200 ml oatmilk. It was such a treat!

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I had been craving spaghetti bolognese forever so this really hit the spot.

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Sometimes it’s good to go simple.

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Our Sunday treat was Eton mess in vintage Ikea glasses. (I’m using vintage very loosely here on purpose. :P)

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I bought first local strawberries at the farmer’s market last week. I pretty much now don’t want to eat or drink anything else.

What did you guys eat over the weekend?

Asparagus pancakes and the best brownies you’ve ever had.

Yesterday I did something I hadn’t done or a long time: I didn’t set an alarm clock. I woke up at about 9 am because the birds were singing loudly, the sun was shining and it was shaping up to be the most beautiful day. It was truly perfect. And to make it even more so, I’ve decided to try and make a recipe from the BBC Good Food calendar. As you are probably aware, the asparagus season is now well under way and I’ve had asparagus every week at least once for the last month or so. Yesterday, I made asparagus pancakes with smoked salmon and sour cream — and it was food heaven. And before I finished it, it was actually warm enough to eat it outside on the balcony. I can hardly imagine a more perfect morning.
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Ingredients:

200 g rye flour (the original recipe had 100 g buckwheat & 100 g plain flour)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
284 ml pot buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
50 g butter, meted
2 tsp rapeseed or vegetable oil
18 asparagus spears, halved to make 36 shorter spears
140 g smoked salmon
150 ml soured cream
a few lemon wedges

Pre-heat your oven to 120C/fan. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and 1/2 tsp salt together in a bowl. Whisk the buttermilk, egg and 3 tbsp melted butter together in another bowl, then gradually whisk into the dry ingredients to make a smooth batter.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the remaining butter and the oil and fry your asparagus for about 3-4 minutes until almost tender.

Now, the original recipe says that you should put in the asparagus first and pour the batter over it. I tried that at first but it didn’t work so well so I switched it around, poured in the batter first and put the asparagus on top of it. It was also easier to flip the pancakes afterwards. I cooked them for about 3 minutes on one side and about 2 on the other. Keep your pancakes warm in the oven while you cook the rest of them.

Then just add the smoked salmon, sour cream and some lemon wedges for squeezing over and you’re done.

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The sun was a bit too bright but I’m not going to complain.

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I had some leftover batter so I whipped up a couple more pancakes to have with my coffee afterwards. I put some white yoghurt on it, a dash of strawberry jam and blueberries.

Speaking of puddings: two weeks ago we found a recipe for brownies with raspberries and sea salt. The combination of sweet and salty is my favourite so we immediately decided to try it — and it was incredible. I’ve never had such good brownies in my life and you should definitely try it.

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Pure bliss.

The recipe is from Kitchenette – it’s in Czech but I ran it through the google translator just to check if it doesn’t spit out some complete and utter nonsense (as it often does) and it’s fine! I used walnuts because I didn’t have pecan nuts and I used gluten free flour.

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I wish the lilac season lasted longer.😉

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So this is where I leave you for today. But before that I’d like to ask: have you cooked or baked anything interesting lately? I’m always looking for new recipes and fresh ideas!

Arriving in Geneva.

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We flew to Geneva on a cold but bright Thursday morning.

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We stayed in a hotel right next to the railway station. It was a great choice because the hotel was really good, there was no noise and it was super close to everything, especially all the transport links. And they have the biggest mechanical clock in the world there!

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Our room and the breakfast room were on the same floor. Score!

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We had the best view from our room.

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We quickly unpacked and set off for a walk. It wasn’t sunny but it was warm – so warm in fact that we soon doffed the cardigans we were wearing, for the first time this year.

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As you can see, we were really happy to be there.

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Everything was much greener than back home at that time and I appreciated every single green leaf.

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We first headed down to the lake.

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The flower clock was stunning. We saw it last winter but as that was in February, it looked nothing like it.

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It makes for a nice background, doesn’t it?

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I know it doesn’t look like it from the photo but it was really warm.

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I’m always be fascinated by how gorgeous and clean the water is.

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There were people having picnics there by the lake.

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Lac Léman. Be still my heart.

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One thing I noticed this time is how gorgeous the flowershops in Switzerland are. So much choice and such beautiful flowers.

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I loved this area.

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We then had a coffee in Boreal Coffee Shop. It’s a nice, cosy place and they make wonderful coffee and incredible brownies.

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After our coffee we headed back to the hotel to have a good night’s sleep because Friday was a super important day I’d been looking forward to for a very long time. More on that in my next Switzerland post.😉