Dinner at Ben’s Chili Bowl | Washington DC

On our only night in Washington D.C., it didn’t take us long to decide where to go for dinner.

When we did our pre-trip research, there was a place that kept popping up as the must-visit restaurant. So after a day of exploring in the rain, we made a beeline for a true local gem, Ben’s Chili Bowl.Cake + Whisky | Dinner at Ben's Chili Bowl Washington DCHome of the best chili dog in the country and well worth trying.Cake + Whisky | Dinner at Ben's Chili Bowl Washington DCIt’s a classic American diner sort of affair – very low-key and nothing fancy about it at all, but if the locals love it so much, there must be a reason for it, and we were very much in the mood to see it for ourselves. Cake + Whisky | Dinner at Ben's Chili Bowl Washington DCWe perched on one of the bar stools and sipped on sweet tea (served in cups bigger than my head of course!) while perusing the all-American menu.
Cake + Whisky | Dinner at Ben's Chili Bowl Washington DCCake + Whisky | Dinner at Ben's Chili Bowl Washington DCMinutes later, the most delicious chili dogs were placed in front of us.Cake + Whisky | Dinner at Ben's Chili Bowl Washington DCAnd those babies are well worth their reputation: sausage grilled to perfection, moist and with just enough kick from the chili topping… Perfection in a bun! Cake + Whisky | Dinner at Ben's Chili Bowl Washington DCEven better (if that’s even possible) were the chili fries: Crispy fries, cheese sauce and the most balanced chili sauce EVER… so good I almost ordered a second serving!Cake + Whisky | Dinner at Ben's Chili Bowl Washington DCFor those of you who are not as dedicated to the cheese fries cause as I am, I’d definitely recommend the chili bowl. Basically the best chili I’ve ever eaten (I’m going to try and make this at home soon!) with loads of fresh toppings on top… Summer comfort food at its very best if you ask me.

Meanwhile on the outside, another summer storm had started and with every drop of rain, more people found shelter into the small diner, which was filling up by the minute with table after table of regulars chatting happily with the lovely waiters and creating the most enjoyable of atmospheres.

I could have happily stayed there forever, but by the time we were finished eating, the storm had calmed down so we sayed our goodbyes and raced to our home for the night to pack and try to catch some sleep before getting up before the sun to fly back to New York in the morning.

Dinner at Ben’s Chili Bowl | Washington DC

Washington DC | Shake Shack epic burgers and the Smithonian museums

On our way back to New York, we made a small pit stop in Washington DC.

The plan was to walk up and down the National Mall, see all the important buildings and maybe pop into a museum or two on the way.

But the weather had decided otherwise and when we arrived downtown, it was raining cats and dogs.

So we did the only sensible thing there is to do in such situations and treated ourselves to one of those fast food feasts America is famous for. Cake + Whisky | Washington DC | Shake ShackCake + Whisky | Washington DC | Shake ShackLuckily enough, we stumbbled on Shake Shack, which we had been told was a must-visit when in the US. Cake + Whisky | Washington DC | Shake ShackWe ducked inside and got our hands on some of the most epic-looking burgers I had seen in quite a while.Cake + Whisky | Washington DC | Shake ShackAfter reading about it for MONTH, I finally got my hands on Shake Shack’s Shroom burgerCake + Whisky | Washington DC | Shake ShackWhile my Mr settled for the Smoke Stack and its layers of cheese and chopped chilies.Cake + Whisky | Washington DC | Shake ShackWith cheese fries all round, obviously. Isn’t that what rainy days are for?

Fuelled up and with the storm seeming to have stopped, we came back to our initial exploration plans…Cake + Whisky | Washington DC | Smithsonian Air & Space Museum…only to see them defeated a few minutes after by the return of the rain, so we took shelter in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.Cake + Whisky | Washington DC | Smithsonian Air & Space MuseumCake + Whisky | Washington DC | Smithsonian Air & Space MuseumCake + Whisky | Washington DC | Smithsonian Air & Space MuseumHolding the largest collection of aircraft and spacecraft in the world, it’s a must-visit for any plane aficionado.
Cake + Whisky | Washington DC | Smithsonian Air & Space Museum…Which might explain why somebody was a very happy bunny! Cake + Whisky | Washington DC | Smithsonian Air & Space MuseumCake + Whisky | Washington DC | Smithsonian Air & Space MuseumCake + Whisky | Washington DC | Smithsonian Air & Space MuseumCake + Whisky | Washington DC | Smithsonian Air & Space MuseumCake + Whisky | Washington DC | Smithsonian Air & Space MuseumWe strolled through the museum, marvelling at weird flying machines and war planes’ perfect designs alike. Cake + Whisky | Washington DC | Smithsonian Air & Space MuseumCake + Whisky | Washington DC | Smithsonian Air & Space MuseumThe Wright Flyer (which is the ancestor of all planes) is also on display at the museum and well worth taking a look at. I still can’t quite get my head around the fact that this enormous assembly of wood and cloth can actually fly. Cake + Whisky | Washington DC | Smithsonian Air & Space MuseumThe same obviously goes for the Mongolfier first hot air balloon, but I might have been to busy admiring the delicate prints to think about it at the time…Cake + Whisky | Washington DC | Smithsonian Air & Space MuseumHaving seen pretty much everything the Air & Space museum had to offer, we headed next door to the Natural History museum… where every single tourist in Washington seemed to have decided to meet that day. Cake + Whisky | Washington DC | Albert Einstein… which is why we decided to shorten our visit to the diplodocus and jump in a cab to pay one to Albert instead.

Only afterwards did we realise that we could have used the Circulator and save money… ahem…

We raced in the rain to take a quick look at the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam War Memorial before we decided to call it a day and head to dinner at one of the city’s institutions.

… but more on that tomorrow! Come hungry! 

Washington DC | Shake Shack epic burgers and the Smithonian museums

The Carousel, New Orleans

Cocktails were definitely on the list when in New Orleans. We had a few obligatory Hurricanes, but when we tasted one of those vile grape-flavoured Voodoo-slushie thing, we realised it was time to up our cocktail game.

And that (and my obsession for Pinterest) is how we found the prettiest bar on Earth.
Cake + Whisky | Carousel bar, New OrleansA classy carousel for adults, where you can sit, drink the best cocktails and see the world (or at least the bar) unfold in front of your eyes. It was everything I was longing for.
Cake + Whisky | Carousel bar, New OrleansCake + Whisky | Carousel bar, New OrleansI could have just stayed there in the doorway staring at this spinning carousel for hours.
Cake + Whisky | Carousel bar, New OrleansCake + Whisky | Carousel bar, New OrleansGood thing it was rather busy so I get plenty of time to do so! Cake + Whisky | Carousel bar, New OrleansSoon enough, a couple of seats became available and jumped on them!Cake + Whisky | Carousel bar, New OrleansThe cocktails are the perfect mix of classic and local. Cake + Whisky | Carousel bar, New OrleansVieux Carré, Old Fashioned, Sazerac…  Taking their roots in old-school, traditional American cocktails, they’re mixed to perfection by the ace bar team. Cake + Whisky | Carousel bar, New OrleansA classy hotel bar without being too stuffy, The Carousel bar was the perfect start to our evening, before we tumbled down to The Preservation Hall for the best of jazz concerts. I don’t have any pictures or videos, but take my word on it and go, go, GO!!

What’s your favourite cocktail bar? Any I should add to my list?

The Carousel, New Orleans

New Orleans Day 2 – Muffuletta, Voodoo and more pretty houses

The best days start with sandwiches. Which in New Orleans means a trip to Central Grocery, home of the original MuffulettaCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Central Grocery for MuffulettaCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Central Grocery for MuffulettaItalian ciabatta, stuffed with layers upon layers of ham, salami, cheese and olive salad.Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Central Grocery for MuffulettaThere are a few seats at the back of the store, from where you can eat your Muffuletta while reading messages left by those before you who did the exact same thing.Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Central Grocery & Deli for MuffullettaIf you look closely enough, I garantee you’ll find something you can relate to!Cake + Whisky | New Orleans Travel Guide | Praline from the French MarketAfter this, we were stuffed, but this did not stop us from trying the pralines at the French Market… I mean, we have a different stomach for fudge, don’t we? Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New OrleansWandering back into the French Quarter, we spotted a few more pretty houses, and loads of tiny horses!Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Presbytere museumWe made a pit-stop at the Presbytere museum, which had a fascinating exibition on hurricanes and other natural disasters. Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Presbytere museumCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Presbytere museumAs well as an entire floor dedicated to the Carnival and associated traditions.Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans After hours roaming the museum, we were back on the (very pretty) street and starting to get hungry…Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | K Paul's restaurantLuckily, we made to K Paul’s right in time!Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | K Paul's restaurantIf dinner there can be a rather pricy affair, lunch is a lot more casual and affordable. And very filling indeed!

Having had more than our fair share of fried chicken, gumbo and bread pudding, we were in the mood for some more cultural discoveries so headed to the Voodoo museum.Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Voodoo museumCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Voodoo museumCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Voodoo museumCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Voodoo museumBeing just a few rooms big, it’s a fairly small affair, but I discovered a completely new world, full of ghosts and spirits. Spooky!

We topped the day off with more wandering around in the lookout for yet more pretty houses/doors/streets…
Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New OrleansCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New OrleansCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New OrleansCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans We might have considered getting some cake, but settled for cocktails in the most beautiful bar EVER instead… but more on this tomorrow!

New Orleans Day 2 – Muffuletta, Voodoo and more pretty houses

French Clafoutis Recipe 🇫🇷

🎉 Happy Bastille Day everyone! 🎉

From what I’ve heard, calories from French food don’t count today, so it really is the day to stuff yourself silly with croissants and bread and cheese and all things good and buttery!Cake + Whisky | French clafoutis recipe

I’ve had my fare share of all those things this weekend (early celebrations still count, right?), but I’ve taken advantage of the beautiful cherries that seem to be popping up on every market lately and made a classic French clafoutis to make today a little bit more special…

Cake + Whisky | French clafoutis recipeI mean, I’m already missing out on the Bank holiday and the fireworks, so obviously, I should at least have some cake (and so should you!). Cake + Whisky | French clafoutis recipe🇫🇷 French clafoutis (serves 6-8 people)

Ingredients:

65g self-raising flour

4 eggs

70g honey

120 mL milk

115g double cream/crème fraîche

1/2 punnet of cherries

Procedure: 

1. Preheat your oven at 180°C

2. Mix all the ingredients together in the same order as above.

3. Butter & flour your cake tin (I used a small oven tray)

4. Bake for 30-40 min.

5. Let cool down completely before serving.

What’s your favourite French recipe? Do you celebrate Bastille Day? 

French Clafoutis Recipe 🇫🇷

Arriving in New Orleans – Beignets, Cocktails and Jazz on Frenchman Street

We had just arrived in NYC and it was already time for us to pack our bags and head to our next adventure…

Which was all fine by me as we were heading to New Orleans with the firm intention to try all the Creole & Cajun food, drink the best cocktails the city had to offer and listen to the best jazz concerts. Which is pretty much exactly what we did!

We jumped off the plane and onto a bus, and off to Café du Monde we went! Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Café du MondeCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Café du MondeCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Café du MondeEveryone raves about it and I can definitely see why! There isn’t any place better for beignets and café au lait!Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New OrleansAfter dusting the sugar off our clothes, we carried on our way to explore more of the city.Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New OrleansCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New OrleansCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New OrleansCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New OrleansCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New OrleansPassing by hundred of houses, each as stunning as the next.  new-orleans-18Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New OrleansCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | St Louis CathedralStopping by Jackson Square to take a look at St Louis Cathedral…Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New OrleansCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | St Louis CathedralDoesn’t it look like something straight out of a fairytale? Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New OrleansThe same goes for pretty much every balcony…Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New OrleansAnd the art galleries are not bad either!Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Bourbon StreetHaving wandered for a little while, we made our way to Bourbon Street, which is the centre of New Orleans’ nightlife. Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Lafitte barCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Lafitte barCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Lafitte barBoozy nightlife, that is. It would just have been rude not to, wouldn’t it?Cake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Burgundy StreetCake + Whisky | Travel Guide to New Orleans | Frenchman StreetBefore staggering (those cocktails are STRONG!) to a night of jazz on Frenchman Street… Not a bad day, New Orleans, not a bad day!

Arriving in New Orleans – Beignets, Cocktails and Jazz on Frenchman Street