Dakota Deluxe - Lunch Date

I am a huge fan of the Dakota Deluxe in Leeds. I was lucky to stay the night last year and was blown away by the style, hospitality and charm of this place. It’s quiet, cosy, dark and stylish, and I had to take advantage of checking out their new Market Menu for lunch. Brilliant for people wanting to dine in their lunch hour, you can have a three course meal in one hour with colleagues or friends, and sample some delightful culinary treats!

The menu was delightful; varied and well priced. Three courses for £20 is incredibly well priced for a city centre restaurant and this is a relaxing chilled zone that is away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I brought my mum along for a little post birthday lunch, and we both were very impressed. We were served by the lovely Sofia who was attentive and welcoming. We received some bread with a tomato and goats cheese sauce which was such a different twist for a bread dish and really heated plain butter. I opted for the chicken samosa, lightly fried, with mint yogurt sauce. Delicious and not too filling for main. I chose a gnocchi main because I haven’t had it in so long and felt that I had to try it out here and it didn't disappoint. It was a lovely texture, complete with a delicate pesto sauce which was not too rich and sun blushed tomatoes for an extra zing. Very filling also! The dessert was a complete delight, it was a take on an eton mess but with mango! It was perfect for spring and although I am not alwyas a fan of meringue, this was so good, the cardamom cream made it really sweet and creamy and not sickly at all.

They offer a range of side orders too as you can see below from their menu and wines and coffees, which makes it fantastic choice for lunchtime diners. Dakota Deluxe pride themselves on brilliant customer service and also above the restaurant is a bar which is perfect for a drink afterwards. The menu was incredibly well thought through and each dish was incredibly fresh, tasty and attention to detail with the presentation which makes such a difference!

Styled for lunch! Femme Luxe Finery

*This experience was gifted by Dakota Deluxe but all opinions are my own.


Falling In Love With Bratislava

Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and the newest capital city in Europe. Formally part of Czechoslovakia, it has close ties with Czech Republic and you can see the influence of this in Bratislava but this city is definitely a quiet, off the map kind of town that's quiet, pretty and full of history. I had previously visited Vienna in the days before and there is only a forty mile difference between the two cities, so it made perfect sense to visit this gothic town. Despite feeling a little under the weather with lack of sleep, I had my trusty vitamins from Voost which I've been using to keep me a little perked up with energy and feeling ready to take on the day (my favourites are the multivitamins!) We arrived in the city at around 3pm and it already felt a calm and relaxing little city.

Bratislava has a very eastern european feel, which was incredibly exciting to me. It meant a little more culture to soak up, less of a cosmopolitan feel, which Vienna most certainly had, and it had so much history, but above all, it is the perfect place for a mini-break because it is a compact, clean and well oiled city, easy to get around and most things you can walk to. I was so impressed with the amount of bars and cafes in the old town, which is a maze of gothic colourful buildings, museums, and much more. If you're working away from home, there are amazing cafes with WiFi which are specifically for people who are working on laptops. Other cafes are perfect Instagrammable such as this Pink Garden Cafe in the old town. What a place! We also were kindly given Bratislava Cards which gave you free access to many museums and public transport and also percentages off your bill in certain restaurants which I thought was incredible! Always incredible for transfers is Welcome Pickups who I always use for holiday airport transfers, they are affordable and brilliant service.

The Pink Garden Cafe
To Stay & Eat 

There are plenty of hotels in Bratislava, from big chain hotels to smaller chains and of course apartment and rental options. For all my villa rentals worldwide, I love Clickstay villas. I stayed in the Radisson Carlton Blu hotel for a little treat but there are plenty of affordable places to stay. I had been wondering where to eat in Bratislava for some time, because I felt incredibly spoiled for choice. There must be so many cuisines in the city that I truly didn't know what to opt for. There is a huge Asian food community, with plenty of sushi restaurants which was a huge surprise but a welcome also! The places I ate at were:

D. Steakhouse - this is in the main square Hviezdoslavovo which was a very plush and expensive restaurant with the most incredible fresh fish and meat. It was a solid 4 stars and with a lovely view of the square!

Five Points - this is a little coffee shop that serves well priced food and plenty of good WiFi! This was really a lovely little spot in the old town and highly recommend!

Korzo Cafe & Restaurant - this was our first stop on the first day and we had some delicious Slovak soup which was incredibly watery with spinach dumplings (interesting taste!) and beef strips. It was a really laid back and stylish cafe! [10% off your meal with Bratislava card]

The Skybar - this is a must see for anyone wanting a beautiful city view and a cocktail! It was such a delicious stop off for a mid afternoon drink and the view as you can see is incredible.

What To See

The Castle is a must see of course it's at the top of the hill and boasts incredible city views. It also has so much history, this castle was built in the 9th century, and you can either jump on a city bus from the main square upto the castle [€12 per ticket] or a chaper option would be to walk to it, and along the way stop off at the incredible St Martin's Catholic Cathedral which is open to the public but closes for mass.

Here are some other places you should stop off at whilst you're in the city:

  • Blue Church of St Elizabeth
  • Man At Work 
  • Most SNP (the new bridge with a viewing platform at the top of the bridge!)
  • Michael's Gate 
Another place to stop off at which is free to get to and go inside with your Bratislava card is Devin Castle. It's a small suburb of the city in a quaint Slovakian village with beautiful countryside and on the border of Austria, you're also very close to the Danube and can walk along it and see it well from the top of the castle. Take the number 29 bus from the city centre to Devin and get off at any of the stops around the village, either at the castle itself or on the main country road for a little river walk and some fresh country air! 

For airport transfers around Europe I always use Welcome Pickups! Overall Bratislava was brilliant for a short break and with plenty of culture. It's easy to get to Vienna from here also either by train or car or boat! To watch my 48 Hours in Bratislava vlog, click below to see what I got upto! I always use Clickstay Villas for holiday villas.

*Some of our experiences were complimentary in collaboration with Bratislava Tourism Board. 

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