Thursday 22 October 2020


Before lockdown 2.0 inevitably comes upon us, I managed to escape to Düsseldorf for a long weekend -filled with fabulous food, drinks and quality time with the mother, getting a much needed break from my bedroom / office / mini universe that was slowly but surely driving me a little cray cray! 

Below a little summary of this wonderful weekend, including where I stayed, new foodie discoveries and revisiting old favourites!


Even though I have been to Düsseldorf at least twice a year ever since I moved over to the UK over 16 years ago I had never heard of Ruby Coco, a true gem of a hotel, intriguingly located on the upper floors of a luxury shopping arcade on Dusseldorf’s answer to Bond Street, the picturesque Königsallee.
That set up may sound a little unusual but honestly Ruby Coco turned out to be one of the best hotels I have stayed at in Europe.

Firstly the location is superb. You literally could not be more centrally located in Düsseldorf, in walking distance to the old town and the Japanese quarter, right by the best shops and a 5 minute hop, skip and jump away from the most amazing huge German supermarket, Edeka Zurheide, where you can stock up on just about any grocery and wine you can think of.

Then there are the minimalist, huge rooms, which are way bigger than your standard affordable boutique hotel size, and which give away that, in fact, the hotel's rooms used to be cooperate offices (which makes sense as the other floors within this “mall” and hidden away alongside the retail shops are lawyer offices). 

My room definitely used to be an exec’s office: spacious, with huge windows and with that typical Styrofoam ceiling, painted in a stylish bright white, which gave the room a unique character that I instantly fell in love with.

Fittings were top notch as well. There was an outstanding rain forrest shower, the most comfy bed, high-end toiletries and a spotlight mirror. Indeed every detail was perfectly thought through and applied to the room in a way that made this a proper luxury hotel experience.

Now, the Covid aspect to the hotel stay. Yes, it was emptier than usual which was odd at times but it meant that service was simply outstanding - thoughtful, proactive and appreciative of us simply being there as their guests

Rooms were impeccably clean and the check-in and out process fully digitised, making the whole hotel experience feel incredibly safe yet still very much like staying at a great hotel in the good old days.

Breakfast again was flawlessly adapted to the strange world we live in, single serving everything, from butter to jam to musli toppings - yes maybe a little space age but not compromising on style or taste.

Overall Ruby Coco was simply a 10/10 in terms of affordability, room quality and service, even during these very bizarre times we live in, and if you go to Düsseldorf, trust me stay here, you couldn’t have a better base for weekend away in my favourite city in Germany.


I am a creature of habit and usual I hit up the same 2 restaurant on every weekend trip when seeing my mum (Münstermann Kontor on a Friday and Brasserie Hülsmann on a Saturday), BUT this time I said to myself let’s see what exciting thing Düsseldorf’s culinary scene really has to offer which is how I stumbled across Noa Foodbar, a modern fusion, sharing plate concept restaurant with an outstanding orange and natural wine list that I never expected to find in Düsseldorf. 

Heck, I wouldn't really expect this sort of place even really London if I am honest, the food at Noa Foodbar in fact fully on par with the level of culinary skill and also creativity I last experienced in Copenhagen.

A sourdough bread with seaweed butter was out of this world while our shared main plates were so imaginative and beautifully execute as well as presented that I haven’t stopped thinking about them since.

There was an outstanding creamed spinach with mascarpone, ramen egg and puffed rice - quite the veggie experience in so many ways, super fragrant sweet potato fritters with fig yogurt, pecan nuts and pak choi, and lastly a rather incredible pumpkin risotto with sheep’s cheese, pumpkin seeds and cranberries, just about perfecting the balance between sweet and savoury, tart and warming.

This was truly food that wowed, showcasing culinary skill and imagination you seldom get to experience, let alone at these very reasonable prices. In London this sort of place would have queues out of the doors every single day of the week, but in Düsseldorf it is an exceptional culinary hidden gem and a must visit for anyone into outstanding food and great natural wine. 

A solid 10/10 that made me very happy I left my usual traditions behind.


Na Ni Wa is still the best place in town for authentic Japanese noodles and ramen, equally filled with Japanese after a taste of home and Westerners aware of just how good this place is. When you go make sure you order the fried noodles in a Japanese omelette - it sounds odd but wow, you won’t stop thinking about it once you’ve gobbled the thing up and I for one have to have a portion of it at least once a year.


Shut for quite some time because of a water leak and I guess Covid repercussions, all day eatery Wilma Wunder is back open and OH MY they still serve the best truffle fries I have ever had! 

Even better, they are a total bargain at €7 for the hugest portion of chunky, crispy chips, topped with parmesan shavings and truffle oil, served with the most insane truffle mayo.

I am very happy they have survived the initial Corona hit and can only cross all fingers that they will be still be there when I next make it to Germany, even though god knows when that will be…


I adore the strong women that run BECYCLE, a boutique fitness studio in the heart of Düsseldorf, and simply had to fit in a quick spinning session during my 3 days in the city. Once again I left impressed by the state of the art studio, instantly welcoming atmosphere and hard core programming that will push you to your limits while truly feeling part of their community.

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