Paying for purchases online is one of the most convenient things to do for most shoppers. But with the increasing use of smartphones and the many applications developed to enhance their use beyond making calls and sending text messages, smartphones have become a utility tool for that make people’s daily lives very comfortable. While entering your credit card number is easy using a regular keyboard, it is not very convenient when you are using a smartphone.
Visa now has its own version of an instant-buy option, called Visa Checkout. It is an alternative to PayPal, which is aimed at speeding up online payments whether you are using your PC or your cellphone. After you have set up an account, you can register any credit or debit card within the system. Once that is done, it is easy for you to pay for purchases on establishments that support Visa Checkout. You only have to tap the Visa Checkout logo and make your payment instantly after keying in your username and password.
With that, we’d like to take you to some of the most gorgeous destinations around the globe, wine and dine at some of the most wonderful restaurants and bars, where you can enjoy good service, great company and the convenience of using Visa Checkout.
La Mouette (the French word for seagull) is located at the terrace floor of the Tomtom Suites in Beyoğlu. La Mouette is open from seven until eleven-thirty in the evening, Mondays to Saturdays. It offers a great view of Istanbul but what’s more important than that is that the restaurant has two amazing young talented chefs who are creating innovative takes on Turkish cuisine, using ingredients sourced locally. Chefs Üryan Doğmuş and Cihan Kıpçak trained in the United States and Switzerland and were employed in prestigious restaurants before. The chefs are known for creating a twist and making original recipes better. These imaginative chefs use the plates as their avant garde canvases. Do reserve some room for dessert, as La Mouette has a superb collection of to-die-for sweet creations. Menu at La Mouette is seasonal and reservation is a must.
After dinner, have some drinks at the glamorous, ultra-hip 360, the multi-award winning bar located at the 8th floor of the 19th century Mısır Apartment in Beyoğlu. It affords a grand view of the entire city from all directions, as it name suggests. 360 is open for lunch and dinner on weekdays and turns itself into Club360 on weekends, complete with live dancers, performers and talented singers and club DJs. Aside from the live entertainment, 360 is best known for its original cocktails that use special recipes and presented in a total new concept that is funky and colourful, which goes well with the bar’s dessert menu. The bar has its own bar book that clients could purchase, if they want a reference for some of the original drinks they serve.
Fly me to Berlin
One of the most famous restaurants in Berlin today is the two-Michelin star Reinstoff restaurant which is right smack in the Edison courtyards in Berlin-Mitte, a historic site where the first light bulbs were previously manufactured. Reinstoff has an equally famous chef in Daniel Achilles. The gourmet restaurant, which had already received 18 Gault&Millau points, boasts of a service team headed by maître Jan-Willem Berendsen and sommelier Pascal Kunert.Reinstoff is diverse, genuine, personal and independent, lending a natural, relaxed and warm atmosphere, showing understated elegance without ostentation and focused more on their service and the satisfaction of its guests. Reinhoff serves five-, six- or eight-course menus (no a la carte, please). With its low-level lighting, the true focus at the restaurant is on food, rather than its surroundings.
When it comes to bars, one of the trendiest is Green Door, owned by German playwright Fritz Müller-Scherz. The bar looks inconspicuous on the outside, with its literal green door where guests ring a doorbell to be granted access. Inside the popular cocktail bar in Schöneberg, which is a favourite stomping ground for musical and literary personalities is a place where drinking is taken seriously. The bar’s interior is decorated in a retro style with gingham wallpaper, white walls, a dog mascot with its spot of honor at the bar and framed photographs from the 70s. The drinks menu looks almost like a book, consisting of the basic drinks up to the famous Green Door house cocktail, which is a mix of champagne, sugar, lemon and mint.
Barcelona is known for its great food and all the restaurants in the city has a total of more than 20 Michelin stars. You’ll always find good food at reasonable prices in Barcelona. But if you want to try some fine dining, book yourself a table at ABaC Restaurant on Avenida Tibidabo, 1. It is a 2-star Michelin restaurant where acclaimed chef Jordi Cruz heads the kitchen. ABaC Restaurant can seat 56 diners. The exterior and interior are something to see. It’s a combination of stainless steel, glass and layers of different white tones. It presents a calm, elegant and neutral atmosphere, with a high sense of sophistication, achieved in the details, materials and creative placement of lights. Do not miss the 14- or 21- course tasting menu of this restaurant. If the tasting menu is too much for you, you can order some of the well-loved traditional dishes. You’ll have a gastronomic experience ordering any of the wonderful dishes at ABaC, accompanied by wine you can select from its close to 1,000 references.
Margarita Blue is a bar that offers a mix of Mediterranean and Mexican food along with superb cocktails, live entertainment and music. The cocktails are a bit on the strong side but they do have non-alcoholic drinks as well. The traditional fare are served with a twist, but they also serve burgers and several home-made desserts. The usual crowd at Margarita Blue is young and it also caters to a lot of tourists. The interior is bright and cheery, with several colourful murals and funky mirrors.
For some glamourous dining while in London, take the time to reserve a table at The Wolseley in Piccadilly. It is located in a former car showroom and boasts of its service in the Grand European tradition. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as afternoon tea. The Wolseley is an award-winning café-restaurant where dining always seems like an event. It is almost incomparable in its plushness, nestled in a beautiful Art Deco building that was lavishly constructed. The dining room in Italian-influenced and the place is always full of celebrities all the time. Some of the tables are reserved for walk-in customers but do not get your hopes up.
The Blue Bar’s design is from the creative mind of former leading Irish architect, the late David Collins. It’s an elegant, luxurious and refined blue-chip of a bar, decked whimsically in several shades of blue, from the walls to the ceiling to the furniture. It’s a great bar that boasts of sophisticated service, faultless presentation and top-class drinks. The drinks are complemented by an all-day menu. The atmosphere within the bar is great and the staff are all smartly dressed. Laid out on three levels, it looks spacious but is actually quite small. There’s no standing room at the Blue Bar so it maintains its air of luxury. Due to competition Blue Bar lowered its cocktail menu to about twelve signature drinks but the prices are quite prohibitive. Still, it would be a great thing to experience such utter luxury at least once.
France always excels when it comes to gourmet food, Le Meurice does not disappoint. The three Michelin-starred restaurant is located at Hotel Meurice, a glamourous dining area that has been redecorated by Philippe Starck. It still retains is very French-look. Currently heading the kitchen is Chef Christophe Saintagne, with world-renown chef Alain Ducasse overseeing all the food and beverage at this luxurious restaurant. Chef Ducasse reintroduces pure cuisine that is simple yet good, where real taste is the main focus of the dish, striving to utilize all that is good in seasonal produce. He wants the dining table to be the stage as the meal tells its story, with unique objects decorating the table and the dining room, including original works by Pierre Tachon and valuable items created by Shinichiro Ogata.
Two friends with enough experiences between them when it comes to travel and tasting mixed drinks in various parts of the world opened Entree des Artistes. What they had is a bar with sophisticated cocktails, a great wine list, fantastic snacks and an intimate and warm atmosphere. The bar is not that big and exudes an old-world feel, with a mix of vintage and modern with a trendy fashionable vibe. Owners Fabien Lombardi and Edouard Vermynck serve up quite an eclectic mix of aged cocktails and natural wines (without chemical additives). Entrée des Artistes is a great bar to be, packed most of the time by trendy people and filled with bottled wines that are quite rare and relatively unknown to most occasional drinkers.