Archive for the ‘9.9 Europe’ Category

Cour des Loges, France

Day 9 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

After spending quite a number of days in the Alsace region of France and 2 days in Burgundy, we finally made our way towards Lyon for a 1 night stay. On hindsight, we really should have catered at least 1 more day in Lyon. Lyon is a huge city, and it is quite a joke we spent only 1 day there, but due to certain limitations, it was either 1 day in Lyon or none at all. I chose to still savour the 1 day, and the Partner and I agreed it was the right decision.

Cour des Loges (26)

I don’t even know how to describe the look. At some parts, it kinda looks some medieval castle don’t you think?

For one, our 5 star hotel, the Cour des Loges was amazing. It is located in the Old Lyon part of Lyon, where everything is quaint, historic and cobble-stoned! Cour Des Loges comprises 4 restored Renaissance buildings set around a glass-roofed courtyard. You feel like you are in an artwork when you are in the hotel. The rooms are all different-themed, but all so stylish and modern, yet retaining the historic air of the hotel. Unlike the tiny lanes of Old Lyon, the hotel rooms are surprisingly spacious.

Cour des Loges (4)

We had a lovely room facing the inner courtyard. Room number 5 if I remember correctly. The room is slightly darker than the picture, but I’ve enhanced it for you to see clearly. I really love the use of wood in the ceiling and floor, which gives it a kind of Scandinavian feel, yet it is unmistakably not when you study other details in the room.

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La Maison Angelina (Tearoom)

It’s the weekend again! And since it’s the weekend, I thought I would write about one of my favourite topics, having Afternoon Tea! Actually I had this a couple of months back when I was in Paris.

The Angelina Tearooms are famed in France, having been established way back in 1903. Apparently, Austrian confectioner Antoine Rumpelmayer established Angelina and named it after his daughter-in-law. It soon became a must-visit venue for the Parisian aristocracy. Proust, Coco Chanel and all the greatest French fashion designers used to visit Angelina. With such an illustrious history, how can I not visit Angelina? If I had just brought along my laptop, I might just be able to squeeze out a novel just like Proust!

One of the first things that attracts you when you arrive at Angelina is the eye-popping dessert display. And of course, one must not forget the famous hot chocolate!

Angelina Tearoom Paris Chocolate Eclairs (2)

Chocolate eclairs drizzled with caramel and berry tarts with marshmallows and an Angelina white chocolate piece!

It’s actually not any more expensive than the pastries you can get in Singapore. Perhaps it was the good Euro to Sing dollar exchange rate, but I really don’t think Paris / France is as expensive as everyone says.

Angelina Tearoom Paris Pink Strawberry Cake

Almond meringue biscuit, unctuous vanilla mousse, raspberry confit, strawberry marshmallows

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Cycling in France!

Day 5 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

Most Singaporeans, when they tell you that they’ve been holidaying in France, actually mean that they’ve been holidaying in Paris. And that’s usually because most Singaporeans do a London-Paris type of trip, and already these 2 mega cities would have taken up at least 5 days each of the holiday that there’s hardly any time for the countryside!

I had such a dilemma as well when planning my Honeymoon. Would it be London and Paris? Or London and then Paris+French Countryside? Or Paris and then London+English Countryside? There are quite a number of variations but one thing I knew I definitely didn’t want to do, at least not for the entire trip, was to have to use the public trains. It’s actually not that cheap to take the Eurorail around Europe, unless you limit yourself to a few stops. And it’s almost impossible to see the countryside if you don’t drive. But I wanted to see some countryside, so in the end we decided to drive around France, and stick only to France or else we’d have to spend another bomb on the train from Paris to London!

Thank god we did a self-drive tour, even though we had to contend with driving on the right side of the road. For one, we’d never have been able to stay at the lovely Chateaus dotted all over the French countryside. We even got the chance to do a spot of cycling in the vineyard behind our Chateau D’Isenbourg!

Chateau d'Isenbourg grounds (10)

The grand Chateau d’Isenbourg of the Small Luxury Hotel of the World and Grandes Etapes Françaises groups.

Cycling around Chateau d'Isenbourg (2)

Rent a bike for free from the hotel. They will gladly give you a code to unlock the bikes.

Cycling around Chateau d'Isenbourg (12)

Rows and rows of grapevines. No grapes yet cuz it’s still spring. Chateau d’Isenbourg is in the distance.

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Les Tommeries Restaurant

Day 5 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

As part of our stay at the Chateau D’Isenbourg, we were treated to a sumptuous feast at the hotel’s resident restaurant, the Les Tommeries. Les Tommeries is lovely, with numerous grand arched windows to enjoy the view of the vineyards just beyond. In the Summer, you can also partake in your meals on the al-fresco verandah, which must surely be an exciting thing to do. Scroll down to see pictures of the verandah and vineyard.

Chateau D'Isenbourg Les Tommeries Restaurant (7)

In a Louis XV style, its crystal chandeliers and stone flooring somehow brings me back to a bygone era.

Chateau D'Isenbourg Les Tommeries Restaurant - Amuse Bouche  (2)

Amuse Bouche

We were treated to a lovely palate pleaser in the form of a foie gras pate. I love pates and a foie gras pate is obviously even more delectable. The little block of pate smooth and rich tasting. I could have eaten the whole thing easily but I decided to limit myself to only half as it is very satiating! Don’t want to be too full for my mains!

Chateau D'Isenbourg Les Tommeries Restaurant - Salmon marinated in soy and sesame, crisp white cabbage wasabi cream 22 Euros

Salmon marinated in soy and sesame, crisp white cabbage wasabi cream 22 Euros

The Partner scored a homerun with this fantastic salmon starter. The chef must have taken pains to lay out each sliver of salmon in this eye-catching geometric shape. The Asian-inspired marinade was a welcome change from European flavours and I think I must have enjoyed this starter more than the Partner!

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Chateau D’Isenbourg, France

Day 5 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

One of the most memorable hotels I stayed at during my honeymoon trip through France was the Chateau D’Isenbourg. Although I stayed at a fair number of chateaus during the trip, Chateau D’Isenbourg struck me as being the most ornate and regal looking one. We got the most exquisite looking room and it was as spacious as could be.

Chateau D'Isenbourg (3)

Built on the foundation of 12th & 14th Century cellars, the Château d’Isenbourg is soaked in the turbulent history of Dagobert and Charlemagne, whose names still echo here. Located on the Alsatian wine trail, in the heart of the vineyards, several kilometres from Colmar, it dominates the old town of Rouffach, offering a magnificent panoramic view of the Vosges foothills, the Rhine Plain and the Black Forest in the distance.

Chateau D'Isenbourg (8)

Wouldn’t you just love to stay in a room like this? I love how the dark blue curtains blends so well with the warm orangey yellows of the walls. I feel like royalty staying in this room! Even the design of the chairs adds to the grandeur of the room, plus the ornate looking writing desk. I think if the bed hadn’t been there, and if I’d told you that this was the sitting room of someone from the British Monarchy, you might have just believed it, right?

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