Posts Tagged ‘europe’

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

Read more »

Day trip to Strasbourg

Day 3 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

The Partner kindly agreed to produce the text for Strasbourg, after all, this being his honeymoon as well. I’ve added my own inputs, but you can tell when the paragraph exudes the Partner’s vibes, it’s where all the heavy history stuff appears….

Strasbourg is a lovely little city. We only had the afternoon to spend in Strasbourg after checking into our hotel, the Château de l’Ile, so we had to zoom to all the major tourist attractions in town. Did I mention that I love travelling in Spring? It only got dark around 9pm, so when I say afternoon, I really mean afternoon and evening, in the Singapore context. Smile

What to do in Strasbourg? Apart from Strasbourg being a pretty city at a comfortable size that doesn’t feel overwhelming, one good reason to visit Strasbourg is because Strasbourg is the seat of several European institutions, such as the Council of Europe (with its European Court of Human Rights, its European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and its European Audiovisual Observatory) and the Eurocorps, as well as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman of the European Union. It sure sounds good to tell people you’ve been to such a powerful city.

Strasbourg (27)

If there’s nothing else that you see in Strasbourg, you must at least visit the Strasbourg Cathedral. The iconic Strasbourg Cathedral took nearly 300 years to complete, but once finished in 1439, it replaced the Great Pyramid of Giza to become the TALLEST BUILDING IN THE WORLD at that time! It makes my hair stand to think of it even as I am typing this. I feel a sense of wonderment how a building of such great history can coexist with modern economic interests such as the European Union offices.

Strasbourg (20)

It’s times like these that I wonder what it would be like not to live in Singapore, which has such a short history of only 48 years of independence (about 200 years if you include our founding years), and despite our short history, we have already razed away a significant number of buildings that our parents would have been familiar with in their childhood.

Strasbourg (3)-tile

Read more »

Gourmet de l’Ile – Strasbourg

Day 3 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

Restaurant Gourmet de l'Ile - (2)

Day 3 – We were generously invited to dinner during our stay at Château de l’Ile & Spa in the Strasbourg/Ostwald region. Château de l’Ile has 2 restaurants. The Restaurant "Winstub de l’Ile " has all the charm of an Alsace brasserie with its typical welcoming decor: traditional benches, solid rustic chairs, decorated ceiling, and tinted windows. You can enjoy regional dishes at this restaurant.

The other restaurant, which we eventually chose as our dining venue for the evening was Restaurant "Gourmet de l’Ile". It is decked out to look like a 19th century bourgeoisie house and serves fine dining French cuisine.

We perused the menu and concluded that the Tasting menu at 74 Euros was the most value for money, yes even though 74 Euros doesn’t sound cheap on its own. The starters were already above 20 euros while the main courses were above 30 euros, so it made very good sense to get the Tasting menu, even if we had to take 3 hours to finish the meal!

Restaurant Gourmet de l'Ile - Lentil soup with bacon

Lentil soup with bacon

As with all fine dining, you always get more than what you’ve ordered! There will be “surprises”, more “surprises”, “mouth washers” literally, and chocolates after desserts! Don’t be planning to go home early when you dine at a fine dining restaurant! This here was the appetiser of lentil puree soup with a stick of bacon in it. It was an amazing starter as the graininess of the lentils and smokiness of the bacon really gelled together very well, kick starting the whole meal.

Restaurant Gourmet de l'Ile - Pan-Fried Foie Gras, butter muesli, apple compote & Caramel (2)

Pan-Fried Foie Gras, butter muesli, apple compote & Caramel 27 Euros

Read more »

The Albert Premier – Luxembourg

Day 1 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

The Albert Premier Luxembourg (17)

Luxembourg was our official first stop in our 14 day trip through Luxembourg, Germany and France. We made the conscious decision that we were not going to stick to just the mega cities like London and Paris, and that we wanted to be able to experience “country living”. After massive planning, we came up with this very unique itinerary of first arriving in Paris via Singapore Airlines, followed by taking the TGV train to Luxembourg (part journey by coach), taking another train to Strasbourg before collecting our car and travelling to Hornbach (Germany), Alsace, Burgundy and Lyon.

I am quite confident in saying that few Singaporeans have visited these areas that I have mentioned because I hardly saw a Chinese person in those areas, let alone a Singaporean. So if you’re planning to go somewhere to escape the Singaporean crowd, try Luxembourg and Alsace!

While walking the streets of Luxembourg, I suddenly bumped into a hoard of Chinese tourists, probably the only Asians I saw in my 2 days in Luxembourg. They were all so happy to be able to finally have dinner at the Chinese restaurant. I have to admit there’s just nothing quite like having comforting food that you are familiar with, especially if everything else has been so foreign the entire day.

Luxembourg is a lovely little city. The country is only about 3 times bigger than Singapore, but has only a population of 524,853 (as of October 2012). You can read more about Luxembourg in my previous post. I loved that Luxembourg was my 1st stop in my European trip because it is such a relaxing and pretty city to be in. I love city centres which are cordoned off from traffic so that pedestrians can wander the streets easily. Did you know, the official country motto for Luxembourg is “We want to remain what we are”. It’s admirable that there can be a country brave enough to recognise that maintaining its heritage and culture is as important as building a better economy. Despite the motto, Luxembourg is one of the richest countries in the world. Contrast that to Singapore’s motto, which is Majulah Singapura, aka Onward Singapore.

Things are not particularly expensive too. I had the best steak tartare sandwich of my life in Luxembourg, from a cafe costing just 5 Euros! Be warned though, that Steak tartare is referred to as steak à l’Americaine over there. I didn’t even know it was Steak tartare, and ate it 6 hours later. It was so delicious I decided to risk any possible stomach upset, but luckily all was fine.

The Albert Premier Luxembourg (2)

Lobby Lounge of the Albert Premier Hotel

We stayed at the Albert Premier for the 2 nights that we were in Luxembourg, courtesy of the Albert Premier and Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The Albert Premier is a nifty little boutique hotel providing 40 elegant rooms and suites, fine dining in our gourmet restaurant, a library and a fitness and steam room. The hotel is located just off a main road, but we weren’t disturbed by noise at all. The hotel is about 10 minutes walk away from the heart of Luxembourg City. Along the way on avenue Monterey , you will pass a park, which has a huge playground with a Viking Ship! If you have children, you must make this a visit! I’m sure the kids will absolutely adore the place! Just across the street from the hotel is a small supermarket chain called the Alima, should you need anything. As with all hotels that we stayed during our trip, WIFI is free! Get your coupon

Read more »

Quick guide to Luxembourg

Day 1 & 2 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

Greetings everyone! I’m currently touring Europe with the Partner for our Honeymoon. Specifically, we will be travelling mostly in France, with 2 days spent in Luxembourg and one lovely day in Germany. Even though we are spending only 1 official day in Germany, the strange thing is that because we will be doing some travelling in the Alsace region of France, it still feels like we are in Germany! The architecture of the buildings here are very German, as this place was under German rule for many years.

I’m currently in Germany as I write this, and we have already covered Luxembourg and Strasbourg. Luxembourg is a lovely country, and very small just like Singapore. Its population is just over 500k, and I was told that 150k people travel into Luxembourg on a daily basis just for work!

What amazes me the most is that citizens of Luxembourg are required to learn 3 languages, ie French, German and Luxembourgish. And we complain about having to learn Mandarin… In fact, in my 4 days in Europe so far, all the people I have met know at least a bit of English. I was hoping to be able to use my extremely limited French and German vocabulary, but because the people I have had to speak to have a better command of English (even if it is very bad), than my command of French and German, that it’s just more efficient to speak in English.

Anyway, here are some quick pictures of Luxembourg City. Will try to write more in the next few days while the holiday mood is still strong! Oh one more thing, I would like to give a shout out to Small Luxury Hotels of the World as they are sponsoring my stay in Europe! Smile Smile

Grand Ducal Palace Luxembourg

Luxembourg - The Grund (2)

The Grund

Luxembourg City (1)

There’s always a McDonald’s in every city for the homesick…

Read more »

%d bloggers like this:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...