Posts Tagged ‘France’

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

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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

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Louvre Museum Paris

Day 10 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

After having taken a train from Lyon to Paris, and after checking into our hotel at the Citadines Suites Louvre Paris, it was already close to 4pm. Although people often say that you need 3 days to completely cover the Louvre, and they are absolutely right, we felt it a waste not to make the Louvre our 1st stop simply because it was so close!

Louvre (3)

The great thing about visiting at 4pm, and this was on a Saturday mind you, is that we didn’t really have to queue to get in. It was but a 2 minute wait in a rather fast moving queue to go through the scanners. Oh you have to get the Paris Museum Pass. It gives free entry to 60 museums and monuments in and around Paris. I got the 4 day pass for 54 Euros. The best part about the Paris Museum Pass is not so much the fact that you save money, it’s more of the fact that it allows you to skip the ticket queues! When you see how long the ticketing queues can get, it’s really a no brainer. You may still be required to stand in line to get through security, but trust me, if the security line is already damn long, do you really want to have to go through the ticket queue as well??

Louvre (5)

The Louvre Museum itself is pretty breath-taking. It is truly an impressive building, and rightly so as the building is actually the Louvre Palace, and began as a fortress built in the late 12th century. There were hoards of people out in the cold wind taking all manner of photos.

Louvre (11)

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Citadines Suites Louvre Paris

Day 10 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

We spent our 1st night in Paris at the lovely Citadines Suites Louvre Paris. Although Paris wasn’t our first stop in France, I’m starting with this post first because the Citadines Suites Louvre Paris is managed by Singapore’s very own Ascott Limited, a member of Capitaland. Also, it was the only service apartment we stayed at in our honeymoon trip to France.

Citadines_Suites_Louvre_Paris_Facade - Copy

The hotel is slightly difficult to identify because there isn’t a grand entrance like most hotels in Singapore. You do have to keep your eyes peeled for the Citadines logo and the entrance at the side of the building. However, once you enter the lobby, I assure you that you will feel mesmerised, as I was. From the bustling and noisy streets of Paris, I felt as if I was being transported into an oasis of calm. The lobby is stylishly decored in a pale blue grey theme, as is pretty much the rest of the areas of the hotel.

Citadines Suites Louvre Paris (39)

Citadines Suites Louvre Paris (29)

We got a lovely suite on the 6th floor. The truth be told, when I first stepped into the hotel room, I was just breathless at how soothing yet stylish the room looked. Suffice to say that the Citadines Suites Louvre Paris has given me the inspiration to furnish and decorate my new home in a similar style.

Citadines Suites Louvre Paris (10)

Love the hanging bedside lamps.

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