Friday evening: a (posh) idea for after-work drinks, Vinoteca, Luxembourg

In Luxembourg there are just few months to enjoy the open air life, therefore during summer period I always try to arrange my evening in some garden or terrace. I talked already about it on the blog and you know there are several restaurants and bars in the city that offer breathtaking panoramas.

One of the best bar with view, for a quiet ad intense after-work, is definitely the Vinoteca – that is located behind the Palais and well hidden through ancient archways. This is the kind of place I tend to visit only during summer for being on the terrace, as I really don’t like the interior design.

I arranged for drinks with a friend on a Friday evening, some weeks ago and we had pleasant time.

After the pictures, some pro and con of this place.

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Things I loved about Vinoteca:

  • The location. Not to mention the amazing view, I also like the kind of atmosphere this place has. It is never too crowed, it is a bit far from the movida area of the city, so perfect if you, like me, are catching up with a friend and you want to talk quietly.
  • The service. I booked a table in the afternoon (highly recommended) and they were quick and nice in their replies. The waiter who was serving has had a big smile, was calling me by name even if it was long time I did not visit the place and was always there to help.
  • The quality of the products. Essentially it is not a place for a cheap drink, but you get the quality for what you are paying for. They have a good selection of wines, cold dishes to share and even hot dishes if you fancy having dinner.

Things I liked a bit less:

  • The wine approach. You can have glass, big glass, half pitcher o bottle for selected wines. As we were not sure how long we wanted to stay, we started with half pitcher of one of the most expensive wines they have. If I am paying 60 euro for half a bottle, I would expect at least that you fill up the pitcher showing me the bottle. We got directly the pitcher taken to the table, so – eventually – it could have been whatever wine inside. This was not the case – because the wine was great – but if I would expect a different level of service.
  • The charcuterie platter. They have different dishes with cheese, ham, charcuterie, so we decided to go for a mixed one for having a bit of everything. When the platter arrived, it was actually composed only by two kinds of salami and one of pancetta. We would expect at least one portion of ham. My friend does not eat salami, so we ended up leaving half of the platter.

To sum up, Vinoteca has a lovely terrace perfect for after-work drinks. The quality of the wine and of the food is pretty high, as well as the final bill. I would recommend it for a quiet talk with a friend, for a date with someone you want to impress or for a special celebration.

Sunday dinner at “La Veranda”, Luxembourg

Since hubby has started to work again with busy schedule during week-ends, the only night we can actually have a proper dinner out is Sunday.

Before my business trip to Amsterdam, we decided to spoil ourselves with some truly Italian food and we went for “La Veranda” restaurant in Howald.

We had some starters (charcuterie, cheese, pizza) and then, as main, I had grilled meat and hubby went for lamb. We accompanied it with a bottle of Tuscan wine from Bolgheri, a lovely one.

See the pictures of our night and find after some impressions about the dinner and the restaurant.

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Things I loved about dining at La Veranda:

– Food was definitely outstanding quality: I loved the cheese and the pizza was yummy. My main course included lamb, entrecote, beef filet and sausages. Everything was very good, special mention to the entrecote that was just perfect, thin and soft.

– Portions are huge but the quality is so great you can arrive at the end of a glorious dinner like ours without feeling sick.

– Service was also extremely fine: attentive and available for suggestions and clarifications about the origin of the productions and the dishes composition. Not very common in Luxembourg.

Things I liked a bit less:

– The interiors are a bit dated and old fashion and the terrace is overlooking Route de Thionville that is definitely not a fancy view.

– If you are choosing a good wine and meat/fish main and you add up some dessert and digestives, the bill is growing pretty fast.

In conclusion, I definitely enjoyed our dinner at “La Veranda”, it is a good place for an informal dinner with friends and family and, even if the surroundings are not fancy, it is definitely worth a visit.

Easter Week end At Le Clervaux, Boutique & Design Hotel, Clervaux, Luxembourg

Finally this year we decided to leave Luxembourg for Easter break.

Considering the bad weather forecast and the fact we did not want to spend all day travelling, we booked at Le Clervaux, a hotel boutique located in Clervaux, in the north of Luxembourg.

We took our train on Sunday morning – actually bus plus train, as there were some works on the road – and we got to Clervaux in around one hour and a half.

The village is lovely and the hotel is about ten minutes walking from the station.

Things we loved about our stay

– Our suite was huge. TV in the bathroom, shower and bath, king size bed, Nespresso machine, minibar, amazing wardrobe. Nothing was really missing, it was the perfect room.
– The breakfast the morning after was also outstanding – we had even champagne.
– We booked our stay because of the wellness center in the hotel and we had mostly great time. The “sauna world” has sauna, salt grotto, steam bath, relaxation area and much more. Clean and relaxing. We had also a “couple massage” for 30 minutes that was super.
– The hotel has two restaurants – a gastronomic Italian one (Da Lonati) and a steakhouse/pizzeria (Rhino). We tried the steakhouse, had some shared charcuterie as starter and cote¬†a l’os and steak for main (#foodporn pictures are following the post). Delicious. I would not exclude to visit it again even if a bit far from the city, as it was one of the best meat I had in my life – to remind: yummy truffle mayonnaise and extremely kind service.
– There was also an elegant bar – Cabana Lounge -, that was very animated, where we get drunk after dinner – to remove all the wellness hours’ benefits ūüėõ

The only thing we did not like very much:

– The pool area was shared with the next door hotel and was full of kids. I honestly prefer hotels without kids but I am pretty sympathetic if they are well-behaving. In this case, they were just diving in the pool, making a lot of noises and using the Jacuzzi for their games. I would say this was not the situation for kids. If you book a boutique hotel with only suites, you won’t expect to share common area with another hotel for families. We ended up not using the pool as it was really messy.

On Monday morning there was a market just next to the Castle and we spent some hours around – notwithstanding the cold.

In conclusion, it was a lovely break and if you would like to have some relax without travelling too much, it is definitely recommended Рmaybe off-peak season in order to avoid confusion.

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There is a new bar in town: Octans – a Spirited Bar

Walking¬†in the city center¬†on Monday night, I noted this new place in rue de Cure’, just next to Urban bar. Back home, I did a small search online and I was not able to find any significant information. That made me so curious that, arranging a girl night for Wednesday, I immediately proposed to go there!

The bar, as said, is located right next to the “cool” area of Luxembourg city center. It is very dark from the outside, but, immediately in, you are welcome in a different world. I was saying to my friend: somehow I had the impression that walking through the door I left Luxembourg and I am just drinking something in Mayfair.

The atmosphere is sophisticated: mirror, fireplaces, a charming round bar. Waiters in an elegant uniform accompanied people to the tables. Tall tables on the side of the bar, low tables in the main area.

We were welcomed by the bar manager, who introduced herself and the concept behind the bar. She explained that they want to be a real cocktail bar, they have a menu, but they will try to “play” with the customer if possible and create personalized flavors cocktails based on his/her preferences. We have been asked questions about what we would have liked to drink (spicy, sour, fruity, sweet), kind of alcohol we liked, and we received the first two amazing cocktails. I had a fruity one with tequila, Federica a spicy gin with cucumber. We continued with the same style during the night. Cocktails were all delicious – probably but the last one that had too much anise, I also had¬†too many glasses¬†– and you could also have wine, beers, champagne.. It was a nice environment, chatty but not noisy, bit of music, people arriving and leaving.

We had great time and I am pretty sure this is going to become my favorite night spot in Luxembourg ūüôā Finally a new place and above all a different one. Well done. I just hope that the approach with the client will remain the same in the future.

http://octansbar.com/

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D√§iwelskichen – aka never trust the first impression

Last time I have been to Däiwelskichen was little bit more than one year ago. It was strongly recommended by a friend so I went there with extremely high expectations that were quickly deluded.
Nothing went wrong – it was just missing that “quid” that makes you fall in love with a place.

On Wednesday night, after Aperinetwork, we booked there just because was one of the few places not yet fully booked (my husband noted that probably in Luxembourg people are never dining at home as restaurants are always complete) and that was allowing us to come a bit later.
I called few minutes before another similar restaurant (the sin but not the sinner) asking a table for 9 – 9.30 and the “nice” waiter told me: first, you must come at 9; second, nothing is going out from the kitchen after 9.30 so you better look at the menu on the website and come with clear ideas. No, thanks. Next one.

Däiwelskichen is a South-American restaurant located between Gran Rue and Palais, hidden in the courtyard of an old building.
The location is amazing – but don’t wear tiny heels, you will struggle getting there – cobblestones slope to the entrance.

We had a table in the small room and ordered a bottle of Chilean red wine. I had a Natural beef – with avocado sauce – and hubby had Lamb.

Scroll down after the pictures for my impressions.

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– Actually this time I loved everything. Our waiter was extremely kind, helped with the wine and checked during the dinner if everything was ok. The owner also came to greet us and was lovely.

– Wine was exquisite – and I am not drinking red normally.

РFood was to die for. My suggestion: go for the simplest. Last time I had something overcomplicated with meat, eggs, whatever and I was not impressed. The Natural beef is exceptional, best meat I had in Luxembourg probably. Huge portion, tasty, heavenly cooked.

Things I did not love so much:

РWell, nothing. Only small complain I could have is that the room on side is extremely noisy. If you are young and with friends, it sounds amazing. If you are old and boring like me or out for a romantic date, you better stay in the main room. To be fair, we were actually proposed a table there but my husband chose to move to the room Рmen.

In conclusion, Däiwelskichen is now on the list of my favorite restaurants in town and I cannot wait to go back and have again that delicious beef!

Corie goes shopping: Version Originale, Luxembourg

One of the complains I heard most from my friends about Luxembourg is that you don’t have great opportunities for shopping. I think this could be true, but just partially. For sure Luxembourg is missing those huge malls that could be found in city like London, Paris or NY. At the same time, I believe it is possible to have some great¬†buys as well locally, just changing a bit your view about the shopping experience and focusing on the idea of shopping as a guilty pleasure, taking all advantages that living in a relatively small city could imply.
Luxembourg city center is full of lovely tiny shops that offer the same products you could find in other European capitals. You should only step down and be open to a “local” adventure, more familiar, more intimate and maybe even more real.

Version Original is one of my favorite shops for this reason: it mixes the great experience of a local shop – that means being served as a “client”, being listened, having someone who is looking to find a personalized solution just for you¬†– with the wide range of brands of an international mall.
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Version Originale is easily located few steps from Place d’Armes and it opened its doors in April 2012. The concept behind is to give space to “vintage” renewed collections: for example for Stan Smith s, that¬†are one of the trendiest shoes on the market at the moment, three special versions are currently available: the Retro one (the “Dad” shoes), the Crackled (craquel√©) and the Full White, a special limited edition.
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Other cool models are the exclusive Alexander McQueen for Puma – that abroad are sold by Barneys and Luisaviaroma, the Jeremy Scott‘s one for Adidas¬†(exclusively here), the Adidas Super Star Deluxe (another must have of the season, just arrived, hurry up!), the haute-gamme line for New Balance, that is hand-made in the US/UK, the first Air Max trainers,¬†the¬†Nike Quickstrike (limited edition), Keith Haring‘s for Reebok and much more.

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Version Original does not only offer shoes: they have also re-edition of vintage soccer shirts from 60s, 70s, 80s (and even for early ‘900). The shirts are from COPA, a Dutch brand with production sites in Portugal – so, nothing China-made.
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In the shop, they have also sportswear from Adidas (look at this jacket with same color shoes, girls, and tell me you don’t want to have them immediately ūüėõ ), t-shirts, accessories and gadgets you will not be able to find somewhere else in the city.
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Like Version Originale FB page for more updates about available and forthcoming models and pay a visit to the shop as soon as you are downtown:

Version Originale
6, rue Chimay
L-1333 Luxembourg

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