What to do – Bonnevoie

I had great feedbacks from the first post of the series “What to do”, so I decided to publish another post sooner than expected. Thank you also for all the lovely comments you left and for sharing my article! I am going to try all the places in the Station area you suggested very fast! As Ruxandra said in her comment, having a good recommendation will help you trying a spot you maybe passed in front hundreds of time but never get a chance to stop, giving you more confidence!

Today we go ahead visiting Bonnevoie area. I know Bonnevoie is not considered by many as a fashion area of the city, but having lived there for 9 years, I learned to love it deeply and I find really difficult considering moving out!

Once again, please comment with your favorite spots around the area!

Where to go when you want to pamper
Bubbles Hairdresser
I am really jealous about my hair. I used to have long hair for more than half of my life and even now that I got a shorter cut for couple of years, I tend to use great products and to be really careful about cuts and coloring. Ca va sans dire, I think I have changed at least a dozen of hairdressers in Luxembourg, as I was never satisfied. Since Rosario moved his shop, Bubbles Haidresser,  to Bonnevoie, I have been a loyal client and I have recommended it also to friends.
I tend to go there during the week, when they are less busy and they can give you all the necessary attention. After years of going out from the hairdresser looking at the mirror and saying: “What the f*ck have they done?” now finally for me it is the time to giggle: “Beautiful me”.

Where to go when you want a relaxed after-work
Bouneweger Stuff
I started to go to the Bouneweger Stuff when it was not yet mainstream (I also cooked there for their event “Chef for one night”!)  and I honestly sometimes find annoying when, above all during summer, it is so packed. But at the end, being just few steps from my apartment, I find it the perfect place when you want to have a chat with a friend without the urge of dressing up like you go to the city center. And the Joslette (not sure  I am writing the name correctly, but it is Pimm’s plus Ginger Ale) is one of the best cocktail ever!
Why not
If Bouneweger Stuff is too packed, I walked few blocks down to the “Why Not” cafe’. They also have a sunny lovely terrace – even bigger -, fairly priced drinks and friendly environment, kind of place you like to go when you want to meet someone, have some booze and fun, without any stress. Check out their page, as they have also pretty good live music nights.

Where to go when you want to get inked
Absolut Ink
To come back to the earlier discussion, your tattooist is like your hairdresser. You should trust him and when you find the good one you must not change it. This was my case, after several tattoos around, when I started hanging out at Christophe’s Absolut Ink – I already wrote an article about his shop here. Pass by to this bright and spacious studio for your tattoos, piercings, shopping some unique accessories as bags or watches, or for one of the music event they organize from time to time (next one, in collaboration with Luxuriant, will be on September 26th).

Where to go when you need to shop for a vegan dinner
Mullebutz
Not only vegan, but also gluten-free, lacto-free and bio products, together with fresh fruit and vegetables. Definitely not cheap and not for your daily shopping if you are on a budget, but for sure a reference point for specific food products. I love the vegan mushroom pate’, the dried fruits, the kamut pasta and the miso soups.

Where to go when you want some “pizza al taglio”
Pastificio La Modenese
“Pizza al taglio” is an institution in Italy. In a simplistic way, it is like the normal pizza, but squared and small, and you normally eat it between proper meals, as a snack. There are tons of shops in Italy and you can ask to take it away in a box – great to eat on the couch with a Pepsi Max watching Geordie Shore 🙂
Well, I didn’t know there were any “pizza al taglio” shop in Luxembourg before finding out my husband was having breakfast at “La Modenese” with some pizza salami and not at the next Fisher. The pizza is really Italian, great taste, very greasy. They have also home made lasagna and regional products. You can have lunch on spot.
Just a small note: they close at 6 pm.

Where to go when you want to take a friend out on a budget
L’Atelier del Gusto
Located in the heart of Bonnevoie, this truly Italian grocery shop offers several regional products (including Birra Moretti, ‘nduja and burrata) and a tiny restaurant, informal and familiar, where to eat based on the daily suggestions. You can have a mixed ham & cheese platter or try one of the lovely pasta Angela, the chef, is preparing.
Check out the event calendar: for big appetites and empty wallets, the Panzerotti night is amazing!

Bonus Track: Where to go for a nice dinner
I talked about on the blog about my favorite fish place, La Gambahere and here. And I had also some words about Matese, a Carpini chain restaurant, just behind the Station, great when you are too lazy to cook, and recommended also La Veranda, an authentic Italian, here.
At the middle of my personal ranking in Bonnevoie, I would put the “Bay of Bengala”, brother of the Royal Bengala in Merl. The food is excellent, one of the best Indian in town, but the service and the attitude of the manager/waiters sucks, really, so much I find annoying going there and prefer to order their delivery at home – I shared this view with my sister and another friend who went to this place, so I think something needs to be changed, as it is a pity for such good restaurant!
La Bonne Auberge“, at the roundabout, is a fairly good place: the menu is very long and normally when they do too many things, I don’t like it, but here almost everything is good quality: I tried the pizza (tiny and fair enough taste), the fish and the meat (good quality, high substance) even if the reason for me to suggest this place is definitely the “Picanha” night, where, for a reasonable price, you will be served with meat, chips, beans, rice, banana, all night long. Bonus point: they have one of the best waiters I have been served by in Luxembourg!
Another nice spot is Le Puits Magique, which propose traditional Portuguese food, with a limited choice, in a familiar environment.
You won’t find anything too posh in Bonnevoie, I am sorry – this is gonna be the next chapter (Clausen!)

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.

Indian Dinner at Taj Mahal, Luxembourg

Before getting engaged, I was eating Indian food almost once per week. I really like spicy food and Vindaloo chicken was my favorite comfort food, my hangover remedy and my usual takeaway order. Unfortunately hubby is not so much into exotic food, so since we moved together I am allowed to have Indian food only on special occasions 🙂

Among all the Indian restaurants I’ve tried in Luxembourg, my favorite one is the Taj Mahal, in rue de Strasbourg, Station. The area is not extremely fancy, but when you have such great food this is not extremely important.

On last Friday night we visited it, we had some meat samosa, lentil soup, plain and spicy papadom. Chicken as main – I had a spicy one from Agra region, while hubby stayed safe with a butter and tomato one – and garlic naan. We drunk Indian beer as usual.

Things I love about this restaurant:

– They are extremely kind. Even if we are not coming here so often, they are always treating you as a special client.

– Food is great and portion are fair. Ingredients are fresh and mostly home made.

– They are always happy to make you take away the remaining food.

Things I love a bit less:

– DĂŠcors are a bit dated, but this is not a real issue if you are not looking for a posh dinner date.

Taj Mahal, 2 rue du Strasbourg, Luxembourg Ville.

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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 😛

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 – maybe 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 🙂 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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Guest’s Post: Federica & the 8th Aperinetwork Event

8th Aperinetwork event, that was already reviewed earlier this year by Barefoot in Luxembourg, took place again at White House by Kader. I could not attend this time, so here Federica is telling us something more about that night.

The event is becoming now a monthly reunion for young professionals who want to enjoy the Italian way to do aperitivo in an international ambience.
White House staff was, as always, professional and cool and guests of the night could enjoy a huge free buffet and a captivating dj-set.
One decisive moment of the night was the prize-giving, who awarded three random participants with 3 Bernard Massard  bottles of Cremant (0.75l, a magnum and 3L). To win them you only have to join the event on Facebook, attend that night and then winners are extracted randomly from participants list.
Check Aperinetwork page for further locations and events.
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The last supper: L’Osteria, Luxembourg City

I have decided to give a try to Kayla’s famous diet before my birthday, so I will avoid dining out at least for a week – and then I will see depending on the results. To find the motivation to start and to have a last dinner with my husband after London week end, we headed to the City Center, where we had a lovely dinner at L’Osteria, on Place Guillaume.

I always liked the food at this restaurant – fresh products and genuine Italian dishes. Moreover, since last time we visited, the service improved a lot – we have been there during summer and one waitress, who luckily is not working there anymore, was hitting on my husband! The waiters this time were super kind, the atmosphere was relaxed and we had great time.

I had octopus salad as starter and spaghetti con vongole as main. Portions are huge, but I put my best efforts to finish the dish.

I really recommend this place if you want to have a quiet date and great Italian food. I would definitely say go for the fish on the menu.
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Week End Chronicles: Givenchy Make-Up, Diekirch Cavalcade & much more

It has been a busy week-end! I wanted to give much updates yesterday but I was less than half of my power battery, sigh.. Last working week killed me off and on Saturday morning I had an early clock for recovering the two hours at the gym I lost during the week – btw, I love working out on Saturday early early morning as I feel full of energy and the gym is empty 😛

In the afternoon, I took an appointment at Paris 8 in the Gran Rue. They had an amazing Givenchy make-up artist available for clients, Kazuhiro Hiruma, that was offering personalized advises. I was quite skeptic about the result before going – I had mixed encounters with make-up artists at perfumeries in Luxembourg. Since my office moved in the Gare area, I am more familiar with shops over there – it is also easier taking appointments at lunch time – but the overall experiences were not great. I found services overpriced and shop assistants not professional and very arrogant. Last time I paid 80 euro for a  make-up session of 45 minutes that at the end lasted only 20. The girl was chewing a gum just on my face and she did not even remove my base before starting the make up. The result was so ugly, I clear away the make-up as soon as home.

On Saturday, my experience at Paris 8 Gran Rue totally overturn my ideas: the service I booked was for free but everybody was extremely kind with me, like I have been a client forever. A lovely lady remove my make up explaining me in details products she was using and the importance of well rehydrating your skin every day. Mr. Hiruma was amazing, really. I asked for a “bonne-mine” base and it resulted in a great color, then he focuses on the eyes with slightly unusual palette (bottle green and dark red)… when I looked at the mirror, at the end, it seems I was another person! My eyes were sooo big, my skin perfect, the complete result extremely natural. He worked on my face morphology and he used excellent products: For example, the bronzer Powder Bonne Mine he applied does not contain talc, so the effect is really genuine. I asked to receive a summary of all the products used, without feeling pressured to buy. I decided anyway to take home with me the lipstick and the eye-shadows palette and I received a gorgeous beauty with travel size products from Givenchy.
I did not use this brand very much in the past, trying always to buy safe with Chanel, Lancôme and Shiseido, that were my favorite brands, but I have to say I really changed my mind and as soon as I finish the products I am currently using I will go and buy some others from Givenchy list.
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On Saturday night then, we had an intimate dinner at home for Valentine’s day. I prepared some cod liver appetizer, linguine with bisque and mussels, shrimps with mango sauce and to conclude profiteroles with caramel and pecan nuts. I was pretty satisfied of the result and also my husband was. But after a full day I was sleepy at 11 pm!
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Early wake-up also on Sunday, gym, and then train to Diekirch for the Cavalcade! This is one of the main and most popular event in Luxembourg for Carnival. More than 20,000 people were present on Sunday! It was extremely well organized: there were trains from Luxembourg central station every half hour or direct buses from Ettelbruck. This is a great thing to avoid people drink and driving, bravo!
The entrance to the event was 6 euro, including lottery participation. Most of the bars and restaurants were open for the occasion, with outdoor stands for beers and sandwiches. Lucky us, sun was shining – even if it was still bit cold. The parade was composed of 63 groups and they were throwing candies, pop-corn, even sausages and beers 🙂 The event started at 2.30 pm and it took more than two hours to complete the tour. We followed for a bit the cortege and then we stopped along the way for couple of shots. We took our way back home around 7 pm, pretty tipsy 🙂 Time for a quick pizza and the week-end was over.
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Now other another week-end in Luxembourg and finally it will be London, I cannot really wait 🙂

 

One Lovely Blog Award

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What a pleasant start of the morning! Betty nominated Barefoot in Luxembourg for One Lovely Blog Award.

Check out Betty’s blog: Betty’s Fashion Lounge: she posts her super trendy outfits, writes about lifestyle and daily inspirations – I love her beauty related posts!
Thank you so much Betty!

The aim of this award is to reward a blog that fellow bloggers consider to be lovely.

The Guidelines for the One Lovely Blog Award are:

1) Thank and link back to the person who nominated you for the award (check 🙂 )
2) Add the One Lovely Blog Award logo to your post.
3) Share 7 facts/things about yourself.
4) Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog.

So, about me:

1) I love ice cream. It is probably my fav food ever and I can eat it even with -20 degrees outside.
2) The name of my blog is coming from “Barefoot in the Park”, a lovely and funny movie from the 60′ with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford.
3) Indeed, I really like movies from that period. I watched all Hitchcock movies and I was in love with Paul Newman – even if when I was born he was already too old for me.
4) I have lived in Milan for the merriest seven years of my life. I thought I would have never ever left that city and when it happened I never talked about that period again and I am trying not to go there if not strictly necessary, – like a boyfriend you broke up with even you still in love, knowing things could not work out, I use to say.
5) I have five tattoos. My mom knows I have two.
6) I met my husband in a nightclub. At 3 am. On a Sunday night.
7) My best moment from 2014, after my civil wedding, was The Libertines’ reunion at Hyde Park.

So, blogs I nominated are:

1) Luxessed
2) Claire Bonello
3) London Unravelled
4) Une Prise De Luxe
5) Poppy MarshMellow
6) Learn Luxembourgish
7) YaYaVanChique
8) Trace Ta Route
9) Simply V.
10) What 2 How 2
11) Julie loves Beauty
12) Champagne & Macarons
13) Sweetness in the City
14) An Expat Mom in Luxembourg 
15) Yourshop.lu