A new beer and burgers place: Snooze, Luxembourg city

After having followed the restructuring work and opening preparation on FB, Matteo and I decided to give a try to Snooze, a new sport bar that opened last week in rue Philippe II.

We booked a table – highly recommended, only 46 places so far – for the first Friday they were open and we had a casual dinner with beer and burger. After the pictures of our evening, you will find my usual impressions about the night….

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Things I loved about Snooze:

– Finally a fresh, young and brand new place. Something totally different compared to what you could have seen so far in the city center. Professional customers, kids from school and couples on date mixed in the same, cute place. Bravo!

– Good choice of burgers. I had a Spicy Mexican and Matteo a Classic Cheeseburger. The portions are huge and the buns are the best burger buns I had in town – not those that are disintegrating after two bites. Fair choice of sides as well – and you can trade your usual fries for twisters, onion rings, wedges. Similarly, wide choice for vegetarian and healthy food lovers.

– Perfect drink cards. Several draft beers and more even bottled. Gin, rum, tequila, including some specialty at a really fair price compared to other city center venues. Worth for a quick drink and snack after-work and not just for a proper dinner.

– Huge TV-screen for sport events. I cannot wait to come here for some great tennis matches, you owe me already 🙂

Things I loved a bit less:

– From a place called Beer and Burgers, I would have expected some stronger tastes – I am not here for gastronomic cuisine, darling! My Spicy Mexican burger was good, but not as I expected. If you call a burger “spicy”, it should be spicy, not a mild girly flavor.

– There was some (a lot) confusions: tables next to us received twice the wrong order and also our sauces were mixed. But I think is somehow normal being the first evening they were open and this is not worrying me too much.

Therefore I will definitely give Snooze another chance for food (that was nice anyway but not outstanding) and I strongly recommend it for drinks and for the nice environment. So far so good.

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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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Birthday Dinner at Le Bouquet Garni, Luxembourg

Uff! Even if I pretend to be young, I needed some days to recover from the last birthday week end – after three days of partying I still feel a bit blurred.

On Friday night, that was actually the day of my birthday, my husband booked a table at Le Bouquet Garni. Even if I love French restaurants, we never had a chance to visit this one during our pretty long stay in Luxembourg.

The restaurant is located in the area called “Ilot Gastronomique“, in the Old Town, just behind the Grand Duke Palace. It has preserved traditional settings of the area – stone walls, timbers on view, old furniture. We were welcome in a small entrance and accompanied to our table. The restaurant has different rooms on the two floors and our table was indeed on the first one – just next to the window overlooking the back of the Palais. My husband loved the fireplace, the table was quite big for two persons and the distance with other guests more than appropriate.

There are two menu choices: a menu for 40 euro (starter, main, dessert), with brasserie imprint, and a more gastronomic one for 72 euro (again, starter, main, dessert). Both have several choices between fish and meat, plus there is the possibility to upgrade the second menu to four dishes for 85 euro.

We had a glass of champagne rose’ as aperitif – on the table there were olives and nuts to enjoy – and we went for the “Menu Selection”: cauliflower welcome from the chef, lobster as starter, sole a la “bonne femme” (with mussels and shrimps) as main and moelleux au chocolat as dessert. We accompanied the dinner with a bottle of Chablis Gran Cru.
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 photo 9ca588c8-ba0a-4838-aadb-69691aad4282_zpsqhvumuel.jpgThings I loved about the night:
– The sole and the chocolate cake were just perfect. Amazing combination of tastes, fair portions, great raw materials quality. The sole was accompanied by potatoes mousse that was just delicious, while the dessert was also composed by a yummy fruit sorbet. I am still dreaming about both.
– The service and the settings were great: I really appreciate some distance between tables, the timing of the dinner was almost great, we did not wait too much but it was not even too fast. The bottle of wine was next our table but we were always served by the waiter and our glasses were never empty.
– The two menu choices are perfect if you are coming for a dinner with friends – and therefore don’t want to splash the cash – or for a special occasion – like we did. All the dishes were appealing and the portions look correct for the price.
– The location is really romantic and perfect for a tete-a-tete.

Things I did not really love about the night:
– Overpriced aperitif (and drinks). As said, we ordered a glass of champagne rose’. I have been to the most expensive restaurants in Luxembourg and normally the maximum we paid was 18 euros (with an average of 13/15 euro). The champagne was billed 26 euro per glass – 52 euro for two glasses (!!!!). As it was a blind choice – the waiter asked us if we wanted an aperitif, so we did not have any list in front of us – I really think it was too much. Skip the aperitif if you don’t want bad surprises. Drinks had a pretty high recharge as well – 9 euro for the water, 4 euro each for espresso but in line with other similar restaurants, French wines starting from 40 euro and upgrading very fast. No Italian white wines below 100 euros. What is the sense then of having a 40 euro menu if you are going to spend the double for water, coffee and wine?
– The lobster of the starter was great, but was accompanied by a light sauce that was made only of vinegar. We were provided a spoon and when I tasted the bisque I was almost disgusted. The lobster alone indeed was very good.
– Service a bit worst at the end of the dinner, when the dessert was taken to the table we were still finishing our last glass of wine. We had a very dry wine, so I would have loved to take a sweet glass with the cake. In this way we ended up not finishing our wine and not ordering anything else. We had also to ask the waiter to wait couple of minutes to serve the coffee as he seemed a bit under pressure for made us leaving – it was not even 11 pm, so not so late and we were not the last table.

In conclusion: we had a lovely dinner. We will come back for sure, maybe to try the brasserie menu, as the settings are perfect for a romantic dinner, but please remember total price is escalating fast with the drinks – so still recommended for a special occasion and not for a “I don’t want to cook” night 😛

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 (craquelĂ©) 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 😛 ), 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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A nice Sunday discovery: Ambrosia Restaurant, Luxembourg City

As usual, last Sunday, we spent a good half an hour on the couch, trying to find a restaurant to spend our evening. As you probably figure out, if you are following my blog, we do love going out for dinner on Sunday evening – it is like a nice way to conclude our week end, above all when my husband is working – BUT at the same time, in Luxembourg central areas, very few nice places are open.

We decided to go for Ambrosia, a cozy Greek that open not long time ago in rue de Notre-Dame. I visited several Greek restaurants already around the city and I always avoided this one so far as it looks like a bit too posh for the situation we are usually having Greek dinners – you know, big tables, lot of different appetizers, Ouzo. Moreover, several years ago, I had a really ugly experience at the To Kastro, a famous restaurant that used to be located in the Ilot Gastronomique and to myself Ambrosia, from the appearance, remind very much of that one – wrong idea!

We called around 8 pm and we reserved a table for 9 pm, two people. No problem. We arrived on time and the restaurant was full, but not fully booked. On our side, just next to the window, we were the only persons, and we really appreciated it, because otherwise tables would have been really too close (note to self: never go there on a packed night).

A smiling waiter left us the menu, similar to other Greek restaurants we have been, maybe a little bit less extensive. The atmosphere is nice and romantic, even if in contrast with the noises produced by the room – extremely loud – with some Greek music in the background.

We went for two small starters, Atherina – that is my favorite, fried tiny fishes, – and a portion of marinated Octopus. The wine list was taken separately on a simple sheet a bit confused, but the waiter again was helpful. We opted for a Chardonnay, average price, that was great. I am not a fan of floral bouquet wines, but given the strong taste of most of the dishes, it was indeed pleasant. To follow, I went for the mixed grilled fishes plat, that includes tuna, swordfish, shrimp and squid. The dish was as whole good: I would say that the swordfish and the tuna were great, only one shrimp a bit narrow (maybe two next time?) while the squid was gummy – above all compared to the octopus we took as starter that was delicious. As side, there were some grilled vegetables and a tiny portion of rice with sauce. The rice was yummy as well as the vegetables. I would have appreciated a bigger side portion, but I can understand this is more a personal choice and people prefer a bigger main portion, as it was the case. My husband had sea bass and was happy about his choice.

We were really full so we concluded with two espresso coffees. In total, we spent 100 euro, of which 28 where coming from the wine. Fair quality/price relationship, above all in the city center.

As a small side note, the ladies’ was a total mess – this is not fully attributable to the restaurant, but if you had a busy night maybe you ensure in the middle that someone checks out the restrooms.. When you are in the city center you expect a certain level of service also on this side.

I will have another try at this restaurant, with the meat next time, also to check how the situation changes compared to the clients the restaurant has. As said, the atmosphere is very romantic, but it resulted being just really loud because of people talking and music. But the food at the end was fairly good and the waiters always available and nice.

Check it out:

Ambrosia Restaurant

In the meanwhile, do you have any good suggestion for Sunday nights?
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Jitrois & Janette Cocktail Event

Super pleasant night yesterday at Jitrois & Janette cocktail event. For once, I convinced my husband to join me: we shared great time and I showed him the dress I want for NYE and that I would love to find under the tree (now, you know the smile that is dreaming with hearts instead of eyes? yes, this is my face while writing).

For those who doesn’t know it,  Jitrois boutique is just located next to the Palais, in a lovely shop that is a fabulous combination between antiquity and modern reminders. They have both men and women collections and they are focused on leather items. I fall in love with a short embroidered leather black dress and a lace long one. During the cocktail, there was a magician entertaining the clients and an image consultant that was available for make up and beauty coaching. I went for that and I learn a lot of interesting stuff about how to valorize my silhouette (and hide my trouble areas), while Patricia had a 5-minutes brown smoky make up.

During the waiting time, hubby looked a bit perplexed, but he had fun, so Patricia and I did.

Thanks again Janette for the invitation, we cannot wait for official pictures to be posted online!

Check the websites:
Jitrois

Janette

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