Ladurée Tea Room, Luxembourg city: Opening Cocktail

I was invited yesterday evening to the opening cocktail of the new Ladurée tea room, located on the corner between the Gran-Rue and Rue des Capucins. in the heart of Luxembourg city centre.
I have to admit: initially I accepted mainly because I was really curious to see the interior design of the place – reason because I went there with Patricia – and their tea room offer. As you might probably understand from my posts and reviews, I am not a huge fan of sweets, so tasting macaroons was not something too much exciting for my agenda.

Indeed: I was totally flabbergasted by the event. Having been to several openings recently, I can definitely say this was the best one I attended in a while.
The location is cosy but sophisticated, a bit baroque and full of pastel colours and amazing perfumes. We were welcomed at the entrance by the whole team: the maître explained us that just for the evening, the tables downstairs, next to the display cabinets, were removed to make some room for the buffet. Our coats were taken and we moved to the upstairs floor, where we could seat and enjoy the evening.

Everything was perfect: I knew Ladurée only for the macaroons, indeed I discovered they have their own bubbles – we went for pink champagne, tasty and pleasant – as well as salted treats, that were to die for. Special mentions for me during my tastings are going to: the pastrami croque madame, to the délice sucré (a crunchy chocolate sweet, I think I had three at least!) and, last but not least, to the liquorice macaroon – perfect for people like me, who are not fan of too sweety sweets..

Another thing I feel to mention, and that made our evening even more enjoyable, was the amazing service we had during the night. I am sorry to say – one of the reasons because I am not a fan of other tea rooms and coffee houses in Luxembourg is the average crabby service. Ladurée is another standard, a luxury one: you feel not only welcome but also pampered.

My experience at the opening cocktail at Ladurée was fascinating: whenever you want to have a chat with your best friend or celebrating with some afternoon bubbles, this is the perfect place. Don’t make my mistake: Ladurée is not only macaroons. Salted treats and cakes are as well delicious – a posh Friday lunch in town there is already on my agenda.

Enjoy the pictures.


  
  


     
  
    

After-work drink at Kennedy Brasserie – Restaurant, Luxembourg

Since my office moved out of the city centre, I tend more to hang out in places a bit decentred as I find too stressful go through all the road works and the traffic, not to mention the huge parking issues – ever tried finding a spot over week-ends?
Moreover, compared to years ago, some neighbourhoods, that used to be dark and quiet over the evening, have seen several new places openings and are pretty animated even after working hours. The most evident example is Kirchberg, where, thanks to new offices, more and more restaurants and bars have open in the last year.
So – it has been a long time since I wanted to try Kennedy Brasserie – Restaurant, located in the new premises of E&Y offices, on avenue J.F. Kennedy.
I see many pictures on Instagram and Facebook and I heard very different feedbacks, so yesterday finally it was the time to check this place.

First – please note there are works currently on the side of the street where all the restaurants and bars are, so the easiest solution is to park for free on the other side of the avenue.

I got at Kennedy around 7 pm with Patricia and we were immediately amazed by the ambience. The place is one of the best for design I have seen in Luxembourg recently. You can immediately spot a sophisticated attention to details – starting from the fresh flowers on all the tables and the immaculate cloths.

Unfortunately the place was totally empty – there was just a table occupied in the bar area where we were accompanied. We asked to stay on the couches but the waitress pointed out that if we were only two, we had to be on a smaller table. Fair enough, but maybe too much considering the place was completely empty at 7 pm?

We had couple of drinks and an aperitif platter, we spent really pleasant time and when we left couple of hours later, there were only few visitors more during our stay. I had Bloody Mary all over the night while Patricia had champagne, that we accompanied with a cheese board.

Find some pictures of our night followed by my usual impressions.


  
  
 Things I loved about Kennedy:

  • I love the location, really. For atmosphere, it might easily become my favourite place in Luxembourg. Both the restaurant and the bar area are really refined and there is a perfect attention to details. During summer, the terrace would be really nice for a drink after-work.
  • The selection of drinks is wide and well priced – cocktails are around 12 euro and wine glasses start from 6 euro. Several offers also for digestifs and bottles. My cocktail was really well executed and the glass of champagne was as well correct.
  • Concerning the after-work platter selection, there is a nice choice. With the drinks, you are only offered some nuts, so it is clear you might want to have something on side. We went for the cheese board – 9,5 Euro – that was very well presented, with a good and particular options (nothing commercial) and was in a good quantity for two people, accompanied with some olives bread. You can even have only olives and bread for a small 5 euro or move to caviar and oysters for a pricey after-work.
  • Except for the issue of the table choice at the beginning, service was very fine.

Things I liked a bit less about Kennedy:

  • As said, we had a pleasant evening. We liked very much the place, the drinks and the food. We noted anyway only a very small issue on our side: service was terribly slow. Drinks and food – that was a cheese platter, so indeed not too complicated to prepare – took ages to come. While in the particular situation of yesterday this did not bother us very much, we wonder how this will be when the place will be fully booked.
  • Coming from the first point, it was very sad to sit down in a place totally empty. We wanted to have a relaxed chat so for us it was not a big deal, but I think I will be shy to bring there some other friends who might complain about the lack of social atmosphere.

In conclusion: I liked the after-work at Kennedy Brasserie – Restaurant very much. I loved the ambience and I would definitely come back to try the restaurant. Refined location, attention to details, good choice for food and drinks made it for me the best place for a girls night, a drink with a client or couples’ dinner. Really hope I will find more people there when I will come back.

A new cozy wine bar: La bulle de vin, Luxembourg

On Friday night, I have been invited to the re-opening of La bulle de vin, a very stylish wine bar located in the Old Town, just next door to Companero.

The bar and the restaurant were already open to the public but the new management invites friends for a tasting to celebrate the re-launch.

The bar, as structure, used to be one of my favorite in town when it was still called “PM”, but the previous managements were not able to valorize such great architecture.

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The concept now is that the entrance hall is dedicated to chill out: the music is soft, each table has great own space and you can relax, drink and chat.

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Going down, the middle floor is working as restaurant.

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Then, down at the basement, a stunning high-ceiling “party room” with a dedicated bar. This room has higher volume music (with a separated system from upstairs) and tall tables. You know, I am kind of claustrophobic in this basement Old Town bars, but actually here you have a very high staircase leading outside.

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Back to the bar offer, La bulle de vin has an outstanding quality value. They offers great, non-commercial wines at fair prices. You can also have champagne and wine tastings – they change each month – and, to accompany your glasses, you can combine delicious platter of cheese and charcuterie. .

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Yesterday evening we had tasted three types of wine – plus a glass of pink champagne to bubble before leaving. Wines were great and the bar personnel is well prepared to explain you the wine background. We only had some finger food but looking at the dishes that were arriving at other tables, I am definitely motivated to come back for food. Environment is trendy but not formal.

The basement party room could be also privatized for parties and La bulle de vin organizes special events like Wine Tasting for Girls – subscribe their newsletter to receive update on the events!

L’Assiette Champenoise, Reims. An unforgettable experience.

During our Duke’s break in the Champagne region (detailed post to follow), we decided to spoil ourselves and finally visiting a 3-stars Michelin restaurant. I was also able to convince hubby to join, as he is definitely not a fan of the gastronomic cuisine, but he will be after that.

L’Assiette Champenoise is located just outside Reims, in a wonderful park, in the same complex of the hotel. We had a drink in the patio before starting the dinner and the modernity of the details was there perfectly combined with the style of the villa. I loved the lamps in the garden and the chairs were so comfortable you don’t want to leave.

Everything was perfect. We started with a glass of champagne accompanied by some cheese cakes and moving inside for dinner, in a lovely table in the middle of the room with the garden behind us, we went for the surprise tasting menu with champagne accord.

Nothing really to describe: it is impossible to explain the taste of certain dishes if you haven’t tried them. The combination of tastes was awesome, a plat could look like “simple” but then exploding in your mouth in a rainbow of aromas. Amazing. I loved the lobster, the celery mousse with caviar, the tempura artichoke.

Service was outstanding as well. Glasses were never empty, menu explained in details in English (for me) and French (for hubby), we had the time to enjoy this special moment till the very end, while having a cognac in the garden with a cover for the fresh breeze.

The chef came to our table to welcome us and at the end to check that everything was fine. We left with our printed personalized menu and a bag of fresh bread. Nothing more you could really be asked to a restaurant experience. I hope we could have dinner like this one more often, really.

Some pictures of our dinner follow.
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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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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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– 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 😛

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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Saturday night: Brasserie Mansfeld in Clausen & Melusina

We had (finally) a busy Saturday schedule last week end and I woke up early for my work out at the gym before relaxing a bit and getting ready.

We passed by Melusina, where everything was set for Januar party, hosted by Un Monde Merveilleux, in collaboration with JanetteRosport and Luxuriant. The idea was super cool: fashion shows, exhibitions, artistic performances. Unluckily, our timing was totally wrong as we arrived before the start of the shows and the only thing we could do was admiring the cool white-inspired settings and having a couple of drinks.
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Lately, we booked at Brasserie Mansfeld. The restaurant used to be one of my favorite when I arrived in Luxembourg, the one where we were always going for special celebrations. The closure, couple of years ago, came for us out of the blue and we were really glad when they open again, just few months ago.

There have been some restructuring works that preserved the original building structure but changed a bit the space settings, in a positive way. Now there is only one main dining room – upstairs – and the downstairs space is transformed in a soft lighted lounge, in a similar style – if you have been there in the past, you probably remember that the room at the entrance was more baroque while the upstairs one had a very modern style, so the mood of your night was basically depending on which room you had been placed to.

We were welcome by the new owner, Mr. Zang, and accompanied to our table, isolated on the balcony. The menu has some new inspirations, like the dining formula at set price, 40 euro for starter and main, 49 for including also the dessert. The “Mansfeld classic” dishes for two – Chateaubriand, Sole, Cote de Boeuf, just to mention some, are still on the list and they added some nice platters to share.

Before starting we received a welcome from the chef, a savory amuse bouche composed of salmon mousse.

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We went for an Italian dish to share, a delicious platter that combined charcuterie, grilled vegetables and paned mozzarella, and that was super yummy together with the lovely home-made bread, and we continued with the Chateaubriand. We took 2 portions for 500 gr each (you can either choose the 700 gr), they were presented already on the plat together with exquisite Bernese sauce and potatoes. The only thing that deluded us a bit was the fact that, in the past, the Chateaubriand was always taken to the table as a full piece and cut in front of the clients. Receiving the meat already portioned ruined a bit the nice side of the dish – so it looks not so much different than ordering a tagliata or a filet de bouef. On the other side, the meat was soft as butter, perfect together with its sauce, and tasted heavenly, so there was not much to complain about with mouth full 🙂

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Boys drunk a bottle of French red wine and I took for myself two glasses of lovely Sancerre. The wine list is reasonably wide and has a very good choice of wine glasses at a legitimate price – this is totally uncommon for restaurant at this level in my experience, as either they have combinations of wine for the full meal or they apply extreme recharges to the single glass. Thanks God, this was not the case and I could enjoy my wine without bothering my guests with my disputable choices 😛

The restaurant was pretty busy but the service was fairly correct and the owner came couple of times to our table to check that everything was going well – appreciated.

We concluded with espresso, accompanied by biscuits and home-made chocolate – just perfect.

The price was definitely fair: 254 euro in total for a big starter to share, two Chateaubriand for 500 gr, a bottle of red wine, two glasses of white, two bottles of waters and four espressos.

Mansfeld confirm its historical fashion, in a renewed environment and for a great quality/price. We will definitely come back to check also the new dishes on the menu.

Brasserie Mansfeld
3, rue de la Tour Jacob,
L-1831 Luxembourg

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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