Jenni’s Corner: Apres-Ski with Janette

In terms of weather, March 9th was a perfect day for the women’s magazine Janette to organize an After-ski themed after-work event. It wasn’t too cold to stay outside and the week long rain had finally stopped.
The event took place outside Vinoteca under a huge portable roof which protected us from the cold winter wind. Under the roof, there was an outside bar that sold mainly wine but also some other drinks – they went very well together with a nice selection of different Swiss Cheese that was served on a wooden table on the other corner of the tent.

17692314_10155198541513293_155144129_o

I arrived at the venue approximately an hour after the event had started and I noticed that the place was very packed. Small bar tables were surrounded by people who chitchatted with each other while they sipped wine and dipped pieces of bread in melted cheese. Many people praised the quality of cheese fondues and also liked the easy-going music that the live DJ was playing.

I found that the event was perfectly suited for the season and was very well set up. People seemed to be having a good time by posing in front a camera and the place was full of laughter and happiness. The only improvement point would be to think about a bigger location due to the great number of people participating the after-work.

17623074_10155198541538293_599116745_o

Thanks Janette for the invitation! I met many people I knew and the alpine like atmosphere made the event very successful!

 

 

Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People: Marina

Wednesday is the day of Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People once again. Today we get the chance to learn more about Marina, a creative radio presenter.

marina2

Good Morning Marina and welcome on Barefoot in Luxembourg, glad to have you on board for this episode.

Can you introduce you briefly: Who are you?  What are you doing here?

Hi! So, I was born and raised in London, I then moved to Shanghai for a job opportunity when I graduated University. I spent 3 years living as an expat there, where I met my now fiance who is Luxembourgish. Since then, we’ve both moved to Luxembourg and I work as a freelance journalist and radio presenter for ARA City Radio.

Can you tell Barefoot in Luxembourg readers a bit more about your work at the radio?

One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about radio is the connection that you make with people. There’s no preconceived notion of who or what someone is, because you cannot see the other person. When people text or call into my show, I get so excited, it’s like we’re connecting over the airwaves! Another aspect of my job which I really enjoy is my podcast series called How I Got Here, where I interview successful people in Luxembourg about their stories.

What are the three things you are enjoying most this project?

Probably the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. From the start, I had stated that success is defined so differently for everyone so I’ve interviewed people from Grammy award winner Gast Waltzing to a lovely girl named Silla who has grown up as an orphan in Tanzania.

When we record the podcasts, I’m alone with them in the recording studio. It’s very intimate and also very real. It’s a genuine conversation. As we start to talk the interviewees start to relax and before you know it we are going into topics which they perhaps wouldn’t have thought they would be sharing! The most interesting part is that I get to make the connection between all these successful people. What is it that has made them all successful? Is it something that they all have or has it been different things that led them all to success? That’s what drives my work.

Coming back to your Luxembourg background, you told us already you have been here for a bit more than one year. What is your most beloved place in the city?

There’s a second-hand bookshop next to the Bourglinster castle. It’s one of my favorite hidden gems. They still charge books by weight, it’s the perfect Sunday afternoon activity!

What is your favorite restaurant in Luxembourg?

The food here in Luxembourg is so delicious, it’s really quite hard to choose just one!! Toit pour toi if there’s a nice occasion. But I must tell you a funny story about my favorite restaurant. When I first came to Luxembourg, my fiance had been abroad for over 15 years so he didn’t know many restaurants. So he kept taking me to Brideler Stuff every Sunday. I used to complain every week, it was so dated and the average age of the customers was around 75. But now, when I’ve had a long week and I need to relax, I think to go there. Somehow the combination of the chalet style decor and the traditional Luxembourgish food has become my kind of ‘comfort’ too.

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?

I like catching up with friends over a few glasses of wine at Barrels.

What do you like about Luxembourg life?

I think it pushes you. It’s less developed than London so there’s a lot of opportunity to create many things and to really innovate. There are so many opportunities to explore things that you enjoy and discover new people too. It’s small enough that you can spread the word quickly and big enough that you will have many people interested. In other words, it requires you to step outside of yourself and what you know to go and discover. If you come to Luxembourg and complain that it is boring, I think that says more about you than the country.

What do you miss here and you would like to change or improve?

I must say, I miss decent customer service. That’s something that I would love to see improve over the next few years. We like to connect with people when we buy something from their shop, otherwise I would have stayed at home and shopped online. I hope we can recognize this and do something about it. I love to support local businesses and physical stores but we need them to provide us with the advantage that online retailers can’t, that’s physical customer service.

What is the best place you visited in a range of 200 km from the city and that you would suggest for a daily trip?

I really enjoyed visiting the lake in the North of the country, in the summer.  It’s a beautiful place to escape to.

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg?

Quaint.

You can follow Marina on a regular basis on Radio Ara podcasts.

 

marina

 

Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People: Anneke & Farrah

For a new chapter of our Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People, today it’s the turn of Anneke Hudson and Farrah Gillani, founders of City Savvy Luxembourg.

Credit: Pippa Herbert
Credit: Pippa Herbert

Anneke, Farrah, you are welcome to start this interview introducing yourselves!

In a previous life, Anneke worked as a lawyer in financial services. Half English, half Dutch, born in Kenya and raised on several continents, it’s the multicultural side of Luxembourg that appeals to her. 7 years and 2 children later, Farrah walked into her life with a fun new proposal and City Savvy Luxembourg was born.

Farrah came to Luxembourg from London in 2013 with a 7-year stint in sunny Stockholm in between. Combining a degree from Cambridge University in English Literature with marketing and sales experience at a top FMCG firm, Farrah was delighted to fuse her passion for writing and service together in what is now City Savvy Luxembourg.

Can you tell Barefoot in Luxembourg readers a bit more about City
Savvy Luxembourg?

City Savvy is the online magazine for English-speakers in the Grand Duchy! We seek to inform, entertain and simplify the lives of Anglophones living in, moving to or visiting Luxembourg. We try to combine the style of a glossy, the substance of a journal and the eye of an event planner. People seem to like it!

Every Thursday we have our ‘What’s On’ for both those with or without kids; we have a weekly giveaway and feature inspiring people in the Duchy. We also boast have some hilarious expat columns, restaurant and bar suggestions, and of course a big family section. So if you’re looking for where to do yoga, how the Luxembourgish school system works or have a giggle over expat life, we’re there for you!

Why should people in Luxembourg be attracted by your magazine?

A study commissioned by the EC in 2012 claimed over 200,000 English speakers  in Luxembourg, although English is not one of the three official languages. Despite this, there are relatively few resources providing relevant and up-­to-­date information for Anglophones here and it is challenging for these people to connect to the services, the places and products they require. City Savvy is their meeting point.

What are the best three things about City Savvy Luxembourg and what do you enjoy about working there?

We love meeting new people and Luxembourg is a melting pot of talent and diversity. There are contributors who have their own specialty, be it comedy or research; and then there are the ‘Extraordinary Expats’ and ‘Celebs in the City’ that we feature in the magazine itself. And of course we love working with each other!

We also love helping people, which sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Our happiest moments are when we receive positive feedback from our readership about a service we’ve alerted them to or made them laugh out loud. We publish counselling articles by a qualified therapist, which are tailored specifically to solve expat problems and the response is phenomenal.

Our privilege is to showcase Luxembourg. There are so many wonderful things about living in the world’s only Grand Duchy: the amazing food, the fun festivals, the child-friendly living. Some of the world’s most talented people live here; others visit via the Philharmonie, Grand Theatre and Rockhal. It has all the benefits of a small community and world-class city combined.

Coming back to your Luxembourg background, how long have you been living in Luxembourg?

Anneke has been in Luxembourg for just over 8 years; Farrah only 3. We’re staying.

What is your most beloved place in the city?

Anneke loves to walk through the Petrusse Valley. It’s a great place to take visitors, walking down from the Golden Lady (after taking in the view) towards the Grund. There is lots to see and do on the way, and a drink on the small terrace at Scotts Pub is a perfect end.

Farrah has a soft spot for Vianden – it’s got the most romantic castle, an open-air swimming pool, a cable-car with views over the valley and of course, the nut festival!

What is your favourite restaurant in Luxembourg?

Anneke’s favourite restaurant for a takeaway is Restaurant Tandoori in Beggen, and for a special treat it has to be Ma Longue Sourit in Moutfort.

Farrah’s introduction to fabulous Portuguese food started at Lisboa II, in Bonnevoie. She’s also partial to Le Sud, when the wallet allows.

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?

On a sunny evening Anneke loves to sit outside at Go Ten, having a glass of rose and watching the world go by. Farrah loves Clausen as it offers so many options for a cocktail under the fairy lights.

What do you like about Luxembourg life?

Since having children Anneke appreciates the slower pace of life here; the long lunches, the better working hours, the many events and festivals which are always served with plenty of cremant.

The opportunity to see so many theatre shows from London, Paris and even New York is what appeals to Farrah. For a tiny country, Luxembourg definitely punches above its weight!

What do you miss here and you would like to change or improve?

Anneke was living in London before she moved to Luxembourg, and being a city girl at heart, she really misses having everything on her doorstep and all that London has to offer. London is a world class city and it’s hard to compete with! And of course, good ole British humour.

Farrah misses good public transport. Coming from London and Stockholm she never needed a car and it’s been a really bad move, health-wise, to have to rely on it so much here. It would take her husband an hour to get to work if he relied on the buses; it takes 8 minutes by car!

What is the best place you visited in a range of 200 km from the city and that you would suggest for a daily trip?

Being half Dutch Anneke loves visiting the Netherlands, and Maastricht is one of her favourite cities near Luxembourg. It’s fun, young and beautiful .. and just under 200km away!

The Moselle Valley is just beautiful; even more so when you’ve had a bottle of wine from the nearest vineyard.

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg?

Cultured.

IMG_0233 A&F gate1 credit Pippa Herbert IMG_0220