Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people: Carlotta

It’s Wednesday and it is “Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people” day! Today we interview Carlotta, the creative mind behind Hub Dot Luxembourg. 

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What is your name?
Carlotta Benedetti

What do your friends call you?
Carlotta, some of them call me Cocca

Describe yourself with three words.
A dreamer, a sunny woman, overactive globetrotter.

How long have you been living in Luxembourg?
After living in US, Canada and UK, I’ve been here for 14 years.

What are you doing here?
I’m a mother of two, a wife, an architect/interior designer, a cooking teacher for kids and a food-blogger.

How do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Traveling around the globe to spread Hub Dot word.

What do you like doing in your spare time?
Hub Dot is my latest addiction!
Hub Dot is a “piazza” where women could come together to share and celebrate their stories, stories of life, work, challenges.
I love to create events where labels are removed – no senior or junior qualifications, just a choice of 5 colored Dots to wear representing the state of mind of those attending. Red ( I’m established ), yellow ( I have an idea, can you help?), green (I’m looking for inspiration), blue (I’m here to socialize), purple (I want to tell you about my charity and my story). I have discovered with HD that when you put together a group of motivated like-minded women in the same room, they love to communicate with each other – incredible things happen!

What is your most beloved place in Luxembourg?
As lover of contemporary art, definitely Mudam.

What is your favorite restaurant in Luxembourg?
Come a la Maison in the Robin du Lac store.

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?
Octans makes amazing cocktails.

Do you have a favorite drink?
Gin tonic made with Luxembourgish gin.

Where do you do your shopping usually?
I love vintage : Troc and Secondhand4sale are my best places.

What do you like about Luxembourg life?
Luxembourg looks a calm city but I feel the underlying energy in different fields: creativity-art and culture.

What would you improve?
The weather and the customer service, in general…

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?
Redu in Belgium, a small ‘Book Village’:24 bookshops and craftsmen with a large choice of secondhand books and vinyl records.

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg.
Sober.

Discover more about the Hub Dot project which Carlotta is part of on their website or on their Facebook page.
The “Supper Club” event they organize on October 15th is already fully booked unfortunately with a waiting list, but you can register already for the one that will be held in November:

Connecting through Philosophy of Happiness”

24th November 2015 at House 17, 17 Rue du Nord L-2229 Luxembourg at 7pm.

An evening of conversations around the philosophical theme of the pursuit of happiness.

Is happiness a psychological state of mind or is it pleasure or is it life satisfaction? Do you know which happiness you are living and how can you become aware of the true feeling of happiness that dwells in the soul?” Finger-food and drinks will be served during the event.

Register on www.hubdot.com
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Official Opening of 1535 Creative Hub, Differdange, Luxembourg

On Friday evening, I attended the Official Opening of 1535 Creative Hub in Differdange. I have been already there for the Vintage Pop-Up store back during summer but it was still not completed, so it was great now to see the final result!
There was definitely a lot more people than I would expected and it was refreshing see so much interest for this kind of innovative concept – 1535 Creative Hub is a work space built in a former industrial area dedicated to creative minds. Stylists, designers, photographers, architects have their “office” here – scrolling down to the pictures you could understand how visionary is this concept.
I loved the opening evening event and I really hope they will organize more events for the public, as Luxembourg definitely needs such stimulating creative network.

 



  
  
  
  

  

  
  
           

La Nuit des Musees – Museum Night, Luxembourg: what a night!

On Saturday night, together with lovely Sunny from My Ochrasy, I joined one of the best night in Luxembourg in a while.

The Night of Museums (“Nuit des Musées“) is a yearly event that this year involved more that 16,500 visitors. The concept is based on a bracelet (12 euro pre sale and 15 on doors) that gives you fully access to the main museums in Luxembourg, from 6 pm to 1 am. Not only you could visit the usual exhibitions but there are also special performances and shows in program just for this night.

We started our visit at 8 pm with Casino, Forum d’Art Contemporain – modern art, very competent guide, video performance and abstract work.


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
We moved then to the Musée d’Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg We visited the Planetarium that was installed for the Night of Museums and the “signs” exhibition. This was one of my favorite for the night as it was really interactive – unfortunately was also very packed.


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
Via the Museum shuttle, we moved to Mudam. We assisted to a sound performance with sewing machines, visited the “Eppur si muove” exhibition and admire the candles installation outside the venue.

 

  
 We moved then back to Villa Vauban. It was already midnight and all the performances were already over. This last museum was really classic and a bit old fashion, but definitely worth a visit.
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
We missed Musée Dräi Eechelen and the Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art… But we got out of time! Next year I will definitely start at 6! 🙂

If you missed it this year, just some notes for the next one:

– buy the bracelet the day before to avoid queueing
– wear a pair of comfortable shoes
– have a bottle of water with you (there are snack and drink shops in each and every museum, but better not to get dehydrated during the visit!)
– study the program in advance to highlight performances and the exhibition you want to attend and getting there prepared.

Veiner Nëssmoort – Nutmarket in Vianden

It was a week-end full of events and a couple of pictures-only posts will come, between today and tomorrow, as I am so excited to show you how many beautiful things we have in Luxembourg!

Yesterday, while apparently everybody went to Rotondes for the Food Trucks Festival, we decided to head to Vianden for the usual Nutmarket (read more here). It was a great decision as the weather was amazing and I love the colors of the North of Luxembourg during autumn!

The festival was packed as usual, but we managed to have some great food (I had potatoes with speck and flaamkuchen) and drinks quite easily as we arrived pretty early.

My husband didn’t want to drink but stocked up sausages, nuts bread and nuts for the next year 🙂

My love for the pictoresque village of Vianden and for the bubbling nuts market were even increased by the visit. I am really looking forward to come back there soon during another sunny-week end.


  
  
  

Feeling home, “Al Bacio” Restaurant, Luxembourg

Last week, after coming back from a vernissage, I was in a lazy mood. I wanted to eat something yummy, but I was really too tired to wait for some pizza delivery at home. Have you ever been in this mood? I have, often. So much that, each and every year, I nominate my favorite restaurant for category “tonight I don’t want to cook”. You know, the kind of restaurant you can jump in also a bit later and alone, the one you don’t feel the needs to dress up for, the one that prepare for you a special dinner at a very reasonable price.
Here we are, “Al Bacio” restaurant is definitely this place for me. I was welcomed by some warm focaccia while drinking a good glass of Imperatore wine and I was explained the daily suggestions.
One of the main feature of this restaurant is, in fact, that they don’t have a menu. The menu itself change each and every day based on Tonio’s, the chef, mood, and, above all, based on the fresh ingredients they are able to find on the market. So, nothing prepared in advance, nothing industrial, Italian products are coming directly from Italy on a weekly basis and you can spot the difference.
So much I am not a fan of Italian food abroad, so much I like coming here.
The place, as said, is informal, a bit noisy but in a pleasant way. Don’t expect red tape.
Mino, the owner, and the other waiters are smiling and they are taking their time to talk with you, explain the dishes, advise the best for the night, combine the finest wines.

I went for some roasted pork (porchetta) with soft mozzarella cheese (burrata), risotto with mushroom and Italian sausage and the best dessert they have, the iced chocolate flan (semifreddo al cioccolato).
Not satisfied, I came back with friends over the week end and among all we had mixed charcuterie platter and more Italian sausage (zampina). Everything was just delicious.

The restaurant is open from Monday to Saturday for lunch with a “menu du jour” and in the evenings on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. On Thursday night, the dining service is closed and you can enjoy the traditional Al Bacio” afterwork (aperitivo) with free Italian buffet.
Hint: While it is pleasant for me coming here alone, this is also the greatest place in the city center for a dinner with friends – great food and fair prices -, but the location is cozy and small, so, above all for the week-end, you better book in advance your table!
Secret Reference: While everybody probably understands what “Bacio” in Italian means (kiss), more difficult is to know that “Al Bacio” is a urban dictionary catch and stays for “special, great, perfect”. If I ask you: – How is your food? You can reply: – Al bacio (better if combined with the gesture of taking one hand’ fingers all together to the mouth). Italian level: advanced. 🙂

(WARNING: Severe Food Porn Alert if you scroll down!)

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Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People: On Two Feet

The usual Wednesday’ series “Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People” today goes Rock, with a sparkling music duo, the “On Two Feet”, for our boldest interview so far. Put your seatbelt on!

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Good Morning. So,” On Two Feet”, who are you?
We are a world famous rock band with years of militancy in the hugest live summer festivals in Europe…. just kidding, in reality we are an “open” acoustic band, made up of friends who like to play rock and blues music, entertaining people with extemporaneous shows.
Basically “on two feet”, rather than being something physical / tangible, is something ethereal, a sort of musical philosophy that takes you to play what you like, wherever you are, whoever you are with, in any manner and with any instrument just for the pleasure of doing it!

Where does the name “On Two Feet” come from?
It is the literal translation from Italian of the initial name of our band, which is a kind of word-joke, difficult to explain in English. When we were young, before one of our first live performances, we have been asked the band’s name for the billboards. We had no name and the answer was: “Well, here, on 2 feet (that in Italian means: off-hand, on the spot) … we don’t know”. Guess what? On the billboards we were presented as “On Two Feet”. We loved and kept it!

Describe your music with three words.
Acoustic rock music

Except for the music, do you have any other hobbies?
It’s very rock but definitely true: fast cars!! We are crazy about Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and so on… we dream about them, we talk about them, we drive them on the circuits: we are great fans!!!

How long have you been living in Luxembourg?
It’s almost 10 years, even if we came from different places. We arrived here just to make an experience and indeed we are still there! To most of us no-longer-young-people Luxemburg does this strange effect! Certainly Luxembourg lacks many things, but has an exceptional  “quality of life”, you feel comfortable here.

What is your most beloved place in the city?
We like Place D’Armes for the different offer of bars and restaurants, and it is lovely during the weekend going there to enjoy some bands performing live or some good jazz duo-trio playing at lunch time in the summer, while walking through the flea markets. But we also love to relax in the parks, like the one in the Petrusse Valley, playing there our guitars, and then cross the street, cast a glance at the “Libreria Italiana”, or have a beer in one of the bars in rue Munster, in the lowest part of Luxembourg, that is of course very charming both during the day and the night.

What is your favorite restaurant in Luxembourg?
We think that there are several very interesting choices: if you want a nice place with excellent Italian food in the city center, you can head to “Essenza” or to “Mi&Ti” or to “Al bacio”, if you prefer to have a ride in the countryside, you can go to “Elch” or to “ToitpourToi”, if you are looking for relaxed atmosphere visit “Maho”, if you are a sushi fan book at “Yamayu Santatsu” … and if you want the best homemade pizza you have ever tasted, you should come to our place as we are the pizza masters!!! (Laughing).

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?
Right now we like the “Go Ten”: great service, the drink selection is “dangerous”, always cool people and tasty Asian tapas platters. And then it is very well located in the city center, so that you can jump from one place to another, meeting people. And because the winter time is coming, and you cannot always be outside, we will spend some time at the “White House”, of course!

So as musicians, which place would you suggest to listen to good live music in Luxembourg?
Apart from “Den Atelier“, definitely you have to go on Thursday night at “LiquID Bar” if you like more blues oriented music. Otherwise I heard that “Melusina is starting to organize nice events with a very good selection of live music with interesting artists! What we also love a lot are the “open mic nights” organized in small bars where we are used to jump in and play something fun: I remember epic nights both at Rocas and at Konrad.

Do you have a favorite drink?
Gin Tonic! We love the enormous variety of Gin produced all around the world and the various different Tonic proposition. Of course what makes the difference is the expert bartender who advices you the appropriate Gin flavor to your taste and the best Tonic to be combine with. Try the Mombasa Gin with Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic, some cardamom and … you are immediately in the mood!!

Do you pay any special attention to your appearance during concerts and in your personal life? Where do you do your shopping usually in Luxembourg?
We are not fanatic, but of course we tend to be sufficient rock looking!! And at the end it’s easy: get a nice pair of jeans better if ripped, a nice t-shirt, boots or converse, some accessories around your neck (foulard or pendant) and chains around your hips!!! Personal life? What is personal life? We are always on stage!! (Laughing) We pick up stuff from everywhere, both in cool places like The Kooples or the more fashionable Smets and in high-streets one like H&M. We are actually waiting for someone to start selling JOHNJOHN stuff here in Luxembourg!!

What do you like about Luxembourg life?
Its multiculturalism: even if the country is pretty small, you can meet people coming from all over the world. When you go out for drinks, you can hear a lot of different languages, easily meet new people from different countries and cultures. That’s something unique!

What would you change or improve?
The road-works!! There are too many of them, but of course they are useful. The problem is that they last years and cause nerve-racking traffic jams! And people should learn to drive with “more rhythm”, to say it in a musician way: they are too calm and relaxed, and sometime to cross a 100 meter distant traffic light it takes you ages!!!

 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?
Trier
, there are lots of very nice club bar to go in the night!!! 🙂 (Laughing)
We would suggest visiting Maastricht, or to collect some bottle of champagne in the Reims-Epernay region in France. The problem is being sober enough to drive back safely…. Remember always bring a sober driver with you!!

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg?
Quiet or quite…a lot!!

If you want to listen “On Two Feet” on stage, next appointment will be at “Al Bacio” on Thursday October 15th, starting from 6.30 pm. There will be an after-work formula: so, no entrance fee, no reservation, free Italian buffet, you pay for what you drink and listen to their music. More information on the FB event here.

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What to do – Luxembourg City Centre

So it is Friday and is time for another chapter of the series “What to do”, that is giving you suggestions – my personal one – about social life in Luxembourg.
After the first two chapters about Station and Bonnevoie, today we’ll  talk about what to do and where to go in Luxembourg city center.
Once again, feel free to comment with your personal suggestions – and remember that our articles are featured also on City Savy Luxembourg!

Where to go when I want to stop my clock and turn off my mobile
Institute-De-Beaute Spa Gaia
I am a bit picky concerning beauty centers and I am using different ones for different services – the best one for manicure could not be the best one for waxing, for example – and Gaia, for me, it is the best one with reference to body treatments. Compared to other beauty centers I visited, their environment is really relaxing and silent. Room settings are accurate and as soon as you enter the main door, you are catapulted in this exotic and mystic world, totally separated from what is happening outside – they are just located over Place d’Armes, not the quieter place in Luxembourg. For massages and body scrubs, I did not find any best place in Luxembourg. You totally forget about your problems, works, husband, deadlines for some hours.
Hint: the accessible-hours appointments (after work and Saturdays) tend to fill up quickly, so book in advance.

Where to go to take care of my brows
It Bar
I don’t think that there are other brows bars in the city, but since I discovered this little gem, hidden in the Lush gallery, on the Gran Rue, all my brows problems have disappeared. Audrey is my brows angel: she is lovely, very much professional in her work. They offer different kind of services (including brows tint and extensions) at a very reasonable price.
Hint: don’t be afraid going to wax your brows before a date. Audrey will make you up perfectly to hide the redness.

Where to go for a real Italian after-work
Al Bacio
Since Restaurant Al Bacio opened its doors, its Thursday became an institutions. So the usual restaurant service is not working on Thursdays night and the place, from 6 pm, is transformed in an after-work meeting point. You get your drink (including a fab Gin selection) and you have free access to an Italian food buffet. You read it well – no chips and mozzarella stick, but pasta, piadina, crab salads, lasagna and much more. The atmosphere is informal and loud and businessmen are mixed to locals and tourists.
Hint: The buffet will disappear around 8.30 – 9 pm as latest, so be there on time to enjoy it fully!

Where to go for your week-end booze
Go Ten
You’re right – this area is really mainstream, but I couldn’t talk about Luxembourg city center between mentioning my favorite place around there. From after-work hours to late night, you will find the best drinks in town. Pimm’s Cocktail during summer cannot be beaten. And if you start to feel the alcohol, they have great Asian tapas to accompany your drink (from 7 to 10 pm).
Hint: Outside benches are heated, so don’t be afraid of the weather if inside is packed.

Where to go to have an espresso like a real Italian
Coffee Lounge
I know Coffee Lounge is mainly famous for its huge and tasty bagels and for kids after school chats. But the main reason that drives me here is they have the best Espresso coffee in Luxembourg, terrifically similar to the one you could drink in a good bar in Milan.
Hint: do it Italian way, take it quickly at the counter.

Where to go for your birthday cards, journals diary, pens
Papeterie Ernster
I am hopelessly old fashion and I like everything that is paper. Notes for me should be scribbled on a Moleskine and appointment noted on a real agenda. Ca va sans dire, the Papeterie Ernster, which has entrance just next to the restaurant on Place Guillamme, is my personal paradise.
Hint: if you want to make a present, they have a great selection of pens.

Where to go to satisfy your appetite
I know in the City Center there are tons of restaurants. These are the most recent Barefoot in Luxembourg has reviewed and loved:
Limbo Restoclub – perfect for late evening dining and with friends before a night out
Dipso Wine Republic – outstanding wine bar, reasonable prices, great location settings and delicious charcuterie platters
Delirio Culinario – recommended for a relaxed dinner with friends, great pizza
Daiwelskitchen – for meat lovers and for romantic dinners
Snooze – for your burger and sport events night>

See you in 15 days for next What to do chapter!

 

 

Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people: @fashion_lawyer

For the new chapter of the series “Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people”, today we are introduced to @fashion_lawyer, my personal fashion icon in Luxembourg and a shining star over Instagram panorama, with her 33,000 followers.FullSizeRender

What is your name?
It is short and sweet and Arabic for “God’s gift” – I was born in the middle of a civil war and my parents considered life as a gift. It pronounces differently in Swedish/English/French from Arabic and I have learned to live with that.

Describe yourself with three words.
Sociable, witty and intelligent (in no particular order).

How long have you been living in Luxembourg?
I have been living here since May 2013 – so little over two years!

What are you doing here?
I came initially for one year as part of an exchange program with my then employer, the largest law firm in the world, and then agreed to extend for another year. Finally I accepted a permanent employment here, resigned from my home office, just to accept an offer with another law firm only a few months later, where I am currently.

How do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Running steadily in the squirrel wheel….

Tell us about your Instagram account!
Well, I started about two years ago with no followers and completely secretly.
As the number of followers grew, I decided to remain as anonymous as possible, as I display a lot of consumption and I consider how this may come across towards colleagues and clients.
I have grown organically and not to mention very unimaginably and with time, colleagues and friends are starting to recognize me, which I don’t really mind.
I just haven’t decided if that kind of account is really compatible with being a lawyer or not. And by the way – I don’t work within fashion, it was just the unfortunate nickname I took when I started which I can’t seem to want to change.
I work with banking, finance and capital markets which is totally unexciting in comparison (I imagine). But, at least, the lawyer part is true!

What do you like doing in your spare time?
I shop! I sing! I dine out! I argue with my husband! I have drinks with friends! I travel! I work out! And I Instagram it all!

What is your most beloved place in Luxembourg?
All of my answers appear crazy in writing – I mean can I write my current office or the Chanel shop without appearing insane? Otherwise, I really like the hotel Le Place d’Armes, I have stayed there several times and a lot of my guests have too, it is just the epitome of beauty.

What is your favorite restaurant in Luxembourg?
Oh I have many small little gems – if I would chose one it would be restaurant Maho in Clausen. I used to like it for business dinners as well as dining with friends outside on their terrace, and ever since they organized my 35th birthday and combined surprise wedding celebration, I am just in love with that place. Food is wonderful and especially the Chateaubriand from their “Maho à deux“-menu. Even while served to 40 people, it maintained super quality.

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?
I am old and don’t do a lot of night living after midnight anymore but if I would have to chose, it would be White House, simply because that is where I end up. Palais is a nice bar to sit at until 2 in the morning otherwise.

Do you have a favorite drink?
I am particularly fond of the crémant of Alice Hartmann, (the crème de la crème of crémants, as a Maho waiter once told me the first time I tried it). A good Gin Hendricks or an espresso martini (or why not a dry one – provided they are well done) will get me in a good mood. Scratch all those by the way – instant coffee goes on the top of my list and if I don’t have one with milk in the morning, I don’t make my way out of the bed and down to my #ootd mirror.

Where do you do your shopping usually?
Everywhere. Online, Stockholm, Luxembourg City, Paris, London, on a plane. I don’t like to restrict myself.

What do you like about Luxembourg life?
It is a small, accessible, friendly city, having that in common with Stockholm, my home city for 25 years. You can access most of it by foot which I like, you have a sense of security, people are satisfied and therefore friendly regardless of the large amount of expats that come and go. You eat well, drink well, and you are generally well received. If it only rained less, I would be the happiest girl on earth.

What would you improve?
The weather. And the one thing this city misses – a hotel pool bar offering service by the pool where you can have a nice drink and listen to some music dressed as an adult while people spotting – a bit like Nikki beach but without the day party. Have you been to Boos k’fé? So it’s a beach bar without a pool. Only sand. It is beyond me.

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 went to visit Domaine Henri Ruppert in Schengen twice – loved the fact of seeing three nations in one spectacular mountain view, all while tasting lovely regional wines at almost no cost at all. The trip is a 25 minute drive from the city and you still feel like you are on an adventure. Recommend it warmly.

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg.
Luxerybourg! As an expat, you really have the luxury of a comfortable life here, in all senses of the word.

If you want to follow @fashion_lawyer daily outfits, amazing trips and #Champagne&Chanel posts, you can find her account here.

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