Bee Famous: Tasty, Affordable and Organic Wine Available at Auchan’s

As autumn is approaching, Barefoot in Luxembourg was invited for a wine tasting at Beef-Bar at Auchan’s to have a sneak peak of the shop’s new wine season range. “Foire Aux Vins” is in fact an annual event taking place in September ( this year from September 20th to October 3rd) in several supermarkets in Luxembourg, including Auchan, where winemakers introduce new wines and also offer special deals for products already on the shelves. You can check out Auchan’s website for more information about products and discounts.

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I had a pleasure to get to know Bee Famous, an organic wine brand from South France. I have shared my impressions below.

 

White wines:
Bee Famous Organic Cévennes

  • Fresh and fruity
  • Excellent choice with spicy and Asian food

Bee Famous Organic Chardonnay

  • Very rounded, well structured, crispy
  • Goes well with grilled fish, and sushi

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Bee Famous Organic Viognier

  • Rounded, easy to drink
  • Great for appetzers and cheese

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Bee Famous Organic Sauvignon

  • crispy, quite strong after-taste of blackcurrant
  • To be paired with goat cheese salad or appetizers

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Red wines:
Bee Famous Organic Syrah

  • Fruity, spicy
  • Try it with mediterranean or oriental food, mild cheese or drink it as aperitif

Bee Famous Organic 2015 Cevennes

  • Complex, fruity, spicy, hint of pepper
  • Herbs of Provence
  • Perfect form meat dishes, especially pork and chicken

Bee Famous Organic AOP Costières de Nime Sans Sulfites

  • No sulfites; this wine is recommended to be drank within 1-2 years
  • Try with pork, paella or Mediterranean cuisine

Bee Famous Côtes du Rhône 2016

  • Round, long, well structured
  • Serve it with a selection of chacuterie or other meat dishes

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Bee Famous Côtes du Rhône Plain de Dieu

  • Plain, easy
  • Goes well with chocolate dessert, meat, lamb, pork, steaks

Bee Famous Organic Languedoc Rouge 2013

  • Elegant, silky structure
  • Great with ratatouille

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CinEast: a preview

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Yesterday I was invited to the press conference of Cineast, the festival of movie from East and Central Europe that will take place in Luxembourg from 6 to 23 October.

This was a really interesting opportunity to learn more about the festival and, above all, about its events! (wow!, more things to do in Luxembourg).

Cineast got now to its 9th edition and counted 10,000 participants in total between screenings and events connected.

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Regarding the movies proposed, its distinctive characteristic is to show a quality program, most composed by movies that had very much success at international film festival (Berlin, Locarno, Sundance), but are less accessible to people in Luxembourg. The idea is also to attract not only movie lovers, but also young people, through as said a series of events, including concerts and gastronomical nights.

Under a cultural point of view, it will be an interactive way to learn about another face of our international population. The festival does not want to appear as a political manifesto, but for sure most of the movies have some political values and touch actual themes. It will be the case as well of the main event connected to the festival, the photography exhibition at Neimenster entitled “Away from Home”, that really should not be missed.

There will be an official competition with 8 recent movies, including the Polish Hristo that will be presented in Warsaw the week ahead the festival, Dogs, that was presented in Cannes, and the sarcastic Kill on Wheels, the only comedy among the movies in the competition, which has a very strong Tarantino accent.

60 long movies and 40 short films are then included in the program, documentary, classic and award-winners. Godless, for example, has been awarded in Locarno and is a pretty tough movie about a home nurse who is trafficking the ID cards of her patients. The last family was acclaimed in Cannes and United States of Love in Berlin, while It’s not the time of my life is a very raw movie on budget that shows the life of its maker. I Olga will tell us the story of the last woman to be executed in Poland and All these sleepless nights will take us through the lascivious life of two youngsters during Warsaw nights.

Movies will be shown in the city – mainly at Cinematique and Neimenster – as well as around the country (Esch, Mersch, Vianden, Mondorf, etc..)

You can find the complete program of the screenings here:

Cineast Programme

As said, Cineast is not only movies, but there will be also plenty of events, some strictly related to the movies, as debates and public interviews, some more on the party side – as reminded during the press conference indeed, the most important art is the art of partying 🙂

Take your agenda and note down:

On October 8th, Toporkestra (a gipsy band) will perform at Melusina, followed by a Balkan party.

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On October 13th, Rotondes will welcome an Eastalgia party, with food, music and quiz inspired by the times when Eastern European countries were part of the communist bloc.

On October 15th, All sleepless nights will be followed by a Warsaw-style party at Rocas.

Last but not least, the closing event, on October 22nd, at Sang & Klang in Pfaffenthal, with Balkan music and live DJ set.

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There will be two silent movie projection, with live soundtrack: on October 14th The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, a classic Polish movie, at Cinemateque, and on October 20th, a Slovak night at Neimenster, followed by a jazz jam session.

Details about the events can be found here:

Cineast Events

I will be attending most of the events as they really look amazing, so I hope to see some of you there!

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Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People: Kristy Thibodeau

It is time for another interview of our series “Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people”, today it is the turn of Kristy Thibodeau, an American masseur and blogger living in Metz.

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Hi Kristy, do you want to introduce yourself to start?

Sure. My name is Kristy Thibodeau and I am originally from Boston, MA USA. I am working in Kirchberg, Luxembourg as an English speaking sports masseur. I have my doctorate in physical therapy, am a certified strength and conditioning specialist, and The Fit Wanderluster blogger.

Sounds interesting! Could you describe us a bit better your work?

I work at LuxChiro and my specialty is sports and deep tissue massage. Comments I’ve heard from clients is that my specialty is difficult to find in Luxembourg. I focus on sports rehabilitation, trigger point and myofascial release, and am certified in the Graston Technique, but can also focus on specific muscular tension release that cause pain or headaches. The massage can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable but I do it with a smile! I have experience working with the fatigued desk-job worker, amateur athletes to professional basketball, football, cyclists, marathon and triathletes.

So I see why – with all these professional workers in Luxembourg – people might be attracted by your work…

My specialty is taught from the States and my experience in sports outpatient orthopaedic rehabilitation gives me a very strong foundation on anatomy and kinetics. I have also run a dozen semi-marathons and 8 full marathons, so I have full understanding on the demands and taxing work that can affect the body with sports training. My hope is also to develop an running injury prevention education course for beginners and intermediate runners in Luxembourg, if there is enough interest.

What do you enjoy mostly about your work?

I love meeting so many people, from so many backgrounds and nationalities and hearing their stories and goals to achieve personal bests from their first 5k to marathon.

Talking about your Luxembourg background, how long have you been living in Luxembourg?

Currently, I’m living in Metz, France and commuting to Luxembourg 3-4 days a week.

What is your most beloved place in the city?

My hope is to move to Luxembourg in the very near future because of the diversity and accessibility to so much culture, options for traveling, outdoor activities, music concerts, etc. The options are endless and comparable to Boston lifestyle.

Nice to hear! And what is your favourite restaurant in Luxembourg?

La Boqueria

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?

Hitch or The Tube

What do you like about Luxembourg life?

I love the broad range of professionals with diverse nationalities and the welcoming attitudes of the locals. Also, I’m a big fan of the outdoor music festivals and exploring the forests and countryside to go running.

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

I miss living near the beach and really, really good seafood in the summer (lobster rolls!)

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’m biased as I live in Metz, but the city is great for shopping, dining, bars, amazing architecture, beautiful parks and walking/biking paths. Also, Reims, for champagne tastings of course!

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg?

Intriguing.

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What to do – Brunching in Luxembourg

Spring is coming and I am a bit more willing of going out over the week-end, spending the day outside and not still in bed – is the same for you?
One of the things I love to do during Spring is The Brunch!

Where to brunch in Luxembourg? Which are the best brunch in Luxembourg?

I tried several brunches in Luxembourg and out, this is a quick summary with my impressions.

Feel free to add your favourite brunch spot!

 

Hitch – Limpesberg

Price: 24 euro per person, including one hot drink.
Variety: moderate.
Things I enjoyed most:
Salad bar & pizza
Buffet not really overcrowded and pretty “clean”
Really nice and relaxed environment
Nice service
Things I enjoyed less:
Starting from a certain point (no later than 1.30 pm), they stopped taking new food to the buffet. I wanted to have some fruits and pineapples – as I did not have them with salted dish, but the only things left at the “sweet” buffet were cakes. I asked the waiter about fruit and was told: – No, we are not bringing any more food in after 1.30 pm. A pity as brunch is supposed lo last until 3 pm but they force people to leave before.
Not much of healthy choices.
Tall tables are a bit uncomfortable.
Recommended: for a relaxed Sunday with friends, before a walk to the city center

Ikki – Clausen

Price: 38 euro, no beverages included
Variety: great
Things I enjoyed most:
Sushi bar, oysters, shrimps
Amazing choice of food – salads, hot dishes, cakes – whatever you could imagine, is there.
Things I enjoyed less:
Bit overcrowded in some moments, above all because of kids messing up at the buffets
A bit expensive if you are not planning to eat much
Service very bad: once they realized we were not ordering any alcoholic beverage, they ignored us even when we needed water or coffee
Reccomended: For a date or for a post hangover fancy meal

Chiggeri – Luxembourg City Centre

Price: 29 euro, only orange juice included as beverage
Variety: very moderate
Things I enjoyed most:
Nice atmosphere and location
Not overcrowded at all
Good service
Things I enjoyed a bit less:
Food is mainly composed by cold cuts, cheese and cakes: very limited choice for vegetarians and for healthy styles
As the choice is not so extensive, you got bored after once
Recommended: For out of towns visitors

Boos Café – Bridel (closed at the moment)

Price: depending on your order, starting from 30 euro
Variety: moderate
Things I enjoyed most:
Unbeatable location during summer
Very relaxed environment and lovely atmosphere
Refined dishes
Things I enjoyed a bit less:
Including the drinks, the total price is not cheap and the quantity very moderate
Terrible service
Recommended: For a relaxed and posh date or for a girly brunch

Maybe Not Bobs’s – Clausen

Price: 15.5 Euro including coffee and orange juice
Variety: moderate
Things I enjoyed most:
Informal environment
Cheap bill
Fancy food for hangover or big appetites
Things I enjoyed a bit less:
Not a top quality brunch
It might be crowded and a bit too noisy
Recommended for: A lads-only brunch or hangover cure

La Table du Pain – City Centre and Gare

Price: different formulas, from 10 euro
Variety: good
Things I enjoyed most:
It is more a big and late breakfast than a real brunch, but the atmosphere is delicate, service good, prices fair and above all I love the croissants!
During summer, at the City Centre location, you can have your meal on the terrace.
Things I enjoyed a bit less:
I really don’t like the shared jam jars. Sometimes you find small pieces of bread inside and people are enjoying double dip, definitely not hygienic at all.
There also might be a greater choice on the salty side (avocado toast maybe?)
Recommended for: Feeling like in Paris for a morning

Mudam Cafe’ – Kirchberg

Price: from 21 euro
Variety: good
Things I enjoyed most:
Have you ever had brunch in a museum? Well – this is the most amazing thing about brunching at Mudam. The atmosphere is amazing, fair service and there is a great attention to details.
Vegetarian options and biological drinks.
Food is served on platters at the table (so no buffet)
Things I enjoyed a bit less:
It is an alcohol free brunch and it is very children friendly. These might be not negative points for some, indeed 🙂
Recommended for: a cultural Sunday, alternative spirits and families

Other brunches in my “to try list”

Bouneweger Stuff – Bonnevoie
Price range: Mid
My crew says: Fancy food, vegetarian options, hipster atmosphere, a bit disappointing service.

Buvette @ Rotondes – Bonnevoie
Price range: Mid
My crew says: Lovely atmosphere, children friendly, nice terrace during summer, tasty food.

Kathy’s Cupcakery – Gare
Price range: Mid
My crew says: Very cozy and a bit girly, choose it if you are more on the sweet side brunch than the salty one. Only on Saturdays, closed on Sundays.

Comme a La Maison – Merl/Hollerich
Price range: Mid – High
My crew says: Another alternative place if you don’t like being stuck in the usual city center mess, authentic Italian food and great service

Le Bec Fin – City Centre
Price: 29 Euro
My crew says: Great choice of Italian food, huge spaces and children friendly. It is the restaurant of the next hotel, so a bit of old-fashion feelings in the service.

Ready – Limpesberg
Price: 19.5 Euro
My crew says: The brunch is held once per month and unfortunately is sold out after minutes the event goes online. The place is cosy and the food is healthy but tasty.

Danish Deli – City Centre
Price: 19 Euro on Saturdays, 21 euro on Sundays
My crew says: Brunch is served on a plat on Saturdays and at the buffet on Sundays. It is the perfect choice during a Saturday around for shopping, while the Sunday one has a bit of odd choices included.

Hotel Koener – Clearvaux
Price range: Mid – High
My crew says: As the weather is improving, why not combining the brunch with a trip out of town? The style of the venue is very classic, but the food is worth it.

Brasserie Le Neumunster – Grund
Price: 32 Euro
My crew says: Above all during summer is the perfect location, also considering you can have a free Jazz concert included.

Cathy Goedert – City Centre
Price: 27.5 Euro
My crew says: I personally find the location very overrated, above all considering the prices and the level of service. Anyway, the atmosphere for the brunch is generally nice and it is an easy choice if you are in the city

Montefiore sul Palco – City Centre
Price: 25 Euro or 30 Euro with cremant
My crew says: Organic food in a cosy location in the city centre. Choices are limited due to space, but food is tasty.

Giovanni Rana – Foetz
Price: Mid – High
My crew says: Buffet of starters, a duo of pasta and wide choice of dessert. It is not typically a brunch, but an Italian family lunch. Perfect indeed for celebrations and gatherings.

Other places out of the city:

A Guddesch – Beringer – Euro 29.5 per person

 

Mamacita, Luxembourg city: good Friday night spot

I visited Mamacita in Luxembourg city as soon as it opened its doors, some years ago. I clearly remember I was not impressed: cocktails were less than average and pricey and food was nothing special. The service, on my first visit, has been really bad and I left particularly annoyed by the waiters’ attitude – they totally ignored us in favor of a kind of “VIP” table next. After this negative experience, I came back there only for some drinks during summer.

But as said several times, I tend to give all the places a second chance after some times, so last week I decided to come back to Mamacita for a Friday night dinner with a colleague who was visiting.

I booked throught their Facebook page – replies were fast and very kind. One improvement point already!

We got there at 8 pm after couple of warm-up drinks next door at White House – good combo on Friday night, even if White House is basically empty at that time, you have the best service and the best tables for you.

We were accompanied to the floor and we got to choose our table between two which were still empty. The room quickly became very busy, with couple of groups celebrating birthday parties.

We started with some frozen margaritas and chilli beers, which we accompanied with a mixed platter of starters for two to share – we were four – and some tequila shots – we were in good mood 🙂

After that, we went for single dishes – I had spicy shrimps while hubby had chilli con carne, similarly my colleague opted for chilli and his wife for a ceviche – and a bottle of Nebbiolo from California. We concluded with some more shots.

Here you have some pictures of our dinner. After that, my impressions about this second try at Mamacita.


  
  
 Thins I loved about Mamacita:

  •  We had great service, indeed. We felt never forgotten by the waiters, notwithstanding the busy evening, and all of them were kind, smiling and in good mood. They granted us a very funny night, thanks.
  • Food was good – not amazing, but still very good. The mixed starter platter was enough to share for 4 people, in particular the quesadillas were very tasty. My main was nice: well presented and fair quantity. I have seen amazing burgers passing in front of me for other tables.
  • Drink selections – my colleague noted it – was very good: between tequilas, beers, wine and cocktails for sure you won’t leave thirsty.
  • The atmosphere is warm and you feel very welcome. Everything is pretty fine priced (we spent 237 Euros in total for 4 persons – 3 cocktails, 3 beers, mixed starter, bottle of wine for 47 euro, 2 platters of shots, 4 main courses).

Things I liked a bit less about Mamacita:

  • I confirm my first time impression on cocktails, unfortunately: frozen margarita was not good at all (lots of ice and syrup) – but as said, you have other things in the list of the drinks you can enjoy more.
  • At a certain point, the room was very very noisy. This might not be definitely a bad point for some, but I would not suggest it for a romantic date or if you want to chat with your mates.

I recommend Mamacita: For amazing and very kind service, nice food at a fair price and great atmosphere. Perfect for a night out in town, parties and celebrations, even for small groups. I will definitely come back soon – during the week – to try the burgers!

 

 

 

What to do in Luxembourg for Saint Valentine

That time of the year is here again! Single or in a relationship, Luxembourg offers you several option to enjoy the all Saint Valentine week-end.

Here you have those selected by Barefoot in Luxembourg.

A candlelight Valentine
Where: Truffle Bistro – Centre – Luxembourg City
What: A gastronomic and sophisticated dinner in the cozy location of the Truffle Bistro with a very reasonable price (50 euro per person, including an aperitif).
For: romantic couples who want to try this new fascinating location.
More information: here

A breathtaking Valentine with view
Where: Beim Siggy – Clausen – Luxembourg city
What: A lovely combination with a warm atmosphere, one of the best view in the city and revisited classic dishes. 58 Euro without drinks or 80 with wine paring
For: Luxembourg lovers or if your date is not living in the city
More information: here

A delicate and refined Valentine
Where: Bick Stuff – Clausen – Luxembourg city
What: Bick Stuff proposes a romantic dinner in a very intimate and cozy location. The menu starts from crispy shrimps with mango tartare, passing through scallops with foie gras ravioli, beef filet with wasabi or sole with lobster crème, concluding with a delicate pineapple and ginger dessert. Price for the menu is 57 Euro.
For: Old-fashioned couples who love peaceful and charming service
More information: here

A Fashion Valentine
Where: Brasserie Mansfeld – Clausen – Luxembourg City
What: Chic is once again the safe word at Mansfeld, which is exceptionally open also on Sunday 14th for Valentine. The food proposal for the special day is as usual never boring with French dishes and a fusion point of view. Price for the menu is 70 euro.
For: Couples who don’t want to give up on style even on Valentine day.
More information: here

An opulent Valentine
Where: Le Sud – Clausen – Luxembourg City
What: a white gloves dinner with Le Sud old favorites and new menu proposals. Start with a drink on the last floor bar and being then taken away by the fairy-tales and baroque  atmosphere of the main dining room. 125 Euro menu only, 180 with wine pairing.
For: Couples who want to splurge
More information: here

Gin – Music – Brunch
Where: Vagabond Barrr – Dudelange
What: A full week-end of events, starting with a gin tasting (reservation only!) and concluding with a colorful Sunday brunch.
For: couples and friends who get easily bored by routine
More information: here

Saint Valentine at the movies
Where: Utopolis in Belval and Kirchberg and Utopia in Limpesberg
What: Two Avant-premiere at 6 Euro per movie
For: If you don’t want to talk during your date
More information: here

Pirate Party
Where: Kjub Bar – Hollerich – Luxembourg City
What: Safe word: find your treasure. A very hot theme party for single and couples who wants to have fun also on Valentine day. Tapas, Latin Music & Cocktails.
For: LGBT singles & couples
More information: here

Single only night
Where: Theatre Le 10 – Neudorf – Luxembourg City
What: 80s music and the possibility to find your soul mate or having just fun. Ticket 10 Euro including one drink
For: funny singles
More information: here

Dinner & Games
Where: Limbo RestoClub – Centre – Luxembourg City
What: You can choose between a romantic Dinner or a drink game party with lots of free shots.
For: whenever you are single or in couple, but you want to enjoy this day
More information: here

Love Party
Where: Sobogusto – Hollerich – Luxembourg City
What: Free bubbles for ladies and food until 6 am
For: a single girls night out
More information: here

Private music session
Where: Vins Fins – Grund – Luxembourg City
What: A combination between a concert and a theatre performance. Mandatory reservation, 20 Euro entrance
For: alternative spirits
More information: here

Jazz & Food
Where: Vertige des Saveurs – Martelange
What: Delicate French food (52 Euro for the menu) and Classic Jazz repertoire
For: Jazz aficionados
More information: here

Other girls night at:
Updown Bar – Grund – Luxembourg: here

Other candlelight dinners at:
Lagano – Differdange: here

Other very single nights at:
Casino 2000, Mondorf: here
Hitch, Limpesberg, Luxembourg City: here
The Tube, Centre, Luxembourg City: here

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Truffle Bistrot: a romantic delight in Luxembourg city centre

As part of the week-long celebration for hubby’s birthday, on Tuesday night we had a tête-à-tête at the new Truffle Bistrot – Relais San Maurizio 1619, that opened at the beginning of December near Hamilius.

You might remember from a previous post, I have already tried once to have dinner there. Unfortunately, in that case, I had booked very much in advance and during the Christmas break, the restaurant changed it opening times. I was kindly contacted by the restaurant manager – who was very happy to explain me the background of the place.

Said that, we arrived at the Truffle Bistrot about 8 pm. The location has been totally renovated compared to the previous Italian bar that used to be there. At the ground floor, you have a lounge and bar area where you can have a drink whatever time – without the need of having dinner afterwards. There is also a shop corner with authentic products from Relais San Maurizio – you might find more information related to the original place on their website.

On the first floor, the restaurant room. Lovely settings, open kitchen with wide windows on the main room, so you can look inside but the smells stay there. As the place was quite empty, we went for the table just next to the windows.

We went for a bottle of Barbaresco 2006 from Relais San Maurizio, we were offered an amuse-bouche with squids and burrata, I went then for home made pasta (tajerin) with truffle followed by wasabi tuna fish, while hubby had a pumpkins soup with poached egg and truffle followed by beef filet with its juice and vegetables. As we were very full, we skipped the dessert. I opted for a coffee – that was accompanied by delicious dried fruits – while hubby had a cheese platter.

As usual, be captivated by the pictures of our dinner and find after them my comments about Truffle Bistrot.

       
  
  

Things I loved about the Truffle Bistrot:

  • Incredible atmosphere: when they started to work on the old Italian bar, I could have never imagined the new place would have been so impressive. The upstair room is warm, sophisticated, luminous but not too bright. Perfect light for a cozy dinner, whenever romantic or with friends.
  • Good menu selection: truffle, mainly, but not only. You have several fish and vegetarian choices and authentic products.
  • High quality dishes and sophisticated presentation: the best dish for me was the wasabi tuna fish and I also liked the pumpkins soup hubby had. Cheese selection was inventive and the dried fruit selection was mouth-wathering.
  • Fair quality – price: you can imagine you are not in a cheap place, but the prices are in line with same style restaurants in the city (about 16 euro for starters and 25 for main, plus extra for truffle if you want some). Moreover, compared to comments I heard before about this place, I have to say portions are definitely not small – after one starter and one main I was very full and you know I am not a skinny bitch. If you want to splurge, the tasting menu is for 70 euro.

Things I liked a bit less about the Truffle Bistrot:

  • Lucky enough, this was another place I visited recently I liked as a whole. If I have to find something, some dishes have probably a very delicate taste compared to those we are used to in Luxembourg – I think about the squid amuse-bouche and my pasta starter. Don’t expect the usual butter  Luxembourgish cuisine – at least for some of the choices.

I recommend the Truffle Bistrot: If you want to impress someone you love. For a romantic date (ask the table on the window!). For a girls night out if you like delicate and sophisticated food. For a family gathering to celebrate something special. If you don’t want to splurge and you want have couple of glasses at the bar floor with Italian aperitif and great wines – a different place from the usual local bars.

 

 

Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people: Linda & David

Wednesday is the day of our Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people interviews. Today we meet a lovely and sparkling couple, Linda and David. They are working in their own creative business and are involved in a very inspiring project. Discover more below.

As we normally start, I will ask both of you to introduce yourself: we would like to know who you are, where you live and what you do.
Linda: Do you want me to go first?
David: Go, Ladies first 🙂
Linda: All right. My name is Linda, I am half Greek and half Luxembourgish, I was born here in Luxembourg. I studied graphic design in Brussels and as soon as I came back, I started to experiment a lot with creativity and actually ended up working as a free lance, without really expecting it to happen. In the meantime, I had a very short experience having a job in an advertisement agency, but I didn’t really like it and I definitely preferred being self-employed. It was not easy, but when you learn to love it, nothing can compare with the joys and freedom of working for yourself. So, since then I was on that route and David also joined at some point…
David: My name is David Mourato, I am Portuguese, I was born in Luxembourg and I also did my studies in Luxembourg. Right after school, I went to work in small agencies where I spent around 8 – 9 years and at a certain point I was really fed up and thought I really had to find something else to do. So when Linda went free-lance, it made me think a lot about it.
Linda: This is where our path crossed.
David: Indeed. It happened quite fast from then on. I quit my job and became freelance as well. It was exciting. Although we quickly realized we actually ended up doing the same things, both of us were doing graphic design and creative projects, only in separate entities. This created some tension between us but it served as a lesson. We made the most of it, gave up our egos and decided to work together instead. So a couple of months later, we started Kinlake, our creative business.

And this is actually how Kinlake started.
Linda: Yes, it was really cool, because we realized that now, working together, we can do so many more things than separately. Each of us brought their own personal skills to the table, additionally to their graphic design background. I do illustration and hand lettering, and David has an affinity for photography and videography as well. So our creativity feels limitless and this make us feel stronger. When you team up together, you can do more things.

Basically how would you define Kinlake?
Linda: If we’d have to sum it up in just a few words, it would be our creative studio & our lifestyle blog. Kinlake represents our synergy and the creativity that we apply on a day to day basis. For us, being creative every single day is vital, and it translates in many ways, on a professional basis and on a personal basis.

So in details, which services Kinlake offers as a creative studio?
Linda: We do all sorts of things that can give a business, a blogger or any type of project an interesting and creative visual aspect: brand styling and graphic design, web-design, some handmade and personalized work such as illustrations or hand-lettering, and many more. We also do photography, and videography, like short documentaries. We just really like to create interesting material that tells a story and that makes a brand or project feel compelling.

And which is your ideal client at Kinlake?
Linda: We are really lucky because most of the time the people that come to us are actually our ideal clients! I think we have done a good job communicating about our philosophy. So the people who come to us also come for this particular reason. And often they are the right people for us. We love to work with start-ups, bloggers, people who make something by themselves – all these people inspire us creatively. Some people who come to work with us have actually embarked on a wild adventure of starting their own business or blog, and this is very exciting creatively: it allows us to start something very personal, from scratch, like a design or brand styling that is really going to fit perfectly with what they want to pursue. This allows us to also provide a bit of framework, such as useful tips & skills that can help someone to reach specific goals such as growing their audience or communicating a message.

What has been your favorite project so far?
Linda: That’s a hard question!
David: It always depends on the circumstances. Some projects are harder, some projects are easier, some are exciting from the beginning, and some make you more proud towards the end. Every project has a different story. It’s like relationships, each of it is unique. But I guess it’s fair to say that the best projects come from working with people who trust us and are eager to work with us!

What are the next projects you are working on?
Linda: We have been working on an e-shop called Afrolia , that is going to be launched by a very stylish woman of African origins. She is really cool and had been working very hard to launch this exciting startup. We like the concept of this project and she trusted us to work on her e-shop even if it was our first. We also designed her brand identity.
David: We are working on a series of video-documentaries for a magazine launched from the ecological party in Luxembourg, featuring local initiatives that work in a collaborative way. This project has allowed us to expand our videography skills even further.
Linda: We have also been working for some more projects, such as designing for new upcoming small businesses or bloggers.

So, to conclude about Kinlake: why people should come to you? Which competitive advantages are you giving to people if they are coming to you instead of to another agency?
Linda: We are pretty happy about the way we do things; We like the personal aspect behind it. This is from our perspective the most important thing: people who work with us, work directly with us and meet us in person. We are a small business and a friendly one: People can come into our home or meet us in a coffee shop, everything is casual as long as we “click” with someone – we don’t separate so much the business aspect and the personal aspect – they are very blended and I think people really appreciate that. We work with people as if they were our friends – of course there is a business transaction behind, but we try to give much more than that at the end.

Now, let’s mention also the other project you are involved, Orla Collective.
Linda: Orla Collective  is something that comes from our interest about living more ecologically. We became interested in a healthy lifestyle and greener choices. Living a happier lifestyle closer to our roots, without materialism. That inspired us a lot and we thought: are there people like that in Luxembourg? For sure there must be. The idea was to begin a blog – but was pointless doing it alone. I really feel that the more people are involved in a project, the more it can become a movement to spread the word. So we started out Orla Collective with this blog platform which is open for anybody to contribute. It works pretty well: Some people write about yoga, some people share healthy recipes, some people write about DYI. Just mindful living, in general. The idea is to accept anyone who is at least a bit interested in it and to make it as open and fun as possible.
David: The idea is to create a collaborative movement where everyone is welcome. It is about all the small things each and every of us does and to share these small things to make a better world.

So when did Orla Collective start and what does it include beside the blog?
Linda: We started in summer 2014. So now it has been a bit more than one year. At first we only had the blog, but six months later we did our first work-shop – we thought it would be cool to take the community from being online to offline and have people meet each other through those similar interests, in real life, though fun activities. We also organize brunches in collaboration with the girls from Ready, for example. Lots of new friendships are born this way, as the community truly comes together.

What are the next events that will be organized by Orla Collective?
Linda: Next event is a work-shop about DYI Christmas gifts – December 2nd. Then we will have a Christmas brunch on December 13th at Ready. You can have a look at our Orla Collective facebook page if you want to see more!

Moving ahead to your life in Luxembourg then, what is the place you love most in Luxembourg?
David: Well, because we live in Esch, our favourite place around here is the Ellergronn, in the nature.
Linda: Yes, this has a particular significance for us, it is the place where we go when we need to reinvent ourselves and refueled. Esch used to be the center of mining and metal industry – but surprisingly there is a lot of beautiful nature around. It is not as breathtaking like in the Haute Sure but it has its charm, actually because of the mining industry this all area is called Terre Rouges which means the red rocks, so when you walk in the forest you see the ground is red and you can feel the history of this place. That’s our feel good place.

And then what’s your favorite restaurant?
David:
I really like Mamacita. I think the quality of the food is nice, they are generous, it’s cool. I also really like the Mesa Tai Ji in Esch. The Beet restaurant in town and Amapura restaurant in the Station area in Luxembourg city are excellent for having yummy plant based food.
Linda: There are also a lot of nice Italian restaurants – there we would just take our parents. More cozy settings, like Notaro.
David: The truth is, though, that we don’t really go to restaurants that much anymore. We actually really like to cook at our place and experiment with food in our own kitchen.
Linda: The only place you can always find us is Ready coffee shop. It is not a restaurant – but the quality of a humble sandwich from this place is often better than an entire dish at a restaurant. When things are done with love, you can feel it.

And about nightlife, you have a favorite place where you go?
David: I guess that for the past 7 years, our nightlife is pretty scarce, we only have a few drinks with friends once in a while, with no real preference when it comes to the place really.
Linda: It is not to say we are not party animals, but going out at night isn’t really our thing, we actually prefer to invite people over at our place and party over here!

And what else you like about Luxembourg life?
Linda:
I personally like the fact that is small enough to make some good connections and it gives some more exposure to people trying to create their own business. You don’t get lost socially like in a big city.
David: I really like the fact we are really in the center of Europe, everything is well connected and close.

And what would you change or improve about Luxembourg?
Linda: It’s a small country, so things are a little bit behind, but at the same time there is the possibility to achieve things faster, because the people that are here tend to be well-inspired to make things happen. People can absorb inspirations from their travels, take them back here and create something. There are so many opportunities and space for new things to happen. Things like pressed fresh juices, food trucks.. that were not existing in Luxembourg until two years ago, are now growing fast, if done well. Lots of new business ideas can take advantage of that. It’s like planting a seed in very fertile soil!

Last question now: what is the best adjective for you to describe Luxembourg?
Linda: I would say fertile – here there will be a lot of opportunities for ideas to grow fast!

If you want to learn more about Linda and David and about their business and their projects, follow Kinlake and Orla Collective pages and meet them at next events at Ready.

Expat Traditions: the Beaujolais Nouveau

Today Zach will introduce us to a French lovely tradition that more and more in the last years has been taking space in Luxembourg – the Beaujolais wine.

Beaujolais Nouveau for Dummies in a few lines 🙂

The Beaujolais Nouveau was born in ….

September 8, 1951! It was decided back then, by the French government, that AOC wines produced within the year couldn’t be able to be sold to the public before December 15 of the same year. However, syndicates representing the Beaujolais area got the right to sell Beaujolais before, as soon as the vinification process of the wine over. This is how the Beaujolais Nouveau was born. Since 1951, every year, on the third Thursday of November, the harvest of Beaujolais Nouveau can be savored.

What is the challenge compared to other AOC wines?

Beaujolais Nouveau wines are really hard to produce. Indeed, within three months, the winemaker has to produce a wine which expresses and represents the fruity grapes. Entire grapes are put in the thanks to keep all the flavors of the fruits, for where every winemaker has to assess the duration of each stage of fermentation and perfectly control the temperature of the wine.

And the most important, why is it celebrated? 

In case you were looking for an occasion to party and celebrate during in week after work, don’t look any further. Each new year of the Beaujolais Nouveau is an opportunity to go out with your friends and taste a good wine (depending of the year 🙂 )

Winter is coming. It’s dark around 5pm, it’s wet and colt. You need to get used to mulled wine before the skiing period!

You know you need five fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. That’s what every dietician says. It’s much easier to do it while drinking than eating, especially if you can do that with friends!

It’s a good opportunity to meet people while talking about its taste this year!  However, be aware that this is really rare to find somebody agreed with you on the flavor! Whatever, just enjoy it 🙂

Maintaining the tradition is really important as well. The Beaujolais Nouveau celebrates this year its 64 years old, and as you are polite, you celebrate its birthday!

And especially, the Beaujolais Nouveau and its related festivities are the symbol all over the world of conviviality and solidarity …

I sincerely hope you will enjoy it this year!

Several Beaujolais party will be held in Luxembourg during the next days. If you want to enjoy the one organized by MixInLux, pass to Jakob’s House on Thursday 19th November, starting from 7 pm. French appetizer, including cheese fondue, will be served for free with the wine.

What to do – Restaurants open on Sunday evening in Luxembourg

Since my husband started to work during week-ends, it is really common we want to have a date on Sunday evening. Unfortunately it seems that there is a sort of curfew in Luxembourg on that night and only few places are accessible.
This is the reason because I decided to do a short list of places, open on Sundays, I tried and I might recommend – at least you don’t have to call half of the Editus “restaurant” chapter to check them in advance like I usually do  🙂

Budget-Friendly

Mr. Wok
Mr. Wok, Hollerich area, is the perfect place on a budget for big appetite on Sunday evening. They have a huge main room – no needs to reserve, definitely – and infinite choices of food on the all-you-can-eat buffet. Starting from Chinese starters to main courses (noodles, fried chicken, Cantonese rice) to fresh sushi to conclude with cakes and ice-cream. The best part, anyway, is the wok/grill area, where you can choose your raw ingredients and ask the chef to prepare them in front of you. Everything for 24.9 Euro (drinks not included)
Perfect for: hangover recovery

Bosso
Bosso restaurant, Grund area, has lovely settings, decent service and various menu choices – including vegetarian – mainly from Alsatian kitchen. Flammekuchen are extremely tasty and main course portions are pretty big. With starters between 4 and 10 Euro, flammekuchen for around 10 Euro and meat mains around 15 Euro, you can definitely have a nice and pleasant dinner without going bankrupt. Reservation recommended.
Perfect for: eating on terrace during summertime.

Pizza Places

Bella Napoli
Bella Napoli is located in the main Station area and it is quite an institution. They have delicious tiny-crust pizza with Italian garnitures, the service is pretty fast and the location is always packed – and a bit noisy.
Perfect for: a quick dinner with not many formalities.

Mama loves you
Mama loves you is a trendy pizzeria – with also great alternative like burgers – down rue de Hollerich. The settings are very modern and cared in details – even if the gap between tables might be a bit small.
I love this place because has very tasty pizzas with unusual – but not too much – garnitures. My favorite one is with nduja spicy Italian sausage and bufala.
Perfect for: taking out for dinner someone you just met over the week end.

Matese
Matese is a typical neighborhood place in Bonnevoie and, despite its old fashion location, is always packed over week-ends. They offer an informal but kind service and a huge choice of dishes from yummy carpaccio to amazing pizza – one of my favorite in town.
Perfect for: a family gathering or if you live in Bonnevoie

La Torre
La Torre is located in Limpesberg and has a typical Italian atmosphere. Pizza is thick and prepared with fresh ingredients from Italy. Sundays are always busy, so you better call in advance to secure you place.
Perfect for: a dinner with friends

Romantic

Beim Siggy
With the best view in town, Beim Siggy, in Clausen, is definitely more than a simple brasserie. Courses have a wonderful presentation and delicious taste and the wine list is nice and with fair recharges. Lovely service and affordable bill are the ingredients to complete your night.
Perfect for: a date with someone you want to impress

Brasserie Herve
If you are not afraid of going out of the “city center” comfort zone, Brasserie Herve is the perfect place to enjoy a romantic date. The interior design resembles cosmopolitan and posh locations, the menu is limited but full of fresh ingredients and different choices – including vegetarian -, prices are reasonable and service amiable.
Perfect for: if you are bored of going always to the same places

Exotic

Tibet
It must be said that most of the Indian restaurants in town are working on Sundays. Tibet restaurant, located near Zitha Clinik in the Station area, is one of my favorite, because it offering not only traditional Indian dishes, but, as the name suggested, also Tibetan ones. The location is colorful and the service always kind and smiling.
Perfect for: concluding with a pinch of happiness your week end

Le Grec
This lovely and noisy Greek restaurant in Bonnevoie welcomes you with informal service, big and tasty dishes and authentic ingredients. The only problem might be that you would like the day after to be still Sunday.
Perfect for: having fun with friends.

Splurge

Sapori
Located in Beggen, Sapori restaurant proposes a traditional refined Italian cuisine prepared with seasonal ingredients. The location is elegant but minimal. The service is proactive and dishes are great – above all those with meat. The wine list is one of the best I have seen in town. Ca va sans dire, the bill is adding up quite fast, but it is definitely worth it.
Perfect for: a special celebration that deserves a great bottle

Ikki
Even if Clausen is a bit silent on Sundays, Ikki is not closing its door. You can start with a drink at the ground floor and move to the trendy restaurant. The menu proposes both traditional international dishes and a great sushi choice. Service is appropriate and if you are not yet tired, you can move back downstairs for the last dance of the week.
Perfect for: feeling part of the jet-set also on Sunday evening.

Other places open on Sunday Barefoot in Luxembourg reviewed are:

Taj Mahal
Brasserie Le Pless
Culturando
La Veranda
Brasserie Cote Cour
Pavillon Desom
Ambrosia
L’Osteria