A wonderful present from Soufeel

You know, for me September is never an easy month. I see lots of bloggers around full of motivation and great check-lists, while, on my side, I am just a bit depressed.
The tan I took three weeks to obtain is fading out – thanks Luxembourg! -, I had already to pack my summer clothes and hubby was back at work today, so definitely less time to spend together.
In all these sad and grey settings, I had a great surprise when back at the office on Monday, a wonderful package waiting for me on my desk. If you follow me on Snapchat (corie.bratter), you had already a chance to see it, other case, I have downloaded the link for you here:

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When Soufeel‘s manager contacted me earlier during summer, I was a bit reticent to get in touch, as charms were not really my cup of tea. I decided anyway to give them a chance and to collaborate for this project. Soufeel is a pretty famous brand on the US market and they are trying now to develop also in the Old Continent.
Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by the gift received.
– As you can see from the video I uploaded, the items where packed very carefully. There was an external envelop, a thick box and each and every charms is enfolded singularly. They give you also a sponsored bag together with the already cute box, so you can use the package as a gift.
– They have charms very different from those I am used to see in European shops. Have you seen my Starbucks cup and my Eifel Tower?
IMG_2361 IMG_2356 IMG_2355– For sure, I will not loose this bracelet after two weeks, as it happened to other similar products I used to have, as Soufeel‘s bracelet closing is massive and strong.
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– If you are worried about ordering online something you could not try before, please consider that Soufeel offers free shipping and 365-days return policy.
If this is not yet enough for ordering,  you can use my 5% discount voucher BLOG5, that will give you a further 5% off your order.

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My favorite fish in town: La Gamba, Bonnevoie

Coming from a seaside place, I am pretty picky when it comes to fish. Above all, I really dislike the tendency foreigner people have to destroy lovely sea products with tons of creamy sauces. Moreover I have the tendency myself to consider that, when the restaurants need this trick to present a sea dish, maybe the fish is not so tasty/fresh – am I wrong?

Therefore, when we want to eat some good cooked fish, the only place I like to suggest my husband is “La Gamba“. The restaurant, in the heart of Bonnevoie, has pretty old-fashion settings and is nothing too fancy or posh. It is just the kind of place where you go if you want to eat well. The service, indeed, is extremely kind and attentive – good suggestions and perfect timings.

We have been there last Friday night and luckily we were able to find a table at 9.30 pm – hint: call for reservation if you plan to go there during week-ends. I had a glass of cremant while waiting for my husband that was accompanied by olives and codfish croquettes. We are always going for the mixed grilled for two, that has different kind of fishes and scampi and on side a spicy ail sauce, saffron rice and home-made fries (to die for!). I love the fish there as you can really taste the sea without any unneeded make-up. The menu discloses also several Portuguese typical dishes, but the portion of the mixed grilled is so huge you better not have any starter. The list of wine is also mainly Portuguese-based, prices are extremely affordable, with the most expensive one being around 35 euro. The atmosphere is nice and this is the kind of place perfect for a week-end dinner with friends – those kind of dinner you start at 8 pm and you don’t know at what time they are going to finish, also thanks to the amazing Portuguese grappa. Highly recommended if you are focus on the content and not on the container.

PS Terrible quality picture of the main course that is missing a half, I am sorry, but we were so hungry I remember only after eating all the scampi I had to take some memories 😛

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Corie goes shopping: Version Originale, Luxembourg

One of the complains I heard most from my friends about Luxembourg is that you don’t have great opportunities for shopping. I think this could be true, but just partially. For sure Luxembourg is missing those huge malls that could be found in city like London, Paris or NY. At the same time, I believe it is possible to have some great buys as well locally, just changing a bit your view about the shopping experience and focusing on the idea of shopping as a guilty pleasure, taking all advantages that living in a relatively small city could imply.
Luxembourg city center is full of lovely tiny shops that offer the same products you could find in other European capitals. You should only step down and be open to a “local” adventure, more familiar, more intimate and maybe even more real.

Version Original is one of my favorite shops for this reason: it mixes the great experience of a local shop – that means being served as a “client”, being listened, having someone who is looking to find a personalized solution just for you – with the wide range of brands of an international mall.
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Version Originale is easily located few steps from Place d’Armes and it opened its doors in April 2012. The concept behind is to give space to “vintage” renewed collections: for example for Stan Smith s, that are one of the trendiest shoes on the market at the moment, three special versions are currently available: the Retro one (the “Dad” shoes), the Crackled (craquelé) and the Full White, a special limited edition.
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Other cool models are the exclusive Alexander McQueen for Puma – that abroad are sold by Barneys and Luisaviaroma, the Jeremy Scott‘s one for Adidas (exclusively here), the Adidas Super Star Deluxe (another must have of the season, just arrived, hurry up!), the haute-gamme line for New Balance, that is hand-made in the US/UK, the first Air Max trainers, the Nike Quickstrike (limited edition), Keith Haring‘s for Reebok and much more.

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Version Original does not only offer shoes: they have also re-edition of vintage soccer shirts from 60s, 70s, 80s (and even for early ‘900). The shirts are from COPA, a Dutch brand with production sites in Portugal – so, nothing China-made.
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In the shop, they have also sportswear from Adidas (look at this jacket with same color shoes, girls, and tell me you don’t want to have them immediately 😛 ), t-shirts, accessories and gadgets you will not be able to find somewhere else in the city.
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Like Version Originale FB page for more updates about available and forthcoming models and pay a visit to the shop as soon as you are downtown:

Version Originale
6, rue Chimay
L-1333 Luxembourg

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My best Italian in town: Delirio Culinario, Luxembourg City

My friends I’ve been hanging off pretty long know really well that when we are arranging a dinner out and they ask for preferences, my reply, most of the time, is always: Everything but Italian!

It is not because I am not proud of my origin, but just because if you ever had Italian food in Italy, you will difficulty find it amazing when you are abroad. Most of the Italian places I’ve been around the world are hardly managed by Italians or, in the best contexts, they are trying to adapt their kitchen very much to the taste of their location instead of preserving original receipts.

This is exactly the case of most Italian restaurants I have been in Luxembourg, with one, great exception.

Delirio Culinario is located in the city center, just few steps away from the Palais, overlooking Place Guillaume. They have a pretty wide menu list, you can have meat, fish, pasta or pizza, the common denominator is that all the ingredients they use are authentic and they are prepared as our families would do in Italy – concerning mine, I would say even better 😛

We have been there recently with my husband for a Saturday night supper and we have enjoyed a lovely dinner, as usual.

We started with two glasses of Prosecco, which have been accompanied by a welcome from the chef, focaccia and truffle cheese. As starter, we took both a Carpaccio di Polpo (octopus) that was fresh and tasty (even if I always prefer to ask it without onions). To follow, my husband went for a mixed plate of fried fish, I ordered a sole with shrimps. Both dishes were lovely and you could really taste the flavor of the fish. The portions were pretty big indeed and we were not able to finish the side orders (I had some grilled vegetables and my husband a salad). During the dinner we had a exquisite Sicilian white wine, Planeta Chardonnay, and we concluded, as usual, with espresso and digestif.

Excluded the wine, that was one of the most expensive choice on the list, and the drinks, we spent less than 35 euro each for the food. Really affordable for the quality of the dinner we had. Moreover, if you are on budget, you can easily switch to other cheaper solutions – like the delicious pizza and for the fairly good house wine.

The restaurant is welcoming you even a bit later than other restaurants in the city center, and this is again another reason because we love it, and they have also delivery through livraison website.

Check it out:

Delirio Culinario
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Postkutsch Restaurant, Esch sur Alzette

We discovered Postkutsch Restaurant recently as we were looking for some fancy places to have dinner a bit off the city chaos. At the same time, as I totally avoid driving if I plan to drink even a glass of wine  and I am not keen travelling with someone that did (I am sorry, démodé, maybe, but I really do care about my safety), so Postkutsch appeared as the best solution, as it is located just 5 minutes off Esch/Alzette station and trains from and to Luxembourg are running until 1.20 am – luckily enough we live at a walking distance from the Gare.

As said, after a first amazing experience, we decided to come back with my sister and her fiancée. Be careful, you need to book a bit in advance for week ends: we placed our reservation three weeks earlier in order to secure our place, as it was the only night we were all available.

The internal décor of the restaurant appears to be coming from another age: a bit old-fashioned, maybe, but I love to be projected in this 20s atmosphere, with big round tables, mirrors, candles. As client, indeed, you are not feeling obliged to dress up – as in many same-style restaurant in the city center – and this makes us feel even better. A simple shirt and jeans for men is enough for enjoying an agreeable dinner.

Coming to the food, the restaurant as a formula called Temptation, with a fixed menu and some in-the-middle choices (starters, main, sorbet or cheese). The price is really affordable, 48 Euro, for the quantity and above all the quality of the food received.

As “amuse-bouche” we received a cappuccino of mushrooms with truffle and a mousse of ham. Both of them really tasty. Following, I opted as started for an Hamburger from the Sea, a very structured dish that was served with a mousse of ketchup (yummy!) and avocado. It was a great start, my husband only did not really enjoy his dish – roe deer terrine – saying it was too gummy and fat.

The next dish for me, main course, was Saint Pierre fish, cooked with meat jus and potato gallette. Also this dish was great, as it was a perfect combination between the sea taste and the aroma of truffle with the jus. My sister had the same, while her fiancée took a kind of saltimbocca and my husband the picanha. Everyone loves his dish.

Next step was the chariot of cheese, that is always an extremely interesting adventure for me – I love cheese! I took three strong softy cheese and I really enjoy them – the Calvados Camembert was one of my favorite.

At this point we were already pretty full and our train was about to leave. We had the dessert, composed by a combination of tree small dishes, and the coffee, accompanied by chestnuts mousse and some sweets. I was not even able to finish my dessert, as it was really a lot to eat, but everything was perfect.

As drinking, they have as well some standard formulas that include aperitif – several choices of “maison” cocktails – wine through the dinner and coffee. Being Saturday, we had to opt for the formula for 37 euro each – while during the week you have as well the one for 22 euro – and it was a great combination. I started with a vodka strawberry cocktail – normally strawberry cocktail are always a bit too sweet but this was not the case, it was balanced and flavorful. I continued with a Pinot Blanc for the starter and another white mineral wine, a Viognier,  with the rest of the dinner. My husband and my sister’s fiancée had red with the main.

Once again, it was a really nice experience, next time we will only try to arrive a bit earlier – we were there a quarter to nine – in order to relax a bit at the beginning and avoid the rush between aperitif and starters.

Postkutsch is the perfect place if you love French cuisine but you don’t want to squander, you will get spoiled there by all the treaties they propose and it is perfect for family celebrations.

Check their website for menu and other updates:

Postkutsch
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Oldie but Goodie: Bick Stuff Restaurant, Luxembourg

It has been long time since my last visit to Bick Stuff. It was my favorite spot in the first year in Luxembourg, when I was living next block for a bit and later, when myself and my Megane were passing there in front each and every night. I don’t know if it ever happened to you, but sometimes when you close a period of your life, you try also to move on from the places where you were going, trying to cut it away from your memories..

Anyway. We decided to go to Bick Stuff for our Saturday date as last minute booking. We wanted something classic but fancy, and there are not a lot of places with this style in the city center.

Bick Stuff is just located quietly in the Clausen area, off the mainstream, but easy to get. You can spot the lightly restaurant sign from the street, even if the entrance is a bit hidden.

You will fall in love with the cozy décor. The restaurant is set just on a big room, wood all over, Christmas decorations all around. The attention to details is extreme: ornaments are not loud or trash. Small snow balls are on a shelter next to our table, a teddy bear is sitting on the couch overlooking the room, tiny lights on a tree at the entrance. The atmosphere is unreal but delicate, you can enjoy your dinner in a fairy tale mood. Obvious but true, perfect place for a date.

We had a cremant aperitif, quiches with leeks as amuse bouche, I went on the classic side with Fois Gras as starter and Filet de Boeuf as main, while my husband took the seasonal menu with terrine of pheasant and roe deer stew. Dishes were just perfect. The home made fois gras tasted different from every fois gras you have ever had before and it is join by delicious cereal bread. A pity that no salad/vegetables were proposed on the dish, as it was a bit too dry – I had the salad of my husband indeed. The beef was cooked with mushroom crust and accompanied by potatoes and a thin puff pastry with nutmeg. The portions were not tiny themselves: my husband had his dish filled three times with the lovely stew and we were really full at the end. During the dinner we drunk a delightful Saint-Emilion and my husband took from the list the last bottle of a Medoc 2004 to bring home. We concluded with Nespresso coffees and two Cognac.

Excluding the bottle we took home, we spent 100 euro each – of which 56 euro were for the Saint-Emilion bottle and 32 for the cognac. Not extremely cheap, neither on the luxury side, definitely commensurate to the enchanting dinner we had. Virginie was a perfect host, even if we were the last clients remained we never felt pressured to accelerate the timing.

A place recommended if you love the classic cuisine and you are not looking for food artifices: extremely good ingredients, perfect hospitality and graceful ambience are the distinctive elements of this lovely restaurant.

Bick Stuff
95, rue de Clausen
L-1342 – LUXEMBOURG (Luxembourg)

http://www.bickstuff.lu/

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