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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Discovering Almdudler, the new drink from Austria

At the end of January, I was invited on behalf of Barefoot in Luxembourg to Paname to discover Almdudler; a carbonated soft drink from Austria which is slowly making its way into Luxembourg.

The brand name Almdudler apparently comes from an old phrase “auf der Alm dudeln” which means singing in the alpine meadows referring to the origins of the beverage’s birth place.
This drink has a long history in Austria and competes with Coca-Cola when it comes to its popularity.

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The after-work event organized at Paname started at 18.00 and the venue was extremely crowded since the biggest part of the location was serving normal guests and only a small part of it was reserved for the private event. I was offered to taste this sugar free herbal lemonade with cremant as a cocktail as well as directly from a bottle. Personally I preferred the cocktail since I’m not a very huge fan of sodas in general. However, for someone consuming a lot of soda, Almdudler could be a great option for a change.  At Paname, Almdudler was served along with funky appetizers and there was a photographer snapping pictures while we, the guests, had a chance to mingle around, talk to each other and exchange opinions.

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The taste of the drink was very sweet and mild but it was very hard to say what Almdudler tasted like. This wasn’t because it tasted artificial or anything, it was rather the fact that it didn’t really have a flavor of any fruit or other substance that I could relate it to.  I would recommend everyone to try it out and see how they liked it. Almdudler that we enjoyed was packed in glass bottles but as far as Luxembourg is concerned, the drink is available in normal plastic bottles and available in any Delhaize supermarket around the country.

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Most bars also have it so next time you are going out, don’t forget to give your taste buds a new experience!

 

Max + Moritz, Belair, Luxembourg City

The opening of new places in Luxembourg is recently so much anticipated on social media that you cannot wait to visit a new restaurant / bar as soon as it is inaugurated.

For me this was the case when Max + Moritz, a cozy, slightly hipster new bar / eatery in Belair opens its door. I was very tempted by the concept advertised, as well as by the fact it is just around the corner of my new flat.

Unfortunately, twice I have been there this summer, twice I was extremely deluded. At that time, home made cocktails strongly advertised left us with ugly memories, mainly for the taste. Service was both times horrible – slow, not polite, almost rude. Prices, as said, were quite out of the market for being a bar in the middle of nowhere and when we asked for some chips/peanuts with our 16 Euro drink, the only option was ordering a pricey food platter to share.  Another third time, I passed there around closing time – still, ten minutes ahead – the bar was quite full and I was alone, went to the bar for a quick drink and I was told “we are already closed” – really?

As always happens to me – even with people -, I decided to give Max + Moritz another chance. We passed there after a work meeting last week and we stopped by for a drink. We noted the bar team changed and the atmosphere was quite nice. One of the waiters stopped to talk with us and even gave us a ride home when they closed.

We were pretty enthusiast of this  change that we booked for dinner on Saturday night – the online reservation system is one of the things I appreciate most in restaurants and little by little is starting to be a thing as well in Luxembourg. The restaurant side was quite packed but pleasant to enjoy.

We started with a drink, followed by a starter to share – caprese with bufala – and two pizzas – I had the Firecrackers one and my friend a gorgonzola cheese salami personalized one.

The menu has other interesting options as burgers and meat dishes and all of them arriving at other tables around looked pretty good.

Pictures of our dinner followed by general impressions.

What I liked about Max + Moritz:

  • The concept of the restaurant is very nice and the location is cool: it is the perfect place if you want to have an informal dinner, but in a young modern environment. Most of pizzerias are full of noisy families on Saturday night or they are just looking for you to empty your table to accommodate someone else. At Max + Moritz you have several different interesting choices for having a pleasant dinner with friends.
  • Our food was tasty: the pizza is prepared with a very tiny base – if in Italy I would call it “spianata” more than a pizza and the toppings were delicious. My pizza was marked as spicy one and it was indeed spicy.
  • Drinks and wine selection is good and fairly priced and the service is informal, young and smiling. Waiter take their time to serve you and to explain food choices and alternatives – praised to Andrea and the other girl who were serving us that night. Parking is not much issue in the area compared to the city center.

What I liked a bit less about Max + Moritz:

  • Let’s be honest, this is not a cheap place: our pizza were 16/18 euros and other main menu choices are on higher price level. You pay definitely the fancy decor and the fact you are in Belair. If you are on a budget, better book somewhere else.

 

In conclusion: I liked having dinner at Max + Moritz. It is the perfect place to catch up with friends or for a celebration and you can have some drinks at the bar before/after dinner, London style. Pizza was very tasty and I look forward to come back again to try other dishes. Service is great and I much appreciated the fact they had such a remarkable improvement since the opening. Well done.

 

Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People: Angela

Today, as every Wednesday, we welcome a new protagonist for our column Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People. After make-up artists, djs, bloggers, today is the turn of Angela PICCOLOMINI, who is involved in a very special charity project.

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Good Morning and welcome at Barefoot in Luxembourg for a new episode of our series “Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people”, thank you for joining.

Hi, my name is Angela, I’m a half Luxembourgish and a half Italian, I like pizza and ice cream. When I laugh you can hear me for miles away. I’m a biologist with a master in sustainable development and now I’m project manager for the NGO Padem. I’m in charge of awareness and education but also of the fundraising.

Can you tell Barefoot in Luxembourg readers a bit more about your Black Tea Ceylan project at Padem?
The tsunami devastated Sri Lanka coasts in December 2004, after the civil war that has anguished the country for over 30 years. Beyond the human tragedy, it was a real social disaster that deepened even more inequality between the populations.
The plantation workers represents 9.8% of the Sri Lanka population. They live in “on line” huts that have a dozen square meters size called “Laima”, separated by simple wooden partitions. This creates unsafe living conditions for children, particularly for girls who have no privacy. The breakdown of these huts is very bad, very weak and inadequate lighting, overcrowded neighborhood make them particularly vulnerable to contagious diseases.
Humidity and standing water because a rapid spread of diseases and epidemics. Water and sanitation are placed in public areas for all residents of “Laima”, but are largely insufficient. Generally, one or two latrines rows cabins are shared by 150 people.
That’s why in 2007, Padem decided to act in Sri Lanka and has already lead projects to improve the living conditions of the plantation workers by acting an innovative approach. Among others, 131 houses and retirement homes were built, children were back in school, the water supply and electricity were introduced, micro credit and training were create , cooperatives have been established and large-scale awareness campaigns were conducted.
This black tea is the result of this project…it’s our beneficiary tea! It’a Fairtrade tea!

Why people in Luxembourg should be interested by this tea project?
Cause what we do here in the “North” have a consequence on the “South”! We have to change our consumption…we have to change our way of thinking. We must take care of the products that we buy because only doing thing we can change the things, we can change lives.

What are the best three things about working from Padem?
I like the feeling to do something good, something helpful…at the end of the day I feel useful cause maybe only one child will have clean drinking water or food…and it’s a good feeling!
I enjoy the fact that I can meet a lot of different people and I love the possibility to discover new culture and new way of thinking.

Coming back to your Luxembourg background, how long have you been living in Luxembourg?
I was born here and when I was 3, my parents decided to move in the south of Italy and then, when I was 13 when they decided to come back but at the age of 19 I moved in Rome for my studies and then I came back. After all this departure and coming back, I’ve decided that my home is here.In Luxembourg.

What is your most beloved place in the city?
I like the town, I really love Place de la Constitution where the Gaelle Fra is, because you’re in the middle of the town… a lot of shops, a lot of cars, a lots of noise…but if you go near the balcony you can see trees everywhere. Maybe it’s because I’m a biologist, but all those trees give me a great feeling.

What is your favorite restaurant in Luxembourg?
I really like sushi so I will say Wayoxi in Merl and also La Feluca for the pizza cause I really love pizza…like everyone in the world… I think.

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?
Before my favorite place to go was “SulPalco” …it was like home…but it’s closed now 😦 ! Now it’s “Urban” or “Go Ten”!

What do you like about Luxembourg life?
I like the melting pot but also the fact that Luxembourg gives you the opportunity to be what you want to be…

What do you miss here and you would like to change or improve?
I hate traffic but normally I sing alone in the car…let take the positive side of the things. I think that they are doing enough to improve this.

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?
We don’t have to go so far away…I think the North of Luxembourg is really beautiful! Like Mullerthal or Vianden…I find those places charming and really beautiful!

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg?
OPEN

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: The Brunettes

A brand new chapter of our series Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people starts this September. Today we have the pleasure to meet Emilie & Emilie, The Brunettes.

Ready?

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Girls, let’s kick it off: Who are you? What are you doing here?

We are Emilie and Emilie and we are DJing under the name The Brunettes!

Can you tell Barefoot in Luxembourg followers a bit more about The Brunettes?

We are really cool mums because we are DJs! We work in marketing and communication here in Luxembourg. Friend of us challenged us to DJ at a party at the Buvette Rotondes and we agreed. The following day, people kept asking us to be part of their events. This is how we ended playing at the Urban bar on the 23rd of June, at the Jakob’s for MixInLux’s 1st anniversary party, at Hollerich for the Marx and Mama Loves You,…

Wow, that’s impressive! So why do you think The Brunettes are different from other djs on the Luxembourg scene?

We definitely are funnier, real party girls. We like to play upbeat tunes, the ones you can dance to.

Having been to your DJ set I can ensure this is true 🙂 Now, coming back to your Luxembourg background, how long have you been living in Luxembourg?

Emilie 1: I come from Paris and I moved here nearly 6 years ago.

Emilie 2: I am almost a local, I am from Metz and I moved here 5 years ago.

What is your most beloved place in the city?

Emilie 1: I love the Mudam because I am a big fan of their musical choices on Wednesdays and the variety of their exhibitions.

Emilie 2: I really like what is happening in Belval. The university, the new shops and restaurants are turning the place into the most awesome and multicultural environment.

What is your favourite restaurant in Luxembourg?

Emilie 1 and 2: We love Ukulele because we love authentic thai food, cashew nut chicken for Emilie 1 and a good old green curry for Emilie 2.

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?

Emilie 1: I often hop by the Steiler on Friday evenings: This place is crazy and I think people over there are really interesting. There always are nice people to meet there.

Emilie 2: Definitely the Buvette Rotondes: It is a great place, there is always something cool happening and we always are extremely well welcomed.

What do you like about Luxembourg life?

Both Emilies: We feel privileged in Luxembourg for the multicultural life, and being able to meet so many people form different horizons. The cultural life is bustling and dynamic.

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

Both Emilies: It would be quite cool to have more little shops life Leif and Beetles and Bugs or Stitch or Honey Mustard. We’d love to see all the new designers get a chance to really bloom too!

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?

Both Emilies: Reims and the whole Champagne area. Take a tour in one of the houses of Champagne. People working there are the most passionate ambassadors of their products!

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg?

Emilie 1: Surprising

Emilie 2: Bustling

Just like us!…

Follow The Brunettes Facebook page in order to be updated on their next DJ sets!

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Business Lunch at Amélys Restaurant, Le Royal Hotel, Luxembourg city

How blissful is to spend a lunch break in town during summer time? Since my office moved out of the city centre, I more and more appreciate this pleasure.

Last week, together with Patricia, we decided for a farewell in style before each other holidays, booking at the renewed Le Royal Hotel restaurant, Amélys. Since the great and advertised restoration that took place during the year, I was really curious to visit the new restaurant and, above all, to see their  new settings. We used to stop off at Le Royal in the past, for business meetings or after-work, but I was always a bit sceptic, due to its old fashion set-ups.

Indeed, when we entered the hall, it was extremely refreshing: seeing how the hotel has now a brand new imprinting. .The luxury signature that has always impregnated its wall stays, but has been met now by a trendy influence and a cool design – something that will not be past next year, but mix and shake, in the perfect combination, classical opulence and contemporary fashion.

We headed to the restaurant Amélys, that is now pleasantly bright. We were welcomed with a radiant smile and accommodated on the terrace – we learned in Luxembourg that when the sun shines, you have to take advantage of it!

We were handle the daily menu and the “a la carte” one and explained we could choose between the weekly proposal – in case you are in a hurry, they are available to prepare and serve you business lunch in one hour – or the classic menu. We decided to go with the suggestions and we started with a glass of Luxembourgish white wine, served at the table from the bottle.

The menu consists in a buffet of vegetarian (and fish) starter, one main dish and a dessert. You can choose only a main or a combination of the three.

From the starters buffet, I had an egg pot, a smoked fish gluten-free roll and an avocado and shrimps cocktail. Patricia had a gazpacho and a feta salad. We could (and wanted!) to take more – you can refill your dish how many times you want basically – but while standing at the buffet, we saw a lovely dessert passing by, so we decided to keep some space till the end of the lunch!

I continued then with the meat dish, an amazing beef steak prepared with artichokes and olives, while Patricia had the cod filet. I accompany my dish with a light red wine..

Finally, we had our dessert: a chocolate macaroon with ice-cream and a fruity cake and sorbet for Patricia. An espresso was the perfect conclusion of our lunch.

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

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What I loved about Amélys restaurant:

  • The food was superb: even classic choices like shrimp cocktails or the beef steak are prepared in a refined way, that makes them never boring. Portions are more than fair and the presentation is lovely.
  • The starters buffet is a very alternative concept: I was at the beginning a bit questioner, as I am not a fan of buffet. Indeed – you could have already noted it from the pictures – the Amélys idea of buffet is very far from everything you might have seen so far in Luxembourg: the stands are clean and refrigerate, the food choice is wide and has a great attention to dietary restrictions (vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options).
  • Service is a real five stars item here: from the welcome, to the wine, to the dishes explanations, everything is cared in details. As I was still finished my red wine, they proposed to wait to bring my dessert and when the sun went missing, they turned on the heating on the terrace only for us. All small attentions that are highly appreciated.
  • The price is more than reasonable for the service you get and for the quality of the food and you have several options, including a la carte one, for different budget.

What I liked a bit less about Amélys restaurant:

  • Our lunch was indeed perfect: we really enjoyed every single minutes. There would be nothing actually I will change , and I shared the same feeling with Patricia. I am really looking forward to visit Amélys again for dinner and for their Sunday brunch.

In conclusion: We had the perfect lunch time at Amélys restaurant: the new settings of Le Royal Hotel, refined environment, tasty and eclectic kitchen, enjoyable service. I definitely recommend it for business lunches and gathering with friends,