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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AKABOBUTTEK & NATURWELTEN: new ecological shop in Luxembourg

When it comes to  ecological thinking in terms of providing organic food or eco-friendly products, I feel a bit like Luxembourg is lagging behind in the development of offering these products as compared to many other European countries.

On Friday 31st of March, I was thrilled to attend the opening of AKABOBUTTEK & NATURWELTEN, located in the area on 8 Rue de Bonnevoie. The shop focuses on providing ecologically made products and they have a huge variety of different household textiles and other items (mattresses, carpets, curtains, wooden furniture), yoga wear, men and women’s fashion and accessories,  cosmetics and cleaning products. The owner of the shop has also a “tour bus” and the new shop is in fact an extension of what they were already offering via this bus.

At the opening evening, the boutique was full of customers and the new store crew was warmly welcoming everyone to come and have a closer look to the new establishment. The shop owners also explained to me the philosophy of the store which is based on sustainable development. The idea is to support the developing countries by providing the people better pay for their work. All the products also have a Fair-trade or equivalent certification.

This new shop is ideal for consumers who value environment and are concerned about the inequality of the developing countries. The prices of items are somewhat higher as compared to mass chain stores but the quality is often better and at least one knows that the extra money is given to people who really are in need of it and have earned it. The store itself is also cute and the crew very eager to help and advise.

 

 

Naturwelten Wunnen & Schlofen
8, rue de Bonnevoie
L-1260 Luxembourg-Gare

Opening hours:
Monday 10-18h30
Tuesday -Friday 10-18h30
Saturday 10-18h
Sunday and holidays closed

pictures courtesy of Akabobus 

 

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?
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Restaurant Chinese King, Merl, Luxembourg

During my first year of work out of university, I clearly remember Chinese one was the only kind of restaurant food I was having out of business events. I was barely getting to end of the month with my salary and I remember with one lunch voucher I was saving  we were having a portion of chicken and one of  fried rice to share while watching our favorite TV show with my friend Tommy.

It seemed ages passed since those years in Milan. When I got in Luxembourg, I was surprised to discover Chinese food is not considered that bad, that Chinese restaurants here can be as well pretty fancy and not inexpensive.

I have to say, generally, I still reserve Chinese food to hangover Sundays and lazy days, but last week I was really craving some good and well-prepared dumplings, so to celebrate a special achievement, I proposed hubby to visit Chinese King, in Merl.

I used to go to this family-managed restaurant located in the main route de Longwy when I was working in the area. I had good memories and I was happy to discover nothing has changed.

We got there around 9.15 pm, with no reservation, but we were welcomed with a bright smile by the lady owner. We were accommodated near the window. Even if it was a Monday night in a residential area in town, the restaurant was not empty and more people got there after us.

We started with two Chinese beers, that were accompanied by the usual shrimp crisps – be aware, they are the devil: stop eating them if you don’t want to ruin your dinner 😛

We continued with a portion of spring rolls and one of mixed pork / shrimps dumplings, followed by hot platter beef and garlic shrimps. To drink, we had a bottle of Chablis.

With the coffee, we were offered a sake. Our total bill read less than 78 euro.

Discover the pictures of our dinner and then some more detailed impressions about Chinese King.

What I liked about Chinese King:

  • The food is really good: all the starters were particularly fresh – not the kind of frozen bites you have in the usual places – and the main tasty – you could exactly distinguish all the flavors in the plat. If you want a recommendation, instead of the normal hot platter beef we’ve taken, go for the ginger and rhum, really incredible – a pity hubby doesn’t like ginger.
  • The service is nice: don’t expect something formal, but just to be served with a smile.
  • The location is calm and cozy – nothing screaming Chinatown -, with a very lovely relaxed atmosphere, perfect for a dinner to catch up with friends or a romantic date – that case, avoid the garlic ones 🙂

What I liked a bit less about Chinese King:

  • Personally, nothing I dislike here. But if you expect a sophisticated place or a formal service, this might not be the place for you.

In conclusion: If I have to eat a good Chinese dish, Chinese King in Merl is my favorite place. The ambiance is very simple but the food is tasty and the quality price definitely great.

 

 

 

 

Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People: Marina

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is your favorite restaurant in Luxembourg?

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

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?

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

What do you like about Luxembourg life?

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

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

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

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

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

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg?

Quaint.

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

 

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A romantic dinner at Le Pomme Cannelle, Luxembourg

In one of the few evenings hubby was free from work, after I had a meeting and couple of drinks at Le Royal, we decided to stop there for dinner. We always find us short on ideas for restaurants open on Monday evening and we were attracted by the renewed settings of the hotel. Last time I have been to Le Pomme Cannelle was ages ago – really, five or six at least – and my memories were related to the opulent and ceremonial service and old-fashion dishes.

We skipped the aperitif, as we had already at the bar, and were accommodated to a large table on a couch. The decors are classic but not redundant: the restaurant was quite full, but you could preserve your privacy as the distance between tables is considerable – this is one element I always appreciate very much in certain contests. Some businessmen, as well as couple and families. If you exclude we entered from the bar corridor, nothing can lead you thinking you are in the restaurant of a hotel.

We went for two courses each: I had bread-crust tuna tataki with avocado sauce while hubby had a red mullet cake, followed by two main fishes courses: cod in breadcrumbs with tomato and fava beans for me and sea bass with penne and crunchy vegetables for hubby. Our dinner was anticipated by two amuse-bouche. A delicate fish mousse as appetizer and a tasty beef welcome from the chef. We accompanied the dinner with a bottle of Viognier.  and I concluded with a selection of cheese.

After the pictures of our dinner, you will find some more impressions on my side.

What I liked about the dinner at Le Pomme Cannelle:

  • The food: sophisticated but not extravagant, classic but not boring. All our dishes were composed by main ingredients, perfectly combined and mixed. Some choices were precisely delicate, as my tuna fish, some were more colorful and intense, as the red mullet cake. All were outstanding.
  • The service: while extremely cordial and always on point, we never felt the service was “too much” as in the past. Settings are formal, but you can enjoy a relaxed moment, unbuttoning your tie if you wish
  • The location: while it still preserves an important style, pretty far from the new minimalist trends of new restaurants, Le Pomme Cannelle welcome you in a warm and different atmosphere, where you are taken away discovering the small details of the room. I particularly appreciated the comfort of the seats and the distance between the tables.

What I liked less about the dinner at Le Pomme Cannelle:

  • I have to say I like pretty much everything. If I have to find only one thing, as we ordered both two fish dishes and the welcome from the chef was taken afterwards, it might be pointed out it was a meat (mini) dish. I always appreciate when my amuse-bouche is slightly coordinated with my meal, but, as hubby pointed out, this is a very silly point of mine 🙂

To sum up. Le Pomme Cannelle has a new refreshed atmosphere and has lost the oldish negative acceptation of “hotel restaurant”. It is a place, high-end one, you can definitely visit for a special family occasion, a romantic date, a friends celebration. You are offered an outstanding level of service, a tasty classic menu with some indulgent touches and a very good and reasonable offer in terms of wine.

 

Jenni’s Corner: Meet the Start-Up Company Blueberry & Pie


 Today Jenni meets Tuire and Wojtek, the creators of brand new children’s book Message in a Bottle.

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Can you tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you and what are you doing here?

Tuire, 24,  and Wojtek, 39, are the founders of a  book publishing start-up company Blueberry & Pie which creates books with a customized message for children.

Finnish born Tuire, is the CEO and the Illustrator of the company while Polish Wojtek is taking care of the finance even though they both admit being equally involved in the company’s daily operations and developing and executing its business strategy.

The company was founded 1 year ago when Wojtek had made redundant at Skype and Tuire had just finished her studies in in Belgium. They both were looking for something to do and the idea of an own publishing company was born as a result of combining their skills, passion and interest towards illustration and entrepreneurship. Creating books had been on their mind already for some time and once the opportunity came, they didn’t hesitate to grip it.

Can you tell Barefoot in Luxembourg readers a bit more about your book project?

Blueberry & Pie’s first book Message in a Bottle was launched on 26th of August, 2016 and it is a story of Scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper bird Kiki who finds a message in the bottle and decides to deliver it to the intended person. She can only see the first name of the person in the beginning of her trip but on her way from Hawaii to the final destination she discovers parts of the message once it is fully revealed in the last page of the book. The adventure takes Kiki from the tropical Hawaii to cold North America all the way to sunny South America until she makes her way to Europe. During her journey she discovers local animals who help her to reach her goal: “ The story isn’t only educational from the geographical point of view but also teaches kids that everything is possible with the help of others”, Tuire summarizes. The animals that Kiki meets have been selected with the help of biologists in order to provide a realistic picture of their habitat. “I hate when polar bears are placed on South Pole or penguins in the North Pole” she adds referring to false presentation of many animals’ geographical home in some children’s books or cartoons.

The idea with the personalized message is that each person ordering the book writes the final message by themselves and thus making it very unique and fitting to the occasion no matter if it is a birthday, Christmas or a get-well present. This is possible because the books are printed only on demand and hence the buyer can really customize the message he or she wants to communicate to the child.  It could simply be a greeting from an uncle but also a special memory from last summer written down by the grandparents.

Why people in Luxembourg should be attracted by your project?

Luxembourg is full of expats and other international people who are constantly looking for unique presents for the birthday of their friends’ kids, baby showers or baptisms. Children living in Luxembourg also learn English already from very early age so this could be also one way to enhance their learning process.

What have been the biggest challenges and how have you overcome them?

The biggest challenge was just to get started. Neither Tuire nor Wojtek had any idea how to start a business and how much work it would require. They didn’t know anything about publishing nor had any contacts in the field, which made the beginning even harder: “ Publishing industry is a very closed field and without contacts or proven reputation, nobody takes you seriously” Tuire elaborates referring to the process of finding the right people to work with.

“We were also struggling to find the exact storyline that we were satisfied with” Vojtech adds.

Both agree that the most rewarding thing is just to see the book becoming true and see that the hard work has paid off.

What are your future plans?

“We want to make a series of books where Kiki goes on adventure in different continents. For example, a story where the journey starts from Australia and takes a round in Asia before finishing in Europe. In this way, a family with several kids could have same book with different stories” the business partners explain.

This is, however, a long-term goal and at the moment all focus and effort is being directed to make the first story available.

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

It has been 4 years since Tuire first came to Luxembourg as an au pair and 7 years since Wojtek began his work at Skype.

What is your favorite place in the city?

Tuire and her inner child like the park in the city center where you can find the big wooden ship made for kids.  Wojtek in turn prefers the Grund area.

What is your favorite restaurant in Luxembourg?

Both of them are big fans of sushi and gladly eat out food that isn’t easy to make at home Kamakura is the favorite sushi restaurant in Wojtek’s opinion while Tuire likes Yamayu Santatsu: “the name that I can never pronounce” she admits.

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?

As a beer fan, Wojtek enjoys BBC or the Big Beer Company due to their big selection of beer but Tuire rather stays home zipping whiskey and reading Donald Duck cartoons.They both admit not being very big night owls.

What do you like about Luxembourg life?

Tuire praises nature, especially Mullerthal region and its endless hiking paths. Wojtek follows the same truck of his colleague and likes the combination of easily accessible nature but also international atmosphere of the country.

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

Tuire finds it hard to connect with Luxembourgish people: “ they have their own interesting culture but it’s really hard to get in to that”. Wojteck points out Luxembourg being rather homogeneous group of people when it comes to professionalism: “Most people are working in banking or financial industry and it would be nice to have more variety”

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?

“Berdorf is definitely worth of visiting; it has beautiful cliffs, offers a possibility for climbing and they call it the Little Switzerland” Tuire recommends as a nature loving person.

How would you describe Luxembourg in three adjectives?

Luxembourg is rich, green and international for Tuire.
Wojteck finds it charming, advanced and open.

Message in a bottle is available for purchase on their website https://www.messageinabottlebook.co.uk at the price of 26 EUR.

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Lunch time at La P’tite Maison

When I arrived in Luxembourg, 10 years ago, the Theatre de l’Opera used to be one of my favorite restaurant and I link to it some of the most memorable moments of my first period in the Gran Duchy. After several years, and several different management’and names’ change, I came back to this stylish and cozy house in the Rollingerground that now takes inspiration by its location and it is called La P’tite Maison.

I heard already great things about it and wanted to try it since long time. We took the occasion for a lunch in town with Patricia. I got there around 12.30 pm and was taken to my table in the small side room. The décor is still sophisticated but classic. I love the unrefined parquet and the wooden ceiling. Tables are not wide, but still you don’t feel suffocated.

I waited for Patricia in front of a glass of cremant and, when she arrived, we went for a pissaladière Nicoise, a tasty tiny focaccia with onions and olives, as starter, followed by a cod with cherry tomato and olives for me and a beef filet with pepper for her. I paired my meal with a Chardonnay that was one of the best wine at the glass I honestly had recently.

What I liked about La P’tit Maison:

  • Place is very cozy, still one of my favorite in town for location and ambiance, either to meet your friends, either for a romantic break. I can definitely say this corner is very different from whatever restaurant in the city and decors are cared in details.
  • Food was still classic but not boring. Finally a place where the available choices for a business lunch are taken aside from the “standards” and the quality and taste of food came first – before the odd ingredients and the alternative presentation. Well done.
  • Service was definitely on point. Present but not stressful, I was offered a refill of my glass when Patricia joined – some other places would have asked: do you want another glass, Miss? And then we were given our time to lunch and chat, no rush.

Things I liked a bit less about La P’tit Maison:

  • I love strong tastes, but my fish dish was definitely too much on the garlic side, really. Happy I did not have any meeting or date in the afternoon 🙂
  • Our room, in a grey day, was very much dark. When we moved back to the entrance it seemed I just waked up. At lunch time and going toward the cold season, I appreciate a brighter atmosphere. It should be definitely better in the evening.
  • This is not a cheap place. While I did not feel we overpaid for what we had – aperitif, glass of wine, starter and main on the daily menu and coffee for a bit more than 50 euro each, I would include a visit for dinner under the high-end category.

In conclusion: The location of La P’tite Maison is one of my favorite in town, preserve the intimate aura of the original “small house”, evolving on a culinary journey through strong but classic tastes. I would definitely recommend it for a special occasion as a lovely and delicious alternative to the classic gastronomic places in the city.

Back from holidays: Barefoot in Frangokastello

As you have probably noted from my Instagram feeds, I spent the last two weeks in Greece. My sister was getting married in Frangokastello, in the region of Sfakia, Crete, and I took the occasion for visiting (and eating!) around.

I have to say I was truly surprised by the place: I was anticipated Sfakia is a very rural region and I did not have to expect much. This is true – forget about Malia, Benindorm or Magaluf, and this time for a good reason!

Going out very often – as you see! – in Luxembourg, when I am travelling for my annual vacations, I rather prefer enjoying some relax. I love good food and wine, but I don’t look for posh places – those you have to dress up for getting in o queuing hours for a watered down (and pricey!) cocktail.

I landed in Chania airport with Ryanair from Franfkfurth Hahn and I spent my first night in the airport surroundings, at Areti Suites hotel. It has been a very comfortable solution as I had a late night flight and I was very tired. The hotel is just 5 minutes driving from the airport, rooms are conditioned and huge, and I was offered some local sweets and drinks and water. I had a typical Greek breakfast with calzoni and spanakopita the day after and then I was ready for my trip!

Frangokastello is about one hour and a half from Chania, of which only first 30 km are on the national road and the following part is on mountain roads with some sharp turns and breathtaking views – nothing too scary, I have to say, just be aware of goats travelling on your same way 🙂

The landscape, getting out from Chania, takes soon a different perspective. You find tiny villages in the middle of nowhere, with their colorful taverns and local people chatting on the doors.

Click this link!

Frangokastello is a small village on the beach, well known for its castle and with some intense touristic affluence over summer. The temperature was still comfortably hot, above all compared to Luxembourg. A mild marine wind was making it more pleasant during the warmest hours.

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I stayed at Fata Morgana Studio and Apartments, a lovely complex situated 1 km outside the main village, on a cliff. My accommodation was perfect: I had a studio room with air-conditioning and fan, a terrace in the middle of a romantic garden and sea view.

If you prefer a more “central” accommodation – even if, I admit, this might be funny in terms of the village -, my parents were staying at Milos apartment, that have more or less the same facilities and a direct access to the beach. There you can also rent small stones mill in the old harbor!

From Fata Morgana, to get to the main part of the village, you can either walk along the coast toward the castle or take the car from the main road – parking was definitely not an issue, but in the morning I preferred having my power walk before staring my day.

Just nearby, there are two main beaches: Orthi Ammos – that is very natural and suggestive, and the main beach in the village, where you can find also sunbeds and umbrellas (one day, 5 euro).

Beaches are calm and children friendly and taverns to get your drinks and food are few steps away.

The village in fact does not lack of places to enjoy the local cuisine: in the morning, I usually took my breakfast at Maria’s bakery, just next to the castle, where you can have local snacks or croissant, together with fresh juices and the usual freddo espresso or frappe’ (an ice drink prepared with Nestcafe that is apparently very popular in Crete).

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For lunch, my favorite place was Kali Kardia, with its covered terrace and home made food. The average spent for a meal there is around 10 euro per person, including beer or wine, Greek appetizers, fruit and raki. You just have to remember you are on holidays and you have to relax. People are taking it very slowly and this was one of the things I enjoyed most.

For dinner, we usually went to Mylos Taverna, located in the small harbor of the village, or to Fata Morgana, on the cliff opposite my apartment. In both food was authentic, portions big and atmosphere characteristic.

For a romantic dinner, the perfect place was Taverna Ammos, located at the edge of the village.

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My favorite dishes during the vacation included “fava”, a mashed fava beans appetizer similar to hummus prepared with olive oil and onions, “Cretan salad”, a Greek salad plus some rusk bread, potatoes and Mizithra cheese and “Bifteki”, minced meat filled with cheese.

I have to say, we eat quite often at Greek restaurants in Luxembourg and even at the good ones, the quality of the food is far from the one I had in Crete. In particular, there are some foods I don’t normally eat in Luxembourg – first among them, the wine leaves stuffed with rice, dolmades, that indeed in Frangokastelllo were delicious.

With the food, we had plenty of raki, typical Retsina wine and Mythos beer.

I visited a bit around, including a scary trip down from Kallikatris village on one of the most dangerous road of the region – but I survived! – and to Rethymno, that is the third largest town in Crete and it is famous for its Venetian fortress – go there in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the warmest hours.

We  also spent some days in Chania, a vivid city, quite touristic, with a romantic harbor, a picturesque old Town and some nice shops. We stayed in front of Neo Chora beach, just off the main city center, and we were quite satisfied, but I have to say, if I could change my plans, I would have spent more days in Frangokastello, as it was ways more relaxing, typical and authentic.

I was busy for the wedding, so I had to limit my daily trips, but the region offers much more to see, including Samaria and Imbros gorges, if you are up for some trekking, Ellafonissi beach, Chora Sfakion village – from where you can arrange some nice boat trips.

My vacations in Frangokastello were extremely pleasant and we are planning to come back next year already. The summer is very long in Crete, so don’t be afraid to book there from May to October!

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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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