Corie goes to Frankfurt: Food Porn Alert

Differently from most of my fellow bloggers, I am not a fan of Christmas period.
The reason behind has nothing very sentimental but the fact that December is one of the busiest month for me at work. I have to prepare for boards, have tons to reviews to be done before year-end and I travel pretty much to other offices for meetings.
When I was younger, I loved travelling for work. It means having laundry-fresh clothes for weeks, no needs to wash dishes or cook, restaurants and drinks each and every night on company’s expenses. Becoming older, it started being less attractive to me. I work for a kind of lads-only company, where small talks during lunch or dinners are mainly related to company’s matters or silly sports I don’t even understand or musicians that were already too old when I was born. If I stay for a short week, like in this case, I tend not to use laundry service at the hotel, that means when I am back I have at least 5 washing machine cycles to run – considering my husband doesn’t even know how to plug in the washing machine, I have also to take care of the clothes he did not wash during my absence – and the dirty dishes and the empty fridge.
And business dinners.. oh, fancy places, nice wines, delicious food.. but have you ever had breakfast, lunch and dinner out for a week, an entire week? – not during a vacation, but having to work in the meanwhile? Sometimes I just wish I can stay in for one night and skip the social part of the work – I don’t like to be social at work, I am sorry.
Short story long – I was busy and I am a bit behind on my blog postings schedule, I am sorry for that! My series “What to” and “Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people” will be regularly back next week.

In the meanwhile, please enjoy some random pictures of the amazing food I had in Frankfurt this week.

You will find picture from Charlot (City Center area, Old Opera House), The Ivory Club, Belluga and Mediterraneo (both in Eschborn), Best Western Plus (Schwalbach).

Enjoy!

 

  
  
  
  

London Week End

I am back! I needed some time to recover from the week-end adventures and all the emotions (& bubbles) we had.

Weather in London was pretty better than Luxembourg – sunnies on, what a change! – but quite windy.

We stayed at Queen’s Gate Hotel, 10 minutes walking from South Kensington tube and in front of bus number 70 – if you are the lazy one like we are. The hotel was lovely and our room, compared to London standards, was huge. I couldn’t say the same about the wardrobe and the bathroom, but at the end we were definitely happy about the choice and I would likely come back here for next trips. Breakfast was also relatively nice.
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On Friday lunch time, we visited this fabulous cheese shop close to our hotel, La Cave a Fromage, where we could still feel a bit in Luxembourg – all waiters were French speakers. I took a salad with Pata Negra ham & manchego cheese, my sister one with Roquefort and apples and Anna a delicious platter of cheese and charcuterie. A glass of wine each and some yummy home-made bread. We spent 20 pounds each and we were definitely satisfied. In the shop you can have lunch, a glass of wine, a sandwich, or even just buy some cheese or charcuterie to take away. If you love cheese, you cannot miss it – just next South Kensington tube entrance.

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During the day we had a stroll in Chelsea, visited Saatchi Gallery and some shops in Sloane Street area.

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On Friday night we had a date with a friend living in London. We had a quick drink at Mandarin Oriental Hotel, that is my favorite pre-dinner spot, and then we headed to Kurobuta @ Marble Arch. The restaurant concept is about Japanese tapas: the food was amazing. I had some sashimi pizza with truffles oil, spicy tuna maki and salmon mayo rolls. Also other dishes at the table were looking great. We had some drinks to start – the spicy sake melon I had for sure one of the best I tried in my life – and a fairly reasonable Italian wine to dine. Unfortunately, if on one side the food experience was heavenly, the ambience was not in line: service was a bit messy – definitely not worth for a date, as you are receiving all food and beverage at different timings and spending the night served by six or seven different waiters – and above all the music – wow, the music was way too loud. I had to scream to speak with the person in front of me and I was not even able to listen to others. We cut the dinner at coffee time, instead of having some sake or after dinner drinks, because we were all about to get a headache.. So recommended if you are in your 20s and want to get drunk in a rock concert environment, not suggested if you want a dinner date with friends and you actually care about what the others are saying – a pity, anyway, as the food was some of the best Japanese food I have ever had.

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Saturday was our busiest day – bridal fittings, Harrods and some afternoon Champagne. In the evening, we had our booking at Bob Bob Ricard as we definitely had to celebrate our Vera Wang gowns!

The restaurant is in the heart of Soho and it is extremely luxury, sophisticated, a bit posh. We were accompanied to the downstairs bar – as our table was not yet ready – and we started drinking some Champagne Rose. We were proposed then a table in the bar area – but after the previous day experience, this was the last thing we wanted to have, above all as I booked the table three months in advance specifying it was for a special occasion. So after a while (fighting – lol), we were offered a private room table and from there on everything was perfect. We had some oysters to share, single starters – I had a sea bass ceviche, perfect – and a huge main portion – Lobster burger for me with mashed truffle potatoes. We drank a perfect temperature Chablis and everything was really really amazing. I read a lot of online review before booking at Bob Bob Ricard, and in some of them emerged that the food was pretty “common”, portions not in line with the price, service rude. We did not experienced anything of that. For sure, next time I will specify I want to have a table at the restaurant – but except for that, the service was amazing, same than the food, we were all full when we left and I felt my money were definitely well spent. Strongly recommended if you are looking for a special place for a date or for a celebration – maybe next year for wedding anniversary, why not 🙂

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We took our way home on Sunday pretty tired, after a bit of see-sighting. I definitely cannot wait to be in London again – and to wear my Vera Wang gown in two months 🙂

Amsterdam – favorite spots

This is the busiest period of the year, unluckily. I have been under water for work and studying for my exams. I spend part of my working time in Amsterdam and this month I did not want to leave at all. Business trips are always kind of nice: you don’t have to cook, to wash dishes, you don’t have to clean your house. Normally you do reasonable working hours and having people around is something different than my day to day job. Even if I was really tired at the end, I decided to write a small bit on my Amsterdam’s favorite places.

My relationship with Amsterdam, like all the long and fashionable relationships, did not start well. In the first trips on my own I was finding the city pleasant, yes, but extremely touristic. I was annoyed by so many people “out of it” around and after a while it seems to me I was finding shops selling all the same kind of things – kebab, chocolate, silly t-shirts.

When I started to travel to Amsterdam for work, being out most of the time with Dutch people or, at least, people that are living in Amsterdam for long time and that have a different approach to the city than teenagers during their Interrail, I started discovering different areas of the city and I definitely fall in love with them.

My beloved eating spot is Momo http://www.momo-amsterdam.com/. It is just off Leidseplein. You can head there for a drink or a dinner. It is not extremely cheap but it is the kind of place you go for a date or with someone you want to impress. You can have fabulous cocktails and tapas style fusion dishes. They have impressive sushi and the environment is business but fresh and noisy. Reservation recommended.

A more low profile place where you can have a beer (they have more than 100 ) or something very Dutch to eat is the Gollem http://cafegollem.nl/overtoom/.

The one I usually go is located in Overtoom, tram n.12, 5 minutes walking from Museumplein. The location is old style and the customers are mostly Dutch, on the hipster side. You can have some nice snacks with your beer (fried Gouda mmmm!) or a proper dish (try the Flemish Stew!).

On the shopping side you have more than one options: as said, in city center you can find all the high street brands. I love loosing my mornings off going down with the tram on Leidseplein and follow bus n.2 till Kalverstraat. You should have a bit of patience, good gloves during winter and you can stop by at the small Starbucks in front of the flowers market for a break. You have also your “Montenapoleone” area, that is represented by PC Hooftstraat (tram n.2, 3, 12, just next block to Museumplein). But, honestly, you can find Gucci and LV everywhere around the world..

I prefer to go locally and my favorite shop is for sure Rituals (http://eu.rituals.com/en-nl/home). I am not a fan of beauty products with strong smells, but those from this brand are never too much. The fragrance of your bath or shower is following you smoothly during the day and they have great consistence. I love the Hamman series and I have just discovered the Diwali line they did for Christmas time. They have just started also a complete men line with aftershaves, balms, creams.

And then, just because I cannot find it in Luxembourg, I love stopping at COS. I think the person you invented this brand was friend of mine in one of my previous lives, because there is nothing in the shop I would not buy. I love their minimalist lines and the colors, all black with some bright exception. I really hope they will hope a shop soon in Luxembourg, because so far they don’t even deliver their online shopping here, therefore you should really travel to buy something.

So, do you like Amsterdam? What are you favorite places over there?

 

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Eighteen things I would suggest to myself when I was eighteen, now

Dear Corie,

You don’t know me, but one day you will. Anyway, a quick introduction would help: I am a young lady in my 30s, I got married six months ago, I have a good job in finance and I’ve just started doing short summaries of this “first part” of my life. I am happy, for sure, but now, when I look around me, everything looks like “easy“. You know what I mean? Well, I don’t think so. No more love pains, no more arguments with friends, I don’t find I have anything special to accomplish in my day-to-day life. My biggest challenges are what to cook for dinner, where to dine during the week-end, when to schedule next hairdresser appointment, what I would love to receive for my birthday. Yes, I still miss big steps in my life, like buying a house or having a baby. But I look more often to my past than to my future.

Anyway, I was like you, once. I was living my life with that energy now I put only arranging New Year’s eve party. I was living like that each and every single day. I was confused, I was happy, I was a dreamer, I was stubborn, I was.. I was plenty of great things, things that, in that moment, did not seem great to me, but they were.

Look around: you have everything. Maybe you don’t agree with me, but you will, one day. You are young, fresh, beautiful. Try different things, don’t get stuck, live your dreams. Don’t do something just because it looks like the easiest to do and you are afraid you will not succeed. Don’t be afraid to disappoint your parents and don’t do things just because you are too worried of that: it will arrive a point in your life you will be obliged to do it, so better sooner rather than later. So you will discover you cannot let them down: they will always be proud of you, whatever you are going to do. Risk. Fill that application for studying in the US, change major, do the interview for that job even if it is only for an internship.

Travel. Travel with the eye of the teenager you still are. Take dirty trains and sleep in the noisiest dormitory. Go off the beaten tracks. Go to London. Try to speak the foreign languages you know as much as possible. Pretend not to be Italian and avoid Italians abroad. Later will be too late: I started to travel when my salary had already five figures and it is too easy now deciding to go for the best choice everywhere. Then, you find you have missed something.

Don’t make love a priority in you life. Don’t be in a rush for finding your man, as spending your 20s as single is the best thing I can suggest you and moreover, trust me, relationship started at university will never last (we can bet, if you want). Enjoy your life like it is, have friends, be funny, don’t cry. Yes, please, don’t cry, because no ones of these guys will deserve it. And, trust me, they are going to be ugly in less than ten years. Preserve your friends and don’t trust strangers. Don’t trust someone just because he is lovely with you: words are easy to say, you don’t pay them too much. Don’t go out with your colleagues, because you have to keep a separate strict line between your private life and your work, and be at work a totally different person. Try to be serious, cold. Let your job talk for you.

You will fall in love, but this is not going to be “love”, be sure: the guys you will like will be the most rebel, those that are smoking weeds, listening to unconventional music, those with the dirtiest clothes and the nicest smile. These guys will always leave afterwards, they will have always to wake up early the morning after, and then they will not reply to your message for ages and you will find their pathetic excuses a good reason to make them stay in your bed once again, after months. They will not change. They will forget your birthday, they will cheat on you with your best friend, they will sleep with you only when you will be so drunk that you cannot remember how it ended up like that. They will make you suffer and at the end you will realize that you have never loved them, because they were not the kind of persons you want next to you for your life. And then, maybe, you will think about that cute guy. Do you remember the one I am talking about? He was too cute for words, a bit clumsy. He gave you a nice kiss after three dates and he spent the night you invited him at your place looking at you. You joked about that. He was plain, and serious, has already a great job and does not drink too much, because the morning after he had always some important meetings. He was always coming to pick you up. You will talk about him with your girlfriends laughing. Fifteen years later he will be a super nice dad. He will have the best work, and he will still look fucking hot – unless your boys that started to get wasted too young and they are now looking like fifty something big kids. Then, you will regret a bit the fact you are no more the most beautiful girl in the world, for him.

Don’t complain about your body and take care of it. I know they will come days you won’t sleep because you are too hungry and you just wait to wake up for checking your weight. I know they will come weeks you will not eat for days and night you will not go out because you feel too fat. Bullshit. You look great and in fifteen years you will pay for looking still that hot. Eat regularly, don’t drink too much alcohol, try to smoke not too much, don’t take diet pills that are just destroying your stomach. Avoid binge when you are sad, go out instead, walk through this city you love so much. Because I am sure that even if you proudly stated you will never leave, one day you will. And you will miss it. You will miss it like a boy you broke up with even if you still love him. And you will never talk about this city anymore, you will try not to come back, you will try to hide pictures and special moments you share. Maybe because it was too early to move and you still regret it a bit. So weight your choices with your mind and not with your heart, don’t do things based on your emotions, don’t hate yourself because you imagined a different life. You can get it, but you have to do it now. Because in fifteen years it will be too late. Trust me.

Take care,

A friendcants can