Antwerp is a city known for its fashion sense and style. It is no surprise that the world takes this little city seriously...after all, if it is good enough for Dries, then it is good enough for us! I ran into this wonderful person on my city tour and she posed (rather charmingly) with my business card, flashing a wonderful smile that lit up the grey morning. I loved the play with proportions here...the thick scarf, the desert boots, the boho bag and THAT hairstyle...a wonderful combination...a streetstyle that needed to be photographed!
On the river Scheldt, you will find a city that has more to offer than just a diamond centre filled with Flemish Renaissance architecture. There is more to Antwerp than the spectacular Grote Markt, or the famous 17th century Rubens house. This flemish city has so much more for the budding tourist than excellent fries and world famous waffles...and this is what we will investigate over the next few posts!
At 15 Quai Koch in Strasbourg, you will find a brasserie that has existed since 1900. In 1992, restauranteur Annie Voegel Leclerc opened the restaurant's doors with a new breeze, heralding in new light into this art deco wonder. With chef Jean-Philippe Schubnel at her side, this culinary spot is doing much to improve the already high standard in this city. This belle epoque Parisian brasserie, with gorgeous art nouveau table lamps has the right amount of french flair without seeming dated or stuffy and the food...with a tuna tartar teamed with lemon and coriander, grenadine of veal with mustard sauce and the traditional Savarin served with rum, it scores high points on our restaurant chart.
In a stone building from the 18th century, chef Patrick Fritz creates some the best local Alsace specialities at affordable prices. This restaurant, 34 km from Strasbourg is an institutiion offering hearty and rustic food, with a sophisticated flair that raises it from your normal diner. From the amazing soup, to the platter of local meats and sauasages (not for the faint hearted), to the creamy chicken mains and finally, the small canalés served with piping hot espresso, this gem of a restaurant delivers on all fronts. With seating under wide, old trees, this terrace flair makes you feel immediately at home, offering shelter from the midday sun, which can be underestimated! The dining area inside is also beautifully arranged and this would be a highlight for autumn....there's an idea...
At 3 Rue de l'Écurie, you will find a restaurant that is packed with young people, eagerly devouring food. This may not seem something out of the ordinary, but at Petit Ours (roughly translated as 'Little Bear'), in Strasbourg, this small restaurant is clever in attracting students and the like with their competitive prices, while not falling short off delivering amazing food to tables, where slices of Foie Gras are beautifuolly paired with sliced apple and chutney. Jürgen tucked into lamb chops, while I tackled a good duck breast. Fitting the summer mood, he ordered the strawberry and cream dessert and I could not resist the chocolate fondant accompanied by the smoothest ice cream I have had in a while. Top marks to Petit Ours!
Hôtel & Spa Villa Novarina is a good place to use as base camp when getting around this city. I found the suite amazing, a walk-in shower always warms the heart and add to this friendly service from the manager who sent us on our way when we departed with a bag filled with croissants and a baguette to die for. Thank you for the wonderful stay in your hotel. Strasbourg remained a city that has so much charm, great food (more on this in the next two posts) and enough bridges to make you feel as if you are in Venice...okay, well not quite.
If this is good enough for Angela Merkel, then it is good enough for me...no, but seriously, Zuem Ysehuet, a restaurant in Strasbourg, off the beaten mile, close to the river, is a restaurant that has been priding itself on good cuisine for a while now, offering locals and visitors well executed dining in a relaxed setting. Delphine and Stéphane Kaiser have opened the doors of their restaurant with great new culinary skills, from fresh and creative starters to solid mains, we were happy indeed and when the cheese platter arrived, Jürgen was even happier. My dessert was also not one to ignore and after coffees and a small surprise from the kitchen, it was time to say goodbye...but, we will be back.
At 4 Rue Klein, tucked away in a side street in Strasbourg, lies the exceptionally good high cuisine restaurant, La Gavroche. With a few tables, it is advisable to book and this intimate atmosphere is carried through by the very capable Nathalie Fuchs. She is front of house and greets the guests as if she has known them for years, which of course could be true because the food is so good, it could have you visiting them repeatedly.
Our meal was so wonderful, each dish arranged to perfection, explained in detail (and I speak no French, but attempts were made to help me along, for which I am always grateful).
The genuis behind the food is Benoit Fuchs and his cooking takes the food to a level all its own. From sesame crusted fish, to the magnificent cheeseboard, to the seared brioche and finally the marshmallow and macarons, this was a meal I cannot and will not forget.
I love someone who dares to push the envelope...someone who takes fashion to their own level and makes a look his or her own...case in point this amazing individual I met in Strasbourg...thank you for posing for me and making my day! I am officially your fan...
Back from Frankfurt and what a trip that was! Now, with this moody weather outside, it is time to click open the Strasbourg file and I hope the next few images will inpsire you all...time to get this week started after the luxury of a public holiday yesterday!