Domaine La Louviere, Malvies – August 2014

FWRR were granted the exclusivity of the the fine wines of Domaine La Louviere for Luxembourg earlier this year, shortly after we started up our own wine import business. The wines were among the first to be imported and among the first to be sold out. But do not worry – because there is still the great Le Galante on stock and maybe we can find a few of the reds too – even though our hearts cry every time a La Sedutrice or La Maitresse leaves the garage.

The outstanding artwork

The outstanding artwork

The outstanding art of work :-)

The outstanding art of work :-)

That hit the spot

That hit the spot

But ever since the import started, Nicolas and Thore kindly invited us to come down down down south and have a look at the production and wineyards. And so we did. we stopped shortly before Barcelona it seems, and were amazed by the landscape,  which actually included more sunflowers than vines. I later told Nicolas, so this is the trick to wonderful herbal taste of the reds – you make them from sun flowers !!!!

Actually, wine maker and new on the team Jem (from Adelaide !!!) – showed us there were actually lots of wine grown on the land surrounding the Domaine.

Here´s some shots to get you an idea what awaited us.

The fountain and "market place" in front of the main building.

The fountain and “market place” in front of the main building.

The beauiful trademark fiirmly placed 4 times on the fountain

The beauiful trademark firmly placed 4 times on the fountain

The Pyrenees and attitude make room for a great wine growing climate

The Pyrenees and high attitude make room for a great wine growing climate

Suns everywhere.

Suns everywhere.

We were spoiled with good weather and Jem playing the perfect host, went shopping for us, right after arrival, and went to get us breakfast the next morning as well. That is great host playing. Good on ya.

First meal was cheese, charcuterie, fine La Louviere wines and …..more wines. What a nice arrival. Stefan made sure the beds were made and that all  of us were installed properly. A funny phone call from Nicolas set the tone of the stay, he was not to arrive until a few days later, but I could assure him we were well taken care of.

The next day we spend in beautiful Carcassonne, had a semi great lunch – and after returning to the domaine we relaxed with table tennis, rosé and ipads.

The big boys below Carcassonne

The big boys below Carcassonne

As always a Mr.Blue Sky when we are on a trip.

As always a Mr.Blue Sky when we are on a trip.

:-)

:-)

Hard to pick the shots to show you from the 200 I took.

Hard to pick the shots to show you from the 200 I took inside the old city.

one last one

one last one

and back the Domaine as I said time to rest before shower and dinner. The dinner I shall come back to in a review coming up shortly.

3 ages..

3 ages playing with rubber bands.

Returning after dinner most people called it a night and I opened a bottle of Rhum and were joined by the Bruxelles/Amsterdam connection in what turned out to be a longer drink – talk and night. I went to bed WAY over bed time but had a great evening. And mind you no hangover the next morning for reasons unexplained to man,

Next day was spend partly at the near by lake and for my part, shopping and cooking for our hosts and us. I had asked Stefan to find a “room with a view” – and the table and setting blew us away. Thank you most sincerely Stefan for arranging this, the evening was truly awesome. A pearler.

Before the dinner Jem showed us around and we were explained what makes La Louviere so special and what they aim for. Nicolas arrived – almost not late and joined us for my Coq au vin, which I think he liked :-)

New mates - Oscar and Jem

New mates – Oscar and Jem

Dinner

Dinner

A proud wine maker.

A proud wine maker.

Table - and my humble sandwiches to get us going.

Table – and my humble sandwiches to get us going.

Waiting for the "coq" to arrive - Nicolas :-)

Waiting for the “coq” to arrive – Nicolas :-)

Wine were plenty and good and I got a bit tipsy and called it a night. Judging from the look of some of the fellow diners the next day, that was a wise move.

Last day we spend exploring the area, and packing – sigh – I beat our host Nicolas in table tennis…and was both amazed and happy just doing that. Two things to be noted. One – I have a bad right wrist :-) and two  – I do think the score were adjusted a bit just around the 19-18 area, where I thought I was behind and then all of sudden was leading. Never mind. The victory was sweet. Oh so sweet.

Before leaving Nicolas told me some exciting and good news as for the product range of the domaine. Looking foward to that my friend.

We sincerely hope this will not be the last time we are visiting this great domaine. We thank you Nicolas, Jem and Stefan for taking good care of us. And we are looking forward to importing MANY more of your fine wines to the delight of our customers. I shall leave you with a few shots taken by my brother Heiko Schneider – one of the fans of the wines of Domaine La Louviere.

And to those of you who have not tried the wines yet. Feel free to pass by the garage sale of FWRR in Helmsange, Luxembourg or call me at +352661187904 – and let us arrange a tasting for you.

Style and taste

Style and taste

Herbal taste :-)

Herbal taste :-)

and a final shot of the sun and the beautiful courtyard.

Bye Bye...

Bye Bye…

Hotel and Restaurant Les Florets, Gigondas, France – September 2013

This one has been sitting in my mind for quite some time. I actually thought I shared the wonderful stay we experienced there – but it seems I only shared it with you in my head.

I was at Les Florets the year before, and swore I would be back with my family. As it turned out it had to be the year after. As things went, I got to decide on how to spend the last few days of the summer 2013 vaction – and my mind was so made up. Gigondas, Hotel and Restaurant Les Florets, with a stop-over in Beaune driving down.

We got to stay here 3 nights. We visited the area, we got on top of the world, we dazed by the pool, had lots of great wines, and stunning food and service in this little paradise on earth.

I shall break the photos of the tour up in three chapters, one for each day and leave you to indulge in the photos rather than repeating my sentiments of the first stay.

Day one – 31 August 2013 – arrival, lunch pool and dinner.

The quiet romantic hotel with the al fresco dning.

The quiet romantic hotel with the al fresco dining.

Big boy Oscar

Big boy Oscar

and hungry Emil

and hungry Emil

The view from the restaurant is simply breath-taking, the valley, the hills, the rocky mountains, the flowers – the perfectly set tables.

My lamb

Aubergine in some fashion

Tomato, Avocado and I think Salmon

Tomato, Avocado and I think Salmon

Fish for Emil - somebody remove that lemon foam :-)

Fish for Emil – somebody remove that lemon foam :-)

And the smile was back

And the smile was back

After dinner rest and then the long awaited pool.

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Lets finish day one with some shots from the evening.

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*

Day two – 1st September – Breakfast – Mont Ventoux – Gigondas – rest – Dinner

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Breakfast is great here, great selection and as mostly in France, great Croissants

Before we left for the mountain – I took some of the nicest shots of the boys ever, the colours where amazing, you can feel that Provence is just down the road.

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After that we took the car up to the top of the world. Quite a ride – not as tough for us – as for the bikers, but all those curves get to you in the end. But the view from up there is worth the hassle. It was a windy day, still when we started the climb it was a nice 23 degrees celcius. On th top it dropped to 13 (!) No wonder, Mont Ventoux rises nearly 2.000 meter above sea level.

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After those crazy hights  – it was nice to hit the valley of Gigondas – only to find there was a local festival, which came handy because the boys could use some of their saved energy, the restaurant I chose was close to crap, the wine not as nice as it should be – or could be, but all in all, sun was out, the missus pretty as ever -

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After a rest and a shower I got to sit down – rest and endulge in a bottle of Condrieu from nearby Saint Cosme.

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And right there in the middle of the beauty of all this, while waiting for the missus to come and join me, sipping the wine – I saw this old man reading his book, ever so quietly – and I thought – could there be any more quiet and beautiful way to spend your autumn.

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Dinner was enjoyed inside, the mistral had arrived. I shall not bore you with too many details. We had open wines, they were all great. I had one of the best pieces of meat EVER.

What a piece ...

What a piece …

and it was good night.

Day 3 – 2nd September 2014 – Breakfast – Crocodile Park – Avignon – rest – Dinner

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The crocodiles came in all sizes, I think there was around 400 of them. Funny thing occured after 30-60 min. when Emil proclaimed. That one is alive !!! – He had not realized that apart from the wooden ones he sat on, – they were all maybe not moving alot – but most definetely alive and not to be taken lightly.

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Avignon is worth a visit, great local food at Lou Mistral, not so funny incident occured when I left to look at a shoe-shop across the street while the others was on the toilet. Emil chose a different toilet, and came out first and thought we all left. I rushed back feeling like the worst daddy in the world, as Astrid and Oscar just emerged from the other exit. It can easily go wrong.

Back at the hotel – freshening up, playing games, and our last supper at Les Floret for this time.

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Conclusion:

Like last time Thierry and Dominique and all the staff made sure we could concentrate on us and relaxe, endulge in the quietness and romance of the place and – just enjoy the good food and the great weather and the stunning views.

The kitchen even went the extra mile and cooked me the dish I had fallen in love wiht the year before, even though it was not on the menu. The chef came to the table, and I explained it to him in my poor poor French. And it was just as good :-)

Just as we were all happy with Potsdam the week before, I think we were all quite happy here, focus was on relaxing and the good food, and that is of course more my idea of fun :-) So I thank you dear Astrid, Oscar and Emil – for coming with me on this long ride to the Southern Rhone and coping with all that food and romance.

I wish I could be back this year. Hotel and Restaurant Les Florets comes with my highest recommendation.

So with that wish I shall leave you with an oldie but goodie – One Summer Dream, written by Jeff Lynne a good 38 years ago.

Rock on dear Thierry and Dominique.

 

 

 

 

 

Restaurant Clairefontaine, Luxembourg – 15th April 2014

My longest absence from Clairefontaine I think, since I discovered it way back when Restaurant Speltz went sour in what must be like 10-15 years ago – finally ended due to good friend Jörgen who invited us for dinner as a delayed birthday present. Klaus Erfort and Il Riccio was also on my wishing list, but it was Clairefontaine that go the “the honours” :-)

Classic menu, my favourite colours anyway

Classic menu, my favourite colours anyway

Nice to see that most of the staff in the service and kitchen were still the same, and even the “ususal” warm welcome and lots of kisses.

We ordered a la carte – I got to choose the wines and opted for a white Saint Joseph and a red Nuits-Saint-Georges 1. Cru from Prieur Roch.

The amuses comes in two rounds, first a single one followed by a double.

Round 1

Round 1

Round 2 -

Round 2 -

and last but not least

and last but not least

All three tasters up to the usual nice standard of amuses in Claire fontaine. Nothing to complain about here but tasters that set the tone for the evening 8p

King Crab / Green Asparagus

King Crab / Green Asparagus

Or as it described in the menu – “Le meilleur du King crabe posé sur une royale d’asperges vertes Françaises, gelée de crustacés, copeaux d’asperges et tuile de tapioca au caramel de homard”. The best looking dish of the evening, and the choice of Jörgen and the missus. 9p

Carpaccio and Tartare of Wagyu with Caviar

Carpaccio and Tartare of Wagyu with Caviar

My choice – “Le carpaccio et le tartare de bœuf Wagyu de la ferme Nuestro Buey,
asperges blanches de Malines et rapée de vieux parmesan Reggiano,
une tuile de pain avec caviar Osciètre”.

I love wagyu. I do think the quality of the meat is more exposed when raw, but I do prefer the texture of the Wagyu when a nice cut of the famous meat gets the right treatmen in the pan :-) But delicate it was, and the presentation typical for Arnaud´s kitchen. 8.5p

 

Salmon

Salmon

Astrid´s choice for main dish was actually another starter “Le cœur d’un saumon d’Ecosse Label Rouge cuit par le froid, un tartare en tempura, une crème prise de poireaux et caviar citron”. Didier always in a good mood, did rightfully point out when ordering that this would be a cold main dish and another cold dish for Astrid. But nevertheless the salmon was ordered – and the quality of Salmon dishes at Clairefontaine is ALWAYS good. 8p

Didier making sure you have a good time

Didier making sure you have a good time

Lamb

Lamb

As it turned out – “L’agneau fermier Label Rouge du Bourbonnais en déclinaison, couscous de choux fleur et brocolis au cumin, navarin aux petits légumes et harissa verte” – was the only lamb on my plates this Easter. And I´m happy it was this lamb. Three different cuts of lamb, all great in their own way. Arnaud – I think it will be lamb next time we make a cooking class :-) It was great as always. 9p

Dessert :-)

Dessert :-)

The selection just what you need and a nice way to say goodbye to our lovely bottle of red. Great cheeses 9p

Best wine I have had this year

Best wine I have had this year

You were right Julien, it was an excellent choice :-)

Conclusion:

9 months of absence – there are only few words needed to describe the feeling of being back. It was great. Thanks for the invitation Jörgen. I treasure your friendship, wit and knowledge. It´s always great to share food and wine experiences with you, not only because you mostly pay :-) – but also because we share the same passion for god stuff, and react to stuff that are trying to be more than they are, like the one experience we had in Birmingham. But at Clairefontaine, well things are still as good as they get in Luxembourg. To all the staff at Clairefontaine, we salute you.

My rating for this visit : Service 5p (5), Ambience 5p (5), Food 8.5 – Total Score  18.5p (20)

Cuines, 33 – Knokke-Heist, Belgium – January 2014

Knokke-Heist and the areas north and south of it are VERY popular for Belgium, Luxembourgish and I guess Dutch families who spend week-end after weekend driving here to enjoy the sea-side. So what has Knokke-Heist got to offer besides kilometers of sandy beaches. Definetely a handful of what from the outside seems like nice restaurants. At least some of them looked rather inviting. The price level however, very much close to the level of Luxembourg which was a bit surpricing. Half a portions of mussels in nearby Bruges the day before – ordered as a main dish, normally priced for a starter at 19,75 Eur – with a surcharge of 5 eur on top of that price because of it being served as a main dish seemed a bit over the top. And Knokke-Heist kept up that price level it seemed in most places.

If you take the advise of Tripadvisor, where I have sometimes been VERY disappointed :-) – on the third spot you will find Cuines, 33

I still do not know the meaning of the name, except for the fact that it is situated in Smeedenstraat 33, but the pictures of the food and the homepage looked so impressive that this one was an easy choice. Add the fact that on all week-days and Saturdays they have an offer of 3 courses lunch menu for 35 eur. It holds one michelin star, and has only been open for 2 years. I predict there are more stars ahead for the talented chefs in number 33.

The view from the outside in the small street looks very modern with the glass wall between old fashioned houses.

Smeedenstraat 33

Smeedenstraat 33

The lounge is with bright multi-coloured furniture and a posh bar leading to the dining room where a glass-covered wall toards the kitchen makes the customers see how little stress is needed to produce magic.

The lady in red...

The lady in red…

The amazing bar

The impressive bar

The bar – besides one page of cocktails – a second page of the bar menu revealed a good 40 different gins.

"Gin Gin"

“Gin Gin”

The missus and I both being gin “freaks” these days, these were all quite tempting, but we managed to fight the temptation – at least for a couple of hours.

The semi-open kitchen

The semi-open kitchen

Hard to remember all the different food we got, but since the specialitiy of the kitchen is tapas – before the actual menu we simply “had to” order a plate of 3 vegetarian tapas to share. The theme of these tapas changes according to the chef I spoke to, sometimes Indian, sometimes Spanish :-), sometimes as in our case heavily Japanese/Asian inspired. I do not remember all the details we were explained about the dishes, so I shall let most of the photos more or less speak for themselves.

The gluten issue of the missus was repeatedly acknowledged whenever an amuse or a dish was served, it was pinpointed if and why it was different. They did that VERY well and very convincing.

While we were sipping the first sip of our New Zealand Chardonnay, which was very rich and fat and not as slim as I normally find NZ Chardonnays – the first taster arrived. And it would set the tone in what was to be a stunning level of amuses and tapas.

Black olives

Black olives

What a masterpiece. It all just melted in your mouth. I would eat them every day if only I could.

Round 2 - Cod ...I think and celary root

Round 2 – Cod …I think and celary root

My bread, nice wooden basket, great bread

My bread, nice wooden basket, great bread

Round 3 – Avocado mint bisquit.

What a nice range of amuses that was. No wonder we were already in heaven. All light – all with a purpose, lots of details and taste. 10p

So next up the selection of tapas for 25 Eur – mind you we shared that selection and there were easily enough for the two of us.

Tapas 1 – a Cuines, 33 beauty

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Tapas 2 – Pumpkin / Carrot

Asian mushrooms, parmesan risotto

Tapas 3 – Asian mushrooms, parmesan risotto

Great tapas, great little dishes as good or even better than the amuses – I mean – as good as it gets. 10p

So the menu could start – although the missus was already starting to be not so hungry anymore :-)

Beef Tartare

Beef Tartare

My starter, Very nice again, great level, but not as interesting or daring in taste as all of the tasters before 8p

???

Calamares, cucumber, Olives

The starter of the missus. Again the 33 is incorporated into the dish 8p

Veal

Veal

Nothing to complain about – again only the fact that is was not as interesting as the starter or the amuses and tapas – it did simply not blow me away or tickle my senses. 7.5p

Vegetarian alternative

Vegetarian (Fish) alternative, heart mussels

I think the fact that they for such a low priced menu, without a fuss changed both starter and main dish to please the vegetarian status of Astrid – only shows how good they are at 33 and what they are aiming at. Even though the fish was cooked perfectly, Astrid as well found the amuses and starters more innovative, fresh and daring.. 7.5p

Chocolate and nuts

Chocolate and nuts

Sweet little something, 7.5p

- and last round of beauties

– and last round of beauties

What do you say to all that. Mostly wauw. With the last round of sweets we were back at the G&T card :-)

Astrid opted for a Geranium – which was described as flowerish, and the rose leaves added to that impression. Mine was a French and very smooth Nolet´s. GREAT finish to a great lunch.

The recommendation of our maitre

The recommendation of our maitre

Half full....

Half full….

My conclusion:

I do not care who is number 1 and 2 on the list of Tripadvisor in Knokke-Heist. Either they must be outstanding or the list is wrong. Cuines, 33 is in my view very very good and comes highly recommended. Next time, and I sure hope to be back – I will opt for only tapas. They were amazing. The starter and especially the main dish of our lunch menu was a little set-back. Not because they were bad or not well done. But because the bar had been set too high I guess, and they then came over as rather traditionally. Still If you take the menu as such, with the amount of amuses, starter, main dish, dessert, after desserts stuff – the 35 Eur seems like an offer hard to beat anywhere I know of.

I think this little pearler one fine day will see a second star shining, if they keep up that level and adjust a little here and there. But stars are no real measurement is it?. Cuines, 33 – I salute you. You do a GREAT job in making your customers feel very welcome and very well taken care of. The service and attention of the staff was just about what you can expect from a 1 star restaurant and with hardly any flaws. Maybe a bit on the laid back and easy-going side, but that is how we like it anyway.

I do not give top score for the ambience, even though I liked it very much (it was even awarded best designed restaurant in 2013), simply because I found the distance between the tables too little. It gave a dining room feeling like in a Trattoria in Rome, but I just prefer a little more space between me and other guests.

But a great thanks to all the staff on the floor and to the guys in the kitchen that made this lunch certainly one to remember. We sure hope to be back.

My rating for this visit: Food 9p (10), service 4.5p (5), ambience 4.5p (5), 18p (20).

The best dishes of 2013 – “The Directors cut”

Again in 2013 many good meals were had, many extraordinary dishes were consumed in restaurants in Luxembourg and Europe.

I think my favourite meal this year I had at Falco in Leipzig, the most romantic eve I experienced in Anna Amalia in Weimar. The most surpricing and low budget lunches but with great food was also consumed in the Pickled Piglet in Birmingham and Le Fromagerie Marylebone, London. It was nice to be back at Le Cinq but especially the amuses let me down a bit.

There was less dining out in Luxembourg, especially the drop in quality in some old favourite places made me sad. I do think that Restaurant Clairefontaine and Bouquet Garni are among the best in the country. And my favourite Italian Il Riccio never let us down. I enjoyed some easygoing and Luxembourgish inspired menu at Brasserie Aubergine.

Private great cooking classes were held at Clairefontaine and in a small German town where I found new friends and an amazing group of people that were all with an amazing cooking level. And who knew how to have fun.

I shall present you with some of my best shots of some of those dishes that made 2013 a VERY gastronomic year for me.

Here you go…

10. Gaumenschmaus, Potsdam, Germany

10. Gaumenschmaus, Potsdam, Germany

Simply the best Flammkuchen I ever had. The missus had an equally good salad. GREAT quality for little money. Potsdam was such a nice city, especially the Dutch Quarter.

9. The Pickled Piglet, Birmingham, England

9. The Pickled Piglet, Birmingham, England

Went here with good friend Jörgen, to catch a Bruce show, spiced up with performances by good friend and great singer Gazza, who dedicated a song to me – The Ghost of Tom Joad and after the Bruce show Mark Wright performed his Elvis show. What a day. Lunch was had at the Pickled Piglet, and the army of GREAT tasting tapas dishes amazed us. They outshone the meal the next day at one star rated Turner´s by many miles. I think we had a range of nine Tapas and especially the lamb meatballs blew us away.

8. Restaurant Clairefontaine, Luxembourg

8. Restaurant Clairefontaine, Luxembourg

A burger as good as it gets. I think it stayed on the menu for quite a while. It was damn good. Kobe style beef, with panfried frois gras. Respect Arnaud.

7. Restaurant Clairefontaine, Luxembourg

7. Restaurant Clairefontaine, Luxembourg

And while we are here, why not stay. I must say I think my favourite meal this year at Clairefontaine was my birthday menu. I thank you for that dear Arnaud and Edwige. This dish is of course one of Arnaud´s classics. His bio egg on truffles and risotto his way.

6. Lameloise, Chagny, France

6. Lameloise, Chagny, France

I have said it before and I shall say it again. Lamb at Lameloise is a marriage made in heaven. Happy to be back always. The service, the room, the food, the wine, – pure class. The crust on this lamb, the roasted garlic. Oh my God.

5. Schloss Berg, Nennig, Germany

5. Schloss Berg, Nennig, Germany

And just as Lamb is never wrong at Lameloise – Tuna is never wrong at Schloss Berg. In fact nothing is ever wrong there lol. The staff, especially Mrs. Bau and sommelier Daniel Kiowski make sure you are spoiled while Christian Bau and his brigade in the back does their magic.

4. Falco, Leipzig, Germany

4. Falco, Leipzig, Germany

Without compare the evening at Falco was the best dining experience the missus and I had in 2013. The fun, the interaction, the sometimes crazy and surpricing ideas that was presented to us. This porc, was the best meat I have had in 2013 for sure and maybe in my life. It was outstanding. Thanks, Peter, Christian, Oliver and all the staff that made this evening stand out.

3. Le Cinq, Paris

3. Le Cinq, Paris

Even though the menu as such let us a down a bit, it was good to be back, and to be here with good friends Jerome and Dragana. It was definetely a treat to be invited here, thanks Drag. But the amuses was not up to par, and the menu swayed a bit up and down. This starter, variations of octopussy was the best octopussy I have ever had in my life, and I have no problems in saying that THAT dish and watching the ballet that Le Cinq is was worth the admission alone.

2. Falco, Leipzig, Germany

2. Falco, Leipzig, Germany

So lets repeat what I said about Falco. That evening blew us away. This dish was the best fish we had all year. The somehow unlucky glazing of the plate made it hard to shoot – but trust me the Omble Chevalier wth wasabi, curry apple was to die for.

1. Greenhouse, Mayfair, London

1. Greenhouse, Mayfair, London

The Greenhouse was awarded their second michelin star for the 2014 edition of the guide. And that holds out. From the minute we entered the room we felt special and in good hands. Many of the dishes were amazing. This little something was mainly cornish crab and mint jelly, cauliflower, apple (granny smith). I do believe it was more or less a signature dish of the talented French chef Arnaud Bignon. So if you go there – try it out and say hi from FWRR. Sometimes it is the little things that counts. I never wanted this dish to end.

So, I again thank you dear friends who made all those meals worthwhile and possible in 2013, I missed dinners with some old friends I hope we will be able to catch up in 2014 – for what is outstanding food without the right dining partners….so thank you dear missus Astrid and dear dining friends, Torben, Jerome & Dragana, Serge, Johan & Tracy and Jörgen and of course Oscar and Emil who again made room for some very proud parents.

I shall leave you with some shots of the boys fine dining.

Emil at the Greenhouse after a long London day.

Emil at the Greenhouse after a long London day.

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Oscar having a Burger at Clairefontaine – 1-2 and 3 :-)

I am the Walrus...

I am the Walrus…

Knive and fork is a Man´s Job

Knive and fork is a Man´s Job

Chocolate cake is never wrong :-)

Chocolate cake is never wrong :-)

And finally Emil looking not so impressed. He finished the plate :-) at wonderful Hotel les Florets in Gigondas

And finally Emil looking not so impressed. He finished the plate :-) at wonderful Hotel les Florets in Gigondas.

Weimar and Anna Amalia, Germany – August 2013

Weimar….who has ever been to Weimar I wonder ? Well let me tell you. Those who have not been to Weimar have missed out on a pretty little spot in the former East Germany.

Goethe and Schiller share history here, as well as lots of other stuff from the German history books. But I shall not bore you with that. But the town is full of museums and buildings that takes you all the way back to those glory days in German history.

We were on our way back from Leipzig having dropped the kids at grandma and grandpa.

We had chosen the most central hotel, a hotel that has had guests ranging from Hitler to Barack Obama. Despite the placement on the town square and the famous history of the Hotel Elephant, it was quite affordable and the staff on it 5 star rating level, even beyond that. VERY VERY friendly and attentive. I give the hotel my highest recommendations and would love to be back one sweet day.

Here is some pictures from the city center.

Hotel Elephant, good enough for a president, good enough for us.

Hotel Elephant, good enough for a president, good enough for us.

Two rock stars...

Two rock stars…

A great little band of university students...

A great little band of university students…

Funny thing here…the lyric to their song fit the mood of the missus to 100% – So we were somehow schocked and wondered if they had written the song for her for that day. We bought the cd instantly and wish them all the luck in the world.

A corner of the town square

A corner of the town square

Weimar is full of small bars, we had a horrible gin/tonic just around where the above picture is taken, lots of small cafe´s lots of shoe shops etc.

Pretty woman - walking down the street.,,,

Pretty woman – walking down the street

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Music Family

A fuuny shop with an even more funny shop-keeper.

A funny shop with an even more funny shop-keeper.

In case you forgot dear Astrid. This picture contains something that is on my wishing list for Christmas.

So, plenty to see before we went back to the hotel, freshened us up and hit the bar before the evenings dinner at Anna Amalia, a one star michelin restaurant inside the hotel.

Anna Amalia

So, without knowing – no kidding – I was pretty unprepared for once. We had booked the table at the in-house restaurant. I actually did not know it had a star, not until in the middle of the dinner when I inquired the friendly maitre why they had not. That was funny.

Anyway, before dinner I told the friendly barkeeper to prepare two gin/tonics one for me and one for the prettiest bride she would ever see. And minutes after Astrid came down looking like a million.

The missus

The missus

The gluten aspect of the missus, gave room for the only flaw of the evening, because I had duly noted it when booking, but still only a normal – but great bread selection hit the table.

Bread

Bread

The error was soon corrected with apologies, and apart from that the evening was perfect. The beautiful – well outstanding terrasse with lots of lit candles gave room for a day and an evening to be remembered.

Unfortunately, for you foodies – the lights – the candles gave only room for 2 more shots. It was simply too dark, but on such a romantic evening, I did not give a damn. It was the night before our wedding anniversary, and I just had one of the best days of my life -  I know, I´m an old romantic.

Here they come…

Great little amuse

Great little amuse

The missus...

The missus…

My conclusion:

The soft rain started to fall, we both each got a blanket to warm us. Great food, great wine and the mood of the evening made this one of the best evenings of my life. I shall keep it private, But today, on this day, the missus gave me the biggest gift I could have ever hoped for. So big was the surprice – that I think I was in schock for quite a while or still is. I thank you dear Astrid for the gift. I hope I can give it back to you somehow in the years to come.

I cannot wait to get back to Anna Amalia and Weimar – rather sooner than later. And next time maybe focus a bit more on the food.

My rating for this visit to Anna Amalia: Food 8p (10), service 4.5p (5), ambience 5p (5), 17.5p (20).

Sp -if you have the chance – go visit Weimar. It´s worth a tour.


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Falco, Leipzig – 16 August 2013

My friends will know that the last few months brought me many ups and downs. In some cases too many for a lifetime. I think only last month I made the missus a list of my best moments of the last three moments. Only two restaurants made the list of around 30 personal emotional highlights. One restaurant in Weimar, I shall get back to that one later – and our new favourite dining place on this earth – Falco. Having been here only once before, expectations were sky high. Peter Maria Schnurr is the essence of a rock´n´roll chef and what this blog is all about. Enjoy life NOW. Keep on dreaming. Keep a light in your heart and in your  life. Peter just wanna see you smile.

This time at Falco we were spoiled with a stunning menu, outstanding service a funny and entertaining Peter Maria Schnurr and had such a GREAT evening with much needed laugther and extravagance on all levels.

Let me set the scene. We had just had 1 week of holiday, meaning – our beautiful boys spend 1 week with their grandma and grandpa. Leaving us a week to endulge in time. Lots of much needed time. However, it was great to be back in Leipzig to pick them up and to see that they actually missed us. However, this last evening was to be spend without them.

The Boys were back in town.

The Boys were back in town.

Or more precisely we were back in town to pick them up. We enjoyed the day with a walk around Leipzig and a trip to the huge Völkerschlachtdenkmal.

Impressive with lots of steps inside to be conquered.

Impressive with lots of steps inside to be conquered.

Back to Falco…

And the stunning view from Falco over Leipzig.

And the stunning view from Falco over Leipzig.

Inside the restaurant we were greeted as old friends by maitre Oliver Kraft, and sommelier Christian Wilhelm. Together with the rest of the staff they are as good as it gets. And make sure all dishes are explained, questions are being answered and chit chat delivered in a balanced and nice way. And on a pleasant down-to-earth way that we prefer. Rock´n´roll.

Its been a while since the dinner took place and some details has slipped my mind since. Some plates were very very hard to shoot, since the glazing of some newly purchased and very exclusive plates did not work well with my camera.

But I shall give you some highlights.

The ever so light and passionate kitchen of Peter Maria Schnurr

The ever so light and passionate kitchen of Peter Maria Schnurr

The menu for the missus was prepared and printed with focus on the gluten issue etc.

Great bread....

Great bread….

One of the best looking and tasting amuses EVER

One of the best looking and tasting amuses EVER !

Amuse

Amuse 2

Amuse 2

Amuse 3

Astrid had this without the lardon, and let me just say, the lardon carried the dish.

Amuse 3 - a masterpiece

Amuse 4 – a masterpiece

All four amuses outstanding, the little funny looking thing here above, was tuna with a GREAT combination of tastes. Explosion of simplicity and good taste. 10p for the amuses

And then the sun went down and the moon came up.

And then the sun went down and the moon came up.

Corréze veal, tartare and sweetbread

Corréze veal, tartare and sweetbread

Great presentation, simplicity and respect for the tastes with no disturbing elements but also no kick factor. 9p

A beauty for the missus

A beauty for the missus

A little bit of everything – Miso coconut hummus, H2O melon, truffels and what do I know. Great 10p

Crab !!!

Crab !!!

No, no crab, but crab. GREAT dish. 10p

Walking mountain Trout

Walking mountain Trout

I do not like the plate. And it was almost impossible to shoot. The white glazing that looks likes a sauce disturbs the picture. They were very proud of these one of a kind plates. But – what they should be proud of was the delicate trout and the stunning dish. I think it was the best dish the missus has had this year. She was VERY impressed. 10p

Leipzig by night...

Leipzig by night…

Porc

Porc

I can say many things about this dish. But if the missus might have had her dream of a dish. Well so did I. Best meat ever. Reminded me of the first time I had lamb at Lameloise. It melted on your tongue. It was stunning and worth a trip to Leipzig alone. I love you Peter Maria Schnurr or whoever did this. 10p is an understatement. You had to be there to understand.

A few other dishes hit the table during the dinner, but I am not happy with the photos. The quality of the dishes were equal to what is shown here anyway. Off to the sweets.

A game of petanque maybe ?

A game of petanque maybe ?

Eatable of course. Including the “sand”.

What followed this time around at Falco was simply the funniest but also great and good working desserts we have ever had. The Petanque above was just a small warm up.

Jamaica with Jamaica rhytms...

Jamaica with Jamaica rhytms…

I got to taste this as well and my own set of mp3 player etc. A friend of Peter – Matthias Tanzmann had created/chosen the funky music to go with the next two couple of desserts for the missus. It was not rock´n´roll…but wauw, what a great way of being innovative, and surprice your guests. We loved it. The rhum, mango and coconut did the rest.

Round two of that Coconut Groove

Round two of that Coconut Groove

Applause, 10p for the two.

My dessert, with a rubbish photo was the only flaw of the evening. I did not care too much about it, was happy to have tried Astrid´s :-) Inside my dessert was as I have seen before baby sweet corn. I do not get or like that lol.

Anyway, last off was another stunner

Hehehe....

Hehehe….

A refreshing, tonic creation to finish of a great menu. Funny thing is – they cannot get the Sweppes Tonic cans in Leipzig so they had to go for a Fanta cans.  We salute you for this dish and promise to ship some tonic cans this week – deal ? Great finish 10p

I think a few more sweets hit the table, but we were too full to bother and maybe even rerejected lol.

My conclusion and rating for this visit.

I shall make this one short and simple. Peter Maria Schnurr, Oliver Kraft, Christian Wilhem, Kathleen and all the staff provides all we want in a restaurant. It is just so unbelieveable good and surpricing. This time around we felt like old friends coming back. It was like hitting harbour after a deadly storm. We felt warm and cozy and were spoiled with attention and outstanding food. There is no way that this evening was not one of the best we have ever had in a restaurant. It was out of this world. We thank you from the botttom of our hearts for making this one a night to remember.

So what you expect folks. . TOP score on all levels. 20/20 Points.

I shall finish with some shots from after service. Last time I got to write on a tile in the kitchen. This time we had an upgrade and were allowed to write in the entrance hall. On the wall. We wrote in Danish. We love you Peter Maria Schnurr…..rock on.

Peter and the missus !

Peter and the missus !

After dinner talk....

After dinner talk….

My tile from last year..

My tile from last year..

Big smiles...

Big smiles…

I shall finish this overdue review with a little reflection.

You guys out there. Including the whole staff at Falco. Keep on dreaming. Open up your heart. Keep a light burning. Then everything will turn out well.

To all at Falco, we love you.

To Astrid, I love you and thank you for the many outstanding moments we shared so far. I hope for many more to come.

To my boys, it was great to have a week without you, it is even better to have you back. You light up our lives.

Now give this song your attention for the next 5 min or so. This ones for you loved ones…