Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cupcake heaven - Lilicup

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am crazy for cupcakes. I have a sweet tooth and can down 3-5 cupcakes at one go with no real effort involved. Unfortunately Luxembourg is not a suitable place to live for a cupcake lover. I have found limited places that offer cupcakes and the supply is not steady. In one lifestyle store you can get them every Tuesday afternoon and then there was the amazing cafe Wenge and when they sold cupcakes I thought:"this is it!" but alas! they stopped selling them. I really need to ask them, why.

The closest good cupcake bakery that I have found is in Brussels. It is a 2 hour drive that I am happy to do just to get my 'fix'. Also, it does not hurt, that the place looks lovely, the cupcakes are delicious and the waiters sweet (see photo below ;)).

The place is called Lilicup and you can check out their website here. I recommend checking the website before going to the bakery as I have driven (twice!) to Brussels, to find out that they have closed for the day for xyz reason.

Here are some photos (done in 2010) to give you some flavour of the place:

Doesn't this just make your mouth water?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My food list for Singapore

I lived in Singapore for 4 months in 2003. I loved it. I loved all of it. But most of all, I loved the food.

So, for never to forget here is my 'MUST EAT' list for Singapore. For some I have photos but otherwise, in no particular order:


bak kut teh (bone marrow soup thing)

Chicken rice

Roti prata

kaya toast (the breakfast food)
fried kway tiaw (noodles)
mee goreng
popiah (like a spring roll)
rojak (veggies, apple and other stuff in sweet/curry sauce with crushed peanuts)
claypot rice
cendol (shaved ice)
ice kachang (another type of shaved ice)

singapore sling (at the Raffles hotel)

durian (only for the brave)

My absolute favourite of all times is chili crab !!! You will have to go to the east coast to get good chili crab, or try the no signboard restaurant. I know other people prefer pepper crab, so better try both!

It comes served in a dish like this. Covered in chili sauce
You will just have to dig in. By the end you will be
covered in the sauce up to your elbows.

But where do you get all this delicious food? No, not in some fancy restaurant. The food courts! An amazing creation of food heaven on earth.

You can get delicacies like this:

A happy customer

Basic and perfect

Friday, November 25, 2011

Le Poisson Rouge

This is one of these times when you do not plan on going to a restaurant and then change your mind at the last moment and of course end up having an absolutely phenomenal meal.

I am talking about Le Poisson Rouge in the tiny French coastal town, Port-Vendres. I went there this summer in June.

Another one of these 'you've got to know where you're going' places. For starters, it is not in the town so as a tourist you will not stumble upon it. Secondly, to get there you first need to drive in the direction of an industrial port and just when you are convinced that you are completely lost the road gets even smaller and goes through a tunnel - which is a two way tunnel but accommodates only one car - and you think that as soon as you get out the other end you'll turn around and try to find the correct way. But instead, you arrive!

The restaurant focuses on fish. No surprise, really, given the name. It is conveniently and appropriately also located on the sea, next to a small beach, giving it a very nice atmosphere and beautiful views.

me and my baby going for a swim after the meal...coincidentally this photo
nicely shows the view from the restaurant 

For the life of me, I wish I could remember what I ate. I only remember that it was delicious! And beautifully served. On the picture below you can see my relatives getting excited as the desserts arrive. Also delicious.

Look it up on the Internet and if you happen to go to Port-Vendres, then I do recommend you try to find this restaurant. You will not regret it...your wallet might...but you will not.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Boos Cafe

Finally a post about my current home country: Luxembourg. My mom was here so we had a babysitter and my wonderful husband took me out for a Sunday brunch. Just me and him and great cafe with amazing atmosphere and good food. The place is called: the Boos Cafe and it is located in Luxembourg, in the town Bridel at 31 Biergerkraitz - that's a mouthful to pronounce. It in the middle of the forest, really. Check out and you get a nice feel for what the place looks like in the summer. This was my first visit there and  middle of November hardly counts as summer so I missed out on the beach feel that they advertise. Apparently in the summer they create a beach club complete with white sand (unknown where they find it), lounge chairs, BBQ, etc. The beach is sorely missed in the country of Luxembourg and anyone trying to bring any beach-like feeling is welcome in my eyes. I can see how this would make an amazing hangout place in the summer:

However, I must say that they worked wonders creating a winter wonderland too. The restaurant was decorated for Christmas but in a beautifully understated way. the fireplace, the all-white tables, chairs, benches, walls, floors, lamb skins and blankets...complete with a frost like decoration that made you feel like you were in a Nordic winter house.

The buffet

Near the fireplace

Restaurant area

I did not want to leave. I did wish they would serve Glogg. That I did not find, but the food on offer was fantastic. Really, anything you could wish for - from British breakfast with sausages and beans to american chicken wings to eggs done any style you choose to sushi, pancakes, salads, etc.etc.etc.

Some examples form our plates:

I cannot say a single bad word about this place. Before going there I heard that it is super expensive (the brunch was 30 euros per person + drinks) but compared to London, Paris, NY, was not. And the food was good. Even more importantly, the service was good. I also heard that it is place to "see and be seen"...yes, there was some Gucci and Burberry around but nothing too extravagant. And it was actually quite nice to see young people (with families) looking pretty and dressed nicely enjoying a calm Sunday brunch. I shall return, and will take others with me!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Yes, another one of Paris...we just spent the weekend there...and we ate. And we ate well. This one is called derrière (at 69, rue des Gravilliers). In English: behind, backside, bottom...go to their website HERE and you are greeted by one.

P booked this place for us for Sunday brunch but it is also open for dinners, however it was impossible to get a dinner reservation on such short notice. I loved the place. The interior design makes it feel as if it was someone's home, complete with a dining room, living room, bedroom, etc. In the bedroom the tables are actually around the bed and you sit on the bed...

To find the place is a little bit tricky - another one of those "you need to know where you are going" places. The entrance is just a normal Paris door with no sign whatsoever for a restaurant. You push the large green door, your heart this the right place? or am i breaking and entering? But fear not! Usually the door is open...

And as soon as you enter, you are in a wonderful courtyard. I must say, we went without our 1.5y old boy but it did seem that it would be an easy place to go to with children.

But we had booked a place inside. We were early - basically they were just opening when we arrived. And I was disappointed as they seated us, in nice big soft armchairs, but next to the entrance to the back room and next to the coffee makers...and juicers. Also, there were teeny tiny pieces of glass on one of the seats so we asked to change the table. It was not a problem and we got a nice table in the middle of the room. They persistently seated any couple who arrived in this horrible table that they first wanted us to sit at...I cannot understand why!?!? the second couple who was seated there actually left the restaurant...the third also asked to change the table and the fourth couple who unluckily got the table was stuck as by then the rest of the place was full. A word of the wise - when you book - ask either for a table upstairs (in the bedroom...wink wink:)) or the table next to the ping-pong table (where we sat)...just maybe say, that you do not want to sit next to the coffee maker!!! In all honesty, I think they should just get rid of that table and people would be happier all around!

Anyway, I am losing my thoughts here....

But here you see where we ended up sitting and a place we liked! Also you get a glimpse of the wonderful eclectic interior design.

Here is the coffee maker and juicers...

But let's get to the important part: food! The brunch menu is 35euros and consists of unlimited buffet, 1 cold drink, 1 hot drink, 1 starter and 1 main course.

P started with a mixed salad and I ordered melon. Ahhh, the wonderful taste! I honestly just expected pieces of melon but they completely surprised me by bringing melon that had been marinated in rose pepper and I believe rose oil and I have no idea what else. But the taste for me was completely new, interesting and unforgettable.

My main were roasted ribs and salad. Again, it did not disappoint. And then we raided the buffet. We were actually completely full by then but the buffet table was OH, SO PRETTY, and the huge selection of cakes and pastries and fruit was so welcoming that we completely buried ourselves under it. The food looked pretty but it also tasted good. So good that as I am writing this I can feel my mouth watering.To drink we both got fresh grapefruit juice and coffees.

The buffet

And finally...I often judge a restaurant by the facilities...and again, 'the behind' did not disappoint. See for yourself. Is this not just lovely?

A place to return. I want to find out what their dinner menu is like!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

La crêperie Breizh Café

So, we rented an apartment for the weekend in Paris and the owner said that we should go to this restaurant Chez Nenesse. I usually do not trust these types of recommendations from hotels and apartment owners who say jus to go there and say that Louis sent you. But the reviews of this apartment all spoke highly of the restaurant recommendations and we needed something early, quickly and without reservation so we thought to give it a try. Just to find out that it is closed for this weekend.

Having no idea where to go and no reservation for Saturday evening we decided to go into the first place that we like. Beggars can't be choosers. We stumbled upon a completely innovative idea of a brasserie of Bretagne cuisine with Japanese influence: La crêperie Breizh Café (109 rue Vieille du Temple, Paris).

Mostly it was crêps with different condiments - salty and sweet. The crêpes themselves were wholewheat and of a completely different texture than one would imagine from a French crêpe. Like they say on their business card: "a different crêpe, a tradition renewed, creative. The condiments almost always included an egg and then something.

P took "Payasenne" - a crepe with onions, egg, sausage, cheese and something else that we cannot remember. I took a daily special - it had chanterelle mushrooms, smoked duck, egg, cheese and cabbage. Both were absolutely delicious. But I rush ahead as I forgot to mention the fresh out-of-this-world Bretagne oysters that are delivered each morning and today at least tasted of heaven (and seawater). I must say that the presentation got high score too: on a bed of salt and crushed ice.

As for eating they stick to various variations of the crepe then to drink they stick to various variations of the cider and drinks made of or with cider. We took a carafe of cider and it came in a beautiful earthware carafe together with a japanese inspired cone earthware cup. Additionally I tried an aperitif of cider with strawberry liquor and it was delicious.

I wish we had, but we did no make it til dessert. Our neighbours did and as they basically licked the plate afterwards I feel safe to say it must have tasted good. You could pretty much see and hear everything your fellow patrons did because the place was incredibly small, cosy and tight, with wonderful lighting. I think only 15 tables. You'd think it could bother you but instead it felt nice and not intrusive at all. Our neighbours happened to be an elderly worldly couple who struck up a conversation with us immediately. We were lucky as it turned out that the lady knows the owners and she was able to give us the entire history plus a recommendation of a teeny tiny B&B that they run in Bretagne. The guy literally looked like he had just stepped out of a Woody Allen movie. He must of been at least 80 years old but I am pretty sure they were there on a date. They spoke french, italian and he spoke american english - we found out that he is a real old-school banker. Like the one they write books about.

I loved it there! But as a recommendation I think the mere fact that most (if not all) crepes had egg on them I would suggest going there for brunch instead of dinner.

PS. Also look for the Breizh Café in Cancale (7 quai Thomas) and their 4 bedroom hotel where the view is supposed to be spectacular over the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel. We certainly want to try once we go there.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Haunted destinations

In Halloween spirit I received an e-mail from Tripadvisor listing 10 haunted travel destinations. Sounds fascinating to me and once I would like to visit them. Listing them here so I can find them again when planning my trip...

1. The Tower of London
London, England
- Site of torture, execution, and murder for more than 1,000 years.

Here I have been but unfortunately did not see any ghosts. Maybe it is necessary to go back at night. Wonder if that is even possible? 

2. Dracula's Castle (Bran Castle)
Brasov, Romania
- Former home to Vlad the Impaler, widely thought to have inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula.

3. The Colosseum
Rome, Italy
- Bloody gladiator shows and gory animal fights. Some hear the sounds of battle by night.

Must say, that during daytime there is no sign of this place being haunted. 

4. Charles Bridge
Prague, Czech Republic
- Said to be haunted by ten decapitated lords who roam the bridge by night.

5. Ballygally Castle
Ballygally, Northern Ireland
- Home to the ghost of Lady Isobel Shaw, whose husband let her starve to death in a locked room.

6. The Queen Mary
Long Beach, California
- More than a dozen apparitions have been recorded aboard this celebrated luxury liner.

7. Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh, Scotland
- A phantom piper, a headless drummer, and a dog are among its ghostly inhabitants.

8. Salem, Massachusetts
- Best known for witch trials in 1692. Tourists come to see the Witch Trial Memorial and Old Burying Point Cemetery.

Ahhh, now it makes sense why the cat was named Salem in "Sabrina the teenage witch" TV show. People put so much thought into the little details and it was completely lost on me. Better late than never. At least now I appreciate it.

9. Catacombs of the Capuchins
Palermo, Italy
- Meet the mummified dead of Palermo in these spooky underground passages.

10. Rose Hall Great House
Rose Hall, Jamaica
- Said to be haunted by former owner Annie Palmer, who murdered three husbands and a succession of lovers.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Prohibition party 1920


You've got to love the British and their love for dress-up parties. Which in why in October we went to the 1920s Prohibition Party. This time it was held in a house close to King's Cross Station and I just wish I had written down the name. You always think you remember, and never do, right? That's me all right! Nevertheless - it was phenomenal.

We were late. But as we entered we were transported back into a time where guys wore suits and girls fancy dresses and headbands to party. A time when the dress was not tight, or short, but oh-so-sexy, and people did not dance in circles but in couples, with actual dance moves. Had it been allowed to smoke inside we would have believed that we were in 1920. Everyone had made a huge effort and I felt an itch of regret for times we live in now as people looked amazingly better in 1920s clothing.

The location was chosen wisely as the main party room was a large exquisite hall with parquet floors, a stage and an overall ballroom feel. There was a roulette table at one side of the hall, which looked like fun but was unfortunately not so well organised as you never got a chance to use your "make-believe" gambling cash due to too many people around the table. On the other side, at the bar, there were drinks served out of tea cups and with names you would not know what you are ordering. The better the surprise when they turned out to be delicious. The best part, however, was the entertainment - a live band, a burlesque show and professional dancers on the dance floor. I must admit, I did not read up on this party before going and therefore did not know about the professional dancers. I thought that some ballroom dancers had decided to come to the party to show off their skills. How petty of me! They were dancing in a way that made everyone want to go and take ballroom dance courses. In the end, I found out, that they were part of the planned entertainment...very well planned and very entertaining. Lovely to watch!

I recommend going early - maybe it was the location - but the party started dying down at around 1am. It was incredibly hot inside which might have something to do with it. Amazing music that got everyone on the dance floor did not help with the heat (and, admittedly, lack of ventilation). However, the parties are supposed to be held in a new location every time so do not let this comment hold you back! It is good fun and definitely worth trying. Make an effort dressing up - from the shoes to to the hair, it's got to be perfect. Everyone else is!

For the next location and time of party check this out: Website .

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Trabucco al Mimi

This summer we had the pleasure to enjoy french and italian cuisine. I have not had time to write about it so I try to amend that.

There are restaurants where you go for the food. Some, where you go for the atmosphere. Some others, where the location is suitable and then there are some, that are fully booked each evening as you go there for the view and the sunset...well, and a little bit for the food too. I am talking about Al Trabucco da Mimi, in Italy, Peschici. (Website)

It is located in an amazing national park in south of Italy, called Gargano. Granted, it is not so easy to get there as the highway stops around 2 hours before getting to any seaside location but the drive on the small roads it well worth choosing this as your vacation spot. Most people stay in camping grounds either with their caravans or in little rented houses. You usually spend your day on the beach and the evening outside and you cook yourself. But there are some very good restaurants also in the area. One of these is Trabucco. 

10 years ago, when I first went to Trabucco (during my first vacation with my now husband, then boyfriend) it was a small booth selling 'catch of the day'. You stayed in line, paid for your meal and then sat at home-made wooden tables and enjoyed the view and the food. Because the food is good, but the view... well, that is just amazing. You can see why. It is on a tip of a peninsula and on top of a cliff. Does is get any better than that?

Now, 10 years later, you go to the booth, you order your food and you sit at wooden tables and enjoy the food and the view. However, sadly, instead of 10 tables you have 25 tables and 2 settings during the evening. They are immensely popular and completely booked for most nights, so call ahead! The view is still the same and even with the popularity they have maintained an unbeatable atmosphere. With the two settings now, you should be careful to choose the time when you can see the sunset. Because it is worth going there to see the sunset. It is just magical. Perfect place to propose, for example...

View to nearby beach

The restaurant

Now, the FOOD. Well, to tell you the is good. But not excellent. You must be really bad to ruin fresh fish and the restaurant has the freshest of the fish. They used to do their own fishing. Now I do not know. With the amount of visitors I doubt they can only survive on their own catch. 

But the seafood is fresh and well prepared and true to any real italian restaurant run by italians, you will not be disappointed, if you have reasonable expectations. Would I return there just for the food? I doubt. There are so many so good seafood restaurants in Italy that I have yet to try. But combine the food with the atmosphere and the view (and the fact that it is very child friendly, being outdoors) then at the moment, it is one of my top restaurants.

Choosing the food - only daily menu

My starter. ricci! Delish!

My main. Good but a bit bland.

Resto inside

Complimentary digestif. I think it was orange and lychee liquor.
Not limoncello, as one might expect.

My dessert. Very good 'home made' style