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Café Food Restaurant

Eating healthy in Strasbourg: le Café potager

Le Café potager is a “fast good” café in the center of Strasbourg.

Savory dishes, both hot and cold (salads, bowls, quiches) are displayed all around the the counter, and there are several vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free options. When you pick a lunch or brunch menu, you can choose to have an appetizer or dessert (pie, cheesecake, fruit salad, cookies, panna cotta…) with your main as well.

Their coffee, from various origins, is all roasted in Strasbourg and offered in a wide selection of forms (americano, cold brew, espresso, moccacino, latte macchiato…), while their tea, hot or iced, comes from Thé des Muses just around the corner. You could also go for a freshly squeeed juice, soda, or lemonade.

All the dishes are tasty, fresh and house-made, and the baristas are cheerful and friendly.

You can enjoy your meal inside, on the terrace on rue des Francs-Bourgeois in the summertime, or take it to go.

We love the verdant interior with details of light wood, metal and light bulbs.

For digital nomads: the café offers free wifi gratuit and power outlets to charge your phone or laptop.

Le Café potager
📍 5 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Strasbourg
🔗 View website (in French)

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Blog Museum

Visit a museum in Strasbourg: Museum of Fine Arts

Five centuries of painting in Europe

The Museum of Fine Arts is located on the upper level of the Palais Rohan, which also houses the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Museum of Archaeology. Designed like a grand Parisian manor – or “hôtel particulier” – the Palais Rohan was built for Cardinal de Rohan-Roubise, Prince-Bishop of Strasbourg, between 1732 and 1742. After the French Revolution, the Palace served as an imperial and subsequently royal residence, before becoming a museum after 1870.

The Museum of Fine Arts presents an overview of European painting spanning from the Middle Ages to 1870. The museum’s twenty rooms thereby allow you to wander through five centuries of European art, such as the Italo-Byzantine style, the Italian Renaissance, Nordic landscapes, still lifes and vanitases, Dutch 17th-century landscapes, and 19th-century portraits. The collection features pieces by notable artists like Giotto, Titian, El Greco, Botticelli, Raphael, Rubens, Goya, van Dyck, Delacroix, Chassériau, Corot and even Courbet.

The Palace’s refined architecture serves as a magnificent backdrop for the museum’s collection. The brightly colored walls and neat lighting showcase the artworks, highlighting their hues and bringing out their contrasts. The golden parquet floor, which creaks charmingly with every step, immerses visitors further in a time long since passed. Beyond the magnificent paintings, the windows looking out over the palace courtyard and Strasbourg Cathedral are eye-catching as well.

Like other visitors must have been before uswe were particularly struck by the allure of La Belle Strasbourgeoise (The Beautiful Strasbourg Woman) by Nicolas de Largillière. This portrait from 1703 is one of the museum’s main attractions and is easily recognizable thanks to the impressive bicorn hat worn by the subject. The painting reveals itself gradually at the end of a long, ornate corridor lined with cobalt blue walls, gilded details, and Corinthian columns. Our experience with this 18th-century piece was a perfect example of Roger de Pile’s quote from 1708: “A true painting must draw in its viewer…and the surprised viewer must respond, as if entering into a conversation.”

The Museum of Fine Arts
📍 2 place du Château, Strasbourg

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Blog our favorites

Straddling the border in the Jardin des Deux Rives

The Jardin des Deux-Rives stretches across 150 hectares and consists of two half-gardens on either side of the Rhine, linked by an elegant cable-stayed footbridge. This cross-border landscaped park, which was inaugurated in 2004, is a symbol of French-German friendship.

• On the French side, in Strasbourg, you enter the park by walking along the riding school, or by taking the Sentier des planètes (path of the planets) in the middle. Spanning 281 meters, the solar system has been scaled down 16 billion times, to give you an idea of the distance between the Sun and the different planets of the solar system

As you explore the park, you’ll also find:
– a water wall (in a semicircle, on either side of the central axis)
themed and pop-up gardens where you can daydream for a while
– a large lawn where flower shows, and cultural events are organized in the summertime (concerts with the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra de Strasbourg or open-air cinema nights)
– a sculpture path (with works by Sylvie Blocher, Andrea Blum, Tadashi Kawamata, Philippe Lepeut and Akio Suzuki) that continues on the German side of the Rhine
picnic tables
playgrounds
– a boules pitch.

• Cross the Passerelle Mimram footbridge (only for pedestrians and cyclists) which spans the Rhine. This cable-stayed footbridge designed by architect Marc Mimram was imagined as a hyphen, a connection between France and Germany. Its two decks converge to form a central platform, above the middle of the Rhine. Stop for a while and enjoy the view or watch a riverboat pass by.

On the German side, in Kehl, a peaceful, paved promenade, shady and well maintained (der blaue Weg), winds along the riverbank.

Everyone can enjoy the park however they like:
– if you’re the contemplative type: the walking path is dotted with benches at regular intervals
– if you’re more sporty: there are several kinds of gym apparatus
for plant lovers: explore the Biblical Garden
ufologists: climb into a flying saucer (UFO is an exhibit space)
art lovers: admire the sculptures, like Begegnung by Josef Fromm (which notably symbolizes the friendship between France and Germany) and the Roses Frontalières (Border Roses) by Thomas Rother (honoring members of the French resistance who were murdered mere hours after Strasbourg was freed in 1944).

If you move a little further away from the river to find higher ground and climb the Silver Fir Tower (Weisstannenturm). At 44 meters high, this tower offers a splendid view of the Rhine, Strasbourg Cathedral, and on clear days – all the way to the Black Forest and the Vosges mountains.

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Food Restaurant

An Italian restaurant in Strasbourg: La Vetta

La Vetta is a family-run Italian ristorante with an intimate atmosphere, located in a small side street near Strasbourg Cathedral.

Filomena greets her customers like old friends, and takes care of every table with enthusiasm and generosity. Her husband Antonio – bandana tied around his head – works hard in the kitchen with his sous-chef. Italian pop streams out of the speakers, immediately immersing you in the feeling of Neapolitan dolce vita.


The minimal menu is completed by a board of seasonal specials (like truffles, mozzarella di bufala, linguine alle vongole…). The selection is wide enough to satisfy every taste and preference.

For instance, you could start with a glass of prosecco or spritz accompanied with a Parma ham bruschetta, before continuing with a pizza La Vetta (with Parma ham and arugula) or a meat dish (like saltimbocca alla Romana), fish (grilled squid), pasta, risotto, or a vegetarian dish, and end on a sweet note with a tiramisú.

The dishes are house-made, tasty, well-balanced, and cooked to perfection. In the course of a meal, you’re transported to the heart of Italy. Don’t forget to order the tiramisú, which is among our top 3 best tiramisús in town.


La Vetta is one of our favorite places in Strasbourg. One of the reasons for that is the fact that we had our very first date here, when an unexpected serenade from a mandolin player made us feel like we were in Lady and the Tramp. O sole mio… !

Reservations recommended.
(These photos were taken at the beginning of dinner service. When we left, the restaurant was full.)

Ristorante La Vetta 
📍 16B rue du Sanglier, Strasbourg

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Blog Glimpse of

A glimpse of Strasbourg #2

Due to the restrictive measures put in place to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, the terrace at the top of the Vauban Dam was closed for many months. Seeing it finally open again fills us with hope. How wonderful to be back up there, especially when the weather is so lovely! 

The Vauban Dam was built around 1680 as a part of Strasbourg’s defense strategy, following the designs of the Marquis de Vauban, who served as military engineer under Louis XIV. In the event of an attack, the dam made it possible to raise the level of the river Ill, thereby flooding the southern part of the city and rendering it inaccessible to the enemy. 

To this day, the Vauban Dam still spans the Ill across from the four medieval towers of Ponts Couverts in la Petite France. The platform at the top offers a panoramic, 360°-view of the city – with the Ponts Couverts, la Petite France and Strasbourg Cathedral on one side, and the Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCS) on the other. 

On this particular day, we stayed up there for ages, taking in every detail of the city stretching out before us. Taking much-needed time to enjoy the moment. 

After these long months of waiting, the panoramic terrace opening to the public again seemed to signal a new start, and life slowly getting back to normal. Not quite like before, but differently. It gave us a sense of relief, of getting our freedom back, like the past months’ frustration was finally going to fade away. A cautious, careful freedom, but with hope that we will soon be able to put all of this behind us. Making plans for the future seemed possible again. 

Going up to the terrace of the Vauban Dam gave us a new outlook on reality, a different perspective from what we’d been used to in the last year. 

Before going back down to the real world, we looked over to the nearby Strasbourg University Hospital, thinking of the healthcare workers and all the other people who have contributed to the fight against the pandemic. Thank you!

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Blog Event

L’Industrie Magnifique 2021 takes “place” in Strasbourg

A public art fair in Strasbourg squares!

From the 3rd to the 13th of June, the second-ever Industrie Magnifique (“magnificent industry”) celebrates art meeting industry in public spaces in Strasbourg.

70 artists from all over the world, sponsored by 35 benefactor companies, will present 30 original and monumental pieces they’ve created especially for the occasion. For 10 days, 20 public squares in Strasbourg are transformed into open-air art galleries.

This event is this the result of a project that is completely unique, with 3 players – artists, companies and local authorities – working together towards a common goal. For every collaboration, an artist will first meet with a company to create an original, monumental piece of art. Next, the artist-company duo will work with local authorities to exhibit the piece in a public square. Finally, the resulting pieces are presented at a major public event in the center of town: l’Industrie Magnifique.

Our favorite pieces:

• The spectacular installation “MUSEUM OF THE MOON” (Luke Jerram): a hyper-realistic moon, measuring 7 meters across, floating at the center of the nave in Strasbourg Cathedral. (The piece inside the Cathedral is a part of the “Cosmos District” by art collective L’Ososphère, located in place du Château.)

• The monumental sculpture “TERRE DE CIEL” (land/earth of sky) by Patrick Bartardoz: this three-dimensional Tower of Babel, over 7 meters tall, made from bricks, roof tiles, terracotta, metal and glass tiles, can be found in place Broglie.

• The poetic “PORTÉE AUX NUES” (praised to the skies) by Bénédicte Bach: a dreamy sky full of clouds, made from different textures of white leather, suspended above rue des Hallebardes, with the Cathedral as a backdrop.

• The unique and quirky “LIBÈRE TON ÉNERGIE !” (free your energy) by David David, place des Tripiers: this piece uses the artist’s signature character “La Tête dans L’art” (head in the arts), who is isolated from the hustle and bustle of society thanks to the paint bucket he wears on his head.

L’Industrie Magnifique

From the 3rd to the 13th of June 2021

30 pieces made by 70 artists, 20 squares in the center of Strasbourg

Access to the squares where the exhibition takes places is free.

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Blog Glimpse of

A glimpse of Strasbourg #1

The crooked houses between n°22 and n°26 seem to lean against each other, as though they had their own definition of balance.

Between n°23 and n°24, you can see a tiny little garden hidden away in a corner, halfway up the wall. If you don’t take the time to contemplate the organized chaos of the facades, you might miss it. The greenery almost appears to be dancing, winding between lanterns and pots hung higgledy-piggledy around a window. Every now and then, a bird will settle for a few moments on the fine shrubbery. 

Let your eyes wander and take in the details of the sculpted woodwork on the townhouse.

Every now and then, you can hear music streaming out of a window on the second floor next door – a percussionist playing his instruments by the open window. Curious passers-by stop on the street to listen as he plays: the chimes, the xylophone, the cymbals… 

The façades are undergoing renovations soon. Let’s hope this place will retain it’s magic once the work is done.

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Blog our favorites

Our 15 street art favorites in Strasbourg

Before embarking on a “street art safari” in Strasbourg, we generally begin by agreeing on a search perimeter of a certain number of blocks. Then we comb the streets, looking for a collage, a graffiti piece, a mural, or a painted power box – as if we were looking to spot wild animals on a photo safari in Africa. Whenever we find street art we haven’t seen before, we like to take the time to really examine the piece and figure out what it’s all about, before taking a snapshot of it – as a keepsake.

We love the wildly creative aspect of street art, as well as the accessibility of it, thanks to its presence in public spaces. This form of artistic expression is so much more than just a splash of color or a backdrop for the urban cityscape.

Here are 15 of our favorite street art pieces in Strasbourg

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Blog our favorites

Wisteria hysteria in Strasbourg

Now that the magnolias have blossomed, the wisterias are starting to bloom – signalling the arrival of spring and eventually the early days of summer. Here and there, buildings are clad in creeping, brightly-colored floral terraces, natural spiral staircases, cascades of sparkling lilac or white… Garden archways don their spring attire and bask in the sunlight.Every year, these fragrant climbing clusters enchant photographers, lovers of beauty and flower enthusiasts alike. They also attract bees and bumblebees, who indulge in their nectar.

Here are some of our favorite shots of Strasbourg’s wisterias in bloom:

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Blog Travel

Our photo safari in Africa

Several months before the Covid pandemic, we went on a photo safari to discover the wildlife and landscapes of Namibia and Botswana – also stopping at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

It was during this trip that the idea for this blog was born. 

Reminiscing about our travels in Africa instantly brings back images and memories of all the things we experienced there:

Gazing dreamingly out over vast, wide-open spaces. Observing nature and wildlife, all while respecting their natural habitat. Exploring the Okavango river by mokoro (a traditional Botswanan canoe). Sailing on the Chobe river at the speed of a herd of elephants. Beholding the double rainbows around “The smoke that thunders” at Victoria Falls, and savoring the moment. Admiring the endless dunes of orange sand in the Namib desert. Lingering to watch the animals at a watering hole in Etosha National Park. Taking the time to enjoy the beauty of the light throughout the day, ending in a blazing sunset. Falling asleep to the sound of grunting hippos. 

Here are some of the highlights from our safari in southern Africa:

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Blog our favorites

Unusual Strasbourg: the Büchmesser

Located at the corner of rue Mercière and place de la Cathédrale, the belly-measuring column, or “Büchmesser” in Alsatian, was built in 1567 and restored in 2016.

This pink sandstone column is a Strasbourg icon and the vestige of a tradition dating back to the 14th century. 

The bourgeois members of the City Council would use it to gauge their portliness every year for the Schwoertag, which was the day they would swear their allegiance to the Constitution. After being sworn in, they would visit the various guilds in town and attend a feast. Afterwards, if they were unable to slip sideways through the space between the column and the wall of the building, it was time for them to go on a diet. 

Try it yourself, by slipping wetween the belly-measuring column and the wall. The space is 35 centimeters wide! 

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Blog our favorites

12 places to see magnolias in bloom in Strasbourg

Every spring, all over Strasbourg, the trees transform into clouds of pink and white. For just a few days, nature offers us this wonderful display of ephemeral beauty.

The blossoming magnolias are a sign that spring has sprung and that warm summer days are close at hand.

Both visitors and locals flock to admire the flowers, take pictures and selfies, or just sit down at the foot of a tree to enjoy the lovely springtime weather.

We’ve picked out 12 of the best places in Strasbourg to see magnolias in bloom – all fully visible in the public space:

🌐 Enlarge the map »

• Place de la République: there are several magnolia trees at both the north and south end of the park in the middle of the square.  This is definitely one of Strasbourg’s most beautiful and popular spots to see the blossoming magnolias.

• Quai Koch, below pont Royal. Down by the riverside, you’ll find an ideal view of Saint Paul’s church.

• Place Brant, by the bus stop, in front of café Brant. This majestic magnolia tree is the centerpiece of place Brant. The view towards the Palais Universitaire is particularly beautiful.

• Place Broglie, in the garden of Palais du Gouverneur militaire  

• Parc de Contades, at the northeast corner of the park, not far from the passerelle des Arquebusiers. A lovely spot where you can enjoy the calm atmosphere of the parc.

• Parc de l’Orangerie, around Pavillon Joséphine

• Lycée des Pontonniers, visible from pont Saint-Etienne and the banks of the river Ill below

• At the back of Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune Catholic church, at the corner of rue Saint-Arbogast and rue du Général de Castelnau

• Outside 5 rue Fischart (the former Departmental Archives)

The corner of quai Lézay-Marnésia and rue des Récollets, in a garden you can see from the street

• On the University’s Campus de l’Esplanade, between the Faculty of Languages and the Institute of Biological Chemistry  

• Place de l’Étoile, by the main entrance to City Hall

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Food Restaurant

An urban cheesemaker in Strasbourg: Pour de Bon

Pour de Bon (“For good”) is a fairytale come true: the story of the designer who became a cheesemaker. A bold new career choice, but such a fitting one. 

Camille welcomes curious and hungry cheese lovers into her world, for breakfast, brunch (Saturdays and Sundays), lunch or dinner.

Having trained with a « Meilleur Ouvrier de France » cheesemaker, she then went on to work in several Alsatian farms and delicatessens. She’s also drawn inspiration from her encounters and travels, all the way to Australia. 

This pocket-sized restaurant really manages to recreate the atmosphere of an Alsatian farmstead inn, but in the city. The decor mixes modern and traditional elements, while the ingredients are fresh, seasonal, house-made or sourced locally. 

Camille, the bubbly, friendly and cheerful owner, makes her cheeses in-house from cow’s milk or goat milk, in Europe’s smallest cheese factory. She prepares her dishes with love and care, and welcomes her clients as though they were friends.

The brunch menu is simple, but creative and well-balanced, generous, fresh, and light.

We enjoyed the selection of house-made cheeses (cow’s milk, goat cheese and “quaimembert”), made on quai des Pêcheurs. Camille also performed the remarkable feat of making Stéphanie like Camembert and goat cheese! 

We also enjoyed the toasted brioche with apples, roasted beetroot, bacon chips and fromage frais, as well as the pancakes with fromage frais and popcorn.

Camille’s passion and care for her work clearly shine through in her cheeses and in the balance of flavors. 

Sometimes talent really makes it worth while to start your own business “for good”! 

We tested Pour de Bon for the first time while restaurants were still open in France. Since then, we’ve also tried out the take-away brunch, and found it just as fresh and delicious as ever. We doubly recommend this place. Camille is a flavor magician! At the moment, in addition to brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, you can order a selection of treats to go: “apéro” boxes and house-made cheeses, as well as tasty dishes and desserts for both lunch and dinner.

Pour de Bon
📍19 quai des Pêcheurs, Strasbourg 
🔗 View website (in French)

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Blog Travel

Our best discoveries in the Netherlands

Recently we were going through the photos we’d taken during our trip to the Netherlands in 2020, and we realized we wanted to share some of our favorite discoveries from the handful of towns we visited: 

The Hague, Rotterdam, Delft, Gouda, Zandvoort, Amsterdam.

Now that it’s winter break here and we have no new travel plans on the horizon with the current situation, we’ve been reminiscing about our recent trips. 2020 was supposed to bring us to the Silk Road in Uzbekistan, where we would finally explore legendary cities like Samarkand and Bukhara, like we’ve dreamed of doing for many years. We’ve had to give up on that dream, if only for the time being …

Instead, we chose a destination that was much closer, for about a week-long trip: the Netherlands. After the lockdown in France in the spring of 2020, our goal was simply to get some fresh air and get away for a while. We needed a change of scenery, to take the time to be outside, walk around, and enjoy a little freedom (with all the necessary safety measures).

From Strasbourg, you can get to Amsterdam by plane (a direct flight with Air France-KLM takes 1 hr and 25 mins), by train (6 or 7 hrs via Paris) or by car (6.5 hrs). You could try other modes of transport (magic carpet, unicorn, bike, scooter …), but we’re not too sure about the travel times.

Suring our stay, we were based in Gouda (yes, like the cheese!). We explored a new city every day and travelled by train to avoid the regularly gridlocked Dutch highways. The pre-paid travel card  OV-chipkaart (which you can easily top up at the train station ticket office) is very handy here. You can use it on all public transport in the Netherlands, including trains.

The Hague

The Dutch government and parliament are based in The Hague, which is the administrative capital of the Netherlands. It’s not a rare sight in town to spot the Prime Minister pedal by you on his bike …

Our discoveries

• The Parliament district and especially de Hofvijver (the Court Pond) at the foot of the houses of Parliament. The Prime Minister’s Office is located in a small tower directly overlooking the pond. Right next to the Parliament, you’ll find one of the country’s most famous art museums: het Mauritshuis

• Not far from the houses of Parliament – het Lange Voorhout, with its antique market, and the little streets behind the exclusive Hôtel des Indes.

• The pedestrian city center, with its luxury boutiques near Paleis Noordeinde (the royal palace) and more trendy and cool shops near de Grote of Sint-Jacobskerk (the Great or St. James’ Church).

• The Passage: this neo-Renaissance-style shopping gallery is the oldest shopping center in the Netherlands, dating back to 1885.

• The façade and interior of The Sting department store

Rotterdam

One of the Netherlands’ most modern cities – located by the Nieuwe Maas river. The architecture is almost entirely contemporary, because of the massive bombings the city endured during WWII. Rotterdam is particularly dynamic and is constantly reinventing itself.

Our discoveries

• De Kubuswoningen (Cube houses): these purposely wonky-looking, cube-shaped houses, as well as the pencil-shaped building Het Potlood, were designed by architect Piet Blom. 

• Markthal: the largest market hall in Holland. This indoor market serves a double function – both commercial (with market stalls and restaurants) and residential (with apartments on the upper floors). Inside the building, the ceiling and walls are entirely covered with a massive mural depicting fruit, vegetables and grains.

• De Erasmusbrug (Erasmus bridge): this cable-stayed bridge has become one of the city’s icons. It’s almost as tall as Strasbourg Cathedral (the bridge is 139 m and the Cathedral spire is 142 m). We recommend crossing the bridge on foot.

• The Wilhelminapier peninsula. After the bridge, take a right on the peninsula and walk along the waterfront. If the weather permits, have a seat on a bench in the sunshine and watch the boats glide by. 

• For a little treat: enjoy an afternoon tea at Hotel New York (at the very end of the Wilhelminapier). This hotel used to be the main office of the Holland-America Line, which ran cargo and passenger ships between Rotterdam and New York.

Delft

The city where Vermeer lived, and birthplace of the blue and white Royal Delft pottery that carries its name.

Our discoveries

• Het Prinsenhof (the prince’s court): the former residence of William the Silent, Prince of Orange in the 16th century, is a puzzle of ancient buildings, archways and little gardens

• Het Stadhuis: Delft’s Renaissance style city hall in the market square

• De Oostpoort: The Eastern gate (from the early 15th century) with its two Brick Gothic towers and drawbridge

• De Voldersgracht: a canal lined with flowers and picturesque houses.

Gouda 

This town is famous for its cheese, yet underestimated for its charming streets and canals.

Our discoveries

• Het Stadhuis: Gouda’s city hall is known for its characteristic red and white shutters. One of the oldest city halls in the Netherlands

• The cheese market: To buy some very goud-a cheese, head to the cheese market – every Thursday morning from April to August (if the context allows for it). Don’t forget to bring cash! 

• The canals, which are perhaps more unspoiled than in Amsterdam, are lined with quaint houses and shop fronts reminiscent of the 19th century (antiques shops, wine and liquor stores, bookshops …).

• The neighborhood around Sint-Janskerk (St. John’s Church). The church is the longest in the country, and famous for its stained-glass windows.

Zandvoort

One of the few towns in the Netherlands where you can walk along the North Sea on a paved promenade or directly on the sand (and relax on the beach if the weather is nice enough). In the off season, it’s a lot calmer in Zandvoort than in Scheveningen, the seaside town next to The Hague.

Amsterdam

The vibrant capital – a labyrinth of bricks and water.

We’d had the opportunity to experience several of the city’s must-see sights during previous trips (the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Albert Cuyp market, the flower market, Dam Square, Anne Frank’s house …). This time however, we made the most of the wonderful weather and went on a very long walk, thereby avoiding waiting in line for different tourist attractions:

• We pretended to get lost for hours in the maze of canals and side streets, taking in the buildings in Jordaan (the neighborhood around Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Westerkerk, and Magere Brug)

• Strolled and relaxed in Vondelpark, a massive green lung in the heart of the city

• Went shopping around Spuistraat

• Admired the colorful façades in Damrak

Shopping tip: Many shops and stalls in the Netherlands only accept Dutch debit/credit cards or cash.

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Blog unusual Strasbourg

Unusual Strasbourg: the Janus Fountain

Located just northeast of place Broglie (in square Markos Botzaris), the Janus Fountain, also known as The Birth of Civilization, was designed in 1988 by Alsatian illustrator Tomi Ungerer, on the occasion of Strasbourg’s 2000-year anniversary. The piece is named after Janus, the two-faced Roman god.

Tomi Ungerer pointed out that “the Rhineland [had been] at the heart of [his] work”. The two faces of the fountain represent the duality of French and Germanic culture in Strasbourg and Alsace. One of the faces is turned towards the historical city center, while the other points towards the old German imperial quarter of the Neustadt.

The aqueduct structure, composed of 5000 bricks, symbolizes the Roman origins of Strasbourg, where the military outpost of Argentoratum was once located.

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Blog our favorites

Strasbourg through the seasons: Pontonniers

Lycée des Pontonniers – a high school with over 1000 students ranging from first-years (age 15/16) to post-secondary preparatory classes – was built in 1902. Isn’t it a little reminiscent of Hogwarts?

With every season, Strasbourg reveals a new side to itself, a unique charm and atmosphere.

In exploring Strasbourg, we endeavor to capture the city in all the different lights and hues that the seasons have to offer throughout the year.

Wintery palettes give way to blossoms and nature’s awakening, to mild summer weather and outdoor activities, and finally to the chill of Autumn with its fiery colors.

(Re)discover Lycée des Pontonniers at different times of year:

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Blog our favorites

Top 10 best views of the Strasbourg Cathedral

Walking around Strasbourg will allow you to see the Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, from different angles.

Here is our selection of the 10 best vantage points from which to view the Strasbourg Cathedral: 

10. Pont d’Auvergne 

9. Place de la République 

8. Avenue de la Paix-Simone Veil 

7. Rue du Vieil Hôpital 

6. Place des Tripiers  

5. The platform of the Vauban Dam 

4. Ponts Couverts 

3. Quai des Bateliers and passerelle de l’Abreuvoir 

2. Place du Château and the courtyard of the Palais Rohan

1. Rue Mercière 

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Blog

Imaginary Christmas market: a recipe from Norway

Since Strasbourg’s world-famous Christmas market is sadly cancelled in 2020, we wondered what it would be like if we simply imagined this year’s market. 

Every year, one country is the market’s guest of honor, and place Gutenberg is filled with stalls selling souvenirs and culinary specialties from that country. In previous years, the guests of honor have been Belgium, Lebanon, Iceland, and many others.

Since Stephanie is Norwegian, we’ve imagined a market with Norway as the guest of honor. On that occasion, we wanted to share a typically Norwegian Christmas tradition with you. Those of you who are familiar with Alsatian Christmas traditions will know the Mannele, or Mannala, which is essentially a little brioche-man (as opposed to a gingerbread-man) enjoyed all through the month of December, but particularly on December 6th, for the feast of Saint Nicholas.

In Norway (and throughout Scandinavia) there is a somewhat similar tradition for making “Lussekatter“, or saffron buns, for the feast of Saint Lucia on December 13th. These very tasty buns have a bright yellow color (from saffron or turmeric) and are traditionally shaped into swirls and spirals. This is done to symbolize light winning over darkness and the sun slowly returning after the gloom of winter.

Just imagine the Norwegian village at the market … the smell of fresh saffron buns, the spicy aroma of gløgg (Norwegian mulled wine), stalls selling risgrøt (rice porridge with cinnamon, sugar, and butter) or smoked salmon, others offering aquavit and Christmas ale, little decorations with gnomes and trolls, traditional wool sweaters and mittens …            

Let’s hope it comes true some day! See you in 2021, for next year’s market. In the meantime, we hope you will enjoy this recipe! God Appetitt!

Recipe for LUSSEKATTER or saffron buns

Ingredients:

• 1 to 1,5 g of saffron

• 50 g of fresh yeast 

• 0,5 L of milk

• 150 to 200 g of butter or margarine

• 0,5 teaspoon of salt

• 1-3 dL of sugar

• 1 egg

• About 1,5 L of flour

• Raisins for decorating (optional)

+ 1 egg and a splash of milk for the egg wash

How to make lussekatter:

Grind the saffron to a fine powder.

Crumble the yeast into a large bowl and stir out into a few tablespoons of the milk.

Melt the butter, then add the milk. Gently heat the mixture until tepid (test a drop on your skin, it needs to be tepid to activate the yeast, but too much heat will kill it.). Add the saffron.

Pour the milk and butter over the yeast and stir in the salt, sugar and about half of the flour. Add the rest of the flour a little at a time (you might not need all of it) and knead it in by hand until the dough is nice and smooth. Sprinkle a little flour on top, cover with a tea towel and set to rise in a warm place with no cold draughts until it doubles in size.

Knead the dough in the bowl for a minute, then knead out on a smooth surface where you’ve sprinkled a little flour, until it is smooth and easy to work with.

Cut or rip the dough into smaller parts, then twist, roll or braid different buns. Just remember larger buns will take longer to cook through. Decorate with raisins (optional).

Put the shaped buns on a greased tray and let them rise under a tea towel for another half hour). Lightly paint them with an egg wash.

Cooking time:

Bake at about 200 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes or more, depending on your oven and the size of the buns. Just keep an eye on them and take them out of the oven when they are golden brown.

Categories
Food Restaurant

An Italian restaurant in Strasbourg: Il Felice

Il Felice, the new Italian restaurant in rue des Tonneliers, is a joy to the senses. Sit down beneath a lush canopy of greenery to savor their generous Italian cuisine with a twist. The interior is classy and modern without ever being austere.

The menu (consisting of antipasti, classic or gluten free pasta, secondi piatti, pizza and dolci) is small but very well rounded, thanks to the addition of seasonal specials on the blackboard. Those who love cocktails, prosecco, moscato, and italian wines and spirits will be able to indulge here, all in moderation.

We particularly enjoyed the lovely floral touch of the Saint-Germain spritz with a bucatini straw, the seasonal pumpkin pizza with walnuts, chestnuts, arugula and shaved parmesan, the Burrata d’Amore pizza (yellow tomatoes, datterini, pesto, preserved red tomatoes, burrata, slivered almonds) and their kids’ menu (all main courses are available in half portions at half price).

Il Felice
📍 2 rue du Poumon, Strasbourg
🔗 View website (in French)

Categories
Bar Food

A speakeasy in Strasbourg: Secret place AEDAEN

The entrance to this “secret” bar is in the pizzeria in rue des Aveugles. Go through the restaurant, past the kitchens, and pull on the little console table (shhh! you didn’t hear it from us).

Choose from a selection of cocktails (with or without alcohol), spirits (a large array of whisky, gin, vodka, rum, cognac, armagnac, pisco, grappa, schnapps, calvados, mezcal, tequila, absinth, vermouth, port …), beer, or soft drinks. You can also try a bespoke cocktail, according to your tastes, allergies, or simply what you feel like. Answer a series of questions from the bartender and let yourself be amazed. 

The selection of spirits is so large that the bartenders regularly have to climb a ladder all the way up to the ceiling to find the right bottle. 

The decor consists of a harmonious mix of raw concrete, red velvet and retro wallpaper. An enormous stuffed kudu head has found its place next to the bar, and the space is softly lit with shaded lamps, hanging metal lamps, as well as vintage chandeliers and wall lights.

We decided to put the bartender’s creativity to the test. She then prepared a tailor-made cocktail for each of us : one with blackcurrant liqueur, Greek vermouth and grapefruit syrup, the other with tequila, black sesame, and lemongrass. The result was delicious, subtle and perfectly balanced. Only once we tasted the drinks were the ingredients revealed to us. It’s a good thing to not always be in control, and rather sit back and rely on the skill and inspiration of an alchemist!

We particularly enjoyed the speakeasy-vibe, the wall of bottles, the bespoke cocktails and the creativity of the staff.

(Photos taken with the express permission of the bartenders.)

Secret place AEDAEN
📍 4 rue des Aveugles, Strasbourg