Monthly Archives: November 2016

Merci Obernai


30 minutes by train from Strasbourg, the Alsacian city welcomes visitors with a splendid fusion of French and German hospitality. Its inhabitants learned to capitalise on the rich history and the heritage they are proudly managing. 

We chose A la cour d’Alsace Hotel. I do not know if all guests are welcomed by the director; his   warm handshake made us feel at home. We were offered the Rouge et Noire suite, an appartement on two levels with a jacuzzi. And The book. 

The small size robe awaiting us in the room show a child friendly service, which is not common practice in the France we yet know. The hotel’s pool and wellness will surprise you with a coziness of its own.

For lunch, the menu of Bio Gourmands drew our attention. Veloute au carottes violettes sounded exactly what we needed to face with a smile the cold November air. The service was delightful, authentic and amazingly adapted to our desires. A child adapted portion beautifully arranged to invite an appetite she was yet to discover. Food was worth a Michelin star, by my standards. Rich in authentic flavours,  bravo Chef! So, another delightful addition to not so many places were my vegetarian taste felt spoiled. No wonder we had breakfast and lunch next day there as well. The owner was delighted to see us the next day. I finally tasted the viennoiseries bio de La Maison Hirose. We will remember this place as the first time my kid, a fierce adept to water and fresh juices as drinks only, was convinced to try a chocolat chaud. It was on the house. As well as other sweet surprises. Thank you, Bio Gourmands,  for your generosity. May it be repaid in the most wonderful ways!

I noticed the art on the restaurant ‘s wall. The owner gave us the artist’s name – Isabelle Staehle. On her card it sais “Artiste Eveilleuse”. Yet, another discovery. 

Deserts are in demand on vacation, regardless of the time of the day. So, a macaron aux framboises at Eden sans Gluten for the kid and a lemongrass tea for the adult in disguise/me were just right. I learned that Eden sans Gluten boulangerie opens in Strasbourg in a week. Looking forward!

I let new cities show themselves to me. Hence rarely, in small towns, i book visits. Walking around is the best way for me to discover things. For instance, a library, which has the book with Chinese symbols explained, my kid wanted so much.

The bells sound attracted us next to St Peter and Paul church. The river flowing as if from under the church was a wonderful discovery. “If the church had a glass floor to see the river flowing under….”  Amazing kid’s imagination.

A drive up the hill took us above vineyards Clos Sainte Odile. A magnificent town view, bathed in a warm Autumn sun, opened before our eyes. 

In addition to many memories, a “Tresors d’automne”chocolate box, from Adrian Christophe Maitre Chocolatier, travels with me to indulge the senses of my dear friends.

Grazie Cesenatico

Grazie Cesenatico

A foggy Autumn day begged for the return of my Italian Summer memories.

The Adriatic coast of Emilia Romagna knows how to keep its visitors loyal. This year we chose Cesenatico, a small port town, famous for its Marine Museum (Museo della Marineria), where historic fishing boats are displayed in the canal. Cafes and shops are open along the canal and it offers plenty of evening pass-time options for tourists and locals alike.

Beaches are wide, clean and well organised. Playgrounds and sport facilities for adults right on the beach give plenty of choices during the day.

When you want to change the sand beach with some greenery, Parco di Levante is open for a bicycle stroll. Hens and rabbits might accompany you.

As our vacations are child-centered, we opted for a family resort. I warmly recommend Hotel Valverde & Rezidenza. They promise to make you feel at home and they deliver on their promise. It’s a family business and it has its say on the way customers care is organised from food to kids entertainment. Guests were invited to visit the family farm and a fun evening delighted all small and big with singing, dancing and sports. The cookies made in-house with special warm Romagna hospitality, served with coffee, might be the reason the spell ‘come back to Valverde & Rezidenza’ is on me.

In Cesenatico i discovered  bagnio di luce at Carla. Carla is a local phenomenon. She is a hairdresser for 60 years. Awards on the walls and clients smiles create an aura you want to touch.  The motto of her beauty salon is “Le donne belle sono quelle felici”. Women are beautiful when they are happy. I have the bookmark with her motto offered as a souvenir. It became my favourite.