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Cooking Across 4 Generations

Using recipes collected from 4 generations of one family

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Hotels

Posts on hotels we have stayed at.

A Touch of Luxury

I recently had a Saturday night off work so we decided to have a night in the city. After checking in to our room at the Hilton, we wandered around town looking at some stores we haven’t been in to together for a while.

Soon enough it was time for lunch and as we were in Martin Place, Intermezzo caught our eye. Mr. CA4G has been several times for business lunches but this was my first time.

After perusing the menu and wine list we ordered 2 glasses of Prosecco and shared beef carpaccio for entrée.

Beef carpaccio and prosecco
Beef carpaccio and prosecco

We both had pasta for our mains, Mr. CA4G chose linguine with Western Australian Scampi, fresh vine ripened cherry tomatoes and chilli.

Scampi pasta
Scampi pasta

I opted for an entree sized pasta of house made pappardelle with trio of mushrooms, fresh ricotta and black truffle. Truly delicious, I love a bit of truffle (ok, I admit I like more than a bit of truffle). The fresh ricotta was also amazing.

Pappardelle with mushrooms and truffle
Pappardelle with mushrooms and truffle

We then decided that as it was a special day that we would have some cannoli filled with sweet ricotta.

Canoli with fresh vailla ricotta
Canoli with fresh vanilla ricotta

After lunch it was off to the shops again and then a quick rest at the hotel.

After easing our feet a little we headed down to the executive lounge for a pre-dinner cocktail and nibbles. Lovely fresh prawns and a few hot snacks got us fired back up again and ready to go out again.

Surprisingly the temperature had cooled a little, so we headed for a whisky at The Baxter Inn. Located in a dark seedy laneway off Clarence Street and down a set of stairs, the Baxter Inn is like stepping back in time to the 1920’s. The Baxter Inn features a list of around 360 whiskies from all around the world. We decided on Bowmore Legend, as Mr.CA4G had tried it on previous visit and enjoyed it. Armed with a bowl of pretzels we sat down to enjoy our whisky and people watch.

Bar at The Baxter Inn
Bar at The Baxter Inn

After our drink we headed out in to the night again and with no destination in mind we ambled down George Street and found ourselves in the Rocks. Walking past the former premises of Rockpool, Mr. CA4G lamented the fact that we never went there while it was open. Imagine his surprise when I told him they were open but had moved to the Burns Philp building in Bridge Street. That made us head back south for a walk past.

After looking at the menu and noticing they had a bar menu we headed in.

Out front, Rockpool
Out front, Rockpool
Interior from the bar
Interior from the bar

After sitting down and perusing the wine list we ordered two glasses of champagne. We only felt like a little bite to eat so decided on some caviar and blinis. After a bit of wonderful upselling from the very helpful waiter, we decided to try the Yasa caviar. Now I am not really in to caviar normally, but this was sensational. Our waiter had given us the story of the brand and then told us how the brand representative showed them how to eat the caviar by placing a little on your hand to warm it up and then straight in to your mouth. We tried it and were pleasantly surprised at the difference in flavour as compared to having it cold. It was well worth the extra to try this fantastic product.

Yasa caviar and blinis
Yasa caviar and blinis
Warming the caviar
Warming the caviar

Yasa caviar is farmed and produced from Siberian sturgeon in the UAE, in the worlds largest and most technologically advanced aquaculture farms. Not only do they process the roe but the fish is also processed for the culinary market.

After our caviar and champagne it was time to head back to the Hilton to bring our day of luxury to an end with a movie and bottle of Grande Cru bourdeaux from Chateau Cantemerle.

Chateau Cantemerle
Chateau Cantemerle

Have a great day and hope you have a touch of luxury soon!

Aanuka Beach Resort, Coffs Harbour

One of our favourite places to visit in N.S.W. is Coffs Harbour. We stay at the same place every time because of its location and accomodation styles.

Aanuka Beach Resort is located about 3 minutes from the Big Banana, right on its own beach, Digger’s Beach. Designed with a Fijian/Island style, the resort features a mix of accommodation types, 1 and 2 bedroom spa bures and more family oriented apartment style accommodation. We always opt for a spa bure as it makes us feel as if we are on an island holiday.

Main building Aanuka Resort
Main building Aanuka Resort

The bures provide a tropical island resort feel and are light and airy. The bathrooms feature a large spa bath, big enough for 2. All have a fold out sofa bed if there are more than 2 staying in a room. A basic kitchen (microwave, fridge, electric fry pan, kettle and toaster) is in each bure, some even have a 2 burner stove top. All feature a dining table next to the kitchenette and a lounge area with DVD and CD players. Washing machine and dryer all also in each bure.

Our bure
Our bure

The resort features two swimming pools, tennis courts, small gym and other leisure activities. Boogie boards are also available at reception if you wish to brave the waves.

One of the pools
One of the pools

A creek runs through the property before making it’s way to  the beach. This is a native habitat area and you will see bush turkeys wandering around the whole resort, kookaburras singing a song, the resident willy wag tail chasing anything bigger than its self, brazen sea gulls trying to steal your snacks and waterdragons sunning themselves where ever they find a nice spot.

Mysterious looking creek
Mysterious looking creek
Mysterious looking creek
Mysterious looking creek
Hardly a Christmas turkey
Hardly a Christmas turkey
Lounge lizard
Lounge lizard
Striking a pose
Striking a pose

The main building houses reception, a day spa, two restaurants and bar. The resort also caters to functions with three dedicated function areas and a chapel for weddings. While we were there we saw two beach weddings take place. The Decks bar and restaurant faces directly on to the beach which is accessed across a lawn. Breakfast is wonderful watching the waves from your table, and dinner as the sun sets is amazing.

Breakfast view
Breakfast view
Main building
Main building

Dinner at Casay is the equal of many Sydney restaurants. Seafood is locally sourced as Coffs Harbour has a fantastic Fishermans Co-Op. Much of the meat and poultry is also sourced from the north coast and inland.

Surf and turf with Ranger Valley beef fillet and super fresh Yamba king prawns.

Surf and Turf
Surf and Turf

Chargrilled pork cutlet with ratatouille ratatouille. The pork was fantastic, nicely charred but still moist and juicy.

Pork cutlet and ratatouille
Pork cutlet and ratatouille

Locally caught snapper with Yamba prawns, rocket salad.

Snapper and Yamba prawns
Snapper and Yamba prawns

Char grilled pork cutlet, Thai stir fry vegetables and apple. Yes I had pork two nights in a row, but it was just so good! The sweetness of pork with that charring is sensational.

Pork cutlet and Thai stir fry vegetables
Pork cutlet and Thai stir fry vegetables

We skipped dessert as the mains were quite filling.

The rest of our trip we had room service, walked in to town for lunch, and went to the tasting of the restaurants new menu.

The rest of our time we relaxed, went for twice daily walks on the beach and to the top of the headland. From the head land you get a nice view in to the town centre, marina and out to the Solitary Islands.

IMG_2863

Two shots looking back towards the resort, one from on the beach and from the top of the headland.

Digger's Beachlooking along the beach
Digger’s Beachlooking along the beach
Digger's Beach from the headland
Digger’s Beach from the headland

Early morning fisherman on the beach.

Early morning fisherman
Early morning fisherman

Looking towards the marina and town centre to the right.

Looking towards town and marina
Looking towards town and marina

Most of our holidays we rush around but this time we rested, which made for a very relaxing holiday. Just what we needed. Sometimes you just have to slow down and stick your toes in the sand.

Thanks for dropping by!

Kazahana, Conrad Hotel, Shiodome, Tokyo

One of our three favourite hotels to stay at in Tokyo is the Conrad Hotel in Shiodome. Located an easy 10 minute walk to the shopping mecca of Ginza, it has easy access to three train lines that will get you anywhere you want to visit in Tokyo.

This trip we were able to get an upgrade to a bay view suite, which gave us views over Hama Rikyu Onshi Tien, the Sumida River and Tokyo Bay.

View from suite
View from suite
Tea house Hama Rikyu Onshi Tien
Tea house, Hama Rikyu Onshi Tien

 

The suite was amazing, so much room. You often hear complaints about the size of rooms in Asian hotels, but this was larger than some we have stayed in in western countries.

Suite looking to the front door
Suite looking to the front door
Bedroom
Bedroom
Bedroom looking to the bay
Bedroom looking to the bay

Table setting, Kazahana.

Table setting
Table setting

Detail of chopstick rest.

Chopstick and rest
Chopstick and rest

A nice cold glass of green tea.

Iced green tea and bonsai
Iced green tea and bonsai

Appetizer of Taro stem, okra, uni, seaweed sauce.

Taro stem,uni, seaweed sauce
Taro stem,uni, seaweed sauce

Clear broth, tofu skin, shrimp dumpling.

Clear broth, tofu skin, prawn dumpling
Clear broth, tofu skin, prawn dumpling

Entrée plate.

Entree plate
Entree plate

Pike conger, tofu and eggplant(braised dish).

Braised eggplant, pike conger and tofu
Braised eggplant, pike conger and tofu

Octopus and radish.

IMG_1749

Sashimi of squid and sea bream.

Sashimi squid and sea bream
Sashimi squid and sea bream

Chilled soba noodles.

Chilled soba noodles
Chilled soba noodles

Tempura prawns and vegetables, rice topped with dried purple shiso leaf, pickles and miso soup.

Tempura plate
Tempura plate

Pre dessert.

pre dessert
pre dessert

Japanese black sugar cake, caramelized banana and watermelon with green tea.

Japanese black sugar cake
Japanese black sugar cake
Japanese black sugar cake
Japanese black sugar cake

Seriously developing a ceramics addiction. So many great pieces of ceramics used in restaurants. Need a bigger kitchen so I can go on a ceramics buying spree. Green tea to finish a great lunch.

Green tea
Green tea

After lunch we were in need of a lie down, which we followed with a swim in the amazing pool on the 29th floor, watching the office workers finish their day.

We can highly recommend the Conrad Hotel, great service, great staff, great rooms and fantastic location.

Thanks for dropping by!!

Tateru Yoshino Bis – Park Hotel Shiodome

Since our last visit to the Park Hotel Shiodome, the restaurant TY by Tateru Yoshino has undergone a little change. While still being a fine dining restaurant it has toned down slightly. Still the same exceptional location and service, just a little change to the style of food and name. The restaurant is now called Tateru Yoshino Bis and has a more bistro style menu.

Ready for dinner
Ready for dinner

 

Same magnificent view overlooking the city and Tokyo Tower.

The view from Tateru Yoshino Bis
The view from Tateru Yoshino Bis

The food may be have changed to bistro style, but they still kept the crisp linen tablecloths and napkins.

Crisp linens
Crisp linens

After perusing the wine list we settled on 2 Bordeaux wines. Mouton Cadet Selection Ryder Cup (sauvignon blanc, semillon, muscadelle) for myself and Chateau Le Puy “Duc de Nauves” (merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon) for Mr. CA4G. We also decided to do one of the two set menus, the one we chose was roughly A$50 per person (¥4,800).

A glimpse of the wine list
A glimpse of the wine list

Our amuse was a pot of delicious mousse au jambon (ham mousse) with some house baked bread and rolls. A house baked roll is a bonus at any restaurant.

Mousse au jambon
Mousse au jambon

Mr. CA4G chose a crustacean ravioli with a shell fish foam.

Crustacean ravioli
Crustacean ravioli

I had a pork and pistachio terrine en croute, which was very delicious along with the caperberry and cornichon.

Terrine encroute
Terrine encroute

A very light, chilled pea and leek soup followed our entrees.

Chilled pea and leek soup
Chilled pea and leek soup

For mains I chose lamb cutlet with seasonal vegetables. Nicely cooked (for me anyway, I am sure some people would think it undercooked) and well rested. The vegetables were a nice balance of cooking techniques too.

Lamb cutlet with seasonal vegetables
Lamb cutlet with seasonal vegetables

Mr. CA4G decided to try skirt steak with shallot sauce, which was served with fondant potatoes.

Skirt steak with eschallot sauce
Skirt steak with eschallot sauce

For dessert I opted for the fruit clafouti, with plums, housemade ice cream and a pastry wafer.

Clafouti with fruit
Clafouti with fruit

A little bit of theatrics were involved in Mr. CA4G’s dessert. Tiramisu topped with a chocolate sheet, which then had hot chocolate sauce poured in to the centre, which melted the sheet and became part of the tiramisu beneath.

Tiramisu
Tiramisu

And to round out dinner coffee and petit fours.

Coffee and petit fours
Coffee and petit fours

Another wonderful dinner from this restaurant. Service, as always, was impeccable and we look forward to dining there again.

Thanks for dropping by!!

Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa

A recent rare weekend off saw us have an early breakfast and head south to the Southern Highlands. Before we left we did some quick research for accommodation. Quite a few hotels were booked out but we found Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa in Bowral had a few rooms left so decided to head there.

Exterior, Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa
Exterior, Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa
Exterior, Milton Park
Exterior, Milton Park looking up from the gardens

Located on the outskirts of Bowral, set on 300 acres and perched high on a wood land hill with commanding views over the area, Milton Park was originally a country estate of the well, known Hordern family. The main house was built at the beginning of the 20th century and features award winning gardens that are maintained as they were originally laid out by Mary Hordern.

One of the ponds in the gardens
One of the ponds in the gardens
Gardens, Milton Park
Gardens, Milton Park

After several owners, Milton Park was purchased by the Dobler Family in 1998 and subsequently refurbished the estate, the hotel and the gardens to their current magnificent states. It has recently been bought by a Chinese property trust with the Dobler family still managing the property.

The hotel contains 47 rooms, including seven suites, with the ambience of an opulent Victorian stately house. Garden Courtyard Rooms, Tower Suites and Forest Suites contain antique and period furnishings. Some suites and rooms feature gas log fires, ensuite spa baths, private terraces, four-poster beds and bay windows.

interior, front door/hallway
interior, front door/hallway
Interior, Milton Park
Interior, Milton Park

The Carriage House has also been converted into an option for a group of friends or a family as it has seven bedrooms, a spacious lounge area with open fireplace and an outdoor entertaining deck

Most of the common areas have a formal feel with a blend of genuine and reproduction Victorian furniture. Pastel shades have been used through out the interior, and portraits and scenic paintings are hung on the walls. Collectables from around the globe line the quiet corridors.

Interior, Milton Park
Interior, Milton Park

All the rooms have views overlooking bushland, rolling hills or the courtyard garden with large fountain.

Service was fantastic and very helpful. After checking in we had a little wander around and then in need of lunch, we made our way to The Orangery.

The Orangery
The Orangery

I chose a fettucine with spicy chorizo and tomato, and Mr. CA4G opted for the barramundi. A bowl of fat crunchy chips accompanied our meal and were really good!

Lunch, fettucine and barramundi
Lunch, fettucine and barramundi

A half bottle of Petit Chablis was a great drop to go with lunch.

A nice chilled Petit chablis
A nicely chilled Petit chablis

The main bar is decked out like a gentleman club. Wood panelling, rich colours and a polo theme which gives it it’s name. Just behind the Polo Bar is the Snooker/pool room, so naturally we had a quick game.

Pool room
Pool room

 

After a quick siesta it was time to freshen up and get ready for dinner. Our accommodation package for our stay included a three course dinner in the fine dining restaurant, Hordern’s. The restaurant is elegantly decorated and furnished, with subtle lighting.

Interior, Hordern's restaurant, Milton Park
Interior, Hordern’s restaurant, Milton Park
Interior, Hordern's restaurant, Milton Park
Interior, Hordern’s restaurant, Milton Park

I love a cauliflower soufflé with cheese sauce and when I saw it on the menu I just had to have it.

Twice cooked cauliflower souffle with cheese sauce
Twice cooked cauliflower souffle with cheese sauce

Mr CA4G had grilled scampi with salad.

Grilled scampi
Grilled scampi

Our wine of choice for the evening was a Henschke Mount Edelstone, 1999 Vintage. Served in a crystal decanter.

Henschke Mount Edelstone
Henschke Mount Edelstone

For Mains Mr. CA4G stayed with seafood and ordered saffron risotto topped with juicy seared scallops.

Saffron risotto with seared scallops
Saffron risotto with seared scallops

I chose confit duck with sautéed spinach. Fell apart and had nicely crisped skin.

Confit duck
Confit duck

While desserts were tempting, we went for the cheese board which featured house made lavosh and local honey.

Cheese plate
Cheese plate

After a great dinner we headed to the Polo Bar for a night cap, settled in to a comfy sofa and watched the wood burning in the open fireplace.

Night cap time.
Night cap time.

We really look forward to going again when the weather is a bit warmer and the garden is dressed in it’s spring or summer finery.

 

 

 

Hotel Banke and Josefin Restaurant, Paris

The hotel for our week in Paris was Banke Hotel, located on Rue Lafayette, a quick walk from Les Grand Magasins – Galleries Lafayette and Printemps. It was also a short walk from the Opera Garnier, Le Louvre and many other sights.

Situated in a former bank headquarters, Hotel Banke is housed in an early twentieth-century building, designed by architects Paul Friesse and Cassien Bernard and was refurbished to become a hotel in 2009. The stately facade dominates the corner of Rue La Fayette and Rue Pillet Will with a style that revives the charms of Paris’s “Belle Époque“.

The hotel makes a statement with its spectacular mosaic floored lobby crowned with a glass cupola, and retaining many of the original bank features, teller counters, safe deposit boxes. The colours are predominantly deep red and gold, lots of gold. A décor that blends original architectural elements with contemporary design bringing a twenty-first century touch to a Haussmann-style building.

We were quite fortunate that we were able to spend time in two different rooms during our stay. Our first room was a Superior room, mid tone woods, rich burgundys and lots of designer touches. Our second room was an Executive room that was a little more spacious. Still with the mid tone woods and burgundy colours, a feature was the leather headboard and gorgeous leather lounge and leather woven rug. Stencil furniture prints were painted on the walls giving a whimsical touch to the decor. Both rooms had marble bathrooms with good sized tubs, and joy of joys the toilet was separate from the bathroom. While not the largest rooms we have stayed in, there was plenty of storage space, with great wardrobes, and drawers.

During our stay at Banke Hotel, we decided to try the hotel’s restaurant, Josefin.

The stunning glass domed lobby is home to the reception desk, restaurant and bar. On one side of the spectacular mosaic tiled floor is the restaurant and the bar is opposite.

Glamourous gold leather banquettes, dark wood and leather chairs, gold metal and crystal chandeliers with dramatic red and black highlights were the feature of both the restaurant and bar. Along the old teller counters were whimsical little vignettes, plants and flowers.

Me at Josefin Restaurant
Me at Josefin Restaurant

Our amuse of salmon:

Salmon amuse
Salmon amuse

Beautiful freshly baked breads served with my favourite butter, Beurre d’Isigny

Fresh bread rolls
Fresh bread rolls

Unusually for us we both opted for seafood entrees. Mr CA4G ordered the tuna Tataki

Tuns Tataki
Tuna Tataki

While I ordered the carpaccio of lobster, aged balsamic and Spanish extra virgin olive oil.

Lobster carpaccio
Lobster carpaccio

For main I had a panfried duck breast with wok fried vegetables. Quite light even though it was duck.

Duck with wok fried vegetables
Duck with wok fried vegetables

Mr. CA4G had scallops with a shellfish foam and mushrooms.

Scallops with shellfish foam and mushrooms
Scallops with shellfish foam and mushrooms

We skipped dessert as we had a big lunch.

Banke Hotel is a great spot to drop your bags and stay in Paris, and is easy to walk to most places. Metro stations are a short walk in several directions. We walked from Banke Hotel to Le Tour Eiffel, Sacre Coeur. Both are big walks but enjoyable and you get to see a bit more of the real Paris.

A quick note the photos of the hotel are from the Banke Hotel website as we forgot to take photos, to see more of this fabulous hotel visit their website in my links.

TY by Tateru Yoshino, Park Hotel, Shiodome, Tokyo

When we visit Tokyo our hotel of choice is the Park Hotel in Shiodome. Located a short walk from Ginza, the Shiodome area has easy access to transport, so handy in fact that last year, for the first time ever, we took the train from Narita Airport to Shimbashi station and walked to the hotel. The Park Hotel is located in the Shiodome Media Tower, on floors 25 to 34. The rest of the tower is occupied by Kyodo News. I really like the way the Japanese combine a hotel with businesses in their towers. The Park Hyatt is the same, offices on the lower floors and the hotel on the upper floors.

Shiodome Media Tower/Park Hotel
Shiodome Media Tower/Park Hotel

We usually book a room that looks out to Tokyo Tower(city view room) which when there is clear weather also includes majestic Fuji-san in the distance.

Early morning beauty shot. Tokyo Tower and Fuji-san
Early morning beauty shot. Tokyo Tower and Fuji-san
Tokyo Tower by night
Tokyo Tower by night

We have never eaten in the hotel restaurant, usually because we are out so much taking in all that Tokyo has to offer. Last year we decided to finally give it a try.

This person is known not to have an aversion to champagne
This person is known not to have an aversion to champagne

TY by Tateru Yoshino is located on the 25th floor of the Park Hotel (Lobby floor). With panoramic views out over Tokyo and Tokyo Tower, it is an intimate, elegant and refined setting, white cloths, crystal, silver and dark woods. The room is a not overly large so there is no loud noise to compete with. Presenting a degustation menu where customers can choose some of their dishes is a great option, and means that you can have something different to your partner.

Amuse bouche of mackerel and petit flowers
Amuse bouche of mackerel and petit flowers
Amuse bouche and the freshly baked bread
Amuse bouche and the freshly baked bread
Mushroom soup
Mushroom soup
Scallop and prawn with a shellfish foam
Scallop and prawn with a shellfish foam

A specialty of the house is the Assorted Seasonal Vegetables Presented in the Image of Monet. A delightful plate of baby vegetables, flowers and herbs with a light dressing.

Monet's Garden
Monet’s Garden

The first few courses we had were the same, mains however R had a beautiful slow cooked beef, while I had duck breast.

Slow cooked beef, caramelised onion,
Slow cooked beef, caramelised onion,
Roasted duck, wild mushrooms
Roasted duck, wild mushrooms

Before dessert we decided to have the optional cheese course. The waiter wheeled out a trolley with around 10 cheeses on it. We selected 3 which was enough for us.

Selection of cheese
Selection of cheese

Dessert was 5 flavours of chocolate. I nust remember to write things down, but there was cinnamon, coffee and well I guess I need to have pen and paper in future. Very delicious.

Five flavours of chocolate
Five flavours of chocolate

Deciding to have a coffee we were greatly impressed with the selection of mignardises (petit fours) that was wheeled out. I think there were about 20 things to chhose from. Some fruit jellies, cannelles, churros, madeleines, coated nuts, and so many more.

Petit fours
Mignardises

R had a wonderful birthday dinner and we chose some great French wines to go with the meal.

TY by Tateru Yoshino was awarded one Michelin star for 2013.  Tateru Yoshino has another 2 restaurants in Tokyo (Ginza and Shiba) and he also chef/patron of the Michelin starred Stella Maris in Paris.

If you are in Tokyo I would recommend a visit to TY Tateru Yoshino in the Park Hotel.

 

Around the World Part 3 – Zurich

Leaving London behind we flew across the channel to Switzerland and our next port of call Zurich.

Coming in to Zurich
Coming in to Zurich

We stayed at the Swissotel, located at Oerlikon, just out of the city centre, a short tram ride was all it took to get to the city centre. A 24 hour pass for trains, buses and trams was around A$10 a person, it also allowed us to take some of the river taxis if we had felt like it. The Swissotel has an amazing pool located on the top floor giving panoramic views of Zurich and the country side around it, right out to the alps in the distance.

The breakfast buffet in the Swissotel is very extensive and a great range of food for all tastes is available. I counted 18 bread and bakery items, unfortunately that is too much for me to work my way through. There is also a vibrant bar and restaurant in the Swissotel, which we unfortunatley didn’t have a chance to try out, next time.

Twice a week the square behind the Swissotel becomes a fruit, vegetable and flower market, with some stalls also offering preserves made from their own produce. I wish I had taken my camera down as there were varieties that we don’t see here in Australia. It would also have been nice to have been able to have cooked with some of the offerings. Also handy was a supermarket where you could get some groceries and incredibly cheap mineral water. San Pellegrino 1litre for about A$1.05, back here it costs just over A$3.

Zurich City has a population of 400,00 within the city and 1.83 million in the whole canton(state). Which makes it a nice size to get around. After catching the tram in we just walked. So many beautiful old buildings with interesting architectural details. I really loved looking at the roof detailing on the buildings, so much more interesting than the triangle shape we mainly have in Australia. Lots of little streets to wander and explore. So many small jewellery makers located around town which was great to see. Craft skills seemed to be taken more seriously in Switzerland, whether it be jewellery making, lace making etc.

Lane way Zurich
Lane way Zurich
Limmat Quai
Limmat Quai

We ate in the old town area several times. On two occasions having fondue at Adler’s Swiss Chuchi and also dined in a Bierhalle. While R tried some local beers I worked my way through the local white wines. A shame we have trouble sourcing Swiss wines here in Australia as they were very good. Down by Quaibrucke is a stand selling some great hotdogs and wurstli, just perfect for a quick lunch. Should you need chocolate there is no shortage of stores and cafes.

Inside our favourite bierehalle
Inside our favourite bierehalle
Worked my way through most of the whites
Worked my way through most of the whites

Wandering the cobblestone streets, walking beside the river and lake was a really enjoyable experience. No-one seemed to be rushing and everyone was polite.

Street in Zurich
Street in Zurich
River side
River side
Across the lake to the Alps
Across the lake to the Alps

Sitting having a cocktail in a square in the old town was a nice way to relax.

Cocktails to wind down after a big day exploring
Cocktails to wind down after a big day exploring

We also got to see a Youth Marching Band festival and a watersports festival which seemed to consist of teams on boats jousting. Obviously the winner was the one who didn’t get knocked in the river.

Solothurn Jugendmusik.
Solothurn Jugendmusik.
Water jousting
Water jousting
Water jousting
Water jousting

While Zurich has a long history there is plenty of new construction happening. But the real joy is exploring the old buildings and churches.

Looking up river with Grossmunster on the left
Looking up river with Grossmunster on the left
New construction going in
New construction going in
Grossmunster
Grossmunster
The steeple of Fraumunster
The steeple of Fraumunster

 

The steeple of St Peter Church.
The steeple of St Peter Church.
Grossmunster
Grossmunster

We had a great time in Zurich and I look forward to heading there again in the future.

As they say in Zurich Vielen Dank for stopping by!


Beau Rivage – Neuchatel

Part of the reason for our trip to Zurich was to go and visit the workshops of two high end, independent watchmakers, Greubel Forsey and Kari Voutilainen. This meant we would need to have an over night stay close to La Chaux-de-Fonds and Môtiers. Consulting Google we decided our base would be Neuchâtel and our accomodation the Beau Rivage Hotel. As we were being picked up and driven from Zurich to go to La Chaux-de-Fonds and then to Neuchâtel, it would only be a short return train trip for us to Môtiers.

Lac de Neuchâtel

The Beau Rivage Hotel is located on the edge of Lake Neuchâtel (AKA lac de Neuchâtel in French and Neuenburgersee in German) with views of the Lake and the Alps in the distance. Originally a grand town house of great elegance built in 1862, during the first part of the 20th century it was home to a famous restaurant,  the building was entirely renovated in 1993 to become the first 5-star hotel of the Three Lakes region. The Beau Rivage is a member of Relais & Chateau and is rated as 5 étoiles Supérieure, Gault Millau rating 14, and is in Guide Michelin.

Beau Rivage, Neuchâtel
Beau Rivage, bar and terrace
View from our room

 

Our room

After a full day visiting Greubel Forsey and touring the magnificent Musée d’Horlogerie du Locle, housed in the historic Château des Monts at Le Locle, we arrived at the Beau Rivage, checked in, freshened up and had a walk around the town. With Neuchâtel being in the heart of Switzerland’s watchmaking mecca it was not surprising to find watch references around town. Beautiful old buildings abound and the views of the lake and alps are spectacular. Someone was even water skiing which got me a bit jealous.

After our walk we went to dine in the hotel’s Restaurant O Terroirs. As the evening was spectacularly mild we were given the choice of dining on the lake side veranda or inside. Of course we decided outside would be nicer. Watching the sunset over Lake Neuchâtel while the dying rays of the sun tint the majestic Swiss Alps in shades of pink and grey while having a wonderful meal is truly a memory I won’t forget. Thanks to Greubel Forsey for our diner.

Sun setting on the alps, looking across Lake Neuchâtel

First up was an amuse bouche of crab, tomato and avocado….

Amuse bouche of crab and

Mr. CA4G had an entree of seared foie gras…..

Foie gras, tempura onion rings, asparagus

I enjoyed a “cigar” of egg plant filled with goat curd, on a lemon sponge, olive oil ice cream…..

“cigar” of eggplant filled with goat curd

For mains Mr. CA4G had lamb three ways, cutlet, loin, merguez sausage, with cous cous, while I opted for duck meat balls, proscuitto, potato crisps, artichokes……

Lamb three ways
Duck meat balls

Having had dessert at lunch we opted for cheese, all local to the region….

Local artisanal cheese board

As we were finishing our meal, the clouds rolled in, and a spectacular sound and light show(storm) rolled across the lake.

The next morning was light but drizzly. We had a lovely buffet breakfast in the hotel and caught our first Swiss cab to the station. Now  my French isn’t the best and I do know how to ask for “two return tickets to Môtiers” unfortunately I don’t know the French for “which platform”.  Luckily for us a young Swiss man spoke good English and was able to direct us. The train to Môtiers takes about 40 minutes from Neuchâtel, passing through lush green fields and mountains, stopping at  several lovely little towns. Arriving at Môtiers, we were met at the station by Kari Voutilainen and walked to his house a short way from the station. Not knowing much about Môtiers, we were surprised to find it was (and still is) a town with a history of Absinth production, apart from watch production. After a leisurely tour through Kari’s Atelier looking at his watches and production, he took us to lunch in the local cafe/hall/beer house. Unfortunately no photos, but we had the special of the day which was Chilli con carne( I know you, go all the way to Switzerland to have chilli con carne, but it was GOOD), followed by creme brulee. Seriously good, must be all that fabulous Swiss cream and free range eggs.

Bovet Absinth distillery, Môtiers

Saying good bye to Môtiers, we headed back to Neuchâtel to catch our train to Zurich. As the train wound its way through the country side we saw many vineyards that produce some great Swiss wines.

Thanks for dropping in!! Look out for my Zurich report.

Beau Rivage Hotel

1, Esplanade du Mont-Blanc, CH-2000 Neuchâtel

T +41 32 723 15 15

http://www.beau-rivage-hotel.ch/en/

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