Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Destination Copenhagen




















There will be a short break from January 30th to February 3rd. Reason - I will travel to wonderful Copenhagen. Enjoy Food & Travel will return coming week with new impressions from the Danish capital. See ya!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Hotels - best bargains in 2007




















Enjoy Food & Travel has visited and reviewed a great number of hotels in 2007. For those of you wondering what the best bargain was, here comes the five best hotels reviewed last year This is however not only a question of facilities, and luxury. In fact the best experience was a bed & breakfast out of the ordinary.

1. BEST BARGAIN IN 2007 - Melville House, Johannesburg (4,96 points)

Melville House felt immediately as a home away from home, a place to relax after a long and agonizing journey, a quiet oasis in the busy metropolis.

The host at Melville House in none other than Heidi Holland, a nationally and internationally renowned writer and journalist.

Address:

Melville House
59 Fourth Avenue
Melville 2109
Johannesburg
Phone: +27 (011) 726-3503
Fax: +27 (011) 726-5990
Visit the Melville House website


2. Blue Waters Hotel, Durban (4,95 points)

The Blue Waters Hotel experience was awesome, and I paid, by European standards, a ridiculous price for the two nights. A little over €100 is nothing.

A hotel with a superb location, a room with a view to die for, a first class experience at an exceptional price!!

Address:

The Blue Waters Hotel
175 Snell Parade
Marine Parade, Durban
Toll Free Reservation
Phone: 0 800 31 2044 / 031 3683877
See the Blue Waters Hotel official website here

3. Park Inn Alexanderplatz, Berlin (4,81 points)

The two tallest buildings in the old east are found at Alexanderplatz. The first one is the impressive TV-tower, that once was the pride of the DDR-regime. The second is the 39 floor Hotel Park Inn Alexanderplatz.

Besides my hotel experiences in New York City, I think that living here has been the most urban hotel stay I have had in my 45 year life. And it was cheap, chic and comfortable living.

Address:

Park Inn Berlin-Alexanderplatz
Alexanderplatz 7
10178 Berlin
Telefon: +49-30-2389-0

Telefax: +49-30-2389-4305

http://www.rezidorparkinn.com/cs/Satellite?c=Page&cid=1057303690700&pagename=ParkInn/Page/parkinnHotelDescription&language=de&languageChange=true

berlin.hotel@rezidorparkinn.com

4. Royal Sonesta Hotel, Cambridge MA (4,8 points)

Since my first stay at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, I have returned five times, in spite of the fact that it is not the most inexpensive place to stay in central Boston. Why? The Royal Sonesta is simply a great hotel to stay in, large and spacious rooms, wonderful service and a view to die for.

Address:

Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston
40 Edwin Land Boulevard
Cambridge, MA 02142
P: (617) 806-4200

4. Hotel Metropole, Brussels (4,8 points)

There are few hotels, I have ever stayed at, that have left a mark than the stately Hotel Metropole in Brussels. It is built in 1895 and is a monument of times long gone carved in granite and marble, and lit by crystal chandeliers.

When you enter the wonderful lobby you feel that this is the kind of hotel you would never would afford to stay. If you, however, try book over the internet, you may be lucky, and you are really in for a treat.

Adress:

Hôtel Métropole
Place de Brouckère 31-1000 Brussels-Belgium
Phone. + 32-2-217 23 00 -
Fax. + 32-2-218 02 20
info@metropolehotel.be

Hotels visited and/or reviewed 2006-2007


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See hotels visited and/or reviewed on Enjoy Foods & Travel in 2008 here

Read more on hotels 2006-2007 on Enjoy Food & Travel here

Thandi chardonnay - a good wine for a just cause



















October 10th 2008: As the day ended, and dusk set in at Sundown Park, we made a great meal and opened another great bottle of white wine. Thandi chardonnay 2005-2006 was an exquisite choice for our meal, marinated chicken prepared on the barbecue served with rice, sweet chili and spinach.

This wonderful wine comes from Elgin in the Overberg region in the Western Cape, 70 kilometers south-east of Cape Town, a region best known for its apple orchards.

This wine is solely made from the chardonnay grape, a concentrated white wine well balanced fruit and oak. An interesting nose of citrus, and vanilla and oak as it meets the palate.

The producer recommends the wine to be served chilled with spicy chicken dishes of succulent grilled fish, and I agree!!

The great thing is that the wine is even available here in Oslo. It is an expensive wine priced at NOK 140 (€17). Still I think I will plan another date with Thandi chardonnay 2005-2006, and by the way, I may have some chicken tenders in the freezer. Yum!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Gourmet shopping at Alexanderplatz




















During the years of the division of Berlin, the KaDeWe das Kaufhaus Des Westens, was the place to go to experience the independence of the West-Berliners. Here they could get what their brothers and sisters on the other side of the wall in the East just dreamed of. This was also the case of its food department, where you could get all the ingredients you could think of, and a few you did not know.

KaDeWe at Kurfürstendamm has still one of the most impressive food departments I have seen. Wandering around here is like being in the food department at Galerie Lafayette in Paris and Harrods food hall in London.

Sadly I realized on my last day in Berlin, that I would not have time to go west. I was very happy to find Galeria Kaufhof on the other side of the street of my hotel, and its culinary department was very impressive. So if you want do some last minute grocery shopping, Galeria Kaufhof is not a bad alternative.

What can you buy, when you are traveling for five to six hours. Fresh meats, poultry, or fish products are often out of the question as they need to stay refrigerated. There are still a lot of things you may buy. Canned meats, cheese, cured and smoked meat, dried mushrooms. This means many good things, and I am very happy to say that I did some serious grocery shopping.

And what did I buy? I bought some medium hard cheese, similar to a tilsiter or an emmenthaler. Delicious!! I also bought some small and thin cured, smoked and salted sausages. Very hard, and best to use as a snacks.

I will show you a little of what else I bought in Galeria Kaufhof in Berlin.

Beppino Ocelli - Tuma de Trifulau - creamy cheese with black truffles

I love truffles and I could not resist this delicious product. Beppino Occelli in Farigliano in Piemonte is responsible for this exquisite dairy product.

Like the brie cheese it was pale in colour with a slight greyish tinge under crusty white mould; very soft and savoury and with 5% black truffles.

Truffle Cream with white truffles from Piemonte (Eugene Lacroix)

Talking of Piemonte and truffles...

I have enjoyed white truffles once, under Michelangelos dome in Florence. I bought this glass of truffle cream made from white truffles from Piemonte. I have no expectations that it will taste the same as that meal under the Tuscan night sky.

What to make from it? I have found one recipe, but I have to consider other alternatives.

Pfälzer Griebenwurst (Johannes Steiner-Erben)

Over to Germany. I bought wurst, this very traditional meat product.

I have some experiences from Wurst. It is a kind of a paté, promised to be an original specialty from the region of Pfalz.

I have to do some research in order to find out how to serve it, before I open the can. I will keep you posted.

Duck Pate with Olives (Roger Vidal)

I have enjoyed other pates from Roger Vidal, some of whom have been delicious, others less so. When you call something Duck Paté it means that the main ingredients are duck meat and duck fat.

So be aware, it may not be foi gras in your can, and this will be reflected in the price. If it is cheap, the amount of liver is low. If you want the real McCoy, look for Foi-Gras de Canard or Enten Leber Paté. Good luck!!

Dried Cantharellus (Niklas)

Dried mushrooms are one of the most perfect things to buy. They will keep for a very long time and very economic in use. For every gram of dried mushroom you get 10 grams back. Cantharellus are one of the most delicious among them, together with the dried porcinis and morels. I bought this and another packet with funnel cantharellus.

How to use dried mushrooms.

Soak in water in 20 minutes and add mushrooms in sauces, stews and soups.