Saturday, September 18, 2010

Brussels: Two good breakfasts, and one not to talk of....

I hate, when breakfast is not included at a hotel. At Conrad Brussels you have to pay close to 30 Euros for breakfast - a real rip-off if you ask me! This meant that we, during our stay last November, had to find a place to eat Saturday and Sunday morning. We had two good breakfast, or rather one breakfast and one brunch, the third was nothing to talk of. 

Saturday November 21st 2009: La Cremerie de la Vache

We wandered out Saturday morning to find a decent breakfast place. If you stay in the Avenue Louise area in Brussels, you'll find plenty of open cafés during Saturdays, and we ended up at La Cremerie de la Vache at 6, Rue Jean Stas, a small side street to Avenue Louise.

Photo: Imjustmatthew
That morning we saved close to 20 Euros by eating at La Cremerie de la Vache and not at the hotel. 

For those of you with an enormous bank account, such an amount may be irrelevant, but for us slaving in the office every day, 20 Euros may be better used on other activities.
The breakfast here was filling and inexpensive. We chose a decent-sized baguette ,  fresh and deliciously crisp with thick slices of Belgian cheese, a glass of orange juice and a strong cup of coffee with milk.

Definitely a place to return to Sunday morning, but sadly we found La Cremerie de la Vache closed when we wanted an encore. 
La Crèmerie de la Vache 
6, Rue Jean Stas 1060 Saint-Gilles, België

Sunday November 22nd 2009: Häagen-Dazs 
Avenue Louise was deserted Sunday morning, and we struggled to find a place to get breakfast.
Photo: Ham and cheese croissant by Herrick
We found a Häagen-Dazs café at Avenue Louise 2, a firm most known for its ice-cream, we should not have expected it to be a place to get a breakfast to talk of.

The staff looked quite indifferent, as we entered, and after a while we finally ended up with a criossant and a cup of coffee, neither very good, and quite frankly disappointing compared to our Saturday breakfast.
Coffee was OK, but with our restless quest of Sunday breakfast in mind, I would certainly recommend to jump on a tram and travel to Grand Place to get a better breakfast. We did so, and I had a much more filling breakfast  (or brunch) number 2 at La Brouette
Avenue Louise 2, 1060 Saint-Gilles, België  

Sunday November 22nd 2009: La Brouette 

Go to Grand Place for breakfast on a Sunday morning, if breakfast is not included at your hotel, that is. We walked from Häagen-Dazs to central Brussels hungry, and found the necessary amount of carbohydrates at La Brouette.

Photo: A croque monsieur sandwich by Mbrewer
We ordered a Croque Monsieur, a traditional double-dekker sandwich with cheese and ham, topped with creamy bechamel and cheese and baked in the oven until golden and crispy and filling and delicious - a meal in itself. Yum!

This is serious value for money, at least compared to our hotel. You can get a breakfast from 6-13 Euros, the latter includes a Belgian waffle, or different croques priced at 7-8 Euros. All served in a rustic old interior with one of the most beautiful squares in the world right outside your window.

During fall and winter there is an open fire to warm you.

La Brouette
Grand-Place 2, 1000 Bruxelles, België

Phone: 02 511 54 94

See website here 

Latest stories from Brussels, Belgium
See location of these cafés on this map of Brussels, Belgium

Friday, September 17, 2010

COMING JANUARY 2011 - More stories from Marrakech, Morocco

Yesterday we booked another trip to Marrakech Morocco, leaving Norway January 15th 2011 returning one week later. Hooray!!

I am easily described as a ritualized travelers, as I return to destinations that I love. Marrakech is definitely one of them. Besides a pleasant winter climate, this ancient city under the Atlas mountains can offer affordable high-class food and accommodation, as well as history, sights and great hand crafted products to bring home.

January - great month for Morocco travels

Marrakech enjoys a pleasant climate during winter time. Although resting by the foot of the snow capped Atlas mountains, average high temperature in January reach 18,9 C (66F), and average low goes down to 6C (43F). This as a contrast to the scorching hot North African summers where mean temperatures reach highs of around 40C (102F).

This is reflected in the prices. We ordered a round trip ticket with Norwegian Air Shuttle offered at a bargain price of NOK 1512 (190 EUR / 240 USD).

Rating Norwegian Air Shuttle flight from Oslo to Marrakech see story here

Restaurants, hotels and products at bargain prices

When you get there, you'll find accommodation offered at ridiculous prices. You may upgrade to a suite in a four star resort, and still pay less than you would pay at a regular hotel in any European city.

We stayed at Eden Andalou Spa & Resort February 2010 - see story here

And then you may just enjoy the rich culinary traditions of Morocco and buy high class, and beautiful home made products for your home at low prices.

Latest stories on Marrakech on Enjoy Food & Travel:
See map of Marrakech with bars, hotels, restaurants, shopping and sights here

View Marrakech A-Z 2010 in a larger map

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cheap accommodation in Oslo, Norway.

British Hogg Robinson Group has found that Oslo has the 10th most expensive  hotel rooms in the world. They base their ranking on an average price, meaning  that there are hotels that are considerably more expensive, whereas other are much cheaper than the average level. Here are a few inexpensive alternatives to the most expensive accommodation in the Norwegian capital.
  • CHEAPEST: Haraldsheim (Up to 67 % lower than average price)
    Single room: $ 65-74, double: $ 85-99
    Haraldsheimvn 4, Oslo
    Phone: +47 22 22 29 65
    Fax: +47 22 22 10 25
    Book here
    Official website

  • Cochs Pensjonat (Up to 58 % lower than average price)
    Single room: $ 76-100, double: $ 107-131
    Parkveien 25, N- 0350 Oslo
    Phone: +47 23 33 24 00
    Fax: +47 23 33 24 10
    Official website

  • Perminalen hotel (47 % lower than average price)
    Single room: $ 98, double: $ 134
    Øvre Slottsgate 2 0157 Oslo
    Phone: +47 24 00 55 00
    Fax: +47 24 00 55 01
    Official website

  • Villa Frogner (32 % lower than average price)
    Single room: $ 141, double: $ 173
    Nordraaksgt. 26 0260 OSLO
    Phone: +47 22 56 19 60
    Fax +47 22 56 07 42
    Official website

View Oslo on Enjoy Food & Travel - from A-Z in a larger map

Latest hotel news from Oslo, Norway

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Latest: See Lufthansa Boeing A380 land at Arlanda Airport

Lufthansa is proudly showing off its Airbus A380 today, September 15th, during a visit to all airports of the  Scandinavian capitals. The giant landed at Arlanda Airport in Stockholm at 11:15 AM. See the landing of the super jet ub this clip recently picked from YouTube.  

More videos from this event 

Here are videos from the events posted on YouTube as the day progress. 

Lufthansa A380 Low Pass Flyby at EKCH Airport

Giant on Scandinavian grand tour today

Lufthansa is proudly showing off its Airbus A380 today, September 15th, during a visit to all airports of the  Scandinavian capitals. Lufthansas Airbus A380 can take 526 passengers, 8 on First Class, 98 on Business Class and 420 Economy class travelers.

The scheduled flights on September 15th are: 
  • LH8924 leaving Frankfurt Airport 6:35 AM, arriving Copenhagen Airport 7:55 AM  
  • LH8926 leaving Copenhagen Airport 10 AM, arriving Stockholm Airport 11:15 AM
  • LH8928 leaving Stockholm Airport 12:45 PM, arriving Helsinki Airport 2:45 PM 
  • LH8925 leaving Helsinki Airport 4:45 PM, arriving Oslo Airport 5 PM 
  • LH8927 leaving Oslo Airport 8:45 PM, arriving Frankfurt Airport 8:35 PM 
More Lufthansa stories on Enjoy Food & Travel:  

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oslo among 10 most expensive hotel cities worldwide

Oslo hotels ranks among the 10 most expensive to stay in. This according to a report on average prices on accommodation around the world issued by the British Hogg Robinson Group.

Grand Hotell, Oslo by James Cridland
European and US destinations dominate the list. The most expensive place to make a hotel reservation is Moscow.

Moscow has maintained its place at the highest average room rate for the sixth year despite a 12% fall in local currency.

Average price for a hotel room in the Russian capital is 46% higher than in Oslo, and 32% higher than Geneva, number two on the list.

Price differences are much smaller between the nine other cities on the list. Average price of accommodation between number 2 and number 10 is just 14%. Here is the full list.
  1. Moscow (RU) - USD 368/EUR 290(146)
  2. Geneva (CH) - USD 286/EUR 226 (114)
  3. Hongkong (C) - USD 284/EUR 224 (113)
  4. Paris (FR) - USD 283/EUR 223 (112)
  5. New York (US) - USD 278/EUR 219 (110)
  6. Washington (US) - USD 277/EUR 218 (110)
  7. Zürich (CH) - USD 270/EUR 213 (106)
  8. Abu Dhabi (UAE) - USD 266/EUR 210 (105)
  9. Stockholm (SE) - USD 263/EUR 207 (104)
  10. Oslo (NO) - USD 251/EUR 198 (100 = USD 251)
See full report on Hogg Robinson website

Latest relevant hotel stories on Enjoy Food & Travel  

Monday, September 13, 2010

Café Opera, Bergen

One stormy evening in November 2008, I waited for my friend Terje to arrive in Bergen. Outside clear skies changed to strong winter showers, making the flight from Oslo bumpy, to say the least. I, however, was seated at Café Opera having a glass of wine.

Overall score: BBBB- (3,77 points)
  • Location: BBBB+
  • Service: BBB+
  • Interior & Atmosphere: BBB+
  • Food: BBBB
Café Opera is a place for the hip crowds, trendy students or artists in for a pint (or five) of beer, or a glass of red wine. I, however, went there to hide from the fierce weather and wait for my guest to arrive.

As Terje arrived, we discovered that we both needed something to eat, before I could get the account of the terrible ride over the mountain. We ordered the same, cod-steak wrapped in parma ham with whole roasted potatoes, mashed turnips and gravy.

Fish wrapped in pig

Delicious combo of salt and sweet flavours. I gladly prepare meaty fish with bacon or serrano/parma ham. I have usually used halibut, but discovered that cod was equally good and much, much cheaper. Usually I use mashed turnip to salted meats, as I've always thought that it may overpower the salty, but milder fish flavours, but here it did not.

If this dish reflects the overall quality of food at Café Opera, I would not hesitate to recommend it as a place to dine. Its character as a young hangout may indicate, however, that the cook may have had a good day. It is only one way to find out - to revisit when being in Bergen the next time.

Café Opera
Engen 18, 5011 Bergen, Norway
Phone: +47 55 23 03 15
Fax: +47 55 21 54 99

Similar combos on Enjoy Food & Travel
More restaurants in Bergen

See location of Café Opera on this map of Bergen

View Bergen and Surrounding areas 2007-2009 in a larger map

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pork Curry Rogan Josh

curry: Rogan Josh by Tamorlan

When you're crazy about curry, that's fine, but, no matter how much you love curry, you have too much of it, it takes the roof of your mouth off. 
And then you never want to see curry for a really, really long time, but you wake up one day, and you think... 
God, I really miss curry.
Stacy in Dr. House
I am homeless, at the moment, as my bathroom is being completely renovated. During these four weeks I live with friends and relatives. One way of paying for a roof over my head, is by cooking. Last day of August I prepared a tasty pork curry Rogan Josh for my nephews.

Rogan Josh originates from Kashmir, a Muslim part of India, but is popular over the whole subcontinent. I prepared this dish with pork, an ingredient that you would never find in Kashmir, but used in many other regions.
This is an inexpensive meat, low in fat. I paid 47 NOK or EUR 5,90 (USD 7,50) for three boneless pork chops  of 600 grams (1,3 lb's). With other ingredients and rice it filled up at least 3 hungry men.You may choose whatever vegetables you have available, but onions and garlic are natural ingredients.

The pastes from Patak's are to prefer to any of the ready made sauces. The Patak's Rogan Josh paste are made from a special blend of turmeric, paprika and coriander with other spices and tomato puree.

Dice the meat and then start to assemble the dish.

Patak's Rogan Josh  (company website)
Pork Curry Rogan Josh

Besides the 3 diced pork chops, I used:
  • 2 tbsp oil  
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 large red pepper, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp Patak's Rogan Josh paste
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 400 ml / 11 fluid oz water
  • 300 ml / 11 fluid oz coconut milk
  • 4-5 tbsp mild sweet chili 
Fry the onions and garlic  in 1-2 tbsp oil until golden, then add diced peppers.

Take out onions and peppers, and add 1 tbsp oil. Seal meat in two batches, then add the onions and pepper. Stir in flour and add water and stir in the Rogan Josh paste.

Allow to simmer on low heat for 30 minutes with lid on.

Add coconut milk and enough sweet chili to balance the salt. Then pour in coconut milk. Allow to simmer on a very low heat without lid (or else milk will separate) for a few minutes before serving.

Serve with rice.      

Curry stories on Enjoy Food & Travel   
And here is a short Patak's commercial