Saturday, August 13, 2011

Rating Café Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech


Café Jardin Majorelle is located in the Majorelle Gardens in Guëliz, the modern part of Marrakech. The gardens were created in 1924 by Jacques Majorelle and is a must to see when visiting Marrakech. Here you can eat or take a cup of coffee or mint tea. Decent modern food and a great location.  

Café Majorelle - rating: BBBB (4,07 points)
  • Location: BBBBB
  • Service: BBBB
  • Interior & atmosphere: BBBB+
  • Food: BBBB-
  • Beverage: N/A
A decorative basket with delicious Moroccan bread
The Majorelle Gardens is located a 20 minute walk away from the heart of the city,  Djemaa el Fna. It is a stunning place to have a meal, in the intense and lush vegation, among tall palm trees, cactii, bamboo and ferns.

The Café Jardin Majorelle is enclosed by low buildings partly in pale colours, partly in brickwork, very informal. The furniture is simple wooden chairs and tables, no napkins, wine glasses, plates, knives or forks - very informal. Decent service, ordering your food and getting served does not take much time.

Nice presentation, with no delicious flavours of the souq
Café Jardin Majorelle is pricey compared to other similar places in Marrakech, but still comfortably cheap compared to similar dining in European cities.

I ordered chicken drumsticks and Susanne, my fellow traveler picked skewers from the menu.
First we were (as always) served a basket of Moroccan bread, deliciously fresh.

The portions at Café Jardin Majorelle was modest - I got three chicken drumsticks served with rice.

Nicely presented, and very tender, but seeing the dish, I cannot connect any interesting taste to it. The meat was not flavoured as the delicious chicken tagines or couscous, holding all the lovely spices of Morocco.

It would be easy to describe Café Jardin Majorelle as a classic tourist trap, but the truth is that I enjoyed my meal. This, in spite of it being a result of quite mediochre cooking. The Café Jardin Majorelle was a lovely place to eat, great location, relaxed and good service. But if you looking for a great meal, there are so many places you can get that authentic food at a much lower price.


Vis Marrakech on Enjoy Food & Travel 2010-2011 i et større kart

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hotel stories around the world on Enjoy Food & Travel 2006-2011


Find all hotel stories published on Enjoy Food & Travel 2006-2011 on this map. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rating Park Inn Hotel Oslo Airport



View Oslo airport Gardermoen in a larger map
I had expectations when booking a room at Park Inn Oslo Airport. Not only is it one of the newest hotels in Oslo, but the design is supposed to be best Scandinavia has to offer. The building is designed by the famous Norwegian architect Niels Torp, and the interior and furniture has that Scandinavian look!!! Our stay at Park Inn Oslo Airport was, however, disappointing. Our room was small, the interior was smart enough, but the Scandinavian design made the hotel cold, bare, nay - hostile. 

Rating Park Inn Oslo Airport: BBBB- (3,59 points)
  • Location: BBB+
  • Service: BBB+
  • Room: BBBB-
  • Breakfast: BBBB
  • Facilities: BBB
  • Price: BBBB
Park Inn Oslo Airport location is practical, as it is directly connected to the main terminal building via a glassed in walkway. From the main terminal building you are only 17 minutes away from Oslo city centre by the airport express train.  Convenient - yes, charming - definitely no. Park Inn Oslo Airport is, as most airport hotels,  a place to stay, nothing else. Convenience and comfort is the most important matter.

The staff that welcomed you at the reception desk, in the bar and breakfast room, was serviceable enough.

Were were given a moderately sized double room dominated by one king-sized bed. The bathroom was also rather small. There were storage, as well as a small desk.

In spite of the simple and light Scandinavian interior design theme, the room at Park Inn Oslo Airport seemed, funny enough, rather small and dark. It did not feel as welcoming as you would expect a modern design hotel to be. As Park Inn Oslo Airport is a completely new hotel, there were no mark of wear and tear, it was still immaculately maintained.

Another major problem was the thick wall to wall carpeting throughout the hotel - both in corridors and in room. Combined with the fact that the air-conditioning did not work, made staying there a claustrophobic experience. I will recommend those of you allergic to dust to book an allergy room, if available.

The room also had:
  • 32" flat-panel television
  • Direct-dial telephone
  • Hair dryer
  • High-speed, wireless Internet access (Free)
  • Individual climate control (Not in working order)
  • Safe
  • Tea and coffee provisions. (Great!!)
Breakfast is served from 5:00 to 09:30 AM, Monday to Fridays, and from 5:00 AM - 10:30 AM Saturdays and Sundays. Perfect for us as we were to catch an outbound flight at 7 AM. We enjoyed a wholesome breakfast buffet at Park Inn Oslo Airport, to anyone's taste and even better - it included in the price.

We helped ourselves to scrambled eggs and bacon, but there were several alternatives as cold cuts and cheese, jam, healthy options as fruit, cereal and yogurt. There were whole grain, as well as white bread, and you could help yourselves to juice, coffee or tea.

Hotel facilities:
  • Entire hotel smoke free
  • Inhouse bar and restaurant: RBG Bar & Grill serves a versatile menu that includes mouth-watering signature dishes from the grill. We found that the interior design made the restaurant and bar bare, cold and unwelcoming.   
  • Hotel bar  
  • Access the well-equipped, on-site fitness room.
  • Conference facilities with 46 meeting rooms, a large ballroom, a flexible pre-function area and full business services.
  • Resting area 
All public areas in the hotel was immaculately clean and brand new. As previously mentioned, the interior design was not to my taste. The large open spaces felt bare and unwelcoming, it was quite difficult to find a cozy spot to sit down.

The room was priced at NOK 1295 (USD 235 / EUR 165)  per night, including breakfast. As the air conditioning system did not work we were offered another room or a discount. We chose the latter and got 50% off the original price. This raise the total score quite bit, but the Park Inn Oslo Airport did not meet my expectations at all.

Address:
Park Inn Oslo Airport
Henrik Ibsens Vei 73, 2061 Gardemoen, Norway
Phone: +47 67 02 40 00

Information about the hotel: info.oslo.airport@rezidorparkinn.com

Reservations:

  • Travellers: reservations.oslo.airport@rezidorparkinn.com
  • Conferences: conference.oslo.airport@rezidorparkinn.com

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Different ways to poach an egg


There are more ways to skin a cat, or poach an egg. Enjoy Food & Travel co-writer Susanne did it the way shown on this film clip on YouTube. There are, however, other ways that may work equally good. Here are a few other films on the subject that may be of interest to poachers.

Microwave poached eggs

Crack an egg in a ramekin with a little water, cover with cling-film and use your microwave. Easy and less messy, but is it too good to be true?
Use a small bowl and a large spoon 

Crack an egg into a small bowl, release it slowly into simmering water. Use a large spoon to collect the egg whites and then cover with a lid until done

Eggs Benedict - my favourite poached egg
Poach an egg, serve on a toasted English muffin with ham, and Hollandaise sauce. Scrumptious!

See how to make Eggs Benedict here

Sommerlykke - a July sandwich snapshot


Delicious, and easy to make. Scandinavian open sandwiches are like tapas, you move from the traditional to new and intriguing toppings on different kinds of bread. July 2nd I and Enjoy Food & Travel co-writer Susanne Koch enjoyed an open sandwich jam session in my kitchen. She sent me a small poster yesterday to sum up our delicious summer meal on my terrace.
Susanne and I met after work, and did some grocery shopping and placed artisan bread, cured ham, eggs, fresh prawns, artichoke hearts, ruccola and Hellmann's mayonnaise in our trolley. Then we headed home to drink some wine and make some serious grub.

Open sandwich with prawns, artichoke hearts and ruccola

Peeled fresh prawns caught in Norwegian waters are a delicacy. Due to its quantities, prawns are relatively inexpensive in Norway. You can get one kilo (around 2 lb's) fresh prawns from 16 USD (12 EUR), and large frozen ones from as low as 4 USD (EUR 2,50).

We bought enough prawns for two open sandwiches, i.e. around 1/2 kilo or a little more than a pound. We toasted one focaccia each, allowed some Kviteseid butter to melt into it, topped the bread with peeled prawns and a large dollop of Hellmann's mayonnaise.

For greens we used ruccola leaves and one marinated artichoke heart each. Two ingredients very different from each other, the first spicy and peppery, the second mild and slightly bitter in taste.

Shrimp salad from Vesterålen - read story here 

Open sandwich with poached egg and Spanish serrano ham 

Susanne has told how she explored and finally mastered the art of poaching eggs earlier on Enjoy Food & Travel. That evening she initiated me into the secrets of this process. I was very happy that she did, as I am a fan of poached eggs, particularly when served as toast Benedict.

She told me that there are two basic secrets on how to poach an egg.

Secret number one: Boil up water in a casserole, then add 1-2 tbsp vinegar to the water.

Secret number two: Create a swirl or a malstrom in the casserole, crack the egg open and pour it into the centre of the malstrom.

Susanne performed the two steps of the ritual, waived her magic wand and presto - she had two delicious shivering white poached eggs ready with the most deliciouscrumptious yellow runny eggyolks. Yum-Yum!

Then we toasted and buttered the second half of the foccacia, placed two generous slices of Spanish serrano ham, topping it with the poached eggs.

Let us make it a good egg - read story here
  

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Norwegian Air Shuttle put all flights from Moss-Rygge Airport this winter on hold

Photo: Check-in at Moss-Rygge airport by EWR
Norwegian Air Shuttle has put all it flights from Moss-Rygge Airport this winter on hold. It may move all flights to Torp-Sandefjord Airport unless they are given same favourable terms as its rival Ryanair.

As most airlines are planning their winter program from Norwegian airports, all Norwegian Air Shuttle flights from Moss-Rygge Airport have been put on hold. This means that you cannot book any outbound flights from Rygge Airport later than October 28th.

Ryanair has been given very favourable terms at Rygge. Norwegian Air Shuttle is, according to www.boarding.no, now trying to negotiate equal terms as its rival. If not, Norwegian Air Shuttle will move flights to Torp-Sandefjord Airport, west of the Oslo fjord. End of negotiations and action from Norwegian Air Shuttle may come in the middle of August.

Enjoy Food & Travel will keep you posted on this matter.    

Ryanair starts non-stop flights to two new destinations from Rygge

Poznans imperial palace is one of the city's main attractions. Photo by: Radomil
Ryanair launch more destinations from Rygge airport, one in Poland and another in Germany.  
Poznań - Poland

The city of Poznan is one of the oldest cities in Poland, with a history spanning more than a millennium. The city's old town holds many important historic monumements as the old cathedral dedicated to St. Paul and St. Peter.

Poznan is a major financial hub, and an engine in the expanding Polish economy.
Ryanair is the second airline offering flights from Norway to Poznan as Norwegian Air Shuttle has this destination on its 2012 winter programme.

Frankfurt-Hahn - Germany


Frankfurt Hahn is located close to the cities of Kirchberg and Simmern in Rhine-Palatinate. It is a major hub for Ryanair, and the budget airline operates a large number of domestic and international flights from here.

In spite of its name, the airport is virtually 120 km from both Frankfurt and Luxembourg. By road it is closer to Koblenz (about 70 kilometres / 43 miles) and Mainz (about 90 kilometres / 56 miles).

You may get from the airport to railway stations in Köln, Koblenz, Trier, Mainz, Frankfurt, Kirn, Idar-Oberstein and Saarbrücken where you can connect with Deutsche Bahn trains or local transport links. Check with the schedules before you leave to get the right connection.

Related stories on Enjoy Food & Travel 

Monday, August 08, 2011

Marrakech: Hey - we are certainly not in Kansas anymore!


You do not have to stick you feet into a pair of ruby slippers and be taken by a twister to leave your Kansas. Marrakech, by the foot of the Atlas mountains, is definitely not my Kansas. It resembles nothing I have seen until now. It is an intriguing, chaotic mix of the orient and Africa and very far away from Europe.

I do not recall what I expected by this Moroccan city, as all the impressions left in my inner eye have obliterated all the notions of what I thought I would see.

Unlike Istanbul, it is definitely not Europe. Even though the Turkish metropolis is a part of the Islamic world, I still felt that I was on my own continent.

Read more stories Istanbul on Enjoy Food & Travel

Marrakech, however, is the town of Berber nomads, jugglers, snake charmers, elaborate hand crafts, with an air perfumed by scents of strangely spiced foods. All this left me as mesmerized as Dorothy was when she met the Land of Oz!

I will write stories from Marrakech in the year to come. Still I have to land, emotionally and spiritually, and get a little distance to reflect on what I have seen. Here are, however, stories to come on Enjoy Food & Travel.

Bars and restaurants:
Food stories:
Hotels:
Shopping:
  • Au Fil d'Or
  • Ensemble Artisanale
  • Gift shop, Jardin de Majorelle
  • Herboriste El Andalouss
  • Magic Gift
  • Shopping for exotic jewellry
  • Shopping spices
  • Soukhs
Sights:
Travel
See location of all bars, hotels, restaurants, sights and shops on this map of Marrakech


View Marrakech A-Z 2010 in a larger map

Find other stories on Enjoy Food & Travel - see our new page:

Enjoy Food & Travel - main index 2006-2010

Wine by the litre at Candelaria Bodega, Sitges

Different wines, different barrels
Nothing should surprise you in Spain, one of the most wine producing countries in the world. At Candelaria Bodega in Sitges you may bring your own bottles and buy the quantity of wine you need directly from the barrel. Neat!!

I dropped in by coincidence to quell my thirst during a hot day this June. I and my friend Terje were thrilled to find a large number of rustic wooden barrels filled with different wines. At Candelaria Bodega you can either take your own bottles or buy ready washed to be filled up on the premises.

The wine on sale were of at least two qualities, one inexpensive and one more pricey, and you could get red, rosé, and white wine, but according to my own standards even the priciest of them would be cheap compared to what I would have paid for the same quantity here in Norway.

We did not run home to our hotel in order to fetch an empty bottle, but sat down at Candelaria Bodega to enjoy an icy cold Spanish Estrella Damm beer and the airconditioning. After the one refreshing beer, we took another, and went to do some grocery shopping at the nearby market. But that is another story. 

Address:
Candelaria Bodega
C/d'Artur Carbonell, 12
Sitges, Spain


Vis Barcelona and Catalonia on Enjoy Food & Travel i et større kart

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Italian Ice Cream Heaven at Giovanni L Eiscafé

I am no sweet tooth, but I LOVE ice cream and chocolate. In Kiel, Germany I found a ice cream heaven at Sophienhof, the gigantic mall in the city centre.
Lazy, fluffy, multi coloured cloud of Italian gelato
Sicilian Pistacchio, Lemon, vanilla, or Mozart kugel ice cream
At Giovanni L Eiscafé you can go completely bananas, strawberry, or passionfruit if you want. Every thinkable or unthinkable flavoured ice cream are displayed as lazy, fluffy, multi coloured clouds.

Cool mint flavoured After Eight or stracciatella - the latter rich vanilla ice cream with chocolate shavings, or choco-vic, as dark as a cloudy night.

If you like fruit flavours you can pick from strawberry, or even better - exotic mango-passionfruit, one of my personal favourites.
 
If you turn your head you see more delicious ice creams. Sicilian Pistacchio, Lemon, cream-based vanilla, or Mozart kugel-flavoured. Just order and taste.

Sadly, I was completely stuffed after breakfast, but admiring this colourful display created those tastes in my mind.. Next time I visit Kiel, I will most certainly revisit Giovanni L Eiscafé,  have a few tastes and find out if they are tasty as well as pleasing to the eye.