_3490479.jpg
28.jpg
cinemagraph-kitties.gif
_DSF9006.jpg
_DSF9284.jpg
_DSF9107.jpg
mosel.jpg
_DSF0361.jpg
_3490479.jpg

Discover Holland


At the intersection of Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands lay this mystical metropolis known for its hospitality, lively celebrations, and rich cultural tradition. Welcome to Holland's Maastricht.

SCROLL DOWN

Discover Holland


At the intersection of Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands lay this mystical metropolis known for its hospitality, lively celebrations, and rich cultural tradition. Welcome to Holland's Maastricht.

With the increasing trend towards domestic tourism, travelers are starved for unique close-to-home destinations. At the same time, foreigners crave boutique travel experiences that empower them to live-life-like-a-local in otherwise unfamiliar lands. Maastricht, arguably Holland's most alluring city, is captivating the hearts of these out-of-towners with their particular sense of charm, cuisine, and aptitude for living the high life. As such, the city is primed to receive local and global visitors alike. Here are the places we've unearthed by chatting to those who call this hub of urbanity home. We hope you find inspiration among them as much as we did. 

Jamie, the HotelBlogr, sips champagne in design hotel BE41's Deluxe Kamer, steps from the main square.

Jamie, the HotelBlogr, sips champagne in design hotel BE41's Deluxe Kamer, steps from the main square.

Got a sweet-tooth?  Taart can help with that. Who can say no to unicorn cakes and lattes? They're also a hotspot among locals seeking scrumptious breakfast, lunch, and high tea dates - with icing on top. Don't want to spend a sunny afternoon inside? Take your goodies to-go and head home to Hotel BE41, just minutes away on foot. Staying in the Superior Kamer? Enjoy your private patio and sink your teeth into those delectables while soaking up the sun. More must-do tips on Instagram @HotelBlogr and @TravlrBlog #ThisIsMyMaastricht 

Maybe savory is your thing. Cross the bridge to Wyck and pop into Harry's.  Over a century in the making, Wycher Brugstraat 2  is one of the city's best known foodie-addresses. Unpretentious albeit refined, this is the place you go when top-end bar snacks, salt-water seafood, and cocktails are in order. It's timeless.

Petit Café Moriaan is known for its' coffee as much as its' wine list. A favorite of locals; they don't sit inside. They head to the romantic, somewhat concealed patio on Op de Themen square instead. We suggest you do the same.

the dutch take their coffee seriously
As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?
— Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes
maastricht is surrounded by vineyards

The southern portion of Holland is characterized by vast vineyards, the fruits of which are typified by their subtle mineral-notes from surrounding limestone.

oysters from harry's bar in maastricht
At Maastricht design hotel, BE41, guests are treated to breakfast in bed every morning.

At Maastricht design hotel, BE41, guests are treated to breakfast in bed every morning.

A standard room on the top floor of BE41, acts as a creative refuge to many a traveler seeking a new muse in Maastricht. The best time to come? Midweek, when the locals come out to play.

A standard room on the top floor of BE41, acts as a creative refuge to many a traveler seeking a new muse in Maastricht. The best time to come? Midweek, when the locals come out to play.

The Dutch don't settle. In cosmopolitan Maastricht, you need only glance around for a moment and you'll notice the highly Instagrammable shops, design hotels, and their well-dressed patrons. This tendency towards high-quality and natural good taste gives the open-eyed traveler a sense of comfort not otherwise afforded by regions previously unexplored. Here the foodie in you is free to experiment. Try local delicacies and fusion menus - because you'll always be getting the best. Eetcafé Il y a is a great place to start with specialty tapas and wine.

popular dutch beer company brand makes unfiltered beer

Fancy a cold one? Holland's best bar, as voted by the Dutch nation-wide, lay in the heart of Maastricht: In de Karkol.  It's a crimson-painted-brick meets bespoke-decor-hovel carved out of Maastricht's historical heart - and it lives up to its' title. Vested barmen serve Brand, an almost 700-year-old Netherlander brew tradition. With over a dozen beer types available, heed our advice.  Start with a pint of the 'ongefilterd' an unfiltered pilsner with a special, mild body and light refreshing aftertaste. Perfect for summer. Then, stay for another: from Porters to Radlers they have something to satiate any palette. By this point, dusk can easily give way to the blackness of night but you wouldn't know it. The quaint courtyard patio with its combination of playful locals and twinkling lights is full of life - often in to the wee hours of the morning. 

Beer lover? Head to De Gouverneur and further immerse yourself in the Limburgish lifestyle that revolves around fine beers and even finer company. Sporting 250+ brews and a unmistakably local vibe, this is a must-visit for hop aficionados and novices alike.

A table set before the dinner rush begins. Eetcafe Il ya a is one of Maastrcht's most sought-after restaurants. In the heart of the Latin-quarter, the menu is Mediterranean-inspired with a wine list that would make a somm blush. 

A table set before the dinner rush begins. Eetcafe Il ya a is one of Maastrcht's most sought-after restaurants. In the heart of the Latin-quarter, the menu is Mediterranean-inspired with a wine list that would make a somm blush. 

The private courtyard-patio is available to guests staying in Hotel BE41's Superior Kamer.

The private courtyard-patio is available to guests staying in Hotel BE41's Superior Kamer.

Cheers to the nights that turned into morning and the friends who turned into family.
— Earl Dibbles Jr.
galerie o l vrouwe in maastricht
marcel doggan of maastricht hotel BE41 and mateusz chojnacki from travlrblog talk hotel business

Maastricht is the kind of place that encourages you to be yourself, and feel at home. Especially at BE41, where coming-and-going as you please is un-official motto. Sporting 7 unique rooms; 24-hour self-service check-in, spearmint water on tap, and breakfast-in-bed it's easy to see why it's got guests raving online. It's affordable luxury without the pomp and circumstance. And the Dutchies wouldn't have it any other way. This is a place where you come as you are and enjoy the finer things in life - at your own pace. No schedule need be set, and everything is within walking distance. Thanks to Marcel Doggen, for hosting us at his award-winning design hotel. Otherwise, we may have missed what may just be one of our new favorite cities. 

28.jpg

Discover Portugal


At Europe's western extremity lay Portugal. A small strip of land, shaped by its pride, ambition, and rich history. It's a must-see in 2017 for foodies.

Discover Portugal


At Europe's western extremity lay Portugal. A small strip of land, shaped by its pride, ambition, and rich history. It's a must-see in 2017 for foodies.

Southern Portugal

cliffs in sagres, southern portugal are a must-see

In Portugal, a mix of raw beauty, fresh cuisine, and generous hospitality await otherwise unsatiated souls. 

sardines fresh caught in southern portugal

For lovers of fresh eats, restorative (citrus) juices, and choice libations - you've come home. Follow the coastline north, stopping along the way to munch on local specialties like sardines, bacalhau (cod), goat cheese, and olives. Most of which are covered in herbs and served with a squeeze of lemon. You know it's quality because you can taste the sea and earth in just about every bite. 

20.jpg

Central Portugal

13.jpg

Lisbon may be Portugal's heart, but the arteries are the stunning Quintas (wine estates) connecting it to the rest of the nation through dusty paths and narrow vineyard lanes. Here, full bodied wine flows in abundance. The 9 DOC protected zones of the region may all be reach within an hour's drive making Central Portugal a wine enthusiast's playground. Rent a bike, or in some cases, walk from cellar to cellar, indulging in tastings for a few euros per glass. Then, grab your favorite bottle and head to the (previously royal) coastal town of Cascais; a 35 minute drive from Lisbon towards the Atlantic.

garlic in Portuguese farmer's market
But Portugal has a peaceful feel about it. I sit on the terrace overlooking the vineyard and I feel cut off from the world. You need that sort of thing.
— C. Richard, English Musician
Seafood lovers can't pass by Matosinhos Fish Market without stopping.

Seafood lovers can't pass by Matosinhos Fish Market without stopping.

Age doesn't matter here, unless of course you're referring to the wine. The landscape is characterized by rolling hills, Baroque castles and vineyards as old as time where desires will be met and nourished.

where and what to eat in marco do canaveses francesinhas

A trip to Portugal isn't complete without trying the "little Frenchie" or Francesinhas as the locals call it. It consists of a signature velvety-beef-broth-and-tomato sauce, surrounding a layered, cheese and egg covered meaty sandwich. 

cooks standing outside their restaurant in portugal
17.jpg
I’m living a dream I never want to wake up from.
— C. Ronaldo, Footballer

The country is further characterized by the remnants of the Knights Templar. Visit their castles, places of worship, and hideaways throughout Portugal. Discover unique sites along with us @hotelblogr and @travlrblog #ThisIsMyPortugal

Northern Portugal

Douro Valley vineyards in Portugal as seen nearby luxury bed and breakfast outeiro tuias manor house

Fancy refreshing grapes with high acidity, unripened melon, and citrus notes? Wineries tucked into the Douro Valley's lush countryside boast some of the world's most esteemed potables. It's famous for it rosé  (the classic Mateus brand calls this region home). Liight, dry whites, fizzy vinho verdes, and full bodied reds - suitable for ruby and tawny ports no doubt are here to enjoy as well. 

casa de vila boa ruins in marco de canaveses portugal's douro valley

Ever modest; vintners will take you in and reveal their colorful histories, paired with tastings and Queijo (cheese). Vila Boa is a good place to start. Continue to witness the grandeur of this viticultural powerhouse with a boat trip or seadoo down the Douro river, one of the cleanest in Europe. Stay a while in manor houses - like Outeiro Tuias - and make it your home away from home between vineyard hopping. Then again, who'd want to leave. 

Mateusz of TravlrBlog takes a spin an MG before a private dinner party at Outeiro Tuias Manor House, Marco de Canaveses - Douro Valley

Mateusz of TravlrBlog takes a spin an MG before a private dinner party at Outeiro Tuias Manor House, Marco de Canaveses - Douro Valley

Cook meals with local ingredients at apart-hotels and manor houses like we did at Outiero Tuias

Cook meals with local ingredients at apart-hotels and manor houses like we did at Outiero Tuias

Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.
— P.Coelho, Brida

Bookend your stay in the countryside with nights in the city. Try the upscale wine bars, port cellars (Nova de Gaia, Porto) and eateries. Fancy a beer? The Portuguese are in the midst of a craft revolution. Order a thirst-quenching Imperial lager made from natural ingredients. Then, move inland to see the sights while you unwind over a cup of wine at a villa.

The best way to get around is by car. The roads are open and typically traffic free. Fly into one of the International Airport's (Porto in the North, is closest to the Douro Valley - just 45 minutes away). Rent a car and let the adventure begin. While there, visit humble towns and rural vineyards that populate the landscape. Don't leave without taking a plunge into the refreshing salt-filled waters of the Atlantic or a soak in the Douro. 

An Introduction to Portugal's Specialty: Port Wine

What is Port?

It's a fortified wine that is exclusively produced in Portugal. The grapes are grown in the Douro, one of the world's most revered wine regions. One might say it's the most majestic too, for it's climate embodies near perfect conditions for grape growing and wine production. 

After the grapes are grown, preened, ripened and picked, select vineyards send their wine down the Douro River to Porto. This is where the fortification and aging process takes place, in humid cellars on the south-side of the river.

What varieties of Port wine exist?

There's red Port, like Ruby and Tawny, and then white, and rose - just like with regular wines. In this case though, red is most well known and consumed frequently abroad. White lends itself well to cocktails like Porto Tonicos (white Port, tonic water, bitters, and a lime on ice) while Rose is just starting to make a name for itself. Color aside, there's a unique depth of taste present in fortified wines like Port that you won't find elsewhere as easily. From the grapes to their vintages, every aspect contributes to the dynamic flavors that these Fortified wines provide. For example, some are sweet like stewed black fruits, while others are dry like cedar. 

What Port wines will I try at a Port cellar tasting?

It depends on the cellar but you'll probably enjoy a crisp white, a nutty, and perhaps older Tawny (red), and Ruby (red).

Here's a few pointers to get you started:

WHITE PORT

Golden in color

- Typically off-dry or sweet, and crisp or slightly velvety in taste

- Made using white grapes

- Best served cold, like white wine, neat or with a large rock and tonic water for an aperatif

TAWNY PORT

- Burnt Orange to Reddish-Ochre in color

- Typically nutty in taste

- Made using red grapes; aged in small barrels to allow for a lot of the wine to be in contact with the wooden surface during aging

- Best served at ambient temperature, neat, alongside dried fruits and nuts of a similar color

RUBY PORT

Deep red in color

- Typically sweet and yet stark, smooth and yet rich in taste

- Made using red grapes; aged in very large barrels to allow wine to maintain most of its original flavor notes

- Best served at ambient temperature, neat, alongside dark chocolate, dried red and purple fruits

Do you have a favorite port wine? Tag us in a photo of it on Instagram.

Follow us on Instagram @TravlrBlog for the latest travel insporations

cinemagraph-kitties.gif

Discover Corfu


In the words of celeb chef, Christos Ioannidis - "I've found paradise". Learn what he means by that here.

Discover Corfu


In the words of celeb chef, Christos Ioannidis - "I've found paradise". Learn what he means by that here.

photographer matt chojnacki in corfu outside nagual beach bar in kontogialos corfu .jpg

Shooting videos of Corfu is almost surreal because everything is so incredibly vibrant: the food, the people,  and the shores.

The oldest bar in corfu, Taverna Tripa is a must-see

Life moves at a different pace in Greece; where the focus shifts from getting by to the actual art of living. And, Greek joie de vivre is perfected in Corfu. The minute you sip a kumquat cocktail, talk with a local, or gorge on hearty classics like pastisada - you know it. Here history is lived, as each generation makes their mark as an homage to the one before it. This is seen in the family run establishments that continue to breathe new life into the island with modern takes on Corfiot classics.

One such place is Taverna Tripa. Over the years it's been a haunt of the famous and the infamous, from the likes of Jackie Kennedy Onassis to Tito. But it's a watering whole for the locals as much as anyone else. Discover its character, sensational food, and hospitality with a trip to Kinopiastes, seven kilometers south-west of Corfu Town.

Gradually the magic of the island [Corfu] settled over us as gently and clingingly as pollen.” ― G.Durrell
Nestled within the quaint sea-side community of Agios Gordios, you're sure to find affordable scouter rentals and familiar hoteliers who treat you to a pint while you settle in at the bar. Not to mention, a simpler way of living - albeit authentic. 

Nestled within the quaint sea-side community of Agios Gordios, you're sure to find affordable scouter rentals and familiar hoteliers who treat you to a pint while you settle in at the bar. Not to mention, a simpler way of living - albeit authentic. 

A group of locals sit down to dinner at the famous Taverna Tripa in Corfu
Beer lovers rejoice when they sip the islands top-quality Corfu Beer's range of all-natural, local brews
Klaudio is the master brewer behind what might just be, the best beer is Southern Europe. The brewery, Corfu Beer, has developed a range that provides something for everyone. The brews are made from local and organically sourced ingredients - like the life elixir wild honey and lemon, and never fails to hit the spot on a hot day. Did we mention it's unpasteurized and unfiltered? It's basically medicine. Cheers to that!

Klaudio is the master brewer behind what might just be, the best beer is Southern Europe. The brewery, Corfu Beer, has developed a range that provides something for everyone. The brews are made from local and organically sourced ingredients - like the life elixir wild honey and lemon, and never fails to hit the spot on a hot day. Did we mention it's unpasteurized and unfiltered? It's basically medicine. Cheers to that!

The air is warm and fresh as it envelops you in its mystery. Take a step back from the resorts and travel inland along the mountain passes and olive orchards that make up Corfu's interior.  Stay a while in the well appointed beach bars that dot the shores away from Corfu Town. Sip refreshing beers from Corfu Beer and people watch as the day rolls into dusk. Come hungry and leave satisfied as the families behind restaurants like Avli Corfu, Nagual, and Taverna Tripa whip up their special versions of classic mezedes (shared plates) which are well enjoyed by locals and travelers alike. Not ready for bed? Take a drive to the island's oldest tavern, Taverna Tripa and dance the night away. Wine in one hand, your partner in the other. To follow our latest from Corfu, head to twitter and Instagram @travlrblog and @hotelblogr #ThisIsMyCorfu

_DSF9006.jpg

Avli Corfu


Looking for the island's most authentic restaurants near the old town? Why not try Avli? The chef is a genius and the seafood is noteworthy.

Avli Corfu


Looking for the island's most authentic restaurants near the old town? Why not try Avli? The chef is a genius and the seafood is noteworthy.

Discover one of Corfu's best restaurants - Avli. Located in Garitsa Bay, in view of Corfu Town, Avli offers diners an authentic local culinary experience presented through a mezedes-based menu. Our recommendation? The seafood of course! 

the brothers behind corfu family-run restaurant Avli corfu

Introducing the Pappas brothers who run Avli  Corfu. This dynamite duo of hospitality-meets-culinary-prowess invited us to lunch in their garden and enjoy the quieter side of Corfu Town - like a local. The video of our seafood-and-tsipouro drenched fare above barely does their mouth watering cuisine justice!

grilled octopus with herbs and grains on white plate from avli restaurant in corfu

Go for the mezedes and stay for the fun-loving atmosphere. It's casual-chic attire here, and the crowd is as enchanting as the edibles. Not sure what to order? We recommend the the Octopus. It's tender, juicy, and savory. Paired with fresh herbs and grains, it's an absolute delight on a hot summers' day.

mussels taste like the sea at avli restaurant corfu
an after dinner drink homemade at avli restaurant in corfu from flowering garden herbs
seabass from avli corfu
mezedes or meze from avli one of corfu town's best restaurants

Avli, Corfu is located within a stone's throw of Corfu Town - and it's picturesque in every way...

Whether you sit out in the Avli (garden), at the bar, or inside at the nook graced with plush seats, you're in for a treat. The interior and external facade has been intuitively planned, laid out, and renovated: right down to the last detail.

From the gas lanterns outside, to the stunning custom wallpaper showcasing Corfu Town, nothing has been left to chance. The best part? It's a family affair. Yaiya (grandma) still makes her Spanikopita (spinach pie), phyllo pastry and all, by scratch- even at 93. Dad created the wallpaper, and the Pappas brothers, Christos and Vasilis, run the show together.

Chef Christos Pappas moves like a savant in the kitchen, designing menus from an array of tastes that present themselves to him in his dreams. The woodwork, iron castings, and restored sky-blue scooter that sit out front (see right) are fruits of his labor as well. Needless to say he's good with his hands. But he's got some help though from his equally gifted brother, Vasilis, who, between 12 hour shifts, brings the family together, goes spear fishing without gear, and takes care of the restaurant's digital strategy. Learn more about them in our video above.

_DSF9284.jpg

The Private CheF


Exclusivity, pristine sandy shores, and modernized Mediterranean food can all be found at Nagual Beach Bar in Kontogialos, Corfu.

The Private CheF


Exclusivity, pristine sandy shores, and modernized Mediterranean food can all be found at Nagual Beach Bar in Kontogialos, Corfu.

the private chef greek celebrity christos ioannidis hard at work at nagual
dessert by private chef christos ioannidis at nagual beach bar in corfu
a colorful modern take on greek salad at nagual beach bar
the mediterranean table set beachside in corfu at nagual

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting up with the Private Chef, Christos Ioannidis, in one of the kitchens he runs in Greece: Nagual Beach Bar.

Hailing from Thessaloniki, and referring to Corfu as both home and paradise, Christos takes cooking to a whole new level. He doesn’t just create dishes, rather he designs tastes that are efficient, effective, and inspiring to make.

Once the private chef to a who-is-who-that-we-cannot-mention, Christos is now busy advising some of the most notable restaurants in Greece. When he’s not consulting, he’s running the back of house at select restaurants like Nagual, training an exclusive team of chefs on the mainland, or stationed in Athens cooking on Epsilon TV.

Here's a look at some of the Corfiot fare we cooked up with him at Nagual in Corfu. 

octopus sous vide at nagual beach bar made by chef christos ioannidis
crunchy keftedes a greek mezede by chef christos ioannidis
chef christos ioannidis modernizes greek food at nagual beach bar corfu
potato risotto by chef christos ioannidis in corfu
The next best thing to eating food, is talking about it.
— J.Thomson

Hooked by the charisma of this bearded chef? 'Course you are!  Learn more about Chef Christos here: private-chef.gr #opa

_DSF9107.jpg

Old PerithiA


A trip to Corfu enriches your life and awakens your soul. Find yourself in Palea Perithia, a mountain town from the history books with a foodie scene to boot.

Old PerithiA


A trip to Corfu enriches your life and awakens your soul. Find yourself in Palea Perithia, a mountain town from the history books with a foodie scene to boot.

_DSF9137.jpg
locals from palea perithia old perithia captured in a black and white photograph
the merchant's house bed and breakfast palea perithia
a local business sells organic and homemade food and drinks like honey and oil in palea perithia old perithia corfu
The Merchant's House luxury bed and breakfast exterior corfu
the front door at the merchant's house corfu in palea perithia old perithia
a view of the corfu moutainside through the old bakery window in palea perithia
a taverna in the Corfu mountain town of old perithia palea perithia
hotelier saskia bosch from the merchant's house in old perithia corfu
famous tzaziki from a plaea perithia tavern in corfu

Planning a trip to the Ionian? Head north along the coast from Corfu Town and up the limestone mountain paths to the 14th century Venetian village of Old Perithia. All but lost in time, it boasts 5 deliciously original tavernas, local products including olive, honey, and wine. Not to mention one of our favorite Corfiot luxury Bed and Breakfast locations can be found there: The Merchant's House. 

Work in hospitality? Let's Chat! 

Name *
Name
mosel.jpg

Discover Germany


2017 is about rediscovering lands sporting natural beauty, rich tastes, and hands-on experiences that will earn bragging rights. Germany offers this and more.

Discover Germany


2017 is about rediscovering lands sporting natural beauty, rich tastes, and hands-on experiences that will earn bragging rights. Germany offers this and more.

THE WEST / Nordrhein-Westfalen - Rheinland-Pfalz - Saarland

Here, adventure awaits those who seek it. Unlock cultures' past in the old Roman towns and ruins that make up the Western-most parts of the country. Enjoy the sub-mediterranean climate of the rich Mosel wine valley, and sail along the Rhein when a free Sunday permits. From blood-peaches, refreshing potables, and fire-flamed flatbreads, the cuisine is equally impressive as the landscape.

This is a place where each day is just another story unfolding, and you're the main character.  The game and fowl are familiar, the barkeeps - hospitable, and the architecture - whimsical. As populated as Germany is,  quaint medieval villages like Stolberg, adorned with steeples and towers, continue to reveal themselves to curious passersby.

Once here,  you'll feel privileged to be taken back in time on the Romantisch Straße (Romantic Road) which embodies the works of Brothers Grimm to the last detail. Beyond that, there's something for every old-romantic. Trek north to Dusseldorf's Rennbahn (race track) and experience the simple-sophistication of the early 20th century horse-racing culture. Surrounded by equestrian farms and stables, the region north of the city is perfect for a bike ride. The stables often open themselves to the public with select wine, beer, and degustation offerings.

Regardless of where you are, you're almost certain to find yourself between a castle, a mysterious fable, and excitement - placing you in the midst of a modern day fairy tale, waiting to unravel at your command.

This charming castle is Burg Satzvey. Come here to tour the interior or enjoy a Ritterfestspiel (jousting tournament) during its' many medieval fairs held annually.

The fowl are as lively as the people, and expect them to take part in many of the same activities and venues (beach, bar, and medieval market alike). They add to the charm.

The 'Schalander Pfanne' a signature dish at Dusseldorf's Schalander Bar and Restaurant.

A line up from micro-producers at the Bier Boerse (beer market) in Dusseldorf.

German roast potatoes, or bratkartoffel will make you question why you would ever eat fries.

An outside beer stall at Bonn's Weihnachts Markt (Christmas Market), one of the more ornate one in Western Germany.

Roman history is lived throughout western Germany, and perhaps most in Rheinland-Pfalz. Take a trip down the Mosel river and tour the Roman wine cellars during the Römischer Kelterfest held each summer. The must-go cellar is in Piesport (see below).

Red wine lover? Looking to get away from it all? Visit Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler. Dating back to celtic times, the current town boasts fortifications from the 1200s, as well as a mix of gothic, baroque, and neo-classical architecture throughout. Famed for its' spa culture, history, and the art of wine-making it's a popular retreat among Germans. But why should they have all the fun?

traditional roman cuisine served in germany's roman wine cellar fest

Römischer Kelterfest

A wine festival unlike any you've ever been to. Seated in the vineyard or within the old Roman cellar itself, indulge in authentic roman cooking, and exquisite fresh Mosel wine.

Travel to Piesport this summer to soak up Roman viticulture. Book a table for two ahead of time to enjoy the Kelterfest. The service is impeccable, the food to-die-for, and the wine hits the spot.  

dinner in piesport at the roman wine cellar  festival
Wines to order to make sommeliers love you? Dry German Riesling. Great value/quality ratio, beloved by the wine trade.
— Zeren Wilson, Evening Standard (UK)
oils and herbs from the roman style of dining
delicious roman recepie for a fresh cheese and herb spread

The Roman Cellar Fest is a marriage between old and new. The menu is based on historical record of roman wine-harvest feasts and showcases an abundance of fresh herbs, oils, legumes, whole grains, proteins and rich vegetable medleys, 

the mosel river in germany hosts more wine fests than you can count
rose wine served up at the roman cellar festival in piesport germany

Roman influenced dishes and ingredients from the golden-age of antiquity prevail here. The fare is so light and flavorful. So much for the meat-and-potatoes-only diet. #ThisIsMyGermany

white mosel wine from the roman cellar festival in piesport

Taste Mosel wine affordably by the glass, and by the bottle. Often, the best white-wines in the world come from here. Did you know, the Titanic's luxury wines hailed from this region exclusively? The unique mineral-rich, steep terrain contributes considerably to the flavor of the wine, balancing its' acidic nature.

a bartender is dressed up in roman attire serving wine in piesport

Getting here is not easy, but well-worth it. Pick your own adventure as you choose to either fly into Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, or Köln. From there, rent a car (or bike) and make your way to Koblenz. In Koblenz, hop on a boat and head down the Mosel for the better part of an afternoon. Once in the Bernkastel-Wittlich region, make your way to Piesport. At the edge of this small, riverside-town are preserved ruins of a Roman Keller.  This is in the heart of the Römer Straße (Roman Road) trip down the Mosel wine region of antiquity. 

dusseldorf downs the gallopp race track

Off to the Races

Dusseldorf Downs

Welcome to the Düsseldorf Downs, or as locals lovingly call it, the Galopp. Here, the passion of husbandry coincides with the ambition of winning, and the romantic notion of going 'off to the races' . 

gentleman at the dusseldorf horse race track
a couple at the race track in perfect race-day fashion
a woman and her horse dusseldorf race track
women in their race track attire and big hats
A horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace.
— Ovid
horses at north west german race track
stolberg north-western germany

Stolberg

A village preserved in time

Connect with Jamie on Instagram @HotelBlogr to discover unique hotels

_DSF0361.jpg

Discover ITALY


Discover ITALY


 

Escape The Winter Blues by Embracing them

The time leading up to the Christmas holidays is fun and goes by fast but the months that ensue can seem downright monotonous. Or so I thought until I decided to embrace them by heading south to the famed Zermatt and Matterhorn peaks. Join me as I recount the highlights including the best slopes, foodie hotspots, and wine tips to boot.

 

CERVINIA Is for the whole family

There are literally dozens of ski resorts each competing for your attention, and while some boast proximity to Aosta like Pila, others are harder to access but unrivaled in their beauty. Ok, let me cut to the chase: Cervinia is where it's at. With almost 40 runs and dozens of delicious huts, its worth the near hour long trek from Aosta as it's got something for everyone. 

torino makes for a rip-roaring good time

After a couple days of hitting the slopes - head to Torino (Turin). This city is vibrant and harks back to a more leisurely and luxurious era - the 20s. The art nouveau cafes and grand eateries will impress, but don't forget to try simpler pleasures like Focaccia, and Farmacia Del Cambio on the Piazza Carignano.

Haute Savoie? mmm, yes cheese!

En route to Aosta Valley, Italy via Switzerland and France? Stop at a farmer's market along the way and grab some local cheese. Villages like Mont Blanc sport pop up markets  with regional cheeses like Haute Savoie, a rich and creamy ripened mountain cheese with a nifty heritage behind it and an AOC designation to boot!

après ski with jamie

Jamie, the HotelBlogr is learning to ski, which means beginners need not be intimidated by the elevation. She's only just started downhill skiing. Her words of encouragement? Come for leisurely treks downhill to truly take in the breathtaking views and then stay for the pizza après ski atop the mountain with the Zermatt in sight.

You're in Aosta, near PieDmont, Remember?

This is one of Italy's most celebrated wine regions and the must-try is Barolo. We recommend it three ways: in a dim-lit, high-ceiling, baroque wine bar in Torino first. Then, at a local wine cellar. And lastly? Buy a bottle and head to your own private apartment in Aosta Valley. Perhaps at Souvenir Des Tsaneli.