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Marina Lovefoodish

Accomodation

Giardino Mountain Hotel St. Moritz

My personal highlight: Staying in the Engadine in luxury and informal surrounding offering the best comfort you need for body & soul

Here is where you find a tranquil & intimate winter escape only a five-minute stroll away from St. Moritz. Welcome to Champfèr close to nature and far away from everyday life. Giardino Mountain is a modern luxury hotel with a homely touch. The architecture is traditional from Engadine, the sgraffitos (typical wall painting from Engadine) on the walls made by the local artist Steivan Könz combined with wood elements add a particular romantic touch! It has undergone an extensive transformation, preserving the local Engadine charm and fusing it with clean interior design.

Why to choose 5 Star Hotel Giardino Mountain for your trip

Staying at Giardino Mountain feels like visiting a friends chalet with a luxury touch and excellent service. The interior design is modern, colorful and arty. The view from the balcony over the Engadine Mountain is giving you the needed portion of tranquility every time you slide the curtain!

Walking through the corridors you notice vibrant fuchsia and lime velvets that brings to mind a huge bouquet of wild flowers cascading down a snowy mountain. I absolutely love the wall of roses on the way to the fine dining restaurant Ecco by Chef Rolf Fliegauf.

Accommodation

The rooms are decorated with warm colors and delicate fabrics and provide soul-nourishing spaces, including a restful state-of-the-art wellness spa. I really loved the earthy tones that give to the 78 rooms and suites a feeling of warmth and pure coziness.
The size of the rooms starts from 18-square-meter Double Room Small to 60-square-meter Mountain Suite, each of the 78 rooms offers mountain views and either a king-size bed or twin beds. All rooms offer a shower or a bathtub—apart from the 32-square-meter Small Suite South, the 50-square-meter Suite, and the 60-square-meter Mountain Suite, which offer both—while some also boast a lounge or balcony.
The Mountain Suite also plays host to a wonderful fireplace to enjoy the best post-piste relaxation moment. Check their actual rates here.

Wellness & SPA, Gym or Yoga

Discover the brand “dipiù” – a declaration of love of Ticino’s nature and its efficacy at Giardino Mountain. Choose the program of ayurveda or beauty you need out of their offer here. For all yoga lovers: go for the weekly yoga sessions! They help to relax and let go! The sauna world offers  various dry and steam saunas. Use the indoor pool for some swimming and don’t miss their modern gym equipment from Technogym for your training practice.

Are you into a short getaways in St. Moritz: choose the day pass to the dipiù Spa at the Hotel Giardino Mountain, there’s no need to be a hotel guest to enjoy a short relaxing break. Whether it’s summer or winter, spend a restorative day of wellness in the pool and sauna area of Switzerland’s largest dipiù Spa.
One treatment, such as a massage, is included. Including 60 min. treatment – CHF 220 p.p., Including 90 min. treatment – CHF 260 p.p.

Restaurants

The hotel features 4 restaurants. Restaurant Hide & Seek and the Stüva provide culinary delights throughout the year. Ecco Restaurant is probably the best 2 star Michelin rated restaurant in the Engadine run by Chef Rolf Fliegauf. They prepare amazing dishes with regional products combined with flair and imagination. I had the opportunity to experience the Menu prepared with the Guest Chef Renu Homsombat from Bangkok during the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival. Go for a romantic Fondue & Champagne in their new pop-up restaurant RSRV (pronounced “reservé”) on the hotel terrace. It’s a transparent dome, for an outdoor feeling with an indoor temperature! Get more here! Prices are from CHF 85 (with the Engadine fondue), CHF 96 (with the truffle fondue) to CHF 116 (with the champagne fondue).
The pop-up restaurant will be open from 20 December 2019 to 8 March 2020.

Note: From May 29 to November 1, 2020, when many Alpine hotels close down, Giardino Mountain transforms into a casual bed-and-breakfast, offering its normal five-star ambience, but without its restaurant and spa—perfect for those who seek a high-style luxury setting in the Alps during summer.

A warm thank you goes to all of the Giardino Mountain Staff and Woehrle Pirola AG that made this press trip possible.www.giardinohotels.ch/

Address: Hotel Giardino Mountain – Via alla Maistra 3 – 7512 Champfèr-St. Moritz – Schweiz

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Restaurant Guide

Gaijin Izakaya Restaurant, Zurich

My personal highlight: Snacking & Drinking in the first Izakaya in Zurich! Discovering delicious chicken grilled on the Konro Charcoal-Grill, paired with Japanese Swiss craft beer

Welcome to the cozy Izakaya in town with modern and traditional Japanese dishes to share!

This food discovery was very special for me since I had the fun to have my friend, mixologist and photographer Kasper with me! Usually I have to wait for every bite I take until my food pics are done, this time I could immerse myself into the culinary experience right away!

For the opening night Chef Dan Shu and his staff created a special selection of dishes to get a complete picture of their food concept. My absolute favorite dishes were the Chicken Karaage – Cabbage Salad, Homemade Japanese Mayo, the LUMA Wagyu Beef – Grilled Cabbage, Baby Lotus, Onsen Egg and the dessert: Churros in a super special shape tender and creamy with some ginger sour cream and berries. Truly amazing the pairing with a Gaijin Draught Beer made with some delicious blooming sake. Find a selection of sake, wines and soju, too.

A simple and cozy Izakaya

The ambience at Gaijin is simple but cozy, not too much decor, the light is bit dark and ideal for a chilled friends night out or a date.

The menu at Gaijin

Choose from around 30 small dishes and share them with friends. That way you can try the diversity of dishes they offer. I love the way the menu card is divided! Under “Fire” you will find everything from the Konro Charcoal-Grill, “Hot” presents warm appetizers like Chicken Karaage and “Cold” are cold dishes like the Taco California.

Do you like to be surprised by the boss: choose the option “Omakase” ! This means as much as “I leave it to the chef” and has a long tradition in Japan. This choice costs 60 CHF. Single dishes start as of 6 CHF up to 45 CHF depending on your choice. There is a variety of veggie options, too! I loved the Miso Shoyu roasted eggplants with garlic chips and a delicious sake sauce and the hot & cold cucumbers.

Address: Gaijin Izakaja Resaurant, Birmensdorferstrasse 5, 8004 Zürich, T: 044 482 22 00

Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 5.30 – 00.00 pm

In the mood of more Asian food inspiration? Get them on my food guide!

https://gaijin-izakaya.ch/

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STORIES

St. Moritz Gourmet Festival 2020 – Girlspower only!

My personal highlight: Getting inspiration and motivation from Chef Renu Homsombat (Bangkok) reminding that everything done with love and compassion brings more joy in life!

A culinary experience that must be on your agenda every beginning of the year is the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival. This year a load of girl power came together in the upper Engadine January 31st to February 8th, 2020. The top chefs from the international fine-dining scene performed together with highly awarded chefs of the partner hotels in St. Moritz to spoil curious food lovers with culinary delights.

The program consists of diverse events to choose from: a Gourmet Dinner with your favorite Chef, the legendary Kitchen Party at Badrutt’s Palace, Gourmet Safaris, a mountain Brunch or Food & Wine Pairing, the variety of food experiences is incredible!

On the one hand, this blog post shall inspire you to find your own favourite event. On the other hand it is a great pleasure to share my experiences with you and make you part of my Festival journey! The festival is attended by local  & international food lovers and offers a unique way to spend a different evening with same mined people.

The Chefs of the 2020 Edition at a glance

Gourmet Dinner Experience with Chef Renu Homsombat from Bangkok at Hotel Giardino Mountain -Restaurant Ecco

I attended the Gourmet Dinner of Chef Renu Homsombat with the curiosity to explore Thai Cuisine on a Gourmet level I never had before. Chef Renu manages 11 Suffron Gourmet Restaurants of the 5 star Hotels Banyan Tree in 8 countries. Beside coaching all the Chefs around the world she is a mother and a wife and lives in a house with a beautiful garden in Bangkok. My culinary highlight included a 6 course menu. A complete seduction of pure, fresh and spicy Thai flavors never experienced before. The green Thai curry is light and perfectly balanced in its sweetness and spiciness. Yes, it was spicy but to balance it out you get rice noodles and a tiny egg in a separate bowl and little veggie surprises as the pickled cauliflower or fried eggplants! The dinner start at 185 CHF (4 courses, excl. drinks) to 240 CHF (6 courses, excl. drinks) per person.

The menu of the Gourmet Dinner at Ecco Restaurant:

  • Kratong-Thong – Fried chicken, cashew nuts, golden cup saffron
  • Ma Hor – Pieneapple, minced pork beef, shrimps, peanut paste
  • Por Pia Puu Sauce Mamuang – Summer spring roll with crab meat, Thai mango sauce, chili peanut dip
  • Pla Muek Laab Thod – Spicy fried baby octopus, Thai chili sauce, crunchy popped young rice
  • Tom Yum Goong – spicy Thai shrimps, mushrooms, Thai ginger, lemon grass
  • Kiew Waan Pla Yang – grilled fish filet, rice noodles, green Thai curry sauce, fried eggplants, pickled cauliflower
  • Nua Toon Lumyai – slow cooked beef ribs, spiced, cucumber salat
  • Khao Niew Mamuang / Ice Cream Bai Toey – Thai Mango sticky rice, Sago Saffron litchi, Pandan coconut ice cream

The menu was paired with wines from France, Italy and Spain.

This culinary safari through Thailand was presented from its most aesthetic way. The combination of ingredients was delicate and at the same time very typical in the taste. The dishes Chef Renu prepares often include peanuts, mint, coriander or galangal combining European and Thai methods she got from different working experiences in Germany and Switzerland.
Chef Renu shared a precious hour with me in a personal interview where I got the opportunity to talk about her life and cooking philosophy.

The energy of this person is pure and beautiful and I felt right away, that this is the first ingredient for the magic, she puts in the preparation of every dish. She explained me, that no matter which request comes from a customer, her wish is to make everyone happy. So for example customers with allergies or special food requests give her the extra challenge to experiment in the kitchen and serve the ideal dish.

Learn from an organic Chef!

Chef Renu describes herself as the “Organic Chef” What exactly do you think this means? Nowadays Chefs strive for organic and healthy cuisine, the selection of the products are of high quality and as fresh as possible. This is why for example in a city as Bangkok Chef Renu has a little garden where she lives and she can grow her own flowers to integrate them in the dishes.
But more than that, an organic Chef according to Chef Renu should bring along a sane ego, understand the need and potential of the staff and bring them to perform with perfection but especially happiness and love in everything they do. The staff is like a family!
This is exactly what I experienced during the interview and the dinner. She also shares with me, that the inner motor that keeps her happy is the love around her she gets from her husband and her family.

“Be every day positive in life, learn from your mistakes and move on – Interview with Chef Renu”

Thank you Renu Homsombat for the unique culinary experience and the precious time shared!

Gourmet Event “Top of Piemonte” by Chef Lanshu Chen from Taiwan & Fabrizio Zanetti at Suvretta House, St. Moritz in cooperation with Poderi Aldo Conterno Wines

What happens at a Gourmet night with the title “Top of Piemonte“?
A Taiwanese female Chef prepares dishes that pair well with Barolo wines from Piemonte and on top you have a chat to connect with same minded foodies.

The surrounding at Suvretta House was the most perfect setup to enjoy a wonderful 4 course dinner. This is what we had:

  • Amuse Bouche: Egg custard with fermented radish and 7 years old aged radish oil
  • Eel: lily bulb, Sichuan peppercorns and scallion
  • Veal sweetbread Angelica
  • Sunchoke, smoked pork lard, wild lime
  • Pigeonneau: gyaura, onion, molle with Taiwnanese Chocolate
  • Dessert Nympheas: 12 different ingredients sweet, sour and flower magic prepared in a clear soup

The Wine Pairing 

Bussiador Chardonnay Langhe DOC/b, Piemonte 2016

Barolo Bussia Colonnello DocG/b, Piemonte 2015 and Barolo Bussia Cicala DOCG/b, Piemonte 2015

Barolo Bussia Romirasco DOCG/b, Piemonte 2015

Grappa di Barolo Cigna Cicala, Piemonte

The cuisine prepared by Chef Lashu is contemporary French, delicate and savory. She conjured a tasteful balance between her Taiwanese culinary roots and classic French cuisine onto the plates. The novelty for me at this dinner: the pigeon! It was cooked with a pink finish, perfectly tender and its tasty was mild and delicate.

About Poderi Aldo Conterno Wines

The Poderi Aldo Conterno have cult status among wine connoisseurs. The selected wines belong to the greatest of the Piedmont region. Franco Conterno, co-owner of the family business presented his winery in collaboration with Ueli Schiess of Caratello Weine, St. Gallen.

Curious to know more about the wine region of Piedmont? Explore it on my blog post here!

I am very happy for the experience made at this year’s St. Moritz Gourmet Festival edition and hope you’ll have the chance in 2021 to experience one of their culinary events, too! A warm thank you to all of the staff for the excellent work and hospitality during my press trip.

 

 

 

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Delayed or cancelled flight? Get up to €600 per passenger with compensair

Delayed or cancelled flight? Get up to €600 per passenger with compensair 🌍 It works for flights up to 6 years back 🌎 

If you have never sat around in an airport and waited while your flight was delayed, you’ve never flown before. Or, maybe only flown once or twice. Did you know the suffering caused by having to sit around and wait could actually be worth more than a headache? Turns out we could all be entitled to some financial compensation.

Are you eligible for flight compensation?

In accordance with EU Regulation 261/2004 a passenger is entitled to 250-600 euros of compensation in case of:

  • Flight delay more than 3 hours
  • Flight cancellation
  • Denied boarding due to overbooking
  • Missed connection due to a delay of the first segment (you arrived at your destination more than 3 hours later than planned)

The only requirement is that your disrupted flight needed to have happened up to six years back (depending on the country of departure)

  1. within the EU (on any airline)
  2. leaving the EU (on any airline)
  3. or arriving into EU (on EU airline)
Route Airline is from EU Airline is not from EU
From outside EU to outside EU
From outside EU to EU
From EU to outside EU
From EU to EU

Right to compensation based on type of flight and airline

How much exactly should you get for disrupted flight?

The amount of compensation you’re entitled depends on several factors, including how long you have been delayed, and the distance of your flight. You can calculate the exact amount using the chart below or the simple compensation calculator on the Compensair’s website:

Type of disruption Length of delay Distance
Less than 2 hours More than 2 hours More than 3 hours More than 4 hours
Denied boarding € 125 € 250 € 250 € 250 1500 km and less
€ 200 € 400 € 400 € 400 All flights inside EU longer than 1500 km and all flights between 1500 and 3500 km
€ 300 € 600 € 600 € 600 All flights with arrival or departure outside EU longer than 3500 km
Flight delay €0 €0 € 250 € 250 1500 km and less
€0 €0 € 400 € 400 All flights inside EU longer than 1500 km and all flights between 1500 and 3500 km
€0 € 0 € 300 € 600 All flights with arrival or departure outside EU longer than 3500 km
Flight cancellation € 125 € 250 € 250 € 250 1500 km and less
€ 200 € 200 € 400 € 400 All flights inside EU longer than 1500 km and all flights between 1500 and 3500 km
€ 300 € 300 € 300 € 600 All flights with arrival or departure outside EU longer than 3500 km

Flight compensation amount

How to claim?

There are two ways to file your claim to airline: you can embark on the claim process independently or let Compensair take a fight for you by filling in the simple claim form.

If you decide to proceed on your own, you will need the following:

  • Draw up a claim with supporting evidence and necessary documents;
  • Submit a claim in the way required by an airline (online form, fax, email, etc.);
  • Wait for a response (it may take several months);
  • Draw up again a legally justified response to airline’s payment refusal or send a claim again (if ignored);
  • In case of unjustified refusal or ignorance, you will need to apply to consumer rights protection authorities of the country of departure and/or to court.

Or you can let Compensair manage everything as quickly as possible for 25% success fee. They will take on all the hassle providing regular updates along the way. And there is no risk at all – they will charge you only in case of success.

Share the article with friends that should know about this program!

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Accomodation

Valsana Hotel & Appartements Arosa

My personal highlight: Discovering the most charming and sustainable Hotel of Switzerland in Arosa

Welcome to the hidden gem Arosa is located in the region of Graubünden in Switzerland about 2 h train ride from Zurich. This blog story shares with you a travel experience suitable for a weekend trip or week holiday in the Swiss Alps. No matter if you choose to travel in summer, autumn or winter, Arosa offers outdoor activities and best cultural or wellness all year round. Get more on the destination here.
I had my friend Annasole with me for the weekend and guess what, it’s the perfect spot to just relax your soul and have fun together in the snow!

Why to choose 4* Valsana Hotel & Appartements for your trip

The interior design is characterised by the eccentric designer Carlo Rampazzi and makes it easy for every guest to feel at home either in the “living room” area, at the restaurant, on the beautiful outdoor terrace and especially in the hotel room. The warm colours of the furniture and materials used with their partly natural shapes create a mix of alpine and oriental homy atmosphere. In the decoration, nostalgic elements catch the eye: absolutely play a song on the vintage turntable with some vinyls of Frank Sinatra!

Every room has different interiors: My favorite one is the sofa a colorful vibrant flower imprint.

The 115-year-old hotel was completely demolished in 2015 and reopened in December 2017 as a new three-part, modern hotel with 40 spacious rooms and junior suites and 9 apartments. The hotel belongs to the Tschuggen Hotel Group and has been renovated with a budget of ca. 50 Mio. Why so much you think? Because the owner’s approach was to create an innovative and avantgard surrounding where to support a clear conscience for every visitor!

Guests are given the opportunity to offset the emissions generated by their journeys! Several sustainable projects in cooperation with myclimate are available, check them out!

The food concept at Valsana is clean, healthy and where ever possible regional and local, this is why for example you find only European wines on the menu and meat from free-range animals or certified fishing operations. The SPA features different fair cosmetic brands, just to name some of their environment-friendly projects!

Accommodation

Find 40 double rooms and junior suites between 33 and 52 m2 and 9 apartments with hotel service between 79 and 86 m2. In Winter double rooms are available from CHF 357 incl. breakfast buffet per day, in summer from CHF 227 incl. breakfast buffet per day. Appartements start as of CHF 557 for 2 person /day (winter) and in summer as of CHF 427 for 2 person /day. Book your room here.

Wellness, Gym, Yoga & SPA

Enjoy your Yoga lesson in the morning held by Instructor Julian or a guided snowshoe hiking adventure or just some relax in the 800 square meters of their wellness oasis. There is a pool facing the majestic alps, steam bath and saunas. I absolutely recommend also their massages after a fun afternoon in the snow! If time permits, book a personal training from the program R1: The “Athlete of Life” offer, conceived in cooperation with the Munich R1 Sports Club, not only builds on strength training, but also pursues a holistic approach with work-life and energy balance, mindfulness, nutrition and exercise! Get a full picture of all of their Sport & Spa services here.

Restaurant & Drinks

The hotel restaurant TWIST is the casual way to enjoy healthy food. The cuisine designed by Chef Marco Campaneella is particularly versatile and offers something for gourmets, fans of vegetarian and vegan cuisine as well as conscious gourmets. Find mostly regional products as for example the salmon Lostallo from the company Swiss Lachs. I absolutely recommend to share plates, as this is the best way to taste a bit everything from their menu. My absolute favorite dish was the barley risotto with mushrooms, dried tomatoes, leek and basil.
Enjoy a drink at the bar where you can find a variety of Swiss spirits including extraordinary Gins!

Why using the latest technological innovations minimises the hotel’s impact on the environment!

What happens in the cellar of the hotel is something I’ve never seen before! The entire Valsana complex is heated using geothermal probes and by capturing and reusing waste heat from other appliances that are ordinarily lost to the surroundings. This waste heat is stored in a large tank or ice battery, essentially a large water tank housing a 400m pipe register of 1.5 m high pipes.  Hotel Valsana is probably the greenest hotel in Switzerland.

Thanks to its energy concept, it uses virtually no fossil fuels.

Want to know more about this fantastic concept: get it here!

A warm thank you goes to all of the Valsana Staff that is incredibly hearty and always helpful; and to Stephanie und Michael Lehnort and Rahel Rohner, PR Manager that made this press trip possible.

www.valsana.ch

Address: Valsana Hotel & Appartements, Oberseepromenade 2, 7050 Arosa, Phone: +41 81 378 63 63, info@valsana.ch

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A guide to Piemonte discovering white truffle, wine & culture in Langhe, Monferrato & Roero

My personal highlight: Learning 1:1 from a truffle connoisseur how to recognize a quality white truffle !

The aim of my piedmont travel this year was all in the light of the International Alba White Truffle Fair Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco d’Alba. It takes place always beginning of October until end of November and attracts people from all of the world. At the fair local truffle sellers gather to have their tartufi officially evaluated for quality before they are ready to be sold. Beside truffles you can try and buy pasta (with and without truffle), olive oil, wines and delicious roasted hazelnuts. During the fair there is the chance to attend a variety of workshops or tasting classes, too.

White Alba truffle can be found only from late September to January

What I found special at this fair is the chance to talk to the truffle hunters also called “trifulau” and get all the insights about this unique product. They are legendary characters who live in secrets and observation wandering around forests in search of truffles for resale at restaurants, markets, fairs. To see with one’s eyes the relationship between man and dog is an other added value.

What exactly is a truffle?

The term truffle comes from the vulgar Latin “tufera” which had in the Middle Ages negative resonances, even poisoned fruit, of plant tumorTruffles are the fruiting body of mushrooms. They born and live under the ground. For this reason they are called hypogea and belong to the family of Tuberaceae, class of Ascomiceti.

Truffles exist due to a symbiosis with the roots of plants from which minerals and other nutrients are exchanged. This is why the type of plant affects the characteristics of truffles: for white, the main responsible plants are wild poplaroaklime and wild willow.

How to recognize if a truffle is of high quality?

With a sensorial analysis of touchingsmelling and sight you understand its quality. The price of truffles increases when the aesthetic appearance is impeccable. Truffles with slight cuts or holes, maintaining a flavor can cost much less. An excessive amount of ammonia is a sign of a truffle to be discarded, as well as a bad consistency. That is why these evaluations are important and help to understand if the price you pay is good. At the fair you can get every truffle you buy checked by an official jury.

Planning your Piedmont trip – include one of the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site: the wine yards as Langhe, Monferrato and Roero and several food stops along the way!

First stop on your route: Alba

Alba is a territory that offers an excellent food choice (the region counts to one of Italy’s highest concentrations of Michelin-starred restaurants) and some of the globe’s most beloved powerhouse wine regions as Barolo, Barbaresco and Asti.

One of my personal highlights was the walk through Alba centre where I got seduced by the unmistakable smell of roasted hazelnuts coming from the company Ferrero

Another fun fact: the Slow Food movement was born in Piedmont. Here every year different culinary events as the fair “cheese” takes place where people from all over the world join to try and explore different delicacies..

This area is stamped with grand cathedrals, five-star hotels, and meandering cobblestone-lined streets. In the mood to know more about cultural sites to visit, check this site!

Visiting Asti!

In Asti I absolutely recommend to see the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, it is one of the most important Gothic cathedrals in Piedmont. Want to add a culinary experience to your cultural site visit? Buy one of the best hand made 100% hazelnut cake at the shop: Daniella! This laboratory creates artisan biscuits, tarts and cakes that you won’t find anywhere else!

Rumor say, that Dagobert Duck used to live in one of the tower located in the medieval heart of Asti: the tower of the Palazzo Gazzelli di Rossana, in the city centre

Explore Barbaresco and the home of one of the most famous Italian wine producers called Gaia

My favorite village on the trip was the city of Barbaresco. This is the home of one of the most famous Italian wine producers called Gaia, a family business founded in 1859, when Giovanni Gaja turned his tavern into a winery. Thanks to this genious, Barbaresco was lifted from the shadows of neighbouring Barolo! Gaja produces four great Italian red wines as Barbaresco, Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri (the region of the Tuscany) and even Barolo.

Once in Barbaresco make sure to make it all the way up to the Barbaresco tower. The view from the 3d level is breathtaking. At the top the view goes beyond the Tanaro river, situated roughly 200 meters below, towards the Langhe, the Roero, the Astigiano and Monferrato and as far as the Alpine mountain chain. This is where you get a complete picture of this area.

Driving through Piedmont you can admire landscapes of kiwi fields and hazelnuts trees!

Are you in the mood to experience some local food producers and taste home made raw veal salsiccia in Bra?

In the city of Bra you see mostly small, family-run shops. A must try is the raw “Salsiccia di Bra”. The sausage is made of lean cattle meat mixed with belly pork (20-30%), water and a secret mix of spices. Buy it at the shop Macelleria Tibaldi Davide.

Put this on your list, too: the oldest pastry in town “Caffe Pasticceria Converso“. Since 1838 here 100% handmade pastry made of pure hazelnuts and other genuine local ingredients are created with pure passion.

How to find wineries for your Piedmont wine tour

In a previous blog story I introduced the region of Langhe. Get all travel information on how to best organize your wine tour here!
A new wine producer I discovered during this year’s trip is the winery Coppo. Coppo is one of the oldest family-run wineries in all of Italy. The origins of the winery date back to 1892. The major part of the winery’s production centers on BarberaMetodo Classico sparkling wines.

May absolute favorite white sparkling wine I found here: The Riserva Coppo sparkling wine brut metodo classico. It’s perlage is very fine and the taste elegant and not too dry!

Where to eat on your Piedmont trip

  • La libera, Alba – To recommend for a dinner in the city centre of Alba. Exquisite dishes as Carne cruda battuta al coltello (raw meat), Vitello tonnato, Ravioli di gallina nel suo brodo or Agnolotti del Plin with truffle in an ambience that takes care about design.
  • Ristorante Piazza Duomo, Alba – 3 Michelin Star absolutely worth making this experience and try Chef Enrico Crippa’s unventive, artistic Italian dishes matched with superb wines from the region.
  • Osteria dei Meravigliati , Canelli  – A place with to enjoy a traditional lunch with starters as Gobbo Di Nizza with a fontina cheese sauce and an egg (with or without truffle) and some home made Tajarin pasta (typical local pasta) with truffle.
  • Restaurant Campamac, Barbaresco – a 1 Michelin Star restaurant with one of the most beautiful wine cellars in Italy! Chef Maurilio Garola
  • Il Cascinale Nuovo, Isola D’asti, 1 Michelin Star, Chef Walter Ferretto, find traditional and innovative cuisine using great Piedmontese ingredients with the scents and flavors from every corner of the world.
  • Restaurant Fre – Monforte D’Alba, 1 Michelin Star, Chef Paolo Meneguz, a top-notch gastronomic experience that’s rooted in the region but holds an international, modern appeal.

Where to sleep on your Piedmont trip

A warm thank you to the tourism office of Langhe Monferrato and Roero and especially to our guide Gaia that made this press trip very precious and memorable.

Get more Lovefoodish Travel Stories here!

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A culinary weekend on a boat: Excellence Gourmet Festival 2019

My personal highlight: My soul feels home on the water, a Gourmet Festival on a boat is THE a foodies happy place!

Welcome to Excellence Gourmet Festival.
A 2-day gourmet trip between Basel and Strasbourg that takes place every autumn. This year from October 18 to November 24, 2019. Booking takes place through the travel agency Mittelthurgau, click here right away, if you like to book a slot. Cost start at 285 CHF to 500 CHF per person (price vary depending on the guest gook). The transfer, overnight on the boat, food and breakfast are included in the price.

What to expect on the gourmet trip?

Excellent top cuisine, 48 Michelin stars and 560 Gault Millau points, a dedicated crew, live music and a breathtaking sunset on the Rhine river. Sounds like pure relaxation for soul and palate, doesn’t it? The concept of the Excellence Gourmet Festival, taking place this year for the 7th time offers an amazing choice of well renewed top Chefs. 39 endowed creative cooks from Switzerland and the world surprise foodies of all ages. Everything is prepared fresh and ad hoc on the boat. The evening program is moderated by different Swiss celebrities as for example Sven Epiney or Christa Rigozzi during my attendance. Their interaction with the Chefs was excellent, they reveal a lot of insights of the Chefs with their interactive dialog between every course. The atmosphere is very relaxed. While dining you don’t even notice how smooth the ship moves to on the river!

A 2-day gourmet trip with sightseeing, culinary and complete relax on the river

The journey starts with the transfer to Strasbourg by a comfy bus. In Strasbourg you get time to stroll through the city either by yourself or with an organized guide. In the early afternoon there is a transfer to get on board of one of the Gourmet boats. In my case it was the Excellence Princess. After the check-in in my Junior Suite with spectacular view over the Rhine river a welcome aperitive with sweets, salty snacks and live music everyone is set to start the gourmet experience. The perfect chance to get to know other foodies on board and discover every cozy corner of the Excellence Princess!
My favorite spot: one of the sofas in the glass covered skylounge. Here is where I slurp happy and full of excitement my aperol spritz!

The Culiniray program – Chef Flynn McGarry from New York (Restaurant Gem)

The dining highlight of my day: Flynn McGarry from the Restaurant gem in New York. Media describe him as the a prodigy of cuisine. Listening to the interview I immediately understood, that he followed very early his idea and passion of cooking. And guess having a family around that understands someones passion is something unique you can ever wish. But still, yes, it’s very impressive that he started at the age of 10 and now with 20 it kind of seems that lot’s of his dreams are already fulfilled! Flynn gives me the impression of a very humble, creative and somehow mature personality with his young age! Obviously he discovered very early what he wants to do in his life and it is motivating, feeling the light and ambitious vibes he has. The interview held by Sven Epiney during the evening revealed a lot of funny insights, too.

The menu comes with a wine pairing. My favorite drop: the Carmelo Rodero Reserva, 2014, Bodegas Rodero, Ribera del Duero/Spain.

The menu at a glance

Starter: Scallop Chips with raw scallops and preserved citrus  – layers of Kohlrabi and pear

1 course: Lightly cooked beet “ceviche” with salted plums and smoked chili

2 course: Grilled cabbage with oyster and grilled kale emulsion

3 course: Layers of squash and rutabaga with gruyere and black pepper

4 course: Celery root schnitzel with truffels and rye

5 course: Smoked and roasted duck breast with radicchio and duck xo sauce, salad on the side stew of druck and grilled cicorino rosso to share

Dessert: Quince granita with sage semifreddo

The combination of flavors, ingredients, spices and herbs used made that mainly focussed plant based menu very surprising but in the same time simple and comforting. The celery root schnitzel with the super crispy layer was fabulous yummy.

My  favorite dish: the pumpkin in a creamy, tasty gruyere sauce, perfectly balanced, a dish that I will try to cook at home! The dessert was a sage semifreddo and a quince granita, very mediterranean and a true delight to end the event in glory!

Accommodation on the maritime lady

The Excellence Princess gives you all comfort you can think of. I would describe it as a modern and elegant Swiss Grand Hotel on water! Find several options where to spend your free time. Choose between the glass covered skylounge, outside on the terrace or the elegant bar in the middle deck. In the mood of sauna or fitness? That’s available, too!

On the boat are 93 cabins with shower/bathroom, air conditioning, Sat-/TV, minibar, hair dryer, french balcony, spacious windows. Find three different categories of cabins: In the upper and middle deck: 16 m2 and a Junior Suite with 20 m2, both with a frz. balcony, double bed or single beds. Under deck: Cabin with 13 m2 single or double bed.
The life on board feels safe due to the very robust construction properties of the boat.

A very warm thank you to all of the staff on board that made my stay memorable and to the agency Pantarhei that invited me to this glamorous mini-holiday on the water.

In the mood of some more travel and food stories? Find inspiration here.

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Mediterranean Food

Belvoir Restaurant & Grill Rüschlikon/Zurich

Restaurant Belvoir Zurich

My personal highlight: 14 Gault Millau points and a majestic view over the Zurich Lake

When it comes to restaurants overlooking Zurich lake and the alps the choice is limited, this is why I highly recommend this secret gem! Visit Belvoir Restaurant & Grill where head Chef Pascal Kleber and the absolute warm and friendly staff spoil their guests in a wonderful relaxed ambience only about 10 min. from Zurich. Its cuisine focuses on local products from the surrounding areas as well as international dishes. The menu is healthy and creative and represents an absolutely high-quality fine dining concept. Be prepared to enjoy colorful plates with a pleasure for eyes and palate.

Our menu at a glance

Starters: St. Pierre Ceviche – Mirabelle – Jasmin rice – Lemon balm & Chicken terrine potatoes – Mango – fresh herbs

First courses: Oranges – Rosmarin tortellini, Cima di rapa – onions – Parmesan &  roastes scallops, carrots – coconut – cauliflower

Second Courses: Mey Selections – Rib Eye from the grill & Black Angus Beef filet from the grill paired with Truffle risotto – mushrooms – Chimichurri

Dessert: Pina Colada 2.0,  spiced pineapple – iced coconut mousse – mint sponge & Fig with berries, fig mousse – oatmeal cookie – raspberry sorbet

Our wine: an excellent red drop from Portugal-Alicante: Carlos reynolds, Bousschet, Aragonez, Alfrocheiro, Tricadeira

Address:

Hotel Belvoir, Säumerstrasse 37, 8803 Zurich/Rüschlikon – Phone: +41 44 723 83 83, INFO@HOTEL-BELVOIR.CH – www.hotel-belvoir.ch

A special thank you goes to Matej that joined my dinner and created the fantastic pictures to best present you an idea of the experience!
Get in touch with Matej Serer @matejerer@gmail.com, if you like to know more about his photography projects!

Find more Lovefoodish recommendations here.

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STORIES

Golden Autumn in the Swiss Alps – Discover Flims / Graubünden

My personal highlight: spending time walking through nature is the BEST way to connect and experience a destination.

Ever heard about the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tectonic Arena Sardona or the Rhine gorge? Or the two jewel alpine lakes named Cauma and Cresta?
Welcome to the Swiss alps in Graubünden, the home of giant peaks, vibrant forests and flowery mountain meadows!

This article shall inspire you for the perfect Alpine weekend trip! Flims offers all you want from the perfect autumn hide away. Get there in only 1.45 minutes by train from Zurich. By car in even 1.15 hours.

Must do on your trip: Relaxing walk to Caumasee & Crestasee

Caumasee is one of the most breathtaking mountain lakes in Switzerland, they call it the pearl of Flims. Experience this with your own eyes, pictures alone won’t make it. This lake is not that secret anymore, so make sure to get there early!

Embedded in a forest you find turquoise blue and crystal clear waters. Water temperature in summer is at an average of 21 Celsius, with a maximum around 24 Celsius. Around the lake you have spots to relax, you can even rent inflatable boat or bring your unicorn! The entrance fee from May – September is 12 CHF (adults),  6 CHF (kids). Find different areas for barbecue or just enjoy their restaurant for drinks & food. The car parking is close (15 min).

How to get there: You can walk (ca 45 min) or bike (ca. 15 min) from Flims Dorf or take a local bus (ca. 15 min,)

My insider tip: Crestasee. This lake is small and yet undiscovered from tourists. Stay here for a pick-nick or a BBQ at the fireplace close by. Go for a swim in summer! Entrance fee in summer is 7 CHF for adults and 3 CHF for kids.

Once in Crestasee plan some time to walk up to the observation deck called “Il Spir” (takes you about 4o min.). Enjoy a 180° view over the famous Rhine gorge also called  ‘Swiss Grand Canyon’. The platform was designed by the local architect Corinna Menn. Once up at Il Spir enjoy a lunch or dessert at the Restaurant Conn.  From here you have the choice to continue your hike to various destination, if you’re in the mood to stroll back to Flims Dorf  by horse and carriage, this is the spot where to do it. Book your ticket at the restaurant (20 CHF for adults 1 way, 13 CHF for kids, 1 way).

Suggested walk for a 2.30 hours , ca. 10 km trip departing from Flims Waldhhaus:

Trin-Mulin – Crestasee – Caumasee – Flims – Felsbachschlucht – Trin-Mulin

In the mood of some alpine action?

Experience pure adrenalin in the wild gorges while river rafting or take a hike along the craggy rock formations. An easily accessible hiking trail and several biking trails along the Rhine also present excellent opportunities to have a barbecue, create stone mounds or dip your feet in the water.

More into an active train ride through the Rhine Gorge?

The bizarre geological formations surrounded by old pine trees fascinate train passengers, hikers and river rafters from around the world. Experience the Rhine gorge from very close every Sunday. The adventure train, with its open observation carriages, takes a leisurely ride along the side of the river, amidst striking rock formations. Get your ticket and all details here. Tickets start from 24 CHF for adults and 12 CHF for kids.

Find more inspiration on activities on the website of Flims/Laax/Falera!

For your comfort and cozy stay I absolutely recommend “The Hide Hotel” in Flims located directly at the bus station and close to the slopes in winter! Get my full article here!

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Travel

The Hide Hotel Flims

My personal highlight: L O V E at first sight – architecture meats a modern alpine lifestyle

Welcome to Flims and to The Hide Hotel, a destination in Graubünden that will touch your heart! The hotel is located in the midst of nature, adjacent to the valley cablecar station, only a few metres away from the slopes, bus station and malls in the recently created apartment area “Stenna“.

The alpine pearl has been designed by the renowned Gothenburg-based and multi-award winning designer team from Stylt Trampoli.
All material and fabric chosen match perfectly together, this makes the ambience contemporary in unison with the natural surrounding of the beautiful alpine way of life. This can be experienced from the lobby to the rooms, in the SPA area and in their restaurants.

The cozy sofa around the fire place in the lobby lounge is the perfect spot where to sip an aperol spritz!

Accommodation

Find 42 double rooms and 5 suites located on the top floor of the Stenna building. Experience  a penthouse lifestyle! All rooms are spacious and functional. The Furniture is timeless and very warm. The terraces are super large and invite to relax! Choose from a double room or Junior Suite. Find more about special packages and rates here.

Forgot to pack your backpack? No problem, use the practical backpacker you’ll find in the room!

SPA & Relax

Take your SPA bag and find out where to relax best! Finnish Panorama Sauna with direct mountain view, a steam-room, saunarium, rain showers, relaxation room, as well as a private SPA area for two people spread on over 1000 m2.

For the sporty ones, enjoy their state-of-the-art Fitness room!

Restaurant & Drinks

The Deli offers cuisine from Lebanon, Israel and the Arabic region combined with regional specialities. The relaxed atmosphere is expressed through a warm alpine interior style. Perfect for lunch or dinner. I love the open kitchen that allows to look over the shoulders of the Chefs.

My personal highlight: Roasted chicken breast in a Tagine perfectly aromatized and tender, mixed with fried eggplant squares and mozzarella, because oriental meets local!

The Hide Dinner is the restaurant of the renewed Chef Adraian Tschanz you should absolutely try.

Choose out of vegetarian or vegan dishes made with regional ingredients. The menu includes traditional plates combined with a cuisine Adrian Tschanz experiences all around the world.

Once the accommodation has been chose, it’s time to discover all activities around Flims as hiking, climbing, biking or skiing! Explore the most beautiful Alpine Lake with unique turquoise waters called Caumasee. I put together some suggestions for you in this blog post here.

The Hide Hotel – Address: Via Nova 80, Flims 7017, Switzerland – www.thehidehotelflims.com/

Booking.com
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