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Wellness & Contemporary Thai Food overlooking Zurich Lake at Panorama Resort Feusisberg

My personal highlight: Relaxing mind & soul in a secret hideaway – Enjoying Contemporary Thai food with a unique view overlooking Zurichlake in a sea of lights!

Where do you travel to if you are in the mood of a Spa Weekend? Sometimes a short car drive is preferred. The hideway has to be away from the city hustle. Th wellness resort Panorama Resort & SPA in Feusisberg is what you are looking for.

Here fascinating worlds of harmony and balance come together. Its location is fantastic. High above Lake Zurich you will find enjoyment, relaxation and a warm hospitality. The view is magic to admire either from the infinity pool, from the hotel room or by having dinner at the Contemporary Thai Restaurant Loy Fah. In their Rooftop bar called Mongomoon Sky Bar for a moment I thought to be in Bangkok. Watch the movie to understand why!

What makes The Panorama Resort & SPA special?

Being countryside makes one immediately feel serene because the pace is slower! No matter if the desire is relaxation of mind & body, excellent food ora a romantic weekend. Feusisberg is a small village about 35 kilometers distant by car from Zurich, easily to reach by train in less than an hour. The place is known for being the ideal conference place, too.

An absolute highlight is the infinity pool. It’s heated up to 30 degrees. I could not stop keeping my eyes away from all of the little bright lights shining over the lake!

The Akari SPA offers all you need when it comes to spoil your body. Find a wellness paradise on over 2000 m2 including outdoor & indoor pools, whirlpools, jet bubblers, seven different saunas and steam baths, foot whirlpools, cozy rest areas, a healthy spa buffet, spacious outdoor area and a professional gym. Absolutely try the offer of massages, too. It’s the cherry on the top after a wellness day.

Find their weekend specials as of 310 CHF/night (Book until Dec. 21, 2018). More details are available here.

Panorama Resort & SPA in a glimpse

  • 102 luxurious rooms & suites
  • Price start as of 200 CHF (classic Single room, incl. breakfast)
  • Contemporary Thai Restaurant Loy Fah with a stylish Mangomoon Sky Bar at the top of the resort, as well as the gourmet Restaurant “Collina”
  • 10 plenary rooms & 8 meeting rooms of various sizes, all with magnificent views over the Lake of Zurich
  •  Ideal place for wedding reception or other family celebrations
  • Wellness & Spa on over 2000 m2S
  • a hearty and service oriented staff

Accommodation

The hotel offers 102 modern rooms in different categories. I found the ambience in the Asian Junior Suite very warm decorated and spacious. The interior is equipped with natural materials as wood and fabrics combined with matching light colors.  Find all details for the booking here.

Food & Drinks

Try one of the three different restaurants or get a fancy drink with typical Thai ingredients as ginger, mint, butterfly pea flower or essences of lemon grass at the Mangomoon Sky Bar. For food there is a choice between the Restaurant Collina, the Contemporary Thai Restaurant Loy Fah or the Restaurant Körnlisegg, about 15 minutes drive from the hotel.

My experience at Contemporary Thai Restaurant Loy Fah

The interior at Loh Fay Restaurant is astonishing. Its design radiates cosmopolitan flair, at the same time it embodies the culture of ThailandLoy Fah Thai Chef Pich Tongurai and his staff spoiled us with a 4 course dinner, a delight for belly and eyes. Get an interpretation of traditional Thai cuisine in a surprising way. Authentic ingredients of the highest quality and freshness are used: Explore exquisite seafood or extravagant vegetarian dishes. No problem if you are more into meat, everybody finds the perfect choice.

4 course dinner to recommend

Appetizer

Tuna Tatar “Laab” – A fresh Tuna tatar with spices from the north-east region Isaan, with crispy fried mushroom & tapioca chips

or

Ceviche salad “Share Nham Pla”- Thai style king fish ceviche (raw) with lemongrass, sea grapes & chili lime dressing

First course

“Tom Kha” Cappuccino – comes with Galangal root and coconut broth, Thai herbs served with a grilled scallop

or

Pomelo Salat Vegi “Yam Som O” – Thai pomelo salad with grilled palm hearts, toasted coconut flakes & Thai basil

Second course

Sea bass “Pla Ob Kamin”  – In baking-paper steamed sea bass “Thai papillote” with Thai vegetables, turmeric & galangal root butter

or

Beef Curry “Massaman Nua” – Braised beef cheek in Mussamun curry, coconut gnocchi, edamame bean salsa & cashew nuts

Dessert

Mango-Stickyrice “Khao Niau Ma Muang” – Comes with a spring roll, flamed mango & black sesame ice cream

or

Thai Sago Pudding “Phuket Style” – The pudding (tapioca) comes with young coconut and mango ice cream

The restaurant is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 6 – 11 pm. The costs from the menu (set menu or free selection from the menu) are for the 3 course menu 80 CHF and for the 4 course menu 95 CHF.

My personal highlight: the Beef Curry “Massaman Nua”. The beef cheek was extremely tender and the exotic coconut gnocchi combined with a not too intense curry an the ideal contemporary interpretation.

Absolutely try the SPA buffet, too. I loved the fact that plenty of products, including the breakfast buffet are hand made and very genuine in the taste. The scrambled eggs were super creamy, the jams and the “Butterzopf” of excellent softness.

In the mood to get inspired by other travel & food stories? Find more here.

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How to plan your own wine tour in Piedmont – Barolo

My personal highlights: 48 hours wine trip in the UNESCO heritage Barolo discovering wine rarities & meditative landscapes in Langhe

When you hear the word Italy, the chances of being surrounded by good food & drinks are very high. I am very thankful of my Italian origins, they thaught me to appreciate and recognize a pure taste. There are several facts about True Italian Taste and its provenience that need to be known.

In occasion of a campaign promoted from the Italian Chamber in Zurich I got in touch with the topic “True Italian Taste” and “Italian Sounding”. This is how the Barolo Trip in Piedmont organized by “Strada del Barolo e grandi vini di Langa” came along.

What means Italian Sounding?

Italians sounding is the marketing of food and beverage produced worldwide, often labelled with Italian names and misleading Italian words and pictures. This misleading information is extremely dangerous for our Italian heritage! Reason enough why the Italian Government realized a unique mark against fakes. The project considers a brand to print on the product’s labels to fight forgery, starting from the food industry.

Important quality products have their origins in Piedmont. The world knows Barolo, the white Alba Truffle or Fiat. All of these brands have been created in this region.

Let’s mention Fiat first, since I had the pleasure to travel with a cozy Fiat500 Cabrio, Anniversario edition all the way to Alba. FIAT was founded in Turin in 1888. The Anniversario edition is dedicated to the 60th birthday of the Fiat 500. It comes in a fresh Riviera green! This retro model caught much attention all around the Langhe Piomentesi! We cruised through the valleys feeling safe. What a fun having the wind blowing through the hair listening to legendary Italian songs. The car trunk offers enough space to bring back home exquisite wine bottles! Thanks FCA Switzerland for this great opportunity! Get more information and facts about the Fiat500 Anniversario Model here.

Let’s dive into the culinary part of my travels.

Discovering Barolo & Barbaresco – UNESCO World Heritage since 2014

UNESCO rewards this region of Italy not only for being a land of vineyards, castles and medieval towers, but also for the labor of men and women down the ages. The soil of Langa has always been difficult and demanding to work: the malora, a term used by Beppe Fenoglio to describe a painful condition, reminds that the farmers who used to live in Langhe in the 1950s, had a lot of difficulties working the land.

The UNESCO site comprises the Barolo DOCG communes of Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Grinzane Cavour, La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Novello & Serralunga d’Alba, including the Barbaresco DOCG communes of Barbaresco and Neive.

The charm of the landscape and the geographical viticulture add ideal circumstances and incredible value to this travel experience.

During every wine tasting I appreciated much the way all the winemakers presented and shared their precious knowledge. The sparkles in their eyes can not be overseen while they explain the history of their winery. Some of the history goes back hundreds of years.

Standing between the yards, absorbing the smell and colors with all senses allows a whole picture on what wine making means.

On our Barolo trip we visited 5 wine yards in 48 hours!
That was a real challenge. Thanks to the perfect organization of  “Strada del Barolo” we managed to absorb all the facets offered by this region.

Piedmont red wine: appreciated and popular in the whole world –
What means DOC and DOCG?

It lays down the rules for its production and for admission to the market, that it has this fame. Barolo and Barolo Riserva wines have obtained the DOC with DPR 04.23.1966 and subsequently the DOCG with the DPR 07/01/1980 (Italian law). These laws and the subsequent amendments define the Production Regulation of Barolo wine.

Important characteristics of Barolo DOCG wine:

  • It’s made exclusively from Nebbiolo grapes, grown in the territory of 11 municipalities  designated by the mentioned Production Regulations.
  • It must be bottled and can age only in the defined municipalities.
  • The minimum aging of the Barolo wine is 38 months and 62 months for Barolo Riserva wine. 18 month must follow in a wooden barrel.
  • The release for consumption is permitted from 1 January of the fourth year following the harvest for Barolo wine and from 1 January of the sixth year following the harvest for the Barolo Riserva wine.
  • The grape yield must not exceed 8 tonnes per hectare.
  • The yield of wine per hectare must not exceed 5,600 liters.

The Barolo and Barolo Riserva wines must also have the following characteristics:

  • minimum alcohol content 12.5% by volume
  • They must have a ruby red color
  • The taste must be dry taste and full, elegant and harmonious.

This regulation may explain, why so much hand work is put into the production of these wines.

Piedmont Food delicacies

Everyone know, the famous White Truffle of Alba or hazelnuts, (one of the best quality hazelnuts in the world and main ingredient of many handmade sweets of the local tradition). What about Dop cheeses, hand made pasta or any kind of salumi? Gastronomy in Langa is robust and tasty. The dishes are simple and genuine.

How to plan your Piedmont tour in Barolo – Langhe – Roero and Monferrato

This blog article shall inspire to offer a good mix in term of size and region of the wineries. It can be used as a help to book a wine trip on your own. Find all the coordinates below.

Important: Absolutely schedule tasting appointments in advance, you will be grateful to all the attention and precious knowledge the winemakers can share with you. If they know about a visit, they can plan and organize this accordingly.

The partner that organized our tour was “Strada del Barolo e grandi vini di Langa“. Mario put together a tailored wine tasting experience that led through Langhe, Roero & Monferrato. You can check for a driver that makes all of the transfers.

How many wineries to visit during your weekend trip?

I recommend 2 wineries per day, if possible focus on a one area per day. With this agenda you have time to enjoy the cultural offer around the region, too. Explore some hiking or biking. Go for a shopping afternoon in picturesque Alba.

The season to travel if you’re in love with truffles is October. Spring is recommended, too. This time is less touristy and gives you the chance to see blooming wine yards!

How to find wineries for your Barolo wine tour

In this section you get introduced to a selection of wineries I have visited personally and absolutely recommend.

The grapes cultivated at Malvirà are: Nebbiolo, Arneis, Favorita, Chardonnay and a small part of Barbera.
Malvirà cultivates 42 hectares and exports all over the world, (Switzerland included). Today the estate is run by two brothers, Massimo and Roberto Damonte and their sons.
Plenty of the wines produced are 100% organic. All of them follow the defined strict regulation of Barolo. When you walk into a cellar of such a size you understand how much work is behind that business.

My personal highlight: Enjoying a dinner with one of the founder, Roberto Damante. Exploring the pairing of precious drops with delicate ingredients as the white Alba Truffle or local beef tartar. This combination makes evolve the palate with completely new flavors!

Contact:

Azienda Agricola Malvirà dei F.lli Damonte
Via Case Sparse, 144, Loc. Canov, 12043 Canale d’Alba (CN), Tel. +39.0173.978145, e-mail: malvira@malvira.com

Accommodation:
For your first night I recommend to stay at Villa Tiboldi. It is managed by the same family of the winery. The house is surrounded by a breathtaking view over the hills of Langa and Roero. The boutique hotels offers 10 comfortable rooms around 170 Euro/night. A restaurant and a swimming pool with a view over the Langhe make your stay memorable!  Experience the ideal pairing of exquisite traditional Piemontese Food with premium wines!

  •  Josetta Saffirio, Loc. Castelletto 39, 12065 Monforte d’Alba – Langhe
    This winery is located at Monforte d’Alba on Castelletto hill, facing south east, for a total of 5 hectares of vineyards mostly planted as Nebbiolo. In the early twentieth century, Josetta’s father, Ernesto, began cultivating the vineyards inherited from his father. 1952 she creates a unique Barolo, which in the nineties amazes the Italian wine scene. Josetta is the first woman giving a label to the Barolo wine. The gnomes decorating the bottles are inspired by childhood stories she was told by her father!


    My personal highlight: Putting on boots to walk inside the wine yards gives makes you smell the earth! Marco, one of the managers, guided us through his favorite hill called “Persiera”. From here you admire the complete Langa valley. Lange means tongue (IT: Lingua).  This is the shape of the wine yards! I am taught, that the color of the leafs explain the sort of a grape.

Check their project called: adopt a row! You can buy your own row and experience onsite the huge work that lies behind winemaking. Learn all the steps of wine making as the harvesting, the aging and finally the bottling. More details here.

Contact:
Josetta Saffirio Farm, Località Castelletto, 39, 12065 Monforte d’Alba (CN), info@josettasaffirio.com,
Tel. + 39 0173 787278

  • Agricola Gian Piero Marrone, Langhe
    The Company “Agricola Gian Piero Marrone” is a Family for four generations dedicated with passion to the works in the vineyards. The business is in hand of three sisters in the 4th generation. Here you experience a friendly and honest hospitality with genuine and home made dishes at reasonable prices. This place is very authentic. Find excellent products as wine olive oil, truffles and local sweets at reasonable prices.The winery is beautifully located in the middle of the Langhe hills and has a admirable terrace facing the wine yards. The restaurant invites to take a seat at tables “between” the wine barrels.
    For those who love cooking: Attend a cooking class in the winery and learn the secrets of this typical cuisine! Get more information here.

My personal highlight: Tasting an excellent Langhe doc Chardonnay “Memundis” and learning from Marco Bertone one of the managers that sulfates (mostly in white whine) are often cause of headaches. They remove oxygen from the stomach, which in turn takes it from the brain. The lack of oxygen causes headaches! Now I know where my headaches come from: no wines with sulfates, please!

Contact:
Agricola Gian Piero Marrone, Frazione Annunziata 13, 12064 La Morra (CN) Italia, tel +39 0173 509288, e-mail: marrone@agricolamarrone.com

  • Cantina Cascina Castlèt – Between Alba and Asti
    Costigliole d’Asti is one of the most enchanting centers in Alto Monferrato. From the valley of Tanora the landscape rises to gentle hills up to the 300 m above sea level. M. Frazione San Michele, from where you can enjoy a magnificent view to the Alps. The soil conditions are ideal for viticulture.
    Local grape varieties are: Barbera, Moscato, Uvalino and NebbioloCabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. This variety has been grown in Costigliole since the late 18th century. Cascina Castlèt used to belong to the Borio family for generations. Mariuccia inherited it from her father in 1970.

    My personal highlight:
    Exploring a wine cellar with a mystic touch. It reminds me of a place where the magic happens. The wine is refined until it gets to the result to be a rubin red Barbera.

    Contact:
    Cascina Castlet
    Str. Castelletto, 6, 1405 Costigliole d’Asti, Tel.: +39 0141 966651, Email: info@cascinacastlet.com

    Accommodation:
    Villa Loreto, Strada del Loreto, 33, 14055 Castigliole D’Asti – www.villa-loreto.com
    A little paradise for your relax with an amazing view managed by a Swiss couple that fell in love with this region. The stylishly furnished homes with private pools are located in a private estate of 35’000 m2. Maria introduces me into the exploration of Asti Spumante in food recipes! I love to share my favorite Piedmont Dessert with you, it’s prepared super fast and easy!

Zabaione al Moscato d’Asti

Ingredients: 1 egg, 4 egg yolk, 1dl Moscato d’Asti, 50 grams of sugar

Preparation:
In a saucepan placed in a bain-marie, add the Moscato d’Asti and the sugar to the egg yolks and the whole egg. Use a wire whip to mix slowly until it gets warm, stir until the mixture is soft and creamy. Remove from heat and immediately strain with biscuits or a hazelnut cake.

  • La Casaccia – Monferrato
    This area is somewhat overshadowed a bit by Barolo and Barbaresco. Be prepared of very exclusive and delicate wines made with the Grignolino or the Freisa grapes. At La Casaccia they produce elegant traditional drops interpreted in a modern way. Giovanni loves to experiment with the grapes and offers very intellectually wines that reflect the positive elements of the character of Giovanni and his family.
    The winery La Casaccia is located in a house from the 17th century. Today it is renovated to a jewel including a cozy B&B. Walking in the base where the wine cellar is feels like visiting an ancient museum. Some bottles are hundreds of years old. The cellar excavated in the underground is a rarity. It made this region become a World Heritage Site of UNESCO, too.

Do you know the Grignolino grape?
I did not. It’s a famous grape from the region of Monferrato. It is a wine of character and full of discoveries. With its natural spiciness it’s perfect for those who love the intriguing flavors. Grignolino is very delicate wine and difficult to cultivate. The grape is sensitive to diseases and requires a lot of care and attention.

My personal highlight: Try their wines at dinner, spend a night at their cozy B&B and get spoiled by the traditional and genuine cooking skills of Elena. I absolutely loved their La Casaccia metodo classico sparkling wine made of Chardonnay grapes.

If you are planning a longer time off from home and are interested in helping in the wine yards, this is a place to do such a project. Get in contact with them!A specialty we tried was a flan made of broccoli, a veal involtino stuffed with artichokes and some fresh cheese and salumi. Feel like eating at a family table. We shared lovely stories of life zipping on our glass. The breakfast in the morning is the cherry on the top. A lukewarm hazelnut cake made only with egg white and local hazelnuts! No butter and practically no sugar. Thank you Giovanni, Elena, Margherita and Marcello for this very hearty evening spent with you sharing our stories of life.

Contact:
Azienda Vitivinicola La Casaccia, Via Barbano Dante 10, Cella Monte, 53010, Tel. 0039 (0)142 489 986, E-Mail: vini@lacasaccia.biz

Accommodation:
Simple but very cozy and authentic rooms. It’s a very typical historical building in Cella Monte from the 17th century renovated with much love. Get more here.

Interested in other travel stories? Visit my travel section here.

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Why you should join this Quiz from ebookers for your next exciting travel destination!

essouira beach

Travel friends! Check out this cool new travel experience for your next individualized holiday! Participate at the Quiz in cooperation with ebookers  and win your own trip*!

Summer vibes are in the air! I am very happy to be part of that amazing contest organized by ebookers.

There are several ways to organize the ideal holiday. What I appreciate most is a specialist that gives me a choice and support in finding the perfect location and activities for my holiday.

What runs through your mind when you think of an individualized travel adventure? What does it include? How could this work?

Sometimes we have a rough idea in our mind on where to spend our holiday. We use google to find out more about the country or a lonely planet. We get lost in the million available options.

What if we could have some support in preparing our perfect holiday?

How about having support and inspiration from an experienced operator? A service that helps to organize an individualized holiday easy and fast at home on the computer.

A specialist that has contacts to local suppliers and gives us plenty of options for accommodations or maybe culture and adventure packages. I found this new way from ebookers very helpful and exciting, since it inspires me with many different ideas by using a very simple holiday online guide.

WIN your holiday: Are you interested in knowing more about the new individualized travel experience by ebookers?

Than you should absolutely participate at this online travel quiz. You can win your own composed travel. Try it now! Feel free to share your experience with me and your friends, drop me a line by contact form!

To the Quiz…

Follow the link below.

German Quiz:

https://www.ebookers.ch/reise-blog/Individuelle-Buchen/quiz

French Quiz:

https://www.ebookers.ch/blog-voyage/réservez-unvoyage-uniqu/le-quiz

Good luck!

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Palermo & beyond food tour experience in 4 days

My personal highlight: Eating warm ricotta cheese liquid and fresh coming directly from the pot – a foodie’s once in a lifetime experience

Planning a trip with a friend bringing you to his hometown means: be ready for plenty surprises. It’s the best way to discover a place. Who loves the feeling of getting lost and feel welcomed from locals. Read more about what happened to me during the trip in Sicily this may.

My friend asked me what I would love to do and see in Palermo. My reply was simple: it has to do with food! That is why the city welcomed me with a traditional brioche gelato! Have you ever tried a soft sweet bread filled up to the top with artisan ice cream? Well, than that is the first thing to do in Palermo! Ice Cream Sandwich! Get the best one at Brioscià. What you get here is absolutely outstanding. Don’t forget to ask for a special topping! That is what makes this brioche gelato unique.

Streetfood & morning stroll at the food market ballarò

Welcome to Palermo! Here the duty is to go for snaking through the city blocks southeast of Palazzo dei Normanni. I guess it’s Palermo’s busiest street market. The mix of noises, smells and street life is fascinating. It’s the cheapest place for fresh prepared food, souvenirs, Chinese padded bras. Get regional and national food products as olives, salami or cheese. The absolute must try and healthy snack is a long pumpkin with lemon juice on top.

Palermo: A splendor of an Arab-Norman-Byzantine Culture

Strolling through the city makes you understand how many different cultures have influenced the city. 2 1/2 centuries of Arab rule (from 827 BC at the end of the Eleventh century) gave to the city of Palermo magnificent palaces, mosques, minarets and gardens. After the Normans took possession of this splendor. Today, the heritages of these two cultures are intertwined and indistinguishable. Creating the so-called Arab-Norman style. The influence is reflected also in the food. This makes all my discoveries vey precious!

Palermo has a unique flair, there is no lovelier experience than sitting on a square in front of one of the beautiful churches, be surrounded by live musicians making you forget time.

Where to have artisan & local made Sicilian dishes

Osteria Mangia & Bevi – La cucina che parla siciliano (The kitchen that talks in Sicilian)

Get a diversity of typical dishes as the Pasta fritta (fried pasta served in a pan) or the Bucatini con sarde alla Palermitana, this is dedicated to sardine lover!

If you like to stay with a starters plate choose out of their veggie, fish or meat appetizers and order different plates to share!

Antica Focacceria San Francesco – Panino con la milza (Sandwich with veal spleen)

The street food of Antica Focacceria San Francesco is suitable for any time of the day: Here is where you need to try the Palermitan Speciality made following a tradition from 1834 called Focaccia Maritata (married focaccia) It’s a soft bread filled with veal spleen, fresh ricotta and caciocavallo cheese. The spleen is prepared in a big pot, slow cooked for hours until it gets super tender. It was my first spleen ever eaten in my life! Absolutely recommend this dish! If you love to go for a classical snack, take the Arancina with ragù  (fried, rice stuffed with meat ragout and peas).

Travel suggestions – how we did it

Fly from Zurich to Palermo or take to train to Milan, enjoy a half day in the city and fly to Palermo from there. You will spend max 150 Euro depending on the time of booking. I always love to use skyscanner to check my flights in advance by the way! For the accommodation I recommend to use airbnb, there are really lovely apartments

More discoveries in Sicily: the village of Castelbuono

When traveling big cities there is always the desire to see small authentic villages. Having the privilege that my best friend Annasole is from Castelbuono gave me perfect excuse discover this spot on my Sicily journey, too.

Castelbuono is a 10’000 hab medieval village in the Park of Madonie. It’s about 90 km from Palermo and very close to the Thyrrhenian City of  CefalùThe old town is still well preserved and captivates you from the very first moment. The town develops around the castle of Ventimiglia, near a Byzantine hamlet called Ypsigro. The village is a paradise for foodies. Beside excellent Michelin Star restaurants as Nangalarruni or Palazzaccio you can find the well-known pastry producer Fiasconaro. They’re famous for excellent nougat, creams and  panettone filled with delicious creams made of the mana ash-tree or pistachio.

Visiting Castelbuono with a local friend made my wish come true. I got introduced to the production of ricotta cheese. Standing in the small cheese dairy San Nicola with the father and son of the company was my personal highlight. Yes, the smell is intense, but the taste of this still hot and liquid creamy cheese reaching my mouth, indispensable.

An other adventure on the private food tour was the visit of the biscuit manufacture Tumminiello.

Italian have a typical way to make breakfast, a coffee and some biscotti! This is how I grew up.

Tumminiello uses all local ingredients, less sugar and aromatize mostly of their biscuits with Sicilian products oranges or lemons. Find all of their selection here.

A funny fact about Castelbuono you should know

The village is the only one in the world that uses a very unique way to clean-up their waste. It’s a Zero Waste project by the help of donkeys! They have managed to develop an innovative system to marry sustainability, social work and economics. A traditional donkey-breed from Sicily called Ragusa collects waste in narrow streets!A funny fact about Castelbuono

In the mood for a cost trip – Choose Cefalù

Cefalù is notable for beautiful sunsets and unpretentious charming restaurants located in beautiful alleys. One of Cefalù’s magnets for tourists is the duomo. An imposing two-towered Norman cathedral. This building mighty dominates the historical centre. The piazza with restaurants and coffee’s invites to have a stop and enjoy the vibes of the city. Find plenty artisan shops, too around the village to buy your favorite souvenir.

In the mood to read about my travels and get inspired? Find more stories here!

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Orange blossoms, Neomoorish architecture & smiling faces: welcome to Seville

moorish

My personal highlight: Colorful palaces, blooming orange trees and delicious fresh fried fish smell

Sevilla was one of the last Spanish Cities on my bucket list. I saved the best for the last. As you do it with your the bite of your favorite dish. A 4 da trip is the perfect amount of time you need. For the flight I recommend edelweiss air from Zurich. There was a black Friday special for 120 CHF!

The atmosphere in Seville is unique of its kind. The orange trees filling every alley with life, colorful painted walls of the houses and the serene but lively attitude of the Sevillians made me immediately feel home. People have a smile on her face and are always in a relaxed mood.

I am happy to have chosen my trip end of January, the temperature being 20 degrees and streets not full of tourists made my trip smooth and easy.

Where to sleep in Seville

Seville is small and easy to to by walk. Strolling without plan is my plan! Sometime it’s ok to spy on google maps but that’s it. You can’t get lost. My airbnb was situated in the old town, 5 minutes by walk from the cathedral of Saint Mary. It’s the perfect location to get around.

Why I absolutely recommend to use airbnb and stay at Juan’s place? When entering this house you feel thrown back to an arabic country. The neo-moorish style is adorable. Colorful, floral and so charming. The Moorish architecture is the articulated Berber–Islamic architecture of West North Africa (Morocco and west Algeria), Al-Andalus (Spain), and Al-Garb Al-Andalus (Portugal).  Juan’s place offers all you need. I paid 30 Euro a night. The place is super clean, cozy and as mentioned super centrally located. My host is the best tapas tour guide! If you are lucky you got to try the hand made chocolate, since he is chocolatier. Juan revealed a how Sevillians enjoy their Tapas. I was surprised seeing them standing all the time and seldom sitting for dinner. He mentioned, Tapas you enjoy standing. You crawl from bar to bar. Every Tapas Bar has its home specialty. Since you always walk in between you get to digest perfectly what you eat!

Getting around in Seville – my favorite spots to see

1 – A stylish and architectural pearl: Plaza de España

This neo-moorish style can be found in lots of Sevilian sights. A must visit therefore is the Plaza de España designed by Aníbal González. It’s a magical place with a style that recreates de Arab constructions of 10 centuries ago and emphasizes the regions of Spain and its union with America.

How to get there: access Parque de Maria Luisa from Glorieta de los Marineros, walk inside the park through Avenida Rodriguez de Casso, than you will reach Plaza de España at the end of the road. The architectural achievements and unquestioned charm have converted this place into one of the most important symbols of Seville.

2 – Stroll into one of the most beautiful Universities feel student for a moment

The Real Fabrica de Tabacos de Sevilla was built in the 18th century and used to be the tobacco factory until the 1950s. Today here a part of Seville’s University is located. The factory was the largest industrial building of the world at the time. It took 42 years to finish it. Get your history walk and admire the huge wooden doors and the fountain in the centre of the building. Entrance is free.

The address: Calle San Fernando, 4, entrance is for free.

3 – Discover Triana where back in time Flamenco had its birth

Triana is the former Gypsy area. It sits across the Guadalquivir river away from the city’s main tourist attractions. Here is where influential flamenco artists and bullfighters of the last couple of centuries came from. This area is well-known for its lovely handmade ceramics. The walls here are plastered with old bullfighting posters and photos of flamenco artists.

A most do while you are here is the Mercado de Triana

Mercado de Triana offers the most typical choice of Spanish products. The mercado is built on the site of a medieval castle. Find a colorful cluster of fruits as oranges, local avocados, specialties as saffron or sweet and chilli pepper. Find plenty of meat, fish and cheese stalls. It’s a great place to stop for tapas and a cold beer or get your souvenirs! Here I found my Bellota ham to take back home. This ham is from free-range pigs that roam oak forests (called dehesas) that eat only acorns. The taste is nutty and sweet, earthy and floral. Whatever words you use, its flavor is unique! In Zurich you can order this fabulous ham at Luma Delikatessen.
If you are in the mood of a bocadillo Iberico, absolutely stop by at Seefeld at Casa Teresa for a traditional Iberico Sandwich!

Cooking Traditional Sevillian dishes at Mercado de Triana

Inside the market is the Cooking School Taller Andaluz de Cocina. They offer daily hands-on Spanish and Andalusian cooking classes, food market tours and Sherry wine tasting. If you are up to cooking absolutely try their Cooking class. That is where I learnt about  Sevilla’s cuisine. We cooked two traditional Seville Tapas: Spinach with chickpeas, the Salmorejo tomato soup and the Paella Valenciana, that is the most traditional Spanish Paella.

Course costs: 55 Euro for 3 courses incl. Market tour (total 3 hours)

The address: Mercado de Triana, 6 Calle San Jorge, Seville, Spain

My favorite dish: Spanish spinach and chickpeas (espinacas con garbanzos)

After having tried them in the oldest Tapas Bar in Seville (since 1670) called El Rinconcillo  I was absolutely motivated to learn how to prepare them by myself! It’s the must-try Andalusian dish and so easy to make at home, too.

This is what you need: (For 6 people)
900g (30 oz) fresh spinach, 150 g (5-6 oz.) chickpeas, 1 medium size onion, 2-3 garlic cloves, 5-6 spoons tomato puree, cumin, salt, sherry vinegar, olive oil and 1-2 slices stale white bread.

How to prepare it

  1. Boil the spinach for ca. 15 min
  2. Roast the garlic until it is golden – on low heat to caramelize it
  3. Roast the bread by using the same oil, it will taste fantastically garlic-icious
  4. Use a mortar to mash the bread, add the garlic, a pinch of cumin and salt
  5. fry the chopped onion with a pinch of salt until it is caramelized.
  6. Add 5-6 tablespoons crushed tomatoes/tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes
  7. Add the boiled spinach with some of the spinach water
  8. Add the bread paste, a pinch of salt, cumin to taste and a teaspoon of sherry vinegar
  9. Stir in the chickpeas, mix well and cook until the liquid reduces
  10. Taste and add salt or more cumin if you like

What else to discover…

Alameda de Hercules district – much history and bit Boheamian

This area is where on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon you find all locals having a coffee, beer or wine talking to each other or dancing on the street. It’s a lovely and lively neighborhood to discover. The alley was originally fully surrounded by Alamo trees, that give the place part of its name “Alameda“. On the center-side of the Alameda you find two giant Roman pillars. One of which bears a statue of Hércules, who according to the legends, was the founder of Seville! Who else can be on the pillar than Jiulius Ceesar. The district has a certain Bohemian air, which cannot be found in other areas of Seville.

My secret hint for tapas here is Antigua abaceria de San Lorenzo. Get the probably most tender and aromatic artichokes of Seville spiced up with some tasty Iberico ham pieces. I ended up drinking the super delicious broth in the bowl. I also had best Tempranillo wine.

The address: Calle Teodosio, 53, 41002 Sevilla, Spanien 

Plaza major – Metropol Parasol – Admire the city from above

If you are in the mood to get the whole picture of Seville you need to get up here. The Parasol is a wooden building that was completed 2011 from a German architect Jürgen Mayer.  It has dimensions of 150 by 70 metres and an approximate height of 26 metres. It has the shape of a giant mushroom. Some say it is the largest wooden structure in the world. The building is popularly known as Las Setas de la Encarnación (Incarnation’s mushrooms). Get to the top with an elevator from Plaza Major for 3 Euro entrance and enjoy the spectacular view over the city. That is where you recognize how many beautiful church towers Seville has.

The address: Pl. de la Encarnación, s/n, 41003 Sevilla open 10am – 10.30pm Sun – Thu, to 11pm Fri & Sat

Where to go for a healthy breakfast all hand made

The coffee shop called Filo offers great fresh salads, bagels and excellent bread and croissants. I had a bowl of müesli with delicious dried and fresh fruits and home made granola. The shop is cozy , be lucky to gather  your spot since it is always very full. I recommend to stop here!

The address: Calle Hernando Colon, 19, Sevilla

Where to get specialty coffee in Seville

Stop at Torch Coffee! I found this spot through a online coffee guide. It’s located  right by the Guadalquivir river on your way to the Triana Market. Torch Coffee Roasters are part of a cooperative that has its roots in the US and puts great emphasis on connecting people and building a community in the coffee business. The coffee shop offers great space to relax after your city tour or perfect start to zip on your flat white before any tourist program.

The address: aseo de las Delicias, 3 , 41001, Sevilla open Mon to Fri 9am – 8pm, Sat & Sun 10 am – 8 pm

In the mood to discover other travel stories of Lovefoodish as Barcelona or Bilbao? Get more here.

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25Hours Hotels The Royal Bavarian Munich

My personal highlight: Learning more about Munich’s history, the Bavarian Royals and their traditions in a modern, fancy and glorious interpreted way at 25 Hours Hotels Munich

How do you book your hotels? Which criteria do matter for your booking? How much do you know about 25Hours Hotels available in Germany, Austria and Switzerland? Let me introduce you to the new 25Hours HotelThe Royal Bavarian” in Munich. Get more insights on other 25Hours hotels on my accommodation guide here (Zurich) or here (Hamburg)!

I experienced 25 Hours Hotels this year the first time in Hamburg. I have to admit, before traveling to a city after having had excellent experiences with them, I first check, if a 25 Hours Hotel is available.

The Royal Bavarian opened its doors just recently and is brand new in Munich. It’s located 2 minutes from the train station and offers all high level standards and services known from other 25Hours Hotels.

What makes The Royal Bavarian Hotel in Munich special?

Anne one of the hotel staff members guides me through the house and explains to me significant details that were used to create this Bavarian surrounding. I see myriads of ironic and iconographic allusions to Bavarian history and its royal legacy. I love the story, that the Managers and the architect went for a guided sightseeing tour through Munich, to best grab and understand relevant details of its history. The goal was to transmit them into the design concept and interior to make the place authentic and real. Special elements as the ancient sledge, the swan chair or the furniture in the Boilerman Bar feature selected, materials. They create affectionate nods allover the place. This is the signature experience of this hotels.

The hotel is situated in a ancient building from the year 1800 ca. a former Imperial Post and Telegraph Office on the forecourt of the Central Station. That is why for example you find some ancient original typing machines in the hotel alley. Hotel guests have the opportunity to type their own letter, feel thrown back in time, and mail it to the wished address afterwards.

The catchy topic of the hotel is the Royal Bavarian History. I notice lots of Swan and Elefant elements all over the hotel. These were favorite animals of farmer royals. King Ludwig II of Bavaria, also known as the “Fairytale King was one of them, he lived in the castle called Neuschwanstein. Neuschwanstein literally means “New Swan Castle” referencing of “the Swan Knight” one of the Wagner’s characters.”. King Ludwig was a great admirer and supporter of Richard Wagner, the world-renowned composer.

This is 25 Hours Hotel The Royal Bavarian in a glimpse

  • 165 rooms in 6 room categories on 4 floors
  • Price start as of 150 Euros
  • meeting space for up to 20 people in the “Muschelkammer”
  • NENI Restaurant with eclectic east Mediterranean meze inspired by Chef Haya Molcho
  • Boilerman bar with fancy Highball drinks
  • Sauna
  • ue boom bluetooth speakers
  • free of charge mini car and bike rental (bikes from Schindelhauer)
  • a hearty and service oriented staff that makes you feel home away from home

Accommodation

Find 165 modern and stylish designed rooms. Every category has its own theme and design. It starts with the Single-Box-room, than the “Chambers” and the Grand-Chambers. There are two suites available, one is the Swan-Suite the other the Peacock-Suite. Natural materials as wood and fabrics are combined with warm colors and stylish, functional furniture. Find all details for booking a room here.

Food & Drinks

As in every 25Hours Hotel the NENI Restaurant spoils its guest also in Munich with the food philosophy of Haya Molcho and her 4 sons. Find an eclectic east Mediterranean cuisine inspired by a Street food style from Telaviv and the world. Get a variety of light and flavorful lunch and dinner menus.
Try the Balagan style, which means that you order several plates and share them together! Enjoy the open space or the tranquil private room. Enjoy some hand made sandwiches or other food to take a way at the NENI Deli.

The house bar Boilerman offers a sociable and cozy atmosphere. It’s an inviting place to linger and relax. Find delicious highballs – precisely mixed short drinks that are stirred and not shaken.

Thank you for using the Lovefoodish food and travel guide.

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Hotel & Restorant Lej da Staz Celerina

My personal highlight: Waking up early in the morning at Lake Staz observing the mist moving mystical & magical around me – This is a must experience hideaway in the Engadine

When it comes to travel to the Swiss Alps, Engadine is the destination of my choice. This region is not only famous for its Swiss Indian Summer in autumn. Here you enjoy hospitality on a phenomenal and very personal level.
On top, the food and dishes you get are of excellent quality. Coming here during autumn you encounter colorful pine and larch trees that are unique in Switzerland.

What to expect at Lej da Staz

The surrounding is unique at Hotel & Restorant Lej da Staz. The house is embedded in a protected natural area not accessible by car (7 minutes by car from St. Moritz main station) directly at the Lake of Staz. Enjoy absolute privacy and tranquility in the middle of a forest surrounded by the alps. The peak you admire from the terrace is the Mountain Piz Julier (3380 m). The hotel is managed by Anja & Hans-Jörg Zingg and a lovely super friendly staff.

Use Promocode Lovefoodish to get a delicious Engadine Appetizer plate with your booking!

Accommodation

The hotel offers 10 cozy bed rooms. All rooms are decorated with an authentic alpine style and offer good standard comfort. Obviously the room facing the Lake is the first choice of the house, book it if you have the chance! The view over the lake brings you to a fairy tale you have never been before.

Walking inside and outside the house you recognize that there has been put a lot of attention to details. The surrounding is maintained with love and make you feel like home. Take the advantage of being out in the middle of the nature, stroll through the forest and observe the squirrels swing from one tree branch to the other.

Getting spoiled at Lej da Staz Hotel

  • The staff is there to spoil you with attention. Use the included transfer that picks you up in St. Moritz.
  • Use their e-bikes or mountain bikes to discover the fabulous woods.
  • Are you planning a seminar or a family party for a weekend? Rent the whole house and have it all on your own. They have special rates. Get in contact with the hotel or visit their website here to find out more about.
  • A cozy sauna house  just a few steps distant from the Lake is a must when you stay there.
  • The terrace invites to relax. Lean back in one of their sun basket and enjoy the sun going down after your  hike or bike day.
  • Get special rates when the weather is cloudy or rainy, find more about these special rates, here.
  • The hotel offers a big play ground for kids and is vey family friendly. Special spectacles and entertaining programs are available. On the stage kids can listen to fairy tales.
  • Are you planning a hike to the alp and want to see more of the Engadine? Absolutely stop by at El Paradiso alp restaurant. This restaurant belongs to the same management and offers exceptional alpine atmosphere up at 2181 meters. Their food choice is excellent, try the Paradiso Cremeschnitte! A dream all made of vanilla cream and puff pastry. They’re baked fresh every day!

Food at Lej da Staz

Great local and home made prepared food choices are available at Lej da Staz. Choose out of three food places: The restorant, the Stazer Club Stubä ( a cozy private room) or the Take away kiosk Quickquito located outside (available during sunny days).

Enjoy local hand made dried Engadine meat specialities or goat cheese specialities from their local cheesemaker.
I absolutely recommend their risotto. It comes with fresh mushrooms and local alp cheese that makes its taste intense and creamy.
The cheesecake is a must try and signature dish on the menu, it’s made of goat cheese. Their Saazer Moorechopf – sticky sweet chocolate marshmallow kisses are finger licking.

Want to spent more time in the Engadine?

Explore the region for great hikes, biking, sailing or skiing in winter.
A must do to get the whole picture of the Engadine Lakes is to visit Muottas Muragl. The view up here is astonishing, you can reach it by cable car or hike up/down.

Find more information and travel suggestions on this region on the site of St Moritz Tourism www.stmoritz.ch. Or get inspired in an other blog story of mine discovering the region by mini cabrio.

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Sailing the Balearic Sea with 10 random people

My personal highlight: 10 random chosen people feeling like a family on a 15 meters long yacht enjoying the beauty and power of the Balearic sea.

When it comes to choose how to spend summer holidays I love to go for an adventure trip on a sailing boat. I experience the sea as a space to feed my soul and mind with fresh energy.

A journey on a sailing boat offers all the unexpected you desire. You have tranquility on one hand, while out in the middle of the sea listening to the sound of the waves. You follow the sun and admire the huge red glowing ball setting down at the horizon every night. It’s my favorite live TV channel on board! On the other hand, you depend on the power of the weather and nature deciding the intensity of the journey. This combination gives you the extra portion of excitement if the sea gets rough.

On top of that you have the crew. We were 10 people on our yacht. Sounds a lot but worked perfectly. Taking care about each other felt like being on a trip with a family.

Our boat was a solid, comfortable yacht from the boat-builder JeanneauSUN ODYSSEY 509 with a length of 15.38 meter, 5 cabins. 2 cabins even had an own toilet!

How 1o random chosen people manage well together on only 15 meters

I guess what united our spirits on board was the pleasure of enjoying the moment of peace out in the deep blue sea. Everybody detached from the daily routine left at home very fast.
Sailing can mean anchoring in a bay, staying away from busy harbors, sleeping on deck admiring a sky full of stars or waking up in the morning for jumping into the sea before breakfast on deck.

When all of this is given, you don’t really have arguments to feel stressed. And yes, the chemistry between people can even contribute to a relaxed atmosphere on board, too.

What you need on board is good music and good food. This gives the extra chilling feeling!

How to find a sailing boat?

Back in 2014 I walked to the Marina of Bali and found my crew directly there. This option requires time and flexibility. An other option is to get a yacht by having a skipper friend.
If all of that is not the case, here is the solution: Book your holiday with Join the Crew. They are experienced in organizing this kind of trips, great people included. Their choice of sailing destinations is excellent.
Caribbean Sea, Seychelles, Thailand and plenty of destinations in Europe as Greece, Spain, Croatia, Italy, France and the Baltic sea. Find more details here. They have access to modern yachts and skilled skippers.

Sailing from Palma to Formentera and back

Our trip started in Palma de Mallorca. We sailed to Ibiza and Formentera where crystal clear waters waited to be discovered . The longest leg From Palma to Ibiza was about 12 hours. Kind of challenging but for sailing lovers a real adventure. For your first sailing trip it may be more ideal to choose a destination with a less long sailing leg. On our trip we anchored in marvelous bays. If we wer in the mood of touching a bit of land it was fun to take our dinghy boat and get a refreshing cocktail at a beach bar!

What about the costs?

A week of sailing in the Mediterranean Sea costs around 800 Euros. (food on board and diesel incl., excl. flights).

The sailing week in a glimpse, useful hints

  • Check in advance how strong your stomach, try a day trip on a lake or sea. Bring some seasick medicines or use the sea band, they seem to work well. More details on that product here.
  • Bring your favorite music playlists, you will get home with new followers!
  • Bring life stories to share with your friends on board
  • Share your recipes and cooking skills, keep it simple.
  • Once at the harbor, create a shopping list with your crew and go shopping together for your week on board. Create teams and focus on your strengths! Buy some junk food, sweets and alcohol, you are on holiday!
  • Be prepared for the unexpected, bring patience and flexibility. Sometimes you have strong winds, and you are active on the boat. Some days you have weak wind and you enjoy chilling on deck.
  • Bring your sleeping bag if you love to sleep on deck. It can get chilly at nights.
  • Don’t forget your rain jacket, yes, it can get stormy!
  • Adapt to the natural move of the waves and let yourself swing into sleep.

Need some inspiration on what to cook on board? Read my article of Greece sailing 2016!

Find more stories about my travels here and get inspired. See you out there somewhere.

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Weekend cabrio ride Caumasee & Chiavenna

My personal highlight: Cruising with the open deck of my mini cooper cabrio in between impressive Swiss Alps

Once upon a time you just need to do crazy things. I have a wish: drive the Julier and the Maloja Pass all by myself by a mini cabrio.

I hoped to find powdered mountain peaks on my way, since the Julier Pass is stretching up to 2,284 m above sea level. End of May seems perfect to do the trip. The chosen car a mini cooper s cabrio, incredible fun factor, safety and a comfortable ride included. Perfect to enjoy all curves and maneuvers to the max.

Having the Lake of Cauma (Caumasee) in Flims, Graubünden on my bucket list, practically located on the way towards Maloja, it was the perfect reason to do a weekend trip out of it, combining lake and mountains.

Swim in crystal clear waters at Caumasee

It’s one of the most breathtaking mountain lakes in Switzerland, they call it the pearl of Flims. You need to experience this with your own eyes, pictures alone won’t make it.

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. I guess I had the pleasure to enjoy 15 degrees end of May! Around the lake you have spots to relax, you can even rent inflatable boat or bring your unihorn!

How to get to Caumasee

Get there from Zurich in 1.30 h (140 Km) by car. Everything is super organized there. The entrance fee for adults is 12 CHF, kids pay 6 CHF. Find different areas for barbecue or just enjoy their restaurant for drinks & food. The car parking is close (15 min) to the lake so you can make it easily by walking with your picnic equipment.

Continuing the trip all the way to Engadine

On the route of the Julier Pass your next stop after ca. 1.30 h drive (84 Km) can be lake of Silvaplana or Lake of Sils. The Julier Pass is located in the Albula Range of the Alps. Romans built it in the year 1820 to connect the Engadin valley with the rest of Graubünden.
Lake of Silvaplana is a must experience among kite surfers. For Sailors I recommend the small but extremely windy Lake of Sils. Winds here are considered strong and unpredictable. I love sailing. Plan extra time for that. I absolutely recommend the Engadine Sailing school. The school is located at Plaun da Lej. This place has a hotel and restaurant, in front of your sailing spot. It’s well-known for sea food and fish. They prepare it really exquisite.

An other  top choice, bit closer to St. Moritz in Celerina is the Hotel Rosatsch. This is a real foodies paradise. Read my story here for suggestions on that spot.

From Silvaplana Lake to Chiavenna in 1 hour

To give a maximum of pleasure to your trip don’t miss the pass called Maloja. It leads all the way to Italy. It begins where the Julier pass ends. Its scenery is breathtaking, too. It connects two fascinating landscapes: the Upper Engadine Lake District and the Graubünden’s southern valley of Bergell. The beautiful play of light and shadows has attracted world famous artists like Giovanni Segantini, who choose Maloja as his last home and subject for many landscape paintings.

On my way to Chiavenna

Sun shining through my sporty minicooper. Having my deck open, my spotify play list on I feel freedom. I breath in every single minute in this Alpine surrounding. I pass by little rivers, cascades and untouched nature, ancient villages. On the way are plenty of food and panorama stops to enjoy.

Chiavenna itself is worth staying for couple of nights. Depending on your schedule. The city is close to Lake of Como (45 min. drive). Giving you even more options. Strategically it’s situated lovely for trips to Como and Milan.

What to do and where to eat and sleep in Chiavenna

Chiavenna has a bit for everyone – nature, culture, history, hiking and culinary tradition.

  • Visit Palazzo Vertemate Franchi & Cascata dell’Acquafraggia
    It’s a stunning Renaissance villa only 5 min. car drive from Chiavenna in Prosto di Piuro.
    Find a perfectly-preserved fresco portraying stories from Ovid’s Metamorphosis, stucco decorations and wooden ceilings. It was built in the second half of the sixteenth-century. It’s the only house surviving one of the worst landslides in history in 1618.
    On this way stop at this beautiful cascade where you enjoy powerful nature and a fresh shower! The park there is super relaxing.
  • Have lunch at the restaurant Crotto ombra
    Crotto means “cave” in Chiavenna dialect. These are small subterranean caves with airflow, common in the region. They are used to age cheeses, cure meats and brew and store beer. The first brewery in Italy, was “Spluga” here in Chiavenna, which opened in 184o.
    At Crotto ombra you need to try polenta, which is prepared authentic and flavorful just pure with funghi. An other to recommend: the “gnocchetti chiavennaschi“. These are small dumplings covered in local cow milk cheese.
  • Strolling around the city 
    Admire unpretentious alleys and enjoy an ice cream or a coffee. Walk over the Mera River bridge to capture your  instagram moment.
  • Sleep at B&B Casa Selvatica
    Casa Selvatica is located in a peaceful and quiet alley in the middle of the historical center of the town. The house is an 300 years old traditional palazzo that offers comfort and space. Gabriella took over the house from her parents and renovated it with attention to detail.
    Choose one of 3 rooms with different sizes and comforts. King bed size or a room with two single bed. My room had a kitchenette and a lovely chimney. Every room has its own charm. Breakfast is fresh and with local products. Gabriella is a hearty, spontaneous person and absolutely open to give you plenty of suggestions for your stay. Sleeping here reminded me bit of living a fairy tale. Get more details on the B&B here.

From Chiavenna a new journey can start. I drove back the Alpine roads because I love the scenery. Of course lake of Como is tempting, too. Drop me a line for some more suggestions, I am happy to assist.

Thank you for reading the Lovefoodish travel and food guide! Want to read a travel story about an other European destination? Get one here!

 

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Iglu Dorf Davos Klosters

Loving challenges, I thought: why not sleeping 2600 m above sea level in an Igloo?

It’s the first time I overnight in the middle of a Swiss Mountain, in winter, in an Igloo. Can you imagine how you feel lying in a 42 ° hot Jacuzzi and admiring a sky full of stars before cuddling yourself in a warm sleeping bag? I was speechless. Only trying it by yourself can make you such this experience richer! You even have electricity and no minus temperatures! I finally had a cheese fondue in the ideal setting!

Igloo Village Davos Klosters

I love skiing in Davos Klosters and you pass by at the Igloo Village coming down from the mountain Weissfluhjoch. I always saw that snow houses but could never imagine what a stylish and well-equipped Winter Hotel is hidden underneath. Every angle of the Igloo Village is built with love and on purpose. A tunnel system connects the igloos to each other. You feel the passion put in this project when you talk either to the Village Manager in Davos Elias Torgler or the guide Adrian. But also once standing in the middle of the bar or in the Igloo rooms with open eyes and mouth.

Igloo Villages around Switzerland and the world

Amongst breath-taking mountain scenery, wonderful snow palaces emerge every winter at seven locations to include Davos KlostersGstaadEngelbergStockhorn and Zermatt in Switzerland, the Zugspitze in Germany and one in Andorra/Pyrenees.

Every Igloo village has its only design concept, a Village Manager and an own staff with dedicated guides. The construction and maintenance of these villages need time, power and exceptional efforts. The guides are often included in the construction phase taking about 3 weeks. They work day and night even during snowstorms and at very low temperatures to make this project happen. The igloo is open for daily visits and overnights in winter season.

This is real snow art!

Each room features a different design. International artists decorate the interior spaces of the Igloo-Villages with careful attention to detail, creating enchanting fantasy worlds in snow and ice art. It takes up to 15 h per room to create this incredible characters and artwork. They carve large and small ice sculptures by hand and transform rooms into glittering fantasy worlds.

Accommodation Igloo Village Davos Klosters

There are 14 sleeping rooms available of different categories. You find suitesstandard rooms or group rooms for example. The rates start at 159 CHF and include food, breakfast and hot tea, no alcoholic drinks. Some rooms have an own Jacuzzi and toilet. All other rooms have toilets to share. Some rooms do even have a power station to recharge your phone. Ask for the special package including outdoor adventure programs, too. Get more details or your reservation here. This Igloo Village can host up to 120 persons.

Food, Drinks & more

Take an aperitivo in a stylish ice bar. For dinner there are ice dining rooms where you get cheese fondue or pasta. A warm blanket to keep you warm is included. Wine and drinks are available, too.

An absolute must is the wellness area. The Jacuzzi overlooks the mountains. There is a wooden stone sauna, too here in Davos Klosters.

A cozy Swedish Cottage with a chimney that is used to warm you up with a coffee or wine before going to sleep is the best place to end your day. The space is ideal for group events, too.

The overnight includes a snowshoe walk after dinner, the super warm sleeping bag and snowshoes if needed.

My personal highlights

Staying over night at the Igloo hotel is an adventure. It’s the whole program setup that makes this stay unforgettable.

  • Meeting new people and sharing most of my Igloo moments together.
  • Getting an aperitivo surrounded by stylish ice sculptures and great music.
  • Gourmandizing a delicious fondue having a warm blanket on my legs
  • Enjoying a homemade cinnamon bun for dessert that got warmed directly on the fire in the Swedish cottage Kota.
  • Taking a bath in the 42 ° Jacuzzi under a sky of shining stars in the plain nature and the 35° wood sauna.
  • Waking up early morning, admire the distinctive Engadine Blue sky and be the first skiing on the untouched slopes.

Why building an Igloo village back in 1995?

The main reason why this idea came up to the founder of Iglu-Dorf (Igloo Villages) Adrian Günter in is because he loves snowboarding on untouched, fresh prepared slopes. How can I be the first early in the morning to touch the snow? By sleeping up in the mountain, he thought. That is how the first igloo ever built was a simple hand shovelled one only to host a few of his friends. Out of this idea the future business offering a real Igloo Village originated. Iglu-Dorf has been building hotels out of snow and ice for 20 years.

How to build an igloo

I have this image of stacking snow cubes, but I have been taught different. Usually around beginning of December when the first snow falls and the slopes are ready the local mountain railways furnish the Igloo Village with technical snow from the snow cannon. Technical snow has perfect properties for the igloo construction since it is compact and resistant.

A big air blown balloon made of a resistant canvas is used to create the dome shape. After only few hours the balloon is destroyed and the ideal shape for the igloo remains. Now the hard handwork begins. All the superfluous snow is shovelled away to the final needed size and shape of the igloo. Tons of snow is used. Hundreds of meters of wire providing electricity inside and around the igloo. Electricity is needed for various stations as the kitchen or the rooms.
Some of you may have seen the Igloo Sport Studio built in St. Moritz for the Ski World cup 2017. Thanks to Iglu Dorf this unique sport studio came to reality!

Watch here how this Igloo got built! 

Thank you for getting inspired by the Lovefoodish accommodation guide.

www.iglu-dorf.com

 

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