Cascais – the perfect day-trip when in Lisbon

D has a thing for water. Rivers, lakes, seas or oceans, it doesn’t matter, she just has to have water somewhere around her. I never got that strange obsession, maybe it has to do something with her staying in beach summer camps for months with her parents as a kid, but nonetheless I don’t get it. Cascais helped me with that.

Cascais is a coastal town located west of Lisbon. It has a charm of a larger fishing village, but don’t be fooled, it has more than 200000 inhabitants and is one of the richest municipalities in Portugal. It also looks like that – It is a place where you could imagine a rich guy buying himself a villa and a 1966 Alfa Romeo Spider in which he would kick back his roof and just cruise around the coast with music blasting from the speakers. I mean, I wouldn’t blame him, I would do it myself.

If you are staying in Lisbon longer, Cascais is the perfect day-trip destination. The train from Lisbon leaves at the Cais do Sodré train station, and a return ticket costs 4,50€ (2,25 € per direction at that time, you can check the prices here). Be sure to sit on the left side of the train, next to the window, so you can have the best view on the beautiful scenery while you travel for 40 minutes.

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The “touristic-shopping” area
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Street names are displayed od tiles in Cascais

When you get there, it’s a 3-minute walk to directly jump into the touristic area of the town. The street is full of souvenir shops, jewelries or restaurants. We bought our gifts here, as the ships are much larger than the ones in Lisbon, so you will not get that claustrophobic feeling that these little, always overcrowded shops evoke in you. And just as a side note – the prices are also 0,5-1€ cheaper than in Lisbon.

I was a little let down by this part of Cascais, as it isn’t really all that attractive. We quickly got through the stores as D was searching for a new purse and directly went towards the Praia da Ribeira. It is one of the first bigger places where you will have a direct access to the ocean, and it comes in a form of a pretty sand beach. I guess it will not be all that spectacular for some people, but I had a new, fresh experience there – it was my first time seeing an ocean, and the first time being on a sand beach. I think I set my expectations wrong here as I thought it will be some kind of a Copacabana (or what I would imagine Copacabana would look and feel like), where you would be walking in the burning sun all oiled up, sipping on a coconut drink from your hand, lightly tipsy, blasting a finger gun left and right with some feel-good music is in the background. But I found myself 10 times happier there with my wife sitting beside me with my arm wrapped around her.

 

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Praia da Ribeira – a nice place to relax, but there is a lot of fisherman around, so I dont know about swimming

 

Here is a tip – Cascais offer you free rental bikes. Fetch one of those and get on your way towards Boca do Inferno – a breath-taking chasm in the seaside cliffs about 1,6 km away from Cascais. The route should be pretty easy and you will have a hell of a view as you will ride along the shore with nothing to see but the ocean, as the first land you could see is in the U.S. State of Delaware.

Boca do Inferno
Boca do Inferno
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The cliffs at Boca do Inferno

When I got there I suddenly understood D’s obsession with water. What impressed me the most was the balance of things, the balance of everything there – you have this fear-inducing force of the ocean constantly crashing against the cliffs on one side, and on the other side that same water makes such a peaceful sound as it is dispersed in the air and retracts in the ocean. The balance between the beautiful, breath-taking landscape and the feeling of being small in the awe of nature is also astonishing. D maybe described my feelings the best as serendipity – I came there expecting one thing but left after finding something valuable I was not looking for.

We were laying in silence there for an hour and sunbathed a little bit (we had 22° at the start of March! And also, a heads up for guys who never wore a ring before – the sun won’t reach the skin under the ring so you will have an unevenly dark ring finger after sunbathing) and just enjoyed ourselves. There are some places to eat there, but the food really isn’t noteworthy or just too expensive. But be sure to try the ice-cream from a little store near the entrance to Boca do Inferno: it is amazing as they only have ice-cream flavors that are authentic to Portugal. For example, I ate an ice-cream with bananas from Madeira and some port-wine-jam-topping. A must-have!

We walked back to Cascais through the museum quarters where we took some amazing pictures of the ocean and the museums. The pictures should speak for themselves. We ate at the Cervejaria Marisquiera Camões, and the food wasn’t that much as a highlight, but the price was right, they recommended us a good rose-wine and they were all-over friendly. I would say you will not regret visiting it, but you should also not expect too much.

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As the day was coming to an end I was really sad and had the idea to come back the day after with wine and food to picnic and just hang out there as I was really impressed with the place. But the weather gods were not in the favor of my idea, as it started raining that same night.

Here is one more tip for Cascais: when leaving go shop for groceries in the Jumbo (a large store) which is on the other side of the street when you are at the train station. You will probably have the same experience as we did, with grocery stores in Lisbon being too hectic, overcrowded and confusing. Jumbo is the exact opposite of that, which also the name Jumbo states, as they have a large selection of everything you need and don’t need. From underwear to garden supplies, it was a real blessing, especially as we finally could stock up on some candy and Portuguese olives.

As a conclusion, Cascais is a special experience – a place where, If I ever get the money for that, I will buy a villa and a 1966 Alfa Romeo Spider in which I would kick back my roof and just cruise around the coast with music blasting from the speakers. I mean, if you visit Cascais you wouldn’t blame me, you probably would do the same.

The culinary exploration of Lisbon (part I)

I didn’t write for a long time, but I have a really good excuse – D and I got married, so because of the hassle of wedding preparations, my job and just everyday obligations, I just couldn’t find the time to write something for our blog. But at the moment, as I fear I’m going to forget the goodness I wanted to share – so I have to write something now. My goal is to give you a small insight in our culinary adventure of Lisbon – the vibrant capital of Portugal.

I didn’t know what to expect of the food there. I never really thought about Portugal as a culinary destination of mine, but through googling about it, it became clear that the cuisine is focused mostly on fish and seafood (coming from the Atlantic Ocean) but has different influences as the Mediterranean or even African cuisine (the piri piri sauce is just one example). And man, listen, I really love fish – but seafood, seafood is a whole other thing.
At that time, I despised it as I just couldn’t stand the rubbery chewiness, for example, muscles have to them. But here’s where I come from – I NEVER had the chance to eat, fresh, off the boat, it-was-alive-one-hour-ago-seafood. For me it was just frozen, rubbery, plain frutti di mare. And my God, the difference is unbelievable – eating fish and seafood as fresh as it is in Lisbon is a revelation for me.
We stayed at an Airbnb apartment in Alfama, the oldest district in Lisbon and we had beautiful view on the Tejo river, but we really didn’t like our accommodation. So, we just slept there and mostly ate out – breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I’ll start with the breakfasts: the Portuguese have a funny relationship with toast – they outright love it. Wherever you go, you have local coffee shops or pastelarias where you have a breakfast menu, which in 90% of the cases, consists of a white bread cheese and ham toast, a coffee and a freshly squeezed orange juice. All of this for 5€! Just be warned, they usually pour melted butter over the toast, so it’s a reaaaaally fatty start to the day. For the more adventurous ones there are different toast creations at some places, for example I ate a hearth shaped banana and cheese toast.
Our favorite place was the Confitaria Rainha Dona Amélia, as the waiters are really friendly and everything looked nice and clean, but it is a more touristic type of coffee shop. We also visited some local pastelarias, one of them the Pastelaria Lisboa Tejo, a place which is directly across the Santa Apolonia train station. We fled there from the rain and the storm Felix which was crossing over Lisbon at that moment. It is a really interesting place as it has the tang of a comedown, local train station café, which didn’t change, renovate or refurbish for at least 15 years – but the locals didn’t really care about that. You will see a group of grandmas sitting on plastic chairs and drinking their coffee of tables with paper tablecloths, just chatting about something, or you will notice a steady stream of people running in and out, taking their snacks or their coffee to go, or chatting up at the counter. One snack I found pretty interesting and which I want to eat fresh is a Rissóis de Camarão (Portuguese shrimp dumplings).
As for lunches, I’ll talk about 2 places we ate lunch while staying there. The first one is the Petisqueira Conqvistador – a small place with a capacity of maybe 20 people. Interior-wise it isn’t really special, but the food is pretty good and the service was excellent. We payed about 54€ (without tips) for 4 dishes, different tapas, a pumpkin-based cake and a bottle of wine. So, the price is also pretty fair.

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This was the first time I ate really fresh seafood – and it was too good. They season the dishes pretty lightly so you get a genuine experience on the tastes of the ingredients. We had prawns (served in a chili and lemon sauce) and some clams (the Portuguese amêijoas à bulhão pato, and also ordered a cheese plate with regional cheeses and homemade onion jam. I would definitely recommend a visit there, optimally when you are visiting the São Jorge Castle, as it is nearby.

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The other restaurant was also in the neighborhood of the São Jorge Castle – Canto da Villa. We stumbled upon it by chance whilst visiting Miradouro de Santa Luzia, a beautiful viewpoint (miradouro is translated to viewpoint). There are many beautiful spots to have a view over Lisbon, but the Miradouro Santa Luzia is one of the more famous ones.
Canto da Villa had a really cheap offer (touristic menu for 15€ p.p) where you’ll get a homemade soup of the day, tagliatelle in a tomato-eggplant-mozzarella sauce and a carrot cake as a dessert. All this is accompanied by a drink (wine or beer). Everything was really fresh and made in the restaurant. Even the tagliatelle wasn’t bought but made in the restaurant (I didn’t have the chance to check this with the servers, but it sure looked and tasted like it).

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And just a couple of tips – always and everywhere order olives. Always! They are just addicting (I ate about 200-300 grams daily). They usually come in an olive oil-parsley-garlic sauce, and taste when you munch on them whilst waiting on your meal. They also taste amazing when you eat them with some beer or wine. If you are more of a beer drinker, you will mostly find two types of beer: Sangres and Super Bock. Personally, I found Super Bock more enjoyable and tastier, but the difference wasn’t really that big. As for wine, be sure to check out white wines form the Alentejo region with your fish dishes!
As for the part II, I’ll write about our experience of a dinner accompanied with fado music, the famous Portuguese bacalhau and furthermore I’ll talk about the tasting menu at the famous A Cevicheria.

Our honeymoon story- Lisbon ⛵🌊

When we first started talking about our honeymoon we had a few ideas and options. However, after we found affordable plane tickets to Portugal – we immediately agreed. Lisbon, here we come. 😍

First thing first, we had to find us an accommodation for 8 nights. Our only wish was that it had a view over the lovely Tagus river. After searching for a few days, we found a flat with this view on airbnb.

Our room view

Wouldn’t mind waking up every morning to this view. Don’t you agree?

Mornings in Lisbon

We started every day as locals usually do! Ham and cheese toast, coffee and a bit of olives (as my husband is obsessed with them😁) in the local coffee shops. It was very interesting to see old people, young people, gathering around and chit-chatting with the morning coffee.

Don’t forget to try a pastel de nata with your coffee. A famous Portuguese dessert for only 1 euro (usually).

Pastel de nata

What we would recommend as a must see on your honeymoon trip to Lisbon is:

1. Belem tower & Padrao dos Descobrimentos

Belem is a fortress that rises up from the Tagus River. It was designed as a fortress to stop any attack on Lisbon. It was actually built on an island even further out in the water but changes in the river’s course of the centuries have brought it closer to the bank. Belem has a status as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to get inside, at it was closed due to the strong wind.

Belem tower
Belem tower

Padrão dos Descobrimentos is a monument located along the river where ships departed to explore and trade with India and the rest of the Orient, the monument celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery.

Padrão dos Descobrimentos

You can climb on top of the monument and have an amazing view of the city!

View from the top of the monument – Padrão dos Descobrimentos
View from the top of the monument – Padrão dos Descobrimentos
View from the top of the monument – Padrão dos Descobrimentos

You can go walking or by bike from one point to another. The walk is all along by the amazing river. 😍

Don’t forget to take a Portugese wine with a view and enjoy amazing wine and even better view. They even let you take the glasses with you as a souvenir. Great idea, right ?

Wine with a view

2. Praça do Comércio was constructed in 1755 after the great earthquake of Lisbon destroyed the entire Baixa district. Before the earthquake, the most important royal complex, the Ribeira Palace, was situated on the site of the Praça do Comércio but this was totally destroyed by the tsunami that proceeded the earthquake.
The Rua Augusta Arch is a historical building on the Praça do Comerçio. You can get on top of it and enjoy the amazing view over the Lisbon famous commercial square.

View of Praço do Comércio

3. São Jorge Castle is the third must see location we recommend you to visit! The castle complex consists of the castle itself, some ancillary buildings, gardens, and a large terraced square from which an impressive panorama of Lisbon is visible.

View of San Jorge Castle

There you can also take a wine with a view! 😉

View from the San Jorge Castle
Portuguese flag

Don’t forget to bring some comfortable shoes, as you will walk a lot (we did approximately 15 km per day) and there are a looot of hills surrounding Lisbon.

As for honeymooners or just romantic souls we suggest you take a drink next to the river and enjoy the smell and the calming sounds.

Drink next to the Tagus river

Also take your wine with a view glasses and enjoy a drink from your balcony (if you’re lucky enough to have a view as we did :)).

Wine with a view

Or just get lost in the amazing old streets of the Alfama district. Or pick up oranges as there are oranges trees everywhere. Or enjoy the famous Portuguese tiles on almost every house. Amazing, right ?

P.S. Of course, Lisbon is also very attractive for the delicious sea food and the breathtaking ocean. You can read more about it here. 🙂 Enjoy🎄❤

Croatia and its coastline – the beautiful Adriatic Sea

This time I´m not really going to write about just one place, it´s more of a combination of two trips to the same country I did in the past, something like a #flashbackfriday but on a Sunday. The most fitting description I found on the web was #postsomethingonyourblogsunday, and I´m going to shamelessly adapt it for our blog.

So: two trips, both of them to Croatia, to the isle of Brač and the town Tučepi. The first one was two years ago, a summer trip with my friends, were we spent 4 nights and 5 days at the isle of Hvar. Our only goal was to have a good time, and frankly, we didn’t have troubles with that on Hvar. Over the day we chilled on the beaches near the town of Jelsa (the town´s beach was a construction site, but as we had a car we drove to some beaches nearby). Most of the time we spent on this mostly concrete beach (which was a minus), but it had some of the clearest water I have seen in my whole entire life (I spent hours just looking at it), so it balanced out.

You can also visit some places if you are into sightseeing – we visited Stari Grad, which I would recommend if you are into medieval merchant towns. While there we ate at the restaurant Konoba Pharia and they had some really good, fresh fish dishes.

 

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The streets of Stari Grad

 

The nightlife on Hvar (more precisely, the city of Hvar) is bonkers – everyone and their mother is having a good time. There were people from all over the world, and everybody is just looking to party and have fun. It is just plain amazing. I would recommend some of the beach bars (Hula Hula beach & bar or Carpe Diem Hvar), because where else can you dance and drink in the open next to the sea?

Just a little tip – Hvar and its nightlife is a bit pricey, so your wallet is going to thank you for a little bit of preparty at home.

My other trip I wanted to talk was Tučepi. It´s a small coastal town also located in Croatia. I went there with my fiancée and our goal was to relax, charge up our batteries and enjoy every moment we had together. The town isn’t really flashy – it´s a smaller town with 1763 inhabitants (according to Wikipedia), but the scenery is straight up amazing. You have the mountain Biokovo watching over Tučepi which results in some of the most beautiful sunsets, and the coastline is like from a postcard.

 

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The clearness of the water is stunning

 

When you are on the beach, you will always have a view on the clear sea and the isles of Hvar and Brač. Another thing I also loved was the smell: if you ever experienced the salty smell of fresh sea air mixed with the smell of pines coming from the woods, you will know what I am talking about. I get dizzy just thinking about it.

The only thing we put effort into was getting a tan. We did this on the beach Jadran which is nearby a hotel. The beach had showers, toilets and once daily two ladies visited on a small fishing boat and sold fresh fruit. We tried some other, but agreed that the Jadran beach was the best place to spend our days.

 

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Beer tastes the best on a hot summer day

 

Also, on a side note, a must-have for a day on the beach for a lot of people is a book, and I got my hands on the novel “City of thieves” by David Benioff. I would recommend it, as it reminded me how fun reading can be – its easy readable and I “devoured” it in 2 days.

Now back to the town: if you are into partying Tučepi wont really be for you – you maybe should drive to the nearby town of Makarska as it offers those possibilities. Tučepi is more of a family-friendly type of place with a lot of nice restaurants. Of course, you should try their fish dishes as you won´t get fresher fish than in a coastal town.

We had the luck to be there at the time some kind of seafood festival, the fisher’s nights (ribarske noći) took place. You can get a whole mackerel and a little cup of Bevanda (a drink typical for the Croatian coastline; it’s a mixture of, most commonly, red wine and plain water) for 20 Kuna (the Croatian currency; 1€ is around 7,4 Kuna). The experience was special as for that time I felt I had everything I need: My loved one was there, we had delicious food and watched the sunset over the sea. It was perfect!

 

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Sunset in Tučepi

 

The Croatian coast and the Adriatic Sea are always going to be special places for D and me, as we both spent almost every summer vacation since we were kids there. If you like the sea, nature and good food, I beg you to visit it, and promise you won´t regret it.

8 reasons why you should never ever visit Malta

        1. The climate is terrible

Ok, we spent 7 days in Malta at the beginning of June 2017. And the temperature was approximately 25-30 Celsius degrees. All day every day just the sun and the clear blue sky. Like, come on Malta? Did we come here in June for the sunshine? Pfff 🙂

 

   2. Malta doesn’t have any good beaches

Ok, if we ignore the problem with the constant warm and sunny weather, we can’t ignore the lack of beaches. Like, crystal clear water at the Blue lagoon, orange/red sandy beach at Ramla bay in Gozo. Really Malta, I expected more then sandy beaches, perfect water and the clear sky.

And definitely don’t miss the opportunity to refresh yourself with a cocktail at the Blue lagoon drinking it straight from a pineapple.

 

      3. No architecture or culture heritage

Wherever you go, you can’t see anything interesting. Just some buildings with colorful windows and architecture like you’ve never seen before. Just skip Valletta and Gozo. No seriously, skip it, or you’ll fall in love with this places and wished to stay there forever. Gozo is like a movie set from the 40’s.

       4. No nightlife

Ok, by now you figured out it was a joke and we’re actually big fans of Malta, Gozo and Comino. 🙂 The night life is pretty good. You can find pubs, bars and dance clubs everywhere. Our recommendation goes for the bars in St. Julian.

         5. The food?

If you like sea food like we do, then you will be veeeery happy as they serve the very best sea food we’ve ever tried. Don’t miss the opportunity to go to Marskaxlokk– Malta’s fishing village. You will recognize it by the most beautiful boats you’ll ever see. The sea food there is beyond perfect.

 

    6. The people?

The Maltese people are sooo friendly. They all speak very good english and are very helpful. Pay attention that the Maltese drive on the left side of the road.

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      7. No place for walking

There is an amazing promenade for walking in Sliema. That lovely sea air, people having their beers or an ice cream in their hand. You can go walking all the way from St Julian’s to Sliema. Isn’t that perfect ?

 

8. No place just for relaxing

Ok, ok, ok, we admit it. Malta is peeeerfect for walking, resting, swimming, diving, partying. Our honest recommendation goes for Cafe del Mar Malta. We assure you you won’t regret it and you will come back again. The picture bellow will explain our love for this place!

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Tip: To be honest, Malta is perfect for single travelers, couples, friends, groups etc. Still, we think it could be a bit hard for couples with young children, unless your plan of a trip to Malta is to stay in one hotel for the whole time. 🙂

For more information feel free to contact us.

Our Meierei im Stadtpark experience

My first post is dedicated to reviewing our breakfast experience in the restaurant “Meierei im Stadtpark” which we visited while staying in Vienna. I reviewed the restaurant in regards to the following aspects: Location, Ambient, Service and Food. For the lazy ones, here´s a TL; DR: Meierei is a restaurant which offers you the distinguished Viennese style with a modern touch, centrally located, with a mean breakfast to offer. The food was (mostly, as I didn´t like some stuff – and remember, a food review can not be 100% objective) delicious and visually appealing. The only thing that wasn´t up to par was the service. We would go there again, without a doubt. If you want pictures you are going to have to scroll down 🙂.

One thing you should know about me is that I love everything food-related: cooking, eating, watching cooking shows or just thinking about different meals, flavors and how to combine them. If we have to choose between two destinations to travel to, I´ll put all my energy into voting for the place that has the more appealing food to offer.

So once while I was watching “Chef´s table” (an amazing show – would highly recommend) on Netflix, I stumbled upon the list of “the worlds 50 best restaurants” and saw Steiereck, which placed 10th in 2017.

As the trip to Vienna was already planned and booked, I wanted to treat ourselves with a dinner there, but unfortunately the cheapest tasting-menu costs 142€ (add 79€ if you want paired drinks with every course; the menu consists of minimally 6 courses), and at the moment, because of the wedding preparations, we aren’t able to afford that. But on the website of Steiereck you will find a link to the restaurant “Meierei am Stadtpark” (I assume they have the same owner, the same kitchen as they also share the same adress). When I saw that they have a breakfast menu, I immediately knew that this would be a perfect Christmas gift for D – my fiancée loves breakfasts. You can book a table online without a problem, and when you finish your reservation you´ll get a notice that the table is yours for two hours.

On the morning of the 2nd January 2018 we got on our way to the Viennese city park, where Meierei is located (Am Heumarkt 2A). It´s located centrally in Vienna (7-9 minutes away from the central metro station Stephansplatz). The restaurant is located on the canal of the river Wien, which flows through the city park. You are going to recognize the restaurant with the help of a giant statue of a milk bottle.

When you enter the restaurant you´ll get into a circular room which is pretty dark, and you will find nothing except the doors for the male/female restrooms. We were a little confused that the restaurant doesn’t have a reception, so we walked into this giant, with daylight bathed room (the light is to be attributed to the giant glass panes/walls, which are facing the river). However, nobody really payed attention to us there, and as we had a reservation we decided to wait on someone to seat us at our table. This awkward, staying-in-the-middle-of-the-room-situation lasted for about 2 minutes until a young waiter asked us (in German, which wasn’t a problem as I am fluent in it) if he could help us. He then switched to English, which I still don’t understand why, took our jackets and showed us our table.

We had a table, which was located in the outer right corner of the restaurant and because of that we had a clear, unhindered two-way view on the park. The distance between the different tables was perfect. The only negative thing about the ambient was that some of the equipment was worn out (for example a leather chair had a big rip in it).

We got 2 Menus which were pretty simple (I enjoy simplicity – if you give me too much of a choice, my brain shuts off): a drink section, a section for classic breakfast or for upgrading your course-breakfast, and a section for course-breakfasts (which range from 3-5 courses). As I decided I wanted stronger, more distinct flavors I choose the Steiereck breakfast (pumpkin pancake, char tartare, soft-boiled egg, I switched the gammon ham for a 3-cheese-variety and for something sweet you get a lemon tarte), whilst my significant other choose the more classical version named Meierei breakfast (FruFru – fruit yogurt, a cheese omelet, curd cheese, a 3-cheese-variety and a curd-cheese strudel). For drinks we got 2 cappuccinos. The waitress offered us some freshly squeezed orange/grapefruit juice, which we refused.

The kitchen didn’t need a lot of time to prepare our food, but the procedure of serving the food on a table was a little inefficient. Here´s what I figured out for myself (keep in mind this could be miles away from the reality): one employee, a bigger dude, carries your order from the kitchen to a serving table which is somewhere near your table and leaves it there. You then wait on the waitress/waiter to serve it to you. Because of this we had to sit next to our food and look at it for 3-4 minutes. The waitress also seemed to be under stress, as she forgot that I modified my menu a little bit. The biggest minus for me was when we got our 3-cheese-variety – we just got 2 plates with 3 cheeses without any explanation. As the cheese selection changes, I assume daily, and I really wanted to know what we are eating, I had to ask the waitress what we got served. We still got a pretty lackluster description: “you got a goat cheese here, this is an alpine cheese and this is a camembert” (I will give my opinion on the cheeses later on). I think the waitress was a little exhausted/overworked as only 2 waitresses were serving a huge area, and she simply didn’t have the time to explain it to us. Personally, I found her pretty pleasant, so I can´t really put this one on her, but rather on the staff management.

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I first ate the soft-boiled organic egg which was accompanied by a cauliflower cream and foie gras. Visually it looked nice – it was served pretty simply in a glass. The taste was ok, but it wasn’t something I will get cravings for. It was a little to cold for my taste (even the egg-white wasn’t totally warm, which I attribute to the complicated serving process). The dish was unbalanced in flavors – I wasn’t able to taste the cauliflower cream, and even if I love the taste of foie gras I was just overwhelmed with the serving amount. The duck liver covered up the other dish components flavors. My fiancée started with the cheese omelet, and holy moly, it was perfect – fluffy as a cloud, with a superbly tasting slice of melted cheese in the middle. If I could choose again I would definitely take the omelet.

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The next course for me was the pumpkin pancake with homemade sour cream and radish, which (as have all meals except the cheeses) looked really nice. You could see it was prepared with a lot of diligence. Served with a couple of horseradish slices, pumpkin seed oil, a scoop of sour cream and a couple of pumpkin seeds – it was a highlight for me and I will be definitely trying to recreate this dish. I was especially intrigued by some kind of germ which I couldn’t recognize, but it gave the dish the “kick” it needed. D got a curd cheese with herbs, marinated salmon trout and lemon savory-milk jell, which was, next to the lemon tarte my absolute favorite. The marinated salmon was, I estimate, made in-house and could be a dish on itself. Absolute must-try!

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My 3rd course was the char tartare with bittersalads, buckwheat and sweet potato – my lowlight on the menu. I like the taste of raw fish, but I wasn’t prepared for the caviar (I suppose it was char, but I really don’t know a lot about caviar) ant it was just too much raw fishy flavors in this dish for me. I couldn’t taste the sweet potato cream/sauce/foam, and the bittersalads didn’t really harmonize with the fish. The two positive things about this course for me were the freshness of the fish and the buckwheat crackers. D went over to the sweet part of her menu (I didn’t taste this one) – the black currant FruFru with walnut and granola. Even if visually really pleasant and served with a separate jar filled with the granola and walnuts I can only get excited to a certain degree about fruit yogurt. But the granola had a heavenly smell to it!

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The cheeses: My favorite one was the goat cheese which was creamy and had a savory aroma to it (maybe it ripened in a crust of it). The camembert wasn’t really spectacular and the alpine cheese didn’t have a distinct aroma, but the cool part about it were the cheese crystals in it.

The last course was amazing, and my mouth waters just thinking about it. It was one of those desserts which throw you into a “bon vivant” mood with every bite you take. An absolute stunner! I was on the verge of becoming Tom Cruise as I wanted to jump on the table and scream “I love life!” The caramelized meyer lemon tarte was perfectly balanced in sourness, sweetness and something D identified as lavender. Just plain and easy – amazing. D had a warm curd chees strudel with elderberry compote which was pretty tasty, but it was just plain boring in comparison to the lemon tarte.

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The portion seemed small, but it was more than enough to satisfy your hunger. The price/performance ratio was excellent (my menu was priced at 23,90€, D´s was 19,90€), but the accompanying food (bread, butter) were a little too expensive for my taste (half a slice of round brown bread, something like half a slice of this costs 1,80€). One more thing I want to address was the lack of soap in the toilets.

All in all we would recommend going to the Meierei, as it surely is worth its money, but if the service was better, you would even get more bang for your buck.

10 days, two countries, three cities



When you have a long distance relationship, the most time you think about when you will reunion with your partner, in which city you will catch up and how to spend quality time while you’re together. When you have two people who are crazy about traveling together, then they do not have the problem to travel around 20+ hours by bus to meet up with their other half in a new city. We prefer to organize our own trips, rather than traveling by agency offers.

So in December we planned a roadtrip of 10 days, two countries and three cities. My initial destination was Sarajevo, and D was Germany, our first city together, after 5 weeks separated, was Zagreb.

Our first destination – Zagreb

Zagreb is the best destination to visit during the month of December, due to the colorful, glittering Advent, that is, the Christmas Market, which extends on almost all the major streets and squares in Zagreb. We spent three days in Zagreb visiting the main squares and streets, which during the Advent becomes a real Christmas fairy tale. Be sure to taste mulled wine and punch. 🙂 My favorite part of Zagreb during the holiday days is part of Zagreb’s Upper Town, a part that the locals call Advent on Stross. Decorated in red and white colors, with tablecloths with puffs, and a retro look, it reminded me of Paris. By the way, it is a beautiful view of the city, so it’s a good location for all the Instagram lovers.

 

For the evening, I advise you to visit Advent at Zrinjevac, where large trees illuminate with special shine thanks to the large number of white lights, and the old music pavilion becomes the main destination of lovers of Christmas classics and valcer. We also visited the ZOO which is part of Maksimir Park. The park is beautiful, spacious and irresistible for walking in two. Nevertheless, the zoo was a bit disappointing, since it was a winter period, the animals were mostly displaced, and the price ticket was fully charged.

Since I love breakfast very much, we had to visit places in Zagreb where breakfasts are served. All recommendations for Eggspress, a local specialized in making eggs. If you enjoy breakfast and eggs, you must visit this place.

 

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New Year in Vienna

After four beautiful and sunny days in Zagreb, we headed for Vienna. Fortunately there is Flixbus, so traveling was pretty fast and comfortable. Vienna also surprised us with the weather. Considering that it was December / January, we expected much colder, more cloudy weather and the wind that Vienna is known for. The first day we spent walking to Stephansplatz. You will not be able to escape the beautiful cathedral of Stephansdom. It is interesting to note that at the Vienna Cathedral, W. A. Mozart’s wedding ceremony was held, as well as his funeral ceremony. Definitely one of the most beautiful views, as well as the # viennainstalocation is the restaurant located in the hotel, across the cathedral – DO & CO. The prices are a bit more expensive, but the view is worth paying for, especially if you are lucky enough to find such a good location as we did.

 

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Schönbrunn Castle (meaning ‘beautiful well’) is one of the main tourist attractions in Vienna. Although you can see tourists here are all year round, you can not go to Vienna and not walk through the beautiful and huge garden. In the garden you can also find the Vienna Zoo and pavilion palms. In front of the castle during Christmas and New Year’s holidays, there are Christmas houses, with many different decorations, souvenirs, food and drinks. Still, I had there the worst mulled wine I have ever tried. Be careful. 🙂

The New Year’s Eve in Vienna was quite disappointing for us. We expected good music and great fireworks. Still, Rathausplatz where we were was all just not what we expected it will be. Whether this is because we had too big expectations from the New Year’s in Vienna, or not, judge yourself.

My breakfast recommendation in Vienna is in Meierei im Stadtpark. You can read more about our experience here.

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Two-Day Trip to Linz

Our last destination in 10 days of traveling was Linz, the third largest city in Austria. There are two railway lines in Austria – ÖBB and Westbahn. Our recommendation is to travel only with Westbahn, the prices are cheaper, the trains are newer and you have access to the internet throughout the ride. Make sure that you buy a ticket at the Trafficking Station (Tabak Trafik), and not in the train, as they are cheaper for 5 and more euros.

Linz is a magical city that belongs to Upper Austria. It is famous for its beautiful promenade next to the Danube, charming alleys in the old town, and the Mariendom church, which is the largest one in Austria.

 

Pöstlingberg is a viewpoint of the entire city, with a beautiful church. You can reach Pöstlingberg  with a special tram – Pöstlingbergbahn, which is the steepest railway route in Europe.

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In Linz you definitely must try the famous Linzer cake, an irresistible specialty considered to be the oldest cake in the world, whose first recipe dates back to 1653.
For all you cocktail fans, stop at the Boiler Room, a specialized cocktail spot – you will not regret it. The pictures will better glimpse my delight with this place. 🙂

Our 10 days together passed very fast, as well as every time we are together. Until the our next trip we will remember our Christmas and New Year’s Eve days in Zageb, Vienna and Linz, and we’ll plan and eagerly await our next reunion and trip.