Weekend escape to Burgundy

This is chic!

Sometimes we like to do things spontaneously. And this was one of those escapes better not to plan in advance. We saw in a travel magazine an article about Burgundy, the well known French wine region with excellent restaurants and got an idea to try one of the praised restaurants. We called the place on Friday evening and managed to get a table – three stars waiting for us in Joigny, a little village I haven’t even heard before.  A closer look at the map revealed that we have over 500 km ahead of us!

Wine Shop - La Boutique Des Domaines

Wine bottles

In the village

DrinksOn our way on Saturday we visited picturesque Burgundy villages with little wine stores and lovely restaurants offering French specialities.  Closer to evening we reached our final destination, restaurant La Côte Saint Jacques in Joigny. The village was empty, there was almost no-one around. We had our drinks on the hotel’s terrace looking over the quiet river. It was perfect way of relaxing after driving the whole day.

La Côte Saint Jacques in Joigny, France

The food in the restaurant was amazing, as you would expect from tree stars. I had asparagus with morels and snails as a starter and guinea fowl as a main course – both beautifully served. The food was excellent, but the real experience was their five courses surprise desert, as you can see from my pictures.  The restaurant itself may have rather boring interior, but the food was excellent – well worth of driving over 6 hours.

La Côte Saint Jacques in Joigny - starter with aspargus with morrels and snails

La Côte Saint Jacques - main course with guineafowl

La Côte Saint Jacques - little desert

La Côte Saint Jacques - desert 1

La Côte Saint Jacques - desert 2

La Côte Saint Jacques - desert 3

La Côte Saint Jacques - desert 4

La Côte Saint Jacques - desert 5

Before checking out from the hotel – which was also very nice, we had their state-of-art breakfast. With a traditional idea of breakfast in mind, but delivered through an innovative setting this was a great enhancement to our stay.

La Côte Saint Jacques - breakfast

Vosne Romanee, BurgundyOn Sunday morning we decided to visit see some vineyards and drive around Burgundy area before returning back to home. As you may know one of the most famous French wines are from this region and it is also a home for many of the most expensive ones in the world.  The highlight of our visit was a little walk around Vosne-Romanée, a stunning wine village where the region’s most celebrated wines are being produced.

Visiting Chablis Wines

Visiting Burgundy

Wine shopping in Burgundy

Vosne-Romanee vineyard map, Burgundy, France

Rue de la Tache, Vosne-Romanee, Burgundy, France 

Vineyards in Vosne-Romanee

Vineyards in Vosne-Romanee

As I love castles, we needed to make a quick visit to this beautiful castle before driving the other 500 km back to home.

Castle with vineyards

My tips for Burgundy:

Vosne-Romanee little wine shopThe destination restaurant and hotel: 
La Côte Saint Jacques in Joigny

Where to visit:
– Dijon
– Besancon
– Vosne-Romanée
– And any little village in the area…
– The little vineyards selling their own products

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Culinary weekend in Paris: three excellent restaurants to visit

Lunch at Le Dome, Paris

Paris is famous for a great diversity of fine-dining restaurants offering gastronomic treats and good wines, so it is a perfect destination for a culinary journey. I recently stayed a weekend in Paris and visited three very different, but excellent restaurants, which I would highly recommend.

Lunch at Le Dome, ParisSaturday lunch at Restaurant Le Dome Montparnasse Paris
Le Dome is said to be one of the best seafood restaurants in Paris. Its art-deco-style interior provided cosy and relatively quiet surroundings for a culinary lunch break. The menu was full of all kinds of seafood specialities, so it was difficult to choose the courses as everything sounded so delicious. I had sautéed prawns as a starter and turbot as a main course. Both courses were mouth-watering and very nicely displayed. The service was friendly and quick, even though it was a busy lunch time. Visiting address: Restaurant Le Dome, 108 Boulevard Montparnasse, 75014, Paris

L'Atelier Robuchon, Paris

L'Atelier Joel RobuchonSaturday dinner at L’Atelier Joel Robuchon Champs Elysees
Joel Robuchon knows how to make the world’s best mashed potatoes, but he also knows how to make good food. The L’atelier has two Michelin stars and with a reason. Every course is a little piece of art with delicious taste and it is exciting to explore the menu to try as many courses as one can eat. The interior is trendy and stylish and it is exciting to see how the chefs are preparing the courses before serving them. We were privileged to sit next to someone who was really knowledgeable about the Robuchon’s restaurants and the menu. Thanks for her recommendations we were trying so many good dishes. This kind of experience makes the dinner unforgettable. Visiting address: 133 Avenue des Champs Elysees, 75008 Paris.

L'Ami Louis, Paris

L'Ami Louis giant aspargusSunday lunch at L’Ami Louis
L’Ami Louis opened its doors in 1924, and I am not sure if the place has changed much since then. It is maybe not obvious from outside, but the restaurant is unique with its fascinating atmosphere, dark wooden interior and the little fire place in the middle of the restaurant. – So it is no wonder why so many people love this place. It was entertaining to watch the “show” while the waiters were preparing the food and serving the guests. The food was simple and portions huge, but the taste was absolutely delicious. I ordered some giant snails and asparagus as a starter and the famous chicken as a main course. I am not sure where the restaurant gets the ingredients, but I have never seen as huge snails or asparagus ever before. This is probably one of the most extraordinary places I have visited in Paris, and therefore so enticing! Visiting address: 32 Rue Vertbois, 75003 Paris

Wellness lunch at Kamalaya

Wellness lunch at Kamalaya

Kamalaya, Koh Samui, Thailand: We stayed a bit over a week at Kamalaya resort, and it was raining every single day, except the last one, which was “just” cloudy. Because of the rain the pool restaurant was closed, but luckily on our last day it was finally open, so we had a chance to enjoy our lunch outside. As always at Kamalaya, the food was delicious and light, and the surroundings beautifully quiet. Here are some pictures of our lunch before returning back to home.

Wellness lunch at Kamalaya

Healthy Dinner at Kamalaya

Healthy dinner at Kamalaya resort, Koh Samui, Thailand

Kamalaya, Koh Samui, Thailand: The dinner at Kamalya is a combination of nutritious and delicious dishes. Every plate is a piece of art made from mouth-watering, fresh ingredients. After a week you feel and see the difference in your body and mind. I have collected in this post some of the most delicious dishes we tried during our stay at Kamalaya.

Kamalaya cuisine - healthy starters

Kamalaya main courses

Kamalaya healthy deserts

New snow in Lenzerheide

Skiing in Lenzerheide mountain resort, Switzerland

Lenzerheide, Switzerland: It has been finally snowing in the mountains, so on Saturday morning we had an early start to head to the mountains to enjoy the best of the new powders. This time we wanted to go somewhere we haven’t been before and chose Lenzerheide, a charming village in the Graubunden area, in the eastern part of Switzerland. The ski resort is about 140km drive from Zurich not that far away from my other favourites Flim-Laax and Davos-Klosters.  

The Lenzerheide resort consists of two sides of mountains around the valley, both with great sunshine. The west side is much larger offering a good variety of slopes from easy blues to great blacks maximising your speed and enjoyment. The east side is smaller, but with some great peaks going up to 2’865m. All together the place has 155km of slopes, which makes it a perfect ski paradise.

Lenzerheide ski resort, SwitzerlandSkiing in the west side of Lenderheide
This time we were skiing in the west side of the mountains, enjoying one of the most beautiful winter days. The sky was blue, the snow was perfect for skiing and the weather was nice and mild. If you are driving from Zurich, I would recommend parking in Churwalden, which is a first parking area, a bit before the Lenzerheide village. From there you can take the Alp Statz chair lift directly up to the mountains to start your ski day. We made a nice journey from one end to the other getting a good overview of the place. I really enjoyed the skiing and the stunning views looking over the Lenzerheide valley and even further.

Lunch at Gilderestaurant Piz Scalottas
Lenzerheide has actually surprisingly many mountain restaurants. We tried Gilderestaurant Piz Scalottas, which is on the top of the Scalottas lift station (2’323m). The place is appraised for its culinary dishes and great service, and it said to be one of the bests in the resort. It was a good choice. The restaurant has a cosy, alpine style interior mixed with an Asian flavour. Also its cuisine is a mixture of traditional Swiss and more Asian specialities, delicious indeed. The place gets busy over the lunch time so table booking is recommended (tel. +41 81 385 51 10).  

For more information, visit www.lenzerheide.com.
See also my other favourite ski resorst in Switzerland.

Alpenrose – a restaurant in St. Anton with a Finnish flavour

Alpenrose restaurant in Pettneu St. AntonThis is a lovely family owned guest house and restaurant in an idyllic village of Pettneu, next to St. Anton. Since 2001 it is run by two Finns Pekka Kallio and Leena Hult. They combine the Tyrolean dishes with some of the most delicious Finnish specialities. I tried smoked salmon, which was one of the bests I have ever had. Also the reindeer looked pretty delicious. They have some awesome deserts in their list – Finnish pancakes with cloudberry jam. This was the reason why we headed in the restaurant in the first place. www.alpenrose-pettneu.at

Skiing in St. Anton, Austria

Skiing in St. Anton, Austria

Skiing in St. Anton, Austria: I have recently discovered the Austrian Alps, and in this winter I have visited St. Anton area already few times. The village of St. Anton is located in 1300m and the highest peaks go up to 2800m. With over 270 km of slopes and over 180 km of marked routes for powder runs the place offers a great variety for piste and off-piste skiers. It is not only the skiing which is great, but also the genuine Tyrolean hospitality and the friendliness of the people that makes you feel welcome – and return.

The ski peaks in St. Anton, AustriaThe Arlberg ski region offers a great variety of slope areas to visit even for longer stay. The St. Anton side has nice slopes and is a good place to start your holiday. There are plenty of nice and long rides to discover, though sometimes it gets a bit busy during the weekends. And everybody knows it: St. Anton is famous for the best after-ski parties! The place is called Krazy Kanguruh, and even the name tells the fun starts here…

Ski Restaurant Goldener Berger, Oberlech, Lech, AustriaFor a stylish and quieter stay, I would recommend the Zurs-Lech side. The area’s most famous ski route, the white ring, starts from Zurs and goes over the mountains to Zug, to Lech and back to Zurs again. It is a great way to experience the slopes on the Zurs-Lech side. It takes about 2-3 hours to ski it through, but can have a nice lunch in between. With great terrace restaurants Oberlech village is a good choice for lunch. Especially the terrace restaurant of hotel Goldener Berger is worth to visit. Here you can enjoy the most delicious food under the Alpine sun. A reservation is recommended as the pace gets busy over the lunch time.The white ring, Zurs-Lech, Austria

I really like the Arlberg area and I am sure I will be there even more often in the future. I have to admit, this year the snow is not its best, but the great weather makes it worth to go skiing as often as possible. And maybe there is still a chance that we will get more snow…

 

Read also my related posts:
Ski weekend in Lech, Austria – a great experience!
Gridlon – an idyllic wellness hotel in Pettneu, near St. Anton 
My favourite ski resorts in Switzerland