Holiday destinations: Hamburg, Germany

As it was a Bank Holiday weekend last week, we travelled to Hamburg in Germany. I’ve never there before so I was looking forward to discovering this second largest German city with the largest port. Hamburg has became one of the major centres for international trade due to its location and it continues to be one of the wealthiest cities build on maritime stories. Locals have mastered how to live well and if (like me) you like to indulge in diverse cuisine then you would enjoy your stay here as there are a plenty of great restaurants, bars and breweries to visit.

If you like sightseeing then you can take one of the sightseeing walking tours showing you the city’s highlights or grab a map and discover the major sites by yourself.

Here is a short list of my suggestions of places worth visiting:

  • Speicherstadt – the largest warehouse district in the world located in the port of Hamburg with some signature red-brick warehouses, canals & museums.


  • Elbphilharmonie Hamburg – a newly constructed concert hall in the HafenCity on the Grasbrook peninsula of the Elbe River. It is one of the largest and acoustically most advanced concert halls in the world which cost 8 times more to build than the Sydney Opera House.
  • Townhall and Alster – the seat of local government which is one of Germany’s 16 state parliaments. Located next to Hamburg’s most popular river – Alster leading to many shopping malls and boutiques.
  • Planten un Blomen – a large city park with a size of 47 hectares featuring themed gardens, a lake & Japanese tea house

How to get there?

If you live in the UK then you can easily get to Hamburg from most of major cities. We’ve flown from London Stanstead and it took us slightly over 1 hour to get there. Perfect for a short weekend break.

Other tips:

Hamburg has a very good transport network and you should definitely get a Hamburg Card when you visit – it will cover all your travel in addition to some discounts i.e. to some of the top attractions, restaurants, river cruises etc.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.



Dinner at Cantinetta Ristorante & Bar in Hamburg, Germany

If you are adventurous then there are a lot of traditional dishes worth trying when in Hamburg including fish sandwich with pickled herring, labskaus served with fried egg and herring or kale served with fried potatoes and sausages. Don’t judge me but I love Italian food so on the second day of our mini-break, we decided to visit Cantinetta Ristorante & Bar and I really enjoyed it so I would like to share our experience with you all.


Cantinetta Ristorante & Bar is located in Ameron hotel in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt which in the heart of the port city. It is only a short walk away from one of the city’s main attraction – Elbphilharmonie Hamburg a modern concert hall in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg built atop old warehouse.


We booked our table for 6:00 p.m. We were greeted by a friendly waitress who made us feel welcomed took us to our table.

The restaurant has a modern and stylish décor which keeps the tradition of Speicherstadt. It features mid-century style stools and a library with a fireplace whilst the tables have a minimalist look with some fresh flowers featured. There was some soft Italian music playing in the background.

The menu:

Cantinetta Ristorante & Bar offers its diners famous Italian specialities with a twist which are creatively and perfectly prepared by chef Christopher Gieritz and his team. During the lunch, you can order from ‘Pranzo con espresso’ menu which changes daily in whilst it’s dinner à la carte selection of dishes changes seasonally.

We commenced our evening with a refreshing aperitiv. Our waitress also brought us some complimentary bread and olive oil.

To start with, I fancied some beef tartare with avocado cream, guacamole, fried garlic bread & herb salad.


My husband had some Vegetarian soup with fresh vegetables, Grana Padano & chili.
Both dishes were tasty and nicely seasoned.

Secondly, I had some fried halibut fillet with creamy truffle risotto & fresh truffle
which was mouth-watering. My husband decided to have fillet of beef, truffle jus, Mediterranean leaf spinach & gorgonzola gratin. It was exceptional.

Lastly, it was time for some dessert. My favourite Italian dessert is tiramisu so surprise, surprise – I ordered TIRAMISÙ ALLA CANTINETTA which was served with white coffee ice cream. Delicious!

My husband ordered arachide – a peanut brownie served with peanut ice cream, marshmallow & peanuts. It was scrumptious.

Overall experience:

We really enjoyed our meal at Cantinetta Ristorante & Bar. All dishes were tasty, nicely presented and the service was faultless. I would definitely recommend this restaurant if you are a fan of Italian food with a modern twist.


Am Sandtorkai 4
20457 Hamburg

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!



Holiday destinations: Cologne, Germany

Last week, we traveled with my husband to Cologne for 3-days weekend break.


Cologne is the fourth-largest city in German located within the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, one of the major European metropolitan areas, and with more than ten million inhabitants, the largest in Germany.

The city is less than 80 km from Belgium and it is located on both sides of the Rhine River.
IMG_3109When we arrived to Cologne, before we started our sightseeing we decided to visit Cologne Tourist Information Center which is located just opposite of cathedral.


We bought two KölnCards, that provided us with free public transport as well as reductions at various restaurants, museums, bars and so on around the city. As Cologne is a major cultural center it hosts more than thirty museums and hundreds of galleries so the discounts we received using KölnCards were significant.

  1. Cologne Cathedral – beautiful Roman Gothic cathedral that is the main tourist attraction of Cologne and attracts over 6 million visitors per year.
  2. Museum Ludwig – great place to visit for art lovers. It holds extensive collection of Picasso works.
  3. Romano-Germanic Museum – holds a lot of Roman artifacts and antiques.
  4. Cologne Cable Car – a gondola lift that runs across the River Rhine.
  5. Fragrance Museum – perfume museum that holds artworks from 1685.

In addition, I would also recommend one of the city sightseeing bus tours. They take around 1.5 hour and you will be able to see all of the main attractions. There was a couple of companies running them and the tickets were 11 EUR.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.



Dinner at Restaurant Pfistermuhle in Munich

During our recent trip to Munich, we tried lots of local German cuisine and today I would like to tell you about the best meal we’ve had whilst on our trip. You are probably wondering what was so great about our dining experience at Restaurant Pfistermuhle. If you are intrigued then read on…


Restaurant Pfistermuhle is located in Munich’s oldest mill building also occupied by Platz Hotel. It has a perfect location in the heart of the city – right by the Platzl and just a few minutes away from the famous Marienplatz. It can be easily reached by public transport.



We booked our table for 7:00 p.m. We were greeted by a friendly waiter who made us feel welcomed and walked us through the menu.

The restaurant has a welcoming décor. Dinners can be sited in its classic dining room in the vaults of an old 16th-century mill or one of the tables based outdoors which are perfect for when the weather is sunny. We decided to sit outside.

The menu:

Restaurant Pfistermuhle offers its diners fine-dining experience serving high-end Bavarian cuisine with a modern twist. The menu changes seasonally and offers a nice selection of local dishes that are all built around the best produce from the area which guarantees consistently high quality. The Head Chef – Michael Sobota provides his diners with unique style of cooking which he himself describes as ‘Alpine cooking with international flavours’.

We commenced our evening with a refreshing cocktail. Our waiter also brought us some complimentary bread and butter.

To start with, I went for some prawns with an avocado chutney, mushrooms and a side salad.

My husband had some salmon accompanied by a pesto from wild herbs, chanterelles and chicken gravy. Both dishes were divine and presented beautifully.


By the time we were done with our starters, our waiter brought us some Am Berg (2017) white wine. It offered a rich mouth feel that lead to soft fruits and orange zest on the palate.


Secondly, I had some cold soup of cucumber and avocado which was mouth-watering.


Thirdly, I had some trout from Lake Ammer and it was definitely my favourite course. It was cooked to perfection and accompanied by a cream of potato and parsley, smoked egg yolk, eggplant caviar and riesling foam.

My husband had some Fillet of Ox from the “Allgäu” with marrow crust and sauce of shallots accompanied by some green beans with bacon. He loved it as it was flavoursome and cleared his plate in no time.

Lastly, it was time for some dessert. I am quite adventurous so I ordered some Pfistermühlen surprise. It was a mixture of breakfast granola with berries and 2 sorbets. It was delicious!


My husband ordered a variation of elder flower which was based on wild berries and ice creams. It was scrumptious.


Overall experience:
Our meal at Restaurant Pfistermuhle was the best meal we’ve had whilst in Munich. All dishes were delectable and presented beautifully whilst service was flawless and attentive. If you would like to experience some great Bavarian dishes with a modern twist then I would definitely recommend it – I am sure you will not be disappointed!


Pfisterstraße 4,

80331 München,


I hope you enjoyed reading this review!



Holiday destinations: Berlin, Germany

Berlin is one of my favourite capitals. Last time I stayed there was during a week-long business trip and even though my spare time was limited, I made sure that I spent it discovering the hidden germs of this beautiful city.


Berlin is the capital of Germany and has a population of approximately 3.5 million people. It is located in north-eastern Germany on the banks of Rivers Spree and Havel.

So what should you see if you were there only for 24 hours?

There are a number of different historical points worth visiting in Berlin: Unter den Linden and the glorious Brandenburger Tor speak of the city’s Prussian heritage, the Topography of Terror is a chilling reminder of its brutal Nazi years, and the East Side Gallery is a colourful tribute to a once divided city (and the largest remaining section of the Berlin Wall still standing).

In addition, Berlin has over 200 museums, from world-class collections of Classical art at the beautifully restored Neues Museum, to the striking Liebeskind-designed Jewish Museum and plenty more irreverent affairs. What I was fond of the most is the fact that it is a very green city and around one-third of its area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post!



Royal Afternoon Tea at Excelsior Hotel Ernst in Cologne, Germany

As some of you might know, I have recently visited Cologne for a romantic weekend break with my husband. We decided to book an Afternoon Tea experience inspired by Pierre Hermé.


Pierre Hermé’s Afternoon Tea is exclusively available at Excelsior Hotel Ernst. The hotel is situated in the historic Old Town center of Cologne.



Afternoon Tea is served daily from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. It is very popular so you should reserve your table in advance.


We were staying at the Excelsior Hotel Ernst and as we wanted to do some sightseeing during the day we booked it for 5 p.m. The Afternoon Tea is served in the Piano Bar as well as a lounge area overlooking the cathedral. We were welcomed by a smiley Tea Master who kindly took us to our table.

The atmosphere was charming and offered us a romantic setting to our Afternoon Tea experience. I loved its chic and elegant décor. There was relaxing music playing in the background. Our Tea Master was friendly and exceptionally attentive.

The menu:

Once we were seated, we were given a tea menu and we started assessing our Afternoon Tea options. We started our Afternoon Tea with a glass of Duval Leroy Brut Champagne and ordered some Green Tea and Jasmin Pearls teas afterwards.

A few minutes after we finished sipping our delicious Champagne our stand of sweet and savoury treats arrived.


I loved how they were all presented.


Our treats included:

  • Warm selection of plain homemade scones, served with some clotted cream and homemade preserves.
  • A selection of small sandwiches with smoked salmon, cucumber, cream cheese and ham.
  • English crumpets and small brownies.
  • Signature Pierre Hermé’s world famous macarons.

Dress code:

The dress code at Excelsior Hotel Ernst is smart.


I decided to wear one of my black dresses from Wallis and paired it with some Dior heels.


Overall experience:

I loved every minute of our Afternoon Tea experience at Excelsior Hotel Ernst. Pierre Hermé’s world famous macarons were a pleasure both to my eyes and palate and all other treats were delicious. If you fancy a relaxing afternoon in a beautiful surroundings then you should definitely try it.



There are 2 versions of Pierre Hermé’s inspired Afternoon Tea available:

  • €34.00 per person including a pot of tea and a selection of Afternoon Tea classics.
  • €44.00 per person “Royal Afternoon Tea” including a pot of tea, a selection of Afternoon Tea classics and a glass of Duval Leroy Brut Champagne.


For more information and to book visit:


Excelsior Hotel Ernst
Domplatz/Trankgasse 1–5
50667 Cologne, Germany



Excelsior Hotel Ernst in Cologne, Germany

Last week, I went for a romantic weekend break to Cologne in Germany with my husband. We decided that it would be nice to treat ourselves and stay at the 5* Excelsior Hotel Ernst. The hotel is the only member of “The Leading Hotels of the World” in Cologne.



Excelsior Hotel Ernst is situated in the historic Old Town center of Cologne. It has an ideal location as it is literally in front of the Cathedral which is the main tourist attraction. Excelsior Hotel Ernst is a perfect destination for any luxury seeking travelers, no matter whether you are going to Cologne as I did for a mini-break or for business. This Grand 5 star Hotel has been family-owned since 1863 and it combines valuable traditions with important innovations in a stylish manner.



The reception desk is open 24 hours. As soon as we entered the hotel, we were welcomed by extremely helpful and smiley receptionist. As we arrived way to early, she offered to call us when our room is available. We dropped our bags at the hotel and went for a lunch. When we arrived back, our room was ready and we were taken to it by another friendly receptionist-Marc.


Excelsior Hotel Ernst has 137 rooms and suites some of them with view of the cathedral as well as 12 meeting rooms. We stayed at the Grand Deluxe room on the second floor.

When we arrived we had a welcome letter and some snacks waiting for us in our room which was a great personal touch that made our experience even more special. As you can see from the pictures below, I loved my brownie.

Our room was elegant, spacious, bright and stylish. It was furnished with soft carpets, spacious desk, modern armchairs and a very comfortable bed.


The walls were decorated with a were a few aesthetic photographs of famous landmarks in Cologne and mirrors.

In the corridor we had a large wardrobe and safe.


Our Grand Deluxe room was also equipped with Air Conditioning and central heating which could be individually regulated, light control panel which was located at both bedside tables, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, all-inclusive minibar. In addition, the room was equipped with the best equipment available:

  • SuitePad;
  • Wi-Fi connection to Internet;
  • Direct telephone line.

Our king-size bed was extremely comfortable and after a day of sightseeing we fell asleep almost immediately.

Our marble bathroom had a classic décor, a bathtub and a shower. There was a selection of natural bath toiletries from ASPIRE London collection.

It also had a make-up mirror and heated towel rail. In addition to soft towels we were also provided with some slippers and soft bath gowns which were perfect for lounging in and for our visits to the relaxation area.


Excelsior Hotel Ernst features some magnificent ceilings, doors and luxurious furniture that will satisfy even the most demanding guests who appreciate intimate and personalized spaces making their stay an unforgettable experience created to dream.

Breakfast is offered for a surcharge and provides a selection of cold and warm dishes to choose from. As my husband doesn’t normally eat breakfasts, we decided to skip it as it was 32 EUR per person per night.


All guests have access o the relaxation area located on the fifth floor so if you fancy a steam bath or sauna then you should definitely check it out.

There is also a gym available at no extra charge.


Excelsior Hotel Ernst is a destination for food lovers and drink connoisseurs alike and it offers something to suit all tastes:

  • Restaurant Hanse Stube – Innovative French cuisine with regional influence;
  • Restaurant taku – The house of East Asian hospitality, awarded with one Michelin star;
  • Piano Bar – Premium bar offering a large variety of cigars and live piano music;
  • Excelsior Hotel Ernst Afternoon Tea inspired by Pierre Hermé.

Overall experience:

Excelsior Hotel Ernst represents the charm which fusions the past and present of Cologne. It was definitely one of the most exclusive and elegant hotels I have stayed in recently. The location was perfect and service was faultless so I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone who plans to travel to Cologne. I would love to stay in this magnificent hotel again one day!



For more information and to book visit:


Excelsior Hotel Ernst
Domplatz/Trankgasse 1–5
50667 Cologne, Germany

Hope you enjoyed reading this review!



L’Escalier Restaurant in Cologne, Germany

Last week, we traveled to Cologne in Germany. Cologne’s range of eating establishments is extremely diverse and tourists have over 3,000 restaurants to choose from including a handful of top restaurants that have been awarded one or even two Michelin stars. During the first day of our stay we decided to have our lunch at L’Escalier restaurant by Maximilian Lorenz that have been awarded with 1 Michelin Star and 16 Gault & Millau points.



L’Escalier restaurant is based on a quiet Brüsseler street so it is perfect if you wish to escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city.


At first glance, L’Escalier restaurant looks like many other eateries however if you go inside you’ll discover that the restaurant has very modern and intimidate surroundings. Restaurant can host up to 32 diners at once and in the summer it also has 16 additional sits outside. Private dining or events are available upon request.


We booked our table for 12:30 p.m. When we entered the restaurant, we were welcomed by a friendly waitress -Michelle who took us to our table. Once we were seated, she recommended us a glass of champagne-it was divine.

The decor of L’Escalier restaurant is exclusive, modern and sophisticated.

Throughout our meal there was soft, romantic music playing in the background.


Guests dining at this fine-dining Michelin star restaurant have an opportunity to select from the A La Carte Menu as well as a few selected tasting menus. If you are looking for a great food which is out of the ordinary and completely different then you should try it. We decided to order the 7-course tasting menu ‘Innovation’.

The first dish we had was small incitement. It was made using crustacean espuma, North sea crab, amaranth, watercress, herring, red onion, topinambour, comté, pine nuts, citrus dressing, wels catfish, cabbage and black cumin.


For second dish we had was German ‘Vitello Tonato’ made with pork loin, trout, cucumber and yellow dandelion.

For third course was Breton Mackarel made with some tomato, apple dressing and leeks.


Next we had some wild broccoli with chicken giblets, hazelnut and chicorée.


Following from that we had one of the signature dishes-Norwegian Scalop on a marrow bones with some young garlic and lovage.


To clean our palate we received some refreshing Green Apple tonic water with celery.

For our main course we had some calf’s head that was served with a side of peas,  snow pea pods and asparagus.


For my dessert we had some mouth-watering rhubarb cake with some bourbon vanilla and buckwheat.


The meal ended with a selection of petit fours.


All dishes were delicious and presented beautifully. I could even describe them as rather Instagram-friendly. After our dessert and petit fours Maximilian Lorenz came over to ask us if we enjoyed our food and we talked for a couple of minutes about his background, inspiration behind the dishes and the ingredients he sources for his dishes.

We had an amazing dinning experience at L’Escalier restaurant. All of the dishes we tried were delicious, creative and featured regional products. If you are looking for a fine-dining experience based on the best quality, locally sourced ingredients then you should look no further. The service was great and the food was delectable so we will definitely be returning there next time we are in Cologne.



Brüsseler Straße 11
50674 Köln

For more information and to book visit:

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!