FOODIE HOTSPOTS - LUXEMBOURGJune 07, 2015
Luxembourg is a diverse dining destination where Belgian, French and German cuisines meet. The small country has a big culinary scene with a wide range of influences from both its neighbours and of course its own culture and traditions. Allow me to show you a cross-section of Luxembourgish eateries for an insight into its diverse culinary offerings...
Beim Siggy a brasserie with a spectacular view located in the countries' capital, Luxembourg City. There are idyllic views overlooking the rail bridge from its outdoor dining terrace. You can essentially do a bit of sightseeing as you dine. It's a wonderful place to kick off a trip to Luxembourg, particularly if it's your first time in the city like it was for us.
Yaya and Lloyd from Hang Luggage Only.
Main - Rib-eye steak with pepper and mushroom sauce.
Main : Goat's cheese and vegetables.
Main : Fillet steak with vegetables, potatoes and béchamel sauce.
Cocktail - Classic mojito.
The food is traditional and hearty and satisfying. The menus were in French and the restaurant was filled with locals. Beim Siggy is the perfect place to dine on a warm, summer evening, particularly to witness the sun set over the the gorgeous city; it sure is an experience.
Our next stop is one for those with a sweet tooth, the aptly named Chocolate House - a chocolatier and coffee shop in one. One of the benefits of being a neighbour of the chocolate heaven that is Belgium is that you can get some proper chocolate in Luxembourg.
Behind glass cabinets are alluring arrays of decadent cakes of epic scale, intricately hand made chocolates and other such devilishly tempting things, likely lure you into committing sweet sins repeatable to the diet gods...I know this was certainly the case with me. In fact it's worth popping into Chocolate House for the picture opportunities of its sweet displays alone.
Upstairs is a quaint seating area where you can relax with a coffee and a slice of amazing cake. Chocolate House is renowned for its much raved about chocolate spoons, some of which come with a shot of alcohol, perfect for warming up during the colder months. The spoons are set into a block of chocolate and to prepare your drink you simply dunk it into a cup of hot milk until it all melts together.
The cake portions are incredibly generous, I mean just look at the size of this thing! I'm a pretty well accustomed to devouring sweet things but I barely made a dent when it came to eating this epic slice. It was probably about four times the size of a typical UK portion of cake would be - not that I'm complaining!
I opted for a unique cake made from layers of biscuits with a creamy filling and a marzipan exterior. Judging from the little icing Luxembourgish flag on the top, I am guessing it was a traditional local sweet. It was lovely, although I would say almost humanly impossible to eat the whole thing but do let me know if you do visit the Chocolate House and prove me wrong! I'd be pretty impressed.
The Chocolate House is located right outside the Grand Ducal Palace - you can't miss it. It's the perfect pit-stop for anyone exploring Luxembourg City and a great place to get some sweet gifts to bring back for loved ones - I'm sure they'll thank you for it.
Les Ecuries Du Parc is a traditional eatery located in Clervaux; an impossibly stunning region in Northern Luxembourg. It encapsulates the medieval vibe that many traditional restaurants in Luxembourg have with its dimly lit interior, exposed stone masonry and cast iron candelabras. It makes for atmospheric dining that will have you feeling as though you've stepped back in time.
Cocktail : Kir Royal.
A Luxembourgish take on the French cocktail Kir Royal, consisting of Crémant (the Luxembourgish version of champagne) and Cassero. It's a simple yet wonderful combination. I'm a big fan and it's definitely something that I will be ordering in the future, be it in Luxembourg or elsewhere.
Starter : Escargots à la Bourguignonne (Snails in Garlic-Butter).
When we spotted snails on the menu we couldn't forgo the temptation to order them out of sheer curiosity. I grew up by the seaside so I've eaten and enjoyed a lot of sea snails in my time, but I'd never tried land snails, the ones that the French eat. Turns out they are delightful, I definitely recommend trying them if you've not already. You might just be pleasantly surprised.
Main : Duck breast with peppercorn sauce and asparagus.
Main : Traditional Bouchée à la reine
This hearty dish was like a chicken pie, served up with seasonal vegetables.
Main : Black tiger scampi with garlic and asparagus.
At first glance, my order could be perceived to be a relatively healthy one, that was until I poured a lavish amount of the accompanying béchamel sauce all over it. It was a hearty and delicious dish; the scampi was wonderfully succulent, as were the gigantic white asparagus. The food at this restaurant along with many in Luxembourg has real French influence.
Les Ecuries Du Parc is located within a 5 minute walking distance from the Family of Man photography exhibition at Clervaux Castle, which I can't recommend seeing enough, it was one of the main highlights of my trip to the country. Whether you make the journey out to Clervaux or not, I highly recommend visiting at least one of the old style traditional eateries when in Luxembourg.
For a great lunch spot in Luxembourg City, I highly recommend checking out Kaale Kaffi. This quirky venue is unique in the fact that it's a vintage clothing and home-ware store and coffee shop rolled into one. It's an undeniably cool hangout...I suppose you could even describe it as a bit hipster.
Soup : Squash and coriander.
Luxembourg is somewhat off the beaten track when it comes to European travel and as a result it's not overly geared towards tourists. The majority of the country's' eateries are traditional and no-nonsense; it's not hard to get an authentic insight into what its food scene is really about. The epic portion sizes seem to be somewhat a running theme when it comes to dining in Luxembourg, you will very likely eat well when visiting.