Local Heart, Global Soul

December 19, 2011

THIS is How you do a Continental Breakfast…

Filed under: FOOD,GERMANY,Reviews,Traditional,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are still at Hotel Cleve  in Germany and  Himself and I are making a bright an early start to make our morning appointment on time.

We came down to a true Continental breakfast…

Oooh the Germans do it well… the breakfast buffet.

As with the salad bar of last night, the breakfast buffet  was to be found on tables a long way from the windows and the lighting was low, so the photos could have been better.

Luckily  our breakfast table was in the sun  right next to the window so it was a wonderful start to the day.

There were sweet and plain yoghurt’s of every flavour available, with a variation of fruits, honey,  etc. to mix with them.

There were the typical platters of cold meats and sliced cheeses, as well as a separate cheese board.

There was also a hot breakfast available, and croissants, rolls and cake…

…and  then even more fresh fruit, and various cereals rounded out the display, so there is surely something here to satisfy all the guests and to start the day with a smile.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… and you know me by now, there’s going to be a bread photo in here somewhere !

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 18, 2011

An Almost Perfect Meal, …the Meat is Perfection on a Plate.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

More of my retro tour photos of Kleve as Himself and I enjoyed a weekend away in Germany  a few years ago.

Now that we have a comfortable bed to look forward to, we can turn our attention towards dinner….

Ah, dinner for two, sans children, ( I love them to bits, but oh what joy to have a HOT meal together… not for tonight is the parent drama that plays to the soundtrack of : “nooooo, watch out that’s going on the floor”, “agh, don’t tip that over…” ,”eeek give that here now please!, it breaks !”, “get off my feet please”, “sit in your seat” ,”sit still”, “don’t annoy those people”, “please use your quiet voices and NO you CAN”T sing“!…

Tonight Himself and I can just enjoy a proper conversation and good food without constant interruption …. …what bliss !!!!

Himself said he secretly likes it when I take notes of what we eat and take photos, he hopes they will think that we are magazine reviewers and that a nice bottle of something might make it’s way to us “on the House”…

…sadly that’s been definitely wishful thinking so far, but I bet they did wonder who we were: (OK, they actually probably did think we escaped from the local institute of mental health, but were too polite to ask.)

We started our meal with an amuse gueule ( literally a “mouth pleaser”) of salmon mousse and sauce topped with smoked salmon … Presentation was wonderful but the taste didn’t quite measure up in my opinion… Himself  liked it better than I did, but also didn’t rave…

Assuming that if you ask for local food anywhere, and even try to get a regional speciality, and that if you ask the staff what they would have if they had the choice…then you should get something that the Chef cooks very well indeed.

So I asked for something REALLY german and the friendly waitress said that the Schnitznel was to be recommended….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Schnitzel? just Schnitzel? well… OK, I asked so I should try, right?…. I haven’t had Schnitzel in years.. so I thought, why not?

Gosh this was DEVINE…. the meat barely needed chewing it was sooo soft !!! This took Schnitzel to a whooooole new level ( Guess, just guess, what went on my shopping list after we got back from Kleve, and which recipe I’m going to try and replicate ? sigh, that one is still a work in progress.)

My heavenly Schnitzel was served with a simple salad… and I had to smile becuase  this hotel uses exactly the same dinner service that we have at home, just in a redish background colour and not in the teal blue/green that we have.

Himself opted for the Mixed Grill … the meat was also soft and wonderfully cooked…. I was so enraptured with the Schnitzel I totally forgot to photograph the potatoes…

Then we saw this description on the dessert menu and it sold itself to us on the spot.
“Die Passionsfrucht”…Mousse from passionfruit courted with chocolate served with sorbet and caramel creampuree

The one and only drawback of the evening was that dessert took SO  long to arrive…  and we ended up having to remind them twice … but it WAS worth waiting for in the end, delectable.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…and what did I say earlier about going Ga Ga over plateware? … forgive me but I soooo coveted the plate that desert arrived on.

All in all a fabulous meal, I’d come back to this hotel just for the Schnitzel too.

December 17, 2011

The Weird and the Wonderful German Bed…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Phew we have a bed for the night, we’ve arrived the the Hotel Cleve and our room is on the first floor overlooking the semi-circular entrance way.

duh.. This always surprises me… Why do so many German hotels have only single beds in them?

Don’t they think a couple might actually want a double bed??? We immediately took the little cupboard away from the middle and pushed them together LOL …

For anyone who hasn’t been to Germany before… the single douvet for each person is a feature of even the double beds… and it’s always traditionally folded like this too.

At home in The Netherlands Himself and I share one large douvet and there is always the perennial problem of  “He’s too hot and I’m freezing” and if I heap an extra blanket onto  my side of the bed, then the extra weight of it often drags the douvet slowly floor-wards on my side of the bed as the night progresses resulting in a less than happy Himself.

We visit friends in Germany semi-regularly and sleep under separate douvet’s (in a double bed) at their place too, and every time we’ve had a great night’s sleep, Summer or Winter,  not too hot, not too cold.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The fact the one person can have a thicker weight one and the other a thinner weight one  really appeals, and Himself agrees, so one day, on a future trip to Germany, we aim to be picking up some German douvet sets and our large Dutch douvets can go down to the guest room linen cupboard at home.

I took a photo of the bathroom simply because I’m usually going Ga Ga over tableware, and Himself is used to that,  I could usually care less about plumbing……but these taps…. had me quite out of charactor…. ooooh I want them !!!!  Himself was shaking his head…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 16, 2011

Come On!…All We Want is a Hotel!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is your retro tour of Kleve (or Cleve /Cleaves as it is also known) that Himself and I made one weekend a few years ago.

All afternoon, as we ambled around the town we have had our eye out for a hotel where we can spend the night tonight.

It turns out to not be as easy to find one as we assumed… we saw only one on our walk though the centre of town (very small and booked up with a travelling sports team) so we  headed back to the car to look further afield, and a little distance out of town came accross this massive place, which the lady in a shop where we bought a postcard  and asked hotel directions said was a hotel.

I’m not at all convinced, and if by some chance it really is, it looks way out of our league… but we take a short look around  the outside anyway.

To us at least there is no obvious sign that this building is even a public building, but the grounds are stunning…

I saw the fountain and beautiful wall etc on the other side of the road.. consideration for the traffic didn’t allow us to stop, so this is the best I could do…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Finially we do find two establishments that really look like hotels should look, and Himself goes to each to inquire.

Bizarrely the hotels out this way didn’t start any breakfast service before 9.00am and we needed to be at our first appointment by 9.00 a.m. tomorrow morning, so we start back on another road into town to try and find someone who can help us find somewhere.

That’s how after some more friendly directions from locals and a few wrong turns (on our part) we ended up on the outskirts of Kleve in the other direction… Here…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 15, 2011

Possibly The Most Ingenious Cat Flap Ever?

Filed under: Funny,GERMANY,Miscellaneous,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Just on a note of whimsy…. we were making our way back up the hill where the castle stands… and saw this little bit of brilliance…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I mean what do you do when you have a house on a very steep hill, a downstairs that faces the slope and need for a cat flap? … why, you build a little bridge for your cat to use of course, …ingenious!

December 14, 2011

An Unexpected Wilderness…

Filed under: GERMANY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Just a simple photographic post today…

Himself and I managed a weekend in the German town of Kleve a few years ago and when we went for a late afternoon walk around the central part of town which also included the large hill there the castle stands.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that on the back side of the hill, there was a large forest like area with a river running though it.

I love it when I go somewhere and discover some unexpected wilderness where I expected to have only found suburbs.

This place is surely a wonderful asset, and even though it’s March,  the days are short and cold, we still saw people jogging and walking here.

I can imagine it would be a great place for a picnic and forest walks  in summer and best of all…

…it’s just  literally minutes from the town centre.

December 13, 2011

Nothing Fishy about This Sculpture…

Filed under: ART,Funny,GERMANY,Miscellaneous,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

I’m still taking you on a retro tour of Kleve in Germany, using photos from my archive files. Himself and I walked around the  “bottom town” by the river, and unexpectedly came across some kind of Centre for the Arts.

Outside were various sculpture pieces and I this one especially appealed to my Foodie tenancies… I love the simplicity of the design and the easy way it all sits together so naturally. There’s even a touch of humour as the rivet holding down the head end of the fish double as eyes and both fish are grinning.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 12, 2011

Bearly Disguised Kid Magnet…

Filed under: Funny,GERMANY,LIFE,Miscellaneous,PHOTOGRAPHY,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

Do you own a business? do you want to attact customers to your doorway?

Then you need one of these.  It’s a 2 meter (6 foot)  high kid magnet like you have never seen before…. and where the kids would run, the parents are sure to follow…   …it grabbed the attention of at least one other photographer beside me too, and it took me a full five minutes to get a photo of  it without kids around it.

I have no clue what it was advertising, but I dare you not to smile.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 11, 2011

Taking a Walk Around the Castle Path…

Filed under: GERMANY,Landmarks,PHOTOGRAPHY,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another post from my retro weekend tour of Kleve in Germany a few years ago.

We want to explore the Castle so walk the smaller side streets, making our way up the hill and come out on a small open area near the top.

The Castle stands imposingly to our right, and there is a path that leads all around it.

There is a real mixture of building styles here… that is definiatly in the “top town” also, so this doesn’t have a real historical feel… but since I read on Wikipedia that some 90% of buildings suffered damage in World War Two, it at least accounts for the multiple  styles of the local architecture.

It might not be too clear from my photograph, but one of the windows at the bottom of the tower was at eye level, so I took this photo to show just how thick the walls are… the wall continues on the outside, beyond the window sill that I am leaning on, and also continues deep into the room as well (the white bit of the photo on the right)

The Schwanenburg (Swan Castle), where the dukes of Cleves resided, was founded on a steep hill. It is located at the northern terminus of the Kermisdahl where it joins with the Spoykanal, which was previously an important transportation link to the Rhine.

The old castle has a massive tower, the Schwanenturm 55 m (180 feet) high, that is associated in legend with the Knight of the Swan, immortalized in Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We weren’t sure if this was a fire escape or a short-cut, but this is one very steep staircase that clings to the hills cliff face.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 10, 2011

Swanning Around in the Main Shopping Street…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Here are more photographs from my archive files, this time taking you on a retro weekend tour that Himself and I made to the town of Kleve in Germany.

The Castle that dominates the town of Kleve is called  “The Schwanenburg” (Swan Castle) so it comes as little surprise that the emblum of the town is a Swan.

Ingeniously someone made a series of these Swan seats that are in the gently sloping main street, dotted all around, and in arcades etc…

…all have been decorated by local clubs, schools and businesses.

I could have photographed a heap more of them but didn’t want to disturb the people sitting on them…

Here are some that were not occupied when we passed by…

The Swan emblum extended to some windows too, this is the Tourist Information office… (which unfortunately had already closed for the day when we got there).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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