A weekend of Food & Wine in Strasbourg
At two hours from Basel Strasbourg is an ideal weekend destination for us. Especially as DO knows the city and had the best reason to go - a cheese restaurant for us cheese lovers!
The hotel Cour du Courbeau MELA had found online, number one on tripadvisor and well deserved so. It is located right across the ile, at the place du courbeau, about 5 minutes walking to the Cathedral. We were upgraded to a Junior Suite, nicely decorated although hardly any views other than to two different inside patios, one of which was more of a construction site. The room had bathtub, robes, and alll other amentities one might need, including a *real* hairdryer. We can' t comment on much more of the hotel, as we were hardly there, but definitely recommend it.
The saturday we spent roaming around the many small streets of the old city. Some shopping, and a nice lunch, more shopping and a break for a cold one, close to the Biergässel. Strasbourg has an endless number of restaurants and bistros, small streets and nice patios. Very common on the menu here are foie gras, chucrut and Flammkueche.
However, they still have to learn a bit about hospitality. We wanted to try a wine in a bistro in a side street, but weren't welcome if we wouldn't eat. ?? Revenue with beverages is higher, they missed out on selling a whole bottle of wine and water that we then had in a different bistro on the riverbank, where we than also ordererd a Flammkueche (that the clearly overworked and overweight waitress forgot about it is another story). But maybe they don't need more business...who knows. It's just not understandable to me.
Anyway, the west side of the ile seems to be a bit quieter, as it doesn't have that many shops, however, very cute streets and fachwerkhaeuser. A Gewuerztraminer by the canal, enjoying the cosmopolitan and kind of university like feeling of the town.
A roman-catholic cathedral, is among the finest of late gothic architecture. Still today, it is the 6th tallest church in the world.
Strasbourg is the capital of the french province of Alsace, a historically german speaking part of France, located close to the german border. Strasbourg is fused into the Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a bridge of unity between France and Germany for centuries, especially through the University of Strasbourg, currently the largest in France, and the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture.
The Grande Ile is the historic center and since 1988 a UNESCO world heritage site.
Beautiful to walk around the Ile...
Quickly back to the hotel for a shower, and off to dinner..... At la Cloche a Fromage, a cheese restaurant with the world's largest cheese cloche. No words to describe the taste of the cheeses we had....
We ordered asparagus to start with, then the cheese platter for two, and somehow made space for a creme brulee and mango ice cream as dessert.
Excellent and genuinely friendly waitress, isabella, originally from colombia. It was a truly amazing dinner! The restaurant turned tables twice while we were there, if you plan to go, definitely reserve ahead. Across the street they have a shop, all delights can be taken home, that is, if you don't have an overly cautious customs and can import food. www.cheese-gourmet.com
Sunday morning it was cloudy, yet warm. We opted for a tour with "mon ami Fritz", an open air boat. The channls of the audio guide included, very international, esperanto, and, very regional, the local alsace dialect that we opted for. The boat tours a bit over an hour on the channels around the ile, down until the European institutions. The buildings there as such are interesting and impressive. However, more intriguing is to imagine which decisions are made there, what powers those involved parties have, and even more, which verdicts are agreed on in the intl court of human rights there... We ate lunch in another one of the typical restaurants there, DO had chukrut while MELA wasn't yet ready to have more than a salad after the cheese the night before.
In 1949, the city was chosen to be the seat of the Council of Europe with its European Court of Human Rights.
Palais des droits de l'homme Parlament europeen
Impression as seen from the canals