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Europe

Europe, Food, Travel

Flors Violes Festival in Palafrugell, Spain and One of the Best Meals Ever

I admit to being a little drunk as I stumbled into what our itinerary listed as “lunch with the locals” in Palafrugell, Spain. Breathless, I finally found the right alleyway where the restaurant was hidden that our tour guide pointed out earlier “in case we got lost.” I was lost and spent the previous hour hoofing it down random alleys, each one presenting hope that it was in fact the right alley,…

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Europe, Travel

Hotel Review – Chateau Valcreuse

I swirled the glass, pursed my lips, and took a sip. I allowed the liquid to rest on my tongue before swishing it around. The body was thinner than expected and the palate delivered a slight, but still stronger than normal mineral stone which I found quite satisfying and refreshing. This was truly unlike any water that I have drank before. That’s probably because Caroline and Alexander, the owners at Chateau Valcreuse, fetched…

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Cooking, Europe, Food, Travel

A French Culinary Vacation with Le Calabash

When I arrived in the Loire Valley, I was welcomed with what Chefs Sidney and Allison Bond described as a traditional French market dinner. “It’s nothing fancy. Just stuff we picked up at the farmer’s market today. I hope it’s enough to eat. Are you hungry?” asked Sidney in his distinct South African accent. I was famished. All I had eaten that day was a rather pathetic looking bocadillo jamón on the train…

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Europe, Travel, Wine

Visiting the Vienna Wine Gardens

Visiting the Vienna wine gardens, located in the Vienna Woods, can seem daunting to first time visitors, especially if you’ve only booked a short excursion to the city. The Vienna Woods aren’t exactly central to the tourist path. Thus, many newbies, including myself on our first trip to Vienna, tend to skip them. This was a huge mistake! Much like beer plays an integral part in Munich’s culture, wine plays a major…

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Craft Beer Travel, Europe, Travel, Wine

Visiting Codorniu Winery – The Birthplace of Cava

There’s a story in the world of wine that for almost a half century has been lost. This story can been seen and tasted in the barrooms and wine glasses throughout Barcelona and the greater Catalonia province.  This story is the story of Cava. Many visitors to Barcelona are taken aback by the quality of Spain’s famous sparkling wine. The message of Champagne has falsely led us to believe that only France…

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Europe, Travel

Traveling Beyond Barcelona – Colony Guell and the Gaudi Crypt

We as travelers / tourists / insert-your-term-here tend to get stuck in circuits when we travel. We visit a city and use our guidebooks to hit all the tried and true sights. We trap ourselves in this routine city after city. I know. I’m guilty. In Barcelona, it’s La Sagrada Familia and the rest of the Gaudi circuit, Catedral de Barcelona, La Rambla, the Gothic Quarter, the beaches, and more Gaudi. They’re…

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Europe, Hipmunk CityLove, Travel

Exploring London Neighborhoods – Hipmunk City Love

Ever since Hugh Grant slipped while illegally climbing into one of Notting Hill’s private gardens in the movie Notting Hill and exclaimed, “Whoopsie Daisy,” I’ve been obsessed with exploring London’s many quirky and colorful neighborhoods. Secretly, I hope to catch a glimpse of Spike walking down the street wearing a scuba mask and an inappropriate T-shirt (preferably not in his whitey tighties). This is the London I want to see – the…

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Eating, Europe, Food, Travel

Eating Barcelona

I felt like a zombie as I limped into the lobby of the Le Meridien Barcelona. I needed a shower and sleep, and I needed it now. The transatlantic flight had not been good to me and I managed less than an hour of sleep. I approached the receptionist foolishly hopeful that my gold status would work a miracle and my room would be ready at 9am. She rudely explained that I…

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Europe, Travel

48 Hours in Munich

As an avid traveler, I’m often asked if I can spend this weekend anywhere in the world, where would it be? The answer is easy. I’d love to spend 48 hours in Munich. From the beer gardens to the food to the history to the beer halls (yeah, I said beer twice), Munich has a laid-back atmosphere with just enough culture to appeal to the nerd in me. A little sightseeing mixes nicely…

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Eating, Europe, Food, Hipmunk CityLove, Travel

Hipmunk City Love – Foodie Hotels in Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain is known for its vibrant culture, unique architecture, and artistic style. Did you also know that the city is host to an amazing culinary scene? From traditional Catalan cuisine to a plethora of Michelin Star restaurants, visitors can dine on treats as tasty and unique as the city itself. Here are some of the best foodie hotels in Barcelona.

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