Wine and Chocolate – A Global Affair

Hernando Cortez Schokoladen WIne and Chocolate

It’s the first Friday of the month again and that means a trip to Wine and Chocolate at Hernando Cortez Schokoladen in Gertrudenstraße here in Cologne.  Every month Marco painstakingly researches 3 wonderful wine and chocolate combinations, which pairs some amazing chocolate with some fantastic wines. It’s the same procedure every month.  As any British expat in Germany will hopefully know, this phrase is a very important in Germany culture.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about then follow the link (here) and read more about the German phenomenon that…

Independent Scottish Gins of the Highlands & Islands

Harris Pub

The people of Scotland are an imaginative bunch who like a drink or two (no more mind).  It’s the only place where I have been to an inflatable pub in horizontal rain on a remote island.  The feature picture is of my Brother-in-law Iain and I enjoying the Northton Festival on the Isle of Harris. When most people think of drinking and Scotland, the first thing that comes to mind is Whisky.  Distilleries have been warming the hearts the world over since the late 18th century.  However, more recently Scotland…

Tebay Services – An Oasis in the Motorway Desert

Tebay Ducks

The journey on the M6 motorway from the North of England gets prettier the further towards Scotland you drive.  With Preston and the M55 junction to Blackpool behind you, the Lancashire countryside starts to make the drive a little more interesting.  Before you know it, the fells of Cumbria and the Lake District start providing you with some stunning scenery that helps the miles pass more quickly.  At some point you need to take a break and stop at one of the many motorway services.  So where do you usually stop?  If…

The Wonderful World of Michel Cluizel Chocolate

Pralines

If you love chocolate, immerse yourself in the amazing world of Michel Cluizel.  The company make some of the most fantastic chocolate in the world.  So read on and learn all about the, I first came across the amazing chocolate made by the Cluizel family at one of our monthly wine and chocolate evenings at Hernando Cortez Schokoladen in Cologne.   The evenings are hosted by the fabulous Marco.  I wrote about all the different wine and chocolate combinations in our October tasting recently here.  The chocolate in Marco’s first combination…

Beer-Tasting At A Heavenly Beer Shop in Cologne

wolf-beer

I made a fantastic discovery this week.  Just around the corner from Jameson’s, our local Irish bar, I found a heavenly new beer shop that does beer-tasting as well.  I used to be a regular visitor to Jameson’s.  At least I was until Norwich City got relegated from the Premier League.  Now they are in the Championship, there aren’t so many reasons to go anymore. Anyway, if you turn left down the little alley to the right of Jameson’s (looking at the front of the bar) there is a fantastic…

Cafe Flottenheimer – A Great Independent Restaurant in Copenhagen

sinan-and-russ

We recently had a fantastic trip to Copenhagen.  I always love visiting new places and trying different food.  From amazing breakfast roll selections, smørrebrød open rye bread sandwiches and a huge selection of fish, we really were spoilt for choice.  When I first started this blog, the biggest motivation was to tell the stories of the amazing people running independent businesses.  It inspires me so much to see people putting their heart and soul into what they do and this post introduces you to a DJ who risked everything to…

The Amazing Insiders Guide to the Cologne Christmas Markets

me-with-feuerzangen

The Cologne Christmas Markets are some of the most famous in Europe.  People travel from all over the world to come and soak up the magic of Christmas  in this lovely German city.  I’m lucky to call Cologne home and believe me it really is a magical place at this time of year!  There’s nothing better to get you in the mood for Christmas than a drinking a warm Gluhwein while taking in the atmosphere of a German Christmas Market. It’s nearly 6 years since our family moved to here…

Expat Quest Cologne – Part 4: Awesome Tasty Pasties

tasty-pasty-front

We have reached the final part of the Cologne expat quest.  This time it’s Cornish Pasties!  Not only will you get to meet Dan and hear all about his Tasty Pasties but you will also get to hear about the German tradition that is “Dinner for One”.  First, it’s perhaps worth having a quick recap of the what we’ve found so far in the quest.  We started off by finding a great cafe that served something other than coffee and cake .  We followed this up with the joy of…

Hernando Cortez – Wine and Chocolate Heaven

Marco Hernando Cortez

I’ve found loads of amazing independent cafes over the years.  One of our family’s favourite ever is in our home city of Cologne.  It’s called Hernando Cortez and not only do they serve warming hot chocolate and great coffee, but they also have a great selection of wonderful cakes.  Best of all, it also happens to be one of the most perfect and wonderful chocolate shops we’ve ever come across.  What makes it so special?  The main reason is the cafe’s owner Marco Mühlberg.  He doesn’t just sell chocolate, he genuinely…

Expat Quest Cologne – Part 3: Finally! Fish and Chips

pauls sign

It’s time for the 3rd phase of the Cologne Expat Quest.  We have had a lot of success recently in our search to find some of our favourite things from back home in the UK.  First we managed to expand our weekend cafe routine beyond just the normal Coffee and Cake.  Then we finally found somewhere to have a decent curry, which you can read about here.  The quest is hopefully useful for both expats and visitors to Cologne who might be looking for a little taste something different.  What…