“Fatties in the snow”- our glorious food tour of Paris, Copenhagen, Berlin and Prague

19 Dec

 A high school science teacher once told us that people require more calories in the cold in order to heat our bodies.  Lately, I have translated this to- “It’s snowing! Quick, eat everything!!” (granted, the number of bratwursts consumed over the past month are probably enough to provide heating for a small family, but that’s a minor detail)

Anyway, Elisa, Steph and I did a little European adventure recently, and since it has been mighty cold, we thought it would be a perfect chance to warm up by, well, eating everything in sight. Here are some highlights:

 … Paris

  I was with my mum and brother for this leg, and we happily decided to consume as many croissants, crepes and hot chocolates as we could stomach in 2 days. Yummy things we had included:

    -Breakfast croissant and hot chocolate from a “boulangerie” (that’s the snazzy french word for “patisserie”)

    -ham and cheese crepe from a street stand for lunch

   – Traditional French dinner at “Comme a Savonnieres” restaurant  in St Germain (mains included delicious veal, duck, steak with blue cheese sauce and fish stew, with snails for entree)

 ..ANd of course, the main attraction,  Angelina’s tea room on Rue da Rivoli. Decked out in marble and fine furnishings, this place is absolutely GORGEOUS inside, and has been frequented by the likes of Coco Chanel, Proust, and Parisian aristocrats over the past century.

 More importantly, it is widely toted as having THE Best hot chocolates in Paris. The famous “L’Africain”, served on a silver platter with a jug of rich cream on the side, is the richest, thickest and most delicious thing you will ever taste. Top that off with a slice of the delicious mille feuille (a scrumptiousvanilla slice with layers of custard cream and crispy thin  pastry), and the signature “Mont Blanc” dessert (a meringue, creamy thing topped with noodles of sweet chestnut paste), and you are on your way to sweet, sugary heaven.

The amazing hot chocolate

Mont blanc

desserts 🙂

 
 

more desserts...

 

….Copenhagen

 Compared to Paris, Copenhagen was a little disappointing on the food front, largely because eating out will cost you an arm and a leg. Seriously, I’m talking 8 Aussie dollars for a small cup of hot chocolate! (It was cold. I was desperate). In any case we did manage to score some yummy carnival eats at the Tivoli gardens- this amazing Christmas themed amusement park/ winter wonderland full of rides, illuminated trees and castles and chinese pergodas (as well as delicious churros and hot dog stands)  

Churros with ice cream

Tivoli gardens at night

…  Berlin   

One of the best things for a foodie to do in Germany is a visit to the Christmas markets, and luckily for us, Berlin is the capital of German Christmas markets. Our market tour took us to the main one at Alexanderplatz, as well as the slightly swankier (and in my opinion, better) christmas market Gendarmenmarkt. (You have to pay 1 euro entry, but you more than make up for it with all the amazing free samples) Delicious things we sampled included:  

  • Bratwurst and currywurst (many times over)
  • Delicious Melted cheese scooped out of a warmed cheese wheel and spread across fresh slices of bread
  • Langos  (deep fried dough topped with tomatoes, sour cream and cheese. Also known as a heart attack on a plate)
  • Berlin chocolates   
  • Candied nuts  
  • Juicy Pork sandwiches 
  • And of course, Gluhwein!!! (mulled wine)

 

pork sandwiches

 

langos

Berlin chocolates (and free sample plate)

The other great thing about Berlin? Cheap, good asian food. In fact, cheap everything. Elisa, Steph and I were all shocked and ecstatic to find decent sushi for under 5 euro (impossible to find in Amsterdam!)

On the recommendation of some friends, we also ate ate a fantastic and reasonably pricedVietnamese-fusion restaurant – Monsieur Vuong, – where we feasted on delicious spring rolls, vermicelli/chicken noodles and pho. Supposedly the best Vietnamese in Berlin!

Delicious shrimp spring rolls at Monsieur Vuong

…Prague

Prague is an absolutely stunning- especially in the snow. Quaint colourful houses, cobble stoned streets, snow capped rooves… the whole city looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale. The Christmas markets at Old Town square are equally lovely. I am too lazy to describe just how lovely, but here are some pics:

hams on a spit (or the biggest shish kebab you've ever seen)

more hot dogs in prague

  All in all, a very fun trip! And ,as planned, I think we’ve all successfully managed to put on an extra layer of fat to insulate us through the cold European winter!

**************************************************************

Other handy travel tips

  • For the best macaroons in Paris, I am told that Pierre Herme  in St Germain cannot be beat (Although La Duree on the Champs Elysee is meant to be up there as well!). My friend Kristen brought back some to Amsterdam when she was visiting (in flavours like creme brulee, grean tea and passionfruit/dark chocolate), and they were ridiculously amazing.  
  • If you cannot afford a walking tour, but are  keen to learn a bit about Czech culture, a good tip is to hang around important looking buildings and eavesdrop whenever an English speaking tour group walks by. You can do this by pretending to take photos of nearby things. Chances are they’ll never spot you!
  • A word of warning- J walking is illegal in Berlin, and enforced. Quite bizarrely, in Berlin, one can urinate, fornicate, or run around naked in public, but walking across the street when the little red man is flashing could land you with an 80 euro fine!
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2 Responses to ““Fatties in the snow”- our glorious food tour of Paris, Copenhagen, Berlin and Prague”

  1. Trina December 20, 2010 at 11:14 pm #

    Jen – amaaaaazing! Can’t believe you went to Monsieur Vuong, love that place!!!

    Haha – this makes me even more proud to know you =p

    (Also loved post on incredible dutch apple cake => 100% agreed on every front).

    Add these to the list: bitteballen (I’ve forgotten how to spell that), Berliner beer in Berlin … and then come to New York and I’ll help you keep filling out this page haha.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
    xx

    • jencheung4444 December 21, 2010 at 11:10 am #

      Merry Christmas too!

      Yeah Mich recommended Monsieur Vuong- am heading down on Thurs for chrissy so will def make a return trip!

      i LOVE bitterballen, we’ve had quite a plenty while we’ve been here. i ve heard food is amazing in NY so v excited about that!

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