Kaysersberg Journals

Route de Vin Alsace, France

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An October 1995 trip to Kaysersberg by Wasatch

Quote: Twenty-seven of our 31 European vacations were road trips. Ten included the Route de Vin Alsace, where the Rhine Plain meets the Vosges Mountains, the most charming area in western Europe. Famed Provence is second-rate by comparison.
Quote:
Hotel de Remparts is a nice, modern, and very quiet hotel in a quiet location in a quiet village. Part of the medieval town walls were used for one side of the hotel, hence the name.

Remparts is a European version of a Holiday Inn, and if that is your standard for travel, you will love it. When in Europe, I prefer quaint old hotels, preferable something built about 600 years ago, and leave 20th-century modern to stays to Las Vegas visits. But should I need a sound night’s sleep in Alsace, I make a beeline for the slick, comfortable quiet of Remparts.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 2, 2004

Hotel de Remparts
Alongside the city wall
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Arbre Vert

Hotel

Quote:
Arbre Vert hotel and restaurant is a classic example of the middle range of small (22 rooms) family run French hotels. The hotel has been a family business at the same location for four generations, since 1800. There are hotels like this all over France, and if you want to ‘go native’, these are the places to do it. But Arbre Vert is a standout for this type of hotel. What sets Arbre Vert apart from the rest is it’s location in a quiet side street directly across from the town square in very quiet little village that is the most attractive little village in France.It’s an old building, and an old hotel, although regularly renovated. Rooms sizes tend toward typical European smallne...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 2, 2004

Arbre Vert
Pl de Gen Geuard
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Au Lion d'Or

Restaurant

Quote:
We stopped at Au Lion d’Or for lunch one day, and the place was packed, without a seat or empty table in sight. No problem. Arms waved, the staff huddled, waiters bustled about, and two spaces and chairs appeared at a table where we joined some Frenchmen, a couple from Denmark, and a Brit for lunch. We’ve taken 31 European vacations, including driving about 32,000 miles around France. Since France has more than a lifetime’s worth of good places to eat, we make it a practice to try new places-with a few exceptions, like restaurants we liked so much that we want to go there again. Au Lion d’Or is one of just four restaurants in France that we re-visit (the nearby Rendez Voss de Chasse is another...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 2, 2004

Au Lion d'Or
On the main street
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Le Rendez Vous de Chasse

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Restaurant | "Le Rendez Vous de Chasse, The Grand Hotel Termi"

Quote:
Although the Michelin Red Guide says we have eaten in better restaurants, this is our favorite haut cuisine restaurant in France. The decor is old school, rich, and elegant. Tapestries depicting hunting scenes decorate the walls (the name translates as ‘meeting for the hunt’). Table cloths and napkins of white linen set off the dark wood furniture, and, of course, the waiters wear tuxes. On our first visit, we indulged in the five-course menu. Everything was superb. On the second visit, I discovered one of my all time favorite dishes on the carte*, and have ordered it on every subsequent visit. This dish alone would make Rendez Vous de la Chasse my favorite restaurant– Medallions d’Agnue, ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 2, 2004

Le Rendez Vous de Chasse
7 Pl de Gare
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Clos St. Vincent

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Restaurant | "Clos St Vincent"

Quote:
Clos St Vincent is a haute cuisine restaurant a little way out of Ribeauville up on a hill overlooking the Rhine valley, surrounded by vineyards. Thanks to the location, good weather, and the high quality food, this was one of the most delightful lunches we have had anywhere. Since it was nice weather, sat outside on the terrace, well shaded by trees interplanted with flowers and with good views of the mountains, ancient Ribeauville below, and the Rhine valley.Although we sat outside, none of the elegance of a fine restaurant was lost. Tables were set with white linen, fine china, crystal goblets, and fancy silverware. Being lunch al fresco, the waiters wore white jackets and ties, rather...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 2, 2004

Clos St. Vincent
About 1 mile out of town
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Chambard

Restaurant

Quote:
Chambard serves up expensive, but very fine food in an elegant, attractive small dinning room. Chambard illustrates an important difference between French (European) and American cultures. In the U.S.A., hotel restaurants tend to be overpriced when compared to the free standing competition and often of a lesser quality. Not so in Europe, where restaurants in hotels in small towns are usually the best places to eat and prices are the same as at independent restaurants. We ate at the restaurant and can’t fault it in any way. The only problem is that it is close to two of our favorite places to eat in the world, Au Lion d’Or and Le Rendez Voss de Chasse, another fine example of why you should eat ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 2, 2004

Chambard
On the main street
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Courte Paille

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Restaurant

Quote:
Courte Paille is not your usual French restaurant. It is a French fast-food chain, and it occupies an important place in our travels in France. After a week or so of eating fine French food, we get a craving for a good basic hamburger, or at least for some plain American food. That’s when we head for Courte Paille, where they serve spit-roasted chicken cooked over a wood fire. The "chef" takes a just-cooked bird, whacks off a couple pieces for your plate, and adds some green beans and a glass of vin de maison blanc - it is the best fast- food meal there is. It’s terrific. It’s French. It’s American, but it will remind you of just how much better the French do things when it comes to food. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 16, 2004

Courte Paille

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Lunch in France

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Restaurant

Quote:
Lunch time in France presents a bit of a dilemma. For the natives, lunch is a major meal. Stopping for lunch at a restaurant means a 1-2 hour interruption in sightseeing, but there are ways to reduce the time needed to eat lunch. Restaurant are packed, especially from 12 to 1:30. Go for lunch at 1:30. By then, the big crowd is near the end of lunch, and since most places close at 2pm, service is prompt. The quickest thing to order for lunch is either an omlette or a Croque Monsieur, an open faced hot ham and (melted) cheese sandwich that is one of the glories of French food. Or, if losing daylight time to eating is of no concern, live it up, and have a typical big French meal for lunch....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 17, 2007

Route des Vins d'Alsace

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Attraction | "The Towns of the Route de Vin Alsace"

Quote:
The Route de Vin Alsace runs south from Marlenheim to Thann, neither of which is worth much time. We almost always start in Molsheim.The route runs along the jagged line where the Vosges Mountains meet the Rhine River Plain. The foothills of the mountains are covered in vineyards, and the road passes through a number of charming old Alsatian villages characterized by pastel half-timbered houses. This is the combination, half-timbered houses with vineyards on the hill for the background, that gives the region its great charm. I have listed the towns along the road in the order in which we like them, not as the occur on the route.Originally a Roman outpost, old Kayserberg (pop. 2...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 22, 2006

Route des Vins d'Alsace

Alsace, France

Route des Vins d'Alsace

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Attraction | "Half-Timbered Architecture"

Quote:
The special character of the towns of the Route de Vin, and what makes this one of the most charming regions in Europe, is the 15th century architectural style of half-timbered construction. Since the Ancient Greeks, western architecture has been dominated by the Classical Style, characterized by pillars, framed windows, and, above all, a symmetric facade. From time to time, building styles have rebelled against the Classical standard(Cubism, modern). The first rebellion to survive in any numbers came in 1400-1600, the half-timbered building. Characteristics of half-timbered construction: First and foremost, the faced is not symmetrical. A Classical style building has equal numbers of ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 22, 2006

Route des Vins d'Alsace

Alsace, France

Learn to Love French Waiters

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Forget all the nasty thing you have heard about French waiters. They are the best in the world, once you understand how a properly run French restaurant operates.French waiters are often and undeservedly maligned by Americans because Americans do not know how to eat in France. It’s their country. It’s their ball game, and if you want to play the game, learn the rules. Once you get it, you will appreciate that French service is the best in the world. To start, consider some adventures we have had with French waiters.1) We went to a two-star Michelin restaurant (no reservation, no problem) having already decided to order the house specialty recommended in the Red Guide, a dese...Read More

Driving in Europe

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Story/Tip

Quote:
From the number of American tourists traveling around Europe on bus tours and by train, it seems that a lot of Americans, the most car crazy culture on Earth, are reluctant to drive in Europe. This was brought home to me on one of our trips to Rothenburg o.d.T. Having driven into the old town before, we knew better than to do it again, so we joined a flock of tour busses parked just outside the old city gate. Walking down the main drag, I fell into a conversation with another American visitor, who, not recognizing us from his tour bus group, asked, “What tour are you on?” When I said, “None. We’re driving.”, he launched into a bunch of questions about what it was like, driving in Europe. It wa...Read More