Strasbourg Gourmet Food Tour with Pierre

During our recent visit to Strasbourg we did the Strasbourg Gourmet Tour with Pierre, booked through AirBnB for just over £50 per person (tickets start from £43). Strictly speaking we had booked a four-hour experience called Strasbourg Gourmet Tour starting at 9:30am, which was then replaced by a better-value six-hour experience called Strasbourg CHRISTMAS Gourmet Tour, starting from 10am. No complaints from our side. From the moment we met our guide, we knew this is someone who found their calling. You don’t find that much enthusiasm very often. Presumably in his mid-twenties, Pierre grew up in town and clearly loves it dearly and knows it inside out. We also liked the fact that the groups are limited to max 8 people, which in our case turned out to be a middle-aged couple from Yosemite, California, who had just started out as vintners and b&b owners, a bubbly, young lady from […]

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A Self-Guided Visit to the Paris Catacombs – A Sight with Six Million Skeletons

During our recent visit to Paris Ms B & I did what we had been planning to do for a long time: visit the famous Paris Catacombs. They are located close to the metro station Denfert-Rochereau, not too far from the city centre. Skip the queue, kind of We had purchased our skip-the-queue self-guided audio tour tickets in advance. The Paris Museums Tickets webpage to which the official Paris Catacombs website links to, charges €29 per person. With a bit of luck you might find one of the daily changing discounts somewhere else if you google around a bit. €29 is no small amount of money, but you will be grateful to have spent it, when you see the massive queues which meander around the entrance building for two hundred metres and more. While I’m writing this post, I can see on the Catacombs’ website that the queues are currently […]

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Kayaking with ‘New Forest Activities’ – Fair bit of exercise, fabulous fun, and you get to see jellyfish!

Last summer Ms B & I decided to venture to the New Forest again as it was the start of the pannage season when local farmers have permission for two months to let their pigs roam free around the woodlands. The idea is that the pigs eat all the acorns that are harmful for other animals like the free-roaming ponies, horses, and donkeys (in principle the acorns are harmful to pigs too, but these smart badasses simply spit out those bits). Anyhoooo.. didn’t see a single pig, so resorted to other activities. Besides horseback riding (post here), the most fun activity was our 3h kayaking trip with New Forest Activities (£39.90 per person). The starting point is at the beautiful Buckler’s Hard Maritime Museum (open air, admission included) on the banks of the Beaulieu river.     At the start of the 18th century a highly ambitious and (following his […]

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“Paris’ Best Flavours” Marché Aligre Food Tour

During our recent visit to Paris we booked the “Paris’ Best Flavours” food tour with operator “Anto’s Paris” via Tripadvisor (£61.50 each). Anto’s Paris Like a Local had received some great reviews, which alerted us to the tour (even though the tour itself we had not found any reviews on, except for a solitary 5 out of 5 rating here and there with no weight). Our tour was larger than average comprising eight paying guests. Our guide was a bubbly lady in her early thirties who had been living in Paris for ten years but initially hailed from Mexico. I can’t seem to remember her name. After a short introduction and a brisk five minute walk we arrived at our first stop: Blé Sucré, a bakery known for their out-of-this-world croissants and other fine pastry. We all opted for the pain of chocolat, one each, and it sure turned out […]

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Staying at the four-starred Le Mareuil in the Haut Marais district, Paris

During our recent visit to Paris, we stayed at four-starred Le Mareuil. Located in the Haut Marais district, squeezed in between the historical Marais district and the recently revamped Place de la République, it is walking distance from our beloved Place des Vosges, Le Marche des Enfants Rouges, and pretty much all of central Paris, including the Ile de la Cité, which is roughly 40 minutes’ walk away. Rue Oberkampf is very close. Unbeknownst to us, the Haut Marais has recently developed from a nondescript grey mass into a hip fashion design hotspot with lots of fancy clothes shops, restaurants, cafes, great nightlife, and more high-end barber shops than I have seen in my whole life.   The hotel only opened in 2013, so everything feels reasonably new and modern. We didn’t really get a chance to check out their spa or their bar, considering we were on a tight […]

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