July 24, 2017

Not to be Missed a Brisbane City Break for a Relaxing Stop-Over

Not to be Missed a Brisbane City Break for a Relaxing Stop-Over

“Give me Brisbane Any Day” After driving nearly 3000 km from Sydney to Adelaide, G&N were happy to hand over the rental car keys. Virgin Australia winged them from cool, rainy Adelaide to sunny and slightly humid Brisbane City. Nutmeg was in semi-tropical heaven. “Brissy” invited G&N to explore her neighbourhoods starting with Brisbane’s South Bank. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, this lively venue is where the playground collides with the bar scene. Restaurants compete for clientele on their umbrella sheltered patios and kids’ laughter, from the swimming area, slices through the odd break in the bar music. (more…)

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March 14, 2016

5 Essentials for New Orleans Jazz Fest

5 Essentials for New Orleans Jazz Fest

The friendly guy behind the counter at Community Coffee in the French Quarter asked “Are y’all you going to the Fest this mornin?” G&N were visiting New Orleans or NOLA, as some like to call it, for the second time. They had forgotten about the je ne c’est quoi smell that defines Bourbon Street or Calle De Borbon. It is difficult to determine which is worse; the humid evening whiffs, a combination of stale booze and its fresh side effects, or those same odors reawakened in the morning during street cleaning. (more…)

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February 29, 2016

Foodie Tour of Paris

Foodie Tour of Paris

There are many reasons to complain about the SNCF (French national railways) including their frequent schedule delays. However, when the system works you board the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) in Avignon and arrive 2.5 hours later on the platform at Paris Gare de Lyon – génial (brilliant)! Ginger and Nutmeg were in Paris for a quick visit, a weekend of “hanging-out”. As often happens, Ginger was simply happy to be there, and Nutmeg had a plan. They were going to stroll (flâner) the city and do a foodie tour along the way. (more…)

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September 14, 2015

The West Coast Coffee Trail on U.S. Route 101

The West Coast Coffee Trail on U.S. Route 101

Coffee and audio books are the only way to fuel a seven-day journey in a small car. G&N joined U.S. Route 101 on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State and “Where is the best place to go for coffee?” became the recurrent question of their road trip. (more…)

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July 6, 2015

RAVE Coffee a New Brew in Canmore

RAVE Coffee a New Brew in Canmore

Nutmeg is coffee-obsessed if a cup is not in her hands within 30 minutes of her feet hitting the ground in the morning it’s best to stay away. What is odd about her addiction is that her first encounter with coffee was while visiting her grandparents in the West Indies and she hated the bitter brew. Now, just a few years (or so) later she’s hooked. Needless to say when a new java option appears in town Nutmeg feels it is her duty to investigate. (more…)

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September 10, 2012

Enfin Paris Finally

Enfin Paris Finally

It took 11.5 months for Ginger and Nutmeg to make it to Paris, only a 2.5 hour train ride from their Provencal home base. The capital city is one that both Ginger and Nutmeg love and have visited several times. It is entirely possible; that the relaxing rhythm of life in the sunny south had kept them from Paris for that length of time. However, they finally had a compelling reason to venture to l’ile de France, to meet some friends in the city. After, Nutmeg managed to master, the not so intuitive, SNCF website and purchase their train tickets, the rest was easy. The trains run frequently and sometimes even on time. Departing from Avignon TGV, their goal was to feel like real Parisians for three days. Audacious! (more…)

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March 7, 2010

Which is the best Coffee Capital Paris Vienna or Brussels

Which is the best Coffee Capital Paris Vienna or Brussels

Nutmeg says hands down Vienna is the best Coffee Capital.  You will find decent coffee in all three locations, Paris has already been mentioned (02/23 Don’t tell the French Italian coffee is better), Brussels is decent with many options for Italian expresso or café au lait.   However, the Viennese have created an entire culture around the “coffee-house” which generally involves a smoky bar or quieter lounge. Legend has it that soldiers of the Polish-Habsburg army, while liberating Vienna from the second Turkish siege in 1683, found a number of sacks with strange beans that they initially thought were camel feed and wanted to burn. The Polish king Jan III Sobieski granted the sacks to one of his officers named Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki, who started the first coffee house. After some experimentation, he added some sugar and milk, and the Viennese coffee tradition was born. In Vienna, there are plenty of sweet choices to go along with your coffee.  The two most delicious and famous are the Sachertorte and Applestrudel.  Legend has it the Sachertorte was invented in the kitchens at the 5-star Sacher Hotel.  It is definitely very good although Nutmeg is not sure if it is the best.  The Sacher Café closely guards the recipe; in fact it is apparently locked in a vault.  Not to worry though you can find a very acceptable version on Epicurious.  The only issue in Vienna is they still allow smoking in restaurants so look for one with a non-smoking section…or no people. Nutmeg’s vote:  Vienna is the best coffee capital. [tfb username=’GingerandNutmeg’ count=’true’ lang=’en’ theme=’light’]

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February 21, 2010

Paris France Not to be confused with any other

Paris France Not to be confused with any other

Nutmeg and Ginger are in Paris for Gingers’ school trip. The great thing about Paris in February is the hordes of summer tourists are absent.  This does not mean there are no crowds but rather that the crowds are made up of more locals, French tourists and Asian school trips.  The weather is pleasant at about 5 degrees Celsius, however, it is not spring so requires a good heavy jacket, hat and gloves.  There is no snow on the ground so the ladies are all strutting their boots.  Nutmeg, as some might agree has a boot fetish so this is a bit like being in a candy store.  The boots cover all styles although there is a higher percentage of the black flat sole, zippered, laced or both. Nutmeg packed light so must be content with the one pair she did bring along. (more…)

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