July 9, 2012

The Evolution of Rodeo Culture in France

The Evolution of Rodeo Culture in France

Due to his sojourn in France, Ginger missed the Calgary Stampede in 2011. He barely survived the separation anxiety, and certainly would not have made it without the heavy dose of local, Camarguaise ranching heritage. Surrounding Arles and Nimes, there are a plethora of regional events within a vast geographical area. Every small town hosts a summer celebration in honour of the local patron saint. These events typically include lots of entertainment for all ages. Space permitting, in the villages, there are usually rides and games for kids. Daytime and well into the wee hours there is plenty to amuse the older folks; village meals, rocking musical acts and numerous displays of horsemanship with the bulls. (more…)

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November 8, 2010

Pont du Gard and The Dreaded Shower

Pont du Gard and The Dreaded Shower

As a way of getting acquainted with Provence, Ginger and Nutmeg treated themselves to a bike tour along with a good sampling of the local food and wine!  The tour started in St Tropez with a day of biking around that area.  It was beautiful and not too crowded, as the summer crowd was long gone.  The harbour and surrounding vistas were terrific. However, for Ginger the best part was Le Club Porsche de France was in town for the weekend and he was able to check out some real fancy cars. There were over 20 in our hotel alone and likely over 300 in the whole town – quite a show! (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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