Thursday, July 29, 2010

Café König ( A DO NOT MISS, if you LIKE CAKE)

Mac and I continued our explorations in Baden Baden at a
Villeroy and Boch outlet.
I fell in love with their New Wave dinnerware.
Yes, it was a surprise to me too, as those of you who know me know I love OLD things, old patterns, etc.
There was something about the movement and fluidness of the collection that caught my eye.
Since they were having a sale Mac and I bought 4 cups and saucers with four spoons.
Inspired by our purchase, Mac asked the clerk where we could find the best coffee and cake in
Baden Baden.

She immediately replied,"You must not miss Café König, it is the best in town."
Lichtentaler 12
76530 Baden-Baden

You may sit on the terrace...

or eat inside as we did.  This café has been going strong for about 250 years.
The waitress came to the table and told us she would take our drink orders and that we must go out to the store front and order our cake.  She would bring it to us when the clerks in the front have it ready.

I could see the brilliance in this move when Mac and I began to ogle all that was on offer.

Homemade cookies...

Handmade chocolates...

Petit fours

Hand dipped chocolate covered cherries...

Chocolate covered orange slices....

and raspberry torte!

And those weren't even in the main cake display case!
It was hard to choose, but we finally made our choices and went back to the table.

There I found my refreshing tea "detox" drink.

My cake....not sure what was in it, but it was lovely.

Mac tried the Black Forest Cake and proclaimed it good.

So if you find yourself in Baden-Baden Mac gives this place 2 thumbs up and says to tell you
"Buy some chocolates to take home!"

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why you MUST go to Baden-Baden in the Black Forest's me again!  I am back to tell you what not to miss when you visit
Baden-Baden in the Black Forest.

Let's start with the casino.
Marlene Dietrich said of this casino, "For me it is the most beautiful casino in the world and I should know, because I've been to them all."
It has a bit of White House look to it, don't you think?

Some might think that if you don't gamble it's not worth going.
BUT, there is a guided tour 9:30 to 11:30 am (April-October)
It's worth it going to see the hall of 1,000 candles.
The author Dostoyevsky once gambled his fortune away in these walls.
Sad, but if he hadn't, I suspect we wouldn't have his book THE GAMBLER.
The tour is the way you can safely tour the rooms and not gamble your fortune away.

Mac and I have heard tell of the amazing casino restaurant and have planned a trip back to eat here.

I went to Friedrichsbad many years ago for a spa treatment with a friend.
I came out feeling like a million bucks. The rich and famous have been pampered here for some 120 years.
Don't take it from me though.....

(Entrance to Friedrichsbad)
Mark Twain, described his experience at Friedrichsbad in a letter to a friend: “Here at the Friedrichsbad you lose track of time within 10 minutes and track of the world within 20.”
Heads up...dress code is nude. Europeans don't have the problem with it that we Americans do.
Guess ol' Mark Twain was a progressive sort all those years ago......

Next time we visit Mac and I plan on going here
the Caracalla Spa.

Here 12 hot springs are yours to enjoy.
There is an outdoor area with marble pools and indoors you will find a rock grotto with hot and cold water, steam baths and a saltwater inhalation room, not mention the PAMPERING TREATMENTS
and the massages.

Next up, take a tour of the 2000 year old bath ruins, which are one of Germany's oldest and best kept examples of Roman baths. If you enjoy Roman things like Mac and I do, you'll enjoy this tour.

Take a trip up the Merkur Mountain and use the Merkur Funicular Railway to get to the top.
 Here you are rewarded by wonderful views.
Oh no, the blog has gotten too long again and I haven't even shown you the
best place for the German tradition of coffee and cake in the afternoon.

  Mac gives Baden-Baden two thumbs up and says to tell you,
"Don't worry Mimi will blog on the cake and coffee tomorrow!"

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Fabulous Destination/Baden-Baden in the Black Forest

  Most of the weekend was a game of hide and seek with the sun but, we still managed to have a lovely time.
Mac and I headed off to Baden Baden, a spa town in the Black Forest.
In German, the word baden means "to bathe" and this is a perfect name for a town
that is fed by 23 hot springs that produce 200,000 gallons of mineral water a day. This town has been known for these springs since Romans times.
Years ago I had gone with a friend for a spa treatment which, was AMAZING, but we didn't stay to explore the town.
Saturday, Mac and I set out to see what this famous place was all about.

We decided to start with a carriage ride.  We like to do this when we arrive at a new destination. It gives us a feel for the layout of the city and often leads us back to something we want to further explore.
Our driver was lovely pointing out the sites (good thing we understood German because he didn't speak English)

Our carriage ride took us through the Lichtentaler Allee.
This beautiful park/arboretum  was begun in 1655 as path between the town market and Lichtenthal monastery.

The ride led us by lovely fountains and

an interesting Rose sculpture.

It took us past the oldest tennis courts in Germany and

wound it's way around by fascinating old trees.

These are the tree trunks of the tree you see in the previous picture.
Does anyone know what kind of tree it is? 

Toward the end of the ride we passed the fabulous Brenner Hotel.
Since 1872, this hotel has hosted the rich and famous. It's seen the likes of Walt Disney, Henry Kissinger, Elizabeth Taylor, the Dalai Lama, Irving Berlin, Frank Sinatra and many more!

We stopped where we started in front of the theater. Now we were excited about getting started exploring by foot. 

It was a wonderful place to explore with it's fun cafes

quaint alleys and

interesting architecture.

Mac and I opted for an early lunch at the Gasthaus Lowenbrau

on the terrace.

Mac had the schweinshaxe (ham hocks) and semmel knödel.
It was very tasty and he was not disappointed in this choice. 

I had the most incredible melt-in-your-mouth roast beef with the lightest cream sauce.
This sauce contained a hint of horseradish. It did not over power the beef but complimented the taste.
Oh dear, the blog is getting a bit long and I haven't even begun to tell you all the other reasons to come visit Baden-Baden.

Pssst......come back tomorrow and I will tell you why the rich and famous....and the not so rich and famous like Mac and me LOVE this town.

Ahhh look, Mac has found a new friend.   He gives today the thumbs up and says to tell you, "My new friend is a bit of the SILENT type."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Der Zauberlehring/ The Magician's Apprentice

I was searching the internet for "cooking schools" for cousin Terry and myself.
Both of us love to cook and are very keen to get started on some classes. 
I thought it best to start close to home in Stuttgart and found a hotel/ restaurant
that also offered cooking classes.
I was most intrigued by the name. 
It's called Der Zauberlehring
or in English, The Magician's Apprentice.

Mac and I decided to try the restaurant out with our friend Aimee.
After all, if the food wasn't good, we wouldn't want to take a
"cookery" course, now would we?

Der Zauberlehring is listed in
Cool Hotels
Best of Europe
by teNeues
It did not disappoint with it's funky entry

unusual bedrooms
(they all don't have round beds)

and smallish but, lovely restaurant.

There seemed to be a bit of "magic" around every corner.
In the ladies room, the sink had lighting to show you
the water was getting warm.
It started with the blue light in the center of the faucet
which, then turned pink as it warmed and bright red when the water was hot.
(click on the picture to enlarge if it's hard for you to see)

It was MAGIC from the start of the meal with
the aperitif called the
(translated it means Magic drink)

and the infinity candle at our table.

Saturday and Sundays the restaurant has a set menu so we knew they would just bring out the food.
Our hors D'ouvres were lovely. We ate them with our fingers.
It was then we noticed there were no napkins on the table.

When we walked in, we discovered what looked to be an after dinner mint at our
place setting but,

after the hors D'ouvres, the waiter came to the table and poured some drops of hot water over the tablet.

A hot, moist towelette like you get on airplanes.
A bit of magic!

Our table was then presented the menu for the evening.

They served a lovely pâté  to go with the

bread, as well as some infused olive oils.

Next came the
Shrimp with grilled melon covered in the lightest foam of a vanilla sauce.
Aimee and I vote this the best TASTE of the evening.

On to the soup.
A beautiful red beet soup with the slightest hint of
It was yum!

Our main course was pork from the neck of the pig.  Very tender!
Potato soufflé and a bean cassoulet with the tiny pieces of
chorizo sausage which gave it a real zing.

Dessert was a mound of chocolate with a surprise inside.
A passion fruit filling.
We will definately be taking the cooking class here Terry!

Aimee and I say for more information on the hotel and 
cookery courses go to

Mac gives the restaurant 2 thumbs up and says to tell you,
"You will find the Zauberlehring located at
Rosenstrasse 38
Stuttgart, Germany."