Festive sparkle in Germany: Koblenz and Hachenburg Christmas markets

Hello and Happy New Year!

Now that the craziness of the festive season has come to a halt, it’s time to gush about how magical my second German Christmas market experience was. We went to Koblenz and a little town called Hachenburg – both very special in their own way.

I mean, look at those sparkly fairy lights – what a Christmas dream!

I know the festivities are over, but it’s never too early to plan trips for 2018 (I’m sure many of you have ‘travel more’ as a New Year’s resolution – I know I do!).

Koblenz | Photo by McKenna

We spent a day in Koblenz, a city along the Rhine River in central Germany, where we perused upwards of ten little Christmas markets scattered throughout the town.

From glitter and gold to pine needles and red hues, each little market had its own unique decor and cheery vibe. Oh, and complete with WAY TOO MUCH FOOD. I think I could live off bratwurst and gluhwein all day, every day.

What better way to celebrate the holidays?!

Koblenz | Photo by McKenna
Koblenz | Photo by McKenna

We also visited markets in Hachenburg, a much smaller town situated about a 40-minute drive outside Koblenz.

Although it wasn’t of the same scale of Koblenz, it did not disappoint. For one, just look at that architecture! There was one main market in the centre of town surrounded by historic buildings decked out in lights and decorated trees.

Here’s a look at the small town Christmas vibe with a big, big celebration!

Hachenburg | Photo by McKenna
Hachenburg | Photo by McKenna
Food vibes in Hachenburg | Photo by McKenna
Koblenz | Photo by McKenna

I know it’s 11 months away, but be sure to add Koblenz and Hachenburg to your Christmas wish list in 2018.

Where is your favourite Christmas market?

McK xx

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All aboard! Immersive dining at its finest on Bombay Sapphire’s The Grand Journey

Happy FriYAY!

Hope everyone is ready for the weekend! Whether you’ve planned a chill movie night in or cocktails in town, it’s going to be a good day 🙂

I’ve always been intrigued by ‘immersive dining experiences’ where dinner and drinks are taken to the next level. I was recently invited to my very first one – Bombay Sapphire’s The Grand Journey! Guests are taken on an excursion (whilst staying put in London!) – from Java to Ghana to Tuscany – to experience the stories of 10 botanicals that fuse together Bombay Sapphire’s gin! Pairing deliciousness with fun facts – I’m in!

Upon arrival, guests are ushered to a platform where you await your carriage for the evening. I really did feel as if I was standing in the most luxurious train station on earth – complete with a fabulous conductor, train sound effects, luggage props and more!

Once we boarded, with each destination came a new cocktail and innovative dish created by Michelin-Star chef, Tom Sellers. Equipped with eye-catching and engaging special effects to match each location, this was the ultimate multi-sensory drinking and dining experience. My first realization: venturing outside my go-to G&T with cucumber is a must from here on out.

Here’s a glimpse of the evening!

Add in some gold glitter and mint, and this decadent cocktail was a hit. Paired with scallops and radishes… YUM.

Flower power! | Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna
Heaven in a glittery glass whilst in Morocco | Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna

Bring on my next dinner party because I’m taking inspiration from the fabulous Grand Journey. Who would have thought gin was so versatile?!

Photo by McKenna

Now, cheers to that!

Tis the festive season! Christmas markets are calling my name

Christmas joy is in the air! I made my way to Germany for the first time and discovered my new favourite tradition … browsing through quaint, festive German Christmas markets! From delicious bratwursts to warming gluhwein and handcrafted tree ornaments, Dusseldorf offered cute little stands to suit any and all tastes!

Dusseldorf Christmas markets | Photo by McKenna
Dusseldorf Christmas markets | Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna

And when you need a quick break from shopping … we eat cake!

Nomz | Photo by McKenna
Nomz | Photo by McKenna

Then we get back to eating and shopping!

Pretzels for days | Photo by McKenna
Pretzels for days | Photo by McKenna
Altbier, three regional sausages and sauerkraut | Photo by McKenna
Altbier, three regional sausages and sauerkraut | Photo by McKenna
Handcrafted wooden Nutcrackers | Photo by McKenna
Handcrafted wooden Nutcrackers | Photo by McKenna

Now let’s talk about the beer… in Germany an empty glass simply does not exist. The second you come to the last sip of your drink, a refill hits the horizon before you can even blink an eye. It is just FANTASTIC.

Keep them coming
Keep them coming

It’s safe to say I’m in a Merry Christmas mindset now! Just call me Mrs. Claus!

Home sweet home xx
Home sweet home

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DC Dining: Unum

My girlfriends and I recently made a pact to try a new restaurant/have a girl’s night out twice a month. First on our list – Unum – a “neighborhood restaurant with American contemporary cuisine” in the heart of Georgetown.  Conclusion: It’s 12 hours later and I’m still drooling/thinking about all of that deliciousness.

My personal favorite: Sesame crusted scallops with wasabi risotto with edamame, shiitake & tobiko, spiced shishito peppers, pickled vegetables & nori beurre blanc.

scallops
Sesame crusted scallops. Photo by McKenna

Other top rates: 

Grilled quail with sauteed spinach with dates, pistachios & date demi-glace

Boneless shortrib pasta with tagliatelle, baby root vegetables & red-wine braising jus

Grilled hanger steak with roasted sunchokes, white & green asparagus, horseraddish & port sauces

Looks as if our dining pact is off to a scrumptious start!

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