Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

So last week, I introduced you to my first ever visit to Switzerland in a lovely place called Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern!

But why Switzerland, I hear you jealously say?

Well, it was part of my summer campaign.

You know the one – Victoria’s Summer European Challenge Campaign!

Victoria's Summer European Challenge Campaign! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Victoria’s Summer European Challenge Campaign!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

My challenge was to visit a European city. Every weekend, through the summer holidays.

Every weekend!

For six (6) weeks!

And only to travel.

By train!

So let’s see how we’re doing.

Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty! © Visit Denmark
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
© Visit Denmark

I started off with Denmark and hopped off to Copenhagen.

Copenhagen was pretty cool, and you can read all about it below:

I then went to Switzerland, and skipped and sang all the way to Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern!

SWITZERLAND

A few paces away you would find cows in the field gently chewing away, in Lucerne!
A few paces away you would find cows in the field gently chewing away, in Lucerne!

Switzerland, otherwise known as the Swiss Confederation, is a small federal state or Bundesstadt!

It is situated in both Western and Central Europe, and is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east!

Switzerland thankfully, has a long history of neutrality and has not been in a state of war internationally, since 1815!

In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organizations.
In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organizations.

In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organizations, is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably even though it’s not a part of the European Union, or the European Economic Area, it nevertheless, allows free movement of travel, trade and living, for EU member states.

Although a small country of just eight million people, Switzerland consists of four (4) main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian, and Romansh – a sort of Swiss Romance language.

I live in Germany and Switzerland is practically next door but…

Shock & Horror! I had never ever been to Switzerland before I went to Lucerne!
Shock & Horror!
I had never ever been to Switzerland before I went to Lucerne!

Shock & Horror!

I had never ever been!

My task?

To visit Lucerne. Sleep in Lucerne. Eat in Lucerne. And survive the horrendous prices. With young boy tween in tow.

Yummy raspberry with chocolate! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Yummy raspberry with chocolate!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

And so I told you how to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

And boy, do you need it!

Switzerland is terribly expensive and sadly, there’s no getting around it!

Prepare yourself for really high prices, and either suck it up, or go elsewhere!

You’ve really got to wonder how visitors do it, so I’m going to tell you!

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT SWITZERLAND, AND EAT CHEESE!

Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

Swiss food is a blend of regional influences combining the cuisine of its neighbours – France, Italy and Germany, and thus, creating (like Nordic food), a new cuisine with local ingredients.

Switzerland is historically a country of farmers, and sheep-herders, so rustic dishes tend to be plain and simple, with basic ingredients such as cheese and potato!

Having said that, it is commonly accepted that Switzerland’s most national dish is a rösti, also known as chopped grated potato! It can be found in a variety of different regional varieties, but common ingredients are bacon, onions, cheese and mushroom.

Yum!

SWISS CHEESE!

Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

Cheesemaking has been a tradition in Switzerland for hundreds of years.

Over 450 varieties of cheese from Switzerland are produced  with just under 50% of milk produced, dedicated to making cheese!

High quality, naturalness, and good taste, are the main characteristics of cheese from Switzerland, which is as a result of strict production guidelines, strict quality control, and strict environmental directives!

 In Switzerland, cheese is not just cheese, but a living slice of popular and gastronomic culture.

Some of the best-known cheeses are:

Sbrinz chunks Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Sbrinz chunks
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

Sbrinz – an extra hard full fat cheese produced in central Switzerland, said to be first mentioned in 70 AD thus making Sbrinz, the oldest cheese in Europe! 

Sbrinz is commonly eaten in small pieces, often used instead of Parmesan, and produced in only 42 dairies throughout Switzerland!

Contrary to popular belief, the name Sbrinz does not refer to a particular place or region nevertheless, in the 1990’s, a new area called Sbrinz suddenly popped up!

Le Gruyère Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Le Gruyère
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

Le Gruyère – a hard yellow cheese named after the town of Gruyères in Switzerland, and first produced in 1115!

Gruyère is sweet but slightly salty, with a flavour that varies widely with age. It is often described as creamy and nutty when young, or earthy and complex when it matures. When aged, it tends to have small cracks which impart a slightly grainy texture.

Emmentaler or Emmental. Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Emmentaler or Emmental.
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

Emmentaler or Emmental – a yellow, medium-hard Swiss cheese that originated in the area around Emmental in Bern, and dates back to ancient history. It even has a place in the Historic Museum in Bern!

It is produced in small rural dairies with raw cow’s milk, natural ingredients, and no preservatives. The cheese is produced in a round shape with a natural rind, and aged in traditional cellars for a minimum of four months.

It has a savoury, but mild taste, and the large holes formed within the cheese are caused by a presence of hay particles which cause even larger holes when the cheese is matured!

Appenzeller cheese. Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Appenzeller cheese.
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

Appenzeller – a hard cow’s-milk cheese produced in the Appenzell region of northeast Switzerland. It has a history of about 700 years with just 75 dairies producing it!

The cheese is straw-colored, with tiny holes and a golden rind. It has a strong smell and a nutty or fruity flavor, which can range from mild to tangy depending on how long it is aged. It also has a herbal brine which is applied to the cheese while it cures, giving it that distinct flavour while forming the rind.

Most of the recipes are trade secrets!

Tête de Moine or Monk's Head. Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Tête de Moine or Monk’s Head.
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

Tête de Moine or Monk’s Head – a Swiss cheese produced more than eight centuries ago by the monks of the Abbey of Bellelay, located in the community of Saicourt, in French-speaking Bern.

It was believed that during the French Revolution, the name was bestowed by French occupation soldiers who compared the method of serving the cheese, to shaving the top of a skull to create a monk’s tonsure!

However, as far back as 1192, the cheese-making skill of the monks of Bellelay was known, and the Tête de Moine was used by tenant farmers as payment to land owners, as a gift to the prince-bishops of Basel, and even used as currency!

French soldiers compared the method of serving cheese, to shaving the top of a monk's skull! These guys don't have a living head anymore, so it's quite alright!
French soldiers compared the method of serving cheese, to shaving the top of a monk’s skull!
These guys don’t have a living head anymore, so it’s quite alright!

Tête de Moine is made from unpasteurized, whole cow’s milk and is a semi-hard cheese. It is cylindrical in shape and can weight as much as 2.5 kg!

Traditionally, this cheese is carefully scraped with a knife to produce thin shavings, which is said to help develop the odour and flavour by allowing oxygen to reach more of the surface. In 1982, the Girolle was invented, which makes it possible to make “rosettes” of Tête de Moine by turning a scraper on an axle, planted in the center of the cheese.

This isn't really me going grey, it's a carnival! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
This isn’t really me going grey, it’s a carnival!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

Knowing that Swiss prices would turn my hair grey, I opted to book a private double room at Backpackers Lucerne hostel.

Our hostel was great.

It had everything we needed, free WiFi, and two kitchens!

I hate cooking at the best of times, and on holiday or city breaks, I definitely don’t cook! But if YOU do, there is plenty of opportunity to cater for yourself.

THIS IS WHAT WE ACTUALLY ATE!

Organic sandwiches, salad, and cake! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Organic sandwiches, salad, and cake!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

We didn’t really have breakfast in the morning, and preferred to have sandwiches for lunch, and perhaps a drink on the lake.

And for this, we found a pretty nifty supermarket at the Main Train Station – Luzern Bahnhof – called the Coop so we filled up our basket with sandwiches, salad, fruit juice and water, and that was usually sufficient to carry us through the day.

The Coop Cooperative is one of Switzerland’s largest retail and wholesale companies which accounts for half of all the organic food sold throughout Switzerland, and many Fairtrade products!

Switzerland sells organic food & Fairtrade products! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Switzerland sells organic food & Fairtrade products!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

We were in fairly good hands!

Over the weekend, and for the very long train journey home, we bought:

  • A salmon bagel – CHF 4.60 / €4.25
  • A roast beef sandwich – CHF 5.95 / €5.50
  • A salmon & Gruyère sandwich – CHF 6.70 / €6.20
  • A chicken salad – CHF 5.50 / €5.60
  • A ham & Gruyère cheese salad – CHF 6.50 / €6.00
  • A mango & peach smoothie – CHF 2.95 / €2.70
  • Peach-flavoured water – CHF 1.35 / €1,25
  • A mini Calzone pastry – CHF 2.95 / €2.70
  • Quiche Lorraine – CHF 2.95 / €2.70
  • A sausage roll – CHF 3.50 / €3.25
  • An organic ham sandwich – CHF 4.95 / €4.60
  • A pulled chicken sandwich – CHF 5.95 / €5.50
  • Mixed salad – CHF 6.50 / €6.00
  • A cream cornet – CHF 3.20 / €2.95
  • Yogurt – CHF 2.95 / €2.70
  • A bottle of red Rivella – A Swiss soft drink – CHF 1.35 / €1.25
  • A bottle of coca-cola – CHF 1.35 / €1.25
  • Active02 orange mineral water – CHF 1.70 / €1.60
  • A can of Swiss pale lager beer (to taste!) – Tell Bier – CHF 0.80 / €0.75
Don't forget, Swiss supermarkets aren't open all day! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Don’t forget, Swiss supermarkets aren’t open all day!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

Don’t forget, Swiss supermarkets are only opened from 08:00 – 18:00. On Saturdays, they usually close between 16:00 -18:00 and most are closed on Sundays and public holidays. In smaller villages, supermarkets might close for an hour or two during lunch time.

When travelling away from home, I usually like to partake in the local fare however, it wasn’t easy to do so in Switzerland, but we did our best.

I wanted to sit beside the water, so we found a lovely lake-side pub and ordered a small glass of beer and a soft drink.

The flea market in Lucerne, was just around the corner! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
The flea market in Lucerne, was just around the corner!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

The view was amazing, and you could people-watch quite well, as the flea market was just around the corner!

However, a hefty CHF 25 (swiss francs) charge or €23.00 not including the tip, soon put paid to doing more of such “breaks!”

I still wanted us to have at least a warm meal for supper so I did a search on Google, and found a Department Store called Manor, which was in the centre of the Old Town, but most importantly, had a Food Hall on the 5th floor, and Roof Top seating!

Yes!

And Yeeeeees!

Most importantly, there was a Food Hall and Roof Top seating - Yeeeeeees!
Most importantly, there was a Food Hall and Roof Top seating – Yeeeeeees!

We managed to find it just in time as Switzerland is traditional, and this Department Store was closing at 16:00.

On Saturday.

It was a bit annoying but not surprising, as when I first came to Berlin, shops used to close at 13:00!

On Saturday.

And you could forget about Sunday!

Switzerland was the same!

Free juice! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Free juice!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

The staff were already beginning to pile things together, so we took what we saw, and sat on the roof-top. The roof-top view alone was worth the price, and they gave us free juice too!

WHAT DID WE HAVE?

We had:

We had lots of food stuff - reasonably priced! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
We had lots of food stuff – reasonably priced!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
  • Bruschetta tomato – CHF 3.50 / €3.25
  • A glass of wine – CHF 3.50 / €3.25
  • 2 Spring rolls – CHF 5.60 / €5.20 (CHF 2.80 / €2.60 each!)
  • A bun – CHF 1.00 / €0.95
  • A patisserie dessert – CHF 3.00 / €2.80
  • A large bowl of cream soup – CHF 5.90 / €5.45
  • Freshly pressed orange juice – CHF 3.10 / €3.00
A patisserie dessert or a creamy custard cornet! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
A patisserie dessert or a creamy custard cornet!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

Total cost CHF 25.10 / €23.00!

We also found another lakeside restaurant which dates back to the 16th century, and is located on the river Reuss! This cute place is called Nix’s in der Laterne where we were able to have:

  • A small glass of mineral water – CHF 4.80 / €4.50
  • A small lager – CHF 4.90 / €4.51
Swiss beer was almost the same price as water! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Swiss beer was almost the same price as water!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

Yep!

The beer was almost the same price as the water!

And I’ve spoken about this before. In fact, when I first came to live in Berlin, beer was cheaper than coca-cola, and in Prague, a bottle of water was more expensive than a bottle of beer!

However, with gratinated berries with yogurt ice cream costing CHF 9.50 / €9.00, a mixed leaf starter salad with fried seasonal mushrooms costing CHF 15.50 / €14.50, and a tween lad who would finish that salad with his eyes! We had no choice but to drink up, and get back to our assortment of organic sandwiches, supermarket salad, and cake!

THIS IS WHAT WE SHOULD HAVE EATEN!

Cheese fondue - Swiss cheese melted in a huge communal pot! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Cheese fondue – Swiss cheese melted in a huge communal pot!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
  • Cheese fondue: various kinds of Swiss cheese melted in a huge communal pot of delicious melted cheese – pieces of bread, as well as baby vegetables, olives, onions, and pickles, are dipped into the cheese, using a long-stemmed fork!
Raclette - food covered in molten or scalloped cheese! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Raclette – food covered in molten or scalloped cheese!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
  • Raclette: various kinds of food (bread, mushrooms, meat, potatoes) covered in molten or scalloped cheese. The melting can be done by using small slices of cheese that everyone melts in their own small pan, placed on a raclette set.

The more classical method is to take a much larger piece of cheese, place it in the holder of a raclette device (which has a heating element), and scrape off the molten cheese from time to time!

In Germany, my family and I usually have this on New Years’s Eve. It’s an excellent meal to have with a bunch of friends, and bottles of wine!

Rösti - also known as chopped grated potato! ©Benutzer Mussklprozz Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Rösti – also known as chopped grated potato! ©Benutzer Mussklprozz
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
  • Rösti: chopped grated fried potatoes!
Geschnetzeltes - veal with mushrooms served with rösti! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Geschnetzeltes – veal with mushrooms served with rösti!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
  • Geschnetzeltes: thin strips of veal with mushrooms in a cream sauce, served with rösti.
Luzerner Chügelipastete - a puff-pastry shell filled with diced veal and mushrooms in a creamy sauce! ©Hans R. Amrein Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Luzerner Chügelipastete – a puff-pastry shell filled with diced veal and mushrooms in a creamy sauce! ©Hans R. Amrein
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
  • Luzerner Chügelipastete or Lozärner Chügelipastete: a puff-pastry shell filled with diced veal and mushrooms, in a creamy sauce.
Käseschnitte - a slice of bread coated with cheese, flour, milk or cream and egg yolk! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Käseschnitte – a slice of bread coated with cheese, flour, milk or cream and egg yolk!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
  • Käseschnitte: a slice of bread coated with a mixture of grated cheese, flour, milk or cream and an egg yolk, and then baked with the smeared side down with oil or butter. A little bit like Welsh rarebit, but sometimes also had with a fried egg on top!
Bireweggen - a traditional pastry with dried pears, raisins, walnuts and other dried fruit! ©Hans R. Amrein. Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Bireweggen – a traditional pastry with dried pears, raisins, walnuts and other dried fruit! ©Hans R. Amrein.
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
  • Bireweggen: a traditional pastry with a filling of dried pears, raisins, walnuts and other dried fruit such as apples or figs. The filling is spread on a sheet of dough and rolled. It is also flavoured with candied fruit, coriander, cinnamon, star anise, anise, clove, and a bit of alcohol!
Älplermagronen - a bake with macaroni, potatoes, onions, bacon, & cheese, served with apple sauce! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Älplermagronen – a bake with macaroni, potatoes, onions, bacon, & cheese, served with apple sauce!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
  • Alpine herdsman’s macaroni or Älplermagronen: a frugal all-in-one bake, using ingredients that local herdsmen had at hand in their alpine cottages, such as macaroni, potatoes, onions, small pieces of bacon, and melted cheese. Traditionally served with apple sauce!
  • Local fish caught from Lake Lucerne
  • Local veal
  • Pork knuckle braised in dark beer with swiss pasta and green cabbage
Potato dumplings with ricotta & vegetables! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Potato dumplings with ricotta & vegetables!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
  • Potato dumplings filled with ricotta, and seasonal vegetables
  • Toblerone parfait with marinated cherries
  • Apricot Meringue with curd cheese cream
  • Cheese from the Alps with sweet and spicy fig mustard

    Waffles & scrummy cream. What can I say!
    Waffles & scrummy cream.
    What can I say!
  • Home-made waffles filled with as much cream, fruit and sauces as we would choose!
  • Cervelat or cervelas, considered the Swiss national sausage!

THIS IS WHAT WE SHOULD HAVE DRUNK!

No really. This is what we should have drunk! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
No really. This is what we should have drunk!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

Swiss wine is commonly available throughout the country, but not so much outside of Switzerland! The most famous ones are:

Swiss wine is commonly available throughout the country, but not outside of Switzerland! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Swiss wine is commonly available throughout the country, but not outside of Switzerland!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
  • Riesling X Sylvaner – German-Switzerland
  • Chasselas – French-Switzerland
  • Pinot noir – French-Switzerland
  • Merlot – Italian-Switzerland

Swiss beer is not easily available abroad, so when in Switzerland, a local brewery is best to see how it’s done! Well known brands are:

Swiss beer is not easily available so when in Switzerland, a local brewery is best, to see how it's done! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Swiss beer is not easily available so when in Switzerland, a local brewery is best, to see how it’s done!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
  • Eichhof – Lucerne
  • Calanda – Graubünden
  • Feldschlösschen – Rheinfelden
  • Rugenbräu – Interlaken

WHAT WE TOOK HOME!

I don't really like chocolate, but if it's Swiss....! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
I don’t really like chocolate, but if it’s Swiss….!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
  • Appenzeller Biber, otherwise known as Swiss gingerbread!
Appenzeller Biber, otherwise known as Swiss gingerbread! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Appenzeller Biber, otherwise known as Swiss gingerbread!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
  • And lastly, Swiss milk chocolate of which there’s a huge variety of specialities, made according to Swiss tradition! Such as:
Swiss mint chocolate isn't too bad! Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Swiss mint chocolate isn’t too bad!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT SWITZERLAND, AND EAT CHEESE!

Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions and the tantalising Swiss delights that we ate, are my very own!

Throughout the summer month of August, all the museums in Berlin will be open each and every day! This will conclude with the bi-annual Die Lange Nacht der Museen otherwise known as the Long Night of Museums taking place on 27.8.16 from 6p.m. in the evening ’till 2a.m in the morning!

The Pop Kultur Festival is a new festival based in hipster Neukölln, over three (3) exciting days of new international and German bands, live concerts, performances, talks and reading, taking place from 31.08.16 – 02.09.16.

Berlin Art Week will take place from 13.09.16 – 18.09.16 so if you like contemporary art, this is the place for it!

I’ll also be attending the Down Under Berlin Australian & New Zealand Film Festival, from 14.09.16 – 18.09.16, which is the largest film festival in Europe dedicated to Australian and New Zealand film!

Save the Date!

August is going to be tasty!

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & Facebook!

If you’re not in Berlin in August, what are you waiting for?!

Watch this space!

Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

Have you been to Switzerland?  Do you like cheese? Have your say!

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Europe is wonderful!

It’s a continent and mass of a huge number of countries with an amazing number of languages, cultures and styles. Is it any wonder that I decided to organise  Victoria’s Summer European Challenge Campaign!

I mean, wouldn’t you?

Oh, the summer!

My challenge was to visit a European city. Every weekend, through the summer holidays.

My challenge was to visit a European city. Every weekend! How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
My challenge was to visit a European city. Every weekend!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Every weekend!

For six (6) weeks!

And only to travel.

By train!

So let’s see how we’re doing.

A Danish girl in Denmark!
A Danish girl in Denmark!

I started off with Denmark and hopped off to Copenhagen.

Is Copenhagen a European city?

Yes. Tick!

This train was what I was expecting.
This train was what I was expecting.

Did I travel only by train?

Well, I booked my train with Deutsche Bahn – German Rail – and received a paid ticket for my seat on a German train, and was sent to….

I got this bus instead!
I got this bus instead!

Er….a coach – bus.

Organised by Deutsche Bahn.

Which took us through Northern Germany, on a ferry across the Baltic Sea!

Copenhagen was great and you can read all about it below:

So let’s go to the next destination.

The next country that I went to was Switzerland, and the city that I decided to visit was Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern!

SWITZERLAND

What about Swiss fondue! How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
What about Swiss fondue!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Switzerland, otherwise known as the Swiss Confederation, is a small federal state or Bundesstadt!

It is situated in both Western and Central Europe, and is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east!

Switzerland thankfully, has a long history of neutrality and has not been in a state of war internationally, since 1815!

In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organizations.
In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organizations.

In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organizations, is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably even though it’s not a part of the European Union, or the European Economic Area, it nevertheless, allows free movement of travel, trade and living, for EU member states.

Although a small country of just eight million people, Switzerland consists of four (4) main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian, and Romansh – a sort of Swiss Romance language.

I live in Germany and Switzerland is practically next door but…

Shock & Horror! I had never ever been to Switzerland!
Shock & Horror!
I had never ever been to Switzerland!

Shock & Horror!

I had never ever been!

Mainly ‘cos it’s frightfully expensive!!

And so, I decided to cough up, and just go for it. And with a demanding growing lad too.

But where to go?

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

I opted to go to Lucerne.

Gulp!

My task?

To visit Lucerne. Sleep in Lucerne. Eat in Lucerne. And survive the horrendous prices. With young boy tween in tow.

Here we go.

Eeeek!

HOW TO SPEND 48 ASTONISHING HOURS IN LUCERNE, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS LUZERN – ON A BUDGET!

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Lucerne is a city in the German-speaking part of central Switzerland and is the capital of the Canton of Lucerne, and the capital of the district of the same name!

With a population of 80,378 people, Lucerne is the most populous city in Central Switzerland!

Owing to its location on the shore of Lake Lucerne, Lucerne has long been a destination for tourists.

The official language of Lucerne is Swiss German, which is very different from German-German and very sing-songy…!

TAKE ME THERE?

Switzerland has excellent transport connections.
Switzerland has excellent transport connections.

Lucerne has excellent connections. If you’re flying, you would usually come into Zurich or Basel, and then a car or train ride away, would be about an hour. You can also come in via boat or rent a car.

We came in by train.

As you know, Victoria’s Summer European Challenge Campaign is to travel through the summer by train. Being that I live in Berlin, makes it an extremely easy way to travel.

In fact, travelling by train through the European continent is one of the most comfortable ways to travel with ease, from one country to the other. And by far, one of the cheapest!

The snag is to book tickets with the national train companies, directly.
The snag is to book tickets with the national train companies, directly.

The snag is to book tickets with the national train companies, directly. On their own websites, or through the German Rail otherwise known as Deutsche Bahn. Most websites have an English version. Some can be admittedly slightly hidden, but persevere, or contact them directly by calling, or via Email!

The cheapest way to ease into buying train tickets through most European countries (not all), is to actually book through the Deutsche Bahn portal on the local German English version not the UK or USA version! Note that for Germany, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland, if you’re going by train, I don’t recommend that you do so by InterRail or EuroRail passes, if you’re only travelling to one country, as the prices are ridiculously expensive and children have to be paid for!

Take the train! How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
Take the train!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Last year, I bought a twelve-hour direct train ticket from Berlin to Budapest. In first class for €69.00. Second class was just €10.00 cheaper at €59.00! My child was free of charge!

I bought a seven (7) hour train journey (second class) train ticket via the Hungarian Railways or MAV at a cost of 11,780 Ft or €38.40 to travel from Budapest to Prague. Child included in the cost!

I bought a five (5) hour train journey ticket (second class) to travel from Prague to Berlin. In August for just €29.00! And don’t forget, on the German inter-city Deutsche Bahn trains, children under 15 years old, travelling with their relatives, are free and cost nothing at all!

As a matter of fact, our return ticket from Berlin – Copenhagen – Berlin was just €58.00!

"The Tall Young Gentleman" didn't look too happy that for Switzerland, we took the Sparpreis Europa city night line train!
“The Tall Young Gentleman” didn’t look too happy that for Switzerland, we took the Sparpreis Europa city night line train!

For Switzerland, we took the Sparpreis Europa city night line train, and the eleven (11) hour return ticket journey from Berlin – Lucern – Berlin, including reserved seating in July. Cost just €98.00. My child was free!

In a future post, I’ll be giving you tips as to how to prepare yourself when travelling on a European train!

IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

Tourists were refreshingly diverse in Lucerene. ©Emanuel Ammon/Luzern Tourismus
Tourists were refreshingly diverse in Lucerene.
©Emanuel Ammon/Luzern Tourismus

We went to Lucerne in July, and I didn’t think crowds were more or less, than any other top European country in peak summer months.

I did notice that tourists were wonderfully more diverse, with many coming from other European nations of course, the US, and Asia.

Switzerland is a small nation with a lot of natural scenery and water, if you really don’t want to see a single soul, I don’t think it would be that difficult!

WHAT IS LUCERNE LIKE?

Switzerland is enormously clean, tidy, and orderly.
Switzerland is enormously clean, tidy, and orderly.

We were only there for two (2) days but I found Lucerne fascinating.

It’s in Switzerland, so it’s enormously clean, tidy, and orderly.

The people were friendly, relaxed, helpful, and full of smiles. In fact, loads of people were just relaxing and swimming in the lake, many were strolling, and you got the impression that these were people happy with their lot.

Lucerne is picture postcard pretty with bridges that reminded you of Venice, and castles that left you in no doubt that you were in a country of city and culture. Everywhere you looked was an impressive monument, building, castle or church, but a few paces away you would find cows in the field gently chewing away!

A few paces away you would find cows in the field gently chewing away, in Lucerne!
A few paces away you would find cows in the field gently chewing away, in Lucerne!

In front of you would be a majestic palace, and around the corner would be a flea market. The trains were super punctual but at the same time, if you went to a local tavern, the waiter would spend 20 minutes chatting while you drank your beer. You had the distinct impression that the people of Lucerne understood their city, and were happy to share it with visiting tourists.

It’s a city of history, but a living one, that breathes.

I DON’T SPEAK GERMAN!

We won't put you in the Schirmerturm Tower if you can't speak German!
We won’t put you in the Schirmerturm Tower if you can’t speak German!

Not a problem. Everyone pretty much speaks English, with many of the locals speaking German (of course), French and Italian too!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

Nope! Switzerland is one of the most advanced nations in the world, so  it won’t be necessary for you to live in a cave!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Switzerland is expensive. And so is this Jaguar car!
Switzerland is expensive. And so is this Jaguar car!

Not a lot I’m afraid.

Switzerland is expensive.

Terribly expensive and sadly, there’s no getting around it!

However, have no fear, there are hostels that cater to the more budget conscious traveller, and we were in one of them!

Knowing that Swiss prices would turn my hair grey, I opted to book a private double room at Backpackers Lucerne hostel.

I like to mix things up a little! How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
I like to mix things up a little!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Whenever we go on a family holiday, I like to mix things up a little in order to experience a wide variety of accommodation possibilities, to meet the locals, and to stretch our budget in a more comfortable way.

In Copenhagen, I decided to book a family friendly budget hotel. This time around, we were going for the cheap and cheerful option of a hostel.

Backpackers Luzerne is a hostel that is located 15 minutes from the train station, right in front of the lake, near a local park where friends and family were hanging out, napping, listening to music, on a picnic, or just playing boules!

I had booked a private twin room which came with bed sheets, a large wooden wardrobe, a wooden table, two chairs, a mini-lamp with a mini bedside table, a private balcony with a further two chairs, and free WiFi.

Going to a hostel, gets you up early! How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
Going to a hostel, gets you up early!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

There were only two plugs on one side of the room, and one plug on the other, and neither of them could actually reach the table, which wasn’t that great with a laptop, kindles, phones, iPads, and all the other paraphernalia, that people travel with today.

I usually write at night and I wasn’t really able to, as there was no way to work with such a tight space with mini-facilities, without disturbing my son as he slept. So imagine my annoyance, when I found out that there were rows of tables, on the floor landing, with a million plug holes, just for this very purpose!

Whaaaaaat!

If only I had known earlier!

A kitchen is necessary so that we can have.....noodles! How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
A kitchen is necessary so that we can have…..noodles!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

The hostel had two kitchens, a large common room, and shared bathrooms and toilets on every floor. As well as  laundry rooms, and an extra open space with mirrors and sinks so that you could do your basic toiletry, outside the bathroom shower!

They also had bathroom scales which I thought was pretty nifty.

We paid just CHF 70.00 or €65.00 and we also got a discount ‘cos children get a CHF 8.00 or €6.70 reducction!

For what it was, this hostel was delightful and I highly recommend it.

Tick!

I’M LOOKING FOR A BIT MORE LUXURY, IS THERE SOMETHING FOR ME?

Is luxury available? Sure! ©Christian Perret/Luzern Tourismus
Is luxury available? Sure!
©Christian Perret/Luzern Tourismus

Most likely!

But this challenge wasn’t that sort of trip, and after losing so much money in Copenhagen, I thought it prudent to spend less, and experience more!

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I GET TO LUCERN OTHERWISE KNOWN AS LUZERN?

We only went for two (2) days so this was a a bit of a whirlwind cultural family trip. We were kindly given complimentary Luzern Museum Cards for the weekend which at CHF 36.00 or €33.00 per person, greatly reduced the cost of having to pay individually.

Thanks so much!

There is plenty to do in Lucerne. You can:

There is plenty to do in Lucerne so "The Tall Young Gentleman" & I made our own independent walking tour instead! Seen slightly before walking on the medieval Chapel Bridge, Water Tower, and Spreuer Bridge in Lucerne!
There is plenty to do in Lucerne so “The Tall Young Gentleman” & I made our own independent walking tour instead!
Seen slightly before walking on the medieval Chapel Bridge, Water Tower, and Spreuer Bridge in Lucerne!
  • Go on a free walking tour. We booked with Free Walk Lucerne but they didn’t turn up, so we did our own independent walking tour instead!
  • Explore the history and architecture of Lucerne.
  • Marvel at the magnificent views of the Alps.
  • Imagine how it would have been many years ago at the 3D-Panorama Alpineum.
  • Take photographs of the splendid buildings in Lucerne.
  • Walk by the riverside and walk through the 14th century Chapel Bridge, the Spreuer Bridge, and various other bridges and footpaths, where you can take as many selfie photographs as you like!
  • Check out some of the lovely churches and places of worship which are just bursting to be visited.
Myself walking by the riverside and walking through various bridges and footpaths, where you can take as many selfie photographs as you like!
Myself walking by the riverside and walking through various bridges and footpaths, where you can take as many selfie photographs as you like!
  • Discover the country manor house of the Richard Wagner Museum.
  • Spend a fun day running around the interactive Historisches Museum Luzern where you can follow a topic on display, go to the circus, and if you’re young enough. Watch a movie!
  • Get to grips with one of the most famous sights in Switzerland, immortalizing how local Swiss people took part in a remarkable act of solidarity, by rescuing over 87,000 French soldiers in the harsh winter of 1871! We were enormously impressed by the Bourbaki Panorama Luzern. Go see!
  • You know how much I like Art, so is it any wonder if I recommend the Rosengarten Collection Lucern. This museum is a unique collection of 20 world-famous artists of the 19th and 20th century.
  • If you have more time, try out the actual Museum of Art Lucerne.
Rent a pedalo or a boat. How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
Rent a pedalo or a boat.
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!
  • Take a ride on Europe’s oldest railway.
  • Stroll freely through the cobbled side streets in the historic Old City.
  • Rent a pedalo or a boat.
  • Go on a steamship cruise. Sadly, we were unable to do the same, as we got drenched in a rainstorm!
  • Cliiiiiiiimb every mountain. Ford every stream. Follow every rainbow. ‘Till you find your dream!!
  • Go swimming.
  • Hike in the mountains or around the Lucerne Lake Region.
  • Go into castles.
  • Climb the Water Tower and many other royal buildings or fortresses.
  • Visit the many number of churches.
  • Take in all of the cute Swiss chocolate boxed houses.
Join a festival. How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
Join a festival.
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!
  • Join a festival! While we were there, the Blue Balls Festival was on, but throughout the year, there are many other Lucerne festivals too!
  • Go people-watching inside the flea market and the farmers market.
  • Merely ramble along the historical streets. 
  • Check out the various cafes, bars and restaurants for a quick bite and a few rounds of Swiss beer and cheese!
  • Go shopping.
  • Our favourite place was the magnificently lovely Glacier Garden Lucerne which takes visitors on a 20 million year journey through time from the sub-tropical palm-fringed beaches of millions of years back, through the Ice Age right up to the present day! Our best bit surprisingly, were the Museum and fascinating mirror maze. What fun we had!
  • Don’t forget to see the lion monument and take a selfie. You can’t miss it!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Swiss punctuality is legendary. How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
Swiss punctuality is legendary.
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern, is pretty small. Everywhere is walkable, but local trains and buses are simple to use. Buy tickets for zones, rather than individual journeys.

You can also use your bicycle or take a ferry or ship across the many marvellous lakes!

We didn’t use local transportation however, Swiss punctuality is legendary, so if you want to connect to other Swiss cities, the train is best!

ANYTHING ELSE?

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Now, let’s be realistic. Anywhere in Switzerland is horribly expensive.

Prepare for really high prices, and either suck it up or go elsewhere!

I mean, we went to a lovely lake-side pub for a small glass of beer and a soft drink.

And the cost? A hefty CHF 25 (swiss francs) or €23.00 not including the tip!

You’ve really got to wonder how they do it!

After that, we went to the supermarket and stuck to sandwiches, salad and cake!

I hate cooking at the best of times, and on holiday or city breaks, I definitely don’t cook! But if YOU do, there is plenty of opportunity to cater for yourself.

MY VERDICT:

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

I was impressed by Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern.

It’s lovely. It’s old. It’s got history, art and culture, and looks cute and flowery. It’s not your average budget destination, but if you plan carefully, you can make it work!

I’m just so sorry that I hadn’t visited earlier!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Absolutely!

I intend to do just that and can’t wait to visit again.

Let’s do it!

HOW TO SPEND 48 ASTONISHING HOURS IN LUCERNE, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS LUZERN – ON A BUDGET!

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern!

This article is not sponsored, and even though we received complimentary Luzern Museum Cards, all opinions and the wonderful Swiss lakes and houses that I was fascinated by, are my very own!

Throughout the summer month of August, all the museums in Berlin will be open each and every day! This will conclude with the bi-annual Die Lange Nacht der Museen otherwise known as the Long Night of Museums taking place on 27.8.16 from 6p.m. in the evening ’till 2a.m in the morning!

Mexico Week at KaDeWe will take place from 15.08.16 – 03.09.16, to introduce Mexico’s culinary diversity. Mexican food producers will present authentic foods, beverages and ingredients, many of them available in Germany, for the very first time!

I’ll be attending a media walkthrough on 18.08.16. Holaaaaa!

The Pop Kultur Festival is a new festival based in hipster Neukölln, over three (3) exciting days of new international and German bands, live concerts, performances, talks and reading, taking place from 31.08.16 – 02.09.16.

Berlin Art Week will take place from 13.09.16 – 18.09.16 so if you like contemporary art, this is the place for it!

I’ll also be attending the Down Under Berlin Australian & New Zealand Film Festival, which is the largest film festival in Europe dedicated to Australian and New Zealand film!

Save the Date!

August is going to be exciting!

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & Facebook!

If you’re not in Berlin in August, what are you waiting for?!

Watch this space!

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Have you ever heard of Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern? Have you been to Switzerland?  Did you keep to your budget? Have your say!

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!

Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!

I love being a British European!

And luckily for you, I’m not daunted or scared by the terrors of mad men!

As such, last week  began…

Drum rolls please….

VICTORIA’S SUMMER EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CAMPAIGN!

Victoria’s Summer European Challenge has begun! Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
Victoria’s Summer European Challenge has begun!
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!

Every weekend, through the summer holidays, I’m going to be visiting a European city.

Every weekend!

For six (6) weeks.

Last week, the first place that I went to was Copenhagen in Denmark!

Doesn't Denmark look as if you could eat it! ©NordicFoodFestival.
Doesn’t Denmark look as if you could eat it!
©NordicFoodFestival.

The sun was shining, the people were lovely, and even though I missed my coach-bus connection and spent double the amount of money that I hadn’t budgeted, I very much enjoyed visiting Copenhagen!

It has to be said that even though this blog is about culture, history, and travels around the world, I also enjoy writing about food. Here are food posts that I wrote in the past:

BELGIUM:

Belgian mussels flowing in lemon and wine!
Belgian mussels flowing in lemon and wine!

THE CZECH REPUBLIC:

Trdelník in the Czech Republic but also known as Kürtőskalács in Hungary!
Trdelník in the Czech Republic but also known as Kürtőskalács in Hungary!

ENGLAND:

Oysters and stout on a wooden table outside a pub, England UK - ©VisitBritain Daniel Bosworth
Oysters and stout on a wooden table outside a pub, England UK –
©VisitBritain Daniel Bosworth

ESTONIA:

Salted and marinated herring on creamy cheese at the Hermitage Restaurant.
Salted and marinated herring in Tallinn.

FRANCE:

Have you ever seen such a fantastic crème brûlée? So creamy, so delicious, so....!
Have you ever seen such a fantastic crème brûlée? So creamy, so delicious, so….!

FINLAND:

Hang onto your seat! Sushi in Helsinki, Finland.
Hang onto your seat!
Sushi in Helsinki, Finland.

GERMANY:

Berlin's most famous iconic meal - currywurst, chips & mayo!
Berlin’s most famous iconic meal – currywurst, chips & mayo!

 

HUNGARY:

Now this looks a lot like brain, but I'm thinking they're probably Hungarian sausages in a stew! Or are they?!!
Now this looks a lot like brain, but I’m thinking they’re probably Hungarian sausages in a stew!
Or are they?!!

LATVIA:

Pelmeni served with sour in Latvia.
Pelmeni served with sour in Latvia.

The magic drink of Latvia is basalm and I drank it!

LITHUANIA:

Lithuanian soup.
Lithuanian soup.

POLAND:

My fantastic pierogi with a smattering of bacon pieces, sprinkled with parsley.
My fantastic pierogi with a smattering of bacon pieces, sprinkled with parsley.

PORTUGAL:

Scrummy Pastel de Nata or Pastel de Belem, otherwise known as Portuguese Custard Tarts!
Scrummy Pastel de Nata or Pastel de Belem, otherwise known as Portuguese Custard Tarts!

SCOTLAND:

Wonderful British cheese, Scottish oatcake & English cider © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Wonderful British cheese, Scottish oatcake & English cider
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

SPAIN:

Spanish tapas galore!
Spanish tapas galore!

THAILAND:

Sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf - Bangkok, Thailand.
Sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf – Bangkok, Thailand.

Nom! Nom! Nom!

So without further ado, let’s talk about Danish food otherwise known as Nordic food!

Here we go!

WHAT IS DANISH FOOD, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS NORDIC FOOD!?

 

Nordic food is defined as food developed in the Nordic countries and Scandinavia. Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
Nordic food is defined as food developed in the Nordic countries and Scandinavia.
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!

I’m from England and I live in Germany. Both countries are in Northern Europe.

Northern Europe consists of Iceland, Ireland, the Isle of Man, the United Kingdom, the Faroe Islands, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Belarus, North-West Russia, and Greenland.

Nordic food is defined as food developed in the Nordic countries and Scandinavia.

Nordic countries are countries in the geographical and cultural region of Northern Europe and the North Atlantic.
Nordic countries are countries in the geographical and cultural region of Northern Europe and the North Atlantic.

Nordic countries are countries in the geographical and cultural region of Northern Europe and the North Atlantic, otherwise known as Norden or “The North!” These countries would be Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, including their associated territories – Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and the Åland Islands.

Scandinavia is defined as a historical and cultural region in Northern Europe characterized by ethno-cultural North Germanic heritage.  Such countries would be Denmark, Norway and Sweden!

In fact, I found that even though I couldn’t understand the Danish language, I could understand it when I read it, as it’s somewhat similar to German, as is the Dutch language. In Holland!

Nordic countries are similar in their way of life, history, language and social structure as well as weather!

New Nordic Cuisine! Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
New Nordic Cuisine!
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!

In 2004, these countries have come together to promote what is known as New Nordic Cuisine.

New Nordic Cuisine is food that promotes local, natural and seasonal produce, using local ingredients, in combination with traditional food, prepared in new ways and preservation techniques such as drying, fermenting, smoking, salting, pickling and preserving meat, vegetables, fruits and fish, that have for centuries enabled people to survive the long, dark winters of the Nordic region!

The person who put Nordic food on the international map was René Redzepi – the founder and brain behind NOMA – the world’s best restaurant located in an 18th century waterfront building in Christianshavn, on the other side of the harbor!

Myself at NOMA - the number 1 best restaurant in the world!
Myself at NOMA – the number 1 best restaurant in the world!

It is No. 1 on the list of “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” unseating the El Bulli restaurant in Spain, causing a media frenzy, and initiating more than 100,000 reservation requests within just a few days!

I first got to know about NOMA whilst watching a food documentary – Noma – My Perfect Storm – as a press hack at this years’ Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale!

René Redzepi - the man who turned Danish food upside down!
René Redzepi – the man who turned Danish food upside down!

René is that man who turned Danish food upside down, and invented and popularized the idea of Nordic cuisine, taking what was originally just a pastry, bread and cod nation, into the path of international gastronomy and cuisine!

Getting a table at Noma is near impossible, but the best way to get a shot is to call and see if there are cancellations for lunch, as the same menu is served all day long.

Sadly, we only had an extremely limited amount of time in Copenhagen, and couldn’t afford to wait, but if you’ve got a few more days, go ahead and try your luck!

WHAT DO DANISH PEOPLE EAT?

Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty! © Visit Denmark
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
© Visit Denmark

My! Danish food has changed!

When thinking of Danish food, one doesn’t think of a Northern Europe hearty warm meal filled with the coziness of mashed potatoes, cabbage, and a pie! washed down with a keg of frothy beer.

Oh dear me no!

Denmark used to be a barren remote wasteland & a place of isolation.
Denmark used to be a barren remote wasteland & a place of isolation.

One thinks of a barren remote wasteland. A place of isolation. A territory where nothing grows, except for such delights as seafood, bread and salted cod, accompanied by stolen wine drunk in skulls, and some sort of home-made vodka!

However, Danish food has been upgraded and revitalized.

Here we go!

TOP 9 REASONS WHY DANISH FOOD ISN’T JUST SMORREBROD, SEASONAL BERRIES & HERBS!

Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!

The Nordic Food Movement has introduced a rediscovery of ingredients, creative adaptation of raw materials, new approaches to traditional techniques, and a way to integrate food and natural flavour into todays’ healthy organic gourmet hipster lifestyle!

Here are nine (9) reasons why:

SEAFOOD such as:

Seafood such as cap-horn mussels!
Seafood such as cap-horn mussels!
  • raw razor clams with parsley jelly, buttermilk snow and horseradish
  • lobster
  • turbot roe and vinegar dust
  • mussels with buttermilk and green strawberries
  • lumpsucker roe
  • Danish Fjord Shrimp
  • cod
  • pike
  • herring

MEAT such as:

Meat such as venison!
Meat such as venison!
  • hand-sliced beef tartar served with crushed juniper and a tarragon emulsion
  • grouse breast with blueberry sauce
  • a venison sandwich with bacon, chestnut creme fraiche, and lingonberry jam
  • fried bacon with ramsons and grilled cucumber
  • curls of raw, bright-red semi-frozen veal
  • fried chicken liver with beetroot tartar
  • tartare of musk ox
  • roast leg of lamb
  • rabbit

SAVOURY DISHES such as:

Savoury dishes such as puffin eggs!
Savoury dishes such as puffin eggs!
  • puffin eggs
  • blodpølse or black pudding
  • finker or Danish haggis!
  • creamy pearl barley with St. George’s mushrooms, pickled onions and grated cheese
  • Lindström patties with pickled beets, capers, horseradish and chives, served with pan‑fried potatoes and mangetout
  • Potato and leek soup with lumpfish roe and sour cream
  • hokkaido soup with parsley oil and honey roasted pumpkin seeds
  • nettle soup
  • rye beer chips with chive skyr

FRUIT such as:

Fruit such as rhubarb compote & berries!
Fruit such as rhubarb compote & berries!
  • pears poached in mulled wine accompanied by a gateau riche
  • toasted hardanger apples
  • hawthorne berries
  • rosehip
  • cloudberries
  • green strawberries
  • rhubarb compote
  • blueberries
  • lingonberries

VEGETABLES such as:

Vegetables such as vintage carrot and camomile!
Vegetables such as vintage carrot and camomile!
  • white asparagus with poached egg yolk and woodruff sauce
  • purple borecole salad with baked celeriac and apple corns
  • hot kale salad with dates and capers
  • potato soup with nettles
  • brussel sprout salad and onion relish
  • vintage carrot and camomile
  • birch-smoked marrow
  • beetroot tartar
  • wild sorrel

HERBS & SPICES such as:

Herbs and spices such as chamomile!
Herbs and spices such as chamomile!
  • ramson shoots and buds
  • salsify flowers
  • parsley jelly
  • horseradish
  • chamomile
  • pine needle
  • dried algae powder
  • oyster plant
  • cicely

BREAD & PASTRIES such as:

Bread & pastries such as smørrebrød!
Bread & pastries such as smørrebrød!
  • smørrebrød or open-faced sandwich!
  • wienerbrød or Danish pastry!
  • øllebrød or rye bread
  • rugbrød or sour bread
  • ymerdrys or junket crumble of grated rye bread and brown sugar
  • cardamom buns
  • pariserbøf or minced beef patty, fried egg, onion, capers and pickled beetroot on rye bread!
  • stjerneskud or fish fillet with shrimps, caviar and tomato slices on white bread!
  • rugbrød med leverpostej or rye bread with liverpâté!

DESSERT such as:

Dessert such as rødgrød med fløde or red groats!
Dessert such as rødgrød med fløde or red groats!
  • blueberry mousse with lemon foam
  • kladdkaka or Swedish chocolate cake
  • cookies layered with veal speck and dried currant garnished with single fresh pine buds!
  • savory Æbleskiver or aebleskiver pancake puffs dusted with vinegar powder and served with pickled cucumber marmalade
  • rødgrød med fløde or red groats
  • rhubarb merengue
  • Skyr panna cotta with berries and liquorice
  • Flødeboller or teacake
  • skumbananer or banana flavoured marshmallow covered in chocolate!

DRINKS such as:

Drinks such as Danish organic craft beer! ©Mette Johnsen
Drinks such as Danish organic craft beer!
©Mette Johnsen
  • buttermilk snow
  • hvidtøl or white beer
  • home-grown sea hawthorn beer
  • Carlsberg Danish beer
  • Tuborg Danish beer
  • Amager Bryghus brewing independent Danish craft beers and ales
  • wine
  • aquavit
  • whisky
Danish lakrids or Danish Liquorice!
Danish lakrids or Danish Liquorice!

And let’s not forget of course:

Danish lakrids or Danish Liquorice!

Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!

Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions about charming tasty Danish Nordic food on a smørrebrød, or any other brød, are my very own!

Throughout the summer month of August, all the museums in Berlin will be open each and every day! This will conclude with the bi-annual Die Lange Nacht der Museen otherwise known as the Long Night of Museums taking place on 27.8.16 from 6p.m. in the evening ’till 2a.m in the morning!

I’ll be attending an Exclusive Food Tour with Fork & Walk on Wednesday, August 10th organised by the Berlin Chapter of Travel Massive.

Mexico Week at KaDeWe will take place from 15.08.16 – 03.09.16, to introduce Mexico’s culinary diversity. Mexican food producers will present authentic foods, beverages and ingredients, many of them available in Germany, for the very first time!

I’ll be attending a media walkthrough on 18.08.16. Holaaaaa!

The Pop Kultur Festival is a new festival based in hipster Neukölln, over three (3) exciting days of new international and German bands, live concerts, performances, talks and reading, taking place from 31.08.16 – 02.09.16.

Berlin Art Week will take place from 13.09.16 – 18.09.16 so if you like contemporary art, this is the place for it!

Save the Date!

August is going to be mouth-watering!

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & Facebook!

If you’re not in Berlin in August, what are you waiting for?!

Watch this space!

Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn't just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!
Top 9 reasons why Danish food isn’t just smørrebrød, seasonal berries & herbs, but can be awfully tasty!

Have you ever had a smørrebrød? Would you try Danish or Nordic food? Have your say!

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com