The Tunnel

I do love a holiday and I even enjoy the travel.  I enjoy the anticipation of what we will find, see and discover.  For this journey, we were going by car.  We set off early and stopped at a Starbucks (it was that or Burger King!) where I had a Bircher muesli with passionfruit and coconut and a latte.  The muesli was surprisingly very good.

Bircher muesli and coffee 19-12-13We followed the signs from the Eurotunnel terminal to our first destination 🙂
IMG_3204Are any of you watching this drama?  We are and loving it.  It is a bit too gruesome but what we love is never being able to guess what happens next.
The Tunnel poster So it seemed slightly un-nerving to be going in to the tunnel.going in to Le Tunnel We made it through with no severed bodies or ‘Truth Terrorists’.  We then drove through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany to our destination.  That makes it sound like a long drive but it was only 4 hours from driving off Le Shuttle to getting to Cologne, Germany.  Well, in theory it would have been 4 hours if there hadn’t been that detour in to the middle of Brussels !!!  And if we hadn’t had a much needed loo, chocolate and coffee stop on a motorway somewhere.chocolate and coffee in the carFinally we arrived at art’otel in Cologne.  What a lovely hotel this is.  We found a great deal on-line for their ‘Christmas Package’ which included breakfast and a dinner one night in their restaurant plus Gluhwein and train tickets.

We had booked a corner room and it was huge.art'otel room 2Plenty of space for sleeping, working (unlucky Lara!) and just chilling.
art'otel room 1 Immaculately clean and well designed bathroom too.art'otel bathroom So we settled down to enjoy our complimentary Gluhweins – no, Harvey was not drinking Gluhwein.mulled wine in art'otel We then set off in to the market next to the hotel.  The Weihnachtsmarkt is just outside the hotel door.

WeihnachtsmarktThe market also goes along the opposite side of the river.  Our hotel is the large white building on the right hand side of the picture.art'otel and Rhine

It was a very mild afternoon and evening – just perfect for browsing through the market.
hot smoked salmon stand Hot smoked salmon?hot smoked salmon Candles, honey or spices?candles and honig Make sure you get your 7 a day in children!apples and pears Rusty tools?chocolate stall No, these are all made from chocolate.chocolate taps They are incredibly realistic.chocolate tools Fork handles?  Oh, no, my mistake, they are door knobs.door handles This stall got the boys salivating……….sausage stall Sausages!sausages on swing Despite being very hungry we managed to refrain from eating anything at all because we had booked dinner in the hotel restaurant.  We decided to use that offer on our first night as we were all tired.market near hotel The hotel restaurant is Chino Latino and it’s food is described as drawing from China, SE Asia and Japan.  I assumed from the name it was Chinese and Latin American!

We started with mixed vegetables.vegetables This was Tuna tartar on a cripsy something.  It was delicious but I am not sure what it was.amuse bouch 19-12-13 These crispy wantons were filled with some kind of raw fish (Hamachi) and spring onions with avocado and radish.  Really delicious.  I had 2 of these as James and I shared starters.wanton fish thingsThis was the other starter – butterflied prawns with wasabi and coriander.
wasabi prawns We also shared mains.  This was beef which was served on hot rocks.steak on hot coals It arrived flaming and was served with soy sauce, wasabi dressing and white rice.  The other main was black cod served with miso.flaming steak

We declined dessert as it was not included in the price and this restaurant was expensive. Our mineral water was 8 Euros a bottle!

We are also resisting the crisps, chocolates and alcoholic beverages in the room as they are expensive too. Over the road from the hotel is a garage which sells inexpensive wine, beer and chocolates.  We enjoyed a very reasonable Reisling for 6 Euros while we all snuggled up in bed and watched one of the many films the hotel provides.  Well, watched anything the way families do these days – watching while also on iPads and iPhones!

It is good to be here and we are all looking forward to getting to know a bit about Cologne.

About Lose Weight and Gain Health

Hi! My name is Zoe and I live in a small village in the beautiful Weald of Kent with my husband and 2 children. I have been fighting the fat for years but this time I am serious. I want to lose weight and gain health. This blog is about how I am changing my lifestyle so I can lose weight but not by just "being on a diet" but by making small changes to our lives so that as I lose weight, I gain health. I want my family to be healthy too and never have to struggle with their weight like I have. In common with many large people, I have gained and lost weight many times over the years. This time, I want to lose it and maintain a healthy low weight. I am interested in eating food that is nutrient dense and delicious and that appeals to children and adults. I try to use locally produced food supplemented with what I can grow myself. I support and try to use local farmers markets and farm shops. After all, I live in the 'Garden of England' so it seems silly to not take advantage of that. Another objective is to add more exercise to our days. It sounds so simple when I write it down :-)
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s