Candid’s Baldwin Ho takes us on a grand tour of the Grand Duchy.
Luxembourg has the highest GDP per capita in the world and that is almost three times the average GDP of the EU. So, you would not be surprised to discover some of the finest hotels, restaurants, and museums on the continent in this Grand Duchy.
The Place d’Armes Hotel is your ideal base to prepare for your adventures in the city. It is located in the old city centre and a short walking distance to most tourist destinations.
The hotel has twenty-eight rooms and suites and consists of seven buildings put together in an eclectic manner which mixes the traditional framework with a chic and modern design.
Each room has a unique design whether it is an ancient fireplace, historic wooden beams or a glass cube bathroom. Despite the central location, you are guaranteed a comfortable night's sleep with their soundproof windows.
You will not be short of dining options in Luxembourg starting with the hotel itself which offers three restaurants despite the low room count. We dined at La Plëss which is the more informal of their main dining offerings, yet no less refined and elegant. They source the freshest items from local Luxembourgish producers where possible be it melon for their cooling melon gazpacho soup or high-quality meat for their knife-cut beef tartare with black truffle. They also have a brand-new Rotisserie which specialises in spit-roasted chicken.
If you are a massive seafood fan like myself, your attention will be drawn by the mouth-watering platters of seafood on display at Brasserie Guillaume in a nearby town square.
All the seafood is brought in fresh direct from their suppliers (apart from the king crab and prawns which need to be frozen) and they specialise in offering a lobster festival every summer. You will be pleasantly surprised at how fresh the oysters, whelks, and clams are considering this is a landlocked country.
Luxembourg also has more contemporary dining options such as the vegan restaurant, Beet with their vast array of vegan burger options. Portobello mushroom is served with white organic bread, vegan andalouse (a Belgian speciality of mayonnaise, tomato paste, and peppers), vegan cheese and rocket. You’ve got to love their philosophy of doing their little part to save the planet whether it is recycling where possible or fighting unnecessary waste.
Another modern choice is the Urban Bar, where you can enjoy healthy bowls of either tuna poke or veggie poke, which is exceptionally well-presented with a vast array of honey-grilled parsnips, pickled carrots, red cabbage, fresh avocado, sunflower seeds, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.
And you have to laugh at the Luxembourgish sense of humour, as they offer a full Brexit breakfast, which consists of Luxembourgish potatoes, Belgian bacon, Irish sausages, and Swiss cheese.
Sculpture, photography, design and fashion
If you want to walk off the calories, then Luxembourg is the ideal walking city for you. MUDAM is a contemporary museum that puts Tate Modern to shame. It embraces contemporary creations in all its technical and aesthetic forms.
Whether it is painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, design, fashion, graphic design or new media, you will find the most cutting-edge artwork at MUDAM. The building itself is a stunning combination of stone and glass, skilfully designed to involve the exterior spaces and makes abundant use of natural daylight.
A walking tour is ideal in Luxembourg with UNESCO recognising the city's fortifications and the historical quarter as a world heritage site in 1994. Luscious green valleys, picturesque rivers, ornate bridges are interspersed with fascinating museums and historical structures.
Fortified tunnels known as the ‘casemates’ were dug in the sandstone rocks around the 17th and 18th century to help protect the city and nowadays they make for an interesting glimpse into not-so-distant past when Europe was constantly at war.
I would end the walking tour back in the old quarter where you can buy delectable gifts for your friends from the likes of the chocolate house with an endless array of temptations to Léa Linster Delicatessen, which is the gourmet shop of Luxembourg’s famous female Chef.
Luxair currently flies numerous times daily, seven days a week to Luxembourg and conveniently flies from London City airport so there is no excuse to not escape to the Grand Duchy for a short break in 2019.
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