Indulging in Afternoon Tea at Windsor Arms Hotel

“Tea, tea, a wonderful drink,

the more you have,

the more you drink,

the more you think,

the better you write,

so let’s drink tea,

all day and night”

– Daniel Dalton

 

If a relaxing and healing halotherapy session inside the Healing Salt Cave® at Windsor Arms Hotel Spa

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, flowers, photography, TS76

was not enough to make my heart sing and body thanking me for finally disconnecting and giving it a natural salt treatment, only one thing was missing to make my day at perfect, it was Afternoon Tea.

Now you may or may not know this but one of my other passions in life, besides spa-ing, is to drink hot drinks. I am a self-confessed coffee lover but I must admit that I equally love a great cup of fresh steeped tea (loose or in a bag). From earl gray, chaï to oolong and matcha tea all the way to rooibos, I love them all!

I learned quite a lot about tea culture and tradition when I went to Hong Kong and tea is served any time of day and it sure calms you down even in the sweltering heat. A dear friend, who lives there, brought me to a tea store and I was like a kid at Christmas, staring at the wall full of tea varieties from all over China. Can you believe that I even had to buy an extra suitcase to put in all the tea boxes I bought and took with me back to South Korea where I was living at the time? Well I did!

Even in the land of the morning calm, I read and heard that there was an area south of the country, most specifically Boseong, where green tea is cultivated. As you know I can’t stay still and my adventurous soul wins ALL THE TIME. Therefore I set out to find it and it sure was quite the ride! Plane, train, local (and not so frequent) bus to reach the tea fields!

South Korea, Boseong, green tea field, tea plantation, travel, photography, TS76

I gained more appreciation and have lots of respect for the people who reap the harvest, take it to the processing plant and ship it around the world. I have never looked at it the same way since then.

South Korea, Boseong, green tea field, tea plantation, travel, photography, TS76

From the leaf to the pot, then ultimately to my steaming cup. I am always in wonder and quite grateful for having been able to learn about the entire process and journey!

Now back to Tea Time at Windsor Arms Hotel. Did you know that traditional Afternoon Tea has been served since 1927?

Not only guests have been going and indulging in such an elegant décor of the French-style lobby of Tea Room, with its plush and comfy seats, they have also been able to enjoy it in private in the Purple Room or the Russian Red Tea Room. It is a sensorial and visual experience which is a pure delight.

The impressive selection of loose leaf teas as well as tea cocktails are found in a menu, how great does that sound?

Tip for food options: A Gluten Free menu is available as well as vegetarian and allergy-free options provided that a 24 hour notice is given to the staff.

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, menu, photography, TS76

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, menu, photography, TS76

There are different categories or types of tea and are accompanied by a short description of the origin, taste and preparation.

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, menu, photography, TS76

If you need any help, the friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you by answering any questions you may have or if you are looking for suggestions or recommendations, they will be pleased to answer!

Since I was at the spa, I asked if it was possible for me to have tea outside on the terrace since the sun finally came out and it was just a glorious day and needed to take advantage of. After all it was my pre-birthday present, so why not? :)

I just mentioned that I am a green tea lover, thus I was debating between the Indian Darjeeling Green, Kenyan Green and Japanese Kukicha! The choice was hard that I needed an extra minute. Finally the description of the Kenyan Green won me over that I ordered it and was literally transported me to the African Nation as I immediately started to imagine what it would be like to actually wander around the fields, admire the spectacular scenery of the Great Rift Valley Highlands!

Can I be completely honest with you? I can’t even remember last time I was sincerely excited for traditional Tea that is. Well, I must admit that I have gone to some popular tea shops in my city even Chinese Tea specialty shops but nothing compares to what I was about to experience.

While my order was being prepared, I stepped out on the terrace to admire the city skyline which frankly is just amazing from any angle.

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, terrace, view, skyline, photography, TS76

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, terrace, flowers, photography, TS76

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, terrace, view, skyline, photography, TS76

Then I chose to sit at the table on the left with a parasol

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, terrace, view, skyline, photography, TS76

I was simply taking all the beauty in and was enjoying the moment while feeling at peace, and relaxed.

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, terrace, flowers, photography, TS76

It took around 20 minutes for the order to arrive and let me tell you that yes, love at first sight exists and I’ve proof of that :)

Spa manager Kelly and a server from the Tea Room downstairs surprised me with a 3 tier stand with delicious treats and one of the most beautiful tea pots I have ever seen! (on top of that it was blue flowers, my favorite in the world. I promise it’s true, ask my family as I drive them absolutely nuts buying everything in blue!)

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, terrace, view, skyline, stand, tea pot, photography, TS76

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, terrace, table setting, photography, TS76

As per tradition, tea is accompanied by light yet delicious food such as:

  • Fresh Scones with Devon cream and preserves (berry and strawberry)
  • Goat Cheese and Caramelized Shallot Tart

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, scones, tart, foodie, photography, TS76

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, terrace, preserves, Devon cream, photography, TS76

  • Fresh Sandwiches:

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, terrace, sandwiches, photography, TS76

  • Potato Blinis with Smoked Salmon Rosette
  • Pinwheel Egg Salad
  • Vegetarian with Sundried Tomato Paste and Dill Cream Cheese
  • Croque Monsieur

Have a sweet tooth? Love chocolate as much if not more than I do? :)

How about some

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, terrace, petits fours, photography, TS76

  • Petits Fours

Are you hungry yet or perhaps drooling?

It wouldn’t be complete without hot, steaming tea of course. I present you Kenyan Green Tea.

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, terrace, tea pot, photography, TS76

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, terrace, tea pot, photography, TS76

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, terrace, tea pot, Kenyan Green Tea, green tea, tea, photography, TS76

I couldn’t wait any longer and proceeded to pour carefully the precious brew and filled my first cup by straining it first.

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, terrace, tea strainer, photography, TS76

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, terrace, tea pot, tea cup, photography, TS76

My first impression?

It was light and very refreshing! It was like a hug in a cup or a soothing balm for the soul if you ask me. I was taking sips, one at a time and enjoying every single one of them while admiring the city in all its glory!

What I had to eat first from that tempting food stand?

Well, let me tell you that the scones were calling me and I am so glad I started there.

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, terrace, tea pot, food stand, photography, TS76

Freshly baked, the lemon scone was decadent. Light, fluffy, citrusy; almost melt in your mouth! I cut it in half and spread some berry preserve on one half and Devon cream on the other. Yum-o! Delish, nom nom!

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, scone, lemon scone, photography, TS76

Then I had the ham and cheese sandwich (Croque monsieur) and I was already full by the time I finished it (along with my 3rd cup of tea).

Now those who know me are aware that I never reject chocolate, EVER! So I decided to end my stay (and experience) on a sweet note.

Toronto, Ontario, Windsor Arms, hotel, spa, afternoon tea, terrace, petits fours, photography, TS76

Those petits fours were so rich, delicious and had just the right amount of sugar. It made me smile from East to West. My heart and belly were very happy indeed! I couldn’t have ended the day in a better way.

If you ever want to spend quality time while enjoying an excellent, high quality and exclusive cup of tea, treat yourself!

My advice is to bring a friend or family member; it is best when enjoyed in great company and why not dress up for the occasion? I sure wish I’d brought a fancy hat and gloves, just like they did in the old days!

Pass on the tradition to the next generation and enjoy it TODAY!

Tea is served daily at 12:30 p.m. / 1 p.m. / 3:00 p.m.  and 3:30 p.m.

The Tea Room can be reserved for small gatherings such as business meetings or corporate functions, bridal and baby showers, family reunions or get-togethers with your best friends. All Tea Rooms are available for full or partial bookings, inquire to find out more.

Please call them for additional details at:

416-971-9666

 

Windsor Arms Hotel 

18 St. Thomas Street

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

M5S 3E7

Many thanks to the spa staff for allowing me to have this unforgettable experience and I will return with friends and special guests in the near future!

Once again I invite you to follow them on their social media accounts

Website: http://windsorarmshotel.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/windsorarms

Facebook: http://facebook.com/windsorarms

Instagram: http://instagram.com/windsorarms

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/windsorarms

 

Now over to you!

Tell us…

Do you like tea?

If so, which type is your favorite?

When was last time you took some time off to enjoy afternoon tea?

If you haven’t, would you love to?

 

Don’t be shy and share your stories, better yet pictures or links to your favorite tea houses.

Until next time

Tashi Delek, all the best,

K :)

 

 

Experiencing halotherapy at Windsor Arms Hotel Spa in Toronto

It’s a good idea always to do something relaxing prior

 to making an important decision in your life.”

Paulo Coelho

 

Have I already told you that I am spa enthusiast? I just love spa-ing! I am attracted to them like a magnet and have developed a healthy addiction in the past few years and there’s absolutely no shame in admitting it (and I am sure you are not surprised by now right?)

Well, to be honest the last time I pampered myself was at the Szechenyi Thermal Baths in Budapest, Hungary last month and it was divine! I felt as if I renewed my heart, mind, body and soul in an afternoon of complete relaxation!

We all need to take great care of the most prized possession we have in our lives: our health and our sacred temple: our body. Therefore it is imperative to make time to look after it and indulge.

As we say in Spanish, “la salud primero” which translates to “first comes your health” which is absolutely true and of utmost importance don’t you think?

Now what exactly did I need to recover from a night out in the town, especially after a salsa cruise around Lake Ontario in Toronto? A trip to the spa of course! Not just a regular one but one of the most luxurious, renowned, private, and best spas in the city: The Windsor Arms Hotel Spa to be more precise.

Windsor Arms, Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, Discover ON, travel, photographyLocated right in the heart of Bloor-Yorkville (the 5th Avenue of T.O), this highly acclaimed and five-star property offers guests and visitors its full spa services ranging from face, hands, feet, full body treatments à la carte to special packages for brides and grooms, couples and friends. Not only it allows you to completely disconnect from the outside (and frenzy) world but you truly focus on the most important person, you!

My appointment was scheduled in the afternoon and I simply could not wait to get there and enjoy the experience!

Since it is in a fabulous location, I got to the area about an hour earlier which allowed me to walk and yes, go window shopping because all the major brands have stores there and it does not hurt to look and dream right? Time just flies when you are having fun and before long it was time to head over to the spa.

Finding the Windsor Arms Hotel on Thomas Street is fairly easy. It is literally around the corner from Bloor Street.

I sure learned my lesson very well in Germany last time. NEVER ever judge a building from its exterior!

Windsor Arms, Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, Discover ON, travel, photography

A friendly and smiling doorman welcomes you and as soon as you cross the doors, you are transported into a luxurious world.

The very first thing that took my breath away was the stunning and magnificent chandelier which is the masterpiece at the center of the lobby.

Windsor Arms, Hotel, Chandelier, architecture, decor, photography, TS76

Breathtaking isn’t it?

The Spa is located on the 4th and 5th floors of the hotel. Among the many amenities at guests and visitor’s disposal, you will find: a state of the art gym

Windsor Arms Hotel, Spa, Gym, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, fitness, TS76

a bromine salt swimming pool

Windsor Arms Hotel, spa, bromine salt, swimming pool, toronto, ontario, Canada, TS76

and a traditional sauna.

Windsor Arms Hotel, spa, sauna, toronto, ontario, canada, TS76

Now the special treatment I had booked is called Halotherapy inside the Healing Salt Cave®.

Toronto. Ontario, Windsor Arms, Hotel, Spa, Healing Salt Cave, Door, logo

What exactly does it do and what are the benefits?

First of all “Halo” is the Greek word for salt, therefore Halotherapy is a salt treatment and, with the help of speleotherapy, which is making use of a cave, that reproduces the microclimate found inside natural salt caves found in Eastern Europe.

People have enjoyed the therapeutic properties of salt crystals for many years and it has helped them treat a great variety of respiratory ailments and other conditions such as:

Allergies

Asthma

Blood circulation and pressure

Bronchitis

Chronic fatigue

Cystic Fibrosis

Colds

Depression

Ear infections

Eczema

Exhaustion

Hypothyroidism

Hypertension

Pain

Psoriasis

Sinusitis

Skin conditions

among many.

 

Most importantly, it has been proven to reduce or eliminate stress caused by our busy and hectic life and exterior events which put a lot of stress on our bodies.

I am pretty sure my family doctor would gladly agree and would be happy to hear/read what I did :)

Upon arrival, the receptionist welcomes you with a warm smile and from then on you are treated like royalty!

They guide you to the changing rooms

Windsor Arms Hotel, spa, changing room, toronto, ontario, ca

then where you can select any lock you want and they give you clear explanations on how to create a four digit code.

It is important to note that a soft robe and rubber slippers are found inside them.

Windsor Arms Hotel, spa, bath robe, toronto, ontario, ca

I decided to change into a bathing suit which I brought with me, since I was going to benefit the most by being more at ease.

After getting ready, I was given a pair of special slippers to walk on and protect the salt then leaded to the Healing Salt Cave

Windsor Arms Hotel, spa, Healing Salt Cave, toronto, ontario, Canada, TS76

The treatment room equipped with soft, ambient lighting.

Windsor Arms Hotel, spa, Healing Salt Cave, toronto, ontario, Canada, TS76

Relaxing, instrumental music is played in the background and there is a water fountain on the wall which allows you to simply disconnect, inhale the crystal salts, relax, rejuvenate and heal.

I sat on one of the comfy lounge chairs which can be reclined and a soft blanket is at your disposal, in case it gets chilly.

Windsor Arms Hotel, spa, Healing Salt Cave, toronto, ontario, Canada, TS76

Windsor Arms Hotel, spa, Healing Salt Cave, toronto, ontario, Canada, TS76

Windsor Arms Hotel, spa, Healing Salt Cave, toronto, ontario, Canada, TS76

Windsor Arms Hotel, spa, Healing Salt Cave, salt crystals, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, TS76

Windsor Arms Hotel, spa, Healing Salt Cave, Salt blocks, wall,  Toronto, Ontario, Canada, TS76

The 45 minute session starts as soon as the door is closed and the air starts to circulate inside the room.

Now I have something to confess. I mentioned earlier that I had gone window shopping and that made me hungry, so I went and had lunch which included coffee (because, believe it or not, that it was a chilly Thursday in Toronto, right in the middle of the summer!). Being a coffee aficionada, I just could not say no.

My heart was beating quite fast and once I sat down, I could almost hear it. Yes it’s the buzz you get after drinking liquid gold. Therefore I could not close my eyes for the first 10 minutes or so. However, as I concentrated on my breathing, I did close them (it is advised so since the salt can make your eyes itchy) and my heartbeat slowed down and quite frankly, I was gone to another plane! Is it actually possible to empty your mind and stop the 1001 racing thoughts? Absolutely!

I will share another secret with you. Actually not many people know this but I have been an asthma sufferer for many years, therefore I had been dependent on the pump to help me with my airways whenever I was too stressed or need medication to hit the bloodstream. However, I decided to look for natural alternatives and treatments and so far it has worked pretty well! That is why I have become a spa enthusiast because I know first-hand what good it does to the body, mind, soul and yes spirit :) Again your health is your wealth. Indulging yourself or receiving any treatment on your body is the best investment you can ever make!

Sadly, all good things come to an end. I heard a knock on the door and I came out of my dream-like state. The spa manager, the beautiful Kelly, asked if everything was ok and announced that it was time to wake up as the session was coming to an end. Did I want it to leave? Not at all.  One thing I knew for sure, that I have to do it all over again and soon!

This halotherapy allowed my lungs to detox, cleanse and even my skin to clear! Did I look the same way as I went in? Did I look sad? Exhausted? Drained? You be the judge…

Karla, Windsor Arms Hotel, spa, Healing Salt Cave, salt crystals, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, TS76

I was only thirsty and felt my throat very dry. Fortunately, there is a water fountain in the hallway and drank a glass.

Windsor Arms Hotel, spa, resting area, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, TS76

I then proceeded to change and wait for the second part of my spa experience that was waiting, Afternoon Tea at a gorgeous table with a fab view.

Windsor Arms Hotel, spa, resting area, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, TS76

Windsor Arms Hotel, spa, terrace, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, TS76

Just wait until you see what it is in the next installment!

Many thanks to Windsor Arms Hotel Spa for welcoming me and for treating me like a queen for an afternoon. It sure was one of the best birthday presents I could receive :)

They are located at:

18 St. Thomas Street

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

M5S 3E7

 

For reservations, contact:

416-934-6031

 

 

Follow them on their social media accounts

 

Website: http://windsorarmshotel.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/windsorarms

Facebook: http://facebook.com/windsorarms

Instagram: http://instagram.com/windsorarms

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/windsorarms

 

Now over to you!

Tell us…

 

Do you like going to the spa?

If so where?

What is the best or your favorite treatment?

 

Do share!

Until next time.

Tashi Delek, All the best!

K :)

 

A foodie tour in Nuremberg, Germany

“What can power give more than food and drink,

To live at ease and not be bound to think?”

―John Dryden

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Germany? Do you immediately associate it with great food and drinks like we all do? Well, let me tell you that just crossing the Ocean in order to savor local delicacies is well worth it!

Eating and drinking like the locals right is part of cultural immersion and that’s exactly my friend and fellow travel blogger, Marian A.K.A, Travel Shop Girl and I had in mind.

After settling in at über cool design Hotel Drei Raben, Marian and I set out to explore Nürnberg on a very hot and sunny afternoon (and stay awake as long as we could).

We started our marathon walk of Altstadt or Old Town, from KönigsTor (right by the Main Train Station) all the way to Hallerwiese Park located in the north-west.

Prior to leaving, We had asked for suggestions as to where we could find the best bars and restaurants and we were told to go to Café Schnepperschütz which is right by the Pegnitz river.

Small yet welcoming, this small bar/café has an outdoor patio with tables and high chairs. Since it was a Saturday, it was crowded and the only place available were the stairs and that’s where we sat down to enjoy our colorful, cold and delicious drinks:

Nuremberg, Germany, Nürnberg, Deutschsland, Café Schepperschütz, Orphée, Twiggy bee, drinks, travel, TS76
Mine was called Orphée which consists of Prosecco mixed with ginger ale and a hint of Mint. Marian opted for a Twiggy Bee which is prepared with Raspberry Fields, Prosecco and Mint as well. It sure was cool, refreshing and very welcome after walking half the town!

We sure enjoyed the view but had so much to catch up as we had not seen each other in 3 years (how was that even possible!)

That sun was burning but fortunately the breeze and soothing sounds provided by Mother Nature as its soundtrack helped!

Not wanting to miss a beat, and get the merriment going, we decided to continue walking and without a map. And that’s what I loved the most, getting lost on purpose.

We crossed many squares, small roads and ended up at SEON Restaurant, Lounge and Bar where we rested our feet while saying “prost” with cold Beck’s.

Nuremberg, Germany, Nürnberg, Deutschland, SEON bar, drinks, Becks, beer, bier, travel, TS76

Then proceeded with the following cocktails:

Very green, rich and hearty german-style Mojito

Nuremberg, Germany, Nürnberg, Deutschland, SEON bar, mojito, drink, travel, TS76

Strawberry daiquiri

Nuremberg, Germany, Nürnberg, Deutschland, SEON bar, strawberry daiquiri, drink, travel, TS76

and we ordered these crunchy fries topped with cheese and it was so good!

Nuremberg, Germany, Nürnberg, Deutschland, SEON bar, restaurant, fries, cheese, cheese fries, foodie, foodporn, travel, TS76
After a long chat and we were definitely feeling exhausted, we decided to head back to the hotel and recover for a few hours.

It is important to mention that it was the UEFA Champions League Final in Berlin between my beloved team FC Barcelona against Juventus, so of course I couldn’t miss the game and had to watch them win!

Therefore after sleeping a couple of hours, we headed out in search for more food and drinks. Every bar/restaurant we went into was packed and eyes were glued to the screens (remember that football (or soccer) for Germans is almost like a religion. Well, being Latin American and having it in my DNA is too!

We wandered around until we came across Chilli’s Mexikanisch Essen Restaurant y Bar which is conveniently located across Lorenzkirche. Now why on earth would we go for Mexican food in Germany you may ask?

As I just mentioned, the restaurants were packed and that was the last option, so I thought ok, let’s give it a try.

I ordered the veggie burrito plate

Nuremberg, Germany, Nürnberg, Deutschland, Chilli's Restaurant, Veggie Burrito, food, mexican food, foodie, travel, TS76

and a strawberry margarita

Nuremberg, Germany, Nürnberg, Deutschland, Chilli's Restaurant, strawberry margarita, drinks, foodie, travel, TS76

Being a connoisseur of real mexican food and having been to Mexico, I can say that it was a good attempt but they sure do need to taste a real burrito. However It did taste good and filled me up.

What was even better was the awesome table that we got on the terrace. From there I could watch the game live on the giant screen and cheered when it ended in a victory 3-1 for Barcelona. Needless to say that there were so many Barça fans in the house and that made my heart very happy! We couldn’t have ended an amazing day in a better way ;)

After resting and recharging our batteries, we had a few hours left to enjoy Nuremberg before leaving for Erlangen (a city about 30 minutes away) to embark on our first river cruise with Viking River Cruises.

Since it was nearly lunch time, we decided to find a typical restaurant where local Franconian specialties are served. One thing that is very important to mention is that on Sundays a lot of places are closed (as opposed to North America). This is great for the locals as it is a day to rest and prepare for the week ahead.

However for visitors, you have to find a way to keep yourself busy if not just do the same as they do :)

Armed with a list of restaurants suggested by Tourism Nuremberg, we set out to find one of the best in the city: Heilig Geist Spital.

Nuremberg, Germany, Nürnberg, Deutschland, Heilig Geist Spital Restaurant, entrance, food, travel, TS76

Sitting directly over the Pegnitz, not only it is one of the oldest Hospice for the elderly, which was built in the 1300’s by a wealthy mayor, it is now a Senior Citizen’s retirement home.

Upon entering, one would not think a charming, typical and historical restaurant (which serves over 100 types of wine) is found on the premises but it is!

Nuremberg, Germany, Nürnberg, Deutschland, Heilig Geist Spital Restaurant, entrance, food, travel, TS76

Nuremberg, Germany, Nürnberg, Deutschland, Heilig Geist Spital Restaurant, entrance, food, travel, TS76

Since the day was splendid, we decided to sit outside on the inviting terrace.

Nuremberg, Germany, Nürnberg, Deutschland, Heilig Geist Spital Restaurant, server dressed in dirndl, travel, TS76

We asked our lovely server, a friendly lady dressed in a traditional light green colored dirndl, commonly seen at German restaurants, what she recommended us to try.

Believe it or not, I had managed to speak in German even though it had been quite some time since I last used it but she understood ;)

It was asparagus season, thus Marian went all for it and ordered Asparagus Soup which frankly was the best we’ve ever tasted as well as white asparagus to complete her meal. You can see it at
https://travelshopgirl.com/dining-in-nuremberg-at-heilig-geist-spital/

As for me, well I love bratwurst in all its varieties, therefore I ordered a portion of 12 Nürnberg Rostbratwurst (grilled sausages) which come with a side of fresh sauerkraut, rye bread and mustard.

Nuremberg, Germany, Nürnberg, Deutschland, Heilig Geist Spital Restaurant, bratwurst, rostbratwurst, food, foodie, foodporn, travel, TS76

Nuremberg, Germany, Nürnberg, Deutschland, Heilig Geist Spital Restaurant, bratwurst, rostbratwurst, food, foodie, foodporn, travel, TS76

To accompany our meals, Marian ordered Tucher beer, which is the local brand

Nuremberg, Germany, Nürnberg, Deutschland, Heilig Geist Spital Restaurant, Tucher, bier, beer, foodie, drinks, travel, TS76

and I (surprise) went for a glass of red wine from the region :)

Nuremberg, Germany, Nürnberg, Deutschland, Heilig Geist Spital Restaurant, red wine, rot wein, wine, wein, foodie, drinks, travel, TS76

We thoroughly enjoyed the ambiance, the food and drinks natürlich!

Sadly, the church bells were heard and that reminded us that it was time to leave for the train station but a return trip is surely in our future plans.

Stay tuned for the Viking River Cruises adventures along the Danube to come!

Now over to you,

Tell us…

Do you like German food and drinks?

If so, what is your favorite dish/brand?

If you haven’t, would you like to?

I’m looking forward to reading your stories and seeing your photos!

Bis nächsten mal, until next time!

Happy travels.

Tashi Delek, all the best,

K

Salsa Cruising in Toronto with Mariposa Cruises

On my first night in Toronto, I decided to do something I’d never done before…go on a night cruise aboard a ship that was out of the ordinary! I went on a 3 ½ hour salsa cruise :)

Mariposa Cruises, Logo

Mariposa Cruises has been the largest and most popular hospitality cruise operator in Toronto for nearly 30 years. They have been offering sightseeing tours, private charters and celebrations, scenic dining excursions, sunset dinners, cocktail cruises as well as daily harbor tours. Departing from their prime location at Queens Quay, in Toronto’s Harbourfront, it is the best way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, even if it’s for a few hours.

They teamed up with the organizers Salsa in Toronto Festival

Mariposa Cruises, Northern Spirit Ship, Salsa in Toronto, TS76

which is celebrating its 11th edition in 2015 and they brought the party on board! 3 Latin-themed cruises are programmed in July (2, 8th (the one I went on) and the 16th).

Being a Salsa lover (I absolutely adore Marc Anthony & anyone can affirm that), I thought it would be a great idea to go and shake what my momma gave me!

Now even though I was on my own, it did not stop me from going and have some fun! After all I have that restless adventurous soul and trust me there’s hardly a dull moment. I never know what will happen and that keeps me on my toes and I just love it! Live life to the max right?

Getting to the quay where our ship, the Northern Spirit, was super easy. It is only a few minutes away from Union Station and can be reached via streetcar or by foot.

Mariposa Cruises, Northern Spirit Ship

Mariposa Cruises, Northern Spirit Ship

Mariposa Cruises, Northern Spirit Ship, TS76

Mariposa Cruises, Northern Spirit Ship, TS76

From there it is very easy to spot it and the only thing to do is to wait patiently in order to embark at 7 p.m.

Mariposa Cruises, Northern Spirit Ship, TS76

Everything is done in an orderly manner and once inside,

rail, Mariposa Cruises, Northern Spirit Ship, TS76

you can walk around the ship and choose where you wish to be seated.

Mariposa Cruises, Northern Spirit Ship, dining room, TS76

Mariposa Cruises, Northern Spirit Ship, dining room, TS76

I was bold enough to ask a couple, Diana and her husband from Romania if it was okay for me to join them and they said yes! I was very happy to get to know them as we talked over a glass of Jackson Triggs Cabernet Sauvignon (yes, I love wine you know? :)

Mariposa Cruises, Jackson-Triggs, Cabernet Sauvignon, red wine, glass

and discussed about our travels and life in general. I couldn’t have chosen better!

Since dinner is included in the price of the ticket, the staff prepared the Latin American style buffet and it was served shortly after leaving the quay at around 8:30.

Mariposa Cruises, Northern Spirit Ship, Taco Station, foodie, TS76

I had done quite a lot of walking after arriving in the queen city, so I pretty much worked out an appetite so I was definitely ready to refuel!

Each table is numbered, so we got called and lined up. I opted for grilled chicken, dirty rice, corn on the cob and a small bun. Simple but delicious, yum!

Mariposa Cruises, Northern Spirit Ship, food, bbq style, dinner, foodie, TS76

As we enjoyed our food, we could admire the city skyline fading away and we went down on Lake Ontario. I loved the fact that it was almost time for sunset and that (along with the sunrise is one of my favorite times of the day).

View, Mississauga, Mariposa Cruises, Toronto, Northern Star Ship, TS76

After dinner, all guests were invited to go to the upper deck for a free salsa lesson from the pros. It is just some basic steps and then the music is played and it was fun to watch so many people, from all walks of life, to take two steps forward and two steps back!

Mariposa Cruises, Salsa class onboard, TS76

I’ll be honest with you and tell you that I was only a spectator because I am already a dancer, I think we Latin Americans are born with it. It’s in our DNA :)

I also had the chance to talk with more great people (I was so surprised at how friendly the guests were and made you feel welcome); especially Jane and her husband Frank from Burlington. She came straight to me and started chatting as if we were old friends. I guess it says that I am a social butterfly on my forehead!

I really loved the spectacular views before me and once it got dark, the best show started. Toronto got illuminated and it was just incredible!

Mariposa Cruises, Northern Star, Ship, Toronto, Canada, Skyline, night, TS76

Mariposa Cruises, Northern Star, Ship, Toronto, Canada, Skyline, night, TS76

Mariposa Cruises, Northern Star, Ship, Toronto, Canada, Skyline, night, TS76

Mariposa Cruises, Northern Star, Ship, Toronto, Canada, Skyline, night, CN Tower, TS76

In all the years I have been going back and forth to the city (and living there for 2 years) I had never seen it from the water and that itself was a feat! Priceless if you ask me.

After going down for coffee, churros with chocolate (drool) and fresh fruit, we were treated to a sensational performance by Los Salsamanos who fired up the dance floor! Now they sure leave anyone speechless and make us say “wow!” They were spinning and twirling and owned the entire place :) we all cheered and screamed in delight, which was unforgettable!

Believe it or not, 3 hours go by in a flash and before we knew it, we were coming back towards our departure point. It was past 11 p.m. and as we say in Spanish “Colorin, Colorado, este cuento se ha terminado” All good things (sadly) come to an end :(

We docked at Harbourfront at around 11:30 p.m., disembarked and we all went our way. I waited for my travel companions on the Quay and bid farewell. It wouldn’t have been the same without them and it was an experience I will never forget.

If you are ever in Toronto, I recommend you go on a scenic cruise and admire the city from the water. Have a nice drink or a summerlicious (bbq-style) dinner and just enjoy it!

Mariposa cruises have the right cruise just for you! Check out their website for more information on upcoming events or why not follow them on their social media accounts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MariposaCruises

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mariposa.cruises

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mariposacruises

Now I’m curious and would like to know…

Are you a cruise fan?

When was last time you went on one and where was it?

I can’t wait to read from you!

Until next time, happy summer and happy cruising!

All the best

K :)

Note: I was a guest of Mariposa Cruises however all opinions are mine as always.

Discovering Nuremberg, Germany Part 2

In part 1, we learned about the history of Nuremberg, its strategic and prestigious position in Europe throughout the centuries, its turbulent past and how they recovered after World War II.

Today, this dynamic German metropolis is pressing forward and has a bright and promising future ahead.

Very easy to reach via its efficient public transportation network, Nuernberg simply has so much to offer to both locals and visitors from around the world.

It is a great option for a weekend getaway or as in my case, the perfect place to recover from a transatlantic flight and have fun exploring the city before embarking on a river cruise on the Danube or the Main as the city is directly connected to these great rivers via the Main Danube Canal.

From shopping to gastronomy, modern to historic museums, castles, impressive churches to open air markets, fine dining to traditional restaurants, Nürnberg will leave you wanting for more, much more!

Words cannot express what a lovely, yet completely unexpected surprise this was and I will be honest and tell you that 36 hours were simply not enough. A return visit is definitely in my future plans, perhaps in time for the most popular event of the year, Christkindlesmarkt, which is one of the most famous Christmas markets in Germany, Europe and the world!

As I promised, here is Discovering Nuremberg, Germany Part 2 and this time I have included even more captures, 50 to be exact! The more the merrier right? :)

I hope you will enjoy viewing and remember to include it to your bucket list.

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

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souvenirs, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Frauenkirche, Church of our lady, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Ship of Fools, sculpture, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Heilig Geist Spital, Hospital of the Holy Spirit, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Nuremberg-Germany-44< Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Nuremberg-Germany-39

Nuremberg-Germany-37

Nuremberg-Germany-36

Nuremberg-Germany-35

Nuremberg-Germany-34

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Kettensteg, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Kettensteg, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Pegnitz, Pegnitz River, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Kettensteg, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Pegnitz, Pegnitz River, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Kettensteg, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Pegnitz, Pegnitz River, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76 Me and My Duerer, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Me and my Duerer, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Me and my Duerer, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Heilig Geist Spital, Hospital of the Holy Spirit, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Me and my Duerer, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

River Pegnitz, Pegnitz, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Pegnitz, Pegnitz River, Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

Europe, Nürnberg, Nuernberg, Nuremberg, Germany, Deutschland, Reisen, Travel, photography, TS76

The fun does not end here, absolutely not. In the next installment I will show you a traditional Franconian dish and of course ice-cold drinks to have while in town. You sure don’t want to miss it, so please come back and check.

Bis nächsten mal, until next time.

Many happy travels!

K :)