Culinary walking tour of Karlsruhe

Karlsruhe Schloss

On Saturday, Jan and I took part on a culinary walking tour of Karlsruhe that I had booked through Karlsruhe Tourism. I had no idea what to expect having only seen an advert for it and thought “that looks interesting”, but I assumed it would involve food!

The group met at the Badische Weinstube in the botanic gardens, where we were greeted with sparking wine and some appetizers. There, the guide told us a bit about the founding of Karlsruhe, including a legend that’s supposed to explain the name (the founder of Karlsruhe was the Margrave Karl-Wilhem of Baden-Durlach, who apparantly fell asleep in the woods, hence the “ruhe” part, which means peace/quiet or rest). She also showed us a photo of Karl-Wilhelm.

After leaving the Badische Weinstube, our first stop was the castle (pictured above). The Karlsruhe Schloss is the centre point of the town – the “main” streets start there and go out at angles in the shape of a fan, giving Karlsruhe its nickname “Fächerstadt (fan city). Next, we walked to the Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court), then we passed the art gallery and headed down Waldstrasse, where we stopped at the first restaurant, Hügels Restaurant Dudelsack. We were served a pumpkin soup with caramelized pumpkin seeds. It tasted like there was something spicy in there as well, but we couldn’t figure out what. It was delicous anyway! I also had a prosecco with hibiscus blossoms (other than the sparking wine at the beginning, we paid for all drinks ourselves. Food was included.).

After leaving the restaurant,we headed to the Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice – Germany’s highest criminal court). You can’t actually see much of the court from the outside – it’s all bullet proof glass and barbed wire – but the guide showed us a photo. The building was originally a palace belonging to Friedrich II of Baden. We then briefly stopped at St Stephen’s Church (Catholic) and the shopping centre Ettlinger Tor. Our guide also told us a little bit about Marktplatz (the market square), but we couldn’t actually go there because it’s currently a giant construction site! Surprisingly, she didn’t mention the pyramid. Our final stop was at Zum kleinen Ketterer, a restaurant belonging to a micro brewery. Our guide informed us that they try to use ingredients from regional sources, for example all the meat comes from a local butchers. We were served vension with Serviettenknödel (bread dumplings) and sprouts. The one vegetarian in the group got Käsespätzle – a kind of cheesy dumpling dish (he was given a choice of 2 dishes but I didn’t hear what the second one was).

Food

(I’m really sorry about the quality of the photos. I have no idea why Jan’s camera makes most of them come out blurry?!) Dessert was some kind of mousse/marscapone with oranges and chocolate sauce. All the food was delicious!

Dessert

Overall, it was a very interesting tour. Jan felt that the guide didn’t say very much (and it’s true that she didn’t really say anything while we were walking, and I was surprised that she didn’t really give us a lot of information on the restaurants we went to or explain anything about local cuisine), but we both learned something new and had a good time. For people who are new to Karlsruhe, this tour provides a great introduction and even those who have lived here a while can learn something from it. Plus, you get to eat yummy food!

According to the Karlsruhe tourism website, next year two types of culinary tour will be available – a “gutbürgerlich” one (basically your “plain” home cooking style of meal) and a “gourmet” one. With both, you get a limited edition recipe fan as a souvenir, which we did not get. The description also seems to indicate that there will also be more of a focus on learning about the food (the gutbürgerlich tour mentions that you will find out about “original Badisch cuisine”) so it sounds like it will be worth it! You can find the dates for the various culinary tours in 2015 here.

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Friday letters en route to Paris

Good morning! As this publishes, I am hopefully on my way to Paris – fingers crossed for no delays please! We’re off to see a live show of the most excellent podcast Welcome to Night Vale (give it a listen if you haven’t already. It’s surreal and bizarre and highly amusing in a mental kind of way).

Let me tell you a little about my week. On Saturday, Jan, K and I went to a drag queen competition in Karlsruhe (“Karlsruhe sucht den Superdrag”). It was a lot of fun, and I want this contestant’s hair:

drag queen

I admit it doesn’t look like much in the picture, but in real life it was really pretty! And yes, I’m aware that this is a wig, but if I grew my hair, dyed it and invested in some curlers I could achieve that look… right?! Also, this was one of the judges. How awesome is this costume?!

drag queen contest

Terrible picture, but in case you can’t tell, she’s a snake!
Other than that, my week has consisted of work, work, work. While some of my German colleagues haven’t had as many translations to complete as usual, I’m practically drowning in them! I even have a huge one that isn’t due until mid-December, so I’ll be kept busy basically until we close for Christmas. Definitely not complaining – I much prefer this to no work! But I have to admit I’m glad I’ve got this long weekend to break things up a bit (and also that I applied for the day off back in August – any later and it might already have been impossible!). Now let’s have some letters:

letter box

Dear Paris. See you in a few hours!

Dear French food. Can’t wait to eat you! (And I’m so glad my stomach seems to be my friend again.)

Dear November. I can’t believe you’re already here! I’m not ready for it to be the penultimate month of the year!

Dear Christmas. I suppose I’m actually going to have to start seriously thinking about you now if I want to get all my gifts bought in time! (And yes, it is possible to not think about Christmas while cross stitching snowmen and robins.)

Dear blogspot bloggers. I wish more of you would have the Name/URL options for comments! If I select the WordPress option, I always end up commenting as “confuzzledom” instead of Bevchen. I’m aware that’s partly my own fault for selecting differing user and blog names, but it’s still really annoying!

Dear everybody. Happy Halloween! I hope you have a great night, whether you choose to celebrate or not.

I’ll be back on Sunday and will answer any comments then. In the meantime, have a great weekend!

Breakfast at Sukie’s

Remember Sukie’s cake shop, home of Karlsruhe’s one and only cream tea? Well, while I was looking at the Facebook page and website in preparation for the post I’ve just linked to, I read that they also do breakfast on weekends. Obviously this needed to be tried (the description included  bacon!), and when I mentioned it to Jan he suggested we go that very weekend. So last Sunday found Jan, myself and our friend K turning up at Sukie’s bright an early. We decided to go with something savoury first then move on to something sweet. For the first course, we ordered srambled eggs with bacon. What turned up was this:

bacon and eggs

All that for three people! There was also toast, fried tomatoes and, of course, a pot of tea each. The eggs were delicious and the bacon had just the perfect amount of crispiness. I’m getting hungry now just remembering it! Mmmmm.

For our sweet course, we chose scones, which came with clotted cream, jam and lemon curd. The scones came in blueberry and cranberry varieties… here’s a blueberry one before being creamed and jammed:

blueberry scone

After all that, we were absolutely stuffed so sadly didn’t get to find out about the pancakes that were also on offer. I’ll just have to go back again another day 😉

Sukie’s Cake Shop, Karlsruhe

For years I’ve been saying that what Karlsruhe needs is a place that serves a proper cream team. In fact, I’ve often joked that if I ever felt like a career change I would open an English café. It would serve full English breakfasts, sausage rolls, decent baked potatoes with fillings other than sour cream. It would be possible to order milk for your tea without being treated like an alien, or worse, given coffee creamer! Now it seems somebody has beat me to it 😉

Sukie's

I first heard about Sukie’s Cake SHop before it even opened – Annabelle from the Piri-Piri Lexicon (who also lives in Karlsruhe) sent me a photo of the window, which featured the words “English cakes” and “opening on 1st September”. Obviously I was intrigued. As it happened, I even walked by on the very day of the opening, but sadly I was in a hurry (and it was just before closing time) so I couldn’t pop in. I did look through the window though, and I liked what I saw. A trip to Sukie’s was definitely in order at some point in the future! On Saturday, that day finally came. Jan, my friend K (who is Scottish) and I met up at 4 p.m. and headed off to try out some English cakes.

The decorations were perfect – from the inspirational quotes stuck on the walls to the cute upside down teapot lampshades, pretty roses on the tables and various cake-themed items standing around. The café consists of two rooms – we sat in the one closest to the entrance.

All the cakes on offer sounded delicious, but as I was still recovering from stomach problems, I decided to go with something “light”. Jan and I each chose a strawberry scone with clotted cream and jam. The scone looked more like a rock cake to me, but it tasted delicious! K had pumpkin pie, which I tried a tiny piece of and that, too, was very tasty. To drink, I choose a ginger and lemon tea. Jan went for Darjeeling and K had Irish Afternoon tea. Later, I had some Fentiman’s Dandelion & Burdock (I love that stuff!).

High Tea
” 1 pot of tea, salmon and cucumber sandwiches, various small cakes e.g. Victoria Sponge, other small, tasty surprises”

Sukie, by the way, is the name of the owner’s dog and your four-legged friends are also welcome at the café. There are even home made dog treats available so they don’t have to miss out on the fun!

As we were leaving I took a photo of the board listing all the treats that come with the High Tea. I will definitely have to go back to try that! According to their Facebook page, a breakfast is also available on Saturdays and Sundays, consisting of Porridge, Bacon, Scones, Lemon Curd and more. I’m drooling just thinking about it!

You can find Sukie’s at Bahnhofstraße 13 (next to the Eden Hotel). For more information, see their Facebook page and website (both in German).

Cocktails at KofferRaum

(Apologies in advance for the quality of some of the photos in this post… my camera appears to be failing on me, and now utterly refuses to focus on anything at all!)

As I mentioned in my last post, Friday was the 8-year anniversary of me moving to Karlsruhe! When Jan suggested going out for a drink that night, I don’t think he was intending it as a celebration of that fact, but I’ll take any excuse 😉 Most of our friends were busy or out of town, so it ended up being Jan, K and I. We decided to go to KofferRaum – a popular cocktail bar in town – and by some miracle we actually got in! I think this was our fourth try… every other time it was completely full, and we were either told “not tonight” or “maybe try again in an hour?”. This time we got lucky… with only three of us, we were able to squish into a little corner by the bar. We were positioned next to a little “window” (well, gap in the wall), where you could see through to behind the wall, so of course my first act was to take a photo of the alcohol next to us.

The Union Jack bottle contains Beefeater gin infused with saffron
The Union Jack bottle contains Beefeater gin infused with saffron

Fun fact: Kofferraum is German for the booto (trunk) of a car. It is made up of the two words Koffer, meaning suitcase, and Raum, meaning room or space. Jan told me the owner of the bar’s surname is Koffer, so there’s a bit of a play on words going on there. And there were suitcases standing at various points in the room, obviously 😉

I don’t actually remember the names of any of the cocktails we had, but here’s a photo of Jan’s and my first ones. Mine is on the right… I remember it contained run and passionfruit juice, but that’s it. It tasted very nice though.

cocktails

I also had to take a photo of the top of my friend’s first drink because I’m a sucker for cutsey things and her apple slices had tiny hearts cut into them. All together now… “awww!”

How cute?
How cute?

Later, Jan decided he felt a bit peckish and ordered some food. At the other cocktail bar we like, the snacks include nachos… but nothing so common for KofferRaum 😉 He ordered some Italian sausage with parmesan, and this is what arrived:

KofferRaum

And very tasty it was, too!

The cocktails at KofferRaum are more expensive than at other places in Karlsruhe (between €8 and €11 euros each), but they are all made using the very best alcohol and things like fresh herbs (my second cocktail contained a large sprig of fresh sage), so you get what you pay for. The waiters also come around with free cucumber-infused tap water for all guests… usually unheard of in Germany!

If you’d like to go to KofferRaum on a weekend, I highly recommend turning up early otherwise you will not find a place to sit! (And it’s not the kind of place where you can just stand anywhere). You’ll find Hirschstraße 17 (south of Europaplatz) and they’re open from 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Be warned, the cocktails are all quite strong, but at that price you’ll probably be wanting to pace yourself anyway!

A photo an hour: 16 August 2014

On Saturday, I took part in the August edition of A Photo an Hour with Jane at Is That You Darling? I am being cheeky and also including this in Amanda’s Day in the Life linkup for August.

9 a.m. I was actually awake at 8:30 (thanks construction workers!), but somehow I find it easier to take my photos on the hour(ish), so I waited til 9 to take my first one. A nice cup of tea to start the day!

Tea

10 a.m. Doing a bit of cross stitch! I’m working on something for my kitchen as part of my 35 before 35. Can you guess what it is yet?

cross stitch

11 a.m. I noticed it had stopped raining, so I decided to head into town while I had the chance! (I promise I didn’t go out smelly – I showered and brushed my teeth between the last photo and this one!)

sky

12 noon. Still in town. My dad paypalled me some money for my birthday, so I decided to pop in to Douglas and see if I could find a perfume I liked. (Is to paypal actually a verb? Never mind, it is now!) Am I the only one that would rather browse in peace than constantly be asked if I need help? After two shop assistants approached me, I decide to leave the shop and head elsewhere for my perfume… which turned out to be lucky because I found a special offer with a 30ml bottle of perfume and some shower gel for just €29.95. The perfume on its own would have been something like €45!

DSCN0491

1 p.m. Time to head home for lunch. Pictured is the Natural History Museum, which I passed on my way home. (Also, note the grey clouds returning… definitely time to head home!)

Naturkundemuseum

2 p.m. Wrapping gifts for a few children whose birthdays are coming up. This one is for a friends son and I also wrapped stuff for my little brother and for my godson (although his won’t be posted til I return from Taiwan).

gift

3 p.m.  Another tea? Don’t mind if I do! And back to my cross stitch while I drink it.

tea

4 p.m. I finally managed to post the last of my Vienna posts. Hurrah! Next up is all the travelling I did with my brother (I’m sooo behind!).

DSCN0495

5 p.m. Enough lounging around… time to make a start on tidying the kitchen! Here’s a photo of my hoover, plugged in and ready to go.

hoover

6 p.m. Dinner time! Ready-to-roast duck and boil-in-the bag potato dumplings. Also consumed but not pictured: peas and, of course, good old Bisto gravy!

food

7 p.m. Having made the (possibly insane?) decision to cross stitch all my Christmas cards this year, I got out all my cross stitch magazines and started going through them looking for ideas.

cross stitch magazine

8 p.m. What Saturday evening alone could be complete without a classic film? 😉

Blues Brothers

10 p.m. (I missed 9 p.m.!). Still watching the film… nearly finished now!

Blues Brothers

11 p.m. Off to bed with the final book I need to finish for the summer reading challenge! I’m progressing through it… but verrrry slowly!

book

And that’s it. I turned the light out at 11:30 p.m. so I never made it as far as a midnight photo.

A Day in the Life: A Linkup by Break the Sky

 

Café Pan, Karlsruhe

On the first day of my brother’s visit, we decided to go out for brunch. I had been to Café Pan, an organic café and creperie, once before and really enjoyed it, but had then promptly forgotten its existence until it was reviewed on Karlsresource. They are closed on Sundays, which limits the opportunities for me to visit, but being off work during the week meant I could actually go there. On my first visit, we sat outside in the courtyard, but as it was raining off and on the day my brother and I went, we decided to see what it looked like inside.

Inside Café Pan
Inside Café Pan

The menu mainly consists of numerous crepes, both sweet and savoury, but there are also cakes and a soup of the day. We, of course, opted for crepes. The savoury ones are made without egg and milk, so are suitable for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. Sweet ones are not vegan friendly, but on request they will make a sweet crepe using the vegan batter from the savoury crepes. Here’s the list of sweet crepes, photo courtesy of my brother:

cafe pan menuMy brother went for the Schokolade crepe, which was topped with Nutella. Meanwhile, I decided to start my day with something savoury and had a spinach crepe, consisting of spinach (obviously), tomato and cheese… I asked for it without the egg.

Spinach crepe
Spinach crepe

To drink, we both opted for coffee, although various freshly squeezed juices were available. Maybe I’ll try one of those next time. My brother and I both thoroughly enjoyed our crepes and I will definitely be going to this café again… hopefully it won’t take me several years this time!