Instock serves rescued Christmas dinners

Christmas is just around the corner! It’s the perfect moment to do some (extra) good for your family, friends or maybe even a bit for our planet. Restaurant Instock is the one place where you can combine yumminess with doing a good deed. During Christmas, they will be serving a special holiday menu. I tested their Christmas menu for you, and I can tell you, rescued food never tasted so good!

Restaurant Instock in a nutshell
Did you know one third of the whole food production is wasted? Hold on, that means a worldwide wastage of 1.3 billion tonnes per year. Instock is a place that comes to the rescue with her various locations (Amsterdam, Utrecht and The Hague) They want to break the food waste cycle by turning food surplus into an appetising breakfast, lunch and dinner. Think of fruits and veggies with some beauty flaws, one-day old bread, and fish and meat leftovers. A couple of years ago they started a collaboration with the biggest Dutch supermarket; Albert Heijn. But restaurant Instock does not only pick up unsold products at these grocery stores, but also at other local producers. Since the start they’ve saved over 607924 kilos, and the ‘rescue food ball’ keeps on rolling.

instock interior

instock kitchen
Photo by Mitchell van Voorbergen 

IF WE STOP WASTING FOOD, IT WOULD BE THE EQUIVALENT OF TAKING 1 OUT OF 4 CARS OFF THE ROAD.

Culinary, circular Christmas menu
The ambiance of Instock feels relaxed, it’s like coming home. Where the menu normally constantly changes, they have found a way to create a festive set menu. And if possible even circular! By analysing what kind of leftovers they mostly receive, they were able to see some ‘food trends’. With these in mind they have assembled the special dinner menu inspired by the Italian cuisine. For example, if there are tomatoes on the recipe, it’s no big deal for the chef if it’s a cherry or a beef tomato. Expect a four course menu with Italian classics in Instock’s own way.

Where the menu normally constantly changes, for Christmas they have found a way to create a festive set menu

Enough ins and outs, let’s focus on why we’re here: the Christmas menu with real rescue heroes. We kicked off with a minestrone soup (one of my faves during winter days), followed by the cod tartare di merluzzo. Course number three was homemade gnocchi with smoked ricotta and some Bolognese on the side (absolutely delicious). Our final round consisted of a pre-dessert (you will be surprised) and the dulce the leche parfait. In case you’ve got a food allergy or special diet wishes, don’t worry. Even though the kitchen staff has to deal with what’s ‘in stock’, they’re really creative in coming up with allergy and diet friendly alternatives. So, something for everyone. An ode to the crew!

instock Christmas dinner

Totally convinced? There are only a few spots available for the First and Second Christmas Day. Grab your chance and reserve via this link, or drop by whenever you want in 2019!

Want to know more about food waste and how to tackle it? Check out these 6 mobile apps that could save you a lot of money too!

Instock
Czaar Peterstraat 21, Amsterdam (more locations in Utrecht, Rotterdam and Den Haag)
Website

Sharmaine

*Sharmaine is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands with a sweet tooth. The sweeter, the better! She no kitchen princess so she’s always in search for the best hotspots in Amsterdam! You can expect an article from her once a month! Check her out on Instagram!

All we want for Christmas.. is to be in Paris

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – it’s already December and Christmas is just around the corner! As the festivity approaches, we’ve sourced out all the activities and the most wondrous lights in Paris to make your Christmas extra special!

Festive displays
Living up to its name ‘the City of Lights’, Paris is the most beautiful this time of the year with all its Christmas lights lit up along the big boulevards and shopping malls. Take a walk down Champs-Elysées or the streets of Montremart at night to experience the magic! Feeling fancy or lazy? Hop on a sightseeing coach or boat tour to breath it all in without tiring out those legs.

If you’re more of an indoor person, go and admire the extravagant window displays and indoor festive decorations in Galaries LaFayette, Le Bon Marché (I heard they are also doing in store events almost daily leading up to Christmas!) and Le Printemps Haussmann. In the middle of Forums des Halles, around 50 little wooden stalls are set up, selling everything from crafts to snacks. The market stretches all the way to Centre Pompidou, a modern and contemporary art museum.

Christmas in Paris

Christmas Markets
Want to get into the Christmas spirit quickly? Explore Christmas markets! La Défence is a ginormous Christmas village at the end of Metro Line 1. As soon as you walk out of the station, you’ll see hundreds of Christmas stalls lining up side by side, offering delicious mulled wine and hot chocolate for only €3! 

Grab yourself a raclette sandwich or a tartiflette, you’ll need the energy to power through all that Christmas shopping!

In the city centre, you’ll find a smaller version of the English Winder Wonderland at Jardin des Tuileries, outside of the Louvre. Unlike the one in La Defence, this has games, rides and a ferris wheel – a more family friendly option than the one in La Défence

You’ll also find Christmas markets along the street of Place Saint-Germain des Près from now until the New Year. Fancy some more iconic Parisian locations? From 14th December to 23rd December, you can surround yourself in a festive atmosphere outside the Christmas markets at Notre Dame Cathedral or the one outside Hotêl de Ville until 6th January 2019.

Get in the spirit
Christmas is a great time to visit the theatre. Enjoy a spectacle with the family! There’s everything from Disney on Ice and Rudolph: a Christmas musical at Théâtre Essaïon for the kids to La La Land Cine-Concert for adults (not exactly a Christmas special but who doesn’t love a good musical with live orchestra?) For the more sophisticated, check out La Cenerentola at Palais Garnier from 13th to 26th December, a Cinderella story retold in the form of Ballet. From the 21st to 23rd December, take a seat at Eglise de la Madeleine, Eglise Saint-Sulpice and Eglise Saint-Louis-en-L’Ile for a Christmas Choir Music Concert and Orchestra. Fancy some active participation? Grab yourself some skates at Grand Palais for the most spectacular ice-skating experience of your life. Disneyland is even more magical this time of the year, with illuminations throughout the park and a festive spin on the traditional parade with Queen Elsa and Santa as special guests!

I hope this list inspires you to get in the Christmas spirit and spend this year’s holiday in Paris!

Love,

Chantelle

*Chantelle is one of our guest editor from Hong Kong. She has lived in three different countries and have travelled across many continents. Having been in England for the past nine years and graduated with a Law degree, she is now taking a break in Paris for the year as she figures out her next step in life. Always passport ready, she is an expert at traveling light and on a budget, although she still enjoys the occasional indulgence in a luxurious holiday. You can follow her on Instagram.

Europe’s best Christmas Markets 2018

Whether you’re ready or not, December is here and with that the holiday season has arrived. One of the things that we love are Christmas Markets. So where can you stroll for hours and drink the best glühwein in Europe? We’ve selected the best Christmas Markets in Europe where you can do it all.

1. Dresden Christmas Market, Germany
When?
 28th November – 24th December 2018

Leading the pack is this German Christmas market that has been around since 1434(!) Named after a sweet Christmas cake, this market has it all. The highlight is without doubt the largest wooden pyramid with carved wooden figures that stands tall at 40 meters. It has a a romantic feel about it and this is how a Christmas market should be. Watch craftsmen at work or buy pottery, gingerbread, candle holders or other Christmas decorations. Check a video impression herewww.germany-christmas-market.co.uk

German Christmas Markets are the best
Source: Tim A. Bruening via flickr

2. Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market, Copenhagen
When? 17th of November – 31st of December 2018
With 60 stalls, this is a market full of lights. For children and adults, you shouldn’t miss this one if you’re visiting Copenhagen in Nov-Dec.
There are concerts, decorations, lights and sweets to feast your eyes on. Adults need to pay about 13 euro’s admission, kids are free. www.tivoli.dk

download
The entrance of the Tivoli Christmas (source: Tivoli DK)

Christmas Markets originated in Germany, Austria, South Tyrol in Northern Italy and the eastern French regions.

3.  Berlin Christmas Markets
When? Check here for the different opening dates and times
Not 1 but 60 markets in one city! Berlin is the capital of the German Christmas markets. Big and smaller, you won’t be bored in and around Berlin if you visit the German capital during the winter months. The most famous ones are; the Potsdamer Platz Christmas Market for ice-skating, smell the sweet scent of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Christmas Market and spent hours at the large Spandau Christmas Market.

KaiserWilhelmMemorialChurchChristmasmarket
Gingerbread sweets at the Kaiser WM Church Christmas Market Berlin (source: Mtrip)

4. Viennese Dream Christmas Market, Austria
When? 17th of November – 26th of December 2018
This fairytale Christmas Market is located right in front of the city hall and makes the backdrop a one of a kind. This market is also very suitable for kids as they have a dedicated kids area, where they can create Christmas cookies and candles. Find all the info here.

Vienna Christmas MArket

5. Old Town Christmas Market, Prague
When? 1st of December – 6th of January 10am-10pm 2018/2019

Find a variety of foods at this market like barbecued pork, Czech muffins, conkers, beer, mull, mead and other typical gastronomical specialties from Old Czech cuisine. If you don’t feel the Christmas spirit, then you will get it when you go here. Christmas carols are sung throughout the day by different performers. Another market worth checking is Wenceslas Square, which is about a 5 min walking distance from old town square.

8420980480_2c14c181c2_z
(Source: Flickr)

6. Bruges Christmas Market, Belgium
When? 23rd of November – 1st of January 11am-10pm 2018/2019
Bruges already looks amazing because of the historic buildings, cobbled streets and medieval sights. 
But when it’s Christmas, this town really blooms. The magical shopping streets are lit up with colorful lights and there’s a ice skating ring on the “Grote Markt”. For a fairy-tail Christmas feeling you’re at the right address. Shop unique findings, eat waffles and drink delicious hot chocolate to top the day. More info here.

Ice Skating at one of Bruges Christmas Markets
Ice skating in Bruges, Belgium (source: short-breaks.com)

7. Christmas in Paris, France
When? up until the 6th of January 2019
La Défence is a ginormous Christmas village at the end of Metro Line 1. As soon as you walk out of the station, you’ll see hundreds of Christmas stalls lining up side by side, offering delicious mulled wine and hot chocolate for only €3! Grab yourself a raclette sandwich or a tartiflette, you’ll need the energy to power through all that Christmas shopping! In the city centre, you’ll find a smaller version of the English Winder Wonderland at Jardin des Tuileries, outside of the Louvre. Unlike the one in La Defence, this has games, rides and a ferris wheel – a more family friendly option than the one in La Défence. You’ll also find Christmas markets along the street of Place Saint-Germain des Près from now until the New Year. Fancy some more iconic Parisian locations? From 14th December to 23rd December, you can surround yourself in a festive atmosphere outside the Christmas markets at Notre Dame Cathedral or the one outside Hotêl de Ville until 6th January 2019. More info here.

Christmas market in Paris

So which of the above Christmas Markets will you be visiting this year?

Love,

Wander-Lust

P.S: If you’re looking for the Christmas Spirit in Amsterdam, you should check out these 10 Christmas markets in Amsterdam this month!

10 x Christmas Markets in Amsterdam

It’s Christmaaaaaaaaas! (ok, not quite, but almost!) It’s the first time in three years that I’m celebrating Christmas at home in Amsterdam. One of the things that really gets us in the Christmas Spirit are the markets in the month December. You don’t have to look far to find some of the best Christmas Markets in my hometown. Here are 6 amazing Christmas Markets in Amsterdam you should visit this month!

Museum Market Christmas Edition
When? 9th of December, 12pm – 6pm at Museumsquare
Every third Sunday of the Month, the Museumplein will be filled with stylish stands full of design. In between the main museums around the pond you can meet the (Dutch) designers yourself, shop for their products and enjoy the great food and atmosphere. Info

Vogue Christmas Market
When? 9th of December, College Hotel
It’s the first ever Vogue Christmas market in Amsterdam, so you can’t miss this one! There will be beautifully decorated Christmas stalls with amazing brands and gifting. Drink glühwein at the Vogue café, go crazy in the photo booth and score Vogue goodies! Kids are welcome! More info here.

Christmas market

Van der Helstplein Weinachtsmarkt
When? 8th & 9th of December 12:30 – 22:30, van der Helstplein
This German inspired Christmas Market, will be about family & friends (or making new ones!). Traditional glühwein, apfelpunch, currywurst, hot choco or winter beer, you will find it here. There will be stuff to buy, live music and entrance is free! Facebook

Scandinavian Christmas Market
When? 7th & 8th of December, Muiderkerk
Get into the Scandinavian spirit with this special market where you can knit and make decorations for “jul”: the wheel of time that spins the year into lighter days. The market is not complete without some real Scandinavian flavours (like cookies) of course! Facebook

Sissy Boy Christmas Market
When? 15th of December, Aambeeldstraat 34 (Sissy Boy Office)
This is one of the winter markets we are looking forward to the most! Besides the usual Sissy-Boy fashion, interior and accessories, you can also enjoy glühwein, live music, nice food and of course many different stands with all your winter wannahaves!  To find out which brands you can find at this years market, check the Facebook event.

Ruige Kerstmark
When? Sat 15 December 12.00-18.00 / Sun 16 December 12.00-18.00, Ruigoord
Two days X-mas shopping Ruigoord style. Winter Wondermarket with 40 to 50 hand-picked stands with handmade, art, fashion & lifestyle, delicious food, kids activities, glühwine, music & lots of wonderful vibes. Free entrance and also indoor! Check Facebook for all the details.

Christmas Maker Market
When? 15th & 16th of December, De Hallen
The Christmas specials of the market where it all began for Sisters James and us. If you’re stuck for Christmas gifts for friends and family, look no further. This market is jam-packed full of beautifully crafted local Amsterdam products. Facebook

Sushi & Japan Food Festival X-Mas Edition
When? 15th & 16th of December 12 – 9pm, NDSM Loods
Sushi & Christmas? Yes, it’s happening in the NDSM Loods in North Amsterdam! Who doesn’t love Sushi or Ramen, or Takoyaki? Japanese food is something you can eat anytime of the day. Any day of the week and any week of the year. are available from €8,-.

Funky X-Mas Market (Sunday Market)
When? 16th of December 12- 6pm, Westergasterrein
THE place for your funky Xmas presents! For the 10th year running you will find lots of beautiful stands full of original creations. Of course there is great food & drink (mulled wine), live music and more!

Pure Wintermarket at Amstelpark
When?  16th of December
Go here for your organic and fairtrade Christmas products. Local produce and goods make this one of the nicest Christmas Markets in Amsterdam and one of a kind. It’s the last Pure Market before heading into 2017 so grab your winter coat and check this one out. Info


Also worth visiting:

Het Amsterdamse Winterparadijs
When? 21st – 30st of December, RAI Amsterdam
Like last year, this massive winter wonderland will be open during December at the RAI in Amsterdam. This year it will be even bigger! There will be an ice-skating ring in and outside, music performances from Lil Kleine, Xander & friends, food, tube sliding, kids activities and everything to get you into the Christmas spirit. Tickets cost €5 euro, or €17,50 when you include activities. www.hetamsterdamsewinterparadijs.nl

Christmas Market at Floor 17
When? 1st of Dec – 11th of Jan 
Get into the winter spirit and get your skates on! The rooftop of the Ramada Hotel in Amsterdam West is hosting this wonderful ice-skating ring where you can enjoy the view whilst sipping on hot chocolate and curry sausages. Check out the curling games on the 16th of December. For more info visit  www.floor17.nl/rooftop-terrace

Floor 17 ice skating

Christmas Ice Village, Museumsquare
When?  Until the 30th of December
From December 17th – 30th, Amsterdam hosts the magical and tasty Ice Village Amsterdam at the Museumplein. A true adventure of warm winter chalets who offer you a variety of lifestyle, fashion, Christmas gifts, live entertainment and delicious food. Info

Haarlem Christmas Market
When? 8th & 9th of December in Haarlem
Not in Amsterdam, but only 15 minutes away and so worth visiting! The main square and streets are filled with more than 300 Christmas stalls, food, wine, lights and music. Bring the whole family and go shopping. www.facebook.com/HaarlemKerstmarkt

Which ones are you visiting?

Love,

Elke

 

 

 

Why the Paris region is this year’s Winter Destination

Ah Paris, beautiful, romantic Paris. We all know the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysées and the Notre Dame. But Paris is more than the usual highlights and this winter, you can enjoy festivals, many exhibitions, shopping sprees and unique hotspots to celebrate the winter in style.

Winter Wonderland
There are a few places in the world where the Christmas season is that little bit extra special. Paris and it’s region is one of those. The light, the ambiance and the special events during the winter period. Let’s start with the three main Christmas Markets this year.

  • Grande Arche in business district la Défense with 250 wooden chalets! It’s there until the 28th of December.
  • Notre-Dame, for local crafts, fashion and accessoires designs. It’s on from the 15th until the 24th of December.
  • Champs de Mars From the 21st of December until January 8th you can stroll over this Christmas market at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. It has gourmet food, gift ideas and crafts.

joe-desousa-327235
Celebrate New Years Eve watching the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower

Ice-skating on top of the Observatoire Panoramique, how cool!

The Sky is the Limit
If you like to see Paris from a different point of view this winter, you have a few options. Take a ride on the largest ferris wheel in Paris on Place de la Concorde, at 70 meter high you have an amazing view over the city and Champs-Élysées. Another must do, is ice-skating on top of the Observatoire Panoramique on the Tour Montparnasse. How cool! The ice-skating ring is 210 meters high above the city and open from the 14th of Feb until the 6th of March. The nearest metro station is Gare Montparnasse and Ice-skates are available to rent on the spot.

Paris Christmas Destination

Shop till you drop
Sorry but not sorry. If you are in Paris, you need to go shopping! Even if it’s just for walking passed the shopping windows. For the best Christmas themed windows, you need to go to Boulevard Haussmann where you can find the best warehouses. Shopping centre Galeries Lafayette always has something special going on and transforms in a fair with a huge Christmas tree in the middle. This years theme is Carnival so we can only imagine what that’s going to be like! Are you more for the boutique shops? Then you should go to the Montmartre & South of Pigalle district. Marais is great for small shops and may even look a bit medieval at times. 

Musée des Arts Forains
Musée des Arts Forains © Sébastien Siraudeau

Parisian Tasty Hotspots
Chocolate, breakfast, macarons and other Parisian indulgences are all to be found in Paris. During the winter time you want to eat comfort food and drink the best hot chocolates. These are the hotspots where all of this is possible!

  • Brasserie Lipp is one of the oldest Parisian brasseries and offers a typical French menu from Escargots to céleri rémoulade. 
  • Paperboy Paris for the best bread rolls and sandwiches! They are located in the Le Marais area and is a favorite breakfast spot, also for the locals!
  • Jaja is the perfect place for a meal away from the crowd. Go here for comfort food Parisian style and enjoy the pretty courtyard. 
  • Wynwood is the perfect brunch spot with everything organic and a cute interior. Tip: Try the taco’s from the special menu!
  • Miss Kale Paris, if you love healthy food, this spot is for you! Vegan bowls, Poke bowls, Asian style bowls and of course bowls with kale!
  • Braun Notes Coffee is for coffee lovers who like to drink them pretty. They create the best coffee designs and also offer a great brunch menu that includes fruit in a coconut! 

wynwood-paris
Wynwood Source: Wynwood

Exhibitions
It might not be on top of mind when visiting Paris region but there are many exhibitions and places worth visiting this winter. Never been to the amazing Château Versailles? Now is your chance and see Voyage en Hiver, a unique contemporary art exhibition through the groves of the castle. Or check Museum Marmottan-Monet where you can see the famous paintings of French artist Monet with your own eyes (remember the painting from Titanic?) and find out what he held in his private collection.

Voyage en hiver, Paris
Château Versailles during winter. Source: Versailles © EPV/Thomas Garnier/Skydrone

Reasons enough to head over to Paris and it’s surroundings this winter, to enjoy the lights and festive season when you still can!

Love,

Wander-Lust

This article was written in collaboration with the France Tourism Development Agency and Paris Region
*Header photo by @MaureenPowel

UberTREES is back to deliver your Christmas Tree!

You gotta be quick but if you open your UBER app between 12pm and 8pm on the 13th and 14th of December, you get a quality Nordmann Christmas Tree delivered right at your doorstep!

It’s the perfect solution if you’re a busy parent or hate the drive to the store where all the needles fall into your car. Just sit back and relax, take a sip of  your hot chocolate and wait for your doorbel to ring! UBER and Dutch D.I.Y store Praxis collaborate for this special occasion. The tree costs €30,- and is 1,75 meter high and about 2 meters wide. The offer is valid for Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Den Haag.

Oh, and this year it’s an extra sweet deal because The Urban Bakery will include a small tasty gift that you can hang into your tree..

uber_christmas_trees_on_demand_graphics_700x300_r4-1
UberTREES is back!

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Open or download the Uber app for Iphone or Android
  2. Between 12pm – 8pm on the 13th & 14th of December, request the UberTREES banner at the bottom of your screen
  3. Enter the location where you want your tree to be delivered and you’ll have a tree, stand, delivered to your front door within minutes!
  4. Keep in mind, availability will be very limited, so be quick!

For more info and to see the video check: www.newsroom.uber.com

Love,

Elke


These are the Best Giftshops in Utrecht

The festive season is just around the corner. Sinterklaasavond (a Dutch celebration for kids) and Christmas eve are only a couple of weeks ahead and everybody’s getting ready to have family gatherings full of gifts.. Oh boy, the stress! Thankfully you can find many cosy giftshops in Utrecht where you can get everything you need. If you are in in Utrecht, be sure to check this perfect guide to find lovely presents.

Paperbird Conceptstore, Oudkerkhof 40
If you are looking for various accessories and clothing, this is the place you should go to. They have a lot of glittery fashion items, which will be perfect for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. There are also many beauty products and home decorations for sale. Run by two boss ladies, this concept store deserves a mention in the best giftshops in Utrecht.

Paperbird Concept store
Fashion and accessories at Paperbird

Pracht, Oudegracht 133
Pracht is a little jewellery shop at a corner at the busy Oudegracht. You can find various jewellery, bags and accessories there in different price ranges.

Pracht, Giftshops in Utrecht

Atelier Ohlala, Kintgenshaven 1A
This hidden shop is close to the cozy Neude. The shop is very mini, but they have a nice assortment varying from golden rings to cute coffee cups and baby goodies.

aterlier-oelala-giftshops-in-utrecht
Ready for the festive season, Atelier Oelala

It’s a Present, Lijnmarkt 16
If you go to It’s a Present, you will be sure to buy something. The store has so many things and you will probably buy something that you didn’t think you would ever need. Choose from a variety of cacti, (animal) coffee cups, postcards and many other knick knacks.

its-a-present-giftshops-in-utrecht

Just in time for the holidays!

Keck & Lisa, Zadelstraat 38
Keck & Lisa is the place if you need anything for the kitchen or just a fun gift for your friends. It’s full of wanna-haves and you can walk around here for hours. The whole store is fully stuffed with amazing gifts and tools. It will be hard to leave this store empty handed!

keck-en-lisa-giftshops-in-utrecht
Source

WAAR, Lijnmarkt 21
WAAR has a wide range of sustainable goodies. You can buy fairtrade food and drinks, but also special soap, candles, beauty products and home decorations.

gifsthops-utrecht-waar

All the Luck in the World, Zadelstraat 15
This store made it to our list of Coolest Concept Stores in Amsterdam so it’s a must visit if you are looking for giftstores in Utrecht. Another nice and cozy shop is All the Luck in the World. They sell many jewellery items, but also cute home accessories and postcards plus you can grab a nice coffee while you’re at it!

Coolest concept stores in Amsterdam

So what are you waiting for, get yourself some gifts right in time for the holidays!

Love,

Merel

More Utrecht? Check out this recently opened hotspot!

5 x winter drinks to keep you warm this Christmas

We’re ditching the cold drinks this month and can’t wait to snuggle up in front of the TV of fireplace with a hot drink. Inspired by the world and other platforms, we have selected 5 delicious winter drinks to keep you warm this Christmas!

1. Golden Milk 
This recipe originated from India where they use the spice Curcuma in almost everything. ‘Curcuma (or Turmeric Root Powder as they call it) might well be the healthiest spice on Earth. Made by grinding the dried root of the Curcuma longa plant, this ancient superfood and key ingredient in curry powder has been used by Indian Ayurvedic healers for centuries’. States the healwithfood.org website. So with this good news it’s one of the best winter drinks as it will help your immune system throughout the winter.

winter-drinks-golden-milk
Recipe and photo by The Green Happiness

Ingredients: (for 2 persons)

  • 400 ml almond milk
  • 1 tsp kurkuma
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 sp ahorn siroop (10 ml)
  • 1 sp cinnamon

Preparation:
Pour the almond milk in a saucepan and add the Curcuma, Ginger, Cinnamon and the Ahorn Syrup. Stir well and heat until it simmers. Now it’s ready to drink and you may top it with a little cinnamon!

2. The ultimate Hot Chocolate
Oelala, this recipe is finger licking good! We all know how to make a hot chocolate but this drink includes marsmellows so take a moment and take your time for this one. It only takes a few minutes to make!

hot-chocolade
Recipe and photo by Jamie Oliver

Ingredients: (for 2 persons)

  • 565 ml full cream or semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 ts of good quality drinking chocolade
  • 1 handful marsmellows
  • some sugar for extra tasting

Preparation:
First put the milk into a pan. Bring to a simmer – not a boil – and while it’s heating, put a tablespoon of choccie powder and sugar, if using, into each mug. Add a little warmish milk from the pan to each mug – you just need enough to dissolve the chocolate powder. At this point, plonk a few marshmallows into each mug. When the milk is at a simmer, carefully pour it into a plastic jug or flask. I normally do this over a sink as I always end up spilling a bit (the trick is to have a big enough jug or flask so the milk only half fills it – you need the extra space for shaking and frothing). Screw the lid on tightly, place a cloth over the lid for safety, and shake hard for a minute. Remove the lid, minding the steam, and pour the milk into your mugs. A little stir, and you can slurp your way to heaven!

3. Homemade Glühwine
It’s a traditional Christmas drink that you will find at most Christmas Markets around the world but the best recipes come from Germany or Austria. It will warm you up in an instance. (just be careful you drink responsibly as it contains alcohol)

wd-10-mulled-wine

Ingredients: 

  • 1 bottle of red wine (750ml)
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 3 whole gloves
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 orange
  • optional: star anise

Preparation:
Pour red wine into saucepan and add all the spices, use medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Reduce to low heat for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure that the wine won’t boil! Use some cinnamon sticks as garnish and enjoy!

4. The Christmas Coffee Cocktail
Wow, this coffee cocktail is serious business! Feeling a bit sleepy after all that food? This baby will wake you right up! 

coffee-2
Wake me up baby! Photo & recipe by Electric Everyday

Ingredients: 

  • 4 oz strong coffee
  • 1 1/2 oz amaretto liqueur
  • 1 1/2 oz coffee liqueur
  • 1 oz butterscotch schnapps
  • 1 oz creme de cocoa
  • fresh whipped cream
  • grated chocolate, for garnish

Preparation:
It’s a combination between strong coffee and liqueurs so pour all of them into a glass after heated up. Stir all together and top with fresh whipped cream. Garnish with grated chocolate. Serve warm or over ice. (but we prefer warm of course)

5. Turkish Salep
When I visited Istanbul 2 years ago, I discovered a drink that I couldn’t stop ordering. It’s called Salep and it’s one of the perfect winter drinks to serve your guest over Christmas. It’s the feeling when you come home from an ice-skating trip, when your hands and feet are cold and your mother gives you a warm drink. Salep brings you right back to that moment. It’s sweet and has a milky anise taste to it. 

Winter drinks : Salep
Photo by and recipe by Lauren Rothman

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablespoons glutinous rice flour (Glutinous rice flour can be found at any well-stocked Asian supermarket)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon rosewater
  • ground cinnamon for garnish
  • chopped pistachios for garnish (omg yes!)

Preparation:
In a small saucepan, combine rice flour and milk, whisking well. Set saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. When mixture has thickened, about 2 minutes longer, add sugar and rosewater and stir. Divide salep between two mugs and garnish with cinnamon and chopped pistachios.

All the recipes are quite simple to make and will wow your family or guest you may have over Christmas. So run to the shops, what are you waiting for?

Love,

Elke

More Christmas? Check out these tasty Christmas Recipes!

Christmas Recipes

3 magical cities to visit during your Christmas holiday

Are you also looking forward to the upcoming holidays, like Christmas and New Year’s Eve? If you want something different this year, I can recommend the following cities as the perfect get-away.

1. Paris
The city of love; even more with all the Christmas decorations. Paris is the perfect city if you’re looking for a romantic weekend. Highlights are off course the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum (free admission for people under 25), the Arc de Triomphe, the Notre Dame, the Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde, Centre Pompidou, Panthéon and Sainte-Chapelle. The most romantic part of town is the Montmartre district, with its cozy, little, cobbled streets with lots of art studios and its beautiful Sacré-Coeur. If you have enough time to go outside the city center, the Palace of Versailles is definitely worth a visit. You can spend all day wandering around the palace of Louis XIV, the house of Marie-Antoinette and the amazing gardens (free admission for people under 26). And, if you want to get back to your childhood, you should go visit Disneyland to meet all your favorite Disney characters. A Paris Visite Travel Card for 1 day is € 12,85 for the city center or € 26,95 to include destinations like Versailles and Disneyland.

montmartre-in-christmas-ambiance
Montmartre in Christmas ambience

2. London
Looking for a good place to do all your Christmas shopping? London is the place to be! By plane you can get there in 1 hour, but there are also a lot of bus companies that offer a 1-day trip. Check this blog for the best Christmas shopping hotspots: http://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/shopping/christmas-shopping-hotspots. For an easy tour around town, you can catch a hop-on hop-off bus and see all the highlights like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Tower Bridge, London Eye, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey. If you want to explore the city by yourself, you can best take the Tube (Metro). You can buy a Day Travelcard (£12,10 for travelling in the city center) or a so-called Oyster card; this card costs £3 and you can put as much credit on it as you want/need. Don’t forget to pass by Harrods which is amazing during the Christmas period.

harrods London
Harrods London (source)

3. Berlin
Berlin is a city with a lot of history and is therefore a city you should definitely see. Basically, you can go there all-year-round, but in the winter it has an even more special vibe because of all the Christmas markets. You can find most of them around Alexanderplatz. Definitely go for a Glühwein or Currywurst here. If you’re interested in the history of this city, there are some places to visit next to the well-known highlights like The Wall and CheckPoint Charlie. Quite interesting are for example the museum The Story of Berlin, the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial (a former detainment and transit camp and later on Stasi prison), and the ‘Berliner Unterwelten’, in which you can do multiple tours to discover the history of Berlin’s underground (and see for example escape tunnels built during the Cold War). Best way to travel around town is by S-bahn and U-bahn (a one-day ticket for the city center costs €7,-).

brandenburger-tor-in-christmas-ambiance
Brandenburger Tor during Christmas 

There you have it, 3 magical cities to visit during your Christmas holiday. Where will you go this year?

Love,

Dionne

*Dionne is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands, currently living in Den Bosch. In everyday life she works as a marketing-communications professional. She loves to travel to distant destinations, but she also enjoys a city trip closer to home.

Healthy and delicious Christmas recipes

Do you need to cook this Christmas, but you don’t have any inspiration?
I’ll help you through with some healthy and delicious Christmas recipes that I’ve found via Instagram for you!
It has everything you need to impress your family and friends and it’s not very hard to make.
So take a moment to read the below recipes, go to the store, get all the ingredients, put on some music, take a glass of wine and enjoy cooking!

Get into the Christmas spirit with the below recipes!

‘Healthy and delicious Christmas recipes’

1. @Annabelkarmel
Christmas pudding pies
Recipe
Christmas pudding pies

2. @Renskroes       
Gingerbread cookies
Recipe
Christmas Ginger bread

3. @Jernejkitchen
Confit duck leg with legumes stew
Recipe
Christmas Stew

4. @Livingthehealthychoice
Beetroot, Leek & Walnut Tarts

Recipe
Christmas tarts

5. @Cafedelites
Berry Limoncello Moscato
Recipe
Christmas Limoncello

6. @JamieOliver
Vegetarian Curry
Recipe
Christmas vega curry

7. @Deliciouslyella
Mince pies
Recipe
Christmas mince pies

Good luck in the kitchen. You can do it!

Merry Christmas

Love,

Sarah