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Happy New Year!

by Sandy

Did you guys have a good start into the new year? I sure did. I feel a bit guilty for neglecting my blog for almost two weeks, but there was just too much going on. A lot of quality time with my family and Alex and a lovely short trip to France over New Years Eve. But now I’m here again and ready to get back cooking again.

Christmas was, as always, lovely as it can be. I won’t bore you with the details, because we basically spent the holidays eating and eating and eating some more. New Years Eve is worth a few words though. It was my first time being in France for real. Before I was only passing through on my way to Spain.

We spent three days at the feet of the french alps in the lovely little city of Chambéry. about one hour south of Geneva. France wasn’t our first choice to be honest, because we both don’t speak French, but Switzerland and Austria were just too expensive, so France it was. I was sceptical. I had a couple of years of French in school, but I’m lightyears away from being able to hold a conversation or even ordering dinner properly. And with the French being notoriously famous for not speaking anything but French, I was already seeing myself dining at KFC and McDonalds for three days (yuk!).

Thank God, I was only partially right about my concerns. Fact is: A few french people are really stubborn when it comes to speaking english or german, even though they obviously understand you just fine and probably could answer you. But for every annoyed frenchman we met two who really tried their best to communicate with us. And nother amazing fact: We ate very very well during those days, even though we barely understood the menus (The first evening we ended up in an amazing, locals-filled place in the center of Chambéry, where we didn’t understand a single main dish on the menu, except cheese fondue. That’s what we ended up odering. Thank God, we both love cheese fondue… but who knows what treats the menu had on it. We will never know…)

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The second day we explored the historic center of Chambéry, which was just lovely. The city is filled with old, charming buildings and the streets full of little shops. You won’t believe it, but this was the first time I had a proper macaron. I have ogled them forever online, admiring the colours and the shiny tops and just their overall prettiness. In Germany they are being sold for 1,50€ a piece at least and I wasn’t even sure they’re authentic, so I never tried them, but then I saw a macarons shop in Chambéry. We bought four pieces for an obscene price… but they… were… soooo… good!! It was love at first bite. I’m obviously hooked now and in a serious pickle. I can’t get proper macarons in Germany, so I need to learn to make them myself… which I don’t see happing anytime soon, to be honest.

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We also visited a market hall in the city center (a thing I always love to do when I’m abroad) and once again I felt like living in the wrong country when it comes to food shopping. I would be such a happy bee if I would live around the corner (or even in the same city) from a market hall like this. The sheer variety of produce, meat, seafood and cheese is just amazing.

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New Years Eve was an all around beautiful evening. We booked a four course dinner at the restaurant in our hotel „Le maison rouge“, which turned out to be a great choice. From the appetizer (the french are dead serious about their foie gras, which is probably one of the most delicious and most morally wrong things I ever had in my life) to the main dish to the vast dessert buffet and the selected wines (Pinot gris for the win!) it was all delicious, amazing and so worth the rather high price.

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New Years Day we did what we came for: See some snow! Like serious snow. After a two hour drive we were finally in the alps. I was always more of a beach girl, but I can’t deny how beautiful those snow glaced mountains are. We drove straight into the Trois Vallées skiing area and took the cable cars to the top of the Cime De Caron. What a view we had up there. It’s impossible to NOT be impressed by this landscape.

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Now we’re back home and back to work tomorrow. I’m always sad when the Christmas holidays are over, but this also means back to blogging and I’m genuinely looking forward that.

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