Uncategorized Archives - Page 2 of 4 - Elysian Moment Personal Travel Blog

Category: Uncategorized Page 2 of 4

Maastricht, the Netherlands

How to Spend an Awesome One Day in Maastricht

If you want to spend one day in Maastricht here is the perfect list of the things to see in the beautiful town on the souther tip of the Netherlands. Maastricht is one of the oldest medieval cities in Holland that has about 590 listed monuments. It’s very compact so you can explore this little town within 1-2 days.

Streets of Maastricht, the Netherlands
Streets of Maastricht, the Netherlands

Maastricht is also famous for being a university city with a large international student population. It’s also known as a birthplace of the well-known Euro. It has numerous things to offer like great dining, relaxed atmosphere, awesome cafes and delightful shopping. Moreover there are terrific museums and interesting Roman history.

Maastricht in the Netherlands
Maastricht in the Netherlands

Things to See in Maastricht

Het Vrijthof

One of the famous monuments in Maastricht is Vrijthof. It’s a medieval main square. If you visit Maastricht during the Christmas period you will discover a beautiful Christmas market here. Museum aan het Vrijthof was founded in 1973 with the intention to exhibit a huge collection of artworks that used to be owned by a rich couple of The Hague. Nowadays it presents masterpieces of contemporary artists. During the summer Vrijthof is surrounded by trees, cozy cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a drink on the terrace. Adjacent to het Vrijthof is the St. Servatius Basilica, a Romanesque cathedral worth visiting.

St. Peter’s Caves

St. Peter’s Caves is one of the highest spots in Holland. You can have a unique tour through miles of tunnels that were excavated by men through the centuries. The tunnel system is over 80km long. Interesting fact: The cave also served to keep Rembrandt’s famous “Night Watch” painting safe during WWII.

St. Peter’s Fortress

St. Peter’s Fortress was built in the 18th century with the purpose to defend the city from the French. You can access this magnificent 300 year old monument only on a guided tour that takes a bit over an hour. You will see the cannon gallery, underground tunnels and last but not least a breathtaking view from the top. The green surroundings of the fortress are a protected nature reserve.

Top Museums of Maastricht

Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht

Maastricht features various great museums that reflect it’s long history. Here are the best of them that you can’t miss. Museum Kelder Derlon displays archeological artefacts from the time when the Romans maintained garrison in Maastricht. Perfect for a family visit is Maastricht natural History Museum which offers a wide collection of scientific specimens, artefacts and the skull of a prehistoric aquatic lizard, Mosasaurus. It was hiding in the Meuse river for over 7o million years ago. Last but not least check out the Bonnefantenmuseum because of it’s vast collection of objets d’art and a great selection of paintings, statues and installations from the Medieval period to the present day.

The Meuse River Tour in Maastricht

Another great way to explore the little town Maastricht is by joining the Meuse River Tour by boat. Within an hour you can sail through the scenic waters of the Medieval town.

Shopping in Maastricht

Maastricht is a great destination for the shopaholics. It offers numerous amount of amazing boutiques, big brands and many unusual stores. Just walk through the labyrinth of cobble streets around the Wyck district and you will discover plenty of beautiful things.

Restaurant Tips in Maastricht

After a long day of walking and exploring the beautiful historic town you will definitely be hungry for delicious food and you would like to eat in Maastricht. There are numerous great places to have dinner in Maastricht, nevertheless my restaurant tip is to visit Harvey – Kitchen & Bar. This cozy eatery is open for lunch and dinner. It’s a bit out of town but definitely worth a visit. During the summer period you can enjoy drinks and snacks on the terrace.

new_zealand_beer_yeastie_boys
New Zealand beer “Yeastie boys”

The young owner who has been travelling the world and decided to open his own bar. That’s why you will find an outstanding menu with the modern cuisine. Beer lovers will be spoiled: There is a great variety of Belgian beers and even awesome New Zealand beers. The staff is very friendly and helpful if you need any advice on what to order.

Burger in Harvey - Kitchen & Bar, Maastricht
Burger in Harvey – Kitchen & Bar, Maastricht

We went for the BBQ Wild Chicken & New York Beef Burgers with fresh orange juice and a “Yeastie Boys” New Zealand Beer. My boyfriend was extremely happy because he didn’t expect to find New Zealand beer in Europe. Our portions were big and sumptuous with tasty fries on the side. Enjoyed every bite of it! So if you want to eat burgers in Maastricht don’t miss Harvey – Kitchen & Bar!

ONE DAY IN Maastricht
ONE DAY IN Maastricht

Where to stay in Maastricht

There are numerous of hotels in Maastricht but we were staying at EasyHotel Maastricht in the city centre. It’s an amazing to stay for 1 night. It offers free Wi-Fi, clean and tidy little rooms with very comfortable beds, a big flat screen TV and a private bathroom. Hotel also has 24-hour front desk with very friendly staff. It’s definitely an ideal place for budget travellers who want to stay in the heart of Maastricht.

And here you can find great info about Dutch Hidden Gems: The best off the beaten path destinations in the Netherlands.

The Best places to have Breakfast in Bruges

Bruges is a fairy tale town in Belgium that you definitely need to explore! Read more what you can do there here. But I discovered some places where you can have delicious and healthy breakfast in Bruges all day long. Hipsters, health-freaks and foodies will fall in love with this charming café!

Your mother might’ve told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and she is right! Studies have proven that breakfast boosts your metabolism, helps you burn calories throughout the day and it also gives you the energy you need to get things done. And what can be better than a tasty and solid starter on a plate that is also expertly made by someone else?

1. Tasty Breakfast in Bruges at That’s Toast 

That’s Toast is an amazing cafe with great coffee and a variety of delicious dishes. You can order big breakfast plates for €14 per piece, with extra salmon on top of rucola and sweet potatoes for just €2,50 each. Portions here are magnanimous. The service and the meals are always out very quickly.  For a healthy start you can try different fresh juices or lemonades. The meat lovers will adore the other breakfast plate with tempting bacon, 2 different types of sausages, grilled tomato, beans in tomato sauce and the essential eggs. Definitely the breakfast for champions!

Breakfast, brunch, lunch or just a nice drink at That’s Toast, you will be satisfied with every choice! I doubtlessly discovered my new place to eat and relax and who knows maybe I’ll see you there too! Bon appetite!

Address: Dweersstraat 4, 8000 Brugge

2. The Best cakes at Patisserie Academie

Patisserie Academie is incredibly famous in Bruges and surroundings for it’s beautiful pastry creations. This charming cafe is always full with locals who like to enjoy delicious cakes with tea or coffee but also Academie’s unique breakfast.

Address: Vlamingtraat 56, 8000 Brugge

3. Amazing ice coffee at Li o Lait

Li o Lait in Bruges is a famous coffee and tea bar. You will mainly see locals there, tourists miss it somehow. At Li o Lait they serve the best ice coffee! The little cafe with it’s vintage interior even offers a small garden. Here you can enjoy delicious bagels, cakes and much more for your breakfast or lunch.

Address: Dweersstraat 30, 8000 Brugge

4. Healthy Breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain Quotidien is a restaurant chain of healthy brunching that is very famous in the whole of Belgium and beyond. All products that they serve are artisanal and organic. They even sell fresh bread and other delicious baked goods. Definitely a place to try out.

Address: Simon Stevinplein 15, Brugge

5. Delicious American Pancakes at Books & Brunch

Books & Brunch is not only a breakfast bar in Bruges but also a bookstore. It’s perfect for solo travellers who would like to enjoy an organic and tasty breakfast and immerse into one of the newspapers or books. There you can also enjoy American pancakes and scrumptious pies.

Address: Garenmarkt 30, 8000 Brugge

6. Famous Bagels at Sanseveria Bagelsalon

Sanseveria Bagelsalon in Bruges is famous for it’s sumptuous variety of bagel creations. It’s hiding in a quite street of the historical city centre providing you with a relaxed atmosphere. Sanseveria’s staff is very friendly and they will spoil you with their salads, lovely coffees, quiches and other goodies.

Address: Predikherenstraat 11, 8000 Brugge

7. Hidden Treasure Black Bird

Black Bird is a very popular cafe for breakfast and lunch in Bruges. This is where locals like to spend their weekends by enjoying delicious homemade food and drinks. Also the interior of Black Bird will leave you speechless because every detail is made with love. It’s definitely an awesome place for your Instagram feed.

Address: Jan van Eyckplein 7, 8000 Brugge

New Zealand’s oldest pub, The Thistle Inn

 I discovered one of NZ’s oldest iconic pub, built in 1840 and survived all the fires and earthquakes, Thistle Inn. Based in Thorndon, next to Parliament it received the second liquor license issued in the whole country and many famous Kiwis visited this establishment for refreshments. One of them was great Maori Warrior Te Rauparaha, Free spirit and poet Katherine Mansfield loved to visit the Thistle Inn too. But also various politicians, dock and government workers enjoy their delicious food and pints. Hard to believe but New Zealand has some good old history too!

It’s one of the most memorable places that I visited in Wellington: incredible service, friendly and polite staff, giving you great tips on what to order. It feels like being back in England with all the rustic furniture, wooden floors and welcoming atmosphere. The fireplace in the main room gives you cozy and relaxed vibes and there is also a glass floor through which you can observe the cellar from 1840 with the huge but cute rat John. Don’t worry the pet is not real but a funny addition to the original cellar.

Cute rat John

There are other options in terms of dining rooms like the bright area next to the main room. The glass ceiling lets in plenty of sunshine to lighten the space. Another one is the Historic Dining room designed in traditional royal, earthy green colours, surrounded by Wellington’s historic photos. And that’s not all, if you are curious and follow the stair up there are more of extraordinary rooms. Furthermore there is a smoker friendly balcony where you can get some fresh and not so fresh air. What is definitely impressive is the fact that there are original newspapers from the 1930’ies and 40’ies with significant milestones in our history. It’s also possible to book a short tour and to get more interesting facts about the iconic pub.

Historic Dining Room

But let’s talk about the crucial reason why I went there: Food. The Thistle Inn offers a great range of choices on their menu, supplemented by various beverages and daily special offers. The menu doesn’t contain too many dishes, but all of them will satisfy every guest. It’s an interesting mix of old pub food like fish and chips and pork scratchings combined with a fine and exclusive cuisine. From the very beginning you get a fancy glass of lightly sparkling water with a slice of cucumber and lemon. Waiters always keep an eye out to make sure your glass full, so you are constantly hydrated.

Bar area & handsome man

We started our delicious journey with the Duck Liver Paté $16. Our order was served promptly and the size of a portion could make a group of 3-4 people happy. The texture and flavours of the paté were on point, the bread was fresh and crispy. Loved this signature dish!

Duck Liver Paté $16

We were suggested to try the soup of the day with potatoes, leak and truffle oil $15 and the Monk fish, prawn brochettes, tomato linguini, capers, pecorino $26. Shortly after the paté we could observe the descent sizes of the plates filled with delightful creations in front of us. The hearty and warming soup was a thick creamy puree loaded with incredible flavors. Doubtlessly a must try at the Thistle Inn. The fresh soup recipes change every 3-4 days but if that one was so amazing I’m curious how the others would taste?

soup of the day with potatoes, leak and truffle oil $15 and Monk fish, prawn brochettes, tomato linguini, capers, pecorino $26

You can’t do anything wrong if you order pasta, especially the one that we’ve tried: linguini served in sweet tomato sauce combined with refreshing but not penetrant herbs. Decorated with chunky and savory pieces of white monk fish and huge prawns skewers covered with big slices of pecorino. The dish is not only picturesque for your eyes but mind-blowing on your tongue. It was hard for me to resist and not to steal some mouthwatering prawns coated in red sauce and exclusive cheese. I would recommend both dishes to everyone!

Apple & Blackberry crumble, vanilla bean gelato $14

After our mains we needed some time to digest the food and all the exciting impressions for our senses. And because our motto is YOLO, we needed to try a dessert. We decided to share one, because there was almost no space left in the stomach. Our choice fell on the Apple & Blackberry crumble, vanilla bean gelato $14. If you love refreshing and scrumptious pies that would be the winner.

Date & Apple Chutney

My partner and I were celebrating our 2 year anniversary of being happily together (cheesy, right?) and the restaurant staff knew that. As a gift from them we received their house-made Date & Apple Chutney. Super cute and also delicious afterwards! You can purchase them in the establishment for $6. An interesting and healthy mix!

 

All in one I adore this place and would recommend to enjoy food or drink at the Thistle Inn. It’s a great spot for a date or to enjoy and unwind after work, just make sure you reserve a table for dinner. This place can get crowded and busy in the evening with a nice mix of young and mature guests.

If you are still wondering where to go to eat in Wellington here are some awesome advices!

Great products of New Zealand

How about getting to know great products of New Zealand?

Start your day right!

Sounds simple but we all know the way you start the morning can affect your whole day. If you learn how to start your day right it will significantly increase your chances of having a satisfying, productive day! I know it’s hard enough to wake up in the early and dark morning but try to start your day with a boost of energy from a refreshing shower. When life gives you lemons you make handcrafted scrub out of it: Aio Sugar Scrub Lemon. This magic mixture of coconut, olive, almond and rosehip oils that I found on cherrusnz.com will boost your circulation in the morning, get your blood flowing and wakes you up quicker.

You don’t want to carry sleep on your face the whole day so definitely use Astral Collective Zen Activated Sponge. I love that cheeky little sponge because it contains only two ingredients: activated charcoal and konnyaku potato fibre but gives my skin a clean and healthy feeling in just 1 minute! Another deep cleanse alternative is Astral Collective Detox Face Mask although I’m impatient and prefer to use that one in the evening so I can lay down and wait until it’s dry. Nevertheless 1 spoon of this powder mixed with a bit of water works miracles! Oh yeah and the packaging is tiny and cute!

Moisturising your skin is an important part of every bath ritual especially during the cold days. Worth to mention that showers shouldn’t be hot either: The more heat, the more moisture is drawn from your skin. It’s hard to find good face creams, prices and brands don’t mean good quality nowadays. I doubtlessly recommend natural-derived Oxygen Refreshing Moisturiser and Tribeca Glow , it just depends whether you prefer oil or cream.

After your beautiful morning routine leave your house with the perfect smile! I’ve tried the new natural and cruelty-free Zoo Natural Teeth Whitener to whiten and polish teeth. I really liked the result. I need to inform you though, it won’t work immediately but if you use it every day you will notice the difference! It’s a bit of a messy procedure but will definitely give you that million dollar smile!

A smoothie a day keeps the doctor away!

During the winter, it’s especially important to get your daily dose of fruits and veggies to help maintain a strong immune system to battle all the colds and flu’s going around. Blended smoothies are an efficient way to pack a ton of nutrition into glass. Nevertheless we don’t always have time to search for various recipes and buy fresh products in our busy lifestyle. Blend it Raw makes it very easy to be healthy and save some shopping time with their idea to deliver chilltainers filled with ingredients for 10 portioned servings direct to your home. They offer free shipping, everything that they send is recyclable and there are 3 new recipes every week! With the exact amount of products you won’t experience any waste. The amazing aspect about Blend it Raw – recipes is that they describe why the ingredients of each smoothie are important for you. Additionally it’s easy to follow them: Just throw the mentioned ingredients into the blender and Voila! The energy booster in your glass is ready! It’s the most effortless and effective way to stay healthy, energetic and avoid to gain weight during those cozy peckish winter nights at home.

P.S. Worth to mention, they regularly publish new delightful smoothie recipes on their website!

Relax. Soak. Unwind.

The best escape from the rainy cold weather is by soaking in a hot bath and relax that winter blues away. You don’t have to go to a pricey spa, you can have the same luxurious experience in your own home and without spending a fortune. You just need to possess a bath and visit the beautiful website donoharm.com . There you can find various natural and cruelty-free products for affordable prices. Try Anoint Coconut Bath Milk and immerse into an exotic heaven with the smell of coconut and essential oils. And the way the bottle with the cork lid looks is adorable!

Winter times can also cause dry scalp and slows the growth of your hair. But where there are problems, there are solutions! I’ve discovered Essential Scalp Spray which helps to support hair growth and scalp circulation. It also contains Lavender oil that helps to alleviate dryness and inflammation. It’s simple to use, just spray it directly onto the scalp, there is no need to wash it out. You can use it daily, it’s up to you! Furthermore all us girls want is for our hair to grow fast and strong even if it’s not winter!

Future mummies need to take even more care of their skin because of going through the big changes. There is a great range of numerous oils and creams to prevent stretch marks and relieve the feelings of itchiness. One of them is Mother to be Body Oil which is 100% natural and it’s safe for mother and baby. For just $30 you will receive an amazing mix of almond, avocado, wheat, lavender and carrot oils that you need to massage into your skin once a day.

The success lies in taking care of your beautiful body!

Best time for a tea party!

What is a better way to spend a cold winter afternoon than enjoying a cup of delightful tea with your favorite friends? Especially during this winter season’s relentless low temperatures that leave you frozen to the bone. There’s no solution more immediate and enjoyable than a hot cup of good tea. You can surprise yourself and your cherished ones with the Himalayan experience from Nepal. It’s ideal for black and green tea lovers who enjoy rich and strong flavors. I’ve ordered the 10 gram tasters from Tea House and found my favorite one: Ruby Black.

Experience some luxury

With time our skin gets thinner and dryer, furthermore it’s getting more susceptible to damage through the cold temperatures and wind. Especially the area around our eyes is very sensitive to surroundings and different lifestyle habits. We all know that eyes are the windows to our soul, that’s why we need to keep them happy and vibrant! Saintsco Bee Venom Eye Cream is my favourite at the moment. I prefer to put on eye cream in the evening because it’s easier to apply my make up on the next day: No panda eyes after using mascara. Most eye creams made my eyes look swollen the next day but not Saintsco . It’s quickly absorbed by the skin, additionally it tightens and lifts the eye area. Great anti-aging and moisturizer.

And again regular moisturizing is definitely good to prevent any unwanted conditions such as dryness and wrinkles during the colder periods. I discovered the unique Saintsco Bee Venom Mask and was amazed what it’s done to my skin. I have a normal skin type and use it just once a day in the evening and it makes my skin soft and healthy. It contains bee venom that’s known as as a painless alternative to botox, that means no needles needed to look beautiful and fresh! Nevertheless some people might be allergic to bee stings, just make sure that you are not one of them if you want to experience wonders of Saintsco.

Another Sainsco product that I adore is Bee Venom Lip Plumper . Surprise, surprise it makes your lips bigger in a natural way! The bee venom will give you a bit of tingling feeling in the beginning but it takes just 2-3 minutes and as a result you will have voluptuous lips. The combination of  manuka honey and shea butter will nourish and soften the lips. Furthermore it’s possible to wear it under your lipstick!

When it comes to keeping the skin look young, no beauty ingredient does a better job than two of my beloved Saintsco products: Saintsco Bee Venom 24ct Gold Serum and Bee Venom & Stem Cell Super Protein Essense with 24ct Gold. In the winter and for those who are working indoors where the skin is under the influence of conditioned air all the time moisturizing and hydration are essential. Both of these incredible products are suitable for all skin types and help you to combat the signs of aging. Serum helps to increase blood circulation, soften your skin and gives a bit of a shiny effect because of the gold powder in it. It’s a marvelous way to spoil yourself and boost elasticity, correct skin, reduce wrinkles and emphasize your youthful appearance. Furthermore all products are from New Zealand and it contains 100% pure natural bee venom. Definitely a winter must have!

Stay warm and cozy!

While winter is spreading it’s cold all over the country, we instinctly feel an urge to create our warm nests during the season. The sheepskins are the best way to give that feeling both visually and sensually by their soft surface. Did you know research reported that sheepskin has a soothing, swaddling effect that can result in better sleep, reduced stress and improved weight gain. Furthermore you can use them  in different ways by lining the chairs, covering the beds, placing onto the floors or just using them as throws at any place easily. Or just get some warm and soft slippers to keep your feet warm throughout any bad season times!

Give a gift!

During the cold temperatures it’s important to take care of your beloved one. And who has the tendency to forget about essential daily procedures? Right, men! The best way to solve that problem is to surprise him with great products. Furthermore giving presents to others stimulates feelings of kindness, compassion and love. I would suggest Mens Refreshing Pack from KDone. It’s all made in New Zealand and includes shaving gel, aftershave balm, body wash, aluminium free deodorant and lip balm. The products may have a bit of a specific smell, it’s because they are 100% natural and don’t have added fragrances that cause sensitizing and other negative skin reactions. You will be positive surprised about the result and smoothness of your partner’s skin! Additionally it’s packed into a useful travel bag that can be used if you want to escape cold weather and fly away to a sunny paradise.

You need effective travel products for yourself as well? No worries, here is a lovely Skincare Pack with moisturizing goodies. Facial cleanser with the refreshing smell of lemongrass is perfect to remove make up and clean your face. There are two different types of moisturizers: light hydrating and rich& intensive for mature skin, it’s also great to use as a night cream. Last but not least; Hand & Body cream to spoil your skin with avocado oil and vitamin E.

My two other winter must-haves from Kareen Holland’s collection are Foot Balm and Peppermint Shampoo. We tend to forget about our feet in the cold season because they are covered most of the time. But wearing shoes the whole day will cause dry skin and other discomforting reactions. It’s crucial to use foot balm rich in effective hydration and moisturizing. KDone’s with avocado oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and other essential oils is doubtlessly one of these! Use it over night and you will wake up with baby skin on your feet.

As I mentioned before dry scalp is another unpleasant issue that winter can bring. And while it’s not snowing on the North Island, you won’t be able to get away with the “Snowflakes in my hair” joke. Most of the shampoos nowadays contain numerous amount of harmful ingredients, KDone Peppermint Shampoo is absolutely natural. It will sooth your scalp, stimulate blood circulation and makes your hair pretty! It’s undeniably worth the money!

Just Be Natural with soaps!

As I mentioned the seasonal attack of biting wind on our skin and hair leaves us with a dry and uncomfortable feeling. The keys to radiant skin in the winter time are using natural products that work with your skin’s own oil-producing system, protecting skin (and hair) from the harsh elements. I discovered New Zealand’s Be Natural soap products and was amazed by the great results you can reach with it!

Facial skin is sensitive and delicate, but takes quite a beating in terms of exposure to weather, chemicals and other external influences. Furthermore we forget that cleaning our makeup brushes regularly is important. Not only will it get rid of bad bacteria, but it will also prevent your makeup colors from getting mixed. That’s why Make Up Brush Cleaner is one of my favorites. Afterwards you can use Be Clean – Honey, Oat And Almond Face Soap For a gentle, natural cleansing use. It smells like caramel and can be also used as a baby soap, body soap and is  fantastic for men’s shaving.

Be Silky is an organic shampoo bar with Rosemary and Eucalyptus. I’ve never used solid shampoo before and to be honest I was skeptical. But the results are amazing, my hair smells good and it looks shiny and healthy! What else do you need?

Online you can find various soaps which will make every beauty junky happy and excited. They are all just $8!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wellington Food Show

Wellington is famous for it’s culinary creativity and constant development of new delicious recipes. But on the 26th – 28th of May at Westpac stadium it will surprise us with an amazing exhibition “The Wellington Food Show”. It means all courages foodies can come to taste and purchase various local and international delicacies.

Numerous exhibitors will spoil visitors with sumptuous cheeses, grass fed Angus beef, handmade dumplings, deluxe chocolate, ice cream and many other healthy and high quality products. I already had an opportunity to taste some of the products like “West Coast Cocoa” Dark Deluxe Hot Chocolate. Just one spoonful of this delicious powder, including a lower amount of sugar mixed with hot milk will keep you warm and happy for the whole winter! Another item that surprised me with it’s great taste is the pure and raw wildflower honey from J.Friend and Co. This honey is very rich in fresh floral and fruity citrus flavours. So I’m looking forward to see what else will expect us at The Wellington Food Show.

The highlight of The Wellington Food Show will be the cooking theatre where culinary stars will demonstrate magic in the kitchen featuring cook Annabel Langbein, Simon Gault, Annabelle White (looks like the name Annabelle is blessed to be a great cooker), Michael Van de Elzen etc. So we all can learn tips and tricks how to prepare delightful and mouth watering meals at home.

There is no fun without liquid beverages like coffee or craft beers. This is another highlight to expect: a variety of brewers, wineries and more! So you see you on one of these days at Westpac Stadium tasting one of the nourishing or handmade treats.

Page 2 of 4

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén