A Foodie Guide To Luxembourg

Snuggled between France, Germany and Belgium, Luxembourg benefits from the food cultures of these neighboring countries as well as from its own well developed food culture. Many believe you can find some of the best food in Europe in Luxembourg.

The Michelin Food Guide thinks so. It awarded 13 restaurants with stars in its latest guide, a huge amount for such a small country. In addition, the Luxembourg chef Lea Linster was the only woman ever awarded the prestigious medal Bocuse d’Or.

This small country has a vibrant food scene that celebrates the bounty of the terroir. The award winning wines, from white to red to rose to cremant, which is their sparkling wine, to the wonderful blond beers, smoked hams, artisanal cheeses, honey, and a multitude of regional dishes and pastries make a trip to Luxembourg a sheer joy for anyone who loves culinary travel.

The best way to experience it all is to take a driving vacation through the country. It is small enough that it will be a leisurely exploration and the country’s pride in its food and wine culture make it easy to follow signs pointing you towards the best restaurants, shops and vineyards, or alerting you to a local open air market or seasonal festival. You might also think about the time of year you go. Summer of course is perfect, but remember the harvest season in the fall with its wine festivals, and the Christmas season when the winter gift markets appear, are both great times to visit as well.

It might be fun to start in the city of Luxembourg, which is extremely picturesque and then fan out to drive through the countryside and up the wine road.

Book into a hotel in or near the city and walk through the historic old town with its cobblestone streets, trendy boutiques and dine in one of the brasseries or in one of the country’s top restaurants. Don’t miss a stop at the Villeroy & Boch visitor’s center and store where you can learn how they make their famous table wear and buy your own in the company store.

The AlvisseParc Hotel is just a stone’s throw outside the city center and sits in a lovely park setting. It has an indoor pool, spa, super comfortable rooms, and in the morning you enjoy a complimentary gourmet breakfast buffet with freshly baked breads, pastries, local ham, cheeses, tomatoes, eggs, cereals, local yogurts, fruits, and cappuccino. A good start to the day!

For a special treat for dinner, have your hotel make a reservation for you at Le Bouquet Garni for a truly excellent meal which draws on the very best produce from local farms and vineyards.

Luxembourg palace

flickr image by Paul Beattie

Wine Tasting Along The Wine Road

Hop in the car and head east towards the Route de Vin (Wine Road). It follows the Moselle River north for a tour of the vineyards where you will taste rieslings, pinot noir, elbling, roses, and sparkling cremants. The road is only 26 miles long, so take your time, stop at the villages, knock on doors of the wine makers to ask to taste and buy their wines, have lunch and dinner and even afternoon pastry and tea in the villages, and enjoy some of the most under rated wines in the world. Luxembourg wines are light, crisp, and full of life. Just across the river is Germany and their white wine vineyards which produce wines that are usually slightly sweeter and deeper wines.

A must stop along the route is in the village of Wormeldange to visit the Mathes family vineyard. It is located on main street by the bridge. Stop by and have them give you a tour, wine tasting, and make sure to purchase some of their truly outstanding wines. These are some of the best you will find in the country. They speak English, French, and German and are extremely friendly in the welcome they give visitors.

The towns of Remich and Schengen are also geared up for wine tourism and you should not miss visiting the vineyards in these villages as well. Because the vintners in Luxembourg sell almost all of their yearly produce within the country, you will rarely be able to find these wines once you leave, making them a special treat to consume and buy when you are there.

As you sample menus at different restaurants along the route, look for these regional dishes to try when you see them on the menu, including Pike in Riesling Sauce, wild boar, sausage and sauerkraut, and the tiny fried river fish called Friture de la Moselle.

Luxembourg has a little bit of everything to offer. It feels a bit like Germany, a bit like France, a bit like Switzerland. It has all the sophistication any of those countries have, and the bonus is that it also feels a lot like Luxembourg.

Date posted: 3rd September, 2013

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