Five Months in France: Short Travels Part 3 🎄
The holiday season has just finished and I'm still reminiscing of my most recent trip to Strasbourg, the Christmas Capital of France. Before I go further, just a reminder that there's a new recipe on my blog for Warm Winter Rhubarb Upsidedown Cake, so make sure to check it out!
I feel like we've all heard of Strasbourg. The biggest city in the historic Alsace region, a French region speaking both German and French. They are known for their Christmas markets, which greatly take influence from the German culture so close to it. Strasbourg advertises itself as the Christmas capital of France. Though I can't say it is a very Christmas-y place, the Christmas markets are amazing and taking in all the culture was pure joy.
Alsace, located in the Grand East region of France, is a true testament of its cultural origins. Street signs are in both French and German, and walking down the street, you can hear French, German, and a mix of both, Alsatian. The city is always very well decorated for the Christmas season, and the basilica, which used to the the tallest standing Christian building in Europe, is the most beautiful and intricate building I've seen in Europe so far.
My classmate, Ksenia, and I quickly got ready to start eating and drinking our way through the Christmas market - Christmas shopping was left for tomorrow afternoon. We first stopped at the hot chocolate stand and got a chocolat chaud avec Amaretto. If you know anything about my lifestyle back in Canada, you would know I had a tea with Amaretto at least once a week, so finding this made me super happy. We enjoyed our hot chocolates as we walked through the market deciding what we were going to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner tomorrow, because that's what you do in France. Before heading back to our Airbnb, we bought a quick Amaretto crepe, because when else can you get something so delicious and boozy?
Up and early the next day, we stopped for brunch at Ôjourd'hui, a high-end café serving brunch on Saturdays. I had an amazingggg focaccia sandwich, along with the best hot chocolate I've had in my entire life, and an orange cardamom madeleine. After brunch, we headed to Place Brogolie, the Christmas food market. There, we split a spaetzle (French for spätzle), which we had to heavily season with some salt and pepper to palate it.We decided to head back to the square at the Notre Dame Basilica to buy some gifts and try to get a tour of the Basilica, though the line snaked around the building and onto the street, so a tour was off the tables. Once we found what we wanted, we headed back to our Airbnb for an afternoon pause after grabbing a few snacks from the store down the street.For dinner, we headed back down to the city centre for ramen. We met a fellow student from our school who comes from Strasbourg, and headed for dinner. Our dinner at Lamian Restaurant was interesting to say the least. Apparently a chef had called in sick, so it took almost 2 hours to get our food, but damn was it amazing. I had a duck breast soup, and would have it again, as long as I don't have to wait that long. After dinner we explored the markets at night and stopped by a few shops to get some Christmas cookies and gingerbread/pain d'épices.This trip to Strasbourg was amazing, and would do it again without having to think of it. I can't wait to go back to Strasbourg in the summer to eat even more food, and avoid the crowds of tourists in the city.