Christmas Shopping In Georgetown

Christmas season is one of my favorite times of the year!  Washington D.C. does holidays right and I love to explore and shop the streets of Georgetown- just outside Capella Washington D.C.’s door!  To make your gift shopping a bit easier, I have some ideas and style tips just for you from a few of my favorite shops in Georgetown!



This boutique carries some of the best local designer fashions.  From gold blazers to sequenced skirts and vintage necklaces, there are so many great gift options for the holidays.   Owner, Paige Speyer shared with me her tip for this season: “Spice it up in the city with a wintery hat and bright scarf.  Don’t be afraid to step outside the box just because you think you’re being over the top.”  Paige was wearing a gorgeous teal and lapis blouse, two colors that she says are in this season!

Karen Millen- England

This luxury women’s designer store is one of my favorites, especially after taking a look at their new collection of holiday dresses.  After speaking with the store stylist, she shared with me that Karen Millen’s holiday styling inspiration comes from their autumn and winter fantasy story, focusing on the maximalism trend.  “It is full bodied romance of a dark and tough nature with a penchant for extravagant decoration and embellishment, intricate baroque patterns, and laces that are heavily beaded in deep colors.” Their new fashion line is perfect for all holiday dressing and embodies the maximalist trend for your holiday wardrobe.

Jack Spade

Each year for the holidays, Jack Spade features a table in their store with unique gift ideas for men.  This year, they are featuring a vintage throwback game: a miniature ping pong table!   Jack Spade also carries a variety of great outerwear pieces that can be spiced up a notch with a Santa hat for Christmas.  When speaking with the store manager, he told me that they try to focus on classic sensibility with a quirky twist.  What also impressed me was the lifetime quality of their wax cotton jackets… great gift for the men this season!

April Yvonne

Don’t forget to ask your Personal Assistant about Capella D.C.’s resident stylist, April Yvonne.  April has exclusive relationships with some of the most upscale fashion labels like Burberry, Christian Dior, Elie Tahari and upscale retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.  Particularly for the holidays, April can provide you and your guests with personal fashion and shopping advice and services, including private after-hour shopping excursions and bringing fashion selections based on your individual preferences right to the hotel!

Where do you like to go Christmas shopping in Georgetown?

Celebrate The Holiday Season At Capella Washington D.C.

I can’t believe our very first Holiday Season at Capella Washington, D.C. is here!  It has been such an incredible experience working with all of my team members to create a new foundation that we can look back on for many years to come.  One of the most important concepts we all keep in mind when working on Holiday specials, promotions, and dining experiences is keeping the guest at the center of everything we do.  For example, during the creation of The Grill Room’s Thanksgiving dinner & brunch menu, Chef Jakob Esko made sure to tailor each holiday dish to showcase traditional and modern fare that we all love, while also incorporating dishes of his own creation infused with European and New American flavors and influences.  Every piece of our holiday offerings brings a special experience for the guest, giving them a sense of home and comfort.  The following are my Insider favorites just for you this Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve:

Thanksgiving & Black Friday:

  • Cozy up by the fireplace with your family on Thanksgiving in the comforts of your own Presidential Suite dining room and enjoy a symbolic tableside cutting of the Thanksgiving Turkey!  Even the table décor is dressing up for the event- courtesy of quintessential American Fashion Designer, Ralph Lauren.  Details
  • Take advantage of Black Friday shopping in Georgetown then relax for brunch at The Grill Room where you can look forward to a scrumptious Thanksgiving Eggs Benedict.  While enjoying your brunch and cocktails, Capella Washington D.C. will be offering complimentary gift-wrapping services to relieve some holiday stress! Reservations


Christmas Celebrations:

  • Take your pick from a one or two night stay in a luxury room or suite for Christmas. My favorite perks of this package are: welcome cocktails upon arrival, five-course Christmas Day Dinner, breakfast for two the next day, and family tickets to the Washington Harbour Ice Skating Rink in Georgetown! Details
  • I can’t wait for you to celebrate a new tradition with The Grill Room when you taste the exceptional three-course brunch, two five-course dinner options, and delectable Christmas desserts selections.  I highly suggest the Roasted Turkey with sage, apricot and walnut stuffing with sweet potato gratin gravy and cranberry compote, yum! Details & Menus

New Year’s Eve:

  • You’re going to love Capella Washington, D.C’s New Year’s Eve celebration, featuring delicious cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in The Rye Bar, a five-course dinner at The Grill Room, live entertainment and after dinner dancing, an after midnight supper, and brunch all day on New Year’s Day. Package Details
  • I can’t think of a better way to ring in 2014 than a midnight Taittinger Comtes De Champagne toast! NYE Details & Menu


Be sure to ask your Personal Assistant for more information and specials that you and your family can experience during your stay.  Happy Holiday’s!

Weihnachtszeit In Düsseldorf

In weniger als zwei Monaten ist Weihnachten! Zugegeben, als ich das realisierte, geriet ich ein wenig in Panik – es gibt doch noch so viel zu tun! Aber dann fiel mir ein, wie schön es in Düsseldorf zur Weihnachtszeit immer ist und mein Stress verschwand. Die reizvollen Weihnachtsmärkte, der schöne Kerzenschein und der leckere Glühwein, in Düsseldorf herrscht eine wunderbar romantische Stimmung zur Weihnachtszeit.

Letztes Jahr habe ich Euch schon mehr über unsere fantastischen Weihnachtsmärkte verraten, aber es gibt noch mehr weihnachtliche Attraktionen in der Stadt. „Das „Wheel Of Vision“ zum Beispiel ist ein Riesenrad, welches nur zur Winterzeit einen spannenden Blick aus der Vogelperspektive auf Düsseldorf verspricht. Besonders romantisch ist es, die Fahrt zu genießen, wenn die Weihnachtsmärkte bereits geöffnet sind und die Stadt in ihrer Festtagsbeleuchtung strahlt. Aus den Straßen schallt Weihnachtsmusik herauf und es ist wirklich etwas besonderes, sich oben zurückzulehnen und die Fahrt mit ihren Eindrücken zu genießen.


Wenn ihr mehr Spannung bevorzugt – kein Problem. Es gibt eine weitere Attraktion in der Weihnachtszeit: Die Eislaufbahn! Platziert in der Mitte des Weihnachtsmarktes auf dem Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz, erwartet Euch eine 450 Quadratmeter große Eislaufbahn, die frei zur Verfügung gestellt wird. Dort ein paar Runden zu drehen und dabei genüsslich die Aromen von gebrannten Mandeln, Zimt und Schokolade und was die Händler an ihren Ständen anbieten wahrzunehmen, das ist für mich Weihnachten.

Ich freue mich schon, Euch im Breidenbacher Hof zur Weihnachtszeit zu begrüßen. Fragt auf jeden Fall unsere Persönlichen Assistenten nach weiteren Weihnachtsaktivitäten in der Stadt – ich verspreche Euch, es gibt noch so einige!

Secrets To A Christmas Goose

The Christmas season has officially arrived!  Now, last year at this time I told you about our Christmas Markets.  This year I want to fill you in on a very special dish that is served during the holiday season: roasted goose with dumplings, glazed chestnuts and red cabbage.

Do you know the feeling when certain scents are attached to memories?  Well, when I smell roasted goose and those side dishes, many childhood memories come to mind— Christmas with my grandparents, wintery evenings at home with the family and vacations in the countryside.

Also at Breidenbacher Hof’s Brasserie “1806” the season for roasted goose has begun.  And our chefs are not just preparing the traditional roast— they also created an entire three-course menu to go along with it!  In addition to the goose, the menu includes truffle and liver pate for starters and chocolate and quince dessert.  Yummy!

I have always wanted to prepare the goose for Christmas Eve with my family, but have been too intimidated.  This year I plan to conquer my fears and have asked our chefs for tips on preparing the perfect roast goose at home.

Christmas Goose

Here is what I learned:

–  The weight: A goose with a weight of 4 kilos should be enough for 6 people.

–  The ingredients: You should add water, oranges, apples, some lemon and herbs (e.g. Mugwort) to the goose in the roasting tray. Use the resulting stock to moisten the goose throughout the roasting period.

–  You can calculate 45 minutes in the convection oven (180°C) for every kilo of goose.

–  The perfect side dish: We add traditionally red cabbage to the goose. Some of you may ask, why we always eat that much cabbage in Germany.  Well, like potatoes or corn in the US, this is one of the most prevalent crops in Germany.   One secret to good red cabbage: Add some cassis liqueur and goose fat to it.  Believe me it makes a huge difference!

Hopefully I have taken some of the mystery out of roasting the ideal Christmas goose!  Let me know if you tackle this dish for your holiday meal.

Gänsezeit Be Breidenbacher Hof

Die Weihnachtszeit hat offiziell begonnen! Vor genau einem Jahr habe ich Euch etwas über unsere Weihnachtsmärkte erzählt. Doch in diesem Jahr möchte ich ein besonderes Gericht der Weihnachtszeit vorstellen: Gänsebraten mit glasierten Maronen, Rotkohl und Kartoffelklößen.

Kennt ihr das Gefühl, wenn bestimmte Gerüche mit Erinnerungen verbunden sind? Naja, wenn ich genau diese Weihnachtsgans mit besagten Beilagen rieche, erwachen in mir ganz viele Kindheitserinnerungen – Weihnachten mit meinen Großeltern, Winterabende zu Hause mit der Familie und Ferien auf dem Lande.

Auch in der Brasserie “1806” im Breidenbacher Hof hat die Gänsezeit begonnen. Aber unsere Köche haben nicht nur eine Weihnachtsgans zubereitet – sie ist Teil eines drei-Gang Menüs! Dieses wunderbare Menü bietet unter anderem Gänseleberpastete zur Vorspeise und Schokolade mit Quitten zum Dessert. Einfach lecker!

Ich wollte schon immer mal eine Gans an Weihnachten mit meiner Familie zubereiten, doch habe es mir nie zugetraut. Für dieses Jahr habe ich mir allerdings vorgenommen, meine Angst überwinden und habe auch bereits unseren Küchenchef nach brauchbaren Tipps gefragt, wie die Gans zu Hause perfekt gelingt.

Hier das Ergebnis:

–  Das Gewicht: Eine Gans von 4kg sollte für 6 Personen reichen.

–  Die Zutaten: Fügt zu der Gans im Bräter Wasser, Orangen, Äpfel, etwas Zitrone und Beifuß hinzu. Den entstehenden Sud könnt ihr nutzen, um die Gans regelmäßig damit zu übergießen, so bleibt sie schön saftig.

–  Man plant ca. 45 Minuten pro Kilogramm Gans ein, bei einer Temperatur von 180°C Umluft.

–  Die perfekten Zutaten: Verfeinert doch den Rotkohl mit etwas Cassis Likör und Gänseschmalz. Ihr könnt mir glauben, das macht einen großen Unterschied.

Vielleicht habe ich Euch mit diesen Tipps ja auch die Hemmungen vor der Zubereitung genommen! Lasst mich wissen, ob ihr die Tipps ausprobiert habt.

Christmas In The Tropics

As the year draws to a close, my favorite season is just beckoning round the corner – Christmas. I always feel like there is something indescribably festive in the air during Christmas.

Unlike what we often see in movies, here in Singapore, white Christmases are only made possible in our imagination. However, I assure you that a tropical Christmas has its own charms.

Each year, Singapore’s major shopping belt – Orchard Road is decked out in a special festive theme. I particularly love the nostalgia of the glittering lights which adorn the roads, the shopping malls with their larger than life seasonal decorations, and of course the delectable aroma of all the Christmas treats, reminding me of all the presents and parties each year.  While Christmas is largely a western tradition, Singapore still celebrates it with much fervor and gusto. Families and friends get together to share good cheer over a sumptuous festive spread and being Singaporean, there is one thing we know: how to have a fantastic feast!

Most locals embrace Western traditional foods such as a big roast turkey, a good leg of ham and of course the Christmas log cakes and candy. This year, I have decided that my roast turkey will be served with a twist.  Instead of the usual roast turkey, I will be serving a Tandoori turkey.  I have gone down to Little India to buy traditional Indian Tandoori spices and herbs such as cumin and garam masala.  I can’t wait to serve this turkey dish with a twist!

Of course, there is no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than with a group of carolers belting out all the festive favorites in local shopping malls and hotels. The sounds of the angelic choruses never fail to hit the right chord and send me sailing home in a seasonal mood.

If you still cannot decide how to spend this Christmas, come and join me in Singapore for a tropical Christmas and experience the kaleidoscope of celebrations in this cosmopolitan little island.