A Visit To The Longest Bar In The World

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As you surely know from our previous posts on the Capella Blog, Dusseldorf is home to what is known as the Longest Bar In The World. The Old Town was not given this name because of a single bar simply stretching several miles, but rather because of the numerous bars and restaurants, night clubs and breweries located there. That’s why our Personal Assistants here at Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel recommend spending at least one evening exploring Dusseldorf’s vibrant Old Town.

And, to help you make use of your time, here is how I would spend an evening in Dusseldorf’s Old Town and discovering the Longest Bar In The World:

First, I always make sure to start the evening with a delicious dinner. If you feel like having a traditional German dish, you should start at an Altbier brewery like Zum Schlüssel or Im Goldenen Kessel and enjoy the Rhenish pot roast. If you prefer something more Mediterranean, the Schneider-Wibbel-Gasse, which is located within walking distance of the hotel, offers multiple Spanish restaurants.

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As you can well imagine, an evening in Dusseldorf just wouldn’t be authentic without the region’s specialty – the dark, locally brewed Altbier.  Since every brewery has its own brewing method you should taste an Altbier at several different breweries to find your personal favorite.  Beer not your drink of choice? That’s not a problem, because there are bars like Sausalitos or Louisiana, which are known for their cocktail menus.  If you can manage to arrive before 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. you can even make use of happy hour prices.

Then you can choose to either take a nightly walk along the Rhine or dart for the nightlife in the Old Town. If you choose to experience the nightlife the traditional German way you can visit Oberbayern or Antons Bierkönig on Bolker Street – but don’t forget your Lederhosen!  Looking to dance?  There are several nightclubs and bars around that play good music later in the evening. I’m sure, no matter where you choose to go, you will have tons of fun exploring all the Longest Bar In The World has to offer.

Hopefully my vision of the perfect even in Old Town Dusseldorf experiencing the Longest Bar In The World has given you an impression of how vibrant Dusseldorf’s nightlife really is.  During your next visit to Dusseldorf, our Personal Assistants would be happy to assist you in planning your perfect evening out. Once you spend an evening in the Old Town, you will know why the Bolker Street really deserves its reputation as the Longest Bar In The World!

Ein Besuch der Längsten Theke der Welt

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Wie Ihr sicher von früheren Posts auf den Capella Blog wisst, beheimatet Düsseldorf die Längste Theke der Welt.  Der Altstadt wurde dieser Name nicht aufgrund einer einzigen zusammenhängenden Theke, die sich über mehrere Meter ausdehnt, gegeben.  Vielmehr erhielt sie ihren Namen aufgrund der vielen Bars, Restaurants, Diskotheken und Brauereien, die sich hier befinden.  Aus diesem Grund empfehlen unsere Persönlichen Assistenten hier im Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel jedem Gast mindestens einen Abend damit zu verbringen, die pulsierende Altstadt zu erkunden.

Um dafür zu sorgen, dass Eure Zeit bestmöglich genutzt wird, erzähle ich Euch nun, wie ich persönlich meinen Abend in der Düsseldorfer Altstadt gestalten würde, um die Längste Theke der Welt zu erleben:

Zuerst starte ich immer mit einem leckeren Abendessen in den Abend.  Wenn Ihr Lust auf traditionelle deutsche Gerichte habt, solltet Ihr in einer Altbierbrauerei wie Zum Schlüssel oder Im Goldenen Kessel starten und unbedingt den Rheinischen Sauerbraten probieren.  Falls Ihr etwas Mediterranes vorzieht, bietet die Schneider-Wibbel-Gasse, die nur einige Gehminuten vom Hotel entfernt ist, eine Auswahl an spanischen Restaurants.

Altstadt - Bolkerstr.

Aber wie Ihr Euch sicherlich vorstellen könnt, wäre ein Abend in Düsseldorf einfach nicht authentisch ohne die Spezialität unserer Region – das dunkle, lokal gebraute Altbier.  Und weil jede Brauerei ihr ganz eigenes Brauverfahren hat, solltet ihr auf jeden Fall ein Altbier in verschiedenen Brauereien testen, um so Euren persönlichen Favoriten zu finden.  Bier ist nicht Euer Getränk?  Das ist kein Problem, denn es gibt zahlreiche Bars wie Sausalitos oder Louisiana, die für ihre große Cocktailauswahl bekannt sind.  Falls Ihr es einrichten könnt vor 19 oder 20 Uhr dort zu sein, könnt Ihr sogar von den Happy Hour Preisen Gebrauch machen.

Danach könnt Ihr den Abend entweder entspannt bei einem nächtlichen Spaziergang am Rhein ausklingen lassen oder Euch in das Nachtleben Düsseldorfs stürzen.  Falls Ihr Schlager präferiert, könnt Ihr im Oberbayern oder Antons Bierkönig auf der Bolkerstraße zu Eurer Lieblingsmusik tanzen.  Doch es gibt auch zahlreiche Diskotheken und Bars in denen verschiedenste andere Musikrichtungen gespielt werden.  Ich bin mir sicher, egal wo Ihr Euch entschließt hinzugehen, Ihr werdet einen riesen Spaß dabei haben alles zu erkunden, was die Längste Theke der Welt zu bieten hat.

Hoffentlich hat Euch meine Darstellung des perfekten Abends in der Altstadt zum Erkunden der Längsten Theke der Welt einen Eindruck davon gegeben, wie lebhaft Düsseldorfs Nachtleben wirklich ist.  Während Eurem nächsten Aufenthalt in Düsseldorf helfen unsere Persönlichen Assistenten gerne dabei, Euren eigenen perfekten Abend zu planen.  Denn nur wenn Ihr einen Abend in Düsseldorfs Altstadt verbringt wisst Ihr, warum die Bolkerstraße ihren Ruf als Längste Theke der Welt wirklich verdient hat!

Nothing sweeter than Lucian Carnival!

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I always get very excited to experience the wonderful festivities that Saint Lucia has to offer in the month of July.  This time of year, there are a lot more flights landing as many visitors come to the island for one of the biggest events of the year.  Today, whilst walking near the Castries Market, this lovely lady named Nora, came up to me and asked for directions to the nearest mall.  In conversation with her, I learnt more about why she decided to  visit this lovely island.  Nora spoke of the beautiful people and the lush green forests that painted the hillsides but then she paused and I noticed this fire and excitement in her eyes as she exclaimed, “I’m here because of the Lucian Carnival!”


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The Saint Lucian Carnival or Lucian Cah-na-val as some would call it, is a festive time of year that brings together people from all around the island to showcase a colorful history with costumes and dance.  Saint Lucia won its independence in 1979 and since then, discovering new aspects of his history can be seen in the various carnival efforts of its people.  It is amazing to witness such a spectacular showcase and even more interesting to learn that every year around the month of July, people come to Saint Lucia just to see the parade.  My friends and I make it our duty to attend every single event surrounding this festival.  From the Annual Carnival Queen Show to the Parade of the Bands, we take pride in engaging in activities that are part of the island’s wide culture.   This year, I am very anxious to put on my Carnival Costumes as I join the parade with over twenty thousand participants.

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Carnival in Saint Lucia is the one event that you would not want to miss.  If there was ever a time that you wished to see the island in full color then I strongly recommend you visiting around the month of July.  With the Carnival Queen show happening very soon, I can’t wait to see more of  Saint Lucia’s lovely culture and it’s people.  

The History of Sentosa Island

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I love history.  I find that knowing the history of a place adds to its unique character and personality and makes it even more endearing and charming.  With that in mind, I thought I would share a bit about the history of Sentosa Island and Capella Singapore.

Did you know that Sentosa Island, where Capella Singapore, is located, is the largest of Singapore’s southern islands and an island with a rich history and heritage?  In the past it was an island fortress and military base for the British army and today it is an island of pure entertainment and recreation.

On the western side of the island was Fort Siloso which has underground passages, bunkers and gun emplacements dating back to the 1800s.  It was built in the 1880s to protect Singapore, which was a thriving port under Great Britain’s rule.  Fort Siloso was part of Singapore’s coastal defence with Fort Serapong and Fort Connaught.  The guns at Fort Siloso were used during World War II and are part of Singapore’s rich history.

Capella Singapore is home to four colonial buildings – the two blocks where the main lobby, Capella Library and Chinese restaurant, Cassia, are located are actually two Colonial Manors.  In fact, they received conservation status in 2000.  These colonial buildings were formerly the Royal Artillery Officers’ Mess.

 The Officers’ Mess was where the officers and their families had their meals and recreational activities such as dining, dancing and tennis. There was a tennis court beside the block.

Royal Artillery Officers Christmas Party 1951

Royal Artillery Officers Christmas Party 1951

Christmas and New Year parties were celebrated at the Officers’ Mess.  Formal table settings extended out to the wide corridors of the block and band performances were held in the room at the entrance. From the Officers’ Mess, there was a good view of the Singapore harbour and it was a practice for the officers and their families to welcome in the new year with the loud horning from the ships in the harbour.

After Singapore gained independence in 1965, the government decided that it was important for the emerging nation to have a place of recreation.  Soon after, Sentosa Island was chosen for this purpose.  Sentosa Island was then given the name Sentosa Island in 1970, which means “Isle of Tranquility” in Malay and developed by the Singapore government into a recreational area in 1972.  It has now become an island of fun, filled with amusement parks, beaches, museums, restaurants, aquariums and many more attractions.  It is truly amazing how in just a few decades it has transformed from a military base into an exciting playground.

If you are interested in the history of Sentosa, you may wish to go for a tour at Fort Siloso or visit Images of Singapore where you can learn about the colourful history of Sentosa and of Singapore and how we became the thriving and successful country that we are today.  Do speak with one of our Personal Assistants to organise a tour at +65 6591 5035 / pa.singapore@capellahotels.com.

Historical pictures of Capella Singapore’s past as the Royal Artillery Officers’ Mess are available for viewing in The Library.

Art Along the Banks of the Singapore River

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Singapore River is the lifeline of the country. It was on the very banks of Singapore River that the founder of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles, stood in 1819. Since then it has played an integral role in our country’s development serving as one of the busiest trading ports in Asia.

One of my favourite ways to unwind after a busy day at work is to spend time strolling the banks of the river. While it is no longer the busy trading port it was in the 19th century, the Singapore river is now an idyllic destination to eat, work and play. The shophouses along Boat Quay and Clarke Quay that used to be filled with spices, sugar, salt and other items of trade, have now been converted into trendy bars and restaurants – the watering hole of Singapore’s stylish and sophisticated crowd.

Today, during my usual walk down the banks of the river, two particular bronze sculptures caught my eye: A Great Emporium by Malcolm Koh and From Chettiars to Financiers by Sculptor Chern Lian Shan.

These sculptures depict life as it was along the banks of the Singapore River in the 19th century.

A Great Emporium by Malcolm Koh

A Great Emporium by Malcolm Koh

In A Great Emporium, there are four distinct characters represented in the sculpture, a British Trader, a Chinese Merchant, a Chinese Coolie and an Indian Coolie all engaged in trade. Coolie refers to manual labourer, the origins of the word has both Chinese and Indian derivations.

It really brought me back 200 years ago. When life was tough. Many of these coolies, liked the coolies in the sculpture, worked without a thread on their backs. They carried gunny sacks of rice, flour and spices from ship to shore for pittance.  These coolies were indeed the backbone of our society. They built up Singapore. Without them, we could not have developed as fast and as furious as we did.  The sculpture reminded me of how fast Singapore has developed and how grateful I am!

The sculpture to its left, From Chettiars to Financiers, is also a depiction of life along the banks of the river in the 19th century.  This sculpture shows the dramatic change of Singapore’s finance industry.  From simple Indian Chettiars who were most commonly moneylenders with the pig-tailed clerk to a female financier.  How times have changed.

From Chettiars to Financiers by Chern Lian Shan

From Chettiars to Financiers by Chern Lian Shan

The Indian Chettiars originated from Chettinad in Tamil Nadu.  Interestingly, the term “Chettiar” is actually a caste label, not another name for moneylender.  These moneylenders were private financiers who lent money to entrepreneurs and businessman.

I spent quite a while admiring these two sculptures. Indeed, life has changed for us here in Singapore. We have evolved from a small trading port to one of the most stable and secure economies in the world.  As we reap what our forefathers have sowed, we should never forget where we came from.  These bronze sculptures along the Singapore River serve as fitting reminders of our past.

Capella Singapore’s Personal Assistants will be able to share more information about Clarke Quay and Boat Quay and recommend restaurants and bars along the river. If you would like to organise a private tour or book a restaurant, please contact our Personal Assistants at +65 6591 5035 / pa.singapore@capellahotels.com.

 

Making Organic Jewelry with Mónica Guitérrez

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The month of June at Capella Ixtapa is all about art and culture!  Every weekend during this month at Capella Ixtapa Art & Culture Festival we are hosting different events featuring local artists and experts.  On Fridaya you can join us for a cocktail and canapés, meet and talk with participating artists and see their work firsthand.  Then, come back Saturdays for painting and jewelry making classes, and on Sundays come and enjoy the art exhibition!

I am very excited to meet all of the artists, see their inspiring work and get to learn from their vision, ideas, love for art, culture and our lovely Ixtapa Zihuatanejo.  I was intrigued by the work of local organic jeweler, Mónica Gutiérrez, and decided to join her jewelry making class.  I was curious to see how I can turn my shells and other souvenirs that I collect from my visits to the beaches, into something even more beautiful and wearable.  After the class Mónica was very kind to sit and chat with me about her work and inspiration.

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Mónica, thank you so much for participating in Capella Ixtapa’s Art & Culture Festival, I love your work, and I enjoyed the jewelry making class a lot!  Could you please tell our readers about yourself and about your work?

Thank you so much!  It is my pleasure to be part of the festival, it is such an honor to share my knowledge with you and your guests and visitors.  I started giving jewelry classes about 13 years ago, and very soon after that I got drawn into making organic jewelry.  I was captivated by its originality and complexity, mainly for the immense possibilities, which nature gives us, to immortalize the form and texture of any element, be it a leaf, bone, seeds, wood, and so on.  From my beginnings in creating jewelry and until today I have divided my time between creating the jewelry and giving workshops.  The majority of my time is dedicated to making jewelry, but I also love giving workshops and teaching my techniques to others.

Which materials are best for creating organic jewelry, and where do you get them?  What is your inspiration when creating jewelry?

I get inspired by everything nature gives us!  I take the elements that I find interesting and prepare them for melting, and then pour on silver.  Once the elements are prepared for melting I see how to put them together.  It all depends on what kind of elements they are, stones, crystals, glass, skin, seeds, textiles, and others.

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Artist Mónica Gutiérrez (right) with participants at the jewelry making class at Capella Ixtapa.

What do you like best in creating organic jewelry?

Everything!  From the selection of elements, preparing them for the working process, creating the piece, and then finally to feel the reaction of people when they see it, and see it on people wearing it…  I love everything about it!

What advice would you give to anyone that is interested in making their own organic jewelry?

They should feel their work and have a lot of patience.

You live in Zihuatanejo, can you share with me and our readers what do you like best about our town, and perhaps share your favorite place?

I love our vast pristine beaches, the rich and beautiful nature.  My favorite place in the area is Troncones.

I loved your organic jewelry making class at Capella Ixtapa’s Art & Culture Festival.  Are you organizing more classes at your workshop?  Where can our guests and visitors of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo see and purchase your work?

Yes, I am organizing the classes of the basics of the jewelry making at my studio in Zihuatanejo, and my work is for sale at Galart gallery at Playa de La Ropa and at the Café and Gallery Los Remedios in Zihuatanejo.

Thank you so much Mónica!  I look forward to seeing your new collection!

Thank you, it is my pleasure!

For more information about Mónica Gutiérrez please email her here, and for other activities at Capella Ixtapa please visit our Facebook Page / Capella Ixtapa, where you can follow our current events and activities.