A Visit To The Longest Bar In The World

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.

Altstadt - Bolkerstr.

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!

Behind the Scenes at the Rye Bar Cocktail Class

This summer the Rye Bar at Capella D.C. introduced its’ signature Cocktail Series, led by head bartender Angel Cervantes.  Held monthly on Saturday’s, this social event is full of cocktail creations, experiments and tastings all while learning the tricks of the Rye Bar trade from Angel himself.  I finally had the chance to attend myself and can’t wait to share a few of my favorite moments:

Rye Bar Limeade

The class consisted of about 15 guests including Angel, spaciously seated in Capella’s luxurious Executive Boardroom.  The first cocktail Angel created to kick off the class was his signature shared “Rye Limeade,” using a fifth of Filibuster Rye and bittersweet red liqueur, Campari.  This concoction was a fan favorite and set the tone perfectly for the rest of the class (see full recipe below).

To be the best at home bartender you need a few simple tools to mix, strain, squeeze, and infuse your cocktail.  Angel supplied all these tools for us to use, which definitely made a difference in the overall flavor and consistency of the cocktail!

Rye Bar Cocktail Series

Without giving too much away, Angel shared with us the four elements of a handcrafted cocktail.  Each one adds depth and flavor that you can’t find on your average bar menu.  There are plenty of amazing places in D.C. to find a fantastic cocktail, but Angel really sets the Rye Bar apart using Rye Whiskey as the focal point, and three other signature elements to naturally balance flavors.  Simultaneously Angel is generating new awareness and likability with Rye cocktails with many cocktailians traveling to the Nation’s Capital.

Rye Bar Limeade

Filibuster Rye 1 ½ oz

Lime Juice ½ oz

Campari ½ oz

Lavender Infused Simply Syrup 1 oz

To reserve your seats at the next Rye Bar Cocktail Class, be sure to contact your Capella Events team at 202-617-2429 or e-mail elisabeth.thomas@capellahotels.com.  Get ready to experience how to create the wow factor in your cocktails and taste flavors that are exciting and unique to your palate.  Following the cocktail class is an excellent 3-course dinner with cocktail pairings in The Grill Room as well a signature Rye Bar takeaway gift!

Screen On The Green At The National Mall

Summer has finally arrived and there’s no better place to be than the Nation’s Capital!  Every year I count down the days until summer along with all of the activities it brings.  One of the most popular summer happenings among the locals and visitors alike is Screen on the Green, a chance to watch classic films hosted by HBO and Comcast on a gigantic movie screen on the National Mall overlooking the United State Capitol Building.

Screen On The Green

This complimentary outdoor event goes a little something like this: Gather a few of your friends on Monday night and head to the Mall around 5 or 6 pm to get a good seat.  Bring a blanket (no chairs) and a picnic basket for dinner and some dessert. Next, watch the sunset over the Capitol Building as you anxiously wait for the movie to begin.  My favorite moments are gazing up at the stars while the movie is rolling and seeing all the happy faces surrounding me.  This event makes for a fantastic summer evening and perfect way to enjoy this beautiful landmark, attracting over 15,000 people to each showing since 1999.

The schedule is out for this summer; take a look at the lineup:

July 21 – The Karate Kid (1984)

July 28 – Lover Come Back (1961)

August 4 – Key Largo (1948)

August 11 – A Soldier’s Story (1984)

Screen On The Green 2

The best way to get to the National Mall is by Metro.  The closest stations are Archives/Navy Memorial, Smithsonian and L’Enfant Plaza.  Public parking is very limited in this part of the city.  On-street parking in Washington, DC is restricted during the evening rush hour.

Of course, if you are a guest at Capella Washington, D.C. you Personal Assistant can arrange both the picnic supplies and the ride.  For more information contact your Personal Assistant at 202-617-2400 or e-mail pa.dc@capellahotels.com.

I will be sure to share my visits to Screen On The Green on Twitter, but you can also follow the hashtag #SOTG2014 for updates.

 

A Look Back: The Capella Ixtapa Sabor + Vino Festival 2014

They say the way to a person’s heart is through the stomach.  And if you haven’t fallen in love with Mexico yet, our Capella Ixtapa Sabor + Vino Festival, would have you in head over heels, guaranteed!

Sabor + Vino 2014, which we held this past May, was Capella Ixtapa’s first culinary festival, and with the amazing feedback we received from our guests and visitors, I can promise you it won’t be the last!

Sommelier Lucian Mocanu and Chef Miguel Baltazar from Capella Ixtapa, with Guest Chef Carmen Valencia and Chef Ramiro Ortega.

Sommelier Lucian Mocanu and Chef Miguel Baltazar from Capella Ixtapa, with Guest Chef Carmen Valencia and Chef Ramiro Ortega.

“This region of Mexico has so much to offer gastronomically, offering an authentic Mexican cuisine experience.  We gathered well known chefs from different towns within the region to participate in festival Capella Ixtapa Sabor + Vino 2014, which established a sense of pride and honor, as we presented diverse traditional Mexican dishes, combined with exquisite Mexican wine and spirits for all attendees, complemented with a wonderful culinary event.  The feedback we received was fantastic, and I hope to see you all again at Capella Ixtapa’s Sabor + Vino 2015!” said Eliezer Quinones, General Manager of Capella Ixtapa.

The Capella Ixtapa Sabor + Vino Festival ran over two weekends in May, and featured Guest Chefs,  Carmen Valencia, Ramiro Ortega, Karla Chápero, Jesús Ordoñez.  Hosted by Capella Ixtapa’s Chef Miguel Baltazar, guests were delighted by appetizers based on regional cuisines, cocktail events, cooking classes, two exquisite 7 course wine pairing dinners and a special breakfast where each of the chefs prepared their own signature breakfast dish.

Bittersweet chocolate, bed of peanuts and cocoa, Cotija cheese meringue, xoconostle (a fruit of prickly pear cactus) foam, coconut cotton and a reduction of jamaica and passion fruit.

Bittersweet chocolate, bed of peanuts and cocoa, Cotija cheese meringue, xoconostle (a fruit of prickly pear cactus) foam, coconut cotton and a reduction of jamaica and passion fruit.

Sabor + Vino 2014 was an incredible experience,” said Chef Miguel Baltazar.  “Four different culinary minds came to Capella Ixtapa with the same objective; to satisfy the palate of our guests, surprise them with the magnificent flavors and show them the best of their cuisine.  It was a great pleasure having them with us and creating the first edition of Capella Ixtapa’s culinary festival together.  For me personally it was also a magnificent opportunity to create, innovate and practice with these amazing Chefs for the Chef of the Year in Mexico contest, at which I will be participating in June, and representing the colors of Capella Ixtapa and our region.  Some of the unforgettable dishes from the festival for me were jack fish with black radish, scallops tiradito, jicama fruit infused with beet and mezcal, cocoa with meringue of salt from Zihuatanejo, and crystallized nopal.”

You can see more photos from the festival here, and mark your calendars for May 2015, for the next Capella Ixtapa Sabor + Vino festival.  Our team is already hard at work planning next year’s festivities!

Düsseldorf Entdecken

Sobald das Wetter sommerliche Temperaturen verspricht, möchte ich immer so viel Zeit wie möglich im Freien verbringen.  Es gibt so viele unterhaltsame Aktivitäten in Düsseldorf – manchmal kann ich mich selbst überhaupt nicht entscheiden, was ich zuerst unternehmen möchte.  Meine allerliebste Beschäftigung im Freien ist das Inline skaten!  Ich war schon an vielen Orten in Deutschland Inline skaten, aber ehrlich gesagt bietet Düsseldorf die schönste Kulisse:  die Rheinufer Promenade!

exploring dusseldorfMeiner Meinung nach, ist das Inline skaten die beste Möglichkeit, sich selbst in Bewegung zu bringen Egal ob Ihr Düsseldorf lieber auf Inlineskates oder auf dem Rad erkundet:  Ich verspreche euch, dass euer Ausflug ein Erlebnis sein wird!  Und natürlich kann ich euch meine Lieblingsstrecke nicht vorenthalten:  Die schönste Tour startet in der Altstadt in Richtung Kaiserswerth und wieder zurück. Ich beginne meinen Ausflug immer in der Altstadt, um mich in die richtige Stimmung zu bringen.  Die beste Möglichkeit dafür hat man bei einem leckeren Essen mit einem Glas Altbier im Uerige!  In dieser traditionellen Düsseldorfer Brauerei könnt Ihr euer Altbier auch im Freien genießen!

Die Tour, die ich bevorzuge ist ungefähr 20 Kilometer lang und ich bin mir sicher, dass Ihr jeden Meter davon genauso genießen werdet wie ich es immer tue!  Warum?  Weil man auf dieser Strecke zahlreiche Sehenswürdigkeiten bewundern kann!  Die Tonhalle zum Beispiel:  Die Tonhalle ist ein Veranstaltungsort, in dem viele Konzerte – üblicherweise klassische Konzerte – stattfinden und sie liegt direkt neben der Rheinufer Promenade.  Der zweite Grund ist, dass die gesamte Route direkt entlang des Rheins verläuft, was sehr idyllisch ist – ich fühle mich immer so frei, wenn ich die vorbeifahrenden Boote beobachte und spüre, wie der Wind durch mein Haar weht.

In Kaiserswerth genehmige ich mir dann eine kleine Pause im Biergarten „Galerie Burghof“, da ich ein großer Fan der frisch gebackenen Waffeln bin.  Dazu genieße ich ein erfrischendes Radler, das mir die nötige Power für den Rückweg gibt.

Wenn Ihr während Eurem nächsten Aufenthalt im Breidenbacher Hof nach verschiedenen Routen für eure eigene Düsseldorfer Inline skating- oder Radtour sucht, können unsere Personal Assistant’s euch mit allen benötigten Informationen und Tipps versorgen.  Ich bin mir sicher, dass sie die außergewöhnlichsten Unternehmungen für Euch vorbereiten werden…

Capella Washington D.C.’s Mount Vernon Bike Tour

I arrived to Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown on a gorgeous spring morning in April with my great friend as we prepared for a day’s journey to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Mansion, one of the iconic homes from 18th-century America.  Naturally, I crave adventure and outdoor exercise, so the moment I discovered this unique biking and historical tour offered for Capella guests, I was all about trying it out for myself!

Bike & Roll DC Resized

We met Luis Colmenares, Lead Personal Assistant in the main lobby as he greeted us with a surprise backpack lunch with our tickets to the Mount Vernon tour.  He explained that our rental bikes were ready and waiting for us outside, courtesy of Bike & Roll DC!  The Mount Vernon Trail is the main path located just around the corner from the hotel, and winds alongside the scenic Potomac River, offering uninterrupted views of Washington, D.C.’s skyline.  We made sure to take advantage of Luis’ excellent suggestions for pit-stops along the way including Gravelly Point Park, located just north of the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, where you can see planes take off and land, and also Old Town Alexandra, Virginia’s Eamonn’s Restaurant for the best afternoon fish & chips!  I’m always searching for an excuse to be outside and enjoy nature, and this was the perfect, unique experience!

George Washington Mount Vernon 2 Resized

When we arrived at Mount Vernon, I was so thrilled to find out that not only could we tour the beautiful Mansion, but we could also explore their new exhibit, Gardens & Groves.  This exhibit was incredible and offered the opportunity to discover Washington’s design and see how he created the sweeping lawns, groves of trees, walled gardens, serpentine paths, and the views of Mount Vernon.  When visiting Mount Vernon you journey can go beyond the mansion to the George Washington’s Distillery, which was once the largest distillery in America and produced almost 11,000 gallons of whiskey in 1799, and to the George Washington’s Gristmill, established in 1771, the mill produced more than 275,000 pounds of the highest quality “superfine flour” and exported to both the West Indies and Europe.

George Washington Mount Vernon Re-Sized

More details on this experience:

  • Bike from Capella Washington, D.C. to George Washington’s Mount Vernon on the Mount Vernon Trail (approximately 18 miles).
  • Capella Washington, D.C will provide a delicious backpack lunch (Although you will have a backpack lunch, you are encouraged to try other restaurants, cafes, and shops along the way to Mount Vernon).
  • Park your bicycle and arrive at Mount Vernon (Be sure to ask your Personal Assistant about the variety of tours available on the Mount Vernon property).
  • At the completion of the tour, bicycle back to Capella Washington, D.C. If you wish to have a driver pick you up or take a scenic boat ride back on the Potomac River, please provide your Personal Assistant with 48 hour advance notice to plan accordingly.

I loved the Mount Vernon Bike Tour and definitely recommend it as the quintessential spring experience in Washington, D.C.  It is the perfect way to discover the most incredible views of the cities monuments, while simultaneously getting a bit of exercise.  If you’d like to know more about what to expect, please be sure to read my interview with Cat Pear of Bike and Roll DC.  For details, inquiries, and reservations, be sure to contact your Personal Assistant by calling 202-617-2416 or e-mail pa.dc@capellahotels.com.