Christmas At Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel

Christmast at Breidenbacher Hof

Waiting for Christmas – I love it! My day starts with a walk to my Advent calendar to open the next window with great excitement.  The anticipation for Christmas grows every day.  But if you ask me, the best part of the day is, when I walk through the lobby of the Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel.  Our great pianist Ulli plays the most beautiful Christmas songs, the hotel gleams in its ceremonial brightness everywhere you look.  A wonderful Christmas tree with a mountain of presents under it welcomes every guest, client, deliveryman and employee entering the hotel lobby.

Christmast at Breidenbacher Hof

One of my favorite elements this year is our Christmas wonderland display featuring giant Steiff stuffed animals.  Provided by our neighbors Kaufhof an der Kö, this wintery display delights not only children, but adults as well!

I love to watch as the people enter the hotel.  At first, they may seem overwhelmed by their day or the bustling of the city outside.  But, then there is this moment: they look up, and suddenly are enveloped by the season’s good cheer.  Next thing you know, a smile stretches across their faces.  It doesn’t matter how exhausting the journey has been or how many people are rushing through the city – in this moment the Christmas season has overtaken them.  You can’t imagine what kind of privilege it is to welcome a guest at Christmas time!

Will you be visiting Breidenbacher Hof this holiday season?  Christmas at Breidenbacher Hof truly is a special experience.  If you are in Dusseldorf do come by for a cup of hot cocoa and some holiday cheer—you won’t be disappointed!

Weihnachten Im Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel

Christmast at Breidenbacher Hof

Auf Weihnachten warten – ich liebe es! Mein Tag beginnt mit einem Gang zum Adventskalender,  um mit großer Spannung das nächste Türchen zu öffnen.  Und die Vorfreude auf Weihnachten wächst mit jedem Tag.  Aber wenn ihr mich fragt,  ist meine tägliche Runde durch die Lobby Lounge unseres Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel der beste Part.  Unser wunderbarer Pianist Ulli spielt die schönsten Weihnachtslieder, die Dekorationen im Haus erstrahlen in feierlichem Glanz und ein prachtvoller Weihnachtsbaum mit vielen bunten Geschenken erfreut unsere Gäste, Kunden, Lieferanten und Mitarbeiter in der Hotellobby.

Christmast at Breidenbacher Hof

Eines meiner Lieblingselemente dieses Jahr ist allerdings die Winterlandschaft mit Steiff Plüschtieren in unserer Lobby Lounge.  Unser Nachbar Kaufhof an der Kö, hat uns diese als Weihnachtsüberraschung für unsere kleinen – und großen – Gäste freundlicherweise zur Verfügung gestellt!

Das Beste ist, wenn man beobachtet, wie unsere Gäste das Haus betreten.  Im ersten Moment könnte man meinen, dass sie vom Trubel auf den Straßen gestresst sind.  Aber in dem Augenblick, in dem sie das Hotel betreten und aufschauen, scheint all dies Dank der weihnachtlichen Stimmung vergessen.  Innerhalb von Sekunden blitzt ein Lächeln in ihrem Gesicht auf, egal wie anstrengend die Anreise oder wie groß das Gedränge in der Stadt war.  Genau in diesem Moment steht nur noch der weihnachtliche Gedanke im Mittelpunkt.  Ihr könnt Euch gar nicht vorstellen, wie schön das Gefühl ist, unsere Gäste zu dieser Jahreszeit zu empfangen!

Werdet ihr auch während der Feiertage im Breidenbacher Hof sein?  Wenn ihr in Düsseldorf seid, dann kommt auf eine heiße Schokolade vorbei—ihr werdet es nicht bereuen!

Capella Singapore’s Foie Gras Terrine

Foie Gras Terrine

December is probably my favourite month in the year, simply because the air is just full of festivities and good cheer.

One of the things that I always look forward to is the scrumptious, mouthwatering Christmas meals.  Capella Singapore’s Executive Chef David Senia, was kind enough to share with me a recipe for a very festive appetizer which The Knolls will be serving this festive season – a Foie Gras Terrine with Apple Chutney and Brioche.

I love the simple preparation that impresses with its beautiful flavours.

Foie Gras Terrine

Terrine of Goose Liver, Vanilla Apple Chutney and Brioche Toast

Foie Gras Terrine

1kg  Foie Gras

10g  Salt

3g  Pepper

4g  Sugar

  • Marinate the Foie Gras with salt pepper and sugar and place it in a terrine
  • Put the terrine in a hot water bath and cook it at 55 degrees Celsius for an hour
  • Allow it to cool and set for one day
  • Remove the foie gras from the terrine and slice it evenly

Apple Chutney

500g  Sugar

1.5kg  Granny Smith apple (peeled and cored)

5pcs  Cardamom

5  Vanilla Pods

  • Dice the Granny Smith apple into fine pieces.
  • Combine all the ingredients, including the diced apples into a large saucepan and cook
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally
  • Reduce the heat and continue allowing the mixture to simmer while stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Remove from heat and allow it to cool.

Assembling the dish:

  • Place the sliced foie gras terrine in between two slices of toasted brioche and smear a generous helping of apple chutney across the plate.
  • To garnish, chop some nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios) and gooseberries in a bowl toss it with vanilla olive oil

Additional festive garnishing tips from Chef David: you can add some micro herbs, such as coriander leaves, which not only add a decorative touch to the dish but also enhance the taste.

Bon Appétit!

Christmas Shopping In Georgetown

Wink

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!

Wink

Wink

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?

Thanksgiving in Cabo San Lucas

Thanksgiving in Cabo San Lucas

I like November.  In Cabo San Lucas, November sees temperatures around 90F, and we keep busy with colorful festivities and other celebrations leading us into the December holiday season.  While Thanksgiving is not a Mexican holiday, the large number of US visitors to Baja means we’ve adopted the day here as well.  For several years now I have celebrated Thanksgiving in Cabo San Lucas surrounded by friends and family and we do our best to recreate our own feast of traditional dishes.

At Capella Pedregal our chefs prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at Don Manuel’s restaurant, and many of the residents and visitors love to have their Thanksgiving dinner prepared at their residence as well.  I love how each in-residence meal is completely personalized to the tastes and desires of our guests; our chefs do an amazing job of recreating those dishes tied to the individual family’s traditions.

Thanksgiving in Cabo San LucasRecently, I got a chance to chat with one of our Capella Pedregal Residence owners, who has adopted a tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving here in Cabo San Lucas.  Todd and his family and a couple of their close friends have been celebrating Thanksgiving with us for several years.  Curious, I asked him what brought him back year in and year out.  “Thanksgiving is a very special time of year for us, and while the entire family is scattered around the country for work and living, and we don’t get to see each other too often, Thanksgiving is traditionally the time of year we commit to spend with each other.  Cabo San Lucas is a perfect holiday destination for us, because it is just a short flight away from Colorado; we get to enjoy the sun, and the beach life; and above all, we get to spend time with our family and close friends with no interruption of work or meetings.  And – we love getting spoiled by the Capella Pedregal team, from spa to dining and more!  Even my mom admits that letting go of the cooking reigns enables her to enjoy more time with the family.  Besides, the chefs here know what their doing— we’ve even recreated some of our favorite Capella recipes back home!” Todd explained.

Together with the entire Capella Pedregal team, we wish you a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday, we are grateful for each and every one of you!

Día De Acción De Gracias Bajo El Cálido Sol Mexicano

Thanksgiving in Cabo San Lucas

Me gusta noviembre. En Cabo San Lucas noviembre llega a tener temperaturas de hasta 33 grados Celsius, y nos mantenemos ocupados con coloridas fiestas y celebraciones que nos van encaminando hacia la época navideña decembrina. Mientras que el Día de Acción de Gracias no es una tradición mexicana, la gran población temporal y permanente de americanos en la Baja ha hecho que muchos la adoptemos también. Por varios años ya he pasado esta fiesta rodeada de amigos y familia haciendo lo posible por recrear nuestro propio festín con los tradicionales platillos de Día de Acción de Gracias.

En Capella Pedregal nuestros chefs preparan una auténtica cena de Acción de Gracias en el restaurante Don Manuel’s, y muchos de nuestros residentes y huéspedes adoran tener su cena preparada en su villa o residencia también. Me encanta como cada una de estas cenas es preparada al completo gusto y deseos de cada uno de nuestros huéspedes; nuestros chefs realizan un maravilloso trabajo recreando los platillos que más se apegan a las tradiciones de cada una de las familias que nos visitan.

Thanksgiving in Cabo San LucasRecientemente tuve oportunidad de platicar con uno de nuestros propietarios de nuestras Capella Pedregal Residencias, el cual ha adoptado la tradición de celebrar Acción de Gracias aquí en Cabo San Lucas. Todd y su familia y algunos de sus amigos más cercanos han celebrado Acción de Gracias con nosotros por varios años ya. Curiosa, le pregunte qué es lo que lo trae de vuelta cada año. “Acción de Gracias es una fecha muy importante para nosotros, y mientras toda nuestra familia está repartida por varios puntos de los Estados Unidos y no nos vemos mucho, Acción de Gracias es tradicionalmente la época del año en la cual nos comprometemos a reunirnos para pasarla en familia. Cabo San Lucas es un destino perfecto para nosotros, ya que está a solamente a pocas horas de vuelo de Colorado; podemos disfrutar del sol y la vida en la playa; y sobre todo, podemos pasar tiempo con nuestra familia y amigos cercanos sin ninguna interrupción laboral. Y claro, nos encanta como nos consiente el equipo de Capella Pedregal, desde el spa, las cenas y todo! Incluso mi madre admite que dejar la responsabilidad de la cocina le permite disfrutar mucho más esta época familiar. Además de que los chefs aquí saben exactamente lo que hacen -incluso hemos recreado algunas de nuestras recetas favoritas de Capella en casa en Colorado!” me explicó Todd.

Junto con todo el equipo de Capella Pedregal, les deseamos una gran fiesta de Acción de Gracias, estamos agradecidos por cada uno de ustedes!