Thanksgiving In Washington D.C.

The weather has started to shift and autumn is clearly upon us.  But don’t let that get you down! After all, my favorite fall holiday is just around the corner!  Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate every blessing, friend and family member.  Not to mention, the delicious turkey holiday spread.  It is my favorite way to kick off the season and fortunately Washington D.C. knows just how to celebrate.


What is Thanksgiving without a themed parade?  Luckily, you have a few parades to choose from within the D.C. Metropolitan area.  The Silver Spring Thanksgiving Parade and the Reston Town Center Holiday Parade are two great ways of spending the day having fun with friends and family.  Festivities are kicked off with an annual race for kids at Fountain Square in the Reston community.  After the kiddo’s cool down from their athletic endeavors,  the parade gets going.  It includes the celebrated Washington Redskins Marching band, 50-foot balloons, and amazing colorful floats.



If you are looking to enjoy a delicious feast after a long day out and about at the parades, retreat back to Georgetown and spend Thanksgiving in The Grill Room. Enjoy as Executive Chef Frank Ruta’s prepares a family style and plated dinner.  As a special token, each family will receive a signature hot cocoa mix to enjoy during the holiday season, made especially by our Pastry Chef, Aggie Chin.  Continue to get in the holiday mood with seasonal fall cocktails like a Rye Toddy and Hot Apple Cider. I’m ready to curl up by the fireplace just thinking about it!

This year, I am thankful for my supportive team at Capella D.C.  To which I share a million laughs with, share my difficulties with, but above all, gain my support and strength from.  I learn something great and new every single day from this dynamic group.

I would love to see photos of what you are all thankful for as well.  Just tag @CapellaDC on Instagram and Twitter so that I can share it with our community.

Sending warm wishes to everyone this holiday season from the Nation’s Capital!

Oktoberfest In Dusseldorf

“O’zapft is!”  It is that time of year!

What am I talking about?  Oktoberfest!  And “O’zapft is!”  is traditional opener to the festivities.  This is from the Bavarian dialect and means that the first keg of the season has been tapped.

You have probably heard about the traditional German Oktoberfest at least once, right? Then you might know that Munich is especially famous for this celebration. While the Bavarian festivities remain the largest, other events are cropping up throughout Germany.  And as the jovial mood spreads, I think it only fitting that I share my experience from the inaugural Dusseldorf celebration held just last year.


I’ve been a huge fan of the Oktoberfest for many years and when I heard that the tradition had arrived in my beautiful hometown, I could not believe it. So what did I do? Of course I put on my best Dirndl and jumped into the festivities to see if the Rhenish people could keep up with the Bavarians. And let me tell you: It was definitely a success! I particularly liked the location that was chosen for the Oktoberfest in Dusseldorf. It takes place at the Rhine Promenade, where I also like to spend most of my spare time.

I started my day with a delicious pretzel, Bavarian veal sausage with sweet mustard and, most importantly, a freshly tapped Mass.  A Mass is a huge glass jug, which contains one liter of beer.  It is common to drink these throughout the Oktoberfest celebrations, beginning with breakfast and continuing throughout the day.  There is even a traditional song that encourages drinkers to clink their Mass with those around them.  It seems the song is played just about every five minutes, so it is important to have a Mass in hand!

Another fun aspect is seeing everyone dressed in traditional clothes.  The men wear leather trousers known as Lederhosen, a plaid shirt and sometimes also those cute hats with feathers on top. The women wear my personal favorite, the Dirndl. The Dirndl consists of a blouse, with a dress consisting of a corset top and full skirt topped with an apron. You can find it in every color and pattern. The Dirndl is a figure hugging dress that seems to make every woman look her best! The women top of the look with braids in every style.

But the Dirndl does more than set the tone of the event- it can also communicate the relationship status of the wearer.  If you wear the apron knot on the left side, it means you are single, on the right it means you are in a relationship.  Knots on the back suggest you are widowed (unless you are working as a waitress!) and in the front the knot means you are married.  Who would have guessed an apron could say so much?!

You are now perfectly prepped for a visit to Dusseldorf’s Oktoberfest.  This year celebrations started on September 19th and goes for about two weeks. So be sure to make your plans today!  Your Breidenbacher Hof Personal Assistant will help you make it the perfect vacation.


Oktoberfest In Düsseldorf

„O´zapft is!“ Es ist wieder soweit!

Wovon ich spreche? Vom Oktoberfest!  Und „O´zapft is!“ ist der traditionelle Eröffnungsspruch für die Wiesn.  Gemeint ist der spannenste Moment, nämlich dann, wenn das erste Bierfass angeschlagen wird.

Ihr kennt mit Sicherheit das traditionelle Oktoberfest oder?  Dann wisst ihr auch, dass München der Ursprung dieses Festes ist.  Doch wenn das Münchner Oktoberfest mit seinen zahlreichen Zelten und Fahrgeschäften das wohl größte seiner Art ist, ist München schon lange nicht mehrder einzige Austragungsort für die bayerischen Festlichkeiten.  Und da auch dieser Trend nicht spurlos an Düsseldorf vorbeizieht, erzähle ich Euch gerne von meinen Erlebnissen im letzten Jahr.

rsz_dsc_5497Ich bin schon lange ein großer Fan des Oktoberfestes und konnte es gar nicht glauben, dass es in meiner schönen Heimatstadt auch endlich eins gibt.  Also was habe ich gemacht?  Natürlich das Dirndl angezogen und mal geschaut, ob das rheinische mit dem bayerischen Fest mithalten kann. Ich kann Euch sagen: Das kann es!  Vor allem gefällt mir der Ort, der für unser Oktoberfest ausgewählt wurde.  Es findet an der Rheinpromenade statt, dort wo ich meine Freizeit am liebsten verbringe.

Gestartet habe ich mit einer leckeren Brezel, Weißwurst und süßem Senf – und nicht zu vergessen dazu eine frisch gezapfte Mass.  Schon zum Frühstück wird eine Mass serviert und ist ein wesentlicher Bestandteil des gesamten Festes.  Alle 5 Minuten wird ein bestimmtes traditionelles Lied gespielt, zu dem Ihr mit Euren Sitznachbarn anstoßen und einen Schluck trinken müsst.   Deshalb sollte die eigene Mass auch immer griffbereit sein!

Was zudem besonders schön anzusehen ist, sind die Trachten.  Die Männer tragen Lederhosen, dazu meist karrierte Hemden und manchmal sogar diese niedlichen Hüte mit Federn.  Die Frauen tragen mein persönliches Lieblingsoutfit, das Dirndl.  Ein Dirndl besteht aus einer Bluse, einem Kleid und zuletzt der Schürze.  Mittlerweile gibt es die Trachten in allen Farben und Mustern, die das Herz begehren.  Ich verspreche Euch, ein Dirndl schmeichelt wirklich jeder Frau!  Meist tragen die Damen auch geflochtenes Haar – einfach schick.

Um der Männerwelt das richtige Signal zu senden, gibt es außerdem ein geheimes Zeichen.  Wenn die Frauen unter Euch den Knoten ihrer Schürze auf der linken Seite tragen, bedeutet dies, dass ihr Single seid.  Tragt ihr den Knoten zur rechten Seite, weiß jeder, dass ihr in einer Beziehung seid.  Ein Knoten am Rücken bedeutet, dass ihr verwitwet (oder die Kellnerin!) und ist der Knoten vorne, seid ihr offenbar verheiratet.  Wer hätte gedacht, dass ein Knoten so viel über eine Person aussagen kann?!

Ich denke, ihr seid nun perfekt vorbereitet, um unser Oktoberfest zu besuchen.  Dieses Jahr hat das rheinische Fest am 19. September begonnen und geht über zwei Wochen.  Also fangt besser jetzt an zu planen!  Euren Persönlichen Assistenten im Breidenbacher Hof unterstützen Euch bei der Erstellung eines perfekten Programms.


Easter Bonfires in Dusseldorf

Easter is just around the corner and with it the great traditions I love.  When I was younger, Easter was one of the most exciting holidays to me.  I couldn’t wait for my dad saying “the Easter bunny was here, let’s see if he left some chocolate eggs!”  I would run out into the garden to gather as many eggs as I possibly could.  And while I no longer look for chocolate eggs, I still look forward to Easter celebrations!

rsz_easterToday, my favorite Easter activity are the bonfires.  Maybe you have already heard about the Easter bonfires  in Germany, a tradition where huge piles of wood are burned in the countryside?  There are different stories about this tradition but I’ll tell you the story I like most.  Usually, in Dusseldorf we celebrate the Easter bonfire the Saturday before Easter Sunday.  Large bonfires are erected and music is can be heard throughout the countryside.  I’ve heard that this tradition stems from the 16th century and is meant to dispel the winter.  In the past, the resulting ash was then used as fertilizer for the crops.  It feels very cozy and peaceful to watch the fire glomming with people you love, your family or friends.  Grabbing a cool drink, sitting next to the fire laughing, talking and listening to the music – this is the perfect way to usher in Easter.

It is hard to describe the amazing atmosphere while you are sitting next to an Easter bonfire, so I think you should come to Dusseldorf for Easter one day to experience it yourself.  Just ask the Breidenbacher Hof Personal Assistants to show you the best bonfire places during Easter to make sure that you will never forget these Easter holidays for the rest of your life!

Chef Rurik Salazar’s Tamales Nejos

February 2nd marked a very popular holiday in Mexico, Candlemas day, or Día de la Candelaria.  At Capella Ixtapa we honored Mexican traditions by serving tamales.  But these weren’t just any tamales!  These were Executive Chef Rurik Salazar’s special Tamales Nejos!

They were absolutely delicious and, while I had never made tamales before, I simply had to learn how.  Chef Rurik agreed to teach me, ensuring me the process was simpler than I thought.  Indeed he was right and now I am sharing the recipe with you:

 tamales nejos

Tamales Nejos Recipe

Masa or Tamal dough

  • 8 Tbsp of Corn Flour
  • 1 Tbsp of Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 pinch of Salt
  • N/A Water
  • Ashes of a tortilla

Mix the corn flour with the vegetable shortening, add water slowly and whisk it up until gets spongy, seasoning with the salt and the tortilla ashes.

Duck Tamales Nejos

  • 1 square of a plantain leaf (15 cm x15 cm)
  • 1 Tbsp of shredded duck breast
  • 1 date

Heat up the plantain leaf until it gets soft in a pan on a low flame.  In the middle of the leaf put the tamal dough and stuff it with the shredded duck and the date.  Wrap it like a candy, and steam for 18 minutes.  Garnish with some green mole or any kind of salsa.


Buen provecho!

El Chef Rurik Salazar Nos Comparte Su Receta Para Tamales Nejos

Febrero 2 marca una de las fiestas mexicanas más populares, el Día de la Candelaria. En Capella Ixtapa hicimos honor a esta tradicional fiesta mexicana sirviendo tamales. Pero estos no eran tamales ordinarios! Eran Tamales Nejos, especialidad de nuestro Chef Ejecutivo Rurik Salazar!

Estaban deliciosos, y mientras que nunca he cocinado tamales antes, tenía que aprender como. El Chef Rurik accedió a enseñarme, asegurándome primero, que el proceso era más simple de lo que creía. Y de hecho tuvo razón, por lo cual aquí les comparto la receta a ustedes:


Receta para preparar Tamales Nejos

Masa para tamales o nixtamal

  • 8 cucharadas soperas de harina de maíz
  • 1 cucharada de manteca vegetal o
  • 1 pizca de sal
  • Agua
  • Cenizas de tortillas

Mezclar el harina con la manteca, añadir agua lentamente y batir hasta que quede una masa esponjosa, sazonar con la sal y las cenizas de tortilla.

Tamales Nejos rellenos de pato

  • 1 cuadrado de hoja de plátano (15 cm x15 cm)
  • 1 cucharada de pechuga de pato deshebrada
  • 1 dátil

Calentar en un sartén a flama baja la hoja de plátano hasta que suavize. Al centro de la hoja poner la masa de tamal y rellenarla con el pato deshebrado y el dátil. Envolverla como si fuera un dulce, y cocinarla al vapor durante 18 minutos. Se puede agregar mole verde o cualquier tipo de salsa como guarnición.


Buen provecho!