In terms of the gastronomic map, Luxembourg is in a great location.
On one side, it borders France – and little introduction to French food and wine is required. On the other, Germany – where beer, sausages and generous portions are the orders of the cliche. But Luxembourg also neighbours Belgium, a country much maligned but deserving of much praise for the way it combines the best of French and German cooking.
Luxembourg, too, provides the best of both worlds, and coupled with the money that comes with the financial and European institutions, it’s a city where you’re not short of options for good food. In fact, Luxembourg City has the highest concentration of Michelin stars in the world.
We ate some lovely stuff – delicious dumplings in a cream and lardon sauce, sausages, and beautiful pasta dishes. However, often the best food could be found away from the obvious places and down unassuming side-streets were you’d find down to earth places reassuringly packed with locals. We found one such Italian place (the country has a long-established Italian community) that defied the often eye-watering prices and filled us up with fantastic pizza for a thoroughly reasonable bill.
As you’d imagine for a country wedged in between France and Germany, Luxembourg also does both beer and wine pretty well. I recall trying three local beers – one was Diekirch (not a bad lager at all), though the biggest brewery in the country produced both my favourite (Battin) and least favourite (Bofferding).
For taste, innovation and style, however, top marks has to go to the delightful Chocolate House (left), a chocolatier and cafe opposite the Grand Duke’s Palace in the heart of town.
The concept is a great one – you’re served a mug of plain old hot milk but select your chocolate from the shelves or menu, where a massive range of flavours can be found. They come in the form of a block of chocolate set on to a wooden spoon that you then melt into your milk. I had a caramel, bourbon and vanilla one and it was stupendously good.
I bet the Grand Duke’s popping over there all the time.