Having had a free weekend pop up in a normally busy schedule, we decided it would be a good opportunity to grab some cheap flights and discover somewhere new.
An eye wateringly early flight meant that we arrived in Luxembourg city nice and early on Saturday morning, good fortune (and good service from Hotel Grey ) meant that we could check in early and leave our minimal bags behind before going off wandering.
With dinner plans being the focus of the weekend we had little else organised, opting instead to wander around the city, take in the sites and enjoy some downtime. In an unusual move, our early start led to us landing on McDonalds for jalapeno cheeseburgers and a coffee whilst we got our bearings and made plans. A mild day saw us rapidly do an initial circuit of the main area, scoping out sights to visit and stopping off in little shops along the way. A hybrid city with a melting pot of languages and cultures we had expected a Belgian-esque feel and were surprised to discover the huge italian leanings of the city (Not joking – we literally did no research other than logistics and dinner) a lazy afternoon of sightseeing left us ravenous yet conscious that we had dinner reservations at Mosconi- a two star restaurant offering 3 different tasting menus to choose from. We settled on a light tapas style lunch at Metropolitan which was close to the hotel, sharing plates of marinated squid, beef sliders and soft tacos stuffed with chilli before grabbing a brief nap as a refresher before dinner.
Dinner at Mosconi was exceptional and as such is covered under its own post. but we did find two places for pre and post dinner drinks, the later (Urban) offering a good gin selection, overly comfortable sofas and a good soundtrack added into the mix although never will I learn that high heels and cobbled streets should not mix. Both bars were good enough that we returned to them the following day.
Breakfast was an easy choice, we wandered past a busy looking patisserie with a bright window display laden with jewel like glazed fruit, beautifully piped cream and golden pastries and inevitably had to stop and see what was on offer. Cathy Goedert was a delightful find and the open plan kitchen gave us the opportunity to watch tiny lemon meringue tarts be expertly topped and then toasted. Bonus points must be given for being dog friendly as the adjoining table had two daschunds paitiently waiting for any available scraps which instantly made me smile.
Full of sugar and caffeine we took another leisurely wander around the city and headed to the Bock Casemates , a Unesco Heritage site in the heart of the city that captures a series of stunning views whilst exploring underground tunnels and cavernous spaces below the city. The vast network of tunnels stretches over 23 kilometres with steep winding steps and small walkways, as you wander through, map in hand there are a series of views from within the fortifications that are worth stopping to check out, decommissioned cannons can be found looking out across the city and there is even mention of Melusina, the legendary Mermaid last seen at the bottom of the well housed in the Bock (an interesting story worth reading up on) Following the map, we got to catch the sights of the city and work up a pretty good appetite, by the time we had finished our tour, climbed an inconceivable number of steps and took a stroll through the gardens it was time to eat once again. Stopping off first at Liquid Bar for a couple of drinks (they had a good range of craft ales, beers and even tea although they only accept cash) and then at Scott’s Pub along the canal (discovered the day before), which had a pop up burger bar in swing on the terrace we instead took a table inside next to a happy looking pug and ordered a couple of homemade pizzas. Quick and easy it was the perfect refueling stop after our underground adventure.
We took a laid back approach to the weekend and it paid off, Luxembourg is one of those locations that you can easily navigate around in a day if just covering the walking sights in the immediate vicinity of the city, a quiet, cosy place we enjoyed the range of independent shops, the surprising number of italian eateries and the languid pace of life. The highlight was by far our dinner at Mosconi but that is hardly surprising for us. With autumn leaves falling, whiling away our time hugging cups of coffee and admiring the scenery is a pretty good way to spend a weekend, even if it did mean early flights and toy sized planes.