Author Archives: travelwithclem

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Discover the “Top” Nightlife Spot for Tourists in St Louis!

Every savvy traveler likes to have a good time, and sometimes, after a long day of walking around downtown and sightseeing, all you need is a sophisticated cocktail to unwine. And the 360 Rooftop bar (St Louis) offers you just that!

Where Is It?🔭

With such a magnificent and unbeatable view of the entire city of St Louis, there is NO other spot like 360. The bar is located at the rooftop of the Hilton St Louis at Ballpark, and gives you amazing views of the city’s most impressive attractions such as the Gateway Arch, the Mississippi river and the Bush stadium. The outside bar features a contemporary style and great city-like vibes, with a rectangular fire place perfect for cold winter nights or chilly summer evenings. A photo ID is required to access the bar.

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View of the 360 Roof Top Bar from Outside.

How Much is It?💰

Entrance to the bar is free, and so is the view! They do offer a wide variety of delicious cocktails that you can choose from based on your mood (and of course, your pocket). While they also offer food options (let me correct that – bite size snacks), I wouldn’t recommend buying any there because it didn’t turn out to be a good “value for your money” deal. The taste was not that great and the sizes not that generous.

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Pizza Margharita (or what is left of it..). Sara’s order.

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Crab Sandwich. Clem’s order.

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A serving of Mussels. Ruki’s order.

What makes it SO amazing?😎

The view, the cocktails, the music, need I say more? I know for a fact that once I stepped in the zone, I could feel the energy and understand why this is the top nightlife spot for all tourists who are visiting St Louis, at least for the first time!

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That Margarita did not stand a chance. Ruki was pleased.

How Can You Get there?✈️

The bar is easily accessible via car or app-based transportation services.

Is It Safe?👔👗

I think it is definitely safe to access and safe to stay. The handrails are high enough as arm rests, but if you’re afraid of heights, it’s better to stay further. You can still enjoy the great view, music and cocktails from inside!

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Roof Top Bar, View from Inside. Sara and I.

Have you ever been to the 360 Roof Top Bar? Drop your comments below!

“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.”
― G.K. Chesterton

 


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5 Reasons Why The Missouri Botanical Garden is a Must for All Tourists…

“Just living is not enough…one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” 🌺Hans Christian Andersen

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Me looking at “Three Sturgeons”. Artwork by Sirio Tofanari. The Missouri Botanical Garden. Photocredits: a total stranger.

When I think of sightseeing overseas, I tend to “stay away” from anything that reminds me of Nature because having lived in Dominica for a long time, I have had my share of Nature (and a pretty generous one). But when I got to St Louis and was repeatedly told by all locals that the Missouri Botanical Garden was a must, I decided to put it on my “to do list” and to check it out before the end of my stay there.

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Map/Visitor Guide and Entry Ticket to the Missouri Botanical Garden.

And so said, so done. After having gone there, I can definitely testify that this is one of the best gardens I have ever seen, and for many reasons.

1. The History Behind the Creator is Simply Fascinating.

The Missouri Botanical Garden was not built out of mere necessity to have a botanical center in the city, but was rather created from the passion of one single man who was fascinated by and dedicated to botany. When he was still a teenager, Henry Shaw, a British native, was sent by his father to find, recover and sell a shipment of steel goods that was lost in New Orleans. Shaw ended up finding the missing shipment, but by that time, there was no buyer to whom it could be sold. So, in the spring of 1819, Shaw purchased a trip ticket on a steamship called the “Maid of the Orleans”, and after a 40-day trip, landed in a small French village in the Mississippi called St Louis, where he set up his own hardware store to sell that shipment. He started selling high quality metal products, including cutlery. Back then, St Louis was only 50 years old, and it was a great time for such a business to bloom in the city. Over the next 2 decades, St Louis exponentially grew, and with hard work and dedication, so did Shaw’s business. By the time he was nearing 40, Shaw had  a successful career in the hardware industry and decided to retire and focus on his lifelong passion: botany. Shaw built his house, the Tower Grove House, and then built an immense garden on the land around his estate. As the garden grew bigger, he decided to open it to the public, and it became the Missouri Botanical Garden (also known as Shaw’s garden).  You can learn more about the history of Henry Shaw here.

2. The Garden Holds the world first geodesic dome greenhouse, the Climatron: a geodesic dome is a massive structure shaped like a thin-shelled hemisphere and designed following the pattern of a geodesic polyhedron.

 

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Geometric Representation of a Geodesic Dome.

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A geodesic polyhedron is made of multiple triangles that are joined together to form a sphere. These triangles ensure structural rigidity and help the entire formation to withstand high amounts of stress (that could come from heavy loads, weather conditions, etc.). The Climatron Greenhouse of the Missouri Botanical Garden is the world first geodesic dome greenhouse and hosts approximately 1,500 plants. Its dome also inspired the domes in the SciFi movie “Silent Running”. To learn more about greenhouses like I did, click here.

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10 ft steel spiral flowers representing Spring – Artwork by Craig Mitchell Smith.

3. It contains at least 10 individual iconic gardens: every corner of the Missouri Botanical Garden tells a different story, and there are no two areas that look alike. In every garden, you learn something different and encounter different plant species; and because you can’t complete your entire visit in one day, you absolutely want to go back to the Missouri Botanical Garden after every visit. Discover Shaw’s orangery (the Linnean House), admire the Climatron and Reflecting Pools, walk around the Biblical Garden, or smell the roses at the Gladney Rose Garden.

 

 

 

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Fused glass sculpture of “Orange Blossoms”, representing Shaw’s orangery in the Linnean House, and shaped as a brooch of sentimental value to the artist (aunt’s jewelry). Artwork by Craig Mitchell Smith.

4. It is the site of multiple cultural festivals all year long: one of the great things that I love about the Missouri Botanical Garden is the fact that it hosts a lot of cultural shows and exhibitions all year long. In fact, there are at least 10 signature events and exhibitions that the garden is known for. Depending on the month where you’re planning your visit, you can spice up your experience by attending one of the unique seasonal shows. Right now, the Missouri Botanical Garden is preparing for its Japanese Festival, which will also highlight the 40th anniversary of its Japanese Garden. Oh, and did we mention that it is the largest Japanese Garden in North America?

5.There is More to Do than Watching Beautiful Plants and Flowers: the Missouri Botanical Garden offers workshops for adults and kids, gardening sessions, community gardening classes and even job and volunteering opportunities for all those who are interested in science and nature conservation. It is also a current site for ongoing research in the field of botany. There is also a St Louis Master Gardener Program, which, for 34 years, has been grooming and forming master gardeners in areas including Horticulture, Plant Medicine, and in many areas outdoors on the grounds. This initiative is done in collaboration with the University of Missouri Extension.

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Me admiring the waterfall next to the fused glass structure of a Bromeliad – artwork by artist Craig Mitchell Smith.               Photocredits: a total stranger.

🌷5 Tips on Maximizing Your Garden Visit (For any garden in the world!):🌷

Visiting a garden when traveling is not as tacky as someone might think, and in fact, it is perhaps the best opportunity to take the most amazing pictures when on vacation! (Beautiful flowers, who can beat that?) Here are my top 5 tips on maximizing your garden visits, regardless of where you go in the world!

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Fused glass sculpture called “Bird Nests”, representing 30 blue bird nests assembled like the St Louis Arch – Artwork by artist Craig Mitchell Smith.

  • Do your Research🔮: for a garden such as the Missouri Botanical Garden, there is a lot to do and a lot to see. If you have limited time, do your research and identify the gardens that you’re more interested in and spend more time there. If you have a lot of time, you can decide to do a full day visit or even return on another day.
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Map of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

  • Target the “Free” Daily Tours✔️: why pay for something you can get for free? a great way to really learn about the garden in speed time is by attending free tours! Virtually every garden that I have visited offers these, and usually twice a day (morning and afternoon sessions). So it would be useful for you to know what time those tours are, and work on getting there on time. Here is one of my top tricks on how to best manage your time when traveling.
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Photocredit: The Missouri Botanical Garden website

  • Look out for Special Exhibitions🍀:  when I visited the Missouri Botanical Garden,  a special exhibition called “Garden of Glass” was on, with displays of unique flowers sculptures made of fused glass by artist Craig Mitchell. A lot of the awesome shots I took there are featured on this blog post. If you plan on attending a special exhibition like this, it is crucial that you choose to attend during the night because the sculptures are better highlighted when they light up and you get to see their full beauty. I was short of time, so I only went there during the day. ☀️
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Pamphlet and Ticket for the “Garden of Glass” Special Exhibition

  • Check out Seasonal Shows🌻: seasonal shows tend to put an emphasis on something specific about the garden that you’re visiting. Right now, the Missouri Botanical Garden is preparing for the Japanese Festival, and their Japanese garden, which is the largest Japanese garden in North America, will be at the center of the attention! So this is somewhere you want to be if you’re anywhere close to St Louis or Missouri! They also have other signature events such as Spirit in the Garden (October) and Garden Glow (November – January).
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Photo of the Japanese Festival. Online Resources.

  • Dress the Part!👗: this never gets old and I will say this over and over again. When you’re a tourist, you take pictures, and there is no point in taking pictures if they don’t look good! I could have worn anything else to go to the garden that day, but instead, I decided to wear this…
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Me, always “dressing the part”. Photocredits: a total stranger.

Think this happened by chance? Nope. And just so you know… again, I got amazing reviews. Just like I did with my Dragon Tattoo here!

Have you been to the Missouri Botanical Garden? What were your favorite moments? Drop it in the comments section below!

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”         Albert Einstein

 


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Don’t be Stuck Up When You Travel: Be Fun! The St Louis Science Center Experiment!

The more we grow as adults, the more we are expected to take ourselves seriously. This is an inevitable fact of life. In fact, it is implied in the very definition of “adultness” ( I don’t know if this is a real world, and I choose not to look it up to find out).  People seldom believe me when I tell them how serious and stuck up I was until this amazing thing happened to me.

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But anyways.. when I went to the St Louis Science Center, I totally felt out of place by how “overage” I seemed to be for all the attractions. And though there were adults there, those were parents who had come to bring their kids their kids to that intellectually stimulating place, and nothing more. So, they had a reason to be there and it seemed like I didn’t. So whilst the “adult” in me contemplated leaving this “happy-kids” place, I thought about the philosophy I’ve been trying to live by: “Carpe Diem” (which means “seize the day”), and I said “Effe That. I’m going to be a kid for the day!”

So I decided to….

1. Dress the Part

 

The best way to “be” a character is to “embody” that character (ask anyone who did acting or art, they’ll tell y’all). But think about it: being in character makes you less inhibited to do the things that your character does. Plus, I got so many great reviews from this face painting that I kept it for the entire day. You can see me wearing it again at my Escape to the Saint Louis Contemporary Art Museum.

2. Now… Play the Part

Welcome to the Energizer Machine! Running forward on the treadmill creates a momentum that propels a tennis-size ball upwards in the system, and the ball in turns moves all other components of the system without you even realizing it.

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Clearly, as you can see, I was the most entertaining kid there:)

3. Be Open Minded

It’s always great to know how many little random things you can learn from places like these. For instance, though I knew that there are different types of energy, I didn’t really know how much energy a joule was, practically speaking. I also finally found out little random interesting things such as how light goes from a power plant to your house, or how rollercoasters use energy. Now I can brag about knowing the latter random fact.

 

4. Discover: Science is for Everyone 

This goes hand in hand with being open minded. Unless you get into a mindset that is conducive to learning and open to new experiences, you won’t learn and you won’t grow!! Regarding this random fact on farming, I thought female labor was difficult – but then I felt “oh, poor chicken”.

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5. Jump in for the Live Demos!

A great way to enhance your experience at the St Louis Science Center is to participate in a live demo. Luckily I was able to catch one before making my exit. Call me uninformed, but I did not know that water could boil when exposed to HOT as well as COLD temperatures.

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Being so involved in medicine has sheltered me to some interesting aspects of science.

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Every age is a good age to learn, and the more open-minded you are, the more you get to discover things. So don’t be stuck up when you travel! Dress the part, play the part and enjoy the experience!

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
― Augustine of Hippo


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5 Life Lessons That You Can Learn from the Gateway Arch (St Louis, Missouri)

Welcome to the World’s Tallest Arch and the Tallest man-made Building in the Western Hemisphere!

If we choose to look at things differently, we see different things.

And while I am pondering on how fortunate I am to have visited the St Louis, Missouri Arch recently, I instantly reflected on what other meanings this arch could have, and how the importance of a symbolic, 630-foot (192 m), stainless steel monument could be applied in different areas of one’s life!

So here are 5 lessons we can all learn from The St Louis Arch.

Lesson 1: If It’s Worth It, You Have to Work For It

So many things in this world make us prone to consciously (and unconsciously) seeking instant gratification. We are occasionally forgetting the values of perseverance, endurance and simply, grit. This is so prevalent that we tend to give up, even on things that are worth it.

Looking back into history, the bidding process for the St Louis arch started on December 20, 1961, then was postponed to January 22, 1962. Building of the arch itself didn’t start until a year later, in February 12, 1963.

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Sometimes, you’re plans get delayed, rearranged and reshuffled. But if it’s really worth it, you keep working on it.

Find out more about The St Louis Arch here.

Lesson 2: The Journey is Molding you for the Destination

I used to believe that being at a place was important, until I realized that “getting there” was the most important thing. And if someone had told me that the journey was more important than the destination, I don’t know if I would have believed them. But be it as it may, I am here now: at the point where I understand that the journey is more important than the destination, and when you get to the destination, you feel compelled to start a new journey. Life is not meant to be static, we have to constantly be moving. So you have to enjoy and live your life while you’re on you journey to get to your final destination.  Allow the experiences to teach you, transform you, mold you, and build you for your destination.

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Lesson 3: There are Always (at least) Two Sides to a Story 

We could leave this here, and you’d still understand what this means. But for the sake of this article, let’s develop.

Sometimes, we fail to see other perspectives because we are so stuck in our own ways of seeing/doing/understanding things. But traveling has an amazing way of opening your mind to so many things that it never leaves you the same. You learn to see things in a different way. For instance, I would have never looked at this magnificent arch as a source of 5 key life lessons. So remember, there are always “at least” two sides to a story. And there is no need to pick sides. Embrace them all.

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Find out more about The St Louis Arch here.

Lesson 4: Life is a Story of Transitions. You’re always moving, from One Point to the Next.

Look at The Arch. It is intrinsically meant to take you from one side to the other (and for the historical purposes, it was built as a monument for the westward expansion of the USA). And so, people passing under the arch were always moving. And so are phases in our life. We always have to be moving, growing, learning, discovering. This is the essence of progress. So do not allow yourself to be stagnant. Keep growing. Keep moving, especially intellectually.

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Find out more about The Arch here.

Lesson 5: Always Do Your Best. You never Know when Your Chef D’Oeuvre will Turn into  a MasterPiece. 

When the Finnish – American designer Eero Saarinen submitted his idea for the St Louis Arch in 1947, I doubt he knew this was going to be the tallest man-made building in the Western Hemisphere. When workers started construction in 1963 and tirelessly dedicated their time and energy to this building for 2 years, they probably had no clue this was going to be world’s tallest arch and Missouri’s tallest accessible building. But here we are. Whatever you put your mind to, do it at your best. You never know when your chef d’oeuvre is going to turn into a masterpiece.

Find out more about The St Louis Arch here.

Have you been to St Louis, Missouri? Have you visited the Arch? What were your thoughts on it?

Drop a comment below if you feel inspired by these words, or if you’ like to share your own. ☺️

PS: to find out more about how I got that “super cool and totally unplanned face painting tattoo” on pic #5, subscribe to see my post: Quick Guide: Don’t be Stuck Up When You Travel: Be Fun! The St Louis Science Center Experiment! .

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

 Ibn Battuta


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4 Trendy and Out of Town Restaurants in Dominica Where You Should Definitely Eat This Summer!

“Eating is a necessity, but cooking is an art”. 

When it comes to food tasting and exhilarating culinary experiences, the Nature isle, Dominica, never disappoints! If you’re reading this blog post today and you’ve ever been to Dominica, then you and I can agree that some of the best flavors in the Caribbean are in Waitukubuli land. And it’s not even independence season yet.( (Don’t let me get started on Independence delicacies).

So here are 4 absolutely awesome restaurants that you should try out before the summer ends…

Keepin’ It Real, Toucari Beach Restaurant (Toucari, Dominica)

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Lobster Delight. This could totally be yours.                                                                Photo credits: Zaimis Olmos Visual Arts 

Anyone who is currently on the Nature Isle knows that Toucari Beach “is” the place to be this summer. Whether it’s for a casual Sunday afternoon with family at the beach or a public holiday vibes, it’s always a good time to go to Toucari (unless it’s raining). And while there, you owe it to yourself (and your tastebuds) to try their tasty lobster. In fact, the only acceptable reason you have for not having eaten at “Keepin’it Real” in Toucari, is, not being on the Nature Isle, Dominica. So just go there already. Summer is almost over. Don’t be the only one who didn’t have the Toucari Experience!

CocoYea! (Soufriere, Dominica)

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Cocoyea! Bar and Grill, Menu Display

On the southwest coast of the island, you have the beautiful village of Soufriere. Whether you’re going to Soufriere to have the “best snorkeling experience of your life”, to indulge in the legendary Soufriere Sulphur Springs or simply to visit friends, make it your duty (like, literally) to stop at CocoYeah restaurant there. They offer a delectable array of food options that would make you just want to stay. And you might never look at food the same way again. Ever.

Greenhouse Sports Bar and Grill (Mero, Dominica)

Quite a popular spot for a Friday (or Saturday) night out, the Greenhouse Sports Bar is located in Mero, a pretty convenient area since there is a beach nearby (I told you the Nature Isle never disappoints). This spot is pretty easy to spot, especially at night. It’s almost always crowded whenever I go there, and that says something. I usually go with the fish options, but you can pick pretty much anything on the menu. And the cocktails are pretty awesome too.

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Not just the food and drinks, it’s the great company too. Photo credits: Magnificent Marie (the gorgeous-looking lady in all the pics)

Le Flambeau Restaurant (Portsmouth, Dominica)

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Lion Fish Meal at Le Flambeau Restaurant.                                                       Photocredits: Zaimis Olmos Visual Arts

Le Flambeau restaurant is located in Picard Estate, Portsmouth. It’s a great option for breakfast, lunch and dinner when visiting Portsmouth during the week, on special occasions on the weekend, and if you’re staying at the Portsmouth beach hotel. They have a great assortment of local flavors for lunch and dinner, but for breakfast, make sure you try their Island Pancakes!

Have you tried any of these restaurants before? Are you currently on the Nature Isle, Dominica? Is there any restaurant that you we must absolutely try out this summer? Drop it in a comment below!

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“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.”
― Erma Bombeck


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Now You Can Finally Have Amazing Food in Geneva!

Food sampling is one of my favorite activities when traveling. Just as much as I enjoy sightseeing, I love going to the best restaurants downtown and the best hidden spots in the suburbs, to enjoy local delicacies and add to my travel experience. 🍜

Intro Article

Me about to go Food Tasting in “The City”

For a lot of travelers out there, finding the best restaurants in the city is not always an easy task, especially when you are looking to combine cost, location and quality. For me, restaurant ranking includes four key factors:

1) Location

2) Cost

3) Timeliness of service  

4) Palatability (yes, I love that word. That’s the “yummy factor”).

Luckily, my time spent during my pseudo “vacation” in Geneva has served me well, and here are my suggestions of best restaurants in Geneva where you can eat amazing food without breaking the bank.

Spot #1: Chez Ma Cousine

You think you’ve eaten great chicken? I don’t think you have until you’ve gone there! And take it from someone who has lived in Africa and in the Caribbean, known for their exquisite flavors. Chez Ma Cousine was highly recommended to me by my supervisor while in Geneva. He is not very much of a “chicken-eating” guy, so I knew this restaurant had something special.

LocationThe restaurant is located at Place du Bourg-de-Four 6, 1204 Genève, Switzerland in the “old town”, which is easily accessible by walking or via bus.

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Chez Ma Cousine: Location

Cost: $ – I personally felt like for a city like Geneva which is known for being one of the costliest cities in Europe, Chez Ma Cousine was surprisingly cheap. For 1/2 chicken + salad + potatoes, I only paid CHF 15.90, which is perhaps around 17 Euros. They have other options for menu items, and they are similarly affordable.

Timeliness of Service: 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽 I strongly believe that no one should have to wait for food for more than the amount of time it would take you to eat your food. (I eat for about 20 mins, and therefore I wouldn’t be happy to wait for my food for more than 20 mins). At this restaurant, my food was served to me within 10 minutes. That was definitely “thumbs up”. I also loved the fact that the chicken came in a separate plate, but they served it in my plate when they brought it to me. How sweet. I felt taken care of.

Yummy? 😋😋😋 Yes, and definitely my style. If you love savory food, caribbean and grilled flavors, then this is definitely a spot that you should try when traveling to Geneva.

✨When Should You Go There?✨ If you’re sightseeing in the city, running some errands or meeting a friend and you simply need something quick, substantial and inexpensive to eat, then I recommend this place. The servings are large enough to get you through the afternoon, and so tasty that you will want to go for seconds! Trust me, “Ma Cousine” can cook. Walk in, no reservations required.

Reservation in Advance? No, just walk in! However, the place tends to be packed at the peak hours in the afternoons, especially during the weekend. But it empties out pretty quickly.

Opening Hours:

Monday – Friday: 7:00- 24:00
Saturday: 11:00 – 24:00
Sunday: 11:00 – 23:00

Find out more about Chez Ma Cousine here.

Spot #2: Jeck’s Place 

Location: this restaurant offers an exotic asiatic fusion of Singaporean, Thai, Malay, Indian and Chinese Food. Truly, a culinary “melting pot” and a rollercoaster for your tastebuds. The restaurant is located at Rue de Neuchâtel 14, 1201 Genève, Switzerland, downtown, Switzerland, and can be easily accessed by walking from the Cornavin station (Geneva’s #1 train station).

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Jeck’s Place: Location

Cost $: this is one of the cheapest restaurants in Geneva. You can get entrees for as low as CHF 24-25 (fish, chicken meals, etc.) and a few more options for a lower price.

Timeliness of Service👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽: The food came within a pretty decent time (10-15 mins), which is a plus.

Yummy?😋😋😋   Oh yes, definitely. We had a party of 7, and we ordered different entrees to share. I would recommend to do the same if you’re planning to have dinner with a huge group. That way, you get to taste a wide variety of menu options.

✨When Should You Go There?✨ Jeck’s Place is perfect for dinner with colleagues after work, unwind Friday night or even when you’re craving for something different, out of the regular flavors, something to excite your palate!

 Reservation in Advance? Recommended. The spot is pretty popular, and accommodates a modest amount of people. So if you are celebrating a special occasion or having dinner with a huge group, then I’d recommend booking in advance. Otherwise, you can walk in and dine.

Opening Hours:

Monday – Friday: 12:00- 14:00 and 18.30 – 22:30
Saturday – Sunday: 18:30 – 22:30

Find out more about Jeck’s Place here.

Spot #3: L’Entrecôte Couronnée

Location: L’Entrecôte Couronnée is located on Rue des Pâquis 5, 1201 Genève, Suisse. It’s at a walking distance (about 10 mins) from the Gare Cornavin.

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Cost $: This restaurant is a bit on the “pricey” side, but if you’re treating yourself, go for it. It is still pretty decent for a good night out.

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Snap shot of the menu: prices in Swiss Francs (CHF)

Timeliness of Service👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽: we were celebrating a friend’s birthday, and so we waited for our food for about 20 mins or less. Because you’re served an appetizer while waiting and you are chatting with good company, you don’t see the time passing. Only if you’re with…good company.

Yummy😋😋😋Oh yeah! I loved every bit of it, and so did the other folks who were there with me. The only down side to this was the fact that they did not serve any rice. I didn’t see it on the menu. And this was a bummer, because I am definitely a rice lover.

✨When Should You Go There? ✨If you’re in the mood for a hearty meal, if you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply want to try out some exquisite french (Lyon) food in Geneva, then this is “the” spot!

Reservation in Advance? This place is in very high demand, so I ‘”highly” recommend making a booking at least a day in advance.

Opening Hours:

M-F: from 12:00 PM to 14h and from 19h to 22h15. Closed on Saturday morning, Sunday and Monday.

Find out more about L’Entrecôte Couronnée here.

Spot #4: Le Bistrot du Boeuf Rouge

Another well-known eating spot in Geneva, Le Bistrot du Boeuf Rouge is a “French style” inspired restaurant and a uniquely great options to enjoy delectable meals in a very relaxed atmosphere, “à la française”.

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Location: Le Bistrot du Boeuf Rouge is located at Rue Docteur-Alfred-Vincent 17, 1201 Genève, Suisse.

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Cost: The price range is a bit similar to the previously reviewed restaurant, but as one of the best restaurants in Geneva, it is definitely worth it!

Timeliness of Service👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽: It took about 20 mins (or perhaps a little less) to get our food, so mission accomplished here.

Yummy😋😋😋Oh yes. You guys already know what a foodie I am, and so tastiness is a must whenever I eat. The menu is very diverse, and you can choose from a wide range of options. As appetizers, we had snails (French specialty). Though I can’t remember what our main meals were, they were pretty tasty.

 

✨When Should You Go There? ✨ If you’re in the mood for a hearty meal, if you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply want to try out some exquisite french (Lyon) food in Geneva, then this is “the” spot!

Reservation in Advance?  This place is in very high demand, so I ‘”highly” recommend making a booking at least a day in advance.

Opening Hours: M – F: 12:00 – 14:00 and 19:00 – 22:00

Find out more about Le Bistrot du Boeuf Rouge here.

Spot #4: La Buvette des Bains 

For all those who are fans of fondues and have searched for “the best fondue in Europe”, it’s got to be at La Buvette des Bains in Geneva. Personally, I didn’t know about the concept of eating cheese fondues prior to traveling to Geneva, but I quickly got to understand why this “hearty” meal is well appraised in Geneva.

What is fondue? Melted cheese. No: exquisite, tasty, melted cheese. That’s how the locals like it. Historically, to stay warm during winter months, farmers would melt cheese in a pot and prepare it (with or without wine), and eat it with some bread up on the mountain. This meal kept them warm and satisfied while they were taking care of their crops on top of the cold mountains. Today, fondue is one of the things that Geneva is known for, and all the fondues lovers I have met (online and on site) only swear by the fondue sold at La Buvette des Bains.

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View of the Geneva Water Fountain from Bains des Paquis

Location: la Buvette des Bains is located at Quai du Mont-Blanc 30, 1201 Genève, Suisse. Accessing the site gives you an amazingly unique view of the Geneva Fountain, sightseeing spot and top touristic attraction.

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Cost $: A regular fondue would cost on average, 23 CHF. I am not a fondue connoisseur, but the restaurant always had a high amount of tourists and locals, so I’d assume it was somehow, affordable for the fondue lovers. A lot of people also tend to buy a fondue and share among 3-4, which is pretty reasonable because, quite frankly, no one can finish such a high carb and fatty meal in a short amount of time. Or maybe some people can.

Timeliness of service👍🏽: we had to wait for quite some time before we could get a seat (as the spot seems to always be populated), and we still had to wait a lot of time (close to 30 mins) before getting our fondue.  

Yummy😋😋It turned out that I am not really a huge fan of cheese fondues, and so I can’t advise on this. Or maybe I wasn’t able to acquire the “expected taste” because it was my first time. But this is a highly recommended place, and if you love fondue, I think you should try it.

✨When Should You Go There? ✨ Winter, spring, summer or fall! During winter (which coincide with my trip to Geneva), make sure you are well covered. And yes, the fondue indeed keeps you warm:)

Reservation in Advance? Reservations by phone for the fondues only (highly recommended).

Very important: they only accept cash, no cards!

Opening Hours:

Everyday, from 7 am to 10.30 pm

Find out more about La Buvette des Bains here.

Have you been to any of these restaurants before? Let me know by dropping your comments below!

Words from a self-licensed foodie.

Love, Clem❤

 

“Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.”
Betheniel Frankel

 


  • 2

Dallas: The Foodie Who Ate on 54th Street

I had the privilege to spent some time with great company while spending the night in Dallas. There are cities where you can survive alone, and there are cities where… you won’t survive alone. And so, being able to reconnect with “Binta” was such a great, refreshing experience.

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We went to have brunch at 54th street (Restaurant/Drafthouse) and just to give you heads up (the address was a little bit confusing, because you can access the place from two different streets, but rest assured: it’s the same restaurant/drafthouse).

The place had a typical texan decor which, above anything else, shouldn’t be surprising. It was interesting, though, to see how much effort  they put in it.

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Overall, I was pleasantly pleased with the food options. I can’t remember what I ordered, but as you can see, though tired, I was pleasantly happy.

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Have you eaten at 54th Street before? What were your thoughts/impressions? I’d love to know.

Have you eaten at 54th Street before? What were your thoughts/impressions? I’d love to know.

In the meantime, if you’re planning to visit Dallas soon, here are some of my essential tips😎

Essential Tips for Visiting Dallas: 

  1. Travel with someone: the city is way too huge, and you might get bored alone
  2. If you can drive, rent a car: anyone else who has lived in Texas would support this. Otherwise, your experience will be a disaster.
  3. If you have friends/family/acquaintances/even enemies there, reconnect: not only is it good to keep in touch with people, but it makes a difference if you have someone from there who actually takes you around. I had never been to Dallas, but I have been to Houston and it seems to me that this is something very peculiar to Texas: the cities are huge, transportation system is not conducive to public transport, and everybody drives. So if you really have no one there, then you’ll be stuck with Ubers and Cabs for your entire trip.

Do you have any other tips for visiting Dallas? Share them here!

(And don’t forget to Subscribe)!😎

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”
― Anita Desai

Linking back to City Tripping this week!

Wander Mum

  • 0

A Taste of Hawaii… In Chicago!

Hawai is definitely a destination I intend to visit some day, so having a taste of Hawai “before” actually going there was an amazing experience!

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While in Chicago, my friends took me to the Tikki Terrace. It’s an awesome Hawaian restaurant located in Des Plaines (not really far from Chi-city).

One of the things I found interesting about this place was the fact that it’s like a needle in a haystack: a small gem located in the suburb, not downtown. Pretty precious.  The food was good, the drinks were better and the hosts and staff were the best! We also got to watch their famous Hula Show (ethnic dancers moving to the Hawaian beats!) and that was really entertaining.

And you know what the best part is? All of this was at an affordable price! Here is how we got the best deals for this place.

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Tips:

  • If you intend to go there, don’t expect to see a big display sign indicating that you have arrived at your destination. It’s at a pretty discrete location, so GPS is paramount.
  • Make sure you book in advance because the place is always packed and you can’t guarantee a seat if you just randomly walk in.
  • Make a reservation for a night when they have the Hula Show. It’s definitely worth it and gives you a better value for your money!

  • 2

Chicago: 4 Hours at Navy Pier

Category : Chicago , The USA , Uncategorized , USA

If you only had 4 hours left to spend in Chi-City, where would you go?

Navy Pier is one of the top attractions in Chicago, it’s almost like what Darling Harbour is to Sydney. You can’t go to Chicago without stopping at Navy Pier! (well, that’s the impression I got from going there). So I was pretty excited that morning.

And no, I wasn’t driving. Because you can’t snap and drive!

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From the city, you have three options to get to Navy Pier. 1) Take a shuttle, 2) Take a regular bus, 3) Take a taxi. The third option is not really necessary, as you have regular buses passing and shuttles that service the area. And if you’re stuck in traffic, a cab would really not turn out to be the most cost-effective option, so I recommend you take a shuttle or a bus.

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Then I met with these wonderful beauties! It felt awesome to reconnect, after such a long time. We were actually 4, but someone had to take the picture ^_^

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1+1+1 =3 . We were actually 4, but someone had to take the picture 🙂

After close to half an hour of deliberation and potentially convincing arguments, we decided and all agreed to take a ride on the Ferrys Wheel, which is literally the highlight of Navy Pier itself and one of the top attractions in the city. The 200-foot wheel celebrates the 100th-year anniversary of Navy Pier, which is also why it is called “Centennial Wheel.”It is also 150-feet high in the sky, which makes it pretty amazing – so we were definitely looking forward to an exhilarating ride.

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It was summer, and we went in the peak hours of the afternoon, so the waiting time was pretty long. So if you decide to experience this, I recommend that you go early in the morning…

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… unless of course you don’t mind spending some time taking selfies like we did! (Spoiler alert: can you see the tourist behind us taking a selfie of us backward? He/she should have asked us to turn back though… Just kidding. I am pretty sure we are obstructing his/her view).

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Being at Navy Pier is almost like being at a daily fun fair, fit for kids and adults. Of course, the big kid in me would want to stay close to the kiddies attractions, but have a lot more options of things to do like bicycle riding, watching a movie (IMAX Theater), taking a boat ride (Seadog Boatcruise), watching a play at the Shakespeare Theater, touring the Driehaus Gallery of Stained Glass, etc. It’s the ideal place for a family fun day out, a date, or simply, just to chill between friends.

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If you go with kids though, you can’t really stop at Margaritaville… Can you? Unless of course, they take the non-alcoholic drinks. For adults, make sure you ask for one of their special Margarita cocktails! They are to die for (literally).

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Finally it was our turn to hop in! I got to say this: The view is as AMAZING as it is claimed to be! However, we were “a tiny bit” disappointed (and perhaps it was our fault for being too excited in the first place) because we thought the wheel would be moving very fast, but it was super slow. Nonetheless, the view was all worth it.

I can’t wait to go back (soon, hopefully), to experience the rest:)

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 Linking back to City Tripping this week!

Wander Mum

  • 3

3 Ways to Maximize Your Time When Traveling

Category : Travel Tips

I’ve found the one thing that every traveler always seeks but never has…

TIME!

(I mean, what else did you think I was referring to?)😜

Travelers around the world are always equipped : sometimes with the best tools, the best gadgets, (and when lucky), with a load of money. But there is something that we uniformly lack: TIME. Yes, you heard (read) right! Whether you’re traveling for 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years, you don’t have enough time, even though the longer periods of travel tend to make you feel otherwise!

With that being said, here are 3 tips to make you maximize your time when traveling overseas.

1. Plan Ahead

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I can’t emphasize this enough. In a nutshell: if you don’t know where you want to go or what you want to do, you’ll end up going anywhere and doing anything. (does this quote already exist online? Hope not. If not, I call dibs on it. #quotebyClem). But you get my point. There are so many things that you can do whenever you arrive in a new city, which is why it is important for you to make a list of “Things to do in Sydney, Places to go in Chicago or What do See in Durban” and then …

2. Prioritize

With sister

This second tip works even in all areas of life. Now that you’ve listed the 5,10,30,50,100 things you’d like to do while you’re on vacation, it’s time to look at that list again, reshuffle it and prioritize in order of most important to least important. If you’re like me and you oftentimes think that you can see the entirety of New York in only 48 hours, this second point is particularly important for you. That being said, you need to be realistic in terms of the things you can really do with the time that you have. Consider the distance and time it will take you to get to each touristic attraction, including traffic and access queues (if you’re planning to go on the Eiffel Tower for instance), and load your days with activities that can actually be completed within the timeline you have. And yes, it is perfectly Ok to do one big thing per day.

3. Allow Some Free Time for Spontaneity

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While it’s important to plan, it is equally important to be flexible. There is no real fun in being super rigid with your time: 12:01 – Have a Gelato at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. 12:15: Walk down the Spanish Steps 12:17: Take a selfie in front of the Column of the Immaculate ConceptionI mean… you get my point. Sometimes, you need to allow some space in your schedule in case you change your mind, have a change of plans or meet a group of tourists along the way who are about to do something super cool that you absolutely didn’t think of!

Did you like this article? Make sure to stay tuned by subscribing! That way, you’ll be kept on the loop and receive more of the awesome stuff first!

Love, Clem😎


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