In mid-December, my boyfriend and I headed to Strasbourg, the Capital of Christmas. It may seem strange that I am writing about Christmas now, given that the festivities are over for another year; I was so busy in the Christmas break and the following post-Christmas return to work that I haven’t had a chance, yet I couldn’t not write about this latest trip.
We started the day ever-so slightly hungover; my boyfriend’s work Christmas do the previous evening followed by an 8am train ride was never going to be a good combination. We took a little cat-nap once arrived at the hotel and made for the Christmas markets as the sun was beginning to set.
Now, if there is one thing you should know if you’re travelling to Alsace, it should be that you should prepare yourself mentally to eat. I thought that after visiting Budapest, we would be all sorted in that respect, but the portion sizes are truly huge here! On the advice of a colleague from the region, we’d reserved restaurants in advance and on her recommendation we booked a table at Gurtlerhoft for our first evening. After sharing a slice of foie gras to start, we were presented with an enormous flammekueche and a rösti.
The following day we visited Colmar and stopped at a cute spot next to the river called Les Bateliers, where we ate choucroute and tourte de la vallée Munster, before heading back to Strasbourg for the evening where we’d booked a table a Le Tire-Bouchon. Still feeling full from lunch, we’d tried to spot some lighter dishes on the menu; baeckeoffe for me and a jambonneau for my boyfriend. We had no such luck – the dishes were the biggest I had ever seen and only managed to finish about half of the food, so whilst absolutely delicious and great value for money, I really recommend having a snack during the day to make way for the evening meal whilst in Strasbourg!
Besides the food, walking around the streets of Strasbourg to gaze at the Christmas markets was a great way to kill time. The buildings are so beautifully rustic and give you a glimpse back in time. The markets are spread across the city, unlike in Colmar where they are very concentrated and so full of bustling crowds and queues. We stumbled across an a capella concert in a church on the Sunday afternoon and the city is buzzing with events such as these to compliment the Christmas spirit, making Strasbourg a magical place to visit in the run-up to Christmas.