High Tea at Miyuko in Zurich

miyuko-zurich-(by-christine-syrad)

Image via http://www.spottedbylocals.com/zurich/miyuko/

 
I found out about Miyuko a few weeks ago and immediately made plans to get to Zurich! Booking in for High Tea with a few other Lausannois ladies and crossing my fingers that my pregnancy induced illness would abate in time for me to enjoy the train trip and fabulous food. Thankfully it seems to be getting much better. We had a splendid day. I’m absolutely exhausted, but it was well and truly worth it.
 

Miyuko Zurich

 
Miyuko is the creation of a graphic designer, chocolatier, cake decorator and fan of all things Japanese called Sara Hochuli. It’s located just 10 minutes easy walk from Zürich Hauptbahnhof.

I immediately fell in lust with the place. And not just because they do a gluten-free High Tea (they also cater to vegans and the lactose intolerant), but also because it was a fabulous mix of a traditional European cafe with a hefty dose of all things kawaii and the attention to detail is fabulous!
 

Miyuko Zurich

 
Everything from the lampshades to the crochet coasters has been ‘Miyuko-ised’. The ribbons, cushions and even menus have all received care and attention. And not in a slap, dash, ‘just whack our logo on it’ style. Each item in the café has been crafted and curated with an eye to detail. It made the perfectionist in me do a happy dance! The food is no different, the presentation is impeccable and creative.
 

Miyuko Zurich

 
We spent three and a half hours there in total and struggled to finish the food. The High Tea includes 3 different types of tea. I started with a Darjeeling, then moved on to a chinese tea ball and finally finished with a delicious ginger and lemon tea.
 

Miyuko Zurich

 
And the High Tea menu contains no less than a small quiche, sandwiches, antipasti, chutney, fresh fruit, plain and chocolate chip scones with jams and cream, cake and macarons arranged artfully on a gorgeous three-tiered cake stand (I suggest you don’t eat lunch beforehand, you won’t need it!).

They also make glorious cake creations. I’m already dreaming about my next birthday cake and plotting so that I won’t have to make it myself!
 

Miyuko Zurich

 
The café is not large and was full the entire time we were there (mid afternoon, mid week) so make sure you make a reservation. They’re completely booked out on weekends weeks in advance and have a cancellation policy in place. English for placing reservations via email was not a problem and the waitress we had was fluent in English, lovely and patient with us (none of us spoke any more than rudimentary German).
 

Miyuko Zurich

 
For more information find the Miyuko website here
 

Eating Gluten Free in San Francisco & Palo Alto

 

I’ve just returned from 10 days wandering around San Francisco and Palo Alto. My husband had to go for a week of work so we tacked the two weekends on either side, booked me a ticket and voilà!

Food-wise, trips to America always make me nervous. Uncertainty about sauces, if certain foods contain hidden gluten etc. makes eating out a little more stressful. But some of the places we ate made eating out a breeze! They marked their menu’s, or were entirely gluten-free! So I thought I’d share them with you  just in case you’re in SF or Palo Alto and don’t or can’t eat gluten.
 

The Plant Cafe- Embarcadero

www.theplantcafe.com

Plant cafe embacadero

With a lovely patio area (and those lovely radiant heaters for the slightly chillier days), The Plant Cafe was a fabulous find by my friend Phaedra. Their menu very clearly states what meals are gluten free and there is an option for a gluten-free pizza base. The huevos rancheros are fabulous! Read more

Sham el Sheikh, I love you

We’re back from our vacation to Egypt. We had an amazing time!

My husband and I both adore the heat and so the consistent 37 degrees each day was blissful. It helped of course that we didn’t have to do much!

We spent 8 days eating the fabulous food on offer, drinking (you must ensure you’re sufficiently hydrated!), reclining by the beach and pool, swimming in the Red Sea and looking at the glorious coral and stunning fish whilst snorkelling.

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Schilthorn

The Sunday before our trip to Australia. Our lovely friend Sandra took us to Schilthorn. It was AMAZING!

Husband and I are not overly active types. I detest the cold (two knee reconstructions when I was 16 have left me with an ache that lasts most of the winter months) and I have had firm words from my current doctor about not throwing myself down mountains attached to pieces of wood. And Husband has had two broken ankles. So we’re not really poster children for the whole winter sports thing. We’re much more ‘lets go cycling or doing laps in a pool’ kind of people. Or as it’s seemed since we arrived in Switzerland; ‘let’s hibernate and pretend the cold outside doesn’t exist’ kind of people.

I did look at heading into the mountains for an ogle. But when looking at the timetables and seeing 1 bus, 3 trains and a couple of cable cars to go one way, I freaked and stuck my nose back in my book whilst munching on cake. Or promptly planned a trip to Paris.

It didn’t help that everyone kept talking about ‘Hiking’ which immediately brought to mind special equipment, frostbite, having to eat the sled dogs and Mount Everest. My husband and I love ‘walking’ but ‘hiking’ sounded sadistic! This is where fabulous friends come in, Sandra persisted and took us to Schilthorn and on a light hike. And we’re hooked. Check out the pictures and you’ll see why.

Who knew it?! Hiking IS walking! ;)

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Fabulous finds in Barcelona.

We had a relatively low-key weekend as we’d both been to Barcelona before and had done a lot of the tourist ‘must do’s’ last time. This time we both desperately wanted some sun, relaxation and good food. These are the best bits and fabulous finds on our weekend!

Perfect Paella

On the Sunday we took a bike ride (hire details below) and stumbled across Xiringuito Escriba and decided we needed a lunch break. This fabulous beachfront restaurant has a partially open kitchen where you can see your paella being made and a wonderfully relaxed feel. It’s perfect for a celiac or gluten intolerant person as there are loads of salads, paella and grilled seafood options. Whilst it’s not cheap, it’s relaxing, the food is fabulous and the service we received was very friendly. We managed to get in without a booking, though I’d suggest making one (you can do so online) as they got very busy towards the latter part of the afternoon!

Our delicious shared entrée of brûléed goats cheese on apple, served with honey, rocket, raisins and walnuts Read more

Frizzled & fun in Barcelona

I’ve just returned home from 4 nights in Barcelona.

My lovely other half had to attend a work conference there. My discovery that Swiss had flights on sale from Geneva (Hint! They still do!) resulted in me making my way to Barcelona on Thursday. And after some gentle nagging Husband organised to take the Monday off so we could spend the weekend together. It was our second visit to Barcelona, and we were hankering for a couple of days off.

I arrived fairly late Thursday afternoon to find that Barcelona was experiencing a heat wave. So after checking in, I head out to find a very late lunch, walking down Las Ramblas (and spending the remainder of the trip reminding myself to avoid it at all costs) and stumbled across Artisa, they wouldn’t normally rate a mention for any reason other than that I love their lighting BUT they do Sarrasin crepes (Buckwheat to Australians). And so I spent a joyful half  hour devouring a gluten-free crêpe with sheep cheese, caramelised apple and cured ham. You’re paying the tourist tax due to the location but it’s clean and nicely laid out, the food is good and the staff are really friendly and helpful.

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Gorgeous Annecy, France.

Is it Sunday?

Are you standing in Lausanne wondering where all the people are?

No, you’re not the only remaining human left on earth after a sneaky alien attack that you appeared to have slept through.

Lausanne, well… most of Switzerland really, can be a ghost town on weekends (although more cafés and bars appear to be remaining open of late). The limited opening hours for shops means that pretty much anyone wanting to sate their desire for shopping or for good restaurant food makes their way to France.

Evian-les-Bains, Yvoire and Thonon-les Bains are absolutely packed with Swiss on Sundays.

If you’re looking for somewhere else to visit, you can join the queues of people at the Swiss/ French border and head to Annecy. Read more

The Lavaux Vineyards

What do you think about when you think ‘Switzerland’?

Skiing? Rolling green hills with cows wearing large cow bells? Cheese? Chocolate? Alps? Watches? Banking secrecy? Tax evasion? Sweden? You’d be shocked how many people confuse Switzerland with Sweden.

But unless you’re a wine buff or have lived in Switzerland, I’m pretty sure you didn’t think vineyards and winemaking did you? Take a look at these (click on the photo’s to have them expand)

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A fun day cycling from Ouchy to St.Sulpice and back again.

It’s summer, which generally means an influx of visitors if you’re an expat. This year we had the in-laws here for two weeks. Husband took a weeks worth of annual leave off so we could spend some time together and it fell to me to find things for us to do. One of the outings we took was a bike trip from Ouchy to St Sulpice.

You can get day-passes from the Lausanne Roule bike hire scheme for 7chf per day, per person. Once you’ve purchased your day pass from one of the sale points in Lausanne you  can access the many bike stations located in and around Lausanne. A quick swipe of your pass card, a hefty pull to get the bike out and you’re off! After returning the bike at the end of the day, you post the pass back to them in a prepaid envelope.

If you own an iPhone, you may want to download the ‘Velopass’ app, it tells you the number of bikes and free stations available and is very handy if you’re looking for somewhere to return your bike at the end of the day.

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My Chambéry purchase

I’ve been looking at large statement pieces for quite some time now. Ever since I tried on a some pieces by my lovely friend Jen (aka Ruby Browning) and fell in love with her Panoptes collection. I still have a while to wait until I can get my sticky fingers on a Panoptes piece. But today I saw this gorgeous riot of chunky colour, put aside all fears of statements and it promptly became mine!

It’s handmade out of resin by a Brazilian designer called Sobral. I found it in an interesting boutique in Chambéry called Princesse Nubie (3 rue de la Trésorerie, Chambéry, France. 0479253014).

The owner of this sweet store stocks a wide range of gorgeous jewellery and some truly unique pieces (if you’re looking for earings shaped like candy, or for some beautiful resin pieces head here). Not all of it to my taste but I could have quite easily have purchased more. I left having been clearly advised by the owner about how to take care of my new jewellery and carrying it encapsulated in a very pretty cloth bag that the owner made herself.

I couldn’t be happier with it!

We’re going to Gruyères tomorrow and  so I’m now going to put together an outfit that includes my new necklace.