1. A mat-forming, evergreen shrub (Vaccinium macrocarpum) of eastern North America, having pink flowers and tart, red, edible berries.
2. The berries of this plant, used in sauces, jellies, relishes, and beverages.
1. A small, single-storied house, especially in the country.
2. A small vacation house.
cran·ber·ry cot·tage
1. A tiny house in the woods in the north of Holland.
2. Peace, quiet, paradise.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A few days break in the Mosel Valley (part one)...

After our brief stop from my previous post, we drove on towards the Moselle River. This is our 4th visit to the Mosel Valley and we just love it there. This time we stayed in the village of Lieser at Landhotel Steffen. This hotel was something I chanced upon while looking for a place to stay. It lived up to its description and more. We had a room with a view of the river and dinner included each evening. Jos was a little leary as food in hotels is not always good. But this could not be farther from the truth. Both evenings were excellent. We ate a starter that we would not have ordered but really enjoyed. Funny thing is we had it at the second place and would not have eaten it otherwise. But more about that later. There was a beautiful big terrace but the weather was not warm enough to sit outside unfortunately. We will certainly return here for another stay in the near future. 

We choose Lieser because it is close to Bernkastel-Keus. This is a pretty German village and we always enjoy walking here. Jos tried a Riesling ice cream while we were there which was delicious. It really did taste like frozen wine. 

The Italian restaurant was right across from the Bear fountain. I just love this fountain and have shown it before in my old blog. My father's nickname was Bear so I must be a bear cub...right? *grins* 

I always walk around in awe in villages like this as I adore anything wrought iron. They have beautiful hanging signs that just make me drool. And we discovered a Dutch connection with an iron shield hanging on the city wall. It reads "Vivat Oranien Nassau" or Long live Orange Nassau which is the Dutch royal family.

Jos peeked one morning to see what was right next to the hotel. He told me to come over and look as I would love this garden. Then he said "Oh no...don't look!" It was a wonderful garden for a shop. Lucky for Jos, the shop was not open on the days we were there. We did however go look in the garden. It was so beautiful and gave me some inspiration for my own garden. 

I loved the angels and wrought iron! I want to go look for a chair in the charity shop to sit in amongst my plants now. And I told Jos I wanted him to make me a ladder for our tree. He said he would so now I just have to hold him to it. *grins again* 


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Walking into a fairytale.....

On our way for our vacation last week, I searched for a good place to stop halfway there. I discovered this castle on the outskirts of Bergheim, Germany. It is the magical renaissance style castle of Paffendorf. You could easily pass through the village and miss this treasure which is set off the road behind the church. But from the moment you drive up, you are met with a fairytale castle...

We had lunch in the castle brasserie. Knowing we had a dinner booked that night at our destination, we ordered a starter to tide us over. Jos had white asparagus soup and I had the green asparagus salad. Both were delicious!

We then took a short walk in the castle park. As you walk in, you are met by the first of the ponds and giant sequoias. There were wildflowers in bloom all around you. 

There are gunneras in bloom all through the grounds. 

How beautiful dead wood is! It becomes a garden ornament when left to stand along the water's side or a piece left to sit and rot naturally. Since we are doing this now at Cranberry Cottage, I loved seeing this. 

The water in the ponds was so clear that you could see the fish swimming (left) and the tadpoles darting around (right). 

If you are ever in the area, this is a wonderful stop. We could not take the time for a tour of the castle but would love to go back one day...

Here are some links I found on YouTube so you are take a cyber tour for yourself...
You may want to turn off the sound on the second video. It is a good look at the grounds but the music is terrible for the scenery.