Sunday, 23 April 2017

Tarte Flambée (Flammkuche) - Alsatian pizza with smoky bacon and cheese


* * * 

Tarte Flambée (Flammkuche) is Alsatian take on pizzza. Wonderfully easy and bacony treat!

* * * 


Tarte Flambee_Flammkuche_recipe_Alsace pizza_Andalusian auringossa_foodblog


After another delightful day with my gorgeous Gothenburger I grabbed his hand, looked deep into his eyes and (in an apparent attempt at Femme Fatale) whispered in my most soulfully deep voice the following question: "you know what I love?"

He looked back at me, flashing that smile of his that makes me all weak at the knees and answered, in an every bit as seductive voice: "pizza."

Romantic moment. So totally over. 



Tarte Flambee_Flammkuche_recipe_Alsace pizza_Andalusian auringossa_foodblog


Though I suppose it won't come as a surprise to anyone who's ever read this blog: I really, truly, madly love pizza (hey - I've even featured a breakfast pizza on the blog!)

But seeing how I still have some issues with cheese (rather essential part of the pizza, non?), I'm particularly fond of different local pizza varieties around the world that don't feature it, such as Turkish lahmacun and pide and Arabic sfiha which is one of my favourite recipes in my new book.

There are some serious treats to be found in Europe, too: Alsace is not just one my favourite wine regions in the world - it's also home to Tarte Flambée which either might or might not have cheese in it. No wonder I'm so into it - the most popular version is laced with bacon. 

And bacon, as we all know, equals love. Oh, it does - ask anyone



Tarte Flambee_Flammkuche_recipe_Alsace pizza_Andalusian auringossa_foodblog


The lack of cheese won't mean dry, though (as my Italian potato and rosemary pizza shows) - this is something that a generous dollop of crème fraîche takes care of.

Tarte Flambée is something that one doesn't often come across in Finland, but the one they make at Wistub Alsace in Tampere is so good it just might warrant a day trip all on its own. 

And in case you need more inspiration for Tampere, Finland's answer to Gothenburg, just check the blog over here and here.



Tarte Flambee_Flammkuche_recipe_Alsace pizza_Andalusian auringossa_foodblog

Depending on the region Tarte Flambée is also known as Flammkuche. Initially it was a rustic fare that the German-speaking farmers would make at home and it only started appearing on restaurant menus during 1960's pizza boom. 

This version is called Gratinée. Other popular versions include Forestière (with mushrooms) and Münster (topped with its namesake cheese), but there's also a sweet dessert version featuring cinnamon, thinly sliced apples and usually a sprinkling of Calvados.


Tarte Flambee_Flammkuche_recipe_Alsace pizza_Andalusian auringossa_foodblog


makes 2 large ones or 4 smaller ones 

Tarte Flambée Gratinée - Alsatian pizza with smoky bacon and cheese 


the base:

2,5 tsp dry yeast
1,5 tsp sugar
1,5 dl warm water
1,5 tbsp oil
4 dl flour (00- grade if possible)
1/2 tsp salt

toppings:

150 g tub of crème fraîche
a couple of handfuls of grated cheese (Gruyère is a classic choice)
140 g (smoky) bacon
1 small onion, thinly sliced

To serve: finely chopped chives (optional), freshly ground black pepper

Combine dry yeast, water and sugar and leave aside, covered for 5 minutes while the yeast activates. 

Then add oil, flour (and along with the last dl of flour) salt. Knead into a smooth dough. Cover with cling film and leave to double in size in a warm place for an hour. 

Pre-heat the oven to 250ºc  at this point (in a fan assisted oven 230 should do). If you have a pizza stone, leave in in the oven. If not, then do the same with the tray.

Cut the bacon into strips of desired size and cook in a pan over medium heat until they start to get crunchy. Remove from the pan (using a slotted spoon) and transer aside. 

Divide the dough into 2 or 4 balls. Roll each out into a thin disc. You shouldn't need any more flour at this point, so it's easiest to do this on a parchment, which in turn makes it easy to flip it over onto hot tray. 

Pre-bake the base for about 4 minutes, Smear the base with crème fraîche and sprinkle the grated cheese on top of it. Top with bacon and thinly sliced onion rings and continue cooking until cheese has melted.

Garnish with chives (if using) and black pepper. Serve. 


Tarte Flambee_Flammkuche_recipe_Alsace pizza_Andalusian auringossa_foodblog_PIN ME

For more pizza recipes on the blog, just click on the following:




Has Tarte Flambée/ Flammkuche stolen your hearts already?

___________________


ANYONE FOR SECONDS?


5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi   http://www.undertheandalusiansun.com/2015/10/meatless-monday-pizza-monday-potato-and.html        Andalusian auringossa_ruokablogi_aamiaispizza Florentine_kylmäsavulohi_pinaatti_kananmuna_gluteniton_kosher




SHARING IS CARING!

Sharing is caring Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Vive la Tampere - 5 places for French romance in Tampere


* * * 
Romantic minibreak in Tampere? Oui, oui! Here are our tips for creating some French romance in Tampere!

* * *

5 places for French romance in Tampere_Tampere_Under the Andalusian Sun_travelblog_foodblog


Gothenburger's job takes us to Tampere on regular intervals. 

Tampere (called Finland's Manchester, owing to its history as the cradle of industrial revolution in Finland) is not what you'd think of at first when planning a romantic minibreak (not even if you're a die-hard Man Utd fan). 

The natives' peculiar sense of humour certainly doesn't do the city any favours (for more of that, read more on the blog here), but pas de problems - have I got just the thing for you! All it takes is a hefty sprinkling of magic dust straight from the country of romance: France!

Oui, oui!

Hanging on to a Hermès scarf (me) and an incomprehendible gurgling and sneaky eye-rolling (Gothenburger) we set out to turn Tampere into city of romance.



5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi


Vive La Tampere - here are our 5 tips for French romance in Tampere.

Bon voyage!



5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi


1. Grand Hotel Tammer - dekadence and glamour of the world gone by

Bien sûr - first there's the hotel to choose.

Famous as a worker's movement's strong hold, this is not exactly city known for decadence... but luckily they do have Grand Hotel Tammer - perfect for a sumptious escape from reality. 

For more on this hotel gem, please check out my previous blog post.


5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi

The hotel rooms get a little extra romance points for the love locks they stock at their minibar (€17) with which you can seal your eternal love at Tammerkoski bridge.

Oh, là là!

5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi



French restaurant Quatre Saisons located in Tampere Market Hall offers quite possibly the best lunch in the city. Great food and excellent value for money.

This little place does not take reservations though, so turn up early (or right before the kitchen closes, in which case you'll just have to make do with what ever's not yet been sold out - zut alors!)



5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi


Their bouillabaisse is a classic for a reason. 

Vegetables have been left boldly al dente and the delightful broth owes its deep flavours to star anise (among many other things).

Bowl of this French fishermen's fabulousness along with a glass of Chablis and a wonderfully summery lemon posset € 28,80€.



5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi



The overall ambiance of Alsace Wistub probably mimics an Alsatian winstub and is very basic. Service is great though and food tasty - however it's a bit weird to see the dessert menu offering Italian treats such as tiramisu. 

Wine list features many curiosities (for instance Bulgarian wine!), but keep an eye on the Alsatian specialties they import themselves. 



5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi


Recently renovated, the restaurant offers down to earth, fairly rustic French feast, though the escargots served in garlic and thyme butter (6 pcs/ €10) were so salty even I raised an eyebrow.

The port wine reduction served with the pheasant and quinoa along with seasonal veg  (€25) was also far too salty, but the pheasant was cooked beautifully.



5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi


The main reason to venture here is absolument and hands down their Tarte Flambée - Alsatian equivalent of pizza. 

Merde, how yummy it is! A particularly enthusiastic thumbs up for Gratinée; featuring crispy pastry base slathered with crème fraîche and topped with smoky bacon, onion and cheese (depending on the size €8 / €13). 

Dinner (2 glasses of Cremant d'Alsace, snails, one large Tarte Flambée, pheasant, one dessert with coffee and a bottle of Alsatian Pinot Noir) came to €132,5o.



5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi


4. Restaurant Tiiliholvi - classic French cooking with a fresh Nordic twist


I'd be the first to admit my expectations for restaurant Tiiliholvi, located in the cellar next to one of Tampere's numerous theatres, weren't too high. 

Even if the entrance does delightfully echo a Parisian metro station. 

Tant joli!


5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi


We were pleasantly surprised though: everything was great. The restaurant was anything but a timewarp stuck in its heyday 30 years ago; passing off steak à la poivre as the height of all culinary sophistication. 

Excellent service, very knowledgeable wine recommendations and really good food which left behind a surprisingly light and fresh impression. 

Surprise menus € 58/ € 69 (4/6 courses); Chef's tasting menu (8 courses) € 80.



5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi


Our dinner consisted of a beautifully executed beef carpaccio  with Parmesan crème and all sorts of trimmings (€ 13) along with white fish with passion fruit and lemon verbena (€ 14).

The carpaccio was a stunning celebration of textures and flavours as was the fish, though the corn bread the latter dish featured lent it an unnecessarily stodgy note. 


5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi


For mains we had spring chicken (€ 30) with basil and lime (oh yeah - the asparagus season's on!) and flank steak with duck liver butter (Mon Dieu!) with sweet potato and garlic ( € 31).



5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi


For afters we shared a charmingly fresh dessert consisting of pistacchio, watermelon and rhubarb three ways along with two glasses of Doux et Fruite Method Ancestrale- sparkling wine from Limoux (á € 11,50). 

Merveilleux!



5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi


With apertitif G&T's, two large glasses of wine (an Austrian Grüner pour moi and a New Zealand Pinot Noir for my fabulous date; both excellent matches with the food) and a coffee the total was €189.

PS. In case your budget is a bit more on the flexible side, this place warrants a recommendation for their Champagne selection alone!



5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi


5. Café au lait? Some bonbons?


After Cafe La Famille closed its doors, there isn't a French style café in the city, but here are some places that make up for the loss. 


The selection at  bakery Leipomo Brander offers a wide selection of treats even for gluten-free gourmands.

Mama's Corner's (both located in the market hall) glorious chocolates are another must-try.



5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi


Ståhlberg Home Bakery & Cafe's location on the upper floor of Koskikeskus, a local shopping centre is not the most romantic, but the ambiance and delicious treats more than warrants a place on the list, too. 

Trés bien!

5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi


Even in the throes of all-consuming passion and soul-wrenching love we still couldn't help but sadly note the following things:

- sure, I understand French. But only when nobody else does. 

- It's impossible to even attempt speaking French without the whole performance inadvertedly turning into an Allô, Allô parody with all that nasal ho-ho-hooing. 

- There are things to which even a French accent and a chanson rendition do not lend a romantic twist. Such as "Wonderwall" by Oasis.  Or poo jokes. 

- The more French wine you drink, the more difficult it becomes to actually remember any of the other great things that country has given the world. 

Me: Louis Vuitton, Thierry Hermès, Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, Louis-Ernest Ladurée, Dom Pierre Perignon, Voltaire, Claude Monet, Citroën DS, Eric Cantona, Sebastien Chabal, Vincent Cassel, Mathieu Kassowitz, Audrey Tautou, Edith Piaf, Catherine Deneuve...

Gothenburger: Marcel... someone. I think he was a Jew. Hugo Boss?


5 vinkkiä ranskalaiseen Tampereeseen_Tampere_ranskalaiset ravintolat_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi


This Tampere excursion was by far the best yet - Tampere,  je t'aime!

Any of you visited Tampere? Got any recommendations for our next trip there?


__________________


ANYONE FOR SECONDS?


Grand Hotel Tammer_Tampere_Tampereen elegantein hotelli_Andalusian auringossa_matkablogi_ruokablogi           Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg

SHARING IS CARING!

Sharing is caring Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Grand Hotel Tammer - superb service in sumptious surroundings



* * *

 Can a hotel in Tampere live up to the expectations of name such as Grand Hotel? Yes. Grand Hotel Tammer offers superb service in sumptious surroundings.

* * * 

Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


Grand Hotel.

Already its name evokes such grandiose (and justified) expectations. 

Luxurious ambiance echoing the glamour of a world gone by. Gold and glitter; velour and wow-factors. Champagne bottles joyously popping open under the endless chandeliers. 


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


Ladies dripping with fur and diamonds; top hat-clad doormen whose eyes have seen it all but whose discreet silence guarantees that the secret lives of the aforementioned ladies' husbands remain just that: a secret.


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


Unfortunately nowhere in the world is there a dedicated auhority, operating under the anonymity of a secret society overseeing whether the facility itself has what it takes to live up to the expectations set by a name as grand as a Grand Hotel.


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


Rather sadly this is not always the case, as for instance Grand Hotel Velingrad (by Bulgarian standard awarder with at least a gazillion stars) has showed.


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


Grand Hotel Stockholm on the other hand did, and with its glorious settings, sublime service and lovely spa (and those White Ladies served by their renowned cocktail lounge) it firmly remains as one of my favourite hotels ever. 

They say that in each city there's only room for one Grand Hotel. In Finland there's only one in the whole country: Grand Hotel Tammer in Tampere. 



Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


Opened in 1929 GHT is the oldest hotel in Tampere.

Its launch back in the day was such an event that there was only one hotel in Finland able to rival its luxurious standards: Hotel Kämp in Helsinki. GHT proudly advertized itself as "perfect in every hotel-technical way".

Its opening year 1929 was Tampere's 150th jubilee, but tragically in the middle of a global recession the timing couldn't have been worse. 



Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


So, this international standard luxury hotel didn't have a choice but to start search for a manager in the international luxury hotel scene. They found one from Cannes, where one Alexander Adlivankin (originally from St. Petersburg) had created his own hotel and restaurant empire. 

He agreed to take on GHT's lease, the conditions of which required him furnish the hotel down to its crockery and cutlery. 


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


His (and his Finnish-born wife's) moving truck must have been a sizable one, but many of the furnitures brought over from France at the time are still in use in the hotel today.


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


Located near the Tammerkoski river, in the serene surroundings of Tammerpuisto park the neo-classicalbuilding is protected by the Museum authority. 

Unlike nouveau riche, its facade's quitely confident dignity doesn't make a spectacle out of itself.

Over the years the hotel has been lovingly restaured, carefully retaining many of its original features. Already its entrance entices one to step inside; with a wink in her eyes she whispers you promises of decadence. 


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


You will have to open the door by youself though - there are no dignified old men in top hats anywhere in sight. Oh, well.

As one steps inside, the visitor is greeted by lond corridors with monogrammed carpets, rows of sparkly chandeliers, antique sofas draped in velour - all the carefully chosen details paying homage to a glamorous Old World era, wrapping you into their arms and welcoming you into a world where time stands still. 


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


"Take a breath", the walls seem to say. "Relax. This is the time to enjoy. How about a cocktail to woo you in the right mood?"

Painstaking attention has been paid to the details and maintaining the right ambiance- one's eyes are busy trying to take it all in. 


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


Sumptious seating arrangements that invite you to sink in and forget about the world. Old photos that capture the hotel's glorious history. Antique cabinets brimming with old dishes used in the restaurant .

And yes, gold and glitter.

(Oh, and the most adorable powder room-complete with a chaisse-longue!


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


This is a place where parties have continued well into the morning - oh, the things these wall could tell!

As a professional soldier and an incurable history nerd (step aside ladies - this one's mine!) Gothenburger was thrilled to find this plaque in the atrium; telling how the hotel had back in January 1946 acted as the venue for a get-together of the surviving members of a war-time elite squad known as "Törni's jägers"... only for them to slapped with a life-long ban.

(That must have been one hell of a party!)


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog

Ah. 

The atrium. Quite possibly my favourite place in the hotel.


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


It's glass-roofed serenity offers a perfect refuge when the weather outiside is bad; creating a nice bubble in which you can indulge illusions of retiring into the library of your very own mansion (oh, come on - don't tell me you wouldn't!).

A pot of tea, wrapped in a blanket and immersing oneself into one of the many books on offer... or a G&T-fuelled Trivial Pursuit tournament to pass the afternoon. 

(Our current TP ranking puts me and the Gothenburger at an even score - the situation is downright unbearable and demands a rematch).


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


Our room was located o the 6th floor and offered spectacular views over Tampere rooftops. 

The Standard- room itself (depending on the day of the week price per night is around €140) was cosy, yet a little on the small side for our liking. 



Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


There was no bath either (let's face it: one of the reasons why I travel), so for next time we'll upgrade ourselves into a room that has. 

The rooms are carefully restaured with consideration for the old and this becomes evident particularly in the bathroom. The shower for instance was such a beauty, but the water pressure was too low. 


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


The glorious settings continue all throughout the public space, such as in the banquet hall where breakfast is served. 


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


Underneath the carved wooden arches and chandeliers in a room where the ceiling height must be at least 10 meters... can't think of a better setting for a breakfast - the most important meal of the day (and the other reason why I travel).


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


(Especially seeing how true to their style even tea was served in monogrammed silver pots!)


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog

The quality of the extensive breakfast was exactly what you'd expect from Radisson Blu. The cold cuts and vegetable array was varied and gluten-free guests had been taken well into consideration with their own separate selection. 

Bacon was largely optimally crozzled and those in search for healthier ways to start their day are probably thrilled with the daily changing porridge option. 


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


The staff's excellent customer service skills warrant a mention of their own.

We were offered a late check-out already upon checking in (depending on the booking situation this free of charge until 6pm!) and we gladly took up on it - enjoying the lovely hotel (and ourselves!) until the last possible minute. 


Grand Hotel Tammer_hotel_Tampere_the most decadent hotel in Tampere_Andalusian auringossa_travelblog_foodblog


The hotel, which last year was acquired by the Radisson Blu chain, has become a firm favourite in Tampere: last year it was awarded with Trip Advisor's Travellers' Choice accolade.

Thank you for a wonderful stay, Grand Hotel Tammer - you truly are the Grand Old Dame of Tampere hotels. We can't wait to be back!

How about you? Did GHT's Old World charm win you over, too?



* * * 

Grand Hotel Tammer
Satakunnankatu 13
33100 Tampere

tel. 020 123 4632


* * * 

___________________


ANYONE FOR SECONDS?


Andalusian auringossa_Göteborg_Scandic Rubinen_do not disturb    Pariisin Ville 2        

SHARING IS CARING!

Sharing is caring Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This