Slow and Easy Aboard L’Impressioniste

  Slow and easy, relaxing and delicious are some of the adjectives that describe my barge cruise aboard European Waterways’ 12-passenger L’Impressioniste. My holiday — a six-night itinerary through France’s Lower Burgundy Canal – began with a one-night stay in the Hotel Westminster in Paris. This was a special treat as it allowed for a good rest after the overnight flight from New York, as well as the opportunity to do a little sightseeing in the City …

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European Waterways announce new Bordeaux cruise

  European Waterways introduces a new 6-night itinerary for their hotel barge ‘Rosa‘ which features more of the renowned Bordeaux wine region, including a visit to Saint Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and tastings of premier cru and grand cru wines – perfect for wine lovers! This new itinerary is only available this year on August 18 (1 passenger currently wait-listed, so 3 cabins available) and August 25 (all 4 cabins available). In 2014, ‘Rosa‘ will …

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The Captain’s Farewell Dinner

Click to see Sebastian’s interview Everyone dresses for dinner.  Even Captain Jules is out of his working clothes, and our guide Lea, who joins us for the last meal, is a revelation in a filmy long dress. And the menu?  Sebastian explains what he is cooking for us (click here or on his photo at right). The cheeses for this evening are special too – an epoisse, a Sainte Maure de Touraine and some new and aged …

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Day Six: Last Full Day on Board Le Panache – Cheese in Gouda and Frans Hals in Haarlem

This week has flown by, and now we are down to the last day.  After breakfast we head out to a farm and cheese factory and learn how the famous cheeses of Gouda are made. We had a tasting of the cheeses and they were so good that I bought a round which I’ll take home in my checked luggage. It is sealed in wax and vacuum sealed in plastic, so it should be fine.  I always …

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Chef Sebastian

I finally get a chance to chat with Sebastian when he has a quiet moment in the kitchen.  He is so young, but undeniably gifted. His full name is Sebastian Amberville, he’s English and he has very good culinary chops.  He has apprenticed with Gordon Ramsay –“That was hell”, he explains. “They spent the first half of the time tearing you down, destroying your confidence, making you feel useless.  Then they start building you back up.  Pure …

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Day Five: Windmills Trump Floriade

It puzzles me why anyone would take a Spring cruise through the tulip fields of Holland if they had no interest in flowers, historic cities, museums or local culture.  And why would you come on a cruise like this and spend your afternoons watching movies in your cabin? But we all have our different reasons for traveling, I suppose. The majority of passengers have decided that they do not want to be bothered with a trip to …

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Day Four: Delftware and Dutch Vodka

A morning run through Delft is perfect – the streets are quiet and running past the old city gate that Vermeer painted, and along canals sided by pretty Dutch houses makes the experience more than just good exercise. After breakfast, we walked from the boat to the Royal Delft Factory (http://www.royaldelft.com) where we toured the factory and museum and visited the showroom.  I was very tempted to buy a piece or two – blue and white china …

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Day Two: The Splendour of Dutch Gardening: The Keukenhof

One of the real delights for someone like me who loves a morning run is that you can jump off the barge and head out for a five km trek with ease. The morning streets of Haarlem were quiet at 7am, and I had time to notice that the wisteria and peonies are blooming in thegardens here. Breakfast was served at eight, though there was coffee readyat 7 – and afterwards, Lea took us on a guided …

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The Barge: Le Panache

In the late afternoon light, the La Panache barge looks welcoming, moored alongside the historic buildings that line the canal in the old part of Haarlem. After getting settled in our rooms and cleaned up a bit, we all met again in the main salon, where Amy, who will take care of our every need for the next six days, greets us with a glass of champagne, and fresh French oysters on the half shell. Chef Sebastian …

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