Tag Archives: Exclusive Pictures

Corsica, France: From Bastia To Corte (1)

An Original Way of Traveling

A Mix of TGV & Ferry

When I was offered to travel to Corsica with a TGV with SNCB International and ferry of Corsica Linea, I was very curious to experience this way of traveling! Departure from Brussels from Gare du Midi around 10 a.m. In the comfort of the first class, I quietly watch the landscape scroll.

Arrived in Marseille at 3:50 p.m. The subway is direct (2 or 3 stations) to the ferries of Corsica Linea which is located in a renovated area, with large modern shopping malls in old warehouses. How to wait before boarding the Pascal Paoli ferry at 6 p.m. for Bastia? Do some shopping : I took the opportunity to buy Detox Kusmi Tea (a soulful memory of the Paris fashion weeks years ago, lololol!).

We had dinner in the ferry restaurant. Everything was really fine: the crew was super pro and the night route allows you to reach your destination early. My only con, some travelers: as a woman, I did not feel comfortable crossing the corridors, alone. 

The spectacle of the sunrise when approaching the port of Bastia is absolutely gorgeous! 

From Bastia To Corte

The Old Port of Bastia

At 7 a.m., we land at Bastia. Early fall, the trees start to slightly become orange under a shy sun. After a long break in an outside cafe, we walk in empty picturesque streets leading to the Old Port. The city wakes up slowly. I like the South, its rhythm.

  

Lunch in Folelli

I fruletti

In the late morning, we leave Bastia for the village of Folleli, where we have lunch at the restaurant I Fulett. Our long table is on a pleasant terrace with enough sun to believe summer is not over. The Mediterranean cuisine with Corsican and Italian influences is delicious. I even took a dessert (my dishes pictured above and below)! 

The Parc Galéa

We take the road towards Taglio Isolaccio to visit the Parc Galéa, where I had a big crush for the cactus gardens (photos above and below). This park allows to discover the natural and cultural heritage of Corsica.Visitors can attend lectures on various topics, or have guided tours and educational workshops. 

  

Corsican Whisky

Domaine Mavela

Surprise: Corsican whiskey! The Mavela distillery produces spirits and has partnered with the Pietra brewery to produce quality Corsican whiskeys under the name P & M. I do not drink alcohol, but I am always curious about terroirs and know-how. After a tour of the distillery, we tasted different liqueurs (like those of Cédrat Natura and Clémentine Natura) and some whiskeys.

Then we leave for Corte, where we sleep tonight. To be continued…

    

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

To go to Corsica by Ferry : www.corsicalinea.com, Sales office in Brussels : T. 02/620 06 76, resa.benelux@corsicalinea.com

To go to Marseille by train : www.sncb-international.com. 2 or 3 connections a day by TGV Brussels-France (duration: 5h10). If you buy your TGV tickects online, you can print them at your home, or download them with the SNCB International mobile appli.

CCI de Bastia et de la Haute-Corse : www.ccihc.fr

Related articles : Destinations & Lifestyle

Many thanks to the Corsica Linea, SNCB International and CCI de Bastia et de la Haute-Corse, for this beautiful invitation. As always these are opinions.

France: Wellness & Yoga Week-end in La Clusaz

  

Day 1

The Yoga

I had the pleasure of rediscovering the mountain in the summer, during the Satiam Yoga Festival in La Clusaz, in the French Alps. An epic arrival after a day between two flights, two airports! In the morning, I flew back to Belgium (first trip), then changed airport that turned into an odyssey via the train (lol). Followed by a big thunderstorm over the airport of Geneva that has us (a journalist friend and I) held an hour and a half in the air … Then transfer by car to La Clusaz. 

So the next morning at 8 AM, sitting on my yoga mat, I can’t wait to benefit from the first yoga and meditation “Master Class” with Robin Golt marking the opening of the festival. In the background, the mountains! Very good meditation session followed by workshops and activities around Yoga and well-being. In the photo above: SUP yoga (or Stand-up paddle yoga) at Lac de La Ferriaz, in a beautiful setting!

  

Sushi Time

Lunch break at Sushi Fumi: cool little restaurant with a slightly surfer atmosphere. Very nice sushi dishes with traditional sushi and others reinterpreted by the two cooks and patrons, with local ingredients and more Western flavors (photos above and left).

We ate so much sushi that we had trouble getting off the restaurant, where you can also have a drink in the afternoon. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty Discovery : SNÖ Eternelle

The workshop that I really liked (you know I’m a beauty junky, lol): the meeting with the founder of luxury organic cosmetics and relaxation, Snö Eternelle and also former multiple World Champion in moguls skiing, Raphaëlle Monod.

The range of the brand includes sun protection (“Mon fluide protection”), a face skin care (Ma crème riche) and a body oil (“Mon huile S.O.S”) with 100% natural ingredients.

As soon as I have tested them, I will give you my thoughts. As they contain essential oils, I prefer to wait this fall or this winter, my skin being more reactive in spring and summer. Coached by the bubbly Raphaëlle to tone our face, we made a lot of grimaces (and laughed a lot). A kind of facial yoga (photo below). 

The Dinner

We go up to the Chalet du Lac, an altitude restaurant of Savoyard traditional cuisine based on local products. Awesome landscape! The cottage is in the Aravis nature reserve. Too bad that night falls quickly.

The dishes are delicious, with huge portions and the atmosphere really cosy thanks to the very friendly owner who made us taste many different Génépi. Photo below: a 5 kilo bread made especially for the restaurant.

  

Day 2

Finally in Nature!

As I didn’t want to try for the first time mountain biking, I took the Beauregard cable car and then walked for an hour through the pastures in altitude. 

Feeling of peace and euphoria sourrounded by the mountain tops and my friends, the cool cows (lol). Then again the cable car to join the group for lunch.

Bucolic Lunch

While part of the group arrived by mountain bike, we arrive on foot to the Chalet de Paccaly located at 1490 meters (photo above and photo on the right). The Aravis chain is spectacular! And the weather oscillates between threatening clouds and blinding sun.

The dishes are simple, but tasty based on flowers and cheeses (photos below). A pure moment of relaxation. 

  

The spa

And to finish in style this short weekend in La Clusaz: 2 hours Deep Nature Spa, one of the largest spa in the French Alps (with an area of 850 m²). The water course of 160 m² is designed by Serge Blanco (a French famous former rugbyman) and includes multiple hydromassage jets …

Exactly everything my body needs before the long drive to Geneva by car and then the plane! 

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

La Clusaz

Related articles : DESTINATIONSBEAUTY

Many thanks to the Tourism Board of La Clusaz for this beautiful invitation. As always theses are my opnions.

Japan: The Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Sengokuhara

A View To Fuji San

Our Second Stop in Hakone

We arrive at the very exclusive Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Sengokuhara, near Hakone, in the middle of the day, after many adventures on the road (we lost ourselves several times! Lol). This small establishment of 11 gestrooms with a modern architecture, is a real art museum.

In a refine decoration with many elements from Italy, I discover paintings, draws and serigraphs numbered of Japanese and Western masters (Kataoka Tamako, Chagal, Buffet, Miro …). The owner of Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts, a fine art collector wanted this hotel to be dedicated to gastronomy and farniente.

Here, no long list of activities: our private onsen with water from either Ubako spring or Owakudani spring (both having beneficial effects on the skin) is in the center of our large bathroom / terrace overlooking Fuji San. Early morning, the view is stunning (photo above taken from our room). A feeling of euphoria floats in the air …

  

Beauty is Everywhere

The elegant suite-sized room is a haven of “luxury, calm and pleasure” (Beaudelaire). For a better soundproofing, in front of each room, a private glass corridor and carpet insulate noise (7th picture below).

And if like us, you are fond of beauty and space, this bathroom is a dream! I don’t leave my onsen anymore, staring at the top of the trees, Fuji San and the horizon (photo above). 

I also liked the sliding panels that allow you to modulate the space and hide things like TV. The wide and leather sofa design is a monster of comfort. I don’t even talk about bedding! Everything, every detail is perfect!

     

The Gourmet Restaurant

  

The Dinner

On the two photos above: the view from our room of the garden at night and in the background, the silhouette of Fuji San. Picture below: the stretch of water seen from the main hall of the restaurant. The cuisine of chef Kenjiro Yoshikoshi is as captivating to see as to taste. 

At dinner, the plates looks like paintings. The pleasure of sight associated with that of taste, with an exciting experience of flavors and textures, colors and shapes. Rarely, I have seen such beautiful and good dishes. For example: on the second and third picture photo below, the “Spaghetti puttanesca with marinated abalone“. In fact, the chef specialized in Italian cuisine, recommends mixing spaghetti with the whipped white sauce. It’s divine, so inexpected, top!

I will be able to list all dishes served, with my lean culinary vocabulary (I am not a food critic). But I just want to add that Chef Kenjiro Yoshikoshi’s cooking is art. His cuisine is hedonistic, generous and cheerful. 

Like the chef, his cuisine excels without pretension. As just as all the people who work in this hotel. The service is amazing and very warm. Domo arigato gosaimasu to all the (last picture)!

    

The Breakfast

  

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

The Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Sengokuhara

Planning your trip with Exclusif Voyages

Flying to Japan : direct flights from Brussels & Paris with ANA

Related articles : DESTINATIONS & HOTEL REVIEWS

Many thanks to Exclusif Voyages, Ryokan Collection and all the team of The Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Sengokuhara, for this beautiful and warm invitation. As always theses are my opnions.