Sunday, 19 October 2014

Travel Tip: Eger, Hungary

Last Monday I came back from a long weekend spent at my family´s hometown in Hungary, Eger and I couldn´t help but writing something about this wonderful small town.

You probably haven’t heard of it; but you are most likely to have had at least heard of Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. Well, Eger lies 120Km north east of Budapest, and is connected to the capital through a direct motorway.

Allow yourself to get lost while taking a walk through the picturesque historic buildings, the wine yards and the narrow alleys in the old town.

Smell the calm fresh air of this beautiful city as you try one of the renowned red wines of the region, and believe me, you will get lost in history. As you look around you will feel surrounded by all the generals, captains, and bishops who have taken over and ruled the city since its foundation in the 10th century.

Dobó Square

The 91 years long Turkish occupation around the 17th century shaped a part of the culture, but it was not enough to overrule it, mainly a Christian (mostly Catholic) town, Eger´s traditional values are reflected by the many Churches spread around the city. Nevertheless the occupation left its traces in what is still to see in the city today. For instance you can see a fully preserved minaret, and the Turkish bath, a touristic highlight in the region. 
You will not fail to notice the castle of Eger, seized throughout the centuries by Turkish armies bishops, kings and aristocrats.. 
By paying a very low entrance fee you will be able to admire a place where the medieval times remained still, and where you can almost smell the passion and love the residents had for this castle at the time. 

Historic Centre

As you walk through the historic centre you can also note all the Baroque and Neoclassical buildings, a style I personally really like.

I am the kind of person who tries her best to enjoy life, I allow myself the time to drink good wine, eat good food, and take long walks whenever possible. Eger is the perfect getaway to combine all of this.

The city is very well known in the country for its extensive vineyards. Due to the relatively mild temperature, various types of grapes grow in this region, making it possible to bottle very high quality wines.

Wine Shop

I am very big fan of wines in general, but I think to describe the wines of Eger, I will need a whole new post J

Macok Restaurant at the Castle

Tip: to fully enjoy Eger you will need at least 2 nights/3 days

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Fashion Week for Dummies

In the past couple of weeks the media attention has been largely drawn to the so called Fashion Week(s).

Many know that what basically during fashion is a catwalk even organized to present the upcoming collection of some of the biggest names in the fashion industries.

While probably most of us cannot afford any of the garments presented on the runways, it is still key to keep an eye on the trend setters, the colours, the shapes and the materials shown. 
Most of the largest apparel retailers (such as the Spanish Zara and main competitor Mango) will reproduce some of the nicest items at a tiny percentage of the price (street-wear brands mostly end up imitating the big names of the industry and make fashion more affordable to us normal people down to earth.. ehm ehm).

Copyright: Vogue. September Edition - all about fashion! 

Here are the five basic facts all fashion girls should know about fashion week:

1. THE biggest fashion week even is held in the “Big Four” Fashion Capitals, in the following order:
  • New York
  • London
  • Milan
  • Paris 
2. THE Fashion Week is held twice a year (Women) 

Once in February through March to show the upcoming Fall/Winter Collection
And once in September through October to show the upcoming Spring/Summer Collection (for instance the fashion weeks taking place right at this very moment are presenting the S/S15 collections)This time spam gives major retailers time to get organized, select the items they would like to sell and get their shops all sorted out!
Throughout the year however, there are many other fashion weeks and events taking place in different cities. Even though the media does not direct as much attention to those cities and events as to the “Big Four”, they are still worthy of being checked out.
One of my personal favorites is Berlin Fashion Week, it takes place every year in January and in July. Worth taking a look at!

3. There is a big difference between Prêt-à-Porter and Haute Couture

Prêt-à-Porter is .. nothing more than “Ready to wear”. This is pretty much the version of the collections we normal human beings will/could buy in the stores. It is not custom tailored fashion.
Haut Couture refers to exclusive custom fitted garments, the biggest fashion brands sometime tailor pieces “just for the show and for publicity”, and do not sell them directly on the market.
Such high end designs are likely to have some of the best fabrics available and are rarely seen around. 

4. The first “Fashion Week” took Place in New York 

…back in 1943! This had basic logics behind it. 1943 was still war time in Europe. Prior to that, Paris was “the fashion city” (and, to me, it still remains it today!), but the war made it hard to fly designers from around the world into the city. This is when an American fashion publicist decided to make American fashion more popular to the press, by organizing the very first  “Press Week”, or, today, the “NY Fashion Week”. 

5. A show does not last as long as you think 

The catwalk show usually lasts between 8 and 15 minutes
Who would have thought, right? Well it`s true.

An extra note. Right now Paris fashion week (24.09 – 01.10) is taking place, I am very excited about the shows still to come, such as Chloé (tomorrow at 10AM EST) and Elie Saab (29.09 at 10 AM EST).

If, like me, you also would like to watch some of the shows live, tune in to:

Have fun!


follow me on @thepeteway on Instagram :) 

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Five good enough reasons to love Fall!

Today is officially the first day of Fall!

Such a lovely season, don’t be sad Summer is over, Fall will rock our lives just as much. And in case you do miss summer, you could plan a short trip to somewhere warmer :) 

Here are the top reasons to just love this season!

1 – The Nature

Just look around you, this marvelous mixture of yellow, brown, and red blending with a blue horizon is just what I need to give myself all the right reasons to be in a good mood. Nature offers us paintings even Michelangelo would be jealous of. The weather is chilly but not cold just yet, not too hot, yet not too windy. Not to rainy and not too dry. Love it!

Nature plays beautiful games

2 – The Vineyards

Fall, to me, is Wine time! Grapes are ripe enough; it is time to make a good bottle of wine out of them! The process does take some time, but I just love walking through vineyards and observe .. smell .. and yes, steal some grapes eventually only to eat them as I walk on J

3 – The Fashion

Don’t you just love Fall fashion? Well..I do.. I love layering, ankle boots and trench coats. You can (almost) wear everything in Fall. AND the last (as well as the best…. Ok fine that’s just an opinion..) week of fashion week takes place..IN PARIS! You´ve got to love that!

4 – Redecorating

Fine, the whole decoration thing is my favourite part at each change in season, but I mean with Halloween coming up and all adding some orange to your home is almost a must, don’t you think?
I just started adding some seasonal touches to my house, but I am still very far away from being done, Any tips to share?   <3 

Starting to decorate - work in progress <3 

5 – Pumpkins

YES .. Fall is pumpkin season! Who doesn’t love a warm pumpkin cream soup? Well, if you don’t than you haven’t tried the right one just yet! Next time I make one I will document the steps and put up a recipe ;)

Aren’t these enough reasons? I am sure there are a million more to just love Fall, maybe yours are different, would you add anything to this list?


Petra x

Monday, 22 September 2014

Four easy tips to make Monday a much better day!

I can`t describe how happy I am my working Monday is over.

I am pretty sure lots of us feel the same way about the first day of the week; somehow work eases up once Monday is over. I can`t explain is probably psychological.
Nevertheless we should not forget to get through it with a touch of positive attitude and a smile!
Here are my top 4 tips on how to get the best of Monday – these work quite well for me.

1 – Make yourself one great Sunday evening!

Don’t go to sleep too late, relax before going to bed. I usually have a nice light early dinner, take a long warm shower and pamper my body with all sorts of oils and lotions, and then I read (usually in bed, under a warm cover) a good book.
This really helps me sleep better and feel rejuvenated in the morning J

2 – Prepare your Monday outfit on Sunday

I usually take the time on Sunday evening to prepare my clothes for the next day, this avoids bad mood and stress on Monday morning, including the “what should I wear, I have nothing to wear” paranoia (you might feel this on Sunday while selecting your clothes, but at least you saved yourself from the Monday morning breakdownJ J )

3 – Don’t wake up at the very last second

Make sure you wake up to allow yourself sometime for your morning coffee at home, accompanied by a good magazine/newspaper read. Don’t read a book early in the morning, if you get carried away you might forget about the time! Get ready and allow yourself enough time to check the traffic situation on the net before you leave the house – this allows you to eventually select an alternative route, make it on time to work and prepare yourself psychologically for the long day (ok fine, this mostly applies to those driving to work, but who knows, if you commute with public transportation you might want to check that the tube runs regularly before you go down, and therefore save yourself from surprises).  

4 – Don’t forget to have breakfast!

I never skip on breakfast, never ever. Especially not on Mondays! You will probably need the energy a morning meal has to offer you!
Anyhow, Monday is almost over, the worst of the week is behind us, I am so happy to throw myself on the couch now!

Time to get comfy! 

So enough said .. I am eager to get some of your tips for a better Monday in the office! 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

A good cup of tea always does it!

I am not sure what the weather looks like today there where you live, but let me tell you, here in the Hessen - Germany it looks quite sad.
It is grey, rainy and chilly, with a highest of 16.Celsius! All I feel like doing is cuddle up in a nice cover, read a book and drink tea.

Ayurveda Tea

I could drink tea at any time of the day, every day, actually, regardless of the weather outside.
Some may literally prefer the afternoon tea version, accompanied by a tasty cake..well why not. Some might not know that this tradition was brought to life by Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford, in 18th century England. She found supper time a little too late and believed something had to be done in between lunch and dinner. So why not tea accompanied by cake and sandwiches? If you think about she pretty much added tea to an afternoon snack – what a “big deal”. I do drink tea in the afternoon too, but I rather have something healthier than cake to it. Unless it is weekend, of course .. ehm ehm ehm,

I am quite picky on the tea I drink. I almost never drink fruit flavoured tea (with the exception of orange and peach), I hardly drink peppermint tea (I was even told it is quite unhealthy to drink too much of it!) and pretty much hate lemon tea!

Depending on my mood I prefer drinking either Darjeeling tea (if black then with a dip of milk – though I prefer the uncommon white sort) or green tea.

In my opinion green tea is the healthiest of them all..don´t take my word as science but ever since I drink green tea on a regular basis:

1 – My metabolism has improved;
2 – My concentration has also improved.

These are not scientifically proven facts; they are just based on my own personal experience, but you might want to try it out yourself.

Try starting your day with a 500ml cup of Jasmine green tea and take it from there. Also try to reduce the amount of coffee you drink, and again, replace this with a cup of tea or a big glass of water.
I know decreasing the amount of coffee you drink might be a challenge ( I am an addict myself), but give it a try, I am down to one cup and one espresso a day now- without milk (as compared to the 5 cappuccinos and 3 espressos I used to drink in the past). Green tea, along with a balanced diet, has really helped me improve on several levels. I feel closer to myself, more relaxed, I sleep better (probably due to the improvement of metabolism), and I have a better peace of mind.
Of course I allow myself sometime to relax, turn on some candles, have some good music in the background and eat lots of fresh fruits.
And…today is one of those gloomy days anyway, so why not take some time off for oneself? Lay back and relax before another long working week starts tomorrow <3 Have a great Sunday!

Tea Tip: 

If you want a fast, tasty tea bag selection for work, try the selection offered by Rituals 

Rituals Tea

If you would like a wider selection try Palais des Thes 

Tea House Tip: 
If you have the chance, try the "Au Fond du Jardin" Tea House in Strasbourg, France.
It´s Victorian style, and fairy tail like scents will make you never want to leave 

Au fond du jardin - France



Sunday, 10 August 2014


This was a great weekend, good friends of ours visited us from Berlin; we know each other from the times we still lived in great city to spend your early, stress-less early 20s in.  

The weekend can sometimes be very very short..or wait, let me correct myself..the weekend is always too short! It is even shorter if you spend it in good company, and it turns into fast forwarding time machine if you spend it in good company and at great places!

As we walked between skyscrapers and promenades we had a chance to talk a lot about history, politics, and economy. These topics may seem boring to some, but it does get interesting if you share your background and experiences, and learn a different side of an apparently clear story.

Much has happened over the past 100 years.
The geography of the world has changed. Some countries have been first doubled than halved in their size. Monarchies rose and fell; boundaries have been closed, reopened and then closed again.
The world faced two world wars and innumerable regional wars thereafter.
Many of our most beautiful cities have been bombed down and rebuilt again. Some succeeded in regaining their once envied glory; others hopelessly fell into a decay.
Amongst all however; there is one city in Europe reflecting the beauty and the darkness, the highs and the lows, the good and the bold of the last century: Berlin.
I remember the first time I flew to Berlin, in 2010, I asked our friends to describe the city, or at least give me an idea of what it is like. The one answer I got was: "Hip! Berlin is Hip!" . I didn´t understand what that exactly meant, and have asked to define this properly again. The definition was just the answer repeated once again: "Hip, Berlin is hip!".
I was raised up in a picturesque wine region in north-west Italy and I am used to one certain type of people, and one certain landscape. The word hip never really belonged to my vocab  as a kid/teenager. But once I landed in Tegel Airport (Berlin) 4 years ago and took the tube to the city, I knew what they meant.
Berlin is a city of artists, a city of rebels and a city which never sleeps.
East and West, North and South literally meet in Berlin. The city is a real multicultural centre; about 20 to 30% of the population is either foreigner or has foreigner origins, which really warms up the generally cold German attitudes.
According to an article in Wikipedia, over 60% of Berlin´s population has no religious affiliation, which explains (to me at least) the openness of the Berliners to almost everything.
You can walk through an elegant area and suddenly find yourself in a graffiti rundown and then again at a designer studio. The city is home to a typical eastern bloc architecture on one side, and to some beautiful old buildings on the other.
The division between east and west is clear, the scars remain, and you can almost smell them as you walk from the first Döner snack bar in the world in Kreutzberg to the beautiful Charlottenburg Palace in Charlottenburg.
You don’t need major historical literacy to feel the uneasiness the existence of checkpoint Charlie (as well as all the other checkpoints), of the Wall and of the many barbed wires surrounding it have caused.

The atmosphere today is somehow still very surreal, as if the city were stuck in an eternal moment of quietness, as if the cars and people keep moving but the air remains still, the same air the previous generations breathed in, and the next generations will breathe in.  

The city has managed to rise up again and become the prosperous home of many, but as the daily stress takes over, and as you walk down Friedrichstraße it is hard to forget the atrocities and unfairness Berlin witnessed.

Yesterday a little jail too close to an unreachable west, today home to many immigrants hoping for a better life. Tomorrow, the place our generation will make out of it.

I advice you watch “Good Bye Lenin” if you can. A movie bringing to the point the many emotional aspects the unification of Germany and the fall of the wall resulted in. 
A rebellious, moving, and meaningful movie which might help you understand Berlin: the bold, the thrilling, the hip.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Strawberry Fields Forever

Finally summer knocked on German doors this weekend, and we inaugurated the best time of the year with a grill party (to celebrate a good friend´s birthday).

The thermometer showed 32 degrees Celsius, a heat the central European country is not used to.
 Almost each guest, on top of a present, brought a summer dish along. Mine was a fresh salad I like making when the temperature is burning…It was pretty much a success! And that´s why I would like to share the recipe with you .

Strawberry-Goat Cheese Salad

My salad, ready to be served :)

For this salad I mostly used fresh ingredients bought directly from farmers. Not only it is fun to go to a strawberry field and pick your own strawberries for instance, but it also helps local businesses to stay in the market. Often we go for cheaper, mass produced products in order to save a couple of cents, but this way we endanger local production and we eventually digest a great amount of chemicals.
Here is the beautiful strawberry field I drove to in order to pick up the best strawberries I saw this season.

"Pick them Yourself" Strawberry Fields close to the Main River in Germany


§    Olive Oil (1/4 cup)
§    Walnut Oil (1/4 cup)
§    Honey (2 big Tablespoons)
§    Pepper (to taste)
§    Salt (to taste)
§    Dill (1 Tablespoon)
§    Balsamic Vinegar Cream (2 Tablespoons)
Pls note that these amounts can be varied according to taste, some might want more oil, others more honey etc..

§  (1/4 cup) Green lettuce and/or fresh baby spinach leaves (I prefer those to be honest, but I didn´t find any)
§    Creamy Goat Cheese (80g) - alternatively you can use Camembert if you don`t like Goat Cheese.
§    Honey (2 big Tablespoons)
§    Walnuts (1 cup) - if you use Camembert take almonds instead
§    Strawberries (500g)

That´s easy :) You just have to mix all the dressing ingredients, except for the balsamic vinegar cream, in one cup and keep this aside ;)
Spread the dressing on top of the salad right before serving

§  Wash Lettuce/Baby Spinach and place on a big, flat serving plate
§    Cut Goat Cheese in  little cubes (note; this might be tricky as the cheese is very creamy, don’t worry
    if your cubes are not perfect, they don’t have to be :) ) and place those on top of the strawberries
§    Chop Walnuts and spread around the salad
§    Walnuts (1 cup) - if you use Camembert take almonds instead
§  Top with the Balsamic Vinegar Cream

So that was it, easy right? And it only takes about 10 minutes!

Note: I am aware that some of you might be living in countries where strawberries for instance are not locally produced, but that´s not a problem. In this case I would advice buying them from an organic store. But if it´s strictly necessary well, you can go to the closest Walmart ;)

Guten Appetit, have fun and enjoy your evening!