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There are some moments in life, when one just wishes to turn a back to the day-to-day reality and drive away to an enchanting castle. Opening a new chapter in our life and embracing a new carrier challenge which may soon require extensive travelling abroad, we decide to spend some time together in a beautiful hotel near Frankfurt am Main. Schlosshotel Kronberg is an unusual place. Build in 1893, it was originally intended as a private royal castle. Owned by the House of Hesse to this very day, stepping into the hotel one feels more like a guest to the royal family rather then a visitor to an average hotel. With a unguarded access to the specious library, the fire-lit, art-decorated medieval living room, the royal banquet hall breakfast and dinning room one can settle easily into the castle and set about to explore the place.
To our delight, there are not many other guests at the hotel. Our imagination is quickly carried away: could we dare to envisage this castle as our own royal get away, or perhaps imagine that we are authors seeking source of inspiration for a historic novel? The clues to any story we may wish to imagine are readily available at our doorstep, making our stay here even more auspicious once we notice Francois’s family initials boldly engraved on the building’s garden facing facade. Could this be possible… Being half German, does he really know his family ancestry? Did I unknowingly marry Prince Charming? For the Prince Charming part, I am pretty certain with or without the castle. Still, the sight of the magically beautiful scenery is giving our hearts a pause.
A morning walk past the Italian rose garden into the golf therein greens. A trip to the charming near-by medieval town. An afternoon English tea savouring the rich red fruit aromas. In the evening, red wine by the cracking fire place debating art, politics and world history, laughing and teasing about everything and nothing. And at night, oasis of quiet and peace in a divine luxurious sleeping room with a bed designed for kings. The next morning, waking up in paradise.
Sharing the pleasures of a beautiful place, is even more rewarding when we could share the experience with friends. Having a chance to see childhood friends, that do not live near by is a chance we could not miss and what a more spectacular way to be together than inviting them to join us for dinner at the castle. There are certain people who seem meant to stay no matter how life may try to break apart. And it is a privilege, a joy and an honour to embrace them as my friends. Lost in smiles and conversation the night slips quickly away and before we have a chance to share all, it is time to kiss good buy and let them go, happy and delighted, until we meet again.
The food is delicious, too. Traditionally German, presented with sophistication and fitness. The taste of roasted dumplings in mushroom cream sauce has become for me an iconic image of the German cuisine. Delighted to discover more and eager to cook some of the classic recipes at home, we stop on our way back home to a local store and fill our car with food delights. Lost among the shelfs like two enchanted kids, we can’t seem to stop admiring the affordability of the prices and the variety of quality goods on display. Feeling like in Aladdin’s cave we carefully chose our treasures and happily take the road back home again.