TRIP TO LYON – MY REWARD FROM CACTUS FOR WINNING THE KACHEN BLOG AWARD 2017

As you may have noticed, I didn’t  hide it at all and I was pretty proud of it, back in Oktober I won the Kachen Blog Award for best food blog, main sponsor.  Of course when you are nominated for an award, you hope to win it, but I never thought that I would actually win that thing. I remember talking to my friend during the ceremony, when they introduced the award for best food blog, main sponsor which was Cactus, all my hopes to win where already dead. I was more concearned of my pregnant friend with her high heels how she even managed to stand with those shoes, when I heard my name. I looked on the screen and saw a picture of myself. I won that thing! I remember walking on stage with the biggest smile. I will never forget that moment!

The Cactus team was so generous and gave me the best present ever. Not only a Yämmi multifunction robot but also a whole weekend in Lyon! I got to stay two nights at the Sofitel Hotel, visit the Mons cheese factory and I had a dinner at Le Sud by Paul Bocuse. When it comes to presents, Cactus isn’t greedy! I have to say that their heartwarming team organized my stay in Lyon perfectly!

Day1:

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From the moment when I arrived at the Sofitel to the moment I left it two nights after, I felt like a princess. The greeting at the reception was perfect, our car got parked and we discovered our room. It had a corner bay window and it was on the 5th floor with a view to the river. I must say that Lyon is a beautiful city with towering buildings. After fleshing up we headed to the city center, to Les Halles Paul Bocuse where we had an appointment with Hervé Mons the CEO of Mons Fromager/Affineur and Michael Mathier the export manager. At the Mons stand we had lunch, it was way too much food, but it was so good! First we had a cheese platter with five different cheeses with a little salad and as if that wouldn’t have been enough, we also had a gratin with cheese filled pasta of course with the best wine!

After lunch, Hervé drove us to his factory a little bit outside of Lyon. There we learned what it means to be “affineur”. Basically it’s this, they buy or produce good cheeses for flavor maturation, which means to make them better, to give them more taste, to make them more interesting for the palate. They introduced us into their factory secrets, and showed us every step of the “affinage”. From receiving the cheese they buy to the packaging and the shipping of the orders. I must say that everyone was so nice to us and the ambiance in the factory was very good.

 

After the factory we went to the tunnel. Mons has a tunnel where they maturate their cheeses. It’s an old train tunnel with a very long shelf where the cheeses are kept for a certain time to become be matured and become even better in taste. I liked the tunnel a lot, it’s a cute place where you can also celebrate events and the landscape is idyllic.

After the tunnel we drove back to Lyon where we dressed up to have pizza. I was very tired from the long drive, so it wasn’t late when we went back to the hotel. I slept like an angel in that Sofitel bed. The hotel may not be the newest, but their beds are heaven!

the sofitel bellecour room

Day 2:

It started perfectly, we had breakfast with a fantastic view on the 8th floor of the Sofitel where I did the most instagrammable picture. We headed to the city for sightseeing. First we took the funicular to the basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière. I must say that the architecture of the church is stunning! We took a walk in the gardens and went down town where we had hot chocolate in a very cute place with a very unfriendly owner. But the positive thing is that he was the only unfriendly person we met in Lyon.

 

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After shopping several new board games, (by the way, I love board games, I should do a blog post about my favourite ones) we made a little break on Place des Terreaux when it started to rain. That’s when we went to a big shopping mall, which I wouldn’t recommend to visit 10 days before Christmas…  It was so stressful and I didn’t even want to enter the shops and when I say that, it means that it was really unpleasant.

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Before dinner we had a cocktail at the hotel bar and we went to Le Sud, one of the Paul Bocuse brassieres, where Cactus booked a table for me and my husband. I had foie gras as a starter and Saint Jacques after. My husband had a fish soup, grilled fish and he couldn’t resist to take cheese for dessert. I must say that it’s quite hectic in there but  everything was very good.

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My plans where to go to a cocktail bar in town, but somehow we were kind of tired and we went back to the hotel to be fit to drive back home the day after. Lyon is so charming, I will probably go back some day. If you didn’t have the chance to visit Lyon yet and if you want to have a bit of Lyon on your plate, you should consider trying the Mons cheese that you can find in some chosen Cactus stores.

This was my little journey in Lyon, would you like to read more articles like this one? Feel free to comment.

Sarah Mignani(1)

 

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