Fall Harvest and Festivals In Switzerland.


It is always a struggle for me to decide whether to travel to Europe in the fall-it is the most fantastic time to go, when the tourists have abated and the festivals of wine, harvests and the “hunt” for game and mushrooms are beginning.   But, it is always hard for me to leave my beloved northern Wisconsin which has amazing color and weather this time of year.  So I usually wait for the last moment and go in October to catch the best of both.    Some of my best memories of fall in Europe are the visits with my husband Stephan to his home town of Schaffhausen, a beautiful city in northern Switzerland.   We stay at  the Park Villa Hotel.   I cannot compare this place to anywhere else I have ever stayed.   The proprietor Max is a true gentleman, the ultimate host, and let me add, quirky and entertaining.   The entire hotel, including the guest rooms, are stuffed with amazing antiques…not your usual antiques, but truly amazing one-of-a-kind.    His kitchen is wonderful.   During the fall, the truffles and other mushrooms are on the menu along with incredible game dishes that Max has worked his magic on.   Swiss wine is always a treat.  You rarely see it here in the states because they do not export very much, so that light, wonderful, local wine of Schaffhausen made from Pinot Noir grapes  is something I always look forward to.   All around Shaffhausen in the country villages there are the festivals for the fall, usually centered around the wine harvest.   And we always find room for a  lovely sausage and beer.  Also, one cannot miss a trip to the Rhinefalls- the biggest waterfall in Europe.

One of the things I love most is that life changes season to season and always there is something to look forward to.   I think when I am home I get caught up in the day to day activities, but over there, the seasons and harvest bring out such different tones.   I think it is the traditional vs our modern world.  They retain the traditions and keep them alive for future generations.   My kind of world.

For the season at our Ann Marie shop I have brought in some special dinnerware -Forest Walk, new from Juliska of Portugal.  Also, our vintage pewter pieces from Arte Italica are a handsome addition to any celebration and add a luxury element to your Forest Feast.  It is a time to start thinking  feasts and platters and wine and celebrations and creating a lovely table for the upcoming celebrations.

For food and drink I am stocking my pantry with Ann Marie fall gourmet foods like Chestnut Egg Tagliatelle, Truffle Salt, Truffle Oil, Truffle and Olive Pate, Polenta, and Risotto.   For a delicious warm up try our  Pumpkin Spice, Cinnamon Cranberry, and our special Harvest Fall Blend Coffee.   More inspirations include Cherry Bitters for a hot toddy and Hazelnut Cranberry Crisps to serve with goat cheese.

Happy Fall Celebrations,

Ann Marie



Inspired by fall in Shaffhausen, enjoy this pasta with mushrooms along with your favorite Pinot Noir and a simple salad of bitter greens with a classic vinaigrette.  The town of Shaffhausen owns a vineyard around the Munot Castle that sits in the center of town overlooking the River Rhein.  The wine they produce is named Munoetler.

View on Rhine river and famous Munot fortifiction. Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

View on Rhine river and famous Munot fortifiction. Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

Pasta with Fall Mushrooms

Serves 4-6

2 packages 8.8 oz. Chestnut Egg Tagliatelle 

1/2 pound assorted wild mushrooms (golden chanterelle, shiitake, cremini, oyster, porcini, etc.), trimmed and sliced

2 cloves garlic minced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup heavy cream


freshly ground pepper

Truffle oil

Grated Pecorino Cheese to taste

Handful of chopped Italian parsley

In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil.

In a large saute pan, over medium high heat, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the garlic and saute for just until it becomes aromatic and careful not to burn.  Add the mushrooms and saute until they begin to brown and release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and let reduce about 5 minutes. Add the cream and reduce about 5 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and quickly toss with mushroom sauce.  Finish with a drizzle of truffle oil, a sprinkle (or more) of delicious sheep’s milk Pecorino cheese and parsley.





Our Emerald Event & Irish Garden Party

The Luck of the Irish prevailed yesterday evening at our fun Irish Garden Party. The weather was just perfect!  Golden sunshine and a light breeze came from the lake. We gathered together and celebrated with traditional Irish music, Irish cocktails and a variety of homemade Irish delicacies. I dare say a good time was had by all!

With the garden at its summer peak, hunting for our hidden shamrocks (bearing special Irish surprises and super offers) amid the towering blooms was all the more fun.

Our Emerald Event continues at our store locations in Minocqua and online through Saturday, July 27.  Please stop in to say hello and enjoy special savings on our beautiful Irish offerings such as Nicholas Mosse Pottery, Belleek China, Heritage Crystal and Simon Pearce.


A Treasure Hunt in Rome

I remember the day distinctly. A friend and I were wandering through the ancient alleyways of Rome’s old Trastevere district when we happened upon a tiny, old shop. Our eager smiles faded when we realized the shop was closed. Even in busy Rome, most shops are closed all afternoon so Italians can enjoy a relaxing meal and a nap before returning to work.

The shop was very dark inside. We glued our our faces against the shop windows in an effort to peer past the reflection and glimpse the enchanting merchandise inside. I gasped when I saw the gorgeous Italian linens behind the glass. We pointed and whispered to each other, “Look at the linens on that shelf…and stacked on that table!”  Well, there was nothing to do but jot down the name of the alley and hope we could find the shop again.

The next day was our last in Rome. We decided we simply HAD to find that shop before we left the Eternal City. Of course, this was not going to prove easy. The alley was too tiny to be included on our street map, and all the alleys started to look the same as we tried one after another. But with the help of a strong espresso, we persevered and finally found our shop!

The gentle shop owner welcomed us inside and assisted us as we explored her vast selection of gorgeous Italian linens. It was amazing. The beautiful colors of the Umbrian landscape and sky were woven into such elegant Italian designs. The rich woven linen had such depth. When I held the fabric in my hand, it seemed to reflect the light and display its own natural iridescence. After much fun deliberation, we finally made our selections and bid the kind senora “Arrivederci!”

Yes, it was love at first sight. The timeless linens of Tessitura Pardi, beautifully loomed in the province of Umbria, were destined to come home with me to Ann Marie’s.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Recipe from Emma

It’s all about the pancakes! movie Beauty and the Beast streamingdownload full film Fist Fight 2017

Shrove Tuesday (also known as Pancake Day) is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the  first day of Lent.   Shrove Tuesday is mainly observed in English-speaking countries, especially the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, Australia and New Zealand — and interestingly, also the Phillipines and Baby Driver film online now

Here is Emma Bridgewater’s fast and easy pancake recipe for your Shrove Tuesday celebration.