The Jerusalem Post lite 13-19/08.2014 - Templers Haifa

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The Jerusalem Post lite 13-19/08.2014

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Memoirs from a chic retreat in the north.

By SIVAN AZULAY

Ready for that summer vacation (especially now)? Here’s the good news: I’ve already done the legwork for you. Well, someone has to do it, right? So, your humble servant took her partner and went north. First stop, and where we spent the night – Haifa, The Templers Boutique Hotel. Set in the heart of the German Colony, overlooking the amazing views of the Bahá’í Gardens. Perfect for those who want to explore the city, while soaking up the multi-cultural atmosphere of Arabs and Jews living in harmony. The whole hotel has a clean, fresh and welcoming vibe with minimalistic decor to focus your attention on the main goal – relaxation. Each room has everything you need including a flat screen TV, fully stocked minibar and a balcony which makes you want to stay outside forever. Despite the hot weather. I recommend asking for a street-facing room as the view of the colony lit up in the evening is spectacular. Food and drink: There’s nothing the restaurant (Fattoush, located outside the hotel( doesn’t offer in terms of breakfast, which includes continental and traditional foods. The verdict: Looking for some romance in the city? Then look no further than the Templers Boutique Hotel. Need to know: Check in 2pm, check out 12pm (mid week). Check in 2pm, check out 4pm (Friday). To book: Room prices start from NIS760 per night. For more information, visit https://www.templers-haifa.com/.

On to the second stop, and where we ate dinner – who says you need to eat where you stay? Definitely not me. Yup, Mr. Boyfriend andI decided to turn north-east to Kiryat Tiv’on. Our purpose was to find the closest thing to a haven. Plus, of course, good food. And so we did. We got to a place which was surrounded by magical green. A restaurant called Shalev Bayaar. You won’t believe how much the phrase “picture perfect” was made for this place. So peaceful!! Welcome to Shalev Bayaar, a great dinner spot – sophisticated but relaxed with fantastic service. Where “pleasing” is only the beginning. But enough of the supporting roles, let’s get to the bottom line – the food (Sir Leading role). And in this case, French food. Ooh la la. I must say the head chef did a fine job. He sure knows how to treat meat with the respect it deserves. Things began well with a chicken liver pate ) פטה כבד (, which was quite refreshing. It came with passion fruit ) פסיפלורה ( chutney and was wrapped with white chocolate (if only we’d eaten less – damn this delicious pate). Highly recommended. Next we tried the grouper ) לוקוס ( kebab accompanied by grilled eggplant ) חציל ( and some roasted cherry tomatoes. Honestly, what’s not to like with this dish? Roasted cherry tomatoes? Good. Grilled eggplant? Good. Grouper? Goooood! We enjoyed main course of lamb’s neck צוואר טלה( ( ravioli and perfectly cooked drum fish ) מוסר ( filet before moving on to the highlight of every dinner: dessert. We got the chance to taste everything on the menu on one plate. From cheese cake to chocolate mousse. HaShomrim Street 1, Kiryat Tiv’on (04-9831837, www.shalevbayaar.co.il).

Finally, the third stop: lunch on our way back home – okay, so maybe it wasn’t really on our way home, but we couldn’t say no to Lala Café, located in Kfar Baruch. This restaurant is tucked into a kind of rest stop, where waiters aren’t pretentious and the prices aren’t very high. The room is big and wide, but not so big that you have to shout to be heard. The food is varied but not overly complicated, and prepared in a way that highlights the ingredients instead of the chef’s caprices. It’s a restaurant, in other words, where good food is the only theme. The menu here is well-thoughtout and appealing: we started with antipasti, some home made buns (which quickly disappeared) and sweet potato ravioli. As for the main courses, we kept it simple with a hamburger and chicken breast in tomato sauce. Like I said, simple, but also good. Can’t say we tried the desserts, because we didn’t. Couldn’t move after all that yummy food (note to self: coming back for desserts). Kfar Baruch Junction, Kibbutz Sarid, 057-9440688.

The writer was a guest of the hotel and restaurants.