Sonntag, 15. März 2015

A Bernese Bonanza in Monterey, CA: Join Alpen Schatz for the 2015 Nationals
All over the nation, Berner (lingo for Bernese Mountain Dog) lovers, breeders and enthusiasts are preparing to travel to beautiful Monterey, California for the 2015 National Specialty Bernese Mountain Dog Show.
Alpen Schatz will soon be on the road again - but this time with our own Berners, DaVinci and Valentino in tow. We will be heading out West to the largest Bernese gathering in America, where we will have a booth with our Alpine SWISS and GERMAN wares (Collars & Leashes, Cowbells, Stuffies, Clothing, Alpine Hats, Jewelry, Trendy Swiss ALP N ROCK tees and much more).
The event takes place from 23-28 March 2015 at the Hyatt Regency in Monterey, California with every sort of event one could imagine for the Berner enthusiast. There will be Sheep Herding, Draft,

GCH Nashem Moore Than Friends
"Chandler" proudly practicing Draft
Photo courtesy of  Lisa Kaufman
Agility, Obedience, including Team Obedience with entertaining "costumed themed" competitions
Team BEE practicing for the 2015 Nationals
Photo courtesy of  Angelina Crispino Porter
and of course Conformation, cumulating with "Best in Show" where the top dog or bitch will be awarded the over all Top Bernese in the Country.
2014 Best of Breed Winner

We all know that whether rescue, pet or competing Berner, our own Bernese are our own personal Number One Champions in our homes and in our hearts.  

Wagontale's DaVinci - our own personal Alpen Schatz Champion
Picture courtesy of Lawrence Giles, LDGILES Art & Design
Words cannot describe the great BERNER energy at this exciting event.
Alpen Schatzi's Adam and myself at a former Specialty -
YES! We will have real SWISS Smocks and Dirndls for purchase on our Booth!
We hope you can make it - and if you do, we welcome you (and your beloved Berner) on the Alpen Schatz booth in the BALLROOM of the Hyatt Regency.

SEE Pictures of last year's event HERE 

Cannot attend, but interested in the Bernese Mountain Dog Breed ? Visit these informative websites on our PARTNER PAGE of

(Note, when getting your first Bernese, it is IMPORTANT to get them from a responsible breeder who is dedicated to breeding OUT the nasty health issues that have plagued the Breed for many decades.)  Any questions, EMAIL us - we take pride in helping match responsible families with great Bernese Breeders who are dedicated to maintaining Health and Longevity in the Breed.

Alpen Schatzi's
Mary Dawn & Lawrence with Wagontale's Valentino Schatz and DaVinci

"LIKE" this Post? Be sure to "LIKE" our Facebook Page:


Donnerstag, 12. März 2015

ALPEN TRAVEL TIPS & PICKS: New York City Favorites

Every February Alpen Schatz packs its bags with lots of Alpine goodies and sets up a booth at the Westminster Dog Show in New York City - one of the worlds largest dog shows.

2015 Westminster Champion

See this year's amazing behind the scene
Alpen Schatz Westminster pictures HERE!

Just blocks away...

Uh-hum...back to the subject....New York City! This means that we get to spend a whole 10 days in the Big Apple where we get to stay in a fantastic hotel, eat at amazing restaurants, shop at our favorite stores and engulf ourselves in culture galore.

For this segment of ALPEN TRAVEL TIPS AND PICKS  I wanted to share with my Alpen Travel Enthusiasts my favorite haunts that I cannot resist frequenting every time I visit this enrapturing world-class city.

Hotel Tip - a WOW Hotel in NYC



For my annual 10 day long trip to New York City, THE AVALON HOTEL on 16 East 32nd St (between 5th and Madison) wins hands down as my favorite hotel choice for a number of reasons. 

Palatial Suites
After staying in multiple hotels over the years from 5 star Classics (such as the Waldorf Astoria) to quaint Boutique hotels, the Avalon stands out among the rest for the following reasons: It has THE most friendly STAFF, a great LOCATION, large and immaculate ROOMS, palatial BATHROOMS, and although downtown, it is extremely QUIET.
Double Queen Suite - my pick!
Living area with pull-out couch

Large marble bathrooms with
 shower AND full bath

The Hotel is centrally located - only a block away from the Empire State Building and blocks from Macy's and lots of shopping as well as the Theater District. The staff are courteous, professional and very helpful. The rooms and bathrooms are newly refurbished, clean and well appointed. I always book a Double Queen Suite with two Queens AND a pull-out sofa bed, as I never know how many of my volunteers for my booth will need a place to spend the night. The rooms are exceptionally spacious and quiet which is unique for New York City. 
Empire State Building a block away...


See my full review on Trip Advisor

NYC Restaurant & Entertainment Tips - My Favs...

217 E 49th St (Between 2nd and 3rd Avenues), New York, NY 10017
(212) 888-2839
An Indian Feast at the Bukhara Grill
Check out that NAN!
One of the things I love most about travelling to New York City is the vast variety of ethnic cuisines from which to choose. One of my favorite ethnic cuisines is Indian - addicted to after living in England for so many years, where Indian restaurants can be found in every village, town or city - with the BEST that Indian Cuisine can offer.

THE BUKHARA GRILL is the top Indian restaurant I have ever found so far in North America, with fantastic Pompadoms and pickles with which to start, through to perfectly spiced dishes for all tastes. My favourite is Tandoori Chicken along with garlic or keema Nan bread and a Saag (Baji) dish as a veggie side.

My number one tip is that any ethnic restaurant is good one when one is actually the minority...AND each time I have dined at the Bukhara Grill, the place has been packed with New York City's finest Indian residents and visitors.

The Bukhara Grill is a must if you love Indian cuisine.

Owner and his
great staff
667 9th Avenue & 46th St, New York, NY 10036
(212) 247-8018

A cozy, intimate restaurant with gourmet small plates and fabulous wines, RIPOSO 46 is another one of my repeat favorites whilst visiting New York.

Creative dishes made from organic ingredients,  Riposo 46 boasts creative, flavorful dishes such as (some of my personal favorites): Wild Mushroom Grilled Flat Bread,  house made Cheviche, and Grilled Asparagus with Prosciutto di Parma, Parmesan and Truffle Oil - divine!

Grilled Asparagus - Yum!
The owner and his staff are wonderful and actually remember me year after year.

This great bistro is also my pick when I go swing dancing at SWING 46 - not even a block away!

If you like great wines, fantastic food and a cozy atmosphere, Riposo 46 is the perfect place!

Great wines to choose from. Cheers!


349 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036
(212) 262-9554

A few steps away from Riposo 46 is a unique 1930's look and feel Supper & Dance club with live big band music nightly: SWING 46.

As a Jazz musician myself as well as a lover of all forms of dance, I cannot resist spending at least one night in New York dancing the night away at SWING 46.

Whether a swing, boogie-woogie or jive dancer, jazz music aficionado or both, you will enjoy listening to top jazz artists playing everything from Glenn Miller to Benny Goodman while sipping a cocktail in their swanky atmosphere in-between tearing it up on the dance floor.

Not a dancer, but want to learn,? Check out their calendar, as they offer dance lessons on select nights of the week!

They do serve food in cozy booths surrounding the dance floor and I would highly recommend reservations if you plan on dining. The food is good, but it is not inexpensive - the price for a great table next to the dance floor all evening as opposed to the bar.

52 W 33rd St (Between 5th and Broadway), New York, NY 10001
(212) 244-0440

Finishing off the meal with a
perfectly chocolate dipped
Not far from the Avalon Hotel is a gem of a French restaurant called PETIT POULET. It is tucked away in the back of the Historic Beaux Arts HOTEL MARTINIQUE (a Radisson Hotel). Designed by the same builder of the famed Waldorf Astoria, the whole building boasts an air of French Renaissance elegance with mosaic tiled floors and classic tinned ceilings - setting the perfect scene for this charming French Bistro.

Their French Onion Soup is to die for, their Beef Tartar divine and of course their rotisserie Cornish Hen is a must to try.

They have an extensive wine list of fine French wines that I always take delight in perusing through and of course ordering a fine cuvée each time.

The atmosphere is romantic and the staff professional and knowledgeable.

Cured Meats, Pate and European Cheeses are hand picked from
their own extensive deli counter
 80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
 (212) 965-1785

Relaxing with Mimosas and a great Brunch
A New York City institution since 1997, BALTHAZAR is one of the most unique 'hip' restaurants in the city. Complete with high ceilings, large mirrors and great train station size clocks adorning the walls, this French Brasserie serves from morning to late night  and is a place to see and be seen.

I like to go for their champagne Sunday Brunch, for which they are famous, although I have also been spotted having a late night dinner now and again, which is their other unique specialty (they serve up until midnight nightly and until 1pm on Fridays and Saturdays!)

Posh Spice, Victoria, leaving after
a Balthazar Brunch
Their menu is reminiscent of those French Brasseries I visit when in Paris, full of such savory dishes such as Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Mousse (YUM!), Salade Nicoise, Steak au Poivre and of course the classic Moules Frites.

On one occasion, as we arrived for Brunch, there were masses of people and paparazzi outside peering in the window. We waltzed through the crowd and were give a prime table near the grand entrance. We then found out that British Soccar star David Beckham and his wife, Victoria (Posh Spice of the Spice Girls) were having brunch with their children only a couple of tables away.

Indeed, Balthazar, for its great food, amazing dining hours and European atmosphere is another one of my favorite haunts when I visit Manhattan.

319 West 107th Street
New York NY 10025

On the upper West Side is a small non-descript stone house tucked away in a residential neighborhood. However, this is no ordinary abode, for it houses the Collection of one of the most prolific Russian artists of the 19th-20th Century: NICHOLAS ROERICH 
My fiancé just happens to be an artist with Nicholas being a strong influence behind his own paintings. He insisted that we visit the Roerich museum, and boy was I in for a treat.
Nicholas Roerich was not only one of Russia's most prolific artists, but a 20th Century Renaissance man, with his additional talents in writing, archaeology, theology, in addition to also being an enlightener, philosopher and public figure.

His art is said to have a hypnotic quality...which I saw and felt the moment I entered his gallery. So if you love art and want to avoid the crowds in all of the larger galleries - be sure to visit the Roerich Museum - you won't be disappointed!


Being half Irish, I cannot resist frequenting at least one (or multiple)  New York City Irish pubs for food, drink and good old fashioned Irish cheer.

Two of my favourites are Tír na nÓg in the Threater District & Midtown and St James Gate (not far from the Roerich Museum) on Amsterdam, upper West Side.

Smoked Salmon & Shepard's Pie - two of my favourites!
Both pubs have stellar food and (of course) a great choice of beverages of every description.
A fine selection of beverages
My friend Claire and I
Tír na Nóg                                             St James Gate
315 W 39th St, New York, NY                      441 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY           
(212) 760-0072                                               (212) 362-6202
These are just a few of the many places/things I enjoy whilst on my visits to this bustling city - more in another post down the road. In any case...

"LIKE" this Post? Be sure to "LIKE" our Facebook Page:


Mittwoch, 11. März 2015


Alpen Schatzi's Adam and Anneke with DaVinci, Hagen
and Valentino on the film set with the production crew

This winter's filming of Quentin Tarantino's new Western film, "The Hateful Eight", set in Wyoming, but filmed in Telluride, has once again put our sleepy little Colorado resort town on big time Hollywood radar - as well as Alpen Schatz!
Quentin films in the old-fashioned method of using REAL film as opposed to digital. In this film he used 70mm film. Using real film gives his productions a more original, richer look and feel - just like playing music on a record album as opposed to a CD.
To liven up the filming process, there is a "theme party" luncheon after every 300th reel of film which is shot. Well, one of the last luncheon theme parties that they threw was a SWISS theme! 
Adam and Anneke with DaVinci, Hagen
and Valentino on the film set
They asked the Alpen Schatz crew to dress up in our Alpine garb, adorn our pups with Swiss Kegs and Cowbells, and be there to greet the 200 strong film crew and actors and actresses in true SWISS style.
Adam and Anneke got to meet Quentin and the whole crew - I was unfortunately on a plane to NYC for the Westminster Dog show, so could not participate in the fun :(
Well, Quentin fell in love with our Alpine Franzözin hat and it is reported that he wore his hat for much of the rest of the filming of "The Hateful Eight"!
Apparently, Quentin is also a big "toy" buff and walked away with one of our Beer Drinking Singing Marmots!
So if you happen to be walking around Hollywood and see a man strolling around wearing a green Alpine hat and holding a beer drinking sure to congratulate him on his upcoming film :)
Filmed in the breathtaking Alpine scenery of Alpen Schatz's HQ in Telluride, Colorado!
Check out the TRAILOR!

"LIKE" this Post? Be sure to "LIKE" our Facebook Page: