I had the pleasure to join Susanne Fiek on one of the tours called “Culinary Ramble”. On the day it was a group of 20 young professionals from top consultancy firm who did the tour as an after work activity. The Culinary Ramble is a three hours experience, combining a city tour and a 3 course menu. The tour started at the Old Bridge where the “Ape” (more about it later in the inteview with Susanne) was waiting with chilled sparkling wine and snacks. While the guests were having their after work drink Susanne told about the history of Heidelberg and the castle, combining personal stories and making it entertaining. From there the tour followed into the old town, stopping by one building or another to tell the story, until we got to the first restaurant at the Hip hotel for the starter. Seated on three tables it gave the participants the opportunity for calm discussions and relaxation from the long day at work.
The tour continued to the Universitätsplatz where Susanne provided us with further interesting history facts and was attentive to answer all questions. Later the tour went along the beautiful narrow streets, accompanied with personal stories and recommendation for the time we want to come to Heidelberg again.
The tour ended at Marktplatz, just in front of the restaurant Roter Ochsen where we were to have the main course and dessert. Suddenly Susanne told us to look at the castle. At that moment the castle was lighted and that was one of the WOW moments to remember from Heidelberg.
I even couldn’t notice that the three hours were over. I don’t want to ruin you the experience, so I just say that there is an additional surprise on the way 😉
Interview with Susanne Fiek:
1. Can you tell about your company, how long it exists and
what brought you to start it?
I started out in 2002 when I have been a tour guide for two years. Every
guided tour, even when it was “just a regular” tour of the old town or the
castle should be special for the guests: an event, even small tour can be
one, so I named may company event & event..chen Heidelberg”– “event..chen”
for the fine and small ones… J Individual, informative and – most important:
it should not be a lecture but humorous and entertaining as well!
2. Why do you think Heidelberg is attractive for business travel
(e.g. incentives) and which of your tours would you recommend
for corporate groups?
Heidelberg is attractive for all kind of travels… ;-), but especially for
business travels because the city and its very close by surroundings offer
almost every possibility which make incentives good ones.
event..chen´s “highlight” is the “Culinary Ramble” through the Old Town of
Heidelberg. The idea came more than ten years ago when I met a group, guests
of one the big companies of the region, who had been working all day in a
seminar. They were scheduled for dinner in town but before the organizers
wanted to present them with a guided tour of the city. Even though
interested in Heidelberg they were first of all interested to relax the
first time after work. My idea was: greet them, welcome them and offer them
a drink – simple but just perfect. Water, a regional Secco, salty snacks
plus talk about regional food specialities, the fame of Heidelberg and
anecdotes. Choice of the courses take place along the way (we also account
for vegetarians, vegans and food intolerances!), further surprises follow
along the way.
3. First time I’ve seen your tour I noticed that a mini- van
accompanied the tour. Can you tell more about the concept?
The little van is an “Ape” from Piaggio (means bee in Italian). We
acquired it to more flexible on our tours: we have water, champagne, glasses
and all you need for a unique special surprise reception in the trunk.
Because the Ape is so small we can go almost everywhere and hold the
receptions where our guests want to be.
4. In your opinion, what are the two or three places someone must
visit when in Heidelberg on a short trip?
Definitely the castle!!! A must! A stroll through the old town and its
picturesque alleys. The historic “Studentenkarzer” and the Old University
Building as well as the University Library´s first floor exhibitions.
And: if you feel like taking a little hike: climb up to the Philosophers