15 Dec

Non-smoking readers used to smoking bans may not realise they’ve become accustomed to waking without coughing up a lung and having to sterilise their smoggy hair and clothes. Having happened to me far too many times since returning to this otherwise freshly laundered land, I was very excited to learn of a non-smoking bar called Crossfire.

Located on Rue Dicks, one of the more unfortunate but also memorable street names in Lux, Crossfire is a small Scandinavian bar whose wooden ceiling beams and benches, and blue/red colour scheme conjures up a cosy Nordic feel. They serve Scandinavian food at lunchtime and in the evenings until nine o’clock. Despite its small size there are large screens throughout showing European football and other sports.

We stood at the bar for a few minutes but it wasn’t staffed – there was a man deep in conversation in the stock room whose wobbly stance and loud gesticulation made us despair we’d ever be served – but five minutes after we settled on a bench we were visited by a very friendly bar woman. They didn’t stock the wine I usually drink however their suggested alternative was very nice. All our orders were taken at our table and often before we caught her eye which we appreciated.

It had all the hallmarks of a great pub and an enjoyable night; a small but perfectly formed pub, friendly and attentive staff, reasonable prices and, don’t forget, no haze of smokeno streaming eyes and no choked conversation. However, the music was just too awful to ignore. It lurched from Eurovision entries, to barbershop tunes, to a medley of The Beach Boys cover songs, to (I assume) Swedish techno, and back to more ear-maiming Eurovision.  The sheer absurdity and cacophony of the playlist suggested that it was put together by tipsy stock room man. We tried to drown it out by frantically prattling about anything that entered our heads, but the volume was too loud; eventually all we could do was sit and stare at the tv, our minds ransacked by the din. We eventually left to seek out better pastures.

I’m determined to go back again in case the music was an aberration, but until then the night is a perfect example of why the atmosphere in a pub is as important as the quality of its drink and food. If more bars in Luxembourg took the time to select better playlists, instead of putting eight CDs on random or sticking on the radio, it might give them an edge when the smoking ban is eventually brought in here.

Address: 15, rue Dicks, 1417 Luxembourg
Phone: +352 49 84 31
Sports: Four screens. Check website for fixtures and events
Opening hours: Open until 1 am on Friday and Saturday, otherwise varies day to day, check the website for detailed hours
Prices: Diekirch 50cl €3.70, Diekirch 30cl €2.20, glass of white wine €3.50
Buses: Any that stop on the Avenue de la Liberté

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