Beer garden @ Markgräflich Badischer Gasthof Schwanen

Before I start to write about our last German supper at their beer garden, let me fill you in with the history of this hotel. I still regret about not doing any homework before visiting this amazing place which resulted in me not allocating enough time to explore the hotel and its surrounding area.

Markgräflich Badischer Gasthof Schwanen was mentioned by the chronicler Franz Xaver Staiger in 1863. He recorded that the placed was called the “Gasthaus zum Schwanen” and it was built in 1665 as a monastery guesthouse of the Cistercian monastery.

Reichsprallat Anselm II Schwab, one of the abbots of the monastery Salem who was portrayed in 1749 by Gottfried Bernhard Göz in front of the Imperial Eagle…

Once upon a time, it was a monastery wine tavern and pub, and now, the place is a restaurant with a beer garden for the locals and visitors…

The beer garden was half-filled with guests who seemed to be enjoying a long summer evening with a lively conversation and glasses of beer.

Mum and I sat ourselves down at one of the tables and ordered beer…

Ahhh, how much we loved German beer! They were well chilled and rich without being too bitter. A perfect accompaniment to alfresco dining.

The menu was brought by a waitress who spoke very limited English and their menu was described in German only. Hmm, what should we do? We looked around and found two diners nearby who were eating something looked tempting. ‘Let’s try what they have!’ I pointed at their table and gestured to the waitress. She, in turn, nodded and disappeared into the kitchen.

While mum and I waited for our food, we sipped our beer and reminisced about our road trip. ‘Can you believe this beer garden is the last German beer garden of our holiday?’ We couldn’t help getting sentimental.

Then, the foods were brought to our table…

Mum had “Gebratene Schweinefilletmedaillons an Pfefferrahmsoße mit Eierspätzle und einum gemischten Salatteller” – fried pork fillet medallions with pepper cream sauce with egg tender pasta and mixed salad dish. She wanted spätzle because there would be nothing like it in Japan.
My last German supper was “Maishähnchenbrust an Rosmarinrahmsoße mit Basmatireis und einum gemischten Salatteller” – corned chicken breast with rosemary cream sauce with basmati rice and mixed salad dish. I hadn’t had rice for a long time, therefore, I enjoyed it very much.

While we were dining, we saw more than a few cyclists riding out from the gate nearby and were very intrigued by it. Maybe we should investigate what is behind the gate after dinner, we discussed as we chewed through our food…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

A night in Schwangau

Only €6 for parking?! I was mightily impressed as I stood in front of a ticketing machine at a public car park of Hohenschwangau. My car was in there for nearly half-day! What a bargain. If this was in London, any local council would charge extortionate rates because the area was a tourist hotspot. The area I live charges £5.00 (€5.50) per hour for street parking. Do you see what I mean?

Mum heading for our car…

Her knees weren’t too badly affected by the strain of walking up & down the hills and negotiating the stairs and steps. Thank god.

After exiting the car park, we headed towards Schwangau which was a stone’s throw from Hohenschwangau, about five minutes by car.

The route was through open pastures and the area was very quiet and peaceful…

Our one night abode, Landgasthof Zur Post…

It was almost six o’clock and the hotel staffs seemed to be very occupied with their restaurant. One of the waitresses noticed us standing at a reception and reassured us that someone would be with us as soon as they were available. Then, another ten minutes of us hanging around, a bespectacled man appeared finally (finally!) from behind the door as she promised, and processed our check-in.

Our room on the second floor…

A view from our window…

We decided to have dinner at our hotel’s dining room. ‘Hallo!’ A large waitress in a traditional Bavarian dress ushered us to one of the tables along the wall and handed us the menu in English.

Beer! We missed you…

Mum really loved German beer. There was a problem though. Because there were many German beer brands listed in the menu, we didn’t know which one to choose!

‘Why not try our local beer in a small glass and see if you like it?’ The waitress suggested. Then, the beer turned out to be a delectable kind which made mum very very happy.

For dinner, we ordered roast pork with dumpling…

And salad nicoise…

Most of the diners seemed to be holiday makers. However, a group of men, sitting on the opposite side of the room, appeared to be local and were playing card while nursing glasses of beer. All of them looked like in their late sixties or early seventies and wore traditional Bavarian short trousers and embroidered braces. So those costumes were not just for Oktoberfest!

After dinner, we went for a little walk. The air was still and smelt of green pastures.

Mum with a Bavarian totem pole…

We crossed the road and sat on a bench in front of a tourist information office…

We admired a well-tended flower bed in front of the office. Mum used to plant the same flowers in large flower pots in front of my late dad’s atelier, I remembered.

A gentle evening breeze felt wonderful on our flushed cheeks. We exchanged a greeting with passers-by who were enjoying an evening saunter, ‘Abend!’

Schwangau was winding down…

Let’s get back and have some rest because tomorrow will be another action-packed day, mum. We stood up and returned to our room.

Around 11 o’clock that night, we looked up to the night sky from our balcony. The sky was filled with twinkling stars whose brilliance were unspoiled by light pollution. ‘Aren’t they gorgeous!’ We exclaimed in a hushed tone so we wouldn’t disturb our neighbours. There used to be the same night sky in our home town a long time ago. A canopy of the truly dark night sky and the glittering stars which inspired awe and wonder in me as a child. And the sensation of excitement still lived on in my heart.

‘We should check out the sky again in Garmisch-Partenkirchen!’ Oh, I can hardly wait to tell you what actually happened there. *sigh*…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

 

 

Beer garden at Alter Kranen

Beer, ice cold beer, that is what we want! Mum and I strongly agreed while fanning our sweaty faces with folded maps given at the hotel early on. But where? Where can we get our hands on chilled long glasses of German beer? We looked around but only to find a beer garden next to Alte Mainbrücke almost brimful with customers.

I remembered that a receptionist who handled our check-in recommended a beer garden on Mainkai. ‘Shall we try there, mum?’

We walked along Kännergasse because the street was in the shade therefore it was cooler.

Alter Kranen was a German restaurant with a large terrace overlooking Main River. We decided to sit in the terraced area as the breeze travelling over the river was pleasant and cooling.

Even though it was only six o’clock, the place was very busy with people not only drinking but also eating hearty meals…

Mum looked so happy to have her beer!

Prost, mum!

The beer tasted so good after a long sweaty walk. We earned it, didn’t we? We nodded in agreement.

For dinner, we decided to share a platter instead of ordering two main dishes as we were not too hungry.

We opted for Brotzeitbrettle…

Supper time board: cheese cream, Emmemtaler cheese, sausages, farmhouse ham, Camembert cheese, tomatos, pickles and onion rings. The platter was accompanied by a basket of farmhouse bread. They went very well with our beer.

Oh boy, visiting a local beer garden is becoming our new routine! Mum and I both shared a good conspiratorial giggle…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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