Spätzle@Hotel Müller

The reason why I didn’t reserve tickets for Neuschwanstein Castle was because I weren’t sure if mum’s knees could take the stress the visit may cause. As the castle was built on top of the steep cliff and the access was limited by foot only, the visit would involve a fair amount of climbing up and down the slope as well as the stairs. ‘Are you sure you really wanna risk them?’ I asked mum. She told me that she would rather choose to risk her knees than miss out on the visit and regret about it forever. 

After waiting in the queue under the beating sun for about half an hour, we finally put our hands on the tickets. Phew! 

However, our guided tour was from 16:45 and we had more than four hours to wait. Oh, what should we do? 

The time was almost noon and we were a little peckish. ‘Shall we eat at here then?’ I pointed at Hotel Müller which stood next to the ticket office. 

The interior of the hotel was airy and bright with white walls and unstained woodwork, and there was hardly anyone except hotel staffs. 

Their restaurant was also almost empty when we walked in…

A waitress with a pretty Bavarian dress greeted us and she let us choose a table. We wanted to see the castle while we dined, therefore, we opted for the one by the window.

Aww, Neuschwanstein Castle in the distance…

Our arrival must have been slightly ahead of the rest of lunch diners. We saw a sudden influx of the hungry customers filing into the dining room and taking up all the tables as we studied the menu.

Hmmm, what shall we have?

We wanted to try something new and asked a waitress who arrived to take our order. ‘Could you recommend us any Bavarian specialities?’ 

She suggested “Spätzle”…

She described the dish as rich and comforting with lots of cream and cheese. She assured us, ‘You will like it.’

Then, it arrived!

The dish tasted like very tasty macaroni cheese. Could this be the origin of the present macaroni cheese, a king of comfort food which is found in any supermarket shelf and freezer cabinet? Maybe, immigrants from Bavaria took the recipe to the States and eventually the dish had become the American favourite? We mused as we ferried hot cheesy short pasta into our mouths.

Another dish we order was salad. We need to top up vitamins, mum and I agreed…

We chose Salatvariation mit Feigen und Pinienkermen…

Unfortunately, the fig was slightly underripe. Otherwise, the salad was very fresh and tasty.

It was because we had ample time to kill before our guided tour, we ate with leisurely pace and managed to finish the Spätzle whose portion was very large. 

Now, our stomachs are full, and we will have to find a transport to the castle…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Boxing Day 2016

So my post-Christmas 2016 – 2017 went like this. Christmas Day was a quiet affair. I cooked fish pie and Hubbie opened a bottle of vintage white wine. After the dinner, we carried on grazing on Christmas cake and cheese while we kept on topping up each other’s glass. By the end of the night, I was properly drank, drank, drank. God knows how I managed to tuck Bella and myself in beds without any accident!

On Boxing Day, I woke up with no headache but felt lots of booze still left in my system. Oh dear, I’m gonna stick to non-alcohol drink for the foreseeable future, I thought with my fuzzy head as I sipped a mug of tea. Then, Hubbie declared that he needed some fig leaves for a photo shoot. Finding fresh fig leaves at this time of the year?! ‘I’m not 100% sure but there might be one along Goldsmith’s Row.’ So we were off to Broadway Market for lunch, a stroll to burn off calories and harvesting fig leaves.

‘Enjoy your lunch, you lucky people!’

A six months old bulldog pup we met at Market Cafe. Our Bella had also become six months old on Boxing Day too!

Our Boxing Day outing plan fell apart as soon as we arrived at Market Cafe. The pub was fully booked, and we walked out of the place, crestfallen.

It’s so cold! What we gonna do now?

No place except Artwords Bookshop and Market Cafe was open for business, and we were forced to move on because it was too cold to just stand and ponder.

About the fig leaves, we didn’t find any fig tree along Goldsmith’s Row. We craned our necks right & left and up & down in an attempt to locate one along the street, but the effort was futile. We then crossed Mare Street and continued our hunt on eerily quiet Columbia Street. ‘Where is everybody?’ Sadly, there was no fig tree there either. We were starving by then yet there was no restaurant or cafe open in Hoxton. ‘Let’s catch cab and go home. I can’t feel anything on my toe anymore!’

Later on, we decided to have dinner at the Eagle. Who said no more booze this morning?

Their mulled cider with brandy was crazy moreish.

Bella was fast asleep on a pile of cushions…

For food, I opted for chicken katsu curry burger. Yup, you heard it right, katsu curry burger!

Ta-dah! The burger was eye-popping huge. Instead of mayo or BBQ sauce, curry sauce was drizzled over the meat.

The chicken was more like fried chicken than a traditional breadcrumbed one, but it was tasty and succulent. The size of my burger made Hubbie, who ordered a normal beef burger, very envious. ‘You see. Who dares win!’ I teased him as I munched on the katsu.

The atmosphere at the pub was chilled and at home. It’s so nice to have a cozy pub at a stone’s throw distance, Hubbie and I agreed as we rubbed our full bellies.

It’s time to go home, princess…

Bella being so relaxed, she refused to get up voluntarily…

*A quick recap on the fig leaves. We located them in the square near Euston Station. Phew!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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