I went for a lazy summer holiday to the Bavarian capital of München to visit two school friends, both of whom I've known for over 20 years. Oh yes, we've been lazing around together since we first met at boarding school, talking and eating 24/7, and things haven't really changed much. So going from a hot and sticky London to an even hotter and stickier Munich, there was really only one place to go: Biergarten!
So as soon as I touched down and had a little soak in the garden pool (Munich is SIZZLING in summer), we headed off to the Hirschgarten, Munich's largest biergarten with a capacity for 10,000 people (yup, it's HUGE), so named because of the deer that roam there (in an enclosure, of course. You don't want them nibbling on your wurst.) We went to the self-service area with rows and rows of trestle tables and benches and stalls selling everything from brezn (pretzel) to wurst to grilled fish. Yup, we had them all. And of course loads and loads of BEER.
In Munich, everyone drinks Augustiner Bräu, a local brew that apparently needs no advertising and I had a stein to share. I don't normally drink beer, but this was delicious. Why is it so easy to drink beer when you're on holiday? I finally understood why the steins were so heavy: they're made of very thick glass which keeps the beer cool until you've finished it. Normally in London, I'm drinking very warm beer by the end which just tastes gross (unless it's a bitter, such as Caffreys, which is served at room temperature.)
We had brezn, obatzda (a mixture of cheese, butter, onions and seasoning) and wurst:
Check out the brezn which was the size of a human head! Just out of the oven, it was crispy on the outside with flecks of salt crystals and as soft as marshmallow inside. My favourite Bavarian food.
Spare ribs that were SO soft and juicy.
And the star of the evening, freshly grilled fish wrapped in paper that just fell off the bone! Perfect with just a squeeze of lemon.
We got them from this stall that spit roasts the fish (ours was mackerel):
I got up at 6am to take the flight to Munich and thought I'd be too knackered to go hit the town, but the Augustiner was a wonder brew which totally energised us and we ended the night at the Havana Club Bar in downtown Munich where the handsome barman (who spoke German, French and English!) served us these lovely cocktails. Mine was a raspberry floridita. They have a great selection of rum and is a favourite amongst expats. And it's one of the few bars where you can still smoke inside.
You didn't think we'd just have one cocktail and call it a night, did you? Of course not. We then skipped to The Potting Shed and had four more cocktails plus a complimentary muddled strawberry shot of something (ok, I was pretty trollied by then and don't remember what it was except that it was delicious). They also had an amazing barman who kept the bar open until we were ready to leave. We stumbled home at 3am where we talked until dawn and passed out. That's what you call a GREAT NIGHT OUT!
(+49) 089.17 999 119
HAVANA CLUB BAR
THE POTTING SHED
Eingang Haimhauser Straße/Occamstraße 11
(+49) 089.340 77 284