Last weekend, I spent an idyllic couple of days with one of my oldest friends, Miss T, in the German city of Munich. It was an ideal place for us to meet, with her flying from London direct with British Airways, and me travelling from much further North in Germany by train, or the Deutsche Bahn. Having been a little hesitant, due to past bad experiences with German trains, my commute to the Bavarian capital was not only easy but exceedingly comfortable and great value. At 20 euros for my single ticket there, I didn't have much to grumble about! Granted my ticket back was a little more, but I did book my ticket last minute.
By part design, part fluke, our hotel couldn't have been closer to the train station had it been on an actual platform. So, by 19.01, having arrived into Munich a 18.57, I was enjoying a grapefruit flavoured gin and tonic with Miss T at the Sofitel Munich Bayerpost's ISA Bar. My drink was delicious, albeit expensive at 20 Euros a pop, but I had not seen Miss T for a long time, and the bar was certainly chic and not your bog standard German beer house. Our second drink was therefore completely justifiable despite the cost.
Following our concierge's recommendation, we caught a taxi to the Italian restaurant Limoni. I am always a little wary of concierge restaurant recommendations, especially those from a 5 star hotel. However, I could not fault my food or the service at this eatery. It was delicious, though perhaps on the tad expensive side. Miss T and I both had pasta, though the menu was meat and fish heavy. There would be something to suit everyone.
After an excellent night's sleep in a bed that was ludicrously comfortable, Miss T and I hot trotted off for some stereotypical sightseeing. The first thing on our list was to walk to the Altstadt and have brunch at the Glockenspiel restaurant on the fifth floor of a building that overlooks the Rathaus and square. Touristy? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely. Not only was my food yummy, but the atmosphere was relaxed even for a sunny Saturday. The cost was reasonable even before the excellent views were taken into account. If you are more organized than Miss T and I, I would recommend reserving a table in advance, that is next to the window for an even better vista.
Having filled our bellies and taken a suitable amount of instagram worthy pictures of our food, Miss T and I started a suggested walking route. We walked perhaps 300 meters before happening upon our first sight, the Viktuelienmarkt, a Munich based food market. We pottered past several WeissWurst selling stores before spotting our first bar of the day. We sat down at one of the many tables, already full to the brim, and had two half steins of delicious German beer. The sun was out which took the edge off the end of Winter chill. The beer soon gave us the munchies, which the world's largest pretzel and cheese soon put to rest. However, the surrounding stalls provided lots of different types of food to please even the fussiest eater. For the unfussy amongst us, I suggest turning up to this market hungry to make the most use of all the delights on offer.
As our pit stop was a lot longer than expected, we realised that we would have to cut our amble around Munich a little short if we were to be able to make use of the hotel's spa, and also make cocktail hour. So, after yet another brief pause at the Hofbrauhaus (more because such a stop has to be made when in Munich) we marched back to the hotel. I am glad we made the time to fit in a trip to the So Spa. Whilst it was not huge, it was certainly well equipped with a beautifully designed swimming pool and overall contemporary feel, even to its traditional sauna.
For supper that evening, Miss T and I dined at the Prinz Myshkin, an elegant vegetarian restaurant that makes meals based around meat being the main story look brash and immature. Both Miss T and I ate exceedingly well and discovered a new concoction of Prosecco with a shot of fresh Pomegranate juice - sooo yummy! We had attempted to have a gin and tonic at the trendy Zephyr bar. Unfortunately, we turned up a bit late to the German party so there was no space at the bar to order said G&T with time enough to drink it before completely missing our dinner reservation.
Next day, Miss T and I trundled off for a morning's culture before catching our train/plane home. We set off to the Pinakothek Der Moderne via the nearest bakery possible. We found both easily and to our tastes. The Pinakothek Der Moderne is an excellent Modern art gallery and I loved every moment there. It cost only 1 Euro to enter and we spent our time looking around the permanent art collection that consists of Warhols, Kirchners, Picassos, Beuys and Braques, to name just a few.
For our last activity before home time, we mooched to the rooftop bar and restaurant at the traditional Hotel Bayerischer Hof. We ordered a glass of bubbles each, and they were the most perfect end to a perfect weekend. The view from this hotel was nothing short of spectacular and it would make a great setting for a special treat or celebration dinner out.
Up until I moved to Germany, Munich has never been on my hit list of places to visit. I was completely ignorant in this. It is a fantastic, vibrant city that would excite all different types of people. For a girly weekend, it surpassed all my wants (a bit of culture with ample opportunity to dress up in cool bars and chic restaurants). I would be charmed if my husband wanted to take me there for a romantic weekend away. And the, if needed, constant supply of beer and carbs make it a great place for any large group parties aka stag or hen dos. Not many cities can say that!
PAST BLOG POSTS: