Thursday September 28th – Day 6, Saxler’s Restaurant
And so, as planned the day before, we duly presented ourselves at Saxler’s Restaurant in the Hotel St. Stephanus for what promised to be a far better dinner than we’d had the night before! Not that that would have been difficult. The charming lady, who I suspect may have had Eritrean heritage given how much she looked like someone I know in Dusseldorf who does, who seated us was soon back with a glass of sekt and the menus, and it didn’t need much study to suspect we were in safe hands.
The dining rooms are small, and cosy, with good table linen, and everything as you would hope. Having once worked in a Swiss hotel back in my youth, I’m picky about the effort that goes into making sure glassware and cutlery is properly shiny and not smeared from the dishwasher (I spent many an hour with piles of cutlery and bowls of boiling hot water, polishing everything until it shone and if you have the odd Michelin star or two I fully expect that someone is doing that each morning in the depths of the kitchen somewhere) and everything was pristine, which made me very happy.
Having opted to take the tasting menu, we started with an amuse bouches that was cheesy and fresh and light with capers and radish.
Bread and butter arrived very quickly too, and was excellent. My Dad used to complain bitterly about the bread in the UK (granted this was in the 1990s mainly) and whenever I get back to Germany I am soon reminded of why he took that approach. This was soft in the middle, with a crunchy, springy crust and it was hard to stop eating it.
Again we could have opted for wild salmon instead, but duck will always win out for me. And then, some considerable time down the line, we discovered that it really had been a good idea not to take the four course version of the menu. The kitchen didn’t just provide a dessert. It provided all the desserts, or at least that was how it seemed from where we were sitting.
There was certainly no fear of going hungry, as the Dutch cyclists on the next table were also discovering. It’s interesting how big the portions are, given that the cooking is refined. I suppose if the hotels are feeding walkers and cyclists on a regular basis they really can’t afford to stint or they wouldn’t get repeat business. If, like us, you’ve only been driving around and sightseeing, you can start to feel slightly overwhelmed by the amount. Anyway, we soldiered womanfully on and finished everything, by which time it was time to check back in with our beds!