What a pleasure it was to cycle to work without gloves today. I was never particularly sensitive to the seasons in the past. I am a staunch advocate of the “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing” view of life. But cycling to work every day has made me appreciate the changes in the weather. First the ground drying out, then it getting warm enough to stop wearing a sweaty hat under the helmet and now no need for gloves. It’s all less important when you’re in a car with heated seats.
I had a busy day at work and then went out for dinner with some colleagues in the evening. We chose the Schönbuch Brauhaus in Böblingen. It’s a great spot – a local brewery with a restaurant attached. There are a couple of huge tanks in the middle of the brewery to give it the authentic feel – in fact you can see for yourselves what it looks like here: Brauhaus Böblingen
I had a very simple and traditional local dish – Linsen mit Spätzle. Lentils with a kind of local pasta and two sausages. A side-salad goes with it. A couple of glasses of the slightly cloudy local beer makes for a very satisfying reasonable evening meal. I paid for my three guests who were not driving and able to have a few more glasses of beer than me and the whole lot came to about 80 Euros or 60 Pounds.
When I first came to Germany, lots of people would comment on how much I must be enjoying the food compared to England. That cliche still persists. People here really do assume that English food is rubbish. I can point out that we’ve come a long way, that England has more Michelin Stars than France and that Jamie Oliver sells more cookbooks in Germany than anyone else. But they still think English food ist poor. I think that this was probably true in the 70s but is not any more. In England you have a wider choice and the quality is as good as you want it to be. The service is probably slightly friendlier too.
But there are two differences. First: eating out in England costs more – I would say on average about 30% more. Second: the menus in England suffer from an acute case of adjective-overdose. Everything is sun-drenched or sun-dried or drizzled or luscious or succulent or mouth-watering or something. In Germany the menus tell what the food is called and you decide how good it is yourself. I prefer it that way.
Which brings me back to the Brauhaus. Excellent, luscious, succulent food washed down with a mouth-watering, lightly hoppy, golden micro-brewed artisanal beer. But all done very simply, quickly and with not much fuss. And all done right. Very good, very German.