Here, Elizabeth and Laura recall one of the highlights of their trip – a four-course menu served in the heart of the forest...
While in Germany, we were lucky enough to spend a night at the Waldhotel Fehrenbach, a family-run hotel set in the middle of a tranquil valley and surrounded by forest. During our stay, we were treated to an amazing dinner prepared by owner and chef Joseph Fehrenbach.
First up was a delicious puréed carrot soup served in an espresso cup. This was accompanied by fresh chives picked by Joseph that morning – he loves combining fresh, locally sourced ingredients with herbs that he’s collected from the forest and surrounding meadows. Over the course of the meal, we tried herbs that we had never seen (or even heard of!) before.
We selected a bottle of wine from the menu – only for Joseph to replace it with this Ziereisen, which he said would be a better pairing with the upcoming dishes. He told us that it was made using the Gutedal grape (which apparently dates back to Egyptian times) so we were drinking wine akin to that enjoyed by Tutankhamun! Whether or not that’s true, the wine certainly went down very well!
The asparagus salad was a real highlight. We were actually in the Black Forest
(asparagus season) which is widely celebrated in Germany – the Germans are obsessed with asparagus! White asparagus is much preferred over green due to its milder flavour, and as it is only available in season (from April to June), it’s an extra special treat. Ours was served with rhubarb sauce and Black Forest ham, a dry-cured and lightly smoked local delicacy.
For our next course, we enjoyed nettle soup with scallops. If you can’t spot the scallops, that’s because these are hidden at the bottom of the soup bowl – a very nice surprise!
The following dish was tender braised rabbit served with a basil and spring onion sauce, homemade pesto noodles and – somewhat unexpectedly – strawberries. A delicious combination.
Dessert was an equally tasty woodruff parfait with strawberry compote. So tasty, in fact, that we polished it off before taking a photo!
Breakfast the next morning was no less imaginative. Our breakfast ‘tower’ included pickled trout and a selection of meats, cheeses and fruits, with breads and cereals also available. To wash it all down, each guest was given a ‘vitality cocktail’!
After all this irresistible food, there was just one thing for it – time to get walking!