Eating and Drinking Your Way Through Europe
Munich, Germany was the first stop on our IBS Summer Europe trip. After our initial trip to the Marienplatz, our group went straight for the Hofbrauhaus. The Hofbrauhaus is a 500-year-old beer hall that serves classic Bavarian brews by the liter. This was the perfect place to enjoy a pretzel, and the biggest beer I have ever finished while getting to know all of the people on our trip.
While I did not try too much traditional German food, Germany did have a great array of other options. We found an incredible Italian restaurant sitting in the courtyard of an apartment complex. Here we were served soups, salad, and some crazy good pasta. Some of the best I had ever had, that is until we got to Italy.
After about five days of drinking German beer, it was time to switch to Austrian schnapps. One of the first stores we visited upon arrival, was one with colorful liquids lining the walls. Here we tried a few too many samples of schnapps but also walked away with some fun souvenirs to bring home to our families.
Austria is also well known for its goulash and Weiner schnitzel. While neither of these foods sounds very appealing to me, they were surprisingly good. Goulash is a hearty soup found in most Austrian restaurants, that paired perfectly with the rainy Austrian weather. We had the opportunity to try Weiner schnitzel at this inn up in the mountains, where we also partook in some yodeling and line dancing.
What’s Italy without pizza, pasta, wine and gelato? You can’t walk two blocks in Vienna without passing by a gelato stand, and it sure was good. Head down to the coliseum and find a beautiful outdoor restaurant with incredible pizza. Take the train to Venice and have (several) glasses of wine and homemade pasta overlooking the canals. Italy is definitely a great place for foodies.
Swiss cheese, please! One of my most memorable experiences was trying to fit fifteen of us into a tiny family restaurant in Switzerland. We were on the hunt to try fondue, which I had never had before. This restaurant placed four pots of boiling Gruyere cheese on the table, and I was sold. This is a must-have while you are in Geneva.
If you don’t want to sit down in a restaurant, take your lunch out on a boat. Lake Geneva is an incredibly beautiful place, and nothing was better than bringing a couple of bottles of champagne, and some good friends out on the water.
One of the best meals I had was in Paris. The girls, and I, made a reservation at the Girafe Restaurant, which features the most incredible view of the Eiffel Tower. While the prices are high, the experience is completely worth it. Here I was served mimosas and one of the best steaks I had ever had. We sat there for hours enjoying the atmosphere that this place had to offer, and I cannot recommend it enough.
If you have more of a sweet tooth, Paris has it all. We indulged in a lot of crepes and macarons while we were there. Some of the best crepes are found at carts lining the Parisian streets. If you want a good macaron, try out Lauderee, they’re almost too pretty to eat.
Another highlight of this trip, was having a traditional English tea. After taking a ride on the London Eye, we went to the Westminster Marriott for afternoon tea. Here, we were served both champagne and a wide array of teas. Soon after that, a tower full of treats was brought to our table. This included finger sandwiches, biscuits, and beautifully made pastries. Everything was made extremely well, and it made me want to host a tea party once I got home to the states.