Friday 12 December | 2014
Germany does Christmas so well – from the fairy lights draped along window ledges and mugs of steaming glühwein, to the sausages grilling over open flames surrounded by a sea of heavy wool coats and mittens. All we need now is a dusting of snow, and our fairytale Christmas card scene is complete.
The first advent finds us celebrating at a candlelit window side table in Birkenwald, Münster. Only the brave have made the freezing early morning journey to visit this urban retreat, but once inside they are well rewarded with decent coffee and seriously good food.
A few steps through the birkenwald forest, artfully photographed and hung on the wall, and you will find a cosy loungeroom complete with draping curtains. Kick back and enjoy – the coffee is on its way.
Being mostly milk the latte (€2.90) is very gentle, and will warm you up inside and out with its little heart detail. In close competition is the deluxe schokmok (€3.30), which is rich and deliciously foamy. For a better wake up call, choose the cappuccino (€2.50) made from a signature 60:40 arabica robusta blend.
Of course all that coffee demands something sweet on the side, like this homemade cinnamon scroll. The yeasty dough is responsible for the authentic bakehouse scent downstairs, while the sugar crust and cinnamon lined interior send all our winter blues away.
It’s not really brunch without eggs, so try the scrambled eggs (€3.00) with a hint of cheese, served alongside farmhouse bread. Simple and honest in flavour, with just a hint of oil, salt and cracked pepper too, they will disappear quickly. Then you can move on to the more innovative dishes that make Birkenwald so outstanding.
These pancakes are revolutionary amongst the standard maple syrup topped ritual that we know so well. The Birkenwald update is a textural feast, from the crunchy donut like crust to the fluffy coconut shredded centre, and intensely fruity topping. So good!
The enchanted forest vibe at Birkenwald is interesting. Concrete is paired with candles, while natural tree trunks reach up to a gold painted ceiling. The resulting atmosphere is a little bit industrial, a little bit chic, and a little bit homely too.
The Birkenwald show continues with the spectacular French toast (€8.00). This classic dish is taken to new heights with buttery brioche and caramelised bananas, amidst trails of sticky toffee and cinnamon sugar. The side of strawberry quark can be cleverly disguised as a gift to your partner, so that they don’t touch your French toast.
A shot for the coffee lovers – here’s the cappuccino. We were so busy enjoying this that we forgot to photograph the homemade bircher muesli (€2.90, klein) full of orange juice and grated apple goodness.
Breaking the breakfast boundaries.
Brunch and drinks menus are here: