In Good Taste: Day 3
Drift around town, then start your engine
Small town hero, Füssen
An anchor of the Romantic Road, this quintessential Bavarian town rules the foothills. Clay-roof gabled cottages in Wes Anderson pastels guard a river of aquamarine blue. Churches punctuate the cobblestone streets: Baroque, Gothic, medieval. There are 700 years of history here, between the mountainous bookends. Have a wander before checkout.
Altstadt von Füssen Füssen
Wheels of fortune
Take your time getting back into town. Retrace your route up the Romantic Road to Augsburg, then cut back into Munich’s modernist 1972 Olympic Park. Just over the ring road is Munich’s other monument to speed: the futuristic BMW headquarters. BMW Welt, the automaker’s visitors’ hall and gallery, lends out cars on the hour, on demand, for a whirl through the city or out on the autobahn. Or you can sharpen your driving skills with on-site training. Consider a model from the latest BMW 8 Series. With the Visa Infinite Privilege Card, it’s easy to test out a range of driving experiences.
BMW Driving Experience Am Olympiapark 1, Munich
Due for a late lunch? Try the largest deli in Europe, which goes back more than 300 years. The oft-expanded location now incorporates a wine dealer, chocolate shop, luxury apothecary and a zinc-topped coffee bar. The bistro buzzes all afternoon, when tables fill up fast with yogurts, salads, smoked-fish platters and baskets of bread. They tell the story of Bavarian food – though you may also get an earful from owners, Florian Randlkofer and Wolfgang Wille, descendants of the founding family. The broad, arched windows offer views clear through to Munich Cathedral.
Dallmayr Dienerstrasse 14-15, Munich
All the trimmings
Germany’s most aesthetically pleasing city does wonders with a view, and that extends to the shop fronts. Down the road from Dallmayr, Munich’s premier department store, Ludwig Beck, owes more to the clean minimalism of Northern Europe than to the Bavarian kitsch of nutcrackers and nativity scenes. Besides being a worthy foul-weather activity over seven floors, it has its own range of luxury cashmere and outerwear, and sells from the nation’s most covetable stationers – the Germans love a silky pen to put to paper. Fashion labels run from locals Jil Sander and Philipp Plein to the Italians and French via the Belgian masters.
Ludwig Beck Marienplatz 11, Munich
Barrels of fun
How civilized is a day on the cobbles – not at all the bratwurst-and-beer fest of our Oktoberfest preconceptions. And besides: a beer break can be as sophisticated as martinis in the Bavarian heartland. Munich’s original microbrewery stands just outside the old centre. A brick tavern with soaring industrial windows and waiters in waistcoats, it follows a simple recipe developed in the 14th century, in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot. Brewing these lagers, bocks and weisses requires only four ingredients: water, hops, yeast and a grain of either barley and or wheat. You’ll come for a quick tipple under a Tiffany lamp, delivered from a barrel older than Adam, then inevitably stay for a spit-roasted chicken, schnitzel or apple strudel à la mode.
Augustiner-Bräu Landsberger Strasse 31-35, Munich
A royal affair
Munich’s reputation for grown-up, buttoned-up sophistication is never so noticeable as in its best hotels, all 1,000-percale sheets, silk rugs and dark wood-panelled bars. The dining room at Hotel München Palace spills into the landscaped garden, where you can ensconce yourself with cushions and a cashmere throw (that croak you hear might be the Palace Frog). The bar (appropriately wood-panelled) fills up with residents of prestigious Bogenhausen, this quarter facing the Isar River. Come morning, walking to the vast sweep of riverside green is loaded with monumental sights. It all depends on how much more beauty you can take.
Hotel München Palace Trogerstrasse 21, Munich
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