Those of you that know me will be astounded that a) I had not heard of German Gymnasium before and b) I am not in charge of choosing today’s venue. I’ve left the choosing to a gentleman friend and he chooses extremely well.
The building is beautiful and was England’s first purpose-built gymnasium, with funding coming from London’s German community. It was built in 1865 for the German Gymnastics Society and hosted the indoor events London’s first Olympic Games, back in 1866. History lesson over.
The inside of the restaurant is almost cathedral like. Huge timber framed ceilings, enormous arrangements of flowers and an imposing staircase leading up to a first for gallery restaurant.
We don’t have a booking but blag a table amongst some post marathon runners toasting their achievements. We have a drink at a the bar – a striking marble topped counter overlooking the friendly barstaff at work.
So to dinner then. The menu is Mittel-European (middle Europe to the uneducated (me)) You’ll find dishes and wine from Germany, Austria, Luxembourg and Romania amongst others.
To start with I choose a marinated French bean salad with squid and heritage tomatoes. Its packed with flavour and is lovely and light before course two. My friend picks herring on sunflower bread with an apple, onion and sour cream salad accompaniment. I thought I didn’t like Herring due to memories of jarred rollmops but this was in another league.
Main course is all about the sausage. We’re sharing tonight so go for a trad Bratwurst and a smoked grilled sausage with cheese in it. To go with these porky beauties we choose teeny tiny jersey royals, sautéed spring greens with kale and some sauerkraut. Sides were presented in mini le Creuset pots which pleased me greatly. Everything went together brilliantly – sausages were excellent particularly with the German mustard they came with.
We share a dessert – a chocolate pot which looks lovely and tastes heavenly despite being richer than a Panamanian bank account.
We drank a delicious Riesling – a wine I didn’t think I liked, so another new discovery.
This restaurant is a D&D outpost so they know what they’re doing. Service and food are excellent and the place really looks the part.
Never has getting yourself down the gym been more appealing.