Saturday, 22 September 2012

XII Apostel, Cologne, Germany (Twelve Apostes)

We'd been in Cologne for a long (4-night) weekend break and had, several nights, walked past the XII Apostel without really meaning to, noting that it looked lovely and that we really ought to go.

On the night we'd decided to go, we absolutely could not find it again! Cologne's a lovely city to walk round and very manageable on foot but all the shopping streets really did look the same that night. We'd had a long day doing touristy things and were tired, and I'll admit to the search being a little fraught :) After deciding we were not going to find it - we relaxed and just looked round for the nearest place, and lo an behold it appeared (like magic!).

So you don't have the same issue it's here, just outside the Heumarkt metro station (don't confuse it with the Neumarkt station like I did)

Heumarkt 68-72

Tel +49 221 250 830 22

The restaurant is lit up beautifully at night.

When we arrived we were given a drink quickly, and the restaurant was really busy. My husband celebrated his first success at being able to achieve a pint of beer, beer in Cologne normally being sold in much smaller volumes. Our (really friendly) waiter explained they'd had an offer on that night and it had been really popular. The business meant that the big restaurant had a vibrant feel about it and, as we were seated near the kitchens, we could watch the theatre show that was the chefs at work.

The twelve apostles of the name are represented in the newspaper-style menu as pizzas. They have really unusual toppings (Peter having salmon and creme fraiche, Judas being spicy with rocket and spicy meat). The pizzas going to other tables meant that we went straight for that, as they looked really good (good-sized, well topped). The restaurant also does a full complement of meat, pasta and other Italian dishes - but I'd have to go back again to comment on those!

Our waiter was very patient with our rubbish German (we'd both learnt French at school, which doesn't help much) and helped us along with some encouragement in perfect English. Despite being run off his feet he was prepared to put the time in to deal with us as individual customers, excellent.

The pizzas were amazing, as they had looked, satisfyingly crisp (but not hard) bases and plenty of topping but not swamped with cheese. Accompanied by a cold beer I'm not sure what the actual apostles would have thought of it but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

A big, fat recommendation for this one.

And a gratuitous Cologne pic...

This is the cathedral for which the city is famed. We did the full tourist thing and went to the 4711 perfume shop to buy gifts for our Mums, we went up the high tower, did the cable car over the river (and right over the top of the nude part of the hot-spring spa), and saw the padlocks attached to the bridge. The idea is you put a lock with your name and a special date on the bridge and throw the key in the river, so to remove it (and break the relationship) requires special effort. There are literally thousands on there - look

My husband and I also visited the marvel that is the Jack Wolfskin shop. It's a shop, and it has a full-sized proper pond in the basement. We could not believe our eyes! This wasn't in the guidebook, but it really should have been....

It's the shop at Minoritenstrasse 2, 50667 Cologne (I think, right in the centre just down the street from the Aldi shop), talking of the Aldi I was very proud to get the hang of how you recycle your plastic bottles to reclaim your deposit, all in German. I know, the English are rubbish at foreign languages, but it's always good to have a go - right? It's probably different when you speak the language I am mangling.

A long post - but it was a great holiday!

I've been invited next week to the opening of an artisan co-operative shop full of handmade goodies (in the Mailbox, Birmingham). I am trying to include lots more pictures in the blog and I am looking forward to the goodies in store there. Hope you are too.

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