Oh, the summer is leaving us this year but I can still reflect back on some great al fresco meals we’ve had – ok, who am I kidding? I have a bit of a photo backlog from this summer and I’m finding a few gems here and there to share with you. Like that day we went bicycling along the Thames and the path was so pebbley that I thought either one of my tires would get a puncture or my teeth were going to jiggle out. And then we came home and used Google Map Pedometer to map our ride and it turned out to be 30km – nice. Only when I thought about it, it felt like much longer since we were negotiating all those pebbles.

At about lunchtime that day, we’d reached Richmond – no coincidence since I’d timed for us to arrive there for our midday meal. We were headed for Stein’s, a consistently busy beergarden on the Thames serving Bavarian food and beer. It was a fine day when we got there but do call ahead if the weather’s bad (as suggested on their website). I can’t remember if they had outdoor heaters.

We parked nearby, secured our table, and I joined the long queue for food. The queue moved at a snail’s pace, what with the people wishing to practice their German, people unclear on what to eat, people unclear on the drink policy (drinks are only served with a main meal and a pretzel is not a meal!). Drinks you collect immediately but the food is brought to you when it’s ready. To drink, I had an Almdudler sparkling herbal lemonade imported from Austria; no photo of it but it tasted like a slightly gingery lemonade – gorgeous stuff.

Bayerische Schlachtplatte

To eat, we ordered the Bayerische Schlachtplatte – a Bavarian Sharer platter for 2: A selection of grilled Nuernberger, Thueringer and Polnische pork sausages & bacon, served grilled with lots of sauerkraut and potato mash, all with a little Bavarian flag on top. While the little Nurnberg bratwursts weren’t up to scratch, the Polish style one and the big Thuringer bratwurst were both delicious, as were the Polish sausage and the bacon. The bacon was actually sublime – porky and meaty and a far cry from the watery specimens found at most supermarkets. The big slab that looks like Spam is Leberkäse (don’t worry – no liver and no cheese in it) and it was very moreish as it wasn’t as salty as the version I’ve tried previously. The sides were alright – nothing can compare to the memory of the porky sauerkraut I tried in Munich!

Bayerische Schlachtplatte

The platter might look huge but we managed to put it away rather easily and also found space for a slice of mediocre Sachertorte. A number of cakes are on display for dessert and are joined by a few others listed on the menu – I’m up for trying the Dampfnudel mit Vanillesauce next time! Actually, what I’d like to do is gather a group of friends to try Die Grosse Bratwurst Sause (a whacking huge platter) for 6-8 people!

Stein’s
Richmond Towpath
Rear of 55 Petersham Road
Richmond TW10 6UX

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