Located at the end (or start) of the Romantic Road, was our last stop on our 2 week trip through Germany: Wurzburg.
Even though it happens every time, the thing we fail to factor in on that last adventure-packed night, is that we are always so tired.
Thankfully, we had a room booked at Hotel Steinburg, just begging for us to throw off our shoes, jump into bed, and relax.
One of the things we wanted most during our trip was to spend a night in a castle, and luckily, Hotel Steinburg fit the bill perfectly.
We arrived in the late afternoon after driving down the Romantic Road from Rothenburg and were welcomed into our new, modern room with a wicked view overlooking the Main river.
Of course, being a castle, the hotel also has older more traditional style rooms which really allows guests to pick the choice that suits their needs. A simple call to the hotel staff with a description of your wants and needs makes sure that everyone has that perfect stay, and I was pleased that our choice in the new Refugium wing had worked out so well.
Now, as I said above, we had all kinds of plans for exploring Wurzburg and taking in the night life. After spending the majority of the last two weeks in small quiet towns, we expected we would be bursting to jump into the busy city centre of Wurzburg.
But, instead, as we looked down on the town below, we decided to allow ourselves one night of relaxation and luxury, and instead decided we could do a quick tour in the morning. Besides, when you book a room at the Steinburg, it’s meant to be enjoyed.
After a bit of a rest, we made a reservation at the hotel for dinner and headed out to explore what the Steinburg was all about.
We toured the hotel grounds and took in the scent of the crackling fire burning in the entrance,
And admired the exterior of the castle perched atop the hill,
Peeked into the castle rooms,
Spiralled down the staircase into the wine cellar,
And walked through the hot and steamy pool area,
Before landing ourselves in the restaurant for aperitifs.
One thing about Wurzburg is that it has a massive vineyard, producing a large number of high quality white and sparkling wines. Most are sold throughout the city, but the Steinburg has a small patch of vines which it grows to make its house wine. Eager to test it out, Cole grabbed a glass of the sparkling wine, flavoured with the fruit of the season: apples.
During our trip, I had refrained from ordering aperitifs because there usually aren’t any non-alcoholic options. Thankfully, the Steinburg had an apple one that was similar to the sparkling wine, but made with apple juice, soda, and vanilla syrup.
And guess what, it was SO good that I actually ordered two!
The sweetness of the vanilla syrup, the tart apple tones, and the soda water all mixed perfectly together.
Moving into dinner, we were seated at a comfortable table by the window, overlooking the twinkling lights of Wurzburg below. As the lights dimmed, the setting became quite romantic and I could see why this place can be quite full on Friday nights – or even more so, Valentine’s Day.
Looking through the menu, we each really wanted to get a taste for what the Steinburg was all about. Plus, we had some Euros to blow.
Cole went for the five course pumpkin-themed meal (complete with wine pairings), while I ordered a la carte.
It was so hard to choose just one entrée to order, that in fact, I ended up ordering two – one for an appetizer and one for a main. I didn’t care though, because by this time, I was starving!
To get our taste buds going, we were first given an amuse bouche – salty prosciutto with saffron rice.
Then, our meals began to roll out one by one.
Starting with a radish and beet carpaccio salad,
Chicken breast with pumpkin and apples,
And a yellow and orange pepper sorbet with pumpkin purree. This was perhaps the most surprising as it was sweet with a bit of a kick. Forgetting what the menu said, we contemplated the flavour for quite some time before finally breaking down and asking the server for a hint.
As Cole ate through his dainty appetizers, out came by first meal of the night, pesto gnocchi.
Smothered in a pesto sauce, sprinkled with fresh Grana Padano, and paired with warm tomatoes, came a bowl full of little potato-stuffed bundles of joy.
After a few pieces, I could see why this dish was in fact an entrée and not an appetizer. That being said, it was absolutely delicious, creamy, and jam packed with flavour. The perfect comfort food for a relaxing and romantic evening and definitely my favourite dish of the night. Unless we’re counting the apple aperitif as a meal (just kidding).
Then, out came our real entrees.
Tender slices of venison, coated in a red wine sauce and paired with bits of salty spatzl and soft chopped pumpkin.
And, thick slices of duck breast placed on a bed of chopped mango puree and topped with brocollini and green sprouts.
After dinner, I contemplated the dessert selections before realizing that ordering two entrees had defeated me.
Cole, however, still had his fifth and final course coming out: champagne jellies, pumpkin crème brullee, fresh fruit, and pomegranate seeds. Perfectly light yet sweet and tangy.
By this time, I wasn’t about to completely give up and I ordered one last thing…
Another apple aperitif.
Yes, I know it’s meant for the beginning of your meal, but honestly, it was sweet enough that it was actually quite fitting for a dessert. Plus, it’s not like I could have came back in a week for another. Because trust me, if I could have, I would have.
The ingredients in each dish were exceptionally fresh and carefully selected, which added to the high quality of each dish and the feeling of romanticism and luxury throughout the night. I would highly recommend booking a reservation during your stay, or if you’re already in town, head on down for dinner one night! This place is worth the drive up the hill (and more).
After dinner we headed back to our room, turned on the television, and I started a hot bubble bath. The massive tub, which looked out towards the view of Wurzburg, had been calling my name since I first saw its picture on the website.
Big enough to swim in, I lied back, closed my eyes, and relaxed until I was a ball of jelly; before crawling out and climbing my way into bed.
In the morning, we awoke feeling rejuvenated and ready for one last day! We pulled back the curtains, packed up our things, and headed down for our last breakfast buffet.
All before sadly wishing Hotel Steinburg goodbye and driving down to the old part of Wurzburg.
We parked the car near the city centre and journeyed out onto a bit of a walking tour past the main sights.
It was a bit of a gloomy day and I’ll admit that Wurzburg wasn’t as beautiful as all the small towns we had stayed in prior. But, it does have two main sites, including a palace and a world UNESCO heritage site perched on a hilltop across the river. Plus, there are quite a bit of shops and stores to visit within the city centre and a big market outside the main church.
We decided to first make our way to the old palace, wandering through the grounds and admiring the old statues.
Before walking through the town square and along the river boardwalk.
We made our way to the main bridge, admiring the UNESCO site above, and strolled across it to the other side of the river.
Unexpectedly, as soon as we stepped onto the bridge we were surrounded by locals drinking champagne, hanging out, and listening to music. Tiny bistro sets filled the entrances and everyone seemed so happy to be outside enjoying the town on a Saturday afternoon.
A little pressed for time, we decided to forgo walking up to the UNESCO site, especially because any tours were closed for the afternoon. If you’re a history buff though, you will definitely want to make the journey up and take a peak around.
Instead, we headed into Locanda and split a massive pizza (a find I had noted through browsing my instagram feed). Choosing a patio table overlooking the water, we watched the boats pass by and took in the atmosphere. It was here that we, as always, wished we lived in Europe and could experience this culture every day.
Although our stay in Wurzburg wasn’t what I expected, it ended up being the perfect place to complete our trip. From the luxurious room, to the delicious meal, to the generally social feel of Wurzburg itself, it was a place I would definitely recommend adding to your travel list. Plus, it’s so close to Frankfurt that you could just hop on a train and head down from the airport or perhaps rent a car and do a quick cruise on the Autobahn.
Maybe it was the fact that our journey had come to an end, maybe it was that we finally took a night just to relax, or maybe it was just being in Europe again, but we left Wurzburg feeling completely content.
My stay in Wurzburg was in part sponsored by the Hotel Steinburg, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. I would highly recommend staying here while you’re in town visiting, or as a romantic getaway with a loved one – or even on your own for some peace and quiet. The hotel made us feel special and appreciated, and our new and modern Refugiam room didn’t leave out a single detail (including automatic floor lights when you walk into the bathroom and heated floors). I couldn’t speak more highly of it! Even if you don’t stay, you must book a reservation at the Steinburg restaurant and enjoy some local wine and high quality German cuisine because it’s worth the splurge.