Baiersbronn, a gourmet heaven in the Black Forest
When it comes to the Black Forest, Germany, it is rare to associate this area with good food; in fact, this area is usually associated with the wild and majesty of nature and the spa. In reality, it is precisely in an area of the Black Forest, the Baiersbronn, that the majority of the Michelin starred restaurants of Germany are located. An area to be included in your wish list if you are a food lover and if, as happens to me, you travel to discover the food of a particular place. In this food and travel guide I will bring you with me to discover the Baiersbronn region, so to make you desire to book right now.
All about the Baiersbronn
The Baiersbronn district is located in the region of Baden-Württemberg, in the southwestern part of Germany considered the sunniest in the whole country. It is no coincidence that in this area are concentrated winegrowing productions and pastures and it is also for this reason that food is one of the key elements for the survival of the population.
It is divided into 9 districts, which all wind inside the Black Forest and lapping the National Park, completely inaccessible to cars:
It is not difficult, therefore, to find yourself in the middle of places that literally end, stop and where you cannot drive because they are located within the Black Forest National Park.
The Baiersbronn of the Michelin Stars Restaurants
Known to be the center of German food and wine, Baden-Württemberg is also internationally recognized for its food and wine and food offer. Specifically, here is where Michelin restaurants make the difference: by itself, the whole town of Baiersbronn with 8 Michelin stars is the city with more starred restaurants in Germany. The peculiarity of the Michelin restaurants in this area is to have chosen to focus entirely on local production and on the enhancement of the territory: the 2-star Schlossberg, inside the Sackmann Hotel, is the clear demonstration of this. Jörg Sackmann, head chef at the Schlossberg, only offers dishes with local ingredients, most of them collected daily by his son Nico in the forest behind the restaurant. So in the menu, you always find at least one wild grass, combined with a dessert or a piece of meat or cheese. The basic idea of Sackmann’s cuisine reflects exactly the lifestyle of this part of Germany: making the most out of the land, enhancing it to keep traditions alive. And it is precisely the tradition that guides the culinary offer of all the starred restaurants of the Baiersbronn.
The not starry Baiersbronn
t is no coincidence that this part of Baden-Württemberg is chosen by those who want to relax and stay in contact with nature but also to eat well. And it is not necessary to choose a starred restaurant to eat well here. Just stop in one of the many taverns to savor the goodness of a local cuisine that goes beyond the classic pretzel and sausages; for example, at Seidtenhof, a charming inn from which you look across the valley and the Forest, you can taste the pine ice cream, one of the typical Black Forest plants and the forest honey ice-cream, all produced with milk by cows milked in the close farm and perhaps accompanied by strawberries and berries that grow in this area. Or at the Forellenh of Buhlbach, where you can eat trout bred directly on the farm, surrounded by the Black Forest which in this area is transformed into a Protected National Park.
Other unmissable food and wine experiences in the Baiersbronn area
But it is not just the experience at the table that in the Baiersbronn becomes gourmet because there are many and diversified offers for those who want to learn local food and appreciate it: for example Christine Bissell, an English expat in the Baiersbronn, organizes walks in the Black Forest (the Kräuterwanderung tour) during which she teaches visitors (as well as locals) how to recognize edible herbs and use them in the kitchen.
The Culinary Hiking Heaven programme teaches visitors the important relationship between nature and nourishment. This program involves wild plant hosts which are restaurants and inns using natural ingredients from the local forest to prepare their dishes; wild plant guides who take visitors on hikes and introduce them to all the forest has to offer; and the c where visitors can learn all about the various plant that can be eaten.
And while you walk inside the Black Forest it is not rare to find real wine fountains where the volunteers of the area leave bottles of wine available to walkers: you just have to pay 1 euro for a glass of wine and sip it while enjoying the amazing view.
Thanks to tours and offers such as these you can understand even more about the food and wine vocation of Baiersbronn: a small community of about 15,000 people who, with time, starting from the monks who settled here centuries ago, knew (and still know) how to suffice to themselves, giving life to a real paradise where tourism is not mass but well selected for age and interests.
Where to sleep in Baiersbronn
The tourism offer of the Baiersbronn perfectly reflects the surrounding environment: there are no hotel chains, no tourism multinationals, but everything is managed at a family level precisely to keep traditions and transfer them. The Sackmann Hotel, where the star-studded Schlossberg restaurant is located, is all family-run: the Sackmann family runs and works daily in the hotel, which offers rooms in perfect German style with a priceless view of the Black Forest and attention to the little details that make the difference. Some examples? At breakfast, guests have at their disposal a station all dedicated to jams prepared in the kitchen with fruit from the area. Or, for all the hotel guests there is a well-equipped wellness center with swimming pool, saunas, Turkish bath and massage rooms and everything is linked by a common thread: the Black Forest, its flavors, its colors and its smells. And yet, there is WiFi but it works the bare essential because in this area of Germany you come to unplug, to rest, to feel good and to forget everything.
How to arrive in the Baiersbronn region
The Baiersbronn and the whole Baden-Württemberg area can be reached from Stuttgart Airport in just under 2 hours by car.
When to visit Baiersbronn
There is no better time to visit the Baiersbronn because of the offer that changes in every season. Spring and summer are perfect for those who love walking and experiencing the surrounding nature to the fullest. Autumn and winter are ideal for those who want to rest and enjoy the tourist facilities and the hospitality of these areas.
How long should you stay in Baiersbronn
The time to be spent in the Baiersbronn is really subjective: those who love nature, relaxation and good food will not struggle to stay a week, those who prefer to turn and visit more areas can stop for a couple of days. A good compromise is 2-3 days in the Baiersbronn and 2-3 days in Stuttgart, to see two sides of the same region.
If you’ve read all of my guide, you’re all set: you’re ready to book your holiday to Baiersbronn!
[This Guide is the result of a trip project with Baden-Württemberg. All the pictures have been taken, as usual, by Giuseppe].