We were surprised to read that in the middle of St Mary’s, the largest of the Isles of Scilly, there is a Bavarian cafe, The Kaffeehaus. Of course, as fully-signed-up Germanophiles, we had to see this for ourselves. It was easy enough to find, despite its remote location, thanks to the blue and white chequered flag flying high above the premises, visible from half a mile away.
The homemade pretzels were expensive, small (not as small as those in the picture…) and no better than the ones we bake ourselves, but that was more than made up for by the excellent and authentic-tasting strudel.
And there was beer — Carlsberg, yes, but also Augustiner Edelstoff. We’ve had it before but it was interesting to taste it again after several days of drinking only very traditional British ales and the occasional local lager. It seemed rather bold, pleasingly light-bodied for its strength (5.6%), with a fresh hop flavour and aroma that brought to mind chewing on a stalk of new green grass. There was certainly no syrupy corniness and it could hardly have been paler in colour. A German equivalent of the British ‘pale and hoppy’?
For a brief moment, we did manage to kid ourselves that we were in a village somewhere near Munich, especially when a Swiss couple sat down next to us and began to chat in German. They, on the other hand, were bewildered: where were the pasties? The cream teas? The crab sandwiches? The Ales of Scilly? Had they travelled by train and boat and plane, and then yomped for an hour, for this?
We think we visited every pub on Scilly during our stay. We’ll let you know our favourites tomorrow.