The sun’s out, temperatures are glorious and all we wanna do is get out of the city, hang below palm trees in an apple orchard and eat ice cream, right? I have the perfect place for you: Schloss Schwante, Clärchen’s Ballhaus’ Sommerfrische, a super pretty castle in the countryside about an hour north from Kreuzberg!
What’s a Sommerfrische, you ask? It’s the place privileged city-people fled to during the summer heat to literally freshen up. In this case, it’s a former mansion built around 1740 whose grandeur justifies the title “castle”. This beautiful building is embedded in a park with apple trees, a vegetable garden and a lake with a small stage for summer theater, hosted by Monbijou Theater playing enjoyable pieces by Shakespeare and Goethe.
The restaurant itself has charmingly restored rooms inside and a very pretty terrace overlooking the apple orchard. With a high chandelier and many potted palm trees, it’s easy to spend entire days, ordering one treat from the menu after another. Visitors from the city and locals mix up, from kids groups ordering ice cream to couples enjoying a romantic dates to girlfriends with dogs having a coffee.
I decided to come here for lunch on one of the hotter days last week, when it was almost unbearable in the city, but delightful in the countryside – so the mushrooms on Serviettenknödel I ordered from the menu weren’t too heavy (12,90 Euro). Especially since they don’t come in a creamy sauce but with many herbs and wild salads, and the Knödel was cut into a thin, flat slice serving as a bed for the vegetables and mushrooms, instead of the usual thick slices. The kitchen prefers to feature produce from the area, the juices come from a press close by, the ice cream is made in the same village, which is also where the animals for the Schwante burger, the Currywurst and the Schnitzel were raised. Enjoying these dishes in the beautiful setting makes them even better, and helped me overlook small downsides like the fact that the whipped cream topping my strawberry sundae came from a can.
Brandenburg is still and too often a wasteland when it comes to food, albeit the produce available is plenty and delicious. So I’m very happy to see more and more food places with more respect and attention for our region and heritage coming up. Schloss Schwante is a prime spot to have dinner after coming from one of the many lakes, or just for a luxurious lunch trip in a busy week.
Want to go there, like, now? But don’t know how to get there? You can still get your hands on one of three Opel convertibles for the upcoming weekend, join the raffle here.