Recently I met up with my friend James in Bernkastel Kues. We were scratching our heads for places to eat when I remembered a place I drive past whenever I visit the town.
Kloster Machern is an interesting and rather attractive monastic complex dating from the eleventh century. I had been meaning to check it out for ages, so this seemed to be the perfect opportunity.
In keeping with age old traditions, hospitality is still a core activity at the Kloster which boasts a brewery, “Brauhaus” restaurant, cafe and wine bar, as well as various museums, gardens and function rooms. There is also an interesting shop selling various locally made liqueurs, jams and vinegars, and it is also possible to buy their beer to take away.
We had lunch in the Brauhaus, although light meals are also available in the cafe. As it is housed in the main building, we expected the Brauhaus to have the usual Gothic theme. Wrong! Inside, it was stunningly modern and really cool as this picture shows:
The food did not disappoint either, with decent portions and very reasonable prices. The menu has a distinctly Bavarian air to it. I tried Leberknödel (liver dumplings) served with Sauerkraut and mashed potatoes all smothered in an amazing bacon sauce (see picture below). It was rather good. James opted for traditional Flammkuchen (I know, that originates from Alsace, not Bavaria) and he said it was delicious too.
Because I was driving, I did not try the beer although according to the menu that also has a Bavarian slant with light, dark and “Weizen” available. The drinks menu is extensive and includes wines, spirits, soft and hot drinks. Talking of the menu, it comes in the form of a newspaper containing lots of interesting information about the Kloster and the area, plus you are free to take it with you which is a nice idea.
The museums are seasonal and are currently closed. I believe they are themed around children’s toys and religious icons.l, and I know they also have special events throughout the year.
The Kloster offers plenty of scope for special events, and it is a popular wedding venue. It is located on the opposite side of the river from Zeltingen and from the complex you get a fabulous view of the huge but controversial Hochmoselübergang bridge which now spans the full width of the valley.
Kloster Machern is definitely worth a visit. Their website is https://www.klostermachern.de/bernkastel-kues/cms/front_content.php?idcat=35&lang=1 although unfortunately it is only in German. However, we found that most staff there spoke some English and were very friendly.