Annafest – The forest beer festival you’ve probably never heard of

In Catholic Bavaria many festivals have their roots in traditional feast days and Annafest is no different. The celebration of St Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary, means 11 days of beer and celebration, in a forest, on a hill.

Where?annafest pinterest2

Forchheim, Bavaria. Known as the gateway to Franconian Switzerland, this pretty half timbered town lies to the North West of Nuremberg. As with Bergkirchweih, if you’ve ever worked for Siemens,  you’ll probably have heard of it.

The beer festival takes place in the Kellerwald (cellar forest). A forest, on a hill, located on the outskirts of the town. The hill has cellars built in which the brewers have used for over 100 years to store their beer in the cool temperatures below ground. The cellars open their doors throughout the summer, but for the 11 days of Annafest you’ll find added attractions, music and food alongside the delicious and local beers.

When?

This year 22nd July-1st August 2016. The feast day of St Anne is 26th July, so Annafest takes place around this date and always includes two weekends.

Daily 11am-11.30pm but some cellars open at 9/10am

Anstisch – The tapping of the first beer barrel and official opening will take place at Schindlers Keller at 5pm 22nd July 2016. A free beer is always a possibility.

Who?

Annafest is a family friendly festival and open to all. You will definitely feel a more local authentic vibe and probably won’t hear a lot of English. Check out my insider’s guide for the inside scoop.

What happens?

11 days of good local beer, food and music. All the usual festival trappings, a ferris wheel, terrifying and not so terrifying rides and entertainment for the kids (and big kids too).

annafest night

It’s a good time to crack out the Tracht, come on, you know you want to. Dirndl or Lederhosen it’s up to you, but of course it’s not compulsory, and if you need some tips I have plenty.

Each keller has it’s own personality. Some are for party animals and some are more sedate (you can actually hear yourself talk), reservations, unless you have a large group, are generally not required.

Beer

The kellerwald has 23 kellers serving 11 different local beers. Is that enough choice for you?walberla3

The beer served is Festbier which is generally stronger than normal. Perfect for Radler, a mix of beer and lemonade.

My favourites for Festbier are Eichhorn, Greif and Zirndorfer. If you are looking for something a little different try go for the Schwarze Anna from Neder, really tasty.

And there is plenty more to drink than just beer, everyone is welcome at Annafest.

Food

Aside from the traditional, Schäuferla with kraut and dumplings yum! You’ll find some other more untraditional choices available like curry and fancy alcoholic cupcakes.

Gemütlichkeit

Of course Germany has a word for it. That wonderful feeling of comfy, cosiness, surrounded my friends, dancing on benches and generally enjoying being alive.

And now I have to get packing because I’ll be there tomorrow and I absolutely cannot wait.

 

Copenhagen Street Food Market

The whole concept of street food and food trucks in general is one that I really love. If you feel the same Copenhagen Street Food Market is going to be somewhere you NEED to visit.

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When ‘street food’ arrived in Germany, well at least Southern Germany, the concept got a little lost. The food is expensive, the queues are long and a lot of the food is just not that good. This being my experience and my first time in Denmark (where the cost of living is higher anyway) I was a bit apprehensive about what I’d find. The Street Food Market turned out to be a great find, I only wish that I’d been in the city longer to enjoy it more.

The premise is colourful and cheap street food in a relaxed atmosphere, and that is exactly what you’ll get. The most picky of eaters will find something they like and most kitchens have vegetarian, gluten free options and are happy to cater to food allergy/intolerance questions (in English) which I really appreciated. Every stall has at least one dish in the 50-75 DKK range, excellent for testing out a number of places without breaking the bank.

The building itself was previously warehouse space, which fits in 33 (not that I counted) food stalls, plenty of seating and room to get around, even with the biggest of pushchairs. The centre is partitioned, as you can see above and called ‘The Greenhouse’, this area of the warehouse accepts reservations and can cater to pretty big groups. Here a waiter takes your drinks orders but you still have to venture to the individual stalls for your food (and cutlery). I can see the value in a reservation if you are in a big group or need a seating area.

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Seared sesame tuna with slaw and a brioche bun, heavenly, and this was the last one of the day, when it’s gone, it’s gone.

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There is still a traditional side to the street market and these were some of the best open sandwiches (Smørrebrød) I’ve tasted. Piled so high they were a little indelicate to eat, but I care not for manner judgers when the food is this good.

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And this is what happens when you nip to the loo and leave MrC in charge of the food, some of it goes missing and leftovers don’t photograph well. The taste however was fabulous, I could eat these summer rolls forever.

Eating food with just a spoon is a concept I can get on board with (less washing up for a start) and The Spoon Company do just that. Be it savoury or sweet, all you need to eat it is a spoon. The mixed bean chilli was delicious, with just the right amount of kick. We sat outside the stall and had a good nosey into the greenhouse opposite, for a warehouse it looked pretty swish, also a good place to sit to smell the bbq at Oink Oink which will be my first call next time.

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There is plenty of outdoor seating available and with the view of the city available most people only head inside once the rain arrives. The market itself is always evolving and also hosts live music events. Music, on top of the standard and wide range of food means I’d started planning a return trip before we’d even left.

Where IMG_4496

Warehouse 7&8,
PapirØen (Paper Island)
Trangravsvej 14
1436 Copenhagen K

How to get there

On Foot/bike – The ‘kissing bridge’ has just been finished meaning the market is easily accessible to walkers/bikers right from the city centre (so convenient!)
By Land – (Around the harbour) Bus 9A
By Water – Boat bus 933 Experimentarium City Stop

This wasn’t the only place I’d recommend in Copenhagen, keep an eye out for more of Denmark itself and it’s wonderful eateries soon.

One week on…

I posted this picture on Thursday, I never imagined that I would wake up to a country on the path to becoming separated from the EU.

I don’t usually call my husband a liar as soon as I wake up, I don’t usually exchange expletives via text with my parents, I’m not often completely lost for any word other than the four letter variety, but, there really is a first time for everything, and last Friday morning was just that.

What now? That was, and still is, my only question. And then the Prime Minister resigned. So in addition to (as far as I can see) no plan, there is now no leadership of the governing party. The opposition at least waited a couple of days to implode, thanks for that, I’m not sure I could have taken much more on Friday morning.

MrC and I were heading to Bayern anyway, so thankfully neither of us had to endure a workplace full of questions until after the weekend, small mercies. The journey takes about 2 hours and we spoke about 4 words to each other the whole way there. What could we say, other than the obvious? Sound bites from Farage on the radio were weirdly similar in delivery to something that I’d heard before, Oh wait, that’ll be from the Dokuzentrum in Nürnberg.

What now? was the only question I discussed with Brits that morning. Yes remain voters accept that it’s a two year process but come on, someone has a plan, right? The Bavarian (who is actually British too) was greeted with hugs and sadness when she picked up her littles from their international school on Friday. The car journey back was similarly quiet to the first (highly unusual for us)

One thing that I can’t get over is that more ‘Leave’ voters aren’t livid. Campaign promises were being reneged before 10am on Friday and yet a win was still being celebrated. I wish I could believe that the majority of people who voted that way did so for sensible economic reasons, not because they lapped up the tabloid version of the Referendum which effectively said ‘Make Britain great again, by getting rid of all those immigrants who are taking our jobs/houses/money and sticking two fingers up at Europe because we are an Island and better than them’.

There is a lot in the news about racism and hate towards immigrants in the UK. When the mainstream press love a sensational headline above actual news though, it can be hard to work out what’s true. So when I saw a post of Facebook from an old school friend (you’ll find it below, edited for privacy, used with permission) I was upset, angry and ashamed beyond belief that this had happened in my hometown. I don’t care which way you voted, racism and xenophobia are not a way forward.

At the end of the street where I grew up lives a little old lady. She sadly lost her husband this year. She's quite a character - a little bit fierce, a lot opinionated, kind, quirky, and fascinating. She used to be a housekeeper in a big h

One sparkle of hope for me was that within my age bracket more voted for remain than leave, that I’m not alone in my views and not the only one holding onto hope that something good will come of this. I’ve given up being disappointed by the older voters who came out in droves and voted leave, my disappointment is  directed at the turnout in younger people, the ones who will have to deal with the consequences of this mess, mostly failed to turn up at all.

What now? There’s still no plan. The country is divided, families are divided, political parties are in chaos and still no plan. I can hold on to a little hope of a second referendum, the result being bypassed (because after all it is only advisory not binding, and I’d love to see the outright blatant campaign lies challenged in court) or just an actual plan! Something, anything, other than the game of ‘you do it’, ‘No you do it’, ‘No you do it’ which is currently being played.

Overnight my passport country cut off it’s nose to spite it’s face. The consequences so far include uncertainly in the market, uncertainty of leadership and uncertainty for the future. Whilst I’m glad some of the UK feels happy that they have ‘won’ and been heard, I’m not sure they actually know what they’ve won and I’m fairly sure no one knows how this will all pan out in the short term or the long term.

It’s almost like one side didn’t actually mean to win. What now?