Not too long ago, National Geographic released their list of the 17 Most Romantic Destinations in the world. Among those that made the cut were the French Riviera, Venice, and our very own Moselle region. For all of my expat readers stationed at Spangdahlem – congratulations! You live next to one of THE most romantic places in the world!
There is so much magic and charm to the Moselle area, and there’s so much you can do there – especially with your significant other. Don’t know where to start? No problem. I’ll help you make the absolute most out of a date night on the Moselle.
This week, in the first of a new series, we’ll start with three of the most romantic restaurants on the Moselle River.
Restaurant Anno 1640
This restaurant is really special to me because this is where my husband and I have our anniversary dinner each year. There is no significance here for us – we just ate here one time while dating. But it was the most beautiful restaurant with the most amazing food I’d ever experienced.
Anno 1640 is in Bernkastel-Kues, tucked away behind all of the hustle and bustle of the main walking areas. The cobblestone street, the fachwerk, the lanterns – just walking through the town from the parking lot already sets the mood.
The restaurant is actually part of a hotel called The Märchenhotel – which translates to The Fairytale Hotel. You can either sit inside or on their patio outside, but be warned that you absolutely have to make a reservation – especially if you want to sit outside.
Here you can see the patio area on the left (under the red and white striped overhang). What makes this restaurant truly romantic is the fairytale element that’s incorporated into everything. If you want to see something amazing, take a second to look at their fairytale-themed rooms.
The decor inside is gorgeous. The menu itself is like a book of fairytales. And all of the items are named after stories or characters. Unfortunately, no description I can give you will do it justice. It really is something you just have to experience.
The food and the wine were absolutely delicious.
General Tips for Restaurant Anno 1640
- Make a reservation if you want to sit outside.
- If you request a table outside, tell them not to sit you at either of the tables at the far end of the awning. The reason I say that is because these tables usually have issues with bird droppings (in the corners of the bench seat) since the table isn’t completely covered by the awning.
- Go during the summer, right around dusk, and sit outside.
- If you don’t eat inside the restaurant, take a peek before you leave. It’s something to see.
Address: Kallenfelsstraße 27, 54470 Bernkastel-Kues
Heading north up the Moselle River, we come to the second restaurant in the town of Zell.
Unlike Restaurant Anno 1640 (which is a bit hidden away), Zum Eichamt is right on the Moselle River. My husband and I actually stumbled upon this place by complete accident last year. Everything in the area was closed at the time because it was the off-season (think dead of winter), but we called ahead and spoke to a very nice lady who said they would be opening in an hour or so. We ended up having the entire restaurant to ourselves for the majority of the evening. And that is definitely the biggest perk to living near the Moselle region – when the tourists are all gone, you get everything to yourself!
This restaurant is gorgeous. And that fire! We were so cold when we got there because, like I said, it was winter when we went. We were able to warm ourselves by the fire, and she had romantic music playing softly in the background. She, here, being the owner. If you read the reviews on TripAdvisor, one of the things you’ll see repeated over and over again is how friendly the woman working up front is. She is just as lovely as everyone describes her. But, she’s not just the waitress/bartender, she and her husband own the restaurant – and he’s actually the chef working back in the kitchen. She was so sweet and let us choose whichever table we wanted. She made the most perfect wine suggestions and was just about the most accommodating person I’ve ever met.
And the food. Oh, my word. It was to die for.
Unfortunately, I can’t remember what our dishes were called, and the menu changes seasonally, so I don’t have any way to look it up. But what I will say is that this was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. And that is not an exaggeration. My plate was the one in the picture above. Now, I’m not a huge meat eater. I usually go for vegetarian options and won’t eat any meat with even the tiniest tinge of pink because I’m just not a huge meat fan. But, I ate every last bit of this. If it wouldn’t have looked so tacky, I would have licked the sauce off the plate, too! It was that good.
I think mine was roast beef with vegetables, potatoes, and a wine sauce. My husband loves red cabbage, so I know he had that with vegetables and potatoes, but I’m not sure what kind of meat this was. Knowing him, it was probably either lamb or veal – or possibly even duck.
The dessert also changes periodically, but the ice cream is always homemade. This was heavenly.
General Tips for Zum Eichamt
- Make a reservation if you go during any of the major tourist seasons – call ahead just to be safe if you go during the off season.
- For the most romantic atmosphere, go after dark.
- Let the owner make a wine recommendation for you.
- Don’t be put off by the fact that the menu only has a handful of dishes on it.
- Order the dessert. Whatever it is – order it. You won’t be sorry.
Address: Rohrgasse 2, 56856 Zell
Helpful Links: Online Menu
Alte Mühle Thomas Höreth
Finally, we come to what is arguably the most romantic restaurant in the entire region and the furthest point north on our list.
Alte Mühle Höreth is not too far outside of Koblenz in the small village of Kobern-Gondorf. It’s not in the back of the city center like Restaurant Anno 1640, and it’s not right on the water like Zum Eichamt. This restaurant is hidden behind the shadows of a castle ruin. Take a second to watch this three minute YouTube video of the restaurant and the surrounding landscape if you want to get a nice overview.
This complex of buildings, which used to be a mill, has been there since the 11th century. The ambience you will find here is not something you can create artificially. The age and history of this building give it a character that is not just romantic but awesome – and not in the super cool way but the literal “full of awe” way.
And again, just like the other restaurants, the food was outstanding, as well as the wine.
I was honestly so overwhelmed by this restaurant that I let our waitress make recommendations for me (the food and the wine). So, I don’t have any idea what I actually ordered. What I can tell you is that the food was amazing and worth every penny.
Out of all of the restaurants on this list, Alte Mühle Höreth would definitely be my pick for the most romantic. The food, the wine, the dessert, the ambience, the castle, the vineyards, and, of course, the walk to the hotel.
These are hotel rooms – believe it or not. There are only a handful – maybe four or so. But they range from small rooms to mini-apartments. When we were there last, all of the rooms were full, and the guests were sitting on the private terraces drinking wine and talking. Aside from us, though, there was no one out here. The hotel is on the same street as the restaurant, but it’s down a ways. Once you walk through the last few houses, it’s just trees on either side with the castle looming overhead. Very quiet here. Very peaceful. Insanely romantic.
General Tips for Alte Mühle Höreth
- Make a reservation regardless of whether you want to sit inside or outside.
- Definitely dress up. You can get away with dressing semi-casually at the other two restaurants, but if you don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb here, dress up.
- After dinner, take a walk to the hotel.
- If you go during a warmer month, walk up to the castle ruins. They’re literally across the street from the restaurant, and you’ll get a really beautiful view of the river to cap off your evening.
- To make the evening especially romantic, book one of their romance packages
Address: Mühlental 17, 56330 Kobern-Gondorf