Wednesday 27 March 2013

Kirchenkarhütte, Hochgurgl, Austria

Only reachable via a steep and lengthy T-bar lift, Kirchenkarhütte is a simple and traditional mountain watering hole in a very picturesque spot. From the sun terrace, there are far-reaching views up the valley towards the mountains around Obergurgl. If the weather is closing in, grab one of the dozen wooden tables in the cosy interior, which is a cross between a country cottage and a log cabin - there are antlers on the walls, plump cushions, sheepskin rugs on the wooden benches, lead-paned windows, delicate curtains and even the odd cuddly toy. You have to order at the till and there can be a long queue even though the grim-faced men behind the counter work hard to keep things moving. But the well-kept toilets are on the ground floor, so you don't have to brave stairs in your ski boots. The blackboard menu offers simple fare, such as goulash soup (less than 5 euros), sausages, frankfurters and bread. But it is tasty enough and keenly priced. The most elaborate thing on the menu is the Brettljause (about 10 euros), an assortment of cold meats and garnishes. Even though it is in a ski resort, Kirchenkarhütte feels pleasingly remote, as a mountain restaurant should. 7/10