You desperately miss your foodie weekends. They’re short trips that usually aren’t planned very far in advance. They’re based upon a restaurant, not a destination. You typically piece together the rest of your trip—breweries and cafes, museums and shops, hikes and farmers’ markets—after your dinner reservations are secured. While attached accommodations, whether a few rooms or a full hotel, feel like the icing on a sweet cake. It’s been too long.
PURS was on your radar before the world came to a halt last year. The hotel and restaurant opened a few years ago in Andernach. The quiet town, in between Cologne and Frankfurt, is one of the oldest in Germany. It sits on the left bank of the Rhine. The surrounding Rhineland has a picturesque landscape dotted with castles, churches, and grape-growing vines. Plus the borders of Belgium, Luxembourg, and France aren’t very far away. So there’s plenty to keep you occupied when you aren’t eating.
As for the property, it’s the type of place you wish you could call home. The whitewashed, gabled-roofed building was constructed in 1677 as a chancellery. It has a commanding presence on a residential street. Iron gates lead into a small courtyard that’s filled with wild plants. Axel Vervoordt, a Belgian designer famous for reimagining the homes of celebrities, took over from there. In his first hotel, he created a handsome lobby. The reception desk is an anitque pharmacy counter. White linen sofas keep the focus on the art: Japanese abstract paintings. Plus the warm fireplace will make you want to come downstairs early for an apéritif before dinner.
The rooms are an ideal mix of historic and modern, as well. Though each one is unique in both layout and decor, repurposed wooden floorboards, rainfall showers, and sleek electronics are standard. You have your eye on Nº5, a junior suite with slanted ceilings, lots of natural light, and a freestanding tub. Its deep armchair will be the perfect spot to get a lot of reading done.
The calm hotel starts to come alive as the evening approaches. That’s when the restaurant wakes up, and the magic starts to happen in the kitchen. The space looks surprisingly casual with its red walls, simple wooden tables, and retractable glass wall separating the chefs from the diners. There’s nothing casual about the food, though. Chef Christian Eckhardt was lured away from other fine-dining restaurants in Germany. He quickly racked up two Michelin stars for PURS. His harmonious dishes are complex, thoughtful, and beautiful. Most importantly, they’re delicious.
For dinner, you have a choice of five, six, or seven courses. Just go with seven, you’ll regret it otherwise. Starters might feature scallops paired with curry or sea bass topped with peppery radishes. Entrées include Norwegian lobster and Danube salmon. The chef’s signature dishes, sea bream royal and guinea fowl excellence, are among the main courses. While unusual flavors, like hickory wood or mustard, might accompany the desserts. Best of all, there’s no rushing through the wine pairings or a digestif at the end of the meal, since your room is right upstairs. Hopefully, you can start making reservations again soon.