That's what my evening out with three of my girlfriends felt like on Friday. (If you click on the link in the first sentence, you'll land on my first post about our regular nights out.)
We like to try a different restaurant every month, and on Friday, we took a short drive (13 km) to Besigheim, a small town north of Ludwigsburg. Like nearly all places around my home town, it is much, much older, finding its first written mention in 1153. Famous for its well-preserved medieval town centre and surrounded by vineyards and wineries, Besigheim calls itself proudly "Germany's most beautiful wine town". Beautiful it certainly is:
The pictures above were taken from across the river, where we parked and then walked into town. The two below show the typical medieval street layout, so different from the symmetrical way Ludwigsburg was planned five centuries later.
Well preserved and cared for medieval houses. They are really nice to look at, but I doubt I'd want to live in one. Small windows and thick walls mean they are not as light and airy as I like to live.
The building with the clock is Besigheim's town hall. The restaurant is just next door on the ground floor of another well-kept timber framed building.
The "Olive" offers Eastern-Mediterranean food (I believe this style is called "levantine"), and the owner Ahmad Tanha and his team are doing a great job. The decor is nice, modern but not "artsy"; the place is clean, the food excellent and reasonably priced, and the staff friendly, witty and charming without being silly or slimy (as does happen every now and then when ladies dine out without male company).
Starters shared by the four of us - of course there is hummus, tabouleh, and several other delights. The carrots are glazed and spiced with cinnamom, cardamom and others (not sweet, just lovely and unusual).
One of my friends had this oven dish of aubergines and other vegetables. The size would have fed all of us!
My choice was this salad of avocado and tomato with cheese.
Another of my friends had beefsteak with roast spuds...
...and the fourth had duck which looked delicious and very tender; also with spuds. (Sorry about the bad quality of these pictures. I did not use flash and took them very quickly, because a) I did not want the hot food to get cold for my friends, and b) did not want to disturb the other guests.)
We were all happy with what we had ordered - and so full up afterwards that nobody felt like dessert! By the time we left the restaurant, it was of course dark, but still warm like an early summer's night. All this combined - the short trip to this beautiful place, the great food, good company and warm evening - made it feel like a mini holiday for me. This was our first time there, but certainly won't be the last.