We love Steins, a Bavarian beer garden at the side of the Thames in Richmond – what is there not to like?
This beer garden is owned by Bavarians so it does not have the tacky atmosphere, instead serves traditional German food, wine and beer. Be warned this place is only open when the weather is good – not that you would want to go if it was raining heavily as it a beer garden after all.
Stein’s lies about five minutes walk from the Richmond River and is tucked under a few low hanging trees. This place has no roof and is a patio floor with wooden benches and tables. Customers share seating on long benches and share in the communal love of eating and drinking. As you walk through the entrance there is a general hustle and bustle but not encroaching on the leisurely strollers along the river. It is sometimes hard to get a table – especially on warm weekends – but you usually can squeeze in a spot. N.B guests can book if there are a large group of you.
We managed to squeeze between a couple of Russian tourists who had been introduced here by local friends. The seating is arranged so as to encourage vistors to talk to each other which gives of a relaxing vibe. There are a lot of foreigners but these are often ex Londoners or have been introduced by locals.
We asked our friends to hold the seats while we went up to the counter to order a sausage and meat platter as well as some Eiswein and German wine. You do need to eat here to drink alcohol due to their license, and you will need to show receipt as proof off food purchase each time you go up to get the next round.
There is a hatch for food order and a second for the drinks order which can often feel like a big of hassle especially if their is a queue for each. There are quiet long queues but these go down quickly and you are served with typical German efficiency.
The beer came out in large pint glasses or jugs and the wine in short cheap wine glasses. The beer is refreshingly sharp and cold just like any good German beer unfortunately the German wine sticks to the stereotype of being tart and acidic; that is not to say that I tar all German wine with same brush – but this wine does leave a lit to the imagination.
Within 10-15 minutes our food came out; served on a wooden platter there is a selection of meats and sausages piled like a pyramid with salad in the middle holding up the tower. The meat is served with gherkins and sauerkraut and is about authentic as it gets.
This is the perfect way to spend a relaxing summers day. With the sun on your back, efficient waiters and plenty of food and drink I have had many a happy memory here. As a result Sex Drugs and Bacon Rolls gives this place:
Food Atmosphere Service