Saturday, February 25, 2017

Cologne, Germany: WDR ‘Funkhaus’ – Chic Café near the Train Station

The city of Cologne is not the prettiest in the country, I must admit. It is also not the city with many trendy and stylish cafes that you can easily find on the streets. You better go to Berlin for this.

Brote & Kase mit Schwarzwälder Schinken und Gewürzgurken

My direct train from Cologne (Germany) to Utrecht (Netherlands) is going after 19:14 and I have an hour and a half to kill time. So the day before this trip, I searched online and found the Funkhaus Bar Café Restaurant on Wallrafplatz which is very near the train station (Koln Hauptbahnhof) and the Cologne Cathedral. It is basically just a stone’s throw away; a quick 4-minute walk to the train station passing via the cathedral.

Because I did not want to miss my train, I settled to eat here. But more importantly, the ambience and design looked pretty much up my alley. I love visiting cafes, bars and restaurants with beautiful and cosy interior design. The more stylish, unique and catchy they are, the better.

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The location of Wallrafplatz on the map of Cologne:

Cologne is dubbed as the ‘media city’ of Germany. It is the Netherlands’ Hilversum so to speak. All the big media names in the country are obviously based in Cologne. The WDR which takes the name of the café restaurant – WDR Funkhaus – is one of Germany’s major public radio and TV broadcasting network. The network station at times organises live events and forums in the bar café.

Because I will be arriving late in the Netherlands and the Dutchman would have had dinner, I have decided to eat in Cologne. I do not make it a habit though to eating outside when I am travelling to Cologne for work. I always prefer to eat together with the Dutchman, at home, and with food that I cooked myself. However, this evening was an exception.

I ordered an open sandwich, their Brote & Kase / mit Schwarzwälder Schinken und Gewürzgurken (Bread & Cheese with Black forest ham and pickles) and a Thomas Henry Bitter Lemon. I get inspired when I see other soda brands served on the menu, it is a breath of fresh air from the usual humdrum big brands.

What I love about this light dinner of rustic bread – cheese – dry cured ham – pickles is the delivery. If what you ordered is served prettily like this, you will be more than delighted to eat it. Food presentation truly matters and is very important to me. It arouses our gustatory cells and we look forward to enjoying the meal and the whole experience.

This was a very pleasant meal. I very much enjoyed the combination of the chicory leaves, and I loved it that they added a portion of sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) which is a favourite of mine. This is perhaps one of the best and chic bar cafes I have seen in Cologne, and its proximity to the station is a big plus.

A Few Cologne Tips: 

  • On Wallrafplatz you will find one of the popular Cologne bakeries called Merzenich. They sell pretzels here in many flavours and seasonings. Great to bring home as souvenirs.
  • If you love panoramas, check out the PANORAMA Köln Triangle building for views of the city. It is just across the Hohenzollern bridge.
  • The Cologne Carnaval is huge in Germany. The event is celebrated between the 1st and 2nd week of February. Check the city tourism website for exact dates.

WDR Funkhaus

The bar, cafe and restaurant is located on Wallrafplatz.

Thomas Henry Bitter Lemon

When I am not drinking any alcohol, I prefer to drink a tonic or a bitter lemon. I ordered the German-brand, Thomas Henry.

Funkhaus Bar
Funkhaus Bar

Really liked the lighting behind the alcohol bottles.

Brote & Kase mit Schwarzwälder Schinken und Gewürzgurken - Funkhaus

Brote & Kase mit Schwarzwälder Schinken und Gewürzgurken (Bread & Cheese with Black forest ham and pickles, with a generous portion of sauerkraut).

Brote & Kase mit Schwarzwälder Schinken und Gewürzgurken

Wallrafplatz, Cologne.

Koln hbf

The ICE train to Amsterdam usually leaves on platform 5.

Travel Period: March 2016
Destination: Cologne (North Rhine Westphalia), Germany

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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