On Saturday, we decided to find a cheaper place to eat breakfast in Baden-Baden. This was not a problem, since the town is loaded with cute little cafes that serve breakfast. We opted to eat a Cafe Koenig, which looked like a very quaint little cafe, but is actually part of a chain. Bill says they have a location in Tokyo, although I never would have guessed it by its very cute decor.
Bill decides on how he likes his eggs.
He settled on scrambled.
I had fried… Both eggs came with ham and bread. We had cups of coffee, but I decided I needed hot chocolate, too…
And I’m happy to report that they do it right at Cafe Koenig, which is more than I can say for a certain five star hotel in Switzerland… This was also about half what we spent at the hotel.
As we were enjoying breakfast, we talked about what we wanted to do. Both Bill and I wanted to try the spa at Brenners Park, although we neglected to pre-book services before our arrival. In retrospect, that was a bad idea. It turns out the although the hotel was underfull, the spa was going great guns. We also wanted to visit the two mineral baths. Then, it occurred to me that we forgot to bring our spa towels, which we would definitely need at Caracalla. So, after breakfast, we went searching for towels, since we didn’t want to pay 21 euros each to rent one at the spa (6 euros rent and fifteen euros deposit).
We tried the Wagener store with no luck.
There was a little mall at the end of this drag and didn’t find anything there, either.
But then we found a store that was selling “beachwear”, and they did have towels. Ironically, we spent more buying towels there than we would have if we’d rented them. But at least they’re our towels. In fact, they are “sauna towels” and are extra long.
Bill did manage to get us spa appointments, however he was not able to get us booked at the same time. He had his deep tissue massage at 11:30am and I had my “massage menu” at 3:15pm. Those appointments pretty much ate up the day, since by the time Bill was finished with his appointment, it was only about a couple of hours or so before it was time for mine. We both had the same massage therapist. I wasn’t in attendance for Bill’s appointment, so I’ll just write about mine.
When I arrived at the spa at about 3:00pm, I checked in and a lady with heavily accented English showed me to the sauna room, where a very friendly male receptionist invited me to change into my robe. I had brought my own with me, since I know it fits. The robes at Brenners appeared to be pretty generous, but I have gone to places with robes that are too small and that was a problem I didn’t want to have.
After I changed into my robe, I was shown into a reception area and invited to have tea. Everyone else in the reception area was fully clothed, which made me feel a little awkward. Little did I know that any shred of modesty I had on Saturday would completely be stripped of me on Sunday. More on that in the next post.
I had just taken a few sips of my “detox” tea when the massage therapist invited me into her parlor. She was very young, quite giggly, and friendly. I wasn’t surprised when she had me answer a questionnaire and handed me a pair of “spa panties”. Bill told me he’d worn a pair and they hadn’t really covered anything. I tried to put them on and did manage to get them to my hips, but found them to be very uncomfortable and basically useless. When the therapist came back into the room, I told her they didn’t fit and just wore my regular underwear.
To be honest, I don’t know why they don’t have patrons do that as a matter of course, since my underwear were pretty much pulled halfway down my ass the whole time, anyway. I guess the spa panties are used so you don’t get massage oil on your unmentionables, but my unmentionables get exposed to all kinds of stuff anyway. What’s the difference between oil and all the other stuff?
I forgot to take the spa panties out of the pocket of my robe and they got washed. I’m surprised they survived the wash. They were made of cotton, though, which is a step above the paper ones I wore in Budapest.
The therapist, whose name was Angela, was very strong and professional, although since I’d asked for a “massage menu” and that was supposed to entail several techniques based on my specific problems, I expected her to ask me where she should focus her efforts. She didn’t do that, although Bill said she zeroed in on some stiff areas on his shoulders. I will admit that when Angela was finished with me, I felt pretty damned great. I need to invest in more massages.
I got a choice of orange, lavender, or vanilla oils. I went with lavender, while Bill chose orange. When we were finished with our hourlong session, I tipped Angela 20 euros in cash. Bill did the same after his session. That’s one thing I did notice about Brenners. Tips are definitely warmly appreciated with no awkwardness whatsoever. On the other hand, I never got the impression that they were expected, either, which is also very nice.
Since I didn’t manage to finish my tea, Angela offered to make me more. But I decided I wanted to get back to Bill. I got confused and went the wrong way, ending up at the spa again. Fortunately, the kind staff was able to point me in the right direction to get back to the room. Bill and I had decided to have dinner at a steak joint called Porter House Grill.
We were in the mood for meat.
Obligatory shot of Bill.
Bill had an Argentinian entrecote with steakhouse fries. They also had USDA beef that was priced at a premium. I almost ordered that, but decided I’d rather have ribs and roasted potatoes.
These ribs arrived “unsauced”. They weren’t bad, but they didn’t satisfy my craving for southern style ribs. This isn’t a dish I have very often, though, so I was determined to enjoy it. You can see the small ramekin of sauce on the left. It wasn’t bad barbecue sauce, but it didn’t taste quite like what we have in the United States.
We had a lovely Spanish rioja. Our first choice, an Argentinian Malbec, was not available. The waitress said they’d been waiting for weeks for the order to come in.
The inside of the restaurant was very nice. I loved the ceiling.
For dessert, I had cheesecake creme brulee with berries and chili chocolate ice cream. The ice cream was, indeed, “hot”. Bill loved it.
I liked his chocolate cake with Bailey’s Irish cream sauce.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped to watch some ice skating. It wasn’t very cold outside, but lots of people were enjoying the ice. I would have liked to have tried it myself, although it’s been about 39 years since I was last on ice skates! I took lessons as a child, but that was many years ago.
We spent some time in the lounge, listened to music, and watched a French couple skip out on their check. Bill said he saw them last night, though, so I guess they did end up paying. I’m glad to hear that, since I used to wait tables and know the pain of people walking out on their checks. I think it was just an oversight, although the waiter seemed a little stressed.
Another day done!