“May I suggest the Zurek soup, Madame?”
Cold and tired from a long day in Berlin and a three-hour train ride to Poznan Poland, I found the suggestion of a hot bowl of soup irresistible. It arrived to my table steaming hot, choc full of smoked bacon, bits of sausage, and half a hard-boiled egg. I took a tentative sip and fell in love. My first encounter with Polish cuisine and it was good, oh so good.
Sheraton Hotel in Poznan was the source of this blanket in a bowl, since then I’ve tried Zurek Soup in other restaurants in Poland and have yet to find one as good as this Sheraton’s Olive Restaurant.
I regret to say that I only spent one day in Poznan but I did manage to do a ton of wandering around both inadvertently and deliberate. On my first venture to check out the sights of Poznan on foot, I promptly got lost. Now mind you, Poznan is not a large city, but my usually excellent sense of direction deserted me that day, and I blame the jetlag. But getting lost turned out to be a good thing, as I ended up discovering the old district of Łazarz with its bustling open-air market, Rynek Lazarski. After I finished admiring the ancient buildings and sampling some of the local foods at the market I gave up trying to find my own way around and hopped into a taxi asking to be whisked away to Rynek Stary.
Rynek Stary is Poznan’s official old market square and it is grand, being the third largest old town squares in Poland. With its soaring buildings bursting with color, the old market is alive with people, music and food. This area of the city is closed to automobile traffic and invites you to stroll, shop, eat and enjoy life even during the winter months. Be sure to wander into a few of the many pubs that reside along the square and sample the dark regional “Fortuna” beer. Another great sight is the Town Hall with its display of famous goats battling it out at midday on the clock tower. A great place for souvenir hunting is along Wozna Street, east of the town square, where you can find a decent selection of handmade crafts.
Where to Stay:
I stayed at the Sheraton located about 5 minutes from the central train station and the only five star hotel in Poznan. I was surprised to find such a modern and well-appointed hotel for my short stay in the city. The staff was excellent, well-trained and very professional, kudos to the hiring manager at this hotel. I am especially indebted to them because I had forgotten my Mac power cord in my room and didn’t realize it until I was in Warsaw. They rescued my cord and sent it to the next hotel I was staying at in Krakow, with no extra charge! It was also one of the few hotels I stayed at in Poland and Germany that provided cappuccinos and lattes that didn’t come out of an automatic machine, they were lovingly done by hand with the cutest latte art designs in the froth. This hotel boasts an indoor pool, a 24/7 fitness centre, and also my fav feature, in-house massages, perfect after a day of walking around town!
Where to Eat:
Cacao Republica – 10 varieties of hot chocolate!
Zielona Weranda – lovely café, great place for a leisurely lunch or a coffee and dessert. Be sure to try the Portuguese Salad.
Brovaria Microbrewery and Restaurant – Try the hot spiced honey beer, hot chocolate and plums wrapped in bacon, makes my mouth water just thinking about this place.