Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Englhof- A Drinker's Paradise

Well, the prodigal drinks blogger returns, rejuvinated through leisure and relaxation he comes with tales of bountious hostelleries to warm your hearts. I know that is a bit of an overly grandiose way of saying that I'm back from my hols and I stayed at a cracking hotel, but I'm in a good mood. I have just gotten back from a holiday in Austria, the home of Sacher Torte, the Sound of Music and lederhosen. I could not help but review the hotel I was staying at.

The Englhof (Angel House) is a family owned hotel up in the mountains in the Zillertal valley (part of the Tyrol) in westen Austria an hour outside Innsbruck. The setting is absolutely breathtaking, the air is fresh and clean with mountains surrounding the hotel. Most people head to the Zillertal in winter, to Hintertux or Mahyrhofen for the top notch skiing, but in summer the landscape is all the more beautiful and perfect for mountain walking with the cows in bloom.

The Englhof is a hotel I have visited an innumerate amount of times before and has been a holiday destination for my family since before I was born. It is good value (58 Euros a night including breakfast and dinner), the food is absolutely amazing and the rooms are wonderful. However, the reason that I want to share my experience with you is that the hotel has undergone a bit of a change on the alcohol front.

Andreas, a member of the owning family has undertaken to re-vitalise the bar. This came about primarily through a love of cocktail making, Andreas has won many accolades for this winning a prestigious competitions. Overtime he has shifted his focus to incorporate spirits and has built a substantial collection of rare and limited edition spirits now standing at 1,350 bottles, the second largest in the country! Andreas' passion is undeniable, he and his bar staff are hugely knowledgeable and Andreas even visits London and Scotland each year to visit different bars, try all the new spirits (especially whiskies) and find new rare bottles to add to his collection. This has been my first visit to the Englhof in around 8 years (and the first where I was drinking in earnest) and the selection of whisky was absolutely staggering, this coupled with the ability to sample in 2cl pourings was absolutely fantastic.

If you ever find yourself in or anywhere near the Tyrol region of Austria a really suggest a visit. Better yet, if you are really into food, beautiful scenery and top quality hooch then make a dedicated trip. People come from miles around to the bar at the Englhof with you having to book a table on a thursday night. I promise you won't be dissapointed.

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