Vendôme, Cologne

Whether you’re just arriving at Vendôme or you’re already seated at your table you are assured a stunning view. The restaurant belongs to the imposing Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg, which is situated in Bergisch Gladbach, near Cologne in Germany and, once inside, you are able to eat while looking out at either Cologne Cathedral or over the bay of Cologne.

Ranked number 30 for 2015 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants (which also makes it Germany’s top restaurant) Vendôme’s three Michelin starred kitchen is run by Joachim Wissler; a chef known for his innovative modern twists on traditional German recipes (his ‘Modern Classics’ menu includes venison with elderberry jelly, salsify and chanterelles and sole with lobster, accompanied by spiced butter, artichokes and a lime caper sauce).

After training at the world renowned Hotel Traube Tonbach in Baiersbronn, he picked up his first Michelin star in 1995, when he was Chef de Cuisine at Schloss Reinhartshausen in Eltville am Rhein. After relocating to Vendôme in 2000, he was awarded his next three stars in 2001, 2002 and 2005 respectively.  Vendôme has also received 19.5 Gault Millaut points – an achievement which reflects Wissler’s dedication to his unique flavour combinations.

He uses only the finest ingredients to create his menus, with each dish taking inspiration from Asian, Nordic and French stimuli. Each dish contains explosions of taste that are perfectly balanced against the next and Wissler’s presentation would not look out of place in an art gallery.  Recent diners have praised his food as ‘quirky yet elegant’ and ‘exceptional and brilliantly delivered.’

Alongside the food, Vendôme is also noted by the Michelin inspectors for its ‘interesting wine list’, which houses over 900 of the best bottles from German and French vineyards , and the near perfect service from its informed waiting staff and sommelier.  Combining this with a décor that manages to retain light and air while still providing an intimate ambience makes a visit to Vendôme a near perfect dining experience.