Austrian cuisine doesn’t get its proper due in London, and that’s a shame, since its hearty, flavorful fillets, cutlets, sausages, pototoes, and salads make for some of the most satisfying meals around. Fortunately, there’s Tiroler Hut, London’s oldest and finest Austrian restaurant, where you can enjoy a German-accented guys night out that’s nothing less than epic. Walking in, you may feel like you’ve stumbled into a quaint pub in some mountain village. Established in Notting Hill way back in 1967, the place gets its name from the section of the Alps near the Italian border, with appropriately lofty decor lending it an adventurous feel–look out for miniature statues of horse-drawn beer wagons, oil paintings depicting alpine life, and plenty of red-white-red Austrian flags.
Grab a seat and take note of the red gingham table cloths and massive beer mugs being delivered to nearby tables. Before you know it, waiters and waitresses – sporting lederhosen and dirndls respectively – begin to traipse through the space to lively accordion music played by a similarly costumed master of ceremonies. Order up a few steins for the table, but be aware that these gigantic mugs of Dortmunder are a two-hand operation. The meat platter is the next natural choice for a large group of hungry men, a mix of bratwurst and frankfurters served on a bed of sauerkraut, but don’t miss out on a bubbling pot of fondue, especially if it’s cold outside. If you think this raucous banquet of Tyrolian specialties is constrained to the food, listen for the first tinkle of cowbells – yes cowbells – to announce the real treat of the evening. Order a quick round of schnapps shots and get ready to join in a group sing-along of Edelweiss, accompanied, of course, by those bucolic bells. By the end of the night, you may just be in the market for your own pair of dashing green lederhosen, and a nice Tyrolean hat to go with it.