WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
The German word gemutlichkeit is largely untranslatable, but in this part of Austria it describes an atmosphere of calmness, relaxation and belonging. And after even a short time in Carinthia, you realise how central food and drink is to this chill-out culture. “Around here people don’t go home after golf,” says Christian Kresse, CEO of the Carinthian Tourist Board. “They stay and eat.” And it’s not bacon butties and sandwiches. Most golf clubs seem to set as much store by their restaurant as their golf course, offering expansive eating areas and specialist menus full of fresh, local produce. Indeed just across the Italian border, Tarvisio GC employs a two-star Michelin chef. For this reason alone, there is often no need to venture away from the clubhouse; expect to find local favourites such as Wiener Schnitzel, Kasnudel (cheese noodles) and apfelstrudel, though the Italian influence ensures plenty of pizza and pasta. Carinthia is also trying to lead the world in so-called ‘slow food’ – made solely from unprocessed, fresh local produce. For a wonderful taste of what can be achieved, head to the hidden, perched eaterie at Sternberg, a couple of miles south of Velden Kostenburg GC. Here you can enjoy natural, fine cuisine while watching the sun setting on the 7,000ft Mittagskogel slopes.