Dieter Müller is one of the best known chefs in Germany and his namesake restaurant was next on my list during my stay in Cologne. A three star Michelin restaurant, it is housed in a beautiful Relais & Châteaux Hotel called Schloss Lerbach, which like Gut Lärchenhof, is about 16km from the centre of Cologne. Dieter Müller retired as head chef of the restaurant last year and now only acts as its patron. Into his place has stepped Nils Henkel. For better or for worse, I had no illusions that the restaurant would be the same as when Dieter was there. But it was going to be interesting to discover how the restaurant fared given that the chef whose name upon which the fame of the restaurant was founded is no longer in full time service.
Schloss Lerbach is a beautiful, grandiose building housed in lovely lush grounds. The restaurant itself is a statement in formality. It’s classically elegant, if a little old fashioned, and overlooks the gardens which are made all the more visible by the tall glass windows that line the length of its walls. The windows also serve to let in lots of natural light, which on this nice sunny day made me feel as if I was dining in a garden paradise.