Every summer I look forward eagerly to spending a week at Wörthersee, a lakeside refuge in southern Austria that is R&R incarnate. Its translucent, fresh blue waters bordered by verdant forests and snow-capped peaks are famously calming and restorative (it’s little wonder the celebrity-frequented detox and wellness Mayr Clinic has an outlet here), while this serene spot has an equally buzzy side – exemplified by the cool and perennially crowded Lakeside lounge and restaurant in Reifnitz, on the southern shore.
Accessible by boat, car or foot, this sun-soaked spot serves lunch and dinner – in fact, the two often blur into one – amid chic clapboard interiors, with bossa nova tunes and excellent people-watching opportunities as motorboats moor at Lakeside’s dock. Both the menu and wine list are superb. I nearly always order the seared tuna (€18) with a tangy Balinese mango and papaya salad as a starter, while the rose-water-sprinkled watermelon (€13.50) with Persian feta-esque cheese is as refreshing as it sounds.
For the mains, the pasta dishes are delicious – it’s usually a toss-up between spicy salami and tomato (€12.50) and a seasonal chanterelle with creamy truffle sauce (€16) – while there is more local fare on offer too. The freshwater saibling fish (€24), for example, is cooked in its entirety with lemon and herb butter alongside Parmesan potatoes, and there’s also a traditional wiener schnitzel (€22) with parsley, potatoes and cranberry sauce. The homemade sorbets and ice creams (€2.50 per scoop) are a fine finish, as is the traditional sweet cheese curd cake (€6.50) – which I’m sincerely hoping to find on the handwritten menu again come August.