Even though I love every part of Bavaria, Germany, there are some locations that really hold a special place in my heart. It’s not just that it’s visually stunning location, it also produces some wonderful memories. One of those places is Bamberg. 

Apart from the magnificent castle, beautiful rose garden and lively beer gardens that Bamberg has to offer, there’s a little place called the Cafe Piano Bar. It’s owner is Oliver Derks, a talented pianist and composer of classical music.

Piano Bar by Oliver Derks

We had stumbled across the Cafe Piano Bar a few years back on our first visit to Bamberg. It looked like a nice quiet spot for us to wind down at the end of the day. Right in the middle of the cafe was a piano which divided the front cafe section from the clothing line which was at the rear. We were the only guests then and we sat at the window and ordered some coffee. Before long, this gentleman went to sit at the piano and started playing something beautiful. I’m not the biggest fan of classical music, but in this setting it sounded amazing. It was like a private concert had been put on for us. How romantic was that!

Relaxing music … what a perfect finish for our visit

It wasn’t until we took a careful look around that we noticed the CD’s which Oliver Derks had produced. There was this guy on the CD covers playing just for us! His music was very relaxing and perfect for a cafe, hotel foyer, day spa or just chilling out. Unfortunately we had to rush off to our next destination so we didn’t have a chance to chat to Oliver this time round. It was the perfect finish to our visit to Bamberg.

.. 2 years later … We had to return to Bamberg …

Needless to say, we had to return to visit Bamberg again. Yes, the Cafe Piano Bar was at the top of our must do list. There is always the chance that the second time around may disappoint. It’s hard to replicate the enjoyment that you get when you discover a place for the first time. What if he wasn’t there to play for us?

We found the Cafe Piano Bar looking a bit different this time around, with the piano all the way at the back of the cafe now. Not that it’s a huge space! Oliver Derks was there to greet us and serve coffee. Oliver may not have the artistic flair as some of our Aussie coffee makers, but I would guess that the music is what people come here for. The coffee tasted great too. This time we were again the only guests so we took the opportunity to have a chat with him. We did come back all this way to see him! He is a kindly, warm-hearted man with some words of wisdom to share with his guests. He speaks gently and politely and without being asked to, he treats us to another private concert. Thank you.

Within the cafe, there is a picture of a beautiful woman. I asked him who that was and he informed us that it is a photo of his late wife. She had passed away since our last visit. Each year, in memory of her, he holds a free concert in Bamberg.

Visit the Piano Bar or just get the music …

Oliver had produced a couple more CDs since our last visit, which we walked away with! How can you not take a couple home after such an encounter? This time around was even better than our last visit, because we had the opportunity to meet Oliver. Next time, to give us a different experience, I think we’ll visit in the evening and enjoy a bottle of wine while listening to Oliver play. If you are ever in the region, do pay the Cafe Piano Bar a visit to experience the magic of Oliver Derk’s music and even when you can’t you have the chance to listen to the music which is for purchase in his online store: http://www.oliver-derks.de

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Listen to the music here: