By Elena del Valle
Photos by Gary Cox
We arrived in La Wanzenau, a small town just north of Strasbourg, one of France’s easternmost cities, on a cold and rainy day. Soon after we arrived we took shelter from the weather at the Romantik Hotel Relais de la Poste, a family owned hotel in a historic building with a gourmet restaurant on the ground floor.
It took us slightly longer than we expected to reach the village due to the slow traffic caused by heavy rain and we missed lunch by five minutes. Since most of the town was closed down for the afternoon the hotel staff was kind enough to offer us a snack. A few minutes later, they served us a shared deli platter of yummy cold cuts, cheeses and green salad in the ground floor lounge (the restaurant had closed).
We reached our second floor room via a small elevator or a narrow staircase which led to a quiet circular foyer with doors all around. Beyond our door, Room 18, the 250 square feet of private space where we spent the night, had putty color carpeting and eggshell color textured walls.
I imagine the room had been updated from the original many times since the construction of the building in 1789. The modern looking room had two single beds set together and against a colorful velour and satin covered headboard. Small white wood night tables framed the beds. In front of the beds, three comfortable armchairs, a wood armoire, mini refrigerator, and built in wood table with a flat screen Loewe television made up the living section of the room. There was also a balcony facing the main part of the building and adjacent street. We enjoyed stepping out to see the area although because of the chill air we returned quickly to the warmth of the interior area.
Dinner was an elaborate affair in the hotel’s gourmet restaurant where we had a three-course menu. We sat in a handsome glass enclosed terrace and were looked after by a young and pleasant waiter. Following the amouse bouche, we had home made goose liver foie gras au torchon, a goose liver dish, served with warm brioche bread and local sweet wine. The main course was a stout codfish prepared with chorizo, white beans and a delicious savory seafood broth. Three wonderful cheeses, a blue, Munster and Swiss Gruyere aged two years, followed.
Dessert consisted of a variety of flavors in a sampler platter including banana ice cream with a cookie spoon, a creme brulee mini tarte, and a small tarte tatin. We completed the meal with the obligatory cappuccino and herbal tea and walked out pleasantly satisfied.
The Romantik Hotel Relais de la Poste (21, rue du Gal de Gaulle 67610, La Wantzenau, France, Tel +33 (0)3/88 59 24 80, www.romantikhotels.com/La-Wantzenau or firstname.lastname@example.org) is one of 200 independently owned and managed Romantik hotels and restaurants in 11 European countries.