If you though the last installments of this guide were useless, this one is even more so. As it covers a couple of small places you're almost certainly never going to get within 50 km. of. Why the hell have I been to Leinefelde? Dolores grew up there.
Fifteen kilometers north-east of Mühlhausen, reached either by road or a single-track branch line, is the small town of Schlotheim. Again, the impatient ones amongst you can refresh themselves on the way in the village of Korner, which has a Gaststatte in an attractive old detached building.
In Schlotheim itself is the Schloß Gaststatte (10-22; Fri, Sat 10-24; Mon closed), a baroque palace dating from 1772 which has been converted into a community centre. The palace was built on the foundations of an older, fortified castle, of which you can see traces, and is still surrounded by a dry moat. One section of the building is used as a restaurant, containing three diversely and surprisingly pleasantly decorated rooms. The first, the Bauernstube (farmer's room) is in rustic style with plain wooden furniture. The second is more like a standard restaurant. The third, the Spiegelzimmer (mirror room), is in a palatial baroque style with ornate furniture, chandeliers and, of course, whole walls of mirrors. All in all, the conversion has been very well done, making it stylish and interesting, without being at all intimidating. It's used mostly by locals and is surprisingly uncrowded. Try to visit before the W. Germans discover it and spoil all of that.
30 km north of Muhlhausen, on the edge of the Eichsfeld, an exposed and intemperate hilly area, is Leinefelde. Formerly a large village, it became a town in 1969 with the development of a local textile industry. The town reflects this, having a relatively small centre of typically Thuringian houses, surrounded by large estates of mid-rise flats.
On the main street, at the opposite end of town to the railway station, is the Eichsfelder Hof (10 - 23; Sun closed). Housed in a large detached building next to the Catholic church (the Eichsfeld is one of the few Roman Catholic areas of the DDR), its expansive interior contains numerous rooms. Downstairs are a basic taproom in the Czech plain pine style and a more comfortable restaurant. Upstairs are various function rooms. Usually available are draught Neunspringe Pils and bottled Braugold Angerbrau Pils. Draught Wernesgruner Pils has also been known to make an appearance here, but you'll have to be on particularly good terms with the waiter to get a taste of it, as it's kept for the regulars.
On the Centraler Platz, a modern shopping precinct that immediately conjures up images of Hounslow, Peterlee, or Corby, is the inspiringly-named Stadt Leinefelde restaurant (10 - 18; Sat, Sun closed). From the outside it looks like a 60's community centre, but once inside this image is immediately dispelled - it's more like a school assembly hall set out with tables for an examination. Large, modern - in the most depressing architectural meaning of the word - and spartan, it's not outwardly the most welcoming place to go for a meal. However the food is good and cheap and the service excellent, as this is where trainee catering staff receive their practical experience. The beer, Braugold Pils, is also top class.
One of the pubs mentioned is still open. The Place my father-in-law used to work:
Heiligenstädter Str. 1,
Tel: +49 3605 512329
It is the Season to Be Jolly - Ho Ho Ho !! - Well its about 3 weeks before Christmas, so I thought I would be safe..how wrong I was. Readers of 'A Swift One' in previous years will know of my passion ...
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