The Domschenke can be found in the small town of Billerbeck – one of the many small towns that does not rate a mention in the tourist guides but has a quiet old part (now pedestrianized) at its centre. The hotel is well named: you can step out of its front door and into the cathedral whose twin spires dominate the skyline for miles around.
It was a 17thC house originally, but has been much renovated and extended in recent years, to the extent that it now seems something of a reproduction, both inside and out. The clear exception to this is the bar, part of which has conspicuously ancient beams. But replica or not, the beamed dining room is cheerfully rustic. The bedrooms are comfortable rather than full of character – uncluttered and restrained in decoration, with new but traditional-style furniture: unusual shapes (such as an alcove accommodating a double bed) lend extra interest to some rooms.
The hotel has been in the eagerly helpful Groll family for 130 years, and the youthful kitchen brigade is now competently led by the son of the household, Frank. He has added modern dishes to the repertoire of Westphalian specialities.