One must never discount suburbia when looking for well-run hotels. Take the number 10 tram out of Basel and after a 15-minute ride you are in Arlesheim, where streets in the old part of town are still cobbled. Just outside are vineyards, with a small old chateau looming above. Many people stay at the Ochsen when attending the nearby homeopathic hospital or going to the huge theatre at Dornach for productions of Shakespeare and Goethe, whose Faust plays here at its full length over ten days.
‘I’d be happy to stay here,’ commented our reporter, who liked this inn, founded in 1692 by a family of butchers whose descendants help to run the restaurant. ‘Not for vegetarians, though,’ he warned, since gilded bulls heads, model pigs and cartoons of every sort of animal adorn the walls, while the speciality is calves’ liver with a perfect rosti. The oak panelling here was saved during the 1990 rebuilding but elsewhere, walls are of cool marble. Bedrooms are simple: pale colours and furniture in wild pear wood are offset by antiques and paintings by a local artist. Those on upper floors look out on the cathedral or nearby hills and vineyards.