Goslar, on the northern edge of the Harz Mountains, is the sort of town where you expect fairy stories to come true.
Its web of narrow pedestrian-only streets is bisected by a tumbling mill-stream, while the cobbled medieval marketplace is full of old gents in breeches striding purposefully towards ivy-clad bars for a fruit schnapps strong enough to knock the icicles off their long, story-telling noses.
The Kaiserworth is a perfect fit into this fairytale setting. Originally a guildhall built by wealthy cloth merchants in 1600 to dominate the marketplace and upstage the town hall, it is a fantasia of statue-encrusted salmon-pink walls topped by slate turrets shaped like magicians’ hats. It looks like the sort of place Rapunzel would go on holiday to let her hair down.
A perfect fit into a fairytale setting
Its restaurant, the Worth, has a painted, vaulted ceiling and stays open all day; on market days (Tuesdays and Fridays) it fills with country ladies eating cake. The cellar bar opens every evening, but drinkers unused to the strength of German pilsener should be wary of getting too close to the bar’s ancient well.
The rooms themselves are eccentrically distributed and widely disparate in size and presentation. Depending on your preference, you can choose between modern decor or traditional heavy oak. Many of the rooms have four-posters, and the hotel even has what it calls its English room – with Laura Ashley furnishings and watercolours of British landscapes.
If you are prepared to spend a bit more and book well in advance, you might be able to secure one of the honeymooners’ rooms, overlooking the marketplace. The best are furnished with huge statues with plaster cherubs on the walls, and you can sit in the glass-windowed turrets and compose love poetry or watch market day proceedings down below.