According to legend, the minstrel Blondel discovered the place where King Richard I of England was imprisoned by singing the monarch’s favourite song beneath the castle battlements. Did it really happen here? Who knows, but the old walled town of Dürnstein and its ruined castle are still worth a visit, particularly when you stay in this yellow-painted villa.
   The Schendls take care over their food, not only following regional recipes, but using plenty of organic produce. Our reporter happily devoured homemade bread and apricot jam, plum dumplings and praline chocolates. The wine list, with its detailed descriptions, makes interesting reading and even better drinking.T he family have been in Dürnstein for 300 years and have been innkeepers since 1900. In this much-visited town it would be all too easy to rest on their laurels; fortunately they do not. They are genuinely enthusiastic about their hotel and always look for- ward to visits from their regular guests.
   Rooms are spotless and well appointed. Colours throughout tone with the caramel-coloured oak panelling, and the quiet terrace garden is full of flowers. Looming above is the heavily decorated blue tower of the Stiftskirche. Once a week there is an evening of zither music and there are bicycles for guests to use.