We discovered A la Ferme in the pretty village of Osthouse just after it had opened in 2001, and thought then that it was one of the most interesting new enterprises in Alsace - a view we still hold. The former 18thC farm building, its outside painted a brilliant powder blue, a contemporary twist to the traditional Alsatian colour stands just off the village centre in its garden.
  Inside, no expense has been spared to turn it into Brigitte and Jean-Philippe Hellmann's ideal modern-traditional lodging. The homely old proportions have been artfully preserved to keep the private house feel. Walls are panelled or roughly plastered with a pale wash. Wooden oak floors smartly pull it all together. Bedrooms the smallest we saw was spacious are enticing, with striped cotton fabrics, fat duvets, white-painted furniture: homely but uncluttered rustic-chic.
  The suite is elegant and roomy, the bathrooms sparkling, all marble.
Since our last visit, the Hellmann’s have converted the old stables into a new building with 15 new rooms as well as an additional breakfast room with a warming, central fireplace.
   You get a view of old farm buildings from the bedrooms and a huge gastronomic breakfast (special bread, smoked salmon, presskopf terrine) served in the small lounge or on the terrace. Room rates are very reasonable.
  For lunch or dinner, stroll to the Hellmanns' restaurant, A l'Aigle d'Or, four minutes away, where Jean-Philippe, the chef, offers traditional dishes presented in clean, contemporary style.