Set in its own grounds on the shore of the Bistensee, in the town of Alt Duvenstedt, Das Töpferhaus is only a 5-minute drive from the motorway. Lying between Flensburg and Hamburg, its peaceful setting might well tempt an overnight guest to a longer stay; this is certainly the aim of the manager Peter Gross, who has taken over the hotel since our last visit.
         Female chef, Britta Jess, is in charge of the kitchen. Regional dishes are made using seasonal ingredients: fish, meat and vegetables are brought each morning from the local market, and herbs come from the hotel gardens. The main restaurant, which has small alcoves, and the other public rooms are decorated in a country house style – simple white-plastered walls complement the exposed beams and solid wooden furniture. The large picture windows, with views across the landscaped terrace and gardens to the lake, contribute to the airy feel. The finishing touches are provided by fresh flower arrangements, in earthenware vases made in the pottery workshop from which the hotel takes its name.
The bedrooms are modern and pleasantly furnished with fitted wall wardrobes and tables, and marble-tiled bathrooms. Some have their own balcony or terrace.