Most visitors to the town of Cochem, on the Mosel, probably photograph this old inn (daing from the 14th century) before they do anything else - the Alte Thorschenke is right in front of you as you leave the main car parking area. Its façade is picture-postcard stuff, with pretty gables and towers, and to one side part of the old wall which used to surround the medieval town.
    The interior has the atmosphere and lived-in feel of a truly old building. If you have been lucky enough to secure a bedroom in the front part of the hotel (there are only a few) you will climb a wonderful, Gothic wooden spiral staircase from the club-like reception-cum-sitting area and proceed along creaking corridors to such delights as the Napoleon suite - a lovely spacious room furnished with an enormous four-poster bed and other antiques. There are more bedrooms in the rear part of the hotel - newer and generally less interesting, but with antiques, although a recent visitor felt they needed some refurbishment.
    In the high-ceilinged dining room, a varied manu is presented on parchment style paper, with lots of regional fish and game dishes and home-grown Mosel. Breakfast is an impressive buffet.