Travel

Pig out in Germany’s sausage-themed hotel

Sausages on the menu, sausage motifs on the wallpaper, sausage mobiles hanging from the ceiling and a sausage-shaped pillow on your bed.

What sounds like a vegetarian's nightmare is the dream come true of Claus Boebel, a fourth-generation butcher and proprietor of what he calls the world's first and only sausage-themed hotel.

Located in a village with a population of 300, a 40-minute drive south of the city of Nuremberg, the Bratwurst Hotel has done brisk business since opening last September.

The inn with seven rooms and two conference spaces caters to foodies and tourists.

Behind the quirky initiative is a bid to keep alive the local butcher's shop - an institution in most towns that was once a pillar of Germany's Mittelstand economy of small and medium-sized businesses - in the face of big-box store competition and slacking meat consumption.

"I want to show that small craftsman shops like mine can survive when you have clever ideas," said Mr Boebel, seated on a stool shaped like a tin of minced sausage. "Plus, I love life here in the countryside, and rather than leave, want to draw customers here to Rittersbach."

He has invested some €700,000 (S$1.1 million) in the renovation of the Bratwurst Hotel.

The decor includes coat racks recalling butcher's knives and giant pigs on the frosted glass doors to the bathrooms, where sausage-shaped soap awaits in the shower.

The Wurstaurant downstairs serves a full range of sausage-related dishes, including sausage ice cream, and guests can take home souvenirs including canned minced sausage flavoured with beer, coffee and even chocolate.

Mr Boebel and his wife also offer workshops in making personalised types of wurst. Beef sausages for Muslim and Jewish guests who don't eat pork are also available.

"Sausage is what we in Germany are known best for, next to beer," said the father of two. "If that's what tourists are looking for, why not give it to them?" - AFP

TOURISM & TRAVEL