Our group of three “foodie” couples made the pilgrimage to the famous L’Auberge De L’Ill for Sunday Lunch during the first weekend in October. Although the restaurant has an attached hotel (Hotel des Berges), it was out of our price range. An affordable alternative was the nearby hotel Les Hirondelles: [--]hotelleshirondelles.com/ Upon arrival, we were surprised to find that this quaint cozy little hotel is across the street and down two buildings from the L’Auberge De L’Ill. You couldn’t ask for a more convenient location…..especially after a four hour lunch! Upon arrival, we received a warm welcome by Clarisse. We were shown three double rooms, for which we paid 78 Euros per night, including breakfast. The rooms were sparkling clean with abundant hot water and each bed was covered with a beautiful handmade quilt (called “Patchwork” in French). I asked Clarisse if the quilts could be purchased in one of the nearby towns. Unfortunately, they were made by a friend of hers that is no longer able to sew. Clarisse also mentioned something we did not know…. The Alsace town of St. Marie Aux-Mines (formerly Markirch), famous for mineral and gems, is also where the Amish sect originated. In 1793 the Minister Jacob Amann caused a division in the Mennonites. Those who followed Amann were called the "Amish Mennonites". She also said a “Patchwork” fair is held in St. Marie Aux-Mines each year during the first week or two of September. The breakfast was lovely and included baskets of bread, an assortment of jams, a large variety of French cheeses, ham, salami, cereals, yogurts and made to order boiled eggs. They also have the most delicious coffee. For dinner the first night, Clarisse reserved a table for us at “Zum Pfifferhus” in nearby Ribeauville. Zum Pfifferhus is an authentic little Winstub from the 14th century, complete with wooden beams, hanging dried flowers and herbs, and a traditional Alsatian menu.
"Les Hirondelles" is in the perfect location to visit the other well known Wine Road villages of Riquewihr, Turkheim. Kaysersberg , etc. We will definitely return.
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