Germany: Alte Schule, Fürstenhagen
Great Value Formerly chef de cuisine at Berlin’s trendiest (and tastiest) restaurant, Vau, Florian Löffler traded urban bright lights for a rural retreat in the Feldberg Lake District. Two hours northeast of Berlin, the magical landscape—lakes, forests, sunflower fields—was part of the draw. Here, Löffler and his partner, Nadine Gala, converted an old red-brick school building into a temple of refined country cooking. The meals, served in the former classroom, reflect seasonal ingredients. Goat cheese made by a neighbor shows up in a bright, precise salad with an unexpected flourish of beet jelly and cumin caramel; local rabbit is folded into soft faggotini pasta—and for dessert there’s a pumpkin-seed parfait. Free of designer pretension, the 18 bedrooms upstairs are cozy and so inexpensive you’ll want to stay the week. T+L Tip Try one of the couples’ cooking classes or wild herb–picking expeditions. Doubles from $115; dinner for two $108.