Have you ever spent the night in a teahouse? No? Then off to the Mecklenburg Lake District. Mrs. Schröder’s teahouse got its name from its last owner, Mrs. Schröder, who always had her guests and friends for English tea in the summerhouse.
Today, the 10 sqm tiny house and the surrounding estate including the manor house are owned by the super nice couple Michel and Neil. Michel is half German / half Seychellois, Neil is English, and their friendly and familial B&B is the place to go for nature-loving guests looking for something special (rooms are also available in the manor house).
I am such a nature-loving guest and I stumbled upon this special place while searching for an ideal starting point for a 3-day canoe trip with my friend. I wanted something far away from the city, and the cozy cottage - located directly at the river and surrounded by a lush garden - looked perfect. And best of all, when I arrived I was positively surprised that it is also (almost) plastic-free.
The teahouse was built directly on the banks of the River Warnow and the reeds grow right up to the window. From 2 sides you have a wonderful view of the river, the 3rd side leads out to the extensive gardens.
The cottage is completely made of wood and very cozily furnished. There are two large windows overlooking the river and featuring wooden shutters. A romantic metal bed (160x200cm) with a mosquito net is propped against one wall.
The walls are decorated with old photographs (one of which showing Mrs. Schröder) and a gorgeous, colourful tapestry.
On the opposite side of the bed, there is a small seating area with a view over the water and an antique chest of drawers.
Mrs. Schröder's teahouse is decorated with antiques: a vintage Moroccan lamp hangs from the ceiling and a traditional Moroccan tea set sits on the chest. In the morning you can either make your own tea, or you go to the main house for breakfast.
WiFi is available and there’s even room for a small fridge (in case you want to bring your own food as we did).
There is also a TV, a stereo system and a fan, and next to the house you have an open-air (cold) shower (if you fancy cold showers. If you don’t, you have your own bathroom in the main house).
The garden is well-kept and very romantic. Herbs, vegetables, and flowers are grown, dozens of birds populate the lawn every afternoon and even a peacock struts through the garden (there are also two female peacocks with their young which were kept separate from the male).
From the Tiny House, you can reach the main house via a beautiful archway.
There are various seating and lounging places and a platform rises over the water and the reeds. We sat there every morning enjoying a long breakfast and the amazing view of the river.
In the evenings, you can BBQ or just watch the sunset with a glass of wine.
Goodbye stress, deceleration is the order of the day. Mrs. Schröder's teahouse really is an oasis of peace and quiet.
I didn’t try the breakfast, as we brought our own food and ate on the platform overlooking the river. We only ordered cappuccinos from the main house (which were delicious!), but Neil and Michel told me they try to avoid waste and plastic as much as possible.
They offer self-made, local or organic products and use a laminated menu card that gets cleaned and reused over and over again.
They do not offer full breakfast menus like other hotels. Instead, the guests choose exactly what they want to eat in advance, and they only get (and pay for) what they have chosen (butter, milk, etc).
In addition, the hosts don’t use any pre-packaged items like butter or marmalade portions - whatever the guests choose is put in small dishes which will be refilled if the guests want more. That way Neil and Michel greatly reduce what has to be thrown away after, and whatever is left ends up feeding their chickens. They offer their own produced apple juice, eggs, vegetables, marmalade and as local as possible drinks, cheese, sausage, bread and so on, and they buy in larger quantities which they serve in reusable containers.
Neil trained as a masseur and gave me a wonderfully relaxing Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Nui massage in the open air. If you have the opportunity, you absolutely have to try it! You feel like a new person afterward.
Weather permitting, massages take place under the open sky in an airy tent, right next to the pool and overlooking a neighboring field. Relax and leave the stress of the day behind. Here, you will hear nothing but the sounds of nature.
There isn't much to do in the small town where the B&B is located. Even so, the town center is only a few minutes away and an ice cream pavilion just across the street makes the most delicious ice cream. :-)
However, my friend and I came there to be out in nature and canoe - and that's what we did. Conveniently, we could rent a canoe from Neil and Michel, and since they are located at the river, canoes can arrive directly in their garden.
Large areas along the river Warnow are a nature reserve and home to rare animals and plants (we saw eagles, kites, herons, ducks, swans and fish). You will not find any noisy motorboats or party ships here. Canoes and paddle boats as well as the touristic electric motor boat "Warnowlöper" are the only allowed means of transportation. There are no roads along the banks, which are breeding grounds for ducks and swans.
No industry, no traffic noise, just nature and peace and the canoe.
Sadly, we also found a lot of plastic waste. I was amazed how much plastic can accumulate in a nature reserve. But unfortunately, plastic is everywhere these days, even in the remotest corners of the world. And so we combined canoeing with trash picking and collected quite a few things: from glass bottles (liquor, beer), plastic bottles (water), styrofoam, a big shopping bag and crisps bags, everything was there.
I massively enjoyed my stay in Mrs. Schröder's teahouse. Neil and Michel are wonderful hosts and the tiny plastic-free cabin has everything one could wish for. The garden, the town, the river and the nature reserve around it are perfect for unwinding and recharging your batteries.