These are the first thoughts that run through our minds when we reach the NaturHotel Steinbergs in Wildewiese. Wildewiese is not just a fanciful term, it's the real name of the place. No sooner are we inside than it's over, and we're standing in front of the NaturHotel Steinbergs. An exciting mixture: a cozy inn from the 1950s, directly opposite the new hotel, which only opened in October 2016, with modern, clear architecture and lots of wood, behind it a stable and a rustic hut, the "Steinberg-Alm". And a lot of green - not only the surrounding pastures with grazing cows and the forests, but also in the hotel itself there are small and large accents in wood and green everywhere.
Nina from the service welcomes us to the restaurant and brings us and other guests the lunch menu - of course with wooden cover! She gives us a brief introduction to the kitchen: small and large dishes, a lot of organic and regional....probably we have just looked deep into the eyes of the rump steak of tomorrow on the Weide! Vegetarian and vegan dishes are marked separately.
We decide on a regional trifle that has already made us curious because of the name - "Muhhh in the green". Sauerland fresh cheese from the Abtei Königsmünster roasted in a bacon coat on garden salads with sour cherry balsamic vinaigrette.
Lots of organic and regional...
Chef Franz-Josef Steinberg invites us to take a look in the kitchen and confirms our suspicions of encountering a piece of meat on the plate beforehand:
The Steinbergs obtain beef and pork from the butcher in the neighboring village, vegetables and mushrooms from Niederberndorf near Schmallenberg, and the game and also the fish come from the local forests and lakes around Wildewiese. That's why the menu also varies frequently - depending on what the market and nature are offering at the moment. "Wild times" are coming up in Wildewiese, as Franz-Josef Steinberg reports: From mid-October to Christmas, game weeks are on the agenda, which will be opened in style on October 19 with a hunting horn band in the Steinberg-Alm.
Personally, I am interested in how the kitchen deals with special allergies and food intolerances. Can such guests also eat at Steinbergs without hesitation? No problem - the service keeps a separate map ready, in which all ingredients are characterized, reassures me Franz Josef Steinberg. In addition, he or his three chefs are available for personal discussions about such special requirements.
And not only the food ingredients come from the region. Wood craftsman Markus Schmidt has also discovered the oak wood from which so many pieces of furniture and accessories are made quite individually and adapted to the growth form in the surrounding forests and further processed it into real eye-catchers.
Grandpa Franz and other guests
We enjoy our "Muhhh in the green" and look around a bit.
What kind of people come here for Essen or spend their vacations on the "Wildenwiese"? There's everything from high heels to hiking boots and bathing slippers: a group of creative people who have swapped one of the three meeting rooms for the shade under the large sunshade are discussing new ideas. Hikers, families with children ranging from babies to teenagers, a yoga group, a young couple. Gradually, a few mountain bikers arrive who are easily recognizable as Sauerlanders and spontaneously join Grandpa Franz.
For a normal day in the middle of the week, a surprising number of guests also drop by for lunch from out of town. Nina and her colleagues Doro and Vane have the calm away, always a humorous saying on the lips and find a place for everyone, even with extra requests. The pithy restaurant, as well as the inviting Biergarten next to the NaturHotel are a visual journey of discovery: Many old things, such as the chairs and tables from the fifties or the pictures that bear witness to many a long pub evening, are combined with modern and surprising things - of course, always with lots of wood like the seating area behind the tiled stove.
As different as the guests here seem to be, they are probably all united by the desire for a cozy atmosphere with good Essen - whether to relax or to work, for a few hours or several days.
After the delicious Essen, we would like to discover the Wildewiese. As a certified hiking inn, the Steinbergs have twenty hiking routes ready for everyone. With a wink in the direction of my manageably motivated offspring, junior manager Robin Steinberg, who of course knows the area perfectly, advises us to take a different route with fewer inclines. We get a description, a hiking map and also tips on what lies along the way. Our little tour takes us to the lookout tower on the nearby Schomberg - the panoramic view from there is pure Sauerland.
We are true Sauerlanders - authentic, down-to-earth in the best sense and close to nature.
We haven't found a red thread, but a green one," says hotel manager Marion Steinberg. Together with her husband Franz-Josef Steinberg, she has been running the family hotel since 1992. The parents Franz and Ursel Steinberg opened the inn back in the mid-1950s. In the meantime, son Robin has also joined in as a cook and studied business management. "In the beginning, we didn't have a plan at all. We thought we'd open the door, offer good cuisine with good service and please every guest," Marion Steinberg looks back. And it worked out. Somehow, anyway. Marketing and target groups were still foreign words - until, through impressions from various seminars, they began to recognize, define and develop their unique selling points over 10 years ago.
"Now we know exactly what `Steinbergs Wildewiese` looks like and how we can continue to work on it. We are real Sauerlanders - authentic, down-to-earth in the best sense and close to nature. The guest should feel that both in the hotel and in the kitchen and above all in the service by fun at the work and appreciation. This was the goal, which was gradually implemented and is now the key to the success of Steinbergs Restaurant and NaturHotel.
Text: Rita Maurer
Photography: Ralf Litera
Video: Jannik Fischbach