Rain in spring, two kids full of energy, two perplexed parents who want to save the day sensibly for everyone involved: How about a visit to the DampfLandLeute Museum in Eslohe, of which we've already heard many good things? And afterwards to the Spritzenhaus. In this cuddly half-timbered house with its eventful history, a new pizzeria is said to have opened last summer. The websites of both the museum and the pizzeria are very appealing and make us want to visit - so let's go to Eslohe!
Our first impression: Eslohe is a beautiful village with lots of Sauerland half-timbered houses and stylish little stores. And the DampfLandLeute Museum is much bigger than we thought. Werden will get us through the rainy day. The 2,000-square-meter, barrier-free property was called the Machine and Local History Museum until just under six years ago, we learn. But the name sounded a bit old-fashioned, so the museum association decided to make it the DampfLandLeute Museum: "Dampf" stands for the many old machines that heralded industrialization a good 100 years ago and also brought it to the Sauerland. And the terms "country" and "people" stand for ... yes, for country and people and everything that has shaped the Sauerland and its people from the past to the present: agriculture and forestry, crafts in the course of time with professions that no longer exist today. Women and their role at that time are also a topic: How was cooking, preserving, mashing, washing, ironing and embroidering done? How and where was the food grown and processed? What was everyday life like for a Sauerland family 100 years ago?
Time travel to your own childhood
The lovingly decorated exhibition rooms offer one déjà vu after another. I can see my grandmother in her apron again, cooking aspic and preserving plums. Fond memories of haymaking and potato picking come to mind. My husband stands with shining eyes in front of tools and machines that have long been forgotten. Professions like wainwright, saddler, charcoal burner come back to life. Or locksmiths, blacksmiths, carpenters, hairdressers: they still exist, but their workplaces and products look completely different today. The children are amazed and cannot imagine what and how they once worked. In the agricultural department, a winter school is shown, where people used to go only during the cold season: "Hey, totally cool, we want one of those!" The fact that young people back then had to work hard to feed their families is unimaginable for the kids. They have fun with the interactive touch screens, with which they can start presentations from photos, videos and texts on various topics.
A small printer's workshop with a typewriter keyboard to touch. "We used to write with something like this back in the day, when there were no cell phones, PC keyboards and WhatsApp," I explain to the kids. In the former forge with its imposing steam engines, the smell of metal, lubricating oil and hard work is in the air. Many machines are still fully functional. Twice a year, they are put back into operation during the legendary Eslohe Steam Days at the end of May and the end of September. In the 19th century, these steam engines caused a nationwide revolution by mechanizing and industrializing many production processes that had previously been done purely by hand.
Eslohe entices you to go shopping
The time in the museum flies by, even the children are kept busy. After so much nourishment for the brain, the stomach starts to churn. So off to the Spritzenhaus. Have I already mentioned the tempting owner-operated stores on the way there? For example, the Stinn fashion store across from the Spritzenhaus. But in our family, it's 3:1 for hunger and against shopping. Even in the spring rain, the Spritzenhaus looks wonderfully cozy with its quaint construction and idyllic half-timbered surroundings. Spending a warm summer evening outside in the Biergarten with a fresh Veltins ... We enter and are immediately sure: If Germany is looking for the most beautiful pizzeria, the Spritzenhaus is right up front. The owners Mira, Altin and their entire team have the patience of angels, even with "schnöggeligen Blagen," as the Sauerland people say. Gluten-free Essen? No problem, the Spritzenhaus always has gluten-free pasta and bread on offer and gives very competent advice on which dishes are possible. A great service for all those affected, which cannot be taken for granted. The children are taken seriously and served like big ones. This makes a noticeable impression, promptly they can actually behave and follow spellbound how our cutlery is covered with white gloves.
When we look at the drinks menu, we have to smile: Just like the whole Spritzenhaus, it offers a perfect mix of Sauerland and Italy - there are Veltins varieties, which were even brewed in the neighboring town of Grevenstein, next to Italian wines and aperitifs. And here comes our food. My Pizza Rucola is delicious: a nice crispy base, slightly raised at the edge, and just the right amount of cheese and tomatoes. You can pleasantly taste that they don't use flavor enhancers here, but natural spices. What would be my special recommendation from the menu? I agree with chef Altin: "Everything is special here!" Everything is cooked according to our own recipes and should therefore be discovered. He's right.
We will be back!
The soft Italian music, the ambience in black and white in its beautiful combination of old and modern, the shimmering glasses on the table and on the shelves, the view of the beautiful half-timbered houses and the outdoor terrace of the Spritzenhaus on the Esselbach rushing past - hach, it makes you feel quite blessed! Next to us at the table, a young couple is casting languorous glances at each other over their prawns. It's a good thing they both eat garlic, I think. And: The Spritzenhaus would be ideal for a romantic evening on our wedding day. Perhaps with a cozy stroll through the charming stores (and of course finally my fashion house Stinn!) and also rummage in the Gefu outlet for new stylish household helpers?
My husband indulges in his Argentine beef tenderloin with homemade red wine sauce and startles up, "What? Wedding anniversary??" Oh, not until soon. He washes down his relief with a hearty swig of Veltins. Yes, back to the Spritzenhaus, very good idea. And before that, he thinks he should ride a bit on the SauerlandRadring when the bat tunnel reopens in April. Play miniature golf and go to the Esselbad. Okay, that wasn't exactly what I meant. But why not? A nice family outing, maybe to the steam days? That would definitely be fun for the kids. There was still so much to discover in the museum that we didn't even get to. Or he with the children on the wheel, I in all peace shopping, afterwards again in the Spritzenhaus and thus all together a beautiful day in Eslohe enjoy. Or two!
Text: Rita Maurer
Photos: Ralf Litera
Video: Jannik Fischbach