“All we ever see you travel writers do is leaving on your next trip!” – If you listen to clichés being voiced, we should really have the best life. Do we? Well, it might or might not be the case as I described recently (even if you still do not believe me 😉 ). But here, in beautiful South Burgenland, a truly special place on Earth, I have really been able to relax and let myself be surprised. A restaurant with an unpronounceably good name (and cuisine), led by three “hippies” called An-Alapanka-Ma. The Hacienda del Piero, run by charming Vorarlberg migrants Alexander & Larissa, complete with Burgenland horses in a Mexican way of life. Loving it. Just a little further north, in the small town of Bernstein (which literally translates to “amber”), we learn to how to carve a special local semi-precious stone called “Edelserpentin”, polish beautiful old furniture with carpenter Franz Potzmann and sleep at the Wohnothek vineyard homes right among the ripening grapes ..
… oh, and my splash painting from Künstlerdorf Neumarkt an der Raab is hopefully already being sent to me by now. Hang on there. Amber town? Wohnothek vineyard home? Splash paintings??
Well. Do dare and follow me on my happy trip through the creative culinary destination of Southern Burgenland. It is really quite something. 😀
Visiting the sweet and nicely decorated rooms of the Landhofmühle hotel during the first night in Burgenland, a cushion receives me with the famous notion: “I am here doing nothing” … Grand!
We stay in the comfortable and large rooms of the Landhofmühle hotel run by the Fartek family: “Our guests come here to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of the surrounding landscape.” This really is the perfect place to do so.
Claudia Fartek, the owner calls her breakfast area her “own, personal wellness area” … what a sweet mission. We enjoy a truly outstanding, heavenly tasty breakfast here!
Fuelled by such a good start into the morning, we leave the Landhofmühle hotel ready to explore the surrounding area of South Burgenland …
… such as the adjacent “Künstlerdorf Neumarkt”, a small artists enclosure who have been running creative workshops and courses for the past 40 years or so. Very exciting to come here among these old farm houses!
Petra Schmögner, left in front, is the manager of the Künstlerdorf in Neumarkt and is sharing with us all the stories related to the build-up and management of this artistic spot in the heart of Southern Burgenland.
We soon do “our own thing”: Here, the action unfolds into a creative splash painting session!
… which a little later looks like this: As you might see, single canvas are used to build this collective image, and each participant gets sent one of them home. I am really curious to receive mine!
First (creative) work, then (culinary) pleasures … Or was it the other way round? Things are really more relaxed out here in South Burgenland …
If you like us enter the so-called “SpeiseAtelier” kitchen studio of the happy threesome Friedrich Gutscher and Peter & Sylvia Mies, then you enter a whole new world of food & living. A cook, a doctor and an artist must have once stood in front of the famous words uttered by Martin Luther King, “I have a dream …” when first arriving at the dilapidated building in the “middle of nowhere” here in South Burgenland. It took them a whole two years to revitalize the buildings into what today is an art space, a restaurant, a lounge terrace and some guest rooms that are all very creative and yet extremely cosy and beckoning: I fight the urge of wanting to take my shoes off and cannot take enough (food and) pictures of the place! Wow. By the way, you can only come here if you have registered your culinary wishes beforehand: The “restaurant” cooks fresh every day and only after prior announcement. “An-Alapanka-Ma: If you guess what it means, you win a dinner, a night in our guest rooms as well as breakfast for two people“, both our hosts Peter Mies & Friedrich Gutscher tell us with a wink. We cannot really figure it out though … or would you know what An-Alapanka-Ma means ?!
The An-Alapanka-Ma is a completely Vegetarian restaurant and serves fresh food that meet your expectations … A delightful place to come and eat.
I really want to come back already … An … Alapanka … Ma … Intriguing 🙂
The main course of our delightfully tasty five course menu is an artichoke soufflé with a tiny fried egg sourced from quails …
… our group of avid food & creative travellers is clearly enjoying the atomsphere here. 😀
A little later, we head over to the small town of Poppendorf where the Hacienda del Piero horse stables are located, run by passionate Alexander & Larissa who are in love with each one of their wonderful horses.
Here they are, soulmates in their desire to watch over their 16 horses who they use to offer holidays with horses, horse treks of one or several days etc.
Alexander just loves horses, and it shows … Here he can be found in a close embrace with “his horse Del Piero”, after whom the Hacienda is named.
“What’s up ay?” Our “Toursula” Ursula has no more goodies to show … too bad for the horse.
Carpentry Potzmann, Kantine48 & creative artists in the small town of precious stones Bernstein. All of us were looking for adventure …
… surprise and excitement. Well, our trip might not have been that exciting after all. Or has it? “Dear Elena Paschinger, I really look forward to meeting you next Tuesday. How many people are you going to be? I need to know because I want to cook the right amount of coffee for you. If you are more than five people, I need to go buy a third espresso machine. … If you however could bring a cake for our coffee time, I would be really happy.” People from Burgenland are sooo sweet! We just love them. 😀 Here at the unique carpentry farm house run by Franzrenovating old furniture: Creative visitors that come here usually bring their favourite pieces they have at home with them in order to restore them back to perfection and shine.
(PS: Of course we brought a cake to share. Thank you so much once more, dear Franz, for receiving us to your carpentry estate!)
Do your own carpentry furniture: Here at Franz Potzmann’s estate & creative workshops in Litzelsdorf near the town of Oberwart, you can learn how to.
I really enjoy the beauty of this wood pattern, a formerly old nut tree.
My colleague Andreas is about to learn how to make this wooden box shine again using a certain technique of polishing ..
Franz in his element, working a table at the heart of his workshop!
After all this morning excitement, it is back to culinary times of course. We stop for lunch at the restaurant “Kantine48” in the small town of Bernstein, located near a beautiful natural swimming pond. Such good food here !!
The quality of the food is impeccable here, simply excellent, and the chef and his team have already received many awards for the quality of their food. A place to come back to!
As a dessert, we are served ice cream from local, organic farms … beautiful. You can really taste the difference to mass-produced ice cream … WE LIKE 🙂
Last but not least, we are being welcomed by the Habetler family who have specialized in the complex work of treating and working semi-precious local stones called “Edelserpentin”. Here we are, crafting one into our very own pieces of jewellery. I now wear mine proudly!
Have a look at the entire ambiance: It is in front of this old little castle that we have our open-air creative workshop … what a great setting to become creative.
… here I am, happy, holding up my first semi-precious carved stone!
Renate’s husband also crafts on a more advanced level, working amber and semi-precious stones into this beautiful chess table for instance. Quite stunning don’t you think?
Disclaimer: We have been invited by Burgenland Tourismus to travel & experience the creative destination of Southern Burgenland and enjoy its culinary attractions. All opinions are my own.
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