Dear guest,

you are very important to me, and I am also important to myself. Erich Fried says: “First make yourself happy, then you will make others happy too.” I stand by this rule.

Someone once asked me: “Why don’t you have a menu?” I said: “Do you have one when you have guests?” There are many reasons for this: the conscientious use of products and ingredients, to keep stock down, economy, respect for the environment. In addition, it brings out the creativity of the cook if he is forced to think up a new menu each day consisting of at least four freshly and lovingly prepared courses. I follow the principle of the table d’hôte (the host’s table): in French country estates the Patron ate at a single table with his family and staff, and if someone passed by, he or she was invited to join the table as a guest.

“Here I am a human being, and here I am entitled to be one!” – Faust I, verse 940 / Faust

I am a cook – and I expect the most from what my ingredients have to offer. The aim is to keep the original taste, while refining and recombining. The Steinpilz mushrooms come from the local woods, as do the game and the red orach. I buy my vegetables and potatoes from a local farmer. The cattle graze in the pastures of the nearby village, and the zander doesn’t only swim in the Moselle before entering my kitchen. It’s true that the Breton turbot isn’t fished in the village brook, but I know that it’s caught fairly. The raw-milk cheese comes from France, and I have a passion for the poultry of Bresse and the Landes De Gascogne. I don’t interfere with the basic qualities of my ingredients – I don’t turn a carrot into a trickle or a froth. The simpler the better. The carrot tells me how it wants to be chopped, and I do it this service (or I let it do as it pleases). And incidentally, my neighbour the post woman has the best – they might look I little odd, but they taste delicious.

There’s pot-au-feu and foie gras, caviar with potato cakes and crème fraîche, or stuffed quail in pastry. I occasionally like to eat shellfish, including Mr. Lobster, who I rate very highly due to its light nutty taste. Best prepared simply: parboil, grill – delicious! There are always alternatives: if not fish, then poultry or meat-free. I still haven’t found truffles in the Hunsrück, but some dishes simply call out for it: stuffed quail or pheasant with potato and truffle purée.

And what would a country house be without a good wine cellar: treats from Burgundy and Bordeaux as well as from the Moselle and the Nahe region. Pleasure brings sleep. In our comfortable guest rooms you can give yourself up to your dreams. A lilac tree in front of the window or a view to the distant mountains welcomes you back to the waking world. Leave your cares behind and let you soul expand – in an armchair or in the well-stocked library, in the “Dolls Room” in front of the television or in a deck chair among the fruit trees.

The hotel itself – a stately building with modern comforts – was already an object of pride at the turn of the century. Our sensitive restoration has preserved its physical appearance while adding the conveniences one expects of a modern hotel. Here, you get all the calm, fresh air, space, time and comfort you need – and much else besides, such as art, music and literature. A chunk of farmhouse bread with garlic and olive oil served with Chianti Classico can put one in a state of culinary bliss, but a few of the trappings certainly help: the sky should be blue, work far, and the loved one near. And gradually one notices that health and calm, rest and relaxation are the last reserves of luxury.

As for me, I am what I am: simply Udo. Some like it more, some less. Just as it is is as it should be. Which doesn’t mean I can’t change – every day I learn something new, and I try to keep improving. That’s something I take very seriously. A young woman once said to me: “But he can cook!” I then vowed to do the other thing too – whatever it might be.

“As soon as you begin to trust yourself, you begin to live.” – Faust I, verse 2062 / Mephistopheles

You should know a little about what you’re letting yourself in for.

I’m looking forward to your visit,