Home of Enchantment
Bernhard im Pongau: Verstörende Zeit in Goldegg, aber nicht in St. Veit
Hotel “Der Seehof” has been around for over 300 years. The Restaurant and Pension became popular summer retreats from the middle of the 19th century and central heating was therefore not needed. This only arrived in the 1970’s as part of a major renovation under the direction of Sepp’s parents, Karola and Franz Schellhorn. From this time the Seehof was not only winter fit but also a 4 star hotel. The owners had an appreciation for beauty even then: the house was designed by Ilse Henning, a student of Adolf Loos. She furnished the rooms with curtains from Josef Frank and the first IKEA furniture.
In such a tradition-rich building, it is an exceptional challenge to carefully retain all the good things and yet still remain unique and have your finger on the pulse. My husband Sepp is a passionate art collector and catalyzer. I am the creative director, putting our ideas in the spotlight. We have designed and furnished many of the rooms together – a task that has given us great pleasure.
Today – after many renovations, remodeling and ideas, no one Seehof room is like the other. And every room also tells a story about our house. One thing they all have in common is comfort, a sense of beauty, high quality materials and loving details.
In this sense… come and see!
The rooms and suites with balconies and glorious views over lake Goldegg are especially relaxing and much loved by our guests – maybe also because of the wonderful sunrises. On the top floor you can admire the lake while cleaning your teeth in the glass bathroom, before you feel the urge to jump in. For those who like to live exclusively, you may prefer to stay in our loft suite with sloping roofs and a fantastic panorama view of the lake.
My home is my castle…. Enjoy a lovely view of the legendary Goldegg Castle from the junior suites, including the floral splendour of Emmi’s farmers garden. The highlight of the junior suites is their size, with nearly 40 m², they are light and of course the comfortable chaise lounge which is perfect for an afternoon nap.
With our biggest renovations of the 17th century old house, two wonderful ART suites came to being. One was beautifully designed by my friend ANGELIKA TASCHEN, with among other things, photographs by @Kirsten Becken.
The second one – HELMUT’S SUITE – became a GALLERY SUITE, designed by @BLK River, @Johanna Lackner and @Sydney Ogidan. In this suite there are constantly changing exhibitions, at present one from Christian Eisenberger.
Oh by the way: in Helmut’s Suite the art work is not the only thing to change, but also the wall colour. At present the room is a delicate grey
The first room that Sepp and I designed together many years ago is the so-called „Fisherman’s room“. Sepp’s grandfather, Josef Gesinger, was the manager of the moor bathhouse on Lake Goldegg. Then, you could take a healing moor bath in a bathtub there. After we discovered the fish lure at a flea market in New York, it was Sepp’s idea to create a memorial to his grandfather, who was a passionate fisherman and the Seehof host. This is how the Fisherman’s room with its free standing bathtub, moonwood floor and the wonderful, glass-encased fish lures came to be.
With one of our most extensive renovations of the 17th century old house, two wonderful ART suites came to being. One was beautifully designed by my friend ANGELIKA TASCHEN with, among other beautiful details, photographs by @Kirsten Becken. The second one – HELMUT’S SUITE – is a GALLERY SUITE designed by @BLK River, @Johanna Lackner and @Sydney Ogidan. In this suite, there are constantly changing exhibitions, at present from Austrian artist Christian Eisenberger. By the way: in Helmut’s Suite, the art work is not the only thing to change, but also the wall colour. At present the room is a delicate grey.
Room 112 was designed by one of our scholarship holders and artist friend DEGENHARD ANDRULAT. Work by Siegfried Anzinger hangs in one of my favourite rooms, room 136. Work by Klaus Fussenegger – my mother-in-laws favourite artist – is found in room 135.
⑤ One plus One
① Pike in a Carp Pond
The pike is more than just a metaphor than for the pike in a carp pond. Firstly, we don’t have a pond in front of our house, but rather a lake, in which no carps swim at all. Secondly, “Seehof” literally means “lake house” and not “pond house”. At least the pike in lake Goldegg, that our fishermen love to fish for and we love to prepare, really does exist. So if this heading is, for the most part, fiction, then please be merciful with us. Pike in a carp pond for us means that we will strive for the best. Admittedly, the pike – like most other fish – is a predator, and we don‘t see ourselves quite so wild. We have given our restaurant the name Pike! (Hecht!) because this fish is a wonderful contribution to our kitchen‘s low ecological footprint. Our chefs create wonderful dishes from what grows, runs or swims in our backyard. Each is prepared with much love and knowledge and then served with a mix of respect and a sense of calm.
Your Rene Leitgeb and the Seehof kitchen Team
② Good Bread
It’s 6pm and one hour before the first guests start arriving in the restaurant with anticipation… wondering what delicacies are on the evening menu. There is a quiet bustle in the Seehof kitchen, the last preparations for the evening are being made.
Meanwhile Elias is preparing the sour dough in a large bowl, mixing rye and wheat flour from the Lerchen Mill in Golling with lukewarm water and wheat beer. As the kitchen and restaurant come to life, the sour dough is put to rest in the cool store.
In the meantime Rene heats up the bread oven that is next to the vegetable garden. Long beechwood logs are used. They have to be long because it makes the job easier and because otherwise the nearly two meter deep stone floor would not be evenly heated.
Now it is time for Rene to carry the dough boys on his shoulder to the bread oven. He takes the coals/embers out of the fire with a long scraper, washes the baking stone with a cloth and water before he shoots his dough boys, one after the other, into the oven.
After barely an hour in the oven the finished rye loaves are taken out.
Bread bears for us – due to our geographic location and history – a lot of significance. That is why Rene cuts the bread respectfully each evening and it is served with homemade butter and herb salt as a separate course.
③ The Greens
We started vegetable growing at about the same time as baking our own bread. And to begin with, like all classic hobby gardeners, with a small 4 by 2 m herb garden.
Our friend Petzi from Salzburg came to the rescue at the time when we wanted to enlarge the garden. She knew someone who might be able to assist us. So that is how we got to know Dominik. In real life he is an osteopath, practises in Salzburg and lives with his partner and daughter in a small house with a large garden on the outskirts of the city. As a child he was always in his grandfather’s garden and has, through his ability to understand holistic systems and how to treat them correctly and practically, made his two passions his life.
Dominik has come regularly since then. Once the last snow has melted and the ground has thawed he carries out the extensive maintenance and reinforcements in the garden. And he gives the Greenies in the Seehof – the cooks and garden workers – valuable tips on what is ready for harvest and when.
With Dominik’s knowledge we have continually expanded the vegetable garden, and in the meantime the small herb garden is now an extensive 900 m² vegetable garden including a glass house and an earth cellar. Cabbages, turnips, salads, pumpkin, zucchini and so much more are now grown here. Instead of chemical sprays and pesticides we rely on nature’s forces and ancient agricultural techniques such as crop rotation.
The Greenies among us are all those who know their way around a vegetable garden, those who work in our garden or those who simply want to look at it and enjoy it. Being green is easy and beautiful.
P.S: We don’t know what Dominik’s political or voting preferences are but that is not important to us. We know and appreciate what we have with Dominik and his green fingers.
Thank you Dominik!
④ Cooking Wine
The wine list in the Seehof is down-to-earth, straightforward and uncompromising, ranging from „old school french“ to „funky natural“. Johannes Schellhorn is responsible for the wine list. Johannes lives in Berlin and together with Willi Schlögl, they run the “Freundschaft“ (Friendship) – an exceptional wine bar in Berlin Mitte. For us, “Freundschaft“ means more than a greeting. And so Johannes regularly finds treasures for us that will set any wine lover’s heart racing.
① Home of Enchantment
“Hotel is not the right word for this place. We will find a new one. ‘Verzauberungsanstalt’ maybe?” This is how the “Home of Enchantment” came to be. Rendering this term in English is quite tricky, if not impossible. While the first part “Verzauberung” is readily understood as “enchantment”, “Anstalt” represents quite a challenge. It means, at the same time “institution” and, more neutrally “establishment” or “home”. Regardless of the details, the basic point is that “Der Seehof” goes beyond being a mere hotel offering products, services and amentities such as rooms, food, entertainment, or a spa. The “Seehof” is something different. Christoph Schlingensief – by the way, one of his pieces of art is hanging in the „Blue Salon“ – once said: „ Nothingness is often more than Everything“. At the “Home of Enchantment”, you won‘t find everything that you have been searching for elsewhere. You will, more often than not, find nothing. No distractions, no overzealous entertainment, no gadgets, no pressure. You will find pieces of art, literature, the opportunity for philosophical talks and discussions. Along with that, you will find, as Austrian author Thomas Bernhard once put it beautifully, “a fine combination of warm food and cold drinks”. A guest once asked: What can I do at your place? Susi said: Nothing! How appropriate and actually quite meaningful. American author Wallace Stevens writes: „Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.“ We couldn’t agree more!
See you soon at “Der Seehof”
Your Sepp & Susi Schellhorn and the Seehof Team
② Kunst, Literatur
We love high quality personal service. We search and find well selected products that we respect. We make no compromises in regards to time. Things take as long as they take.
We also call this addiction the desire to live together, flock together or: an addiction to culture. For us, culture is the collection of all things good and beautiful.* Often, it is neither obvious nor agreed upon in which way the Good and the Beautiful manifest. It requires discourse, understanding, listening, expressing one’s points of view. And an Austrian saying goes, “talking brings people together“. In this sense, conversations are part of the Seehof just like eating and drinking. Thereby complete strangers get to know and appreciate each other as well as themselves. „There are a lot of good people around“ glows promisingly from the facade.
You can feel this special atmosphere throughout the house. Hotel “Der Seehof” is for many people a place of longing and a source of inspiration, bound by the arts. Both the artworks throughout the hotel and the performances – concerts, readings, symposiums or festivals – speak their very own coded language. In a subtle way, they tell us:
„No matter what or who you are, what you are talking about and what your addictions are: Lean back. Relax. Take it easy. The Good and the Beautiful are closer than you think.“
* Culture is also a gathering of the opposite poles of these things however not in the Seehof. The opposite poles would not drive us into addiction, they only help us to love our addiction even more and to hold on to it.
Punkt 7 Uhr wird der Teig von Rene aus dem Kühlhaus geweckt. Rene hat die Vaterschaft vor ein paar Jahren von Rudi übernommen und nimmt seine Rolle als fürsorglicher Dad ernst. Da kann so mancher Happy-Go-Lucky-Typ noch etwas lernen. Rene gibt nun die Gewürze und Salz dazu und lässt den Kleinen noch einmal zwei Stunden ruhen, bevor er ihn mit Gefühl und Hingabe in der Partisserie (auf einer Marmorarbeitsfläche) kugelig wälzt und in die Garkörbchen legt – und wieder eine Stunde rasten lässt. Babies braucht ihren Schlaf.
In der Zwischenzeit heizt Rene den Brotbackofen neben dem Gemüsegarten an. Dazu werden lange Buchenscheite verwendet. Lang müssen sie sein, weil es 1. die Arbeit erleichtert und 2. weil sonst nicht der gesamte knapp zwei Meter tiefe Steinboden gleichmäßig erhitzt.
Jetzt geht Rene mit den Teiglingen auf der Schulter hoch zum Backofen. Er holt die Kohlen mit einem langen Schaber aus dem Feuer und wäscht den Backstein mit einem Fetzen und Leitungswasser rein, bevor er die Teiglinge im Akkord in den Ofen schiesst.
④ We can do it
Javed NazariKing of Cappuccino
Ramiz MujarizFacility Manager
A pleasant, homely scent of fresh flowers, mixed with the pleasurable aroma of roasting coffee is in the air. There is a traditional element to this hotel that is run by the Schellhorn family for over a century. Yet, the vibe is distinctly young: enchanting, well designed rooms, expressive colours, art on the walls, a meticulous attention to detail. Honestly: who doesn’t want to be here?
The hotel, as we see it, is a collective of guests and hosts. Essential to this is a team with heart and soul, pep and swing, with humour and charm. We make sure that hotel “Der Seehof” is an experience to be had. We like to create wellbeing for everyone who comes and stays here. We inspire, enrich and challenge ourselves as well as each other. We are not suave but rather like our rough edges. And our guests like them too.
Our community is open-minded and sincere. Susi and Sepp Schellhorn are the initiators and create the space where like-minded people come together. New talent enriches the house with their know-how and, especially, their personalities. They are all part of the atmosphere and the exceptional spirit in the house, guided by a mindset that encourages us to forget, overcome and disregard our limitations and leave them behind. A fantasy, that continues to grow and evolve and lives in the awareness and pride of what we do.
We are the Seehof Team.
We can do it!
of Der Seehof-Team
Some of our team thought that this text should be left out completely. They would prefer to shop immediately! Sometimes though, an explanation of what you can expect from a shop is necessary. We have selected products from friends, labels that we think are cool and, of course, homemade products in our online store. One could say it is a well stocked record store minus the records – but lots of wonderful things instead.