Mountain pasture host with surprise effect…
One can write many words but this view just has to been seen: Martin Oberlohr´s place of work is actually a pleasure. Truer said a wonderful excursion destination, an original front seat, a place to long for. He himself says: “I still can´t take my eyes off this beautiful landscape,” and one immediately understands what he means. From the Lärchenhütte hut at 1.050 m. above sea level on the Zwölferhorn mountain, one´s gaze is drawn down to Lake Wolfgang. The turquoise-blue shadows which glitter in the sun, the white bow-wash of the boats on the water´s surface. On the far shore the mighty Schafberg mountain towers high on the sky line and one can clearly see the Hotel Schafbergspitze at the summit. One´s view wanders further to Lake Krottensee and Lake Mondsee and one can hardly believe: this is all so real!
Guests await something exceptional
Really the climb to the Lärchenhütte is very moderate: For those who choose the easy way, one drives to the “Sausteigalm” parking area and after a five minute walk one reaches Martin Oberlohr´s realm. Others who wish to be more active: hike from St. Gilgen in about an hour, from Abersee in approximately 75 minutes or from the mountain top station of the Zwölferhorn cable-car down to the mountain lodge in about 30 minutes. Meanwhile it is also clear, why! For although one´s eyes are hungry for the view from the Lärchenhütte, one´s appetite has yet to be satisfied. And here is where Martin Oberlohr and his clever philosophy in the kitchen come up trumps! Born in East Tirol, Martin grew up in a hotelier´s family. He chose firstly to make a career elsewhere, but later returned to the gastronomy for a second round. The “Food & Beverage Manager” and wine connoisseur came to the Salzkammergut and decided that he would like to work here independently.
Tradition, but then again something different.
“Something small and cozy appeals to me. That it would be a mountain pasture hut was purely by chance” our 36 year old host remembers. In just two minutes after the owner of the lodge put the advertisement for a new tenant online, Martin Oberlohr discovered it. “It was then clear that I must be the one. That could only be coincidence” In 2015 he spent his first summer at the Lärchenhütte and within a few weeks he earned a good name for himself. “In a mountain pasture hut, hardly anyone expects to be served a home-brewed craft beer from the Salzburger Land, loose organic tea or a fine Cappuccino with milk froth for breakfast. Or even: where else is breakfast served at a mountain hut? What is more, a feast that would tempt town guests to leave their coffee shops behind them. “My quest is, to offer traditional as well as country cuisine but also to try something unexpected” the new host explains. “My guests must be 100% satisfied. But I also like to surprise them. Here we not only serve classical dishes which one would expect, but also the extraordinary.”
Seasonal, regional, original
Martin Oberlohr offers that which he himself likes and values. For this reason many of the ingredients come from the region and from producers who the landlord knows personally. “The sheep´s whey with fruit comes from Seegut Eisl on Lake Wolfgang, the sausages from the Stabauer butchery in Oberwang by Mondsee, bread from the Frauenlob bakery in Fuschl and cheese from the Oberhinteregg farm shop in Faistenau”. Breakfast is served daily from 9 – 11 except on Thursday. This is when a family day is planned in the valley with his two daughters Charlotta and Felicia. This is a welcome break, for the Lärchenhutte is open from end of April through to early November in all weathers. During the summer, not only cold snacks are offered but also warm dishes such as various dumplings, bubble and squeak, soup and sausages. Furthermore, seasonal dishes such as goulash, chanterelle mushrooms or game are also on the menu card. “The home-made cakes are made by my sister-in-law who is a pastry cook. My parents too have now moved to Lake Wolfgang, and my mother helps us with the making of the dumplings”, says Martin Oberlohr with a smile.
A place to feel good for everyone
Since the summer of 2016, the Lärchenhütte is also one of the elder pastures in the Fuschlsee Region. The elder tree is native to this area and has a special significance. The flowers and berries are made into tasty specialities, and the shrub is known to have special healing qualities. “We are very pleased that we are one of these elder pastures: we will be offering elderberry cheese, elder mustard with the snack platter, elder schnapps, syrup, stewed elderberries, elder-berry-punch and whey. We have a number of new ideas to enhance the classic dishes as well as a few unusual ones” emphasizes Martin Oberlohr, who learned all about hospitality from an early age. “And for the elder festival, guests can look forward to cool music with an excellent Johnny-Cash-Coverband. Even during the summer there will be a number of events and culinary highlights planned. “My wish is that the people here at the Lärchenhütte are brought together. This should be a place of communication and where our guests feel good that they will wish to return. A relaxing atmosphere, good energy and fine food – that is what I would like my guests to remember here at the Lärchenhütte”.