The riverside Mühltalhof Hotel & Restaurant in Neufelden is a humble foodie legend which spans three family generations, who in turn, have each imparted their culinary skills to the table of this famous haunt attracting taste pilgrims from far and near. More restaurant with rooms than your atypical boutique hotel, Mühltalhof touches the senses and is a place that encourages you to slumber, chill and relax without trying too hard: a natural venue of slow-pace wellness in the Granite Highlands of Upper Austria.
Recent restorative refurbishments by Linz architect Klaus Leitner enabled the owners to hold-on to their roots and heritage whilst letting modern design sweep through the hotel and restaurant: Mühltalhof is anchored into its long history dating back in parts to 1698 and yet, it is a thoroughly modern, sustainable encounter that borrows the canvas from its forested, idyllic riverside location.
Three combined riverside houses, each with a distinctive DNA from the old thickly plastered gabled façade to the sleek cubic elegance the later builds, one in white and one wrapped in rusted steel: the effect is cleverly dramatic bringing the colours of the forest and river into the dialogue as well as referencing traditional building materials.
Art and the Mühltalhof have always enjoyed a close relationship and it is an extension of the kitchen creativity that Neufelden-based artist Thomas Paster developed a seamless flow of colour cubes based on the palettes of nature showcasing private artworks.
Cue slow-lane living on the riverside, this is the Mühltalhof Restaurant & Hotel where deliciousness resides at this rooted foodie bolthole, created by locals with heart.
River and forest views from the light-filled boutique rooms and suites, some with panoramic windows, private lawns, porches and free-standing bathtubs, are exceedingly tranquil decked in the flax-seed tones of the Mühlviertel.
Oak from the Bohemian forest, quarried granites, linens, locally made beds from scented woods, family heirloom antiques, sleek designer pieces and those lovely Mühltalhof gestures of nostalgia convey the soul.
Dip your toes directly into the river Mühl, laze on the porch or dive in for a refreshing swim. There is something holistic about listening and watching the flow of a river – a trail you can follow for a 12km walk from the hotel.
The natural surrounds of the hotel, the textile craftworks and beer brewing using traditional centuries old techniques permits for a restful escape for the mind, body and soul out in nature.
Mühltalhof is simply all about food and the flavours couldn’t be better sourced than from the bountiful fertile lands, the water-rich pastures, verdant hilltops and dense forests filled with rare produce from berries to wild herbs – all on the doorstep in upper Austria’s Mühlviertel region. Pair this natural bounty with a family of original talented chefs and you get to sense what why the Mühltalhof is a foodie legend.
In 2014, son protégé Philip Rachinger took the reins alongside his father, Helmut –himself a celebrated chef and the driving force with his sister Johanna in establishing this little hotel and restaurant as one of the best. Philip had been out in the world nurturing his creative skills learning from the best kitchens: Steirereck in Vienna, Döllerer’s, Pfefferschiff and Tantris in Munich, before working with Sven Chartier at the Saturne in Paris, Sketch London and Isaac McHale in London, at the Clove Club and the Ten Bells.
His passion for food was ignited by his grandmother who taught him the basics of good food and was, his strongest mentor and critic, alongside his father of course.
It is perhaps this inherited family honest respect for food that enables them to present dishes that standout - their simplistic approach using and understanding the rudiments of flavours and the knowledge needed to harness the essence of those selected ingredients. Philip Rachinger cooks with a youthful vigour, often over quick intense heat, keeping it simple and easy being his mantra – his creations are anything but.
Harnessing the local produce, Rachinger is inventive – from his use of local wald-berries to a beer crumb, from his cedar grilled trout to a signature vinegar & hazelnut butter.
He says of his cuisine: “Our cooking is uncomplicated and if it is complication, it mustn’t be obvious. The most important thing is the taste and the flavour combinations. We cook strictly regional and use berries and vinegar for sourness, rather than citrus fruits.”
Helmut & Philip are flavour hunters, a culinary duo of good honest food, highly skilled patrons of nature’s culinary world and real nice folk, who, simply love to cook from their backdoor to the lands of the Mühlviertel. Opt for their Carte Blanche – be prepared to go on a journey.
A family Rachinger affair, Hotel & Restaurant Mühltalhof is in the fifth-generation with Helmut, sister Johanna Eckl-Rachinger and Philip as the next generation taking the hotel through a new chapter without over complicating things.
North of Linz in the heartlands of Upper Austria in the historic market-town of Neufelden, the hotel is located on the banks of the river Mühl.
Neufelden makes a good basecamp from which to explore the natural beauty of upper Austria and Mühlviertel set between the backdrop of the ancient Bohemian Forest and the Danube River.
Activity enthusiasts can opt for hitting the rocks for climbing, hiking, biking, ski in winter, fly-fishing and golfing.
Lovers of the crafted industries can spend time touring the various family-owned linen mills and weavers or hit the beer trail exploring the countless craft-beer breweries famed in this region.
A sleek modernist base that is both rustic and sophisticated in its design simplicity – conceived to mirror the surrounding vineyards and Arco Mountains of Trentino, this rural idyll is an architectural bolthole that gives nature a stylish makeover, irresistibly close to Lake Garda.read more
Close to the natural beauty of the Neusiedler Lake lies one of Austria’s best kept foodie secrets, a place famed for making the humble, wonderful.
This unassuming aged farmhouse draws inspiration from “sunshine country” Burgenland and its exceptional wines, piecing together the ancient culture of Pannonia on a plate.
The designer cool cat of the Alps, this appealingly smart modern lodge opts for a stylish clubhouse vibe alongside re-worked rustic elements. This is all about the luxury of the Alps – traditions and respect, bubbling with fun. A fashionable hideaway with trendsetting, popular eateries, all tucked away close to the Matterhorn.read more
A crafted narrative of art, design and nature that sits lakeside wrapped in a dense forest cloak of the Polish Lake Districts of Warmia and Masuria. A decidedly laid-back designer escape, Galery69 is a working creative hub for artisans, a nature-loving nest for adventurists and a bolthole for urbanites seeking lush downtime on Lake Wulpinskie.read more