Taking big steps towards a sustainable future: The Hotel Hohenhaus is sharpening its own profile and emerging from the crisis stronger. In an interesting interview with hotel director Peter Niemann you will find out more and also what connects the Hotel Hohenhaus with KPM Berlin...

Photo: Volker Renner

What sets the Schlosshotel Hohenhaus apart?

PETER NIEMANN: For me as the hotel director, there are many small building blocks that make Hohenhaus so special. First of all, the location of our hotel is ideal: As a five-star Relais & Châteaux Hotel, we are geographically located almost exactly in the middle of Germany and have very good transport connections. So no matter which region of the country you are coming from, you can reach us relatively quickly. In my opinion, this is a real advantage, especially in these times. But more than that, it is the place itself that inspires. Because Hohenhaus is embedded in a 1,600 hectare natural and park landscape. All around us there is green as far as the eye can see. So if you're looking for relaxation and peace, you've come to the right place. If you prefer something more active, you can explore the surrounding area on one of the many hiking trails or by bike. The many cultural sights in the area are also worth a visit. The topic of cuisine also plays a particularly important role for us. With the restaurants “La Vallée Verte – The Green Valley” (1 Michelin star), Hohenhaus Grill and the Hohenhaus Café, we have three high-quality restaurants that appeal to both hotel and day visitors. In principle, we attach great importance to a healthy circular economy at all three restaurants. This means that we grow and process a large part of our food ourselves. For example, we harvest wild artichokes as well as fruit from our own orchard. We collect herbs, berries, mushrooms and morels, grow grains such as oats and wheat on our own land and use them to bake bread and get all the game from our own hunts. We also produce Hohenhaus honey and have built beehives for it. We can even call our own water source. We try to get everything that we can't grow ourselves from small producers in the region. For example, the goat cheese from the organic dairy goat farm Rösebach in the neighboring Ifta, the organic chickens and cattle from the Zimmermann family's Nordhof or our vegetables from the Demeter farm Ina Tröl l.

Hotel director Peter Niemann (Photo: Georg Unrau)

Over the past two years, the Hotel Hohenhaus has repositioned itself under your leadership and taken big steps towards a sustainable future. What exactly has been implemented so far and what is still planned?

PETER NIEMANN: As just described, the topic of “circular economy”, or “farm to table” in modern German, is very close to my heart and I am committed to it with all my might. In a company like the one we run, this only works in small steps and not all areas have been implemented as I imagine. But we have already achieved a lot. Since I started at Hohenhaus, we have been sourcing more and more products and food from our own land. That wasn't the case a few years ago.

Events for hotel guests take place regularly at the Hotel Hohenhaus - what events are coming up soon?

PETER NIEMANN: That's right, we always host top-class events. Another building block that makes us so special. No matter whether readings, concerts or tastings, there is always something going on thanks to prominent partners. Of course, everything is a little different this year, so things are currently a little quieter than usual in the event area. However, and I'm really looking forward to it, we'll be having a champagne weekend with the Laurent brand from November 20th to 22nd -Offer Perrier. Guests can book an exclusive arrangement and enjoy a five-course menu with matching champagne accompaniment as well as a champagne breakfast. On the four Advent Sundays in December we will also set up a Christmas tree village on Hohenhaus, a kind of open-air Christmas market where exhibitors present products and crafts from the region. And the next yoga retreat in November is already being planned.

Do you have any tips for fun activities near the hotel?

PETER NIEMANN: As already mentioned, nature lovers get their money's worth with us. Hohenhaus is surrounded by a 30-kilometer-long hiking network and numerous mountain bike trails also lead directly past us. And the 7,500 hectare Hainich National Park is right around the corner. There is also a lot of culture in the region, for example the Wartburg and the Luther Church in Eisenach, then of course Erfurt as the state capital of Thuringia or Bad Hersfeld with its annual festival. Also worth seeing and only a good hour away: the city of Kassel with the UNESCO World Heritage Site Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe and the picture gallery in Wilhelmshöhe Castle.

What do you value about KPM Berlin Porcelain? Why did you choose this?

PETER NIEMANN: Hohenhaus is a five-star Relais & Châteaux hotel, and we also have a gourmet restaurant that has been awarded a Michelin star. We are therefore committed to a certain level of quality - that is what we stand for and what our guests also expect. KPM is one of the most renowned porcelain manufacturers in Germany and looks back on a long history, but has always kept up with the times. That's exactly what we value and that's the reason why KPM Porcelain suits us so well!

Grilh-traezh, Christoph Herledan – Íles de Glénan, Langustino | Chard | fermented garlic | Breton fish soup
Cod confit in beeswax, lid wax from Hohenhauser Bienen – Ruben Gross Demter Kohlrabi | Truffle potato | Nut butter foam (Photos: Torsten Pross)

What is your personal favorite piece from KPM Berlin?

PETER NIEMANN: In our gourmet restaurant La Vallée Verte, I love the simple white plates from the KPM URANIA series, which offer us the right canvas to draw our Breton and regional ideas. This creates “pictures” like “Maquereau - Pointe de Brézellec”, a mackerel that we serve with black radish, Breton seaweed and mustard and which, in terms of taste and appearance, has been one of the absolute signature dishes at Hohenhaus since 2018. In my private life, I enjoy my coffee In the morning I prefer the KPM LAB mug 2H . The mug is a real hand-warmer thanks to the mix of two porcelain surfaces. It also doesn't slip and impresses me personally with its clear, unmistakable shape and delicate workmanship.

Maquereau - Pointe de Brézellec – Arno Normand, mackerel | Black radish | Breton algae (Photo: Torsten Pross)