Monday, January 18, 2010

Honeymoon hotel, 25 years later

When you are the only guests in a small, family-owned hotel, you get lots of attention. When you tell them you honeymooned there 25 years earlier, they welcome you like part of the family. That's how it was for Peter and me this weekend at Schumachers Hotel and Grill in New Prague, Minnesota.

The historic hotel has just six guest suites, all recently updated to include whirlpools, gas fireplaces, and flat-screen televisions. Some old-style amenities are present, too, including beautiful stained-glass windows and really tiny bathrooms. Overall, our room was spacious and comfortable, and we had a lovely time.

Over the years, the hotel had become noted for its restaurant; owner-chef John Schumacher specialized in lavish menus of Czech and German fare. We had gone back several times for dinner without staying the night--most recently just before the place closed in 2005. The establishment changed hands, the deal fell through, and last fall John and Kathleen Schumacher reopened with modernized guest suites and a simplified menu.

Our dinner Sunday night (pork schnitzel for me, Atlantic haddock for Peter) was well prepared, but not as spectacular as in the old days. The young man who served us said they were working hard to get the dishes just right and the kitchen functioning smoothly after the long hiatus. We chatted about our earlier visits, and I told him we'd learned about the hotel's reopening from Far Side of Fifty's blog, as described here. Dessert was on the house, and we shared a wonderful meringue torte with whipped cream, pecans, and chocolate bits.


This morning, Chef Schumacher showed us around the kitchen before cooking a breakfast of scrambled eggs (made to perfection), sausage, and French toast made from homemade cinnamon rolls. Then we headed home, 30 minutes through rolling hills and frosty trees and another 30 minutes by freeway to St. Paul. If you're ever in southern Minnesota, consider a visit to Schumachers. If not, do you have a favorite getaway spot where you can be just a little pampered, and maybe revisit old memories?

16 comments:

tattytiara said...

That sounds perfectly heavenly. What a happy anniversary indeed. I'm so glad you two were treated to such picture perfect hospitality in such a sentimental place!

Kathy said...

Sounds wonderful and the food sounds fantastic! Happy anniversary to you. How nice to be able to return there.

Allyson said...

We haven't been back to our honeymoon spot - The Governor's Inn in Charleston, SC...but if we were to go, I'm sure we'd be pampered like royalty. I just LOVE a hotel that has the modern amenities (5 shower heads in the shower, flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi) and the old school touches (stained glass, Queen Anne furniture, high-ball glasses). It's the perfect combination. We don't get to MN very often (or...um..ever) but I will put it in my travel file. You all have too much of that crap called cold for us!

JenJen said...

yes I do.
Bay Harbor in upper Michigan. It's my favorite place.

DJan said...

Congratulations to you both on your anniversary! It's lovely to go back to visit and find how things have changed (or stayed the same). Good post, very interesting. Not likely to make it to visit so this was a good next best thing.

Ms Sparrow said...

I loved your description of the hotel. It sounds like a great place. But, I had to chuckle when you listed the small bathroom as one of the amenities.

troutbirder said...

Fond memories there as well. Wonderful German/Czech cuisine. We've had to drive to Milwaukee several times since it closed to fill my penchnt for German....

Respectfully Yours said...

Happy Anniversary...sounds like a lovely romantic getaway.

Moogie said...

What a wonderful anniversary to remember. And the food sounded like it was super.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Thanks, everyone. This was the kickoff to a year-long anniversary celebration. We met on April 15, he proposed June 14, and we were married September 27.

@Allyson: come to Minnesota between mid-May and mid-October and (with luck) it's beautiful.

@Troutbirder: Now you're talking! Karl Ratzsch's sauerbraten, Wiener schnitzel, or Konigsberger Klopse, spatzle, strudel...and salted rye rolls! (I lived in M'waukee for about five years; haven't been back in a while but whenever I get there Ratzsch's is a must!)

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post and the link where you said you take longer to pick out shoes than the marriage. LOL

Nice memories and excellent pictures.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Happy Anniversary! Glad you made it to Schumachers for your romantic weekend getaway!! If we ever get to that part of the state it is on my list to at least photograph!!
We only went to Thief River Falls for one night after we were married..it was a real hole in the wall motel..probably long torn down. It didn't make much difference to me at the time..we were very young and in love:)

Lora said...

what a special visit! beautiful snowy picture at the end :)

visiting you from SITS--have a wonderful day!

gayle said...

Sounds like the kind of place I would love to visit!!

Nancy said...

Happy Anniversary! I remember going to New Prague, but I don't thing we visited this place. Sounds perfect. We honeymooned here at Lake Tahoe, so the Lake has always held a special place for us.

Colleen said...

What a wonderful getaway!! They should use your blog post on a brochure--I want to pack up right now and go there!

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