Restaurant zum Gupf Rehetobel

A trip to Gupf: Fine dining in Appenzellerland

A good dose of fresh air, tickling rays of sunshine, foresight and a delicious stop; these are all ingredients that make a successful day trip for me. When Zurich was recently groaning under the November blanket of high fog, we took the train to Eastern Switzerland. There are not only countless kilometres of beautiful hiking trails, but also country inns that cause a sensation with their cuisine. These include the Gasthaus zum Gupf above Rehetobel in the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden. If you can’t locate it directly on a map – don’t worry! I also had to consult Google Maps first.

This year, Gault Millau awarded the restaurant, run by Munich-born Walter Klose and his wife Manuela, with 18 points and at the same time named it Newcomer of the Year (Klose shares the title with Sebastian Zier and Moses Ceylan from Einstein St. Gallen). This piqued our curiosity.

On the Alpine Panorama Trail through Appenzell

But you should earn such a gourmet meal somehow, right? And that’s why we didn’t head for the Gupf directly, but integrated a few meters of altitude into the journey. Rehetobel is located on the first stage of the Alpine Panorama Trail, which connects Lake Constance with Lake Geneva with a total of 30 stages. The first stage starts in Rorschach and ends 17 kilometres later in Trogen. The entire route seemed too far for a leisurely excursion where enjoyment should be in the foreground. Therefore, we “picked” an intermediate piece and started the hike in Heiden. The hiking trail leads from the village centre towards the hospital. Soon we have left the village behind us and walk uphill along the edge of the forest.

Heiden Appenzellerland

View of Heiden


Herbst Appenzell Detail

Frost Detailaufnahme

Wanderung Heiden Gupf

Säntis view: Kaienspitz viewpoint

Between Heiden and the Gupf is the 1,121 m high Kaienspitz. A vantage point that offers a beautiful view from the Alpstein including Säntis to Lake Constance – weather permitting. On the Kaienspitz we have the certainty that the trip was worth it, at least from a weather point of view. On this autumn day, the high fog has even St. Gallen firmly in its grip.

Aufstieg Kaienspitz

Alpenpanoramawanderung Kaienspitz

Aussicht Kaienspitz Rehetobel

Kaienspitz Gupf

Restaurant zum Gupf: Gourmet cuisine in the countryside

It’s only a stone’s throw from the Kaienspitz to the Gasthaus zum Gupf and my timing is perfect. I have reserved a table for two people in advance and we reach the restaurant on time for my announced time. In the Gupf there are two daily recommendations at noon. This traditionally includes boiled meat on Saturday. In addition to the daily recommendations, it is possible to order à la carte or – from two people – the 4- or 5-course gourmet menu. We quickly decide on the “full program” and both order the 5-course menu.

In addition to the excellent cuisine, the Gasthaus zum Gupf is also known for its extensive wine cellar with over 3,000 well-selected items. Accordingly, the wine list has the weight and scope of an encyclopedia. I flip through it briefly – but since we prefer to drink wine by the glass anyway, we let Manuela Klose put together a wine accompaniment to match the menu.

Sternerestaurant zum Gupf

Gupf Stuben

Gault Millau praises the down-to-earth nature of the dishes at the Restaurant zum Gupf; “Home-style cuisine at the highest level” is the motto of chef Walter Klose. And the bar is really high, as we unanimously draw a first conclusion after the first course of the menu – a sophisticated variation of salmon with cucumber, lime and pistachio. The plate convinces both visually and in terms of taste. The following scampi with beetroot, chervil root, quince and ginger also tastes excellent and convinces with seasonal components.

Gupf Gourmet Menu Lachs

Gupf Gourmet Menu Scampi

Before we are served the two main courses, we are allowed to take a look at the wine cellar. I am a bit irritated at first when we are asked if we would be interested in a cellar tour. Presumably, however, our discreet photographing of the individual plates did not go unnoticed, which is ultimately also a quality feature of the service staff. The view into the extensive wine cellar, where over 30,000 bottles are stored, is definitely impressive. Manuela Klose shows us how the cellar is digitally managed and finally opens the gates to the wine treasure chamber, where the finest wines of the cellar are stored.

Gupf Weinkeller

Afterwards we sit down again at our table in the cosy Bodenseestube (including tiled stove) and let ourselves be enchanted by the tender duo of veal. If you opt for the 5-course menu, you will receive two small main courses. Walter Klose’s definition of “small” is generous, as can be seen in the second main course – saddle of venison. For me, a piece of meat would have been enough. But there is no stinginess in the Gupf!

Gupf Gourmet Menu Kalb

Gupf Gourmet Menu Reh

It’s only on the home stretch that things don’t go quite as smoothly as we imagine. We have to wait so long for the surprise dessert that we only catch the intended post bus with a sprint down from the Gupf to the village. The mango-passion-fruit-chocolate combination is always fine – but we would have liked to have treated ourselves to an espresso macchiato with the friandise at the end. Unfortunately, this was no longer possible due to the advanced time. However, the Gupf team is probably not used to guests who take public transport to Rehetobel for a gourmet lunch – but I guarantee you, it’s worth it!

Gupf Überraschungsdessert

Practical tips for your trip to the Gupf

The route of our short hike from Heiden to Rehetobel can be found on the map below. The distance from the starting point in the village centre of Heiden to the village centre of Rehetobel is 5.3 kilometres. Up to the vantage point on the Kaienspitz, the hiking trail leads mostly uphill – a total of 375 meters of altitude have to be overcome. The pure hiking time is just under 1.5 hours (at a leisurely pace).

The 5-course menu we tried at the Gasthaus zum Gupf costs 132 CHF per person. For 4 courses, the price is 112 CHF (as of November 2018). I recommend that you reserve a table in advance by phone.

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