Szőlőskert Restaurant located in Balatonfenyves is a true family-owned, home-style restaurant of Hungarian character, which has been serving gastronomical treats already for 30 years.
And what does hospitality and the Szőlőskert Restaurant really means for the Lepenye family?
It is not an exaggeration if I say that catering is our life.
My parents worked in different areas of catering throughout their lives. They may be grateful to this profession for their coming together as well. Therefore, I with my little sister were already born into this – for us natural - environment.
An important era of our family is connected to Balatonszárszó, where we spent our summers for years. While my Mother operated her own fish roasting unit under the name of Gabi buffet, my Father strengthened the waiter team of the respectable Véndiófa (Old Walnut-Tree) restaurant for 9 years, until 1991. This was the time when the Szőlőskert Vendéglő restaurant in Balatonfenyves entered the life of our family. It was operated by my Father on rental basis for 3 years, and as the own property of the family after 1994, already for 30 years by now. Its family atmosphere and character have been defining us all these times.
Me as a child and my little Sister lived our daily lives already from our ages 14 and 10 years respectively between the tables and guests of Szőlőskert Vendéglő. We learned a lot from our parents. They taught us the basis and the love of catering. Thanks to our parents we learned to understand each other and the guests from half-words. We have many regular guests, who have been visiting us from the start, that is, since 1991. Many of them return to us not as regular guests, but practically as Family Members. This makes us really happy.
I think we may be rightly proud of this achievement.
The clientele of our restaurant consisted mostly of Hungarian and German guests in its starting days, and this is true even today.
Although our dishes have changed, they have been replaced during the years, nevertheless, the Hungarian, traditional style of the menu card dreamed by our Parents prevailed throughout these years, it reflects the beloved flavours and scents that were invented by my Mother. Many of our guests return to us for the „Liver dumplings of Aunt Gabi” and for the „Fried ducks of Aunt Gabi”.
We may be grateful to our parents not only for the development of the flavour and atmosphere of the Restaurant, but the establishment and the appearance of the Restaurant also praise the work of their hands. In year 1994, learning from the experiences of the previous year, my Father had a covered terrace made, which already allows us to receive our guests even when the weather is unfavourable. For the purpose of moderating the summer heat, he had a vine arbour planted around the open terrace, and this is where the name Szőlőskert (Vine Garden) of the restaurant came from. The arbour, the garden, the flowers are nurtured and taken care of by him even today.
I took over the role of the official operator from my Father in 2018. I wanted my Parents also to „rest” a little bit after their dedicated work of many long years. Naturally, I do gladly receive their advices and suggestions even today. The family comes together for discussing many issues and it makes many decision together. My Mother makes efforts to hand over her experiences to my little Sister, who I may say copes with her tasks excellently. The „Meat soup of Aunt Gabi” gets on the table of the guests as the result of the work of her hands.
Glancing over the past 30 years of Szőlőskert Restaurant, the change and development that has taken place in the field of catering at Lake Balaton since the years of the nineties is striking. Therefore, we had to also adapt ourselves to the newer and newer trends, to the demands of our guests. We do look forward with great expectations to what the future will bring for us, what opportunities will knock on our doors.
The Szőlőskert Restaurant awaits its dear existing and new Guests on behalf of the Lepenye Family in Balatonfenyves each year, from the beginning of May until the end of September!
Owner / Operator