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Step into the set of Annie Hall – Manor House Inn, Csopak

The friendly and absolutely cozy guesthouse in Csopak is certainly one of a kind. Built in 1929, the mansion was renovated by 2014 to revive its original glory, and they’ve been working on it ever since. A recent development, for example, is the construction of a new, large terrace and an open-air kitchen. Future plans include the establishment of a vinoteque with the wines of the area, and possibly a mini-stage for concerts.

The silence upon arriving to the garden of Manor House Inn is astonishing. The property is right next to busy Road 71, but due to the high walls and the lush vegetation, there’s almost nothing to disturb the stillness of the garden. The narrow gate is just wide enough so that our car can fit through it, but there’s no time to think about it as the sight of the main building at the end of the lane demands our full attention. The path to the house is lined with vineyards followed by trees on both sides. In our heads, we already feel like the stars of a soap opera that takes place on the estate of an old, noble family, and this feeling gets even stronger as we make our way up a flight of stairs towards the entrance.

Built in 1929, the mansion is back to its original glory once again. The former hall serves as a reception area now, from which we enter to a spacious kitchen. The entire house has a country-style: all the white you can imagine, completed with modest furniture. There’re two rooms upstairs, named White and Azure, while Red, the guesthouse’s flagship room is downstairs – with a huge clawfoot bathtub in the bathroom. The names come from the colors of the cement tiles in the bathrooms: the leafy coat of arms, the logo of the villa, is present in all of them.

Rooms are available for 20,000 forints per night, including coffee and tea consumption as well as brunch, which is made by the owners. The breakfast table is heavy with ham, paté, freshly baked pepper crescents, juices, and homemade jams. However, the other meals of the day aren’t provided, so we have to go to the nearby restaurants – we can even rent some bikes and ride to any of them.

In the beginning, my wife and I used it as a holiday home and a place for parties” said the owner, László Kovács. “Later, after we came home from abroad, we thought we should utilize its capabilities.” This thought was followed by action, and Manor House Inn opened its gates in 2014.

The original idea was to try to achieve a kind of clubhouse atmosphere, and it’s safe to say that they succeeded. Guests staying here are greeted with a welcome fröccs at the fröccs-terrace in the garden; the terrace also operates in a night mode, however, during that time it’s good to remember that local residents live around the guesthouse, so the noise level should be adjusted with that in mind. 

Children can come too, there’s a playroom with trampoline, there’re tricycles in the garden, the only thing you shouldn’t expect to find is a pool. Those who wish to swim should turn their attention to the shining blue of Lake Balaton at the end of the street.

The guesthouse is suitable for smaller teambuilding workshops as well. “Our living room is a sort of creative room, where people can get inspired for such events” said László while showing us the room. This could be the perfect set for any of the internal scenes in Annie Hall, and we wouldn’t even have to change a thing.

The former glass porch – now built in and insulated – functions as a community space with a home library and vinyls. Talking about the renovation of the house, László tells us that “it’s practically identical to a reconstruction plan from the ‘30s that we found in the attic." The funny thing is that they found the plan only after finishing the renovation. They didn’t need the help of an interior designer, as they had Aunt Erzsi for this job. When it came to furnishing and figuring out the functions of the rooms (kitchen, bathrooms, etc.), they based it all on the ideas of the lady who was helping the family.

The living room also has a view on the backyard, where farm buildings used to stand. A huge construction is taking place there right now – they’re building a large terrace along the fence, one that will have enough space for 20 people, while at the place of the former barn they’re making an open-air kitchen. “We have several ideas, but we haven’t decided on any of them yet. We plan to create a mini-stage for concerts or plays. The other idea is to establish a wine shop – primarily for wines from Csopak – which would open from the neighboring street.” The winning idea will be revealed by the time the high season arrives.

The plans may seem ambitious, yet they aren’t unattainable: the area is large, and besides the main house, there’s also a guesthouse in the garden with another three rooms and an apartment – so there’s plenty of space for a smaller concert audience. And to make the picture complete: László and his family recently bought the neighboring house as well, where renovations are currently in progress, so soon we can gaze on the huge garden and the lush green plants from the windows of the new rooms. 

Translated by Emma Póli

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