New bistro, a market, a festival, an emerging winery, an open-air stage, accelerating museums and faster boat service. 10 things at Balaton to follow in 2014
Manézs Bistro, Balatonfüred
If you missed the atmosphere of the clubs of Budapest's ruin pubs at Balaton, you shall suffer no more: visit Manézs Bistro in Balatonfüred. In the vicinity of the Silver Resort-court that encompasses the Karolina Café and Cocktail Bar, the Figula Wine Bar, and the Menta Bistro, on the opposite side of the car park stands the Manézs, which is also the opposite of the bars across the street in terms of attitude. Here, drinks are served from a beautifully refurbished circus car and drank by people sitting on pallet furniture. The idea paid off: Manézs swiftly found its target audience (and vice versa) in the summer of 2013. After such an explosive start, we should pay close attention to the follow-up.
Manézs Bistro (closed)
Address: 8230 Balatonfüred, Tihanyi Road
Mi a kő - The House of Káli-medence's Wines
Köveskál in Káli-medence has already been swimming in noteworthy and trendy spots–Káli Art Inn, Kővirág, Káli Kövek Winery, Pálffy Wine Cellar. Still, in the midst of restaurants and wineries one could not find a proper café/wine bar devoid of poor wine, watery coffee and salty sticks. Mi a kő is heaven-sent to fill this gap with good wines, top notch coffee and a variety of dishes. It is managed by Tamás Trombitás oenologist-artist from Szentbékkála and it opened at the end of summer 2013.
Tapolca Flea Market
Although the shores of Balaton are relatively close to each other, it is either forbidden or slow to pop from on to the other--or one must have a sailboat. From autumn 2013, however, anyone can jump down from Balatonfüred to Tihany or Siófok in 10 minutes. The new speed boats of the Balaton Shipping Co., Hunor and Magor offer express service on a round route between the three cities--on weekends out of season and every day in high season. Tickets are available for a single round trip or a whole day of speed boating with the possibility to step on shore at any station and continue your trip with the next boat. Or a later one.
The Homola Winery trademarked by Szabolcs Homola and Attila Homonna (also known from the Tokaj wine region) opened its doors om Paloznak in 2009. Similarly to several other wineries, the Homola does not focus exclusively on wine-making but also on charitable and cultural activities: for example it supported the foundation of the Olvasóliget (Readers' Corner) in Paloznak. In 2012, the winery teamed up with the Snétberger Music Talent Centre from Alsóörs and they have been organizing the Paloznak Jazz and Bor Picnic in co-operation since.
Kertem Camping Site
Similarly to Manézs, the Kertem Camping in Zamárdi is also like bistro garden from Budapest, but it is exactly what the owners wanted. Two youngsters from Budapest have rebuilt the family camping site under the sign of hip nightlife spots with paper lanterns and colourful furniture.The Kertem Camping, which opened in the summer of 2013, is adjacent to the area of the Balaton Sound and the Strand Festival; out of festival season, the enormous Zamárdi dbo beach is but a minute on foot. The managers promise they would continue to improve the camping site every year.
There is hardly any better location than Lake Balaton for a summer festival, so the organizers of the most succesful Balaton festival so far, Balaton Sound turned it up a notch in 2013. The Nagyon Balaton Festival consists of a dozen events of one or more days, which take place simultaneously from Keszthely to Siófok and offer everything from techno to folk music. The founders plan to turn it up another notch in 2014: the eevents will not only cover three days, but the entire summer.
Nowadays, the title "csárda" does not sound good and all it seems to bring to mind are dusty coach wheels, oily-greasy dishes and poor wines. The managers of the well-run Chianti Restaurant (Veszprém) took the challenge and, in the summer of 2013, they re-opened one of the oldest csárdas of Balaton, which had been closed for years. The csárda replaced breaded chicken with quality food and cola with lavander soda. It seems they have pulled of the feat: the Baricska Csárda was running on full house not long after the opening. It closed at the end of the high season, but will reopen next year.
Babel garden, Balatonlelle
What are your options for a night of fun at Balaton, when there are no festivals? Dancing in the discotheque or to Hungarian oldies performed by a one-man band? Fortunately, several spots give a satisfactory answer to this recurring problem, e.g. the Babel Garden in Balatonlelle. For a couple of summers, the open-air stage in Lelle has been functioning as a beer and barbecue garden. The stage remains in use for there are concerts frequently--with the occasional big gun, like Muzsikás Band or the Európa Kiadó.
Babel Garden - Open-air Stage (closed)
Address: 8638, Balatonlelle, 2 Kossuth Lajos Street
The popularity of the Liliomkert Market in Káptalantóti or the PIAC Placc Market in Tihany is unabated. This summer, however, there was a new competitor in the race of bio markets: the Biobalaton (Balatonfüred), an enterprise by Tamás Járosi, a bio farmer from the Fekete Bárány farm in Balatonhenye. The area of the Biobalaton market also gives place to the Malackrumpli Bistro that offers craft beer on tap and food cooked from bio ingredients. Thus Biobalaton, which is somewhat outside the city centre, beside the bike route running between Balatonfüred and Tihany, is not only ideal for shopping, but also for a quick lunch.
There is bad weather, autumn, nothing open--where can we go? To the museum? But museums are dull according to the common notion--and this is what the museums in Keszthely try to change. In the ever-expanding park of the renowned Festetics Palace awaits you with an increasing number of peculiarities. The Balaton Museum boosted its fun factor with entertaining educational children's programmes, a caffé and various events. The agricultural exhibition called Georgikon Farm Museum was transformed into an "adventure farm" with real fields of crop and ancient tractors that are still working. On the edge of Keszthely, the Festetics Imre Zoo opened a petting zoo. This means you have a whole day of fun laid at your feet.