Miki Havas wanted to spend time in Zánka with his family, and his family is large, so it was almost impossible to house everyone, even though they already had a house in the area. Together with his wife, Timi, they decided to buy the old pub of the village (known as “The Zotyó” in the neighborhood) and within a few months they turned it into a guesthouse where even a larger family can spend a few days together in peace.
Of course renting houses at Lake Balaton isn’t a new thing, but Miki didn’t just want to open yet another plain guesthouse amid the hospitality scene of Zánka. “When you’re on holiday, you don’t want to cook, do the washing or the cleaning,” he says. “But we didn’t want a hotel with a kitchen either. You just published an article with the 50 best restaurants of Balaton, and we don't want to stand in the line and be the 51st. We wanted more than just a place to stay at, something that you can’t find around here, that’s how the idea to give the guests a quality breakfast that is almost enough for all day came to our minds.” That’s how Fügekert on Zánka’s Fő Street came to life; its name, meaning “Fig-garden” was inspired by the hundred years old fig tree in the garden.
While Miki explains their genesis, their chef, Attila Tóth appears (he previously worked at Mi a Kő and Zománc) and starts leisurely laying the table for breakfast: pretty looking vegetables, fresh fruit juices, three types of jams, honey, at least three types of bread, ham, salami, curd cheese cream, a light sparkling wine (the wine selection is nice with items from the area’s producers like Gilvesy, Béla and Bandi, Káli Kövek, etc.) are lining up on the table. A jug of cordial, pimientos de padrón, a typical Spanish tapas, and three types of cheese also join them.
There’s not a single person who couldn’t put together something enough for at least two nice breakfasts from all of this. “The entire thing is customized by the way,” adds Miki. “We talk to the guests, ask them what they like and we go in that direction. Some wanted a meat-free version so they got more baked vegetables and frittata. We didn’t know what you like so you got everything,” he says, laughing.
The concept is simple: there aren’t any complicated courses or exotic ingredients, but everything is fresh and of the best quality. The vegetables are like they were just picked five minutes ago, the beetroot juice tastes like real beetroot and it’s so thick that later that day two people will ask me if I was punched in the face because my lips look bloody. And Miki was right, this kind of breakfast lasts all day long – we can only blame our own gluttony for getting hungry at three in the afternoon. We can easily imagine this breakfast giving us enough fuel until dinner in summer when we don’t eat that much anyway due to the heat.
It feels a bit difficult to tour the five-room guesthouse after such an abundant meal – unlike the breakfast, there aren’t too many impulses here. It has the currently fashionable, simple, minimalist northern design with soft pastel colors; all the rooms are stylish and air-conditioned, and the deluxe family room and the family suite not only have a shower, but also a bathtub. The latter costs 43,000 forints for a night and four people can comfortably stay here.
We spoke to Miki on the terrace when an acquaintance from the nearby Neked Főztem says hi. Miki waves back, and mentions that they have a good relationship with the other local businesses because that’s the only way it can work. “We send guests there, others send them here, the point is to complete each other.”
Füge will probably not only be part of the local hospitality scene as an accommodation and a breakfast spot, but it’ll also have a busy terrace where the musical history of the owner will make an appearance. “We would like to have dinners where we would have musical guests for an acoustic gig, and maybe writers as well. The guests can sit and drink wine or eat on the terrace meanwhile, and we’re also planning on cooking the guest’s favorite meal. Of course, this won’t make us a restaurant, but a cultural space, and I think there’s place for that.”
This is all in the future for now, but Füge already has a place in Zánka; the fact that they already had tons of reservations just after a few days of existence proves this – we might not be able to get rooms here before fall. But that’s all right, as this is a place that looks best on a calm, early-fall morning, when, after a wine or bike tour we can lazily rest for half an hour. And if we feel like it, we can soon stop by just for the breakfast, as after the test run for staying guests will be done, they’ll welcome those who only come to eat as well. The exact time of this will be announced on their Facebook page.
Translated by Emma Póli