A crossover between a ruin pub and a living history museum with porcelain deer, Soviet TV sets and antique furniture in a one-time csárda. Antiquities and second-hand goods in Szántódpuszta, sausages and sunbathing at the foot of the chapel.
Following the apocalypse of the gypsy music-and-Zigeunerschnitzel era, various new phenomenons seem to have sprung to life on the ruins of the traditional Hungarian restuarant, the csárda. Or at least, it is so around Lake Balaton. The Baricska Csárda in Balatonfüred, for example, was re-opened as a "high-end" csárda last summer, rocketing to success at once.
The Ménes Csárda in Szántódpuszta looks rather like a scene from a Mad Max spin-off. Not only because it has been dilapidating since its closing, but also as it hosts a weekend store of antiquities and second-hand stuff among the wrecks left its kitchen counters and piping were torn down.
The building's nooks and crannies provide a bizarre setting to the antiquities accumulated here, which include ancient radios, old school kitchenware, Soviet TV sets and other valueable and invaluable goods. It's like a cross over between a ruin pub and a living history museum
Everything here is up for grabs, which makes the place blend in with the farmgate and flea market in front of the building, where you can buy or sell everything from Katalin Karády vinyls, through children's clothing to farmgate sausages and syrups. They charge no stall money, so anyone can join in.
Szántódpuszta is worth a visit in itself. The one-time estate centre between Zamárdi and Szántód (which is a type of Southfork Ranch, it's just that the horses and bottles of drinks kept here belonged to Abbots of Tihany, instead of oil magnates) has stood unchanged since the last day-labourer laid down the schyte.
Although the place is called Szántódpuszta Tourism and Culture Centre, it shows almost nothing of what the name entails. After having dived into heaps of vinyls and decorative porcelain figurines, drop by the gigantic wine cellar, Ádám pinc, and stroll up the hill above the manor to the baroque Szent Kristóf Chapel.
Standing beside the nicely renovated chapel, you can enjoy a view of both the eastern and western basins of Lake Balaton. You can also lie down on the grass and enjoy the sun with a bottle of Veszprémi-wine (that you just you bought at the wine cellar) in the hand. You can also take the ferry to pop over to the north shore, to see the Tihanyi PIAC Marketplace. It is just a few kilometres as the crow flies, thus you can fare the Szántódpuszta-Tihany distance within an hour even by bike.