Needless to say, I slept like a drunk baby. In the morning, I didn’t get up immediately when I woke up, I was very comfortable and didn’t fancy leaving the bed – the room, by the way, was great, it looked and felt substantially more expensive than the price I paid.
When the call of nature could no longer be ignored, I reluctantly got up, fearful of the pain after the exertions of the previous day. But my legs were fine, no soreness, I felt like after one of my usual 10 km walks around town. Go figure.
As I’ve said, the room at Penzion Mácha was great, but the breakfast was a bit wanting. The coffee was fine, yes, but all the rest was uninspiring, boring and supermarket quality. After having a couple of coffees and eating something because-it’s-included-in-the-price-and-would-be-a-waste-otherwise, I picked my book and went to explore the city a little more.
Litoměřice is ideal for a day trip. The main square is gorgeous, there’s plenty of nice architecture, and it’s also a little run-down in some spots, which, together the local life and pulse, give it more charm than towns that are kept in mint condition.
Eventually, my feet led me to Kafe Doma, a lovely spot hidden in a courtyard just off the main square; a perfect place to sip excellent coffee, a bit of people watching and reading al fresco surrounded by greenery. I would go back the next day for a proper breakfast and the food was every bit as good as everything else in there. I wish I had a place like that where I live, but with beer on tap.
I did some more exploring and killed time until lunch. A friend had recommended me Radniční sklípek and its terrace in Mirové náměstí. Another great spot. The Pilsner Urquell was not that good, to be honest, but that was more than made up by the amazing food: one of the best kulajda soups I’ve ever had, and a main of roasted lamb, spinach and potato knedlíky that still makes my mouth water. After lunch, the temperature was rising, the sun was beating hard and what I had to do was still a few hours away. A siesta was warranted.
The place I wanted to go to was about 7 km away, but the walk promised to be mostly under the sun and I just couldn’t be arsed. Fortunately, there’ s a train leaving regularly from the town’s main station that would take me (almost) there in a few minutes – it was a no-brainer. But what to do with the time I would save? Pivoing, of course; I remembered Minipivovar Labuť still had a few beers I wanted to try.
It was quieter than the evening before, and the service was tectonically slow, too. I sampled three of the beers they had on tap. Like their peers at U sv. Štěpána, the Světlý ležák and the Polotvmavé were frustrating, but for a different reason. Neither of them were fucked at the tap (though, truth be told, they weren’t very well poured either), there was something more intrinsically wrong. In both cases, they were competent though a little too gassy at first, but suddenly there was this aftertaste, like air coming out of a birthday balloon; it was subtle, but once you noticed it, it was impossible to ignore and pretty much ruined the experience. The Pale Ale, on the other hand, that one was awful through-and-through: a perfectly balanced blend of cheap margarine and old hops.
Beer-wise, the trip so far had not been very remarkable. Or rather, some of the beers had been remarkable, but for all the wrong reasons. Hopefully, my next destination would improve things, and it was time to go to the station and take the train to Křešice and walk the 800 m to Zahořany to find out.
Pivovar Špitt is not your usual brewpub. It only opens on Wednesdays at 5 and, instead of being in a pub, you feel like you’re hanging out at a friend’s or neighbour’s garden. Also, they produce only one beer, a 12° Světlý ležák.
It was easy to find the place. I arrived about ten minutes before opening time, together with a group of four cyclists, and the owner waved us in as soon as he noticed us. At exactly five on the clock, the locals started arriving, and soon they were followed by other cyclists. Even still beer-less, I was feeling incredibly content with a setting that could hardly have been better.
When it arrived in its heavy mug, the beer was pale-gold, almost murky and with a foam that could probably hold a coin. It tasted very much home-made, rough around the edges and a bit too eager with the hops. I’m bet those people who need to dissect every beer they get their hands on would find more than one flaw in this pale lager, and I’d feel a little sorry for them in a way, because once I tuned into during the second round, I came to the conclusion there was some genius in all that imperfection, it fitted the setting in a way that a more refined beer wouldn’t, and it also paired great with the home-made snacks.
The four cyclists left after their second pint and were soon replaced by an elderly couple, also on their bikes (though electric in this case), with whom I had a great chat, which continued with one of the locals and his dog when they left. It was perfect – the six pints, the food, the atmosphere, the weather – I was almost sad to leave and promised myself I would return some day.
The evening was balmy and I couldn’t possibly be in a better mood. I noticed a fancy looking wine bar located behind the All Saints Church that looked still open and I stopped for a night cap, two glasses of pretty expensive, but very good white from a local winemaker.
That night I slept very well, too.
Mírové náměstí 30, Litoměřice
firstname.lastname@example.org - +420 416 732 007
Mírové náměstí 21, Litoměřice
+420 731 422 013
Fri-Sat: 11-24, Sun-Thu: 11-23
Zahořany 90, Křešice
email@example.com - +420 602 470 800