We arrived in Warsaw on a sunny Saturday morning and after a short bus ride we got to our hotel. Unfortunately our room wasn’t ready yet (a couple of hours before the check in time) and we wandered through Krakowskie Przedmieście. Equipped in a map we marked all the places we wanted to visit/eat at, while drinking cold beer. Before we headed back to the hotel we popped to Zakąski Przekąski, part of the Gessler empire (the Conrans of Warsaw according to Wallpaper*) located at the old Europejski Hotel, conveniently just opposite our hotel. Zakąski Przekąski is a great snack bar, zakąski meaning snacks to go with vodka or simply starters and przekąski meaning snacks in general. All the food is PLN8/€2 and all the drinks are PLN4/€1 including vodka shots! The food it very simple and served with a roll, all very meaty, for someone like me the choice was limited to potatoes with sour cream or herring, went for the latter, M had pate with cranberry sauce and horseradish relish. This place is open 24h a day and gets packed with young fashion crowd in evening for a cheeky shot of vodka before or after a night out.
When we got to the hotel after the check in time our room still wasn’t ready and we got immediately upgraded to a suite, yay!
Later on we had coffee at the very quirky café Kafka. A fab little place near our hotel but off the beaten track where we would eat our breakfast every day.
The café is at the bottom of old building with tables and chairs outside, it also has got a grassy bit with deck chairs and blankets. The interior is pretty wacky with lots of books they saved from a skip, these can be bought now for PLN10/€2.50 per kilo.
At dinner time it was back to Hotel Europejski, restaurant U Kucharek which is one of the Gessler places. We dined outside on a chilled beetroot soup for me and wild mushroom broth for M. The nice thing about Warsaw is that the pavements are wide so every restaurant and bar have outside areas which with the 30 degrees temperatures where blissful and reminiscent of southern Europe.The food was absolutely delicious and I couldn’t stop staring at the color of my soup.
On Sunday we had a breakfast at the oldest patisserie in Warsaw, Blikle, the breakfast was ok but massively overpriced. The cakes and doughnuts are fantastic though.
The day was hot and we decided to spend it in Łazienki Park – The Royal Baths Park. The park is beautiful with a number of palaces like the neoclassical Palace on Water or The Ujazdowski Castle, the latter is a home to a modern art gallery and a restaurant.
Palace on Water
The other spots worth visiting in the park are the Old Orangery, Little White House, Mysliwiecki Palace, Belvedere and the statue of Fryderyk Chopin. We headed to the Roman Theater near the Palace on Water to listen to a classical music concert. We were hoping to see the Chopin piano concert (played near his statue every Sunday between May and September at 12.00 and 16.00) but the heat chased us away – the weird thing about Polish parks is that people don’t sit on the grass only on benches. There is yet another concert played behind the Old Orangery, all concerts are free and performed by the best musicians in the country and beyond.
For lunch we headed to Ujazdowski Castle to Qchnia Artystyczna, a trendy Warsaw restaurant, found out later that it’s also owned by one of the Gesslers! The interior is simple and the food tasty, I settled for potato cakes with wild mushroom sauce and M for a simple pasta dish, and beer of course.
We had a quick look at the Centre for Contemporary Art at the castle and walked back to the town center and walked passed the Polish Parliament and Senate back to the hotel.
The evening was spent on a walk to the Old Town centre, dinner under a starry sky at Pierrogeria where we stuffed ourselves silly with delicious dumplings.
We finished the evening walking to the New Town centre (don’t be fooled by the name, it’s an old part of Warsaw too but was named New some time ago! ). We had tea at Belle Epoque, an eclectic and wacky looking café in belle epoque style where a man played piano – more Woody Allen than Chopin, and drank tea with rum.