Man patinka Lietuva

I like Lithuania – a visitor's point of view


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The beautiful people defy the weather and turn out in Vilnius

Walking up Pilies g. towards the old town hall I noticed preparations going on outside the Du Broliai Boutique.p1000800

I wandered up Stiklių g. to Mamma Mia’s for a coffee and  a cake and to check out the neighbourhood.

Was Mamma Mia even still there, and the silversmith at terra recognita galerija, and Markus ir Ko? Thankfully yes to all three.

Refreshed I walked back in the gathering gloom and found the reception in full swing. A large screen, a repetitive, forgettable music-by-numbers soundtrack, and waiters offering glasses of bubbly around – but not to bystanders. Of whom there were many, including a couple of Japanese tourists with the longest lenses I’ve ever seen not on TV.p1000804p1000805p1000804

Ah well, at least the guests were undaunted by the cold damp weather (must have wreaked havoc with their hair though).


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Coffee shops on every corner

p1030939The first thing I noticed in the centre of Vilnius and the Old Town was the abundance of coffee shops.

They are on every street corner, often opposite each other. Probably more coffee shops than churches.

A few years ago one opened in the Europa shopping centre, Double- Coffee I think it was called but it didn’t last. Times have changed.

p1000774When I lived in Kaunas for a while I got to like Vero Cafe which later arrived in Vilnius. It reminds me of Costa at home in the UK. The one at the end of Gedimino is still there which is where I went for my first cup.

p1030950I was asked if I wanted Brazilian or Indonesian coffee and I realised that they now sold Orang Utang organic coffee – just like the coffee they sell in my favourite coffee shop back home in Burnley Lancashire.

And there is now one at the bottom of Pilies g. near Bernardiniu g. en route to our hotel the Shakespeare.

I vaguely remembered that there used to be a nice wine bar in the vicinity and wondered if this was the same place. However they told me it hadn’t been a wine bar latterly.

Undaunted I went into the back room and checked out the vaulted ceiling – and it was the same place.p1030940

p1000849And there’s a Coffee Inn directly opposite, although I didn’t sample their coffee because of the long queue (was that a good sign or just poor service?).

If you walk towards Gedimino there is another where a bank used to be on the corner, opposite Vero Cafe.

p1000889Walk back and a little further up Pilies g. and there’s a coffee shop in the bookshop on the left with a nice wall display as a backdrop.

Vilnius isn’t short of good coffee shops that’s for sure. And wine bars too, but that’s another story.

PS Coffee is good for you


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Craft Beer taking over the world?

Before I returned to Vilnius after a two-year gap my colleague Terry warned me that our hotel, The Shakespeare,  had changed its draught beer. He discovered on his solo trip last year that there was no more Svyturys Extra! He was not a happy man.

p1030981When we arrived this time I ordered a glass of the new beer, Raudonu Plytu (Red Bricks), and it wasn’t bad.

p1040011-1Interesting brick shaped beer mat with a whimsical; reference to the “hops wanting to do their best for you” on the back.

Turns out it’s brewed in Klaipeda at the Lighthouse brewery owned by Carlsberg. (NB Lighthouse = Svyturys). And the hotel still has Svyturys Baltas in bottles, which we also like, so not a totally lost cause.

Later in the week we went to our favourite steakhouse, Markus ir Ko, where they didn’t previously serve Svyturys, and we were also served with the Red Brick beer.

p1030972p1030970And wandering around town one of our previous haunts,the beer restaurant on Gedimino pr., which has changed names a couple of times, is now advertising itself as a craft beer venue.

Back home in my local Tesco there is now a range of craft beers, including one from America, which is surprisingly good (as I tend to think of American beer as watery and weak). I’ve tried a couple of them starting with the American Goose 312 wheat beer and the IPA and have just bought some to pass on to my colleague Terry.p1040033

p1040009-1We still like our Lithuanian beer when we can get it – often by circuitous routes and Polish shops.

Time for a bottle I think!


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We might want out of the EU but we still love you and your beer!

We may have Brexit but we can still love our friends in the EU.

And when it comes to beers I like some Polish beers, German beers, Belgian beers, even Icelandic beer but most of all Lithuanian beer – especially Švyturys which is brewed in Klaipeda and the brewing of which was considered a community service!

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And a shot of vodka doesn’t go amiss either. As my Ukrainian friends say (and the Russians and the Lithuanians) “beer without vodka is money in the wind

Lithuanian beer in my photo sourced by my fellow blogger and frequent visitor to Lithuania, Kindadukish.


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Labas Burnley – a taste of Lithuania in Lancashire

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P1030610A new Lithuanian restaurant has opened in Burnley, Lancashire – Baltic Homelands.P1030606

P1030609I read about it in a magazine when I was in another cosmopolitan restaurant in town, the Portuguese one called Bobbins.

As regular visitors to Lithuania over the last 10 years my friend Terry and I decided we had to pay it a visit, if only to refresh ourselves with some Švyturys beer.

So after having a coffee in award-winning coffee shop Bellissimo round the corner we went for some lunch.

We were made very welcome and despite my rusty Lithuanian (it’s been almost two years since I last went to Lithuania) it was nice to hear it spoken again and on the radio in the background.

P1030608There is a comprehensive menu in Lithuanian and English with all the food we were familiar with from Lithuania including Cepelinai (dumplings shaped like and named after Zeppelins but officially re-named –…

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