Man patinka Lietuva

I like Lithuania – a visitor's point of view

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Goodbye Piccolo Canopi and sėkmės

You’ve probably gathered from my last post that we like our food in Lithuania. And one of our favourite places was the little cafe round the corner from the Shakespeare Hotel in Vilnius, Piccolo Canopi. I hadn’t been to Vilnius for a couple of years but a fellow blogger posted a review in February this year so I knew it was still there.p1010244

The cafe was opened in October 2010 by Tadas and Karolina Zukauskais and it coincided with Tadas’s birthday. So as I was there in October I thought I’d pop in and wish him happy birthday as my colleague did on a previous trip when I couldn’t make it.

p1030937But it wasn’t there! Gone. Replaced by a linen shop.

The lovely lady who ran the shop, Ūla, didn’t know where they had gone. But she was happy to tell me that she and her Ukrainian husband Vitaly were planning to move to the UK. So everyone’s moving.

Wherever you have gone , Tadas, Karolina and the twins, Good luck for the future. I enjoyed your lovely restaurant and appreciated your kindness.

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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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Piccolo Canopi

Great to see it’s still going strong after 5 years (see my posts on it).

When I’m in Vilnius I stay round the corner at the Shakespeare Hotel so I’ll be there on my next trip later this year

hello vilnius

Great food. Cozy interior. Slow & easy. It all comes together in Piccolo Canopi, the smallest restaurant I’ve ever been to. Definitely a hidden gem of the Vilnius old town.

Tucked away in the narrow Bernardinu gatve, the place is so discreet that we missed it the first time we came. Look for the carved, wooden horse above the entrance- it used to be an antique shop and the new owners kept the sign. Inside: two small rooms & an open kitchen. We counted four or five tables and one owner managing it all: waiting on tables, cooking your meal right in front of you, washing the dishes. Feels like you’ve just been invited over for dinner at a friend’s house.

There is a couple of starters, mains and desserts to choose from, written on a chalkboard menu on the wall . We had a first class, authentic homemade lasagne, a delicious caprese salad and… some pasta with butter…

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Graffiti – sheer vandalism & nothing artistic about it

Graffiti seems to be the scourge of modern cities.DSC00038

Bernardiniu street which runs off the bottom end of  Pilies street in the old town seems particularly susceptible to the work of these vandals (who have also broken off the teapots fastened to the wall at the shop on the corner of these two streets).DSC00041 DSC00040 DSC00039

Other street also suffer from this vandalism.

What amazes me is how nobody sees anyone doing it? Most are scribbles (I think they call them tags and that’s what they should be wearing) but some will have have taken quite a long time to do.

The Vilnius authorities deserve credit for painting over these from time to time as you can see but it must be a thankless task.

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Happy Birthday Tadas

I posted the other day about Piccolo Canopi on Bernadiniu street near the Shakespeare Hotel. I also mentioned it was Tadas’s birthday. As I didn’t make the trip to Vilnius this month I asked my colleague to call in and wish him a happy birthday. He dropped off a card and a bottle of wine and here’s the evidence (courtesy of KindaDukish).

Happy Birthday Tadas!DSC_0450


Happy Birthday Piccolo Canopi (and Tadas)

On our visits to Vilnius over the last few years my colleague and I have stayed at the Shakespeare Hotel on Bernadiniu Street, just off the bottom end of Pilies Street in the Old Town. And we can’t recommend it highly enough.

P1010330A couple of years ago, as we wandered out of the hotel along Bernadiniu street towards Uzupis, we noticed a new restaurant, Piccolo Canopi, just a couple of minutes from our hotel.

P1010240We called in to check it out and there were Tadas and Karolina, the young couple who owned it, happy to tell us the origins of the restaurant which had been featured in the local press as the restaurant which cost almost nothing to set up.

They did it as a project and it was successful so they kept it going.

P1010244 P1010243 P1010242It’s not a large restaurant and doesn’t sell alcohol but what it does is serve fresh food made from scratch and freshly squeezed juice.

P1010246P1010249The menu varies and the last time we ate there in June 2013 they’d just re-opened at lunchtime (having taken time out to produce twins).

They had also started opening for breakfast that very week.P1010245

It’s a great place to eat, fresh food at reasonable prices. Perfect for small parties it seems particularly popular with women.

And Tadas and Karolina are the nicest people you could hope to meet. A couple of years ago when I was recuperating from a car accident I limped in feeling sorry for myself and although they had finished serving they gave me a drink and even offered to give me a lift if I needed to go anywhere.

So happy third birthday “Little Hooves” (and there is a story about where the name came from but I don’t want to embarrass Karolina) and happy birthday Tadas!

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Stoned in Vilnius

P1000479They seem to like stone things in Lithuania. The boulder decorated with vegetation is on the corner  of Šnipiškiu g.and Upes g. with seats nearby so you can sit and contemplate the meaning of life – or just watch the world go by.

There is now a plaque on the wall nearby explaining that it is a memorial to Monsignor Kazimieras Vasiliauskas (1922-2001).DSC00970P1000478










The second boulder (bottom) on wheels with a hook is at the opposite end of Bernardiniu g. from Pilies g. opposite St Anne’s church.

I don’t know what it is and the locals don’t seem to know either. It looks like a giant fish-hook on wheels!