This tea house is also a home.
photo: Ján Svrček
Address: Holubyho 2
Tel: 0905 280 002 or 0904 361 060
Open daily 15:00-22:00.
Rating: 5 out of 10.Miroslav, tired of putting his shoes on for the zillionth time in as many days, reached a crossroads one hazy afternoon in Bratislava. This is it, he thought, I can no longer face this dreary routine of bows and knots, lacing up one foot then another just to go and drink tea in another man's abode. He resolved to stay home, invite people over and charge them for their cuppas.
Miroslav is a figment of my imagination, but I'm sure something of the sort must have been behind the opening of Čajovňa v domčeku (Tea shop in a little house).
The Čajovňa is a funky basement den that makes me feel like one of Miroslav's friends - drinking his tea, listening to his music and wondering when Miroslav will change his shirt.
The interior of Čajovňa v domčeku looks as if a yard furniture sale has been postponed. The maze of low tables and sofas are covered in sheets. The untucked, hand-me-down décor will certainly not suit everyone. Neither will the out-of-the-way location and entirely unmarked entrance near the Bratislava Castle in the Palisady district. The somewhat damp, student dorm feel is, however, balanced by the overwhelming comfort of lounging in someone else's living room.
The service is prompt and friendly. In fact, if you do not end up sitting for three hours listening to ethno beats and drinking tea with either the host or some of the other patrons then you have made a sincere effort to avoid the Čajovňa's charms. This place relies almost entirely on a good vibe and great tea. Cushions, smoking paraphernalia, eclectic artwork, banana boxes and mysterious scents mesh together in a unique atmosphere of mystic hibernation. There is a separate room of cushions and various otherworldly objects suitable for groups looking to chat and smoke or play drums and relax for an evening.
The tea is excellent and served with impeccable taste, and plans to broaden the appeal are already in progress. Food will be served in the near future and a pivnica is already under construction in the basement.
A city cannot truly consider itself cosmopolitan until it is willing to embrace variety as a part of its cultural diet. Upending the recent trend of upscale, business oriented cafes in Bratislava, Čajovňa v domčeku is reaching for its own niche right from the start. Lacking money, but certainly not motivation or sincerity, this is a place that will grow with time.
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25. Feb 2002 at 0:00 | David Buchanan