Feast like modern-day monarchs and real farmers in the Upper Nitra

In the region of Upper Nitra, you can experience refined tastes of high nobility and traditional folk recipes. We will tell you which restaurant regularly hosts representatives of royal families, and also where you can find a 400-year-old farm with a real old-time atmosphere. Come on - what do you manage to cook in an ancient kitchen?

The chef's delicacies are among the best in Slovakia

For two decades, it has been regularly ranked among the top three restaurants in Slovakia. Chef Marián Filo's specialties also charmed Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Grand Duke Henrich I of Luxembourg, and King Harald V of Norway. We are talking about the restaurant Afrodita, which is located in the Čereňany Mansion, less than 60 km from the town of Trenčín. The historic residence of the Hungarian nobility, which today functions as a luxury hotel, underwent a generous renovation a few years ago under the supervision of preservationists. Its authentic environment underlines the experience of honest gastronomy and excellent work with wine. Whichever of the delicious dishes you choose from the menu, you can be sure that it has been carefully prepared from local ingredients. The restaurant has its ponds and a farm at the foot of the Vtáčnik Mountains. The surrounding forests supply it with mushrooms and game. Try crayfish soup, mouflon with chicken ragout, baked trout fillet with buttered almonds, or snails from Slovak breeding dipped in cognac. The staff will be happy to recommend you a suitable wine. Thanks to more than 250 types of wine, you don't have to worry about not choosing. Several vintages of Petrus, Mouton Rothschild, and the phenomenal Romanée-Conti are available in the historic vaulted cellar. World icons are perfectly complemented by a selection of the best Slovak wines. After a delicious meal, you will surely enjoy a rest in the cognac club, where you can enjoy exclusive amber-colored drinks in combination with the best quality cigars from all around the world. Time passes more slowly here, especially in the shade of centuries-old linden trees in the adjacent garden, which breathes memories of the past.

Photo: Radovan Stoklasa, www.trencinregion.sk

The pure aromas of countryside along which a history has walked

Take advantage of the fact that you are only 20 km from the town of Bojnice, which rightfully ranks among the most popular tourist destinations in Slovakia. They boast the most visited zoo, spas with healing water, a thermal pool, but especially a "fairytale" castle, inspired by the beauty of the Gothic castles of the Loire Valley in France. Each of its rooms stands out with its style and decoration. Enter the hall with the gilded angelic ceiling, the oriental salon from the Ottoman Empire, the Hall of Columns with large sculptures made of Carrara marble, or the castle chapel with a medieval altar by a Florentine master. Not enough? The castle hides a natural travertine cave with two lakes in its basement.

In Bojnice, however, taste buds longing for a genuine experience will also come into their own. A jump from the castle, you will be greeted by the old wooden gate of Bencovje grunt. Through it, you will enter the old world, which in many places has completely disappeared. On a farm that still remembers the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, an unconventional museum of traditional crafts invites you on a journey through time. Sit on an old wooden bench or in the renovated themed interior and turn off the modern world with a cup of fragrant coffee or homemade apple pie from the local kitchen. Here, they will be happy to cook for you the food that was once eaten by skilled battle potters and stove makers to stave off hunger after a day's work. Or do you dare to prepare homemade potatoes with smoked bacon and egg yourself? In that case, put on an apron and start cooking according to traditional recipes. It will be fun for the whole family! By the way, if a handmade ceramic baking pan catches your eye, visit the local ceramic workshop, where you can also try working on the potter's wheel or painting ceramics. The perfect end to a wonderful day will be a tasting of wines from all over the world in the form of a fun social game in the original 400-year-old tuff cellar.

Photo: www.bencovjegrunt.sk