*Post warning: This article contains some offensive language, sexist and degenerate humour, taken from our immersive, historical experience of Medieval life. We are well aware that the type of behaviour recommended in this post (solely for the purpose of this interactive experience) is not appropriate within everyday life and would strongly recommend children, anyone who’s easily offended and those lacking a sense of humour to not indulge in the consumption of this write-up.
So, I’m one of those people who often wonders what it would be like to travel back in time and partake in a historical experience that would give me a taste of what life was truly like way back when. Any era, any time. And not just to be a fly on the wall, but to actually interact with the past: Let’s face it, I’m not the only one. This is why the likes of living history museums, re-enactments and immersive experiences exist, right? And why so many of us love to spend hours playing adventure games such as Skyrim.
So, when we (myself and co-owner Adri) stumbled upon a medieval tavern in Slovakia, we felt obliged to give it a try. Only, I didn’t truly realise what I was wandering into. It turns out, Adri did, so the joke really was on me!
Introducing Középkori Paraszt Étterem, which pretty much translates to ‘Middle Age Peasants Tavern’. Since English isn’t one of the languages of choice at this establishment, I naively entered with the belief that we’d have a nice relaxing age-old candlelit meal served by role-playing waitresses in medieval costume, consume a giant ham hock and down some cheap beer or something. Just the type of themed experience I enjoy partaking in.
It turned out that instead, I had inadvertently walked back into the Middle Ages, inclusive of abusive serving staff and torture devices. Upon arrival, a waitress in a traditional dress appeared at the entrance and greeted us with a not so friendly “Hey, Hag”!! A surprising and somewhat baffling welcome to receive at any restaurant.
We got shown to our table and before we could even get ourselves comfortably seated, our menus were thrown down in front of us followed by ‘There. Food for your greasy gobs’’.
It took a while for me to realise the rules of the tavern, but they’re quite easy to follow, though if you are easily offended by tongue in cheek quips, perverted humour and sexist mistreatment (all in the name of fun of course), then you might want to skip this bit.
Soon after arrival, we got an entire duck and loaf of bread dumped in front of us, alongside a serving of typical ale which came in a tin mug. I guess they couldn’t be bothered to wash a tankard, so just used what they had to hand. No fork to eat with, just a knife to help us hack through our huge hunk of meat. The plate was stuffed with all kinds of grub, with sides ranging from pickled cabbage and salad to skewered liver and rings of red onion.
It truly was a beast’s feast so, of course, we had to take a break midway through our meal in order to explore all the strange decorations and torture devices displayed throughout the building. No medieval establishment would be complete without an iron chair, to be used ‘at your own risk’. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to test it out, however, I must say it was a lot less painful to sit on for the sake of a quick selfie than I imagine it would be when being used for its original purpose. Still, a few prickles here and there from all of those iron spikes was enough of an ‘authentic’ experience for me.
If the iron chair doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can always hop into the hanging cage, complete with an ugly crone, but I personally skipped it this time as I didn’t fancy being the grown adult on display in the centre of the room.
As grotesque as the manners and abysmally trained the serviced staff are, this place is actually, quite weirdly, family-friendly. Especially if you’re raising your kids without any form of social decorum.
I’d definitely say this restaurant ticks the boxes of the perfect combination of ‘traditional’ and ‘unique’ and, on the whole, offers an unusual dining experience with great food and hilarity at its core.
We spent the night being verbally abused, but these guys totally smashed the Middle-Aged peasant tavern vibe. Top marks all round.
Before leaving, Adri was even told to bring her ‘shitty family’ next time. So, I guess everyone is welcome here, even you.