Šatlava -a medieval feast
Krčma V Šatlavské (Tavern in the dungeons) has capitalized on it’s location in the Gothic dungeons of the old town prison to offer an experience as close to an authentic medieval feast as you’ll ever find without actually travelling back in time. Clad in peasant garb, the waiters haul out heavy tankards of mead and huge cuts of meat grilled over the roaring open fire, while you sit at heavy wooden benches and contemplate the five centuries of stories you’d hear if only the brooding stone walls could talk.
Outdoor dining (in summer)
Nothing in Český Krumlov is too far from the main square but Šatlava is closer than most. If you face the tourist information office, there’s a lane running away to the right and less than 100m along there is the heavy wooden door that you’re looking for. In summer, the doorway will be partly hidden by the benches that are set up out front, and if there’s a festival of some kind going on you might even see a pig or two being roasted out on the lane.
Inside you’ll find a long, low, cavernous room with enough space to seat around thirty people at heavy wooden tables and a fireplace upon which some poor beast is undoubtedly being roasted. Behind the fireplace is the bar, and behind the bar is the archway that leads through to the rear rooms of the restaurant. If you only remember one thing from this article about Šatlava, it should be that there are back rooms; not everybody knows about them and there’s a chance of finding a vacant seat out there, even when the front is packed solid.
Reminders of the restaurant’s former use as a medieval dungeon are everywhere. Axes, swords and armour hang from the walls, the original gothic stone arches have been exposed and boar skins add a homey touch. The entire place is dimly lit and in the front you’ll be relying completely on candles and the flickering light of the fire. The place is popular with tourists and even if takes some of them an amazingly long time to order their food, the staff seem to remain patient. No doubt the tips are good.
Soup in bread bowls
The menu is printed in three languages and offers meaty dishes like the leg of pork, which arrives on a wooden board with cutlery dramatically stabbed into the flesh, for 180Kč. Pork skewer is 135Kč, beefsteak is 210 and the mixed grill; turkey, beef, pork and a side order, is 195Kč.
If your budget doesn’t quite reach that far, there are a couple of main dishes for less than 100Kč and the soup section offers a choice between Garlic, Onion, and Soup of the day. Vegetarians will probably need to order soup and a side dish of potato pancakes, corn on the cob or salad (25-55Kč). The soups are 45Kč and are almost a meal in themselves because they come in a bowl made of bread, which is of course also edible.
Personally I think the garlic soup is especially good, and if you’re travelling in the colder months, it’s just the thing to keep the sniffles away. Dobrou chut’!
Krčma v Šatlavské
Horní 157, entrance from v Šatlavské Ul.
38101 Český Krumlov
Tel. 380 713344