The Monastery Cellars cafe
The monastery gardens are a must see on any visit to Litomyšl, and just inside the main gate there’s a good little café that is one of the better places in town to partake of some liquid refreshment.
Outdoors under umbrellas
In the summer months, the first thing you’ll notice will be the outdoor tables and umbrellas set up in front of the former monastery building. This courtyard area is divided into large squares, most of which are covered in large river pebbles set into concrete. The interspersed unpaved squares are planted with low-growing plants. Just like the rest of the gardens it’s well designed, and offers a view of both churches and the town hall tower.
If the weather is bad, or you’d just prefer to sit inside, the main entrance will bring you to a room with a long counter along one side and row of tables along the other. The comfortable chairs have high backs and the radio is kept to a considerate volume. If you’re in a hurry, this is probably the best place to sit, as you’ll be directly in view of the staff. The one bad thing about this part of the café is that people smoke here. If you’d prefer to escape the cigarette puffers, at the far end of this room is a spiral staircase which leads you down into the cellar that’s reserved as a non-smoking area.
Down into the cellars
I wanted to sit down there because the café is named for the cellars and I thought there might have been some of those beautiful old spaces with exposed gothic stonework that are beneath old religious buildings sometimes. Instead it was quite a simple space, and whatever the arched roof was constructed from, it’s not possible to see because its been covered by a layer of white-painted plaster, which has in turn been largely covered by sheets of reed matting. There are two rows of wooden tables, providing enough space for about 30 people. When I was there though, I had it to myself, and despite my unfulfilled expectations of architectural glory, it was still a nice space to sit with a coffee and warm up for a while.
The drinks menu lists coffee as “Expresso”, so that was a warning to perhaps not expect too much, but when it arrived it was actually quite good. My coffee was 28Kč and most things were a few crowns dearer than they might be elsewhere, for example the honeycake was 36Kč and juice was 25Kč. The fruit cocktails however, seemed to be good value at 35-45Kč, and next time, I’d like to try the hot chocolate with ice-cream for 40Kč.
Two of the three times I’ve been to this café the service has been excellent and even the third time it wasn’t too bad. In short, I think it’s worth the extra few crowns to be in such a lovely location, and if you’re only going to visit one cafe while you’re in Litomyšl, this is probably not a bad choice.
Monastery cellars / Klášterní sklípek
Tel. (+420) 461616720