“ Address: Slawkowska 12 „
==Antycafe, Krakow, Poland. ==
For a friends birthday back in September we found ourselves once again sampling the nightlife of Krakow. Due to the fact that it was a Thursday evening the friend in question had thankfully opted for quiet drinks in a pub rather than all night partying.
The pub she chose for her birthday drinks was Antycafe located on ul. Slawkowska 12 which is one of the side streets just off the main market square in the centre of Krakow. The pub is about a 10 minute walk from the central train station and shopping galleries and can be accessed by the city's many trams and buses from almost all directions with a 5 to 10 minute walk depending which tram or bus you take.
== Bar Area ==
As we entered Antycafe the first thing I noticed was how dark it is in there. The lighting is minimal and each table has a small tea light candle to accompany the dimmed wall lighting. As you enter the pub there is a good sized bar to the left of you and many tables around the edge of the pub. The pub itself is basically one long room, it is reasonably narrow with all of the tables being close to the walls. At the back of the pub there is a seating area which is partially sectioned off from the rest of the pub, this is the smoking area.
Despite the fact that there is quite a lot of seating in Antycafe we still struggled to find a place for 4 of us to sit. Eventually we managed to grab a table as someone was leaving and got settled for an evening of birthday drinkage. To begin with I have to admit my heart wasn't quite in it as I had been feeling a little ill and this combined with the rainy weather just made me feel like I would rather be in bed so as a result of this my first drink of the evening was a hot chocolate! To order our drinks we needed to go to the bar, the staff behind the bar were quick to serve us which was great but they weren't very friendly and certainly didn't give us service with a smile! Regardless of this we got our drinks reasonably quick and this was more important than whether our server was smiling or not!
Our first order was a hot chocolate for myself and a large beer for my partner which came to 18zl (Polish Zloty) in total and our second order was 2 beers as I had perked up and felt a little better after a nice hot chocolate! The cost of the 2 beers was 20zl so 10zl each and the hot chocolate was 8zl.
The hot chocolate was served to me in a medium sized tall glass and although it wasn't the best hot chocolate I have had here in Krakow it was very nice and I could quite happily drink it again! The chocolate was of a medium thickness and very smooth, it was served with a long handled spoon which was perfect for making sure I finished the last bits out of the bottom of the glass!
The beer in Antycafe was good although personally I found it to be a little too gassy for my liking and because of this it took me twice as long to drink it. The beer was the Polish brand Zywiec and it was full of flavour and not watered down at all.
So, sitting down enjoying our drinks and having the usual "chit chat" I took a look around the pub and noticed how every corner of it is quite dark and in a way kind of eerie. They had some strange decor around the pub including cut out shapes in the wall which had been made to look like a statue or figure and then illuminated with a coloured light to give a 3D effect to make it look real, I thought this was strange and kind of weird but at the same time quite cool and effective. On the large wall opposite us there was a large screen which was showing a video of some rather horrible and disturbing images, generally I'm not sure what all of the images were as they were all very random, but I got the general idea that some of them were connected to the concentration camps such as Auschwitz near Krakow and other images were possibly from horror movies and showed naked bodies with no eyes and just generally things which personally I wouldn't want to see when I am out for a drink! Other than this screen though the decor wasn't too bad but it was a little dark for my tastes as I prefer somewhere with more light and a fun atmosphere rather than a dark one.
After finishing our drinks we did a quick toilet trip and left ready to catch the night tram home.
The toilets in Antycafe were clean and well stocked however there was only one toilet! The result of this was one rather long queue! We queued for around 15 minutes for the toilet which goes without saying is way too long! In contrast to the rest of the pub though the toilets are very well lit and brightly coloured and in general seem a lot brighter than where we were sitting!
== Overall ==
Overall, I did enjoy our evening in Antycafe and I would go there again if the invite is given but I don't think I would personally choose it as a place to go for fun and happy drinks, it was all just a little too dark for me and I really didn't like the video on the screen, yes, I know it is reality but there is a time and a place for it and I jus don't think this was it! The hot chocolate was nice as was the beer, the staff could be a little friendlier but given their surroundings its not actually that surprising that they're not!
3 out of 5 stars from me with 2 being lost for the video and the toilet queue!
The current exchange rate for those of you who wish to work the prices out is around 5.05zl for every £1.
Thanks for reading :)