Place to go. Rumene manor
I have to be honest – there are few places in Latvia, especially outside Riga, that I like to visit – especially for food. There are places I like to go for a walk in the park or by the sea (those are also only a few) but there are very few places that I plan as a destination for food – for croissants, salad, pizza, or something else. I would say there are exactly five places today (on June 9th), and beautiful Rumene manor is one of them.
Every time I plan a visit to Rumene, I get this special vibration in my stomach. That thrill that something special is about to happen. The vibration that says that this time (as all times), the visit will be more than beautiful, no matter what we do – go for picnic in the park, stay in the garden house, or have a meal. The feeling is always there and it lasts, even as we leave thinking about the next time we will come back.
That feeling I get in Rumene is not because of the invested money (true, it plays a big role, but not the main one), but because of the respect for heritage, place, environment, and history.
They have renovated something that would have disappeared by now, and they have done it with such a touch so that every single thing is just in the right place and seems to have be standing there for centuries. I love the feeling of the old walls mixing with modern design and the fact that there are old, untouched buildings that help you imagine how it was when the manor was first built.
For many years, everyone knows that Rumene Manor is a place to celebrate events (weddings, anniversaries, and much more) and stay the night, but now things will change, thanks to chef Jānis Zvirbulis who has joined the team In both the beautiful Hotel Bergs in Riga (a must when visiting Riga) and also in Rumene Manor. It is no secret that working with Jānis is a hard thing to do, but not because he is a bad person but because he just knows what and how he wants his food to be made. There are no steps back in terms of quality and presentation, tastes or textures. There are no compromises because that is what he was taught in Bocuse School.
Although the actual name of the place is Rumene Café, I would say that this place is more like a restaurant. Not too posh and chic, but exactly how it should be at the manor. Locally sourced food along with the best of other countries. Herbs, veggies, and fruit from the garden, meat and fish smoked in the smokehouse, and local produce is combined with beautiful products from around the world.
There are not too many things that can surprise me at a restaurant ,but feta, jamón, and grilled melon salad is one dish that surprised me. The plate with grilled, juicy and sweet melon salad topped with freshly-cut jamón, feta, and drizzled with honey and truffle oil is just a bit too hard not to like. The aromas from honey and truffle and from freshly-cut herbs and salad leaves is something stunning and something I still dream about. But I can’t forget the home-smoked trout salad with quail eggs and avocado or the monkfish with artichoke ravioli and bisque.
And do remember that I am a big dessert fan who can be disappointed very easily by something average. And let me tell you one more thing – there are no disappointments here. Start with that warm pecan and bourbon pie served with bourbon gel and date ice cream and continue with home made ice cream. And I promise – you will melt just the same as the ice cream melts on that warm pie.
Rumene, Kandavas pagasta
Text and pictures: Signe Meirane
Photos taken with Sony alpha 7s