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Decanter travel guide: Tokaj, Hungary

With its rural villages, atmospheric cellars and sweet golden wines, this northeastern corner of Hungary is a hidden gem, waiting to be explored. Caroline Gilby MW shares her highlights...

Tokaj: Where to stay, eat, shop and relax

Hotels

Andrássy hotel and spa

Andrássy Rezidencia Wine & Spa

The only five-star hotel in the region, with a beautiful pool and spa, set in the manor house of the Andrássy family.

Barta

Stay in a period-furnished suite in the 17th-century mansion or in the more casual guesthouse. Organic wines are made by the talented Vivien Ujvári.

Gróf Degenfeld

A romantic castle hotel with elegantly appointed rooms and an outdoor pool. Stroll to the 18th-century Theresa Chapel or book a winery tour.

Hotel Botrytis

A new luxury boutique hotel in Mád with just four rooms and two suites, that’s perfectly located to explore this important wine village.

Restaurants

Elso Mádi Borház és Bisztró

A useful stop for freshly cooked breakfast, coffee or very good informal meals. Also has an excellent wine list featuring the best wineries in the area.

Gusteau

Chef Gábor Horváth has brought a new level of fine dining to the region, reinterpreting traditional Hungarian flavours in a refined style. Dishes feature local ingredients as much as possible. Thoughtful vegetarian options.

Henye

A new wine bar run by the Dereszla winery. The vineyard terrace is a peaceful place to enjoy cheerful frizzante or a flor-aged, complex and tangy dry szamorodni. There are five attractive double guest rooms too.

LaBor Bistro

A popular addition to the food scene in Tokaj town, offering seasonal, locally sourced dishes in comfortable surroundings. There are rooms too.

LaBor Bistro. Credit: http://laborbistro.hu/

Percze

This new restaurant in Mád uses local ingredients and matches dishes to the Szepsy family’s wines. It is also a spa and adventure centre and can also organise vineyard tours and tastings.

Sárga Borház

The ‘Yellow Winehouse’ is the first place you see when you arrive in the region. It offers tasty local dishes and a good selection of Disznóko wines. Walk up to the viewpoint in the vineyards or book a visit at Disznóko winery.

Tímári Halsüto

Located in Timar, literally on the bank of the Tisza river, this is a popular spot for simple and well-done fresh fried fish. (+36 30 388 2658)

Shops

Wineries sell local jams, pickles, honey and pálinka fruit brandy.

Also try Tokaj Renaissance Wine Bar & Shop run by the local wine-growers’ association in Tokaj (Bethlen Gabor út 7).

The nearby Tokaj Coffee Roasting Company takes its coffee very seriously. Or taste local cheeses at Zempléni Sajt Manufaktúra in Tarcal.

There’s also an artisan market every second Sunday of the month at Sárga Borház.

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