Jay's Beery Birthday Trip to Latvia - Day III
- Written by: Jason Baxter
- Category: Beer Tourism outside Belgium
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Right then, day three
After two days of drizzle and wind we awoke on Monday to clear blue skies, the temp may have one or two digits above freezing but at least it was dry.
So after another filling breakfast we were ready to do battle and make the most of our final full day in town.
As this was our last day in town and seeing as the weather was so agreeable we decided to do a bit of sightseeing and shopping so set off from our hotel and across the square in the direction of our first location but as chance would have it no sooner had we started then we stumbled across something special - one of the symbols you see on all tourist souvenirs (mugs, T-shirts, towels etc) is a black cat and would you believe it the original sculpture behind the myth was located across from our hotel, all this time it was there and we didn't know.
Just around the corner from the Cat House is the oldest brick building in Riga, comprising of three brick houses they are known as The Three Brothers of Riga and were built between the 15th & 17th Century (the one on the right the oldest).
Further into town and you come to what is one the most photographed buildings in the whole of Riga - the ornate House of Blackheads, originally constructed in the late 14th century it was bombed by the Germans in 1941 before being destroyed by Soviets in 1948. It was however completely rebuilt between 1996 and 1999.
Moving on we hit upon Jacob's Barracks, a yellow painted building with the coats of arms for the Latvian Parishes.
That's enough sightseeing we were hungry so headed back in the direction of our hotel, however on our way we passed a busy looking cafe so stepped inside.
It was in fact a canteen style restaurant were you picked from hot dishes served to you but helped yourself to beers and cold drinks all from tap, so thought why not.
This proved to be one of the best value and most memorable meals we had during our time in town. The place was seriously busy and busy with locals (just me and Linda the only English voices) we both had a plate full of food each (me chicken and Linda Perch) we both had a wonderful amber coloured beer and a soft drink each...it was just over 20€, the name above door was Beer House but this was all about the food, I love finding these hidden tucked away gems.
With bellies filled it was time to head back and start packing in readiness for tomorrow's early trip home.
Once packed Linda suggested that we have a stroll across the Vērmane Park to have a final cocktail overlooking Riga, however when we got to the hotel we found that the 26th floor bar was closed on Mondays - we later found out that a LOT of bars are closed on Mondays BUT never mind Linda to the rescue and in under 10 minutes we were in a BOLT heading out of town.
A short journey later and we pulled up at our destination, situated in what looked like a residential area of town Lauvas Alus certainly didn't grab my attention upon first glance, once inside however...
We were greeted with a small one room shop with a small central bar with just 5 taps BUT the best bottle and can selection I'd seen in the whole of Riga...where do I start?
Now we were already getting pretty full suitcase wise so firstly picked a beer for us from tap, gazing upon the tap list I was too excited to choose so opted for a couple of IPAs.
I hadn't even got back to our seat and Linda was already picking beers for me to look at, we had limited space so had to pick the best I could find, not an easy task when you have this much choice but in the end picked several beers to bring back home.
Like the canteen earlier we stumbled across this by accident, it wasn't on my list of places to visit and if the rooftop cocktail lounge had of been open we would have never visited but I so glad things worked out this way. Two of favourite places and we find them by pure chance on the final day.
With bags jingling we headed back to our hotel to finish packing, it had been the perfect end to our final day in wonderful Riga.
So there you have it folks, three days in Riga and what a three days it was.
We visited some amazing bars, drank stunning beers, ate wonderful food and were welcomed by the friendliest of locals - a return is DEFINITE, this place filled our hearts with the happiest of memories that we'll treasure a lifetime 🇱🇻 but before that Copenhagen.
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