Few things in life are as wonderful as taking a walk on a frosty day with never-ending views of the sea and your favourite person beside you. Snow and the beach are not usually two things that go hand in hand, but on our second day this is exactly what we experienced in Sopot, a little holiday resort twenty minutes from Gdańsk, where the last remains of frost were still visible. This seaside town is synonymous with Cannes in France, only on a smaller scale, with its niche being music festivals. It’s a very beautiful place where lots of Polish celebrities and families alike flock to in the summer months. Being there in the bitter cold added a unique element to it, as there is something peaceful and calm about being in a typically warm destination during the cold months. Upon arriving, after a short train journey from Gdańsk, we headed straight for the famous pier, the longest wooden pier in Europe, where most of the music festivals are held each summer. Visiting a destination that you have been to before only as a very young child can feel quite surreal, with certain memories vaguely resurfacing, others buried forever. I had the faintest memory of driving a mini go-kart down this pier when I was three, although I’m 98% sure it is from being told about it lots of times by my parents. Twenty years later, Dave and I walked along this pier together, holding hands and trying very hard not to slip on the icy patches!
The breeze was bitter cold, the scenery incredible and the promise of a hot drink very much anticipated. To our delight, we spotted a little cafe perched at the end of the pier, enticing us to come in for some mulled wine. I fell in love with the interior as soon as we stepped in, all white, silver and fresh, with perfect views of the sea around us. We had chic decorations, Christmas songs and, of course, the most delicious mulled wine to warm up with after our frosty walk on the pier. Not to mention that thanks to the cafe’s semi-circular design, the lighting was just incredible – always a plus for us bloggers! We sipped our warm wine, discussing our holiday so far, and just enjoyed our beautiful surroundings.
After warming up with our festive drink, we strolled to the end of the pier to look out at the peaceful Baltic Sea. Dave used to think that Poland was landlocked prior to our holiday, so it was quite funny to see this vast amount of water right in front of us. We even spotted some padlocks that had been left by couples wanting to leave a romantic memory of themselves behind. Dave took an arty shot of the padlocks, which he was very proud of, and I promised to give him credit for it! It soon became unbearably cold again so we started to make our way back down the pier. After contemplating on where to go for our late lunch, we decided that if we are in Sopot, we might as well try the Grand Hotel, which you can just see in the background in the last photo below.
The Grand Hotel in Sopot is one of those old luxurious hotels that has been around for decades. It’s known as one of the best in Poland and oozes with old world charm. I was very excited for us to go there for our festive lunch as my parents had stayed there twenty or so years ago. When we approached the entrance, it instantly reminded me of The Grand Budapest Hotel, not just because of the name but also its beautiful exterior and charming feel. As soon as we stepped inside, we were treated like royalty, despite only coming in for some food. The staff were all so lovely and warm towards us that we felt very welcome right from the beginning. It was everything I expected and more, as my parents always spoke really highly of this hotel and its impeccable service.
We opted to eat in the bar area at one of the cosy looking tables with plush chairs, as the bar menu was a little more affordable and had more vegetarian options. Our surroundings felt very grand and opulent but in a very tasteful, classic way. I was very glad we dressed up a little! Our friendly waiter recommended a lovely white Polish wine for me and Dave tried another Polish beer, Żywiec, to add to add to his collection. We chatted and waited for our food to arrive, excited at the idea of being in such a fancy place. We like to think that we have good taste but we’ve never really been somewhere this nice! When the food did arrive, it looked incredibly tasty and there was no time for photos! My dish was essentially a Polish version of fish and chips, with no batter on the fish so it was much lighter and slightly healthier. The fish was cooked so perfectly that it just melted in my mouth, and the pea puree was super yummy too. Dave’s grand burger was, as the name implies, huuuuge so I think he was very pleased with his choice! By the time we finished our delicious food and drinks, it was pretty much dark outside and we decided that it was time to head back to Gdańsk. We left the hotel feeling very merry, festive and full!
On our way back to the station, we walked through the town centre, which was festively adorned with twinkling lights, and saw the famous wonky house, Krzywy Domek, on the high street. It looks like a reflection of a normal house in a house of mirrors! Very whimsy. I didn’t end up getting a photo of it as by this point it had started snowing a little and the temperature was definitely below zero. We just wanted to get back to our cosy hotel! This turned out to be our favourite day of the holiday as it was just so incredibly romantic and sophisticated. I would 100% love to return again one day, maybe in the summer so we can take advantage of the lovely beach and the beautiful sea.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I apologise that it was so long! There were just so many parts to our day and I didn’t want to leave anything out as it had been so perfect. I think it will be really lovely to look back at this a few months later! Have you been to Sopot before? Or somewhere similar maybe? I’d love to hear about it and thank you as always for reading!