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BBQ, DJs and night hiking – Normafa Ski House goes off-piste


  • Nemes Nóra

10/07/2020 1.06pm

The landmark Ski House in bucolic Normafa, 90 years old this year, is being revived with BBQ dishes, DJs and plenty of sports activities. The location, of course, hasn’t changed, alongside Anna meadow with its stupendous view over Buda.

Photo: Csudai Sándor - We Love Budapest

Normafa was the preferred excursion destination of everyone from the aristocracy to the bourgeoisie, popular not only in summer but also in winter. From the early 1900s, people came here to ski and sledge. Normafa also got its ski house in 1930, which served skiers until the 1970s and ’80s. No wonder 4BRO, which is at the forefront of snowboard events, behind summer relaxation spot Pontoon and, partly, Mazel Tov, have got their heads together to dream up Normafa’s new base.

Photo: Csudai Sándor - We Love Budapest

The Normafa Ski House is as it used to be – a bit retro, a bit waiting-to-be-renovated, a keeper of beautiful memories – which will start to be restored closer to its original splendour next year. The place is a touchstone for those who grew up in the area and/or have long been fans of winter sports, including snowboarding. This is also the reason why the small wooden house alongside – which once functioned as a shelter and is officially the oldest building in Normafa still in use today – now presents an exhibition on the history of the sport in Hungary.

Photo: Csudai Sándor - We Love Budapest

For the time being, the previously neglected area behind the ski house has been cleaned. Here, under tree shade, is a relatively large space with chairs, a long drinks counter, a food truck and a tiny stage for live music in the evening. The place has several profiles, but the main goal is to make one of the city’s most popular destinations a hub where traditional sports, light evening concerts and gastronomy all meet.

Photo: Csudai Sándor - We Love Budapest

Since Normafa is typically a weekend getaway for those in town, they’re hoping for at least as many people to head up in summer, even after work. According to the owners, the adult generation in Pest now wants a whole different kind of relaxation than ten years ago, and more and more are choosing close-to-nature nightspots in the afternoons or at weekends, where the focus is on atmosphere, quality snacks, drinks and sophisticated music.

Photo: Csudai Sándor - We Love Budapest

The food is currently provided by Smoke Riders, also available at Karaván, street-food courtyard in the party quarter – choose from BBQ, burgers, salads and fries. Smoke Riders, as their name suggests, take BBQ seriously. In addition to their food truck, the smoker works all day and serves up pulled-pork sandwiches (2,290 HUF). Burgers (1,790 HUF-2,590 HUF) show the value of an iron griddle, with juicy meat, melted cheese, a soft roll and plenty of vegetables. Weekends should see a cauldron commandeered into action for stews.

Photo: Csudai Sándor - We Love Budapest

The drinks menu demonstrates that they don’t want the world and his wife to come here for alcohol, but the wine and beer selections are adequate, with spirits of better quality, and plenty of cocktails, as well as G&Ts.

Photo: Csudai Sándor - We Love Budapest

In the second half of the week you can expect evening events, acoustic concerts or a DJ set, Thanks to its location, the Ski House is ideal as the setting-off point for tours. The team at KKM (Kaland Kicsit Másként – Alternative Adventures) will be organising night hiking, cycling and occasional walks. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for workshops and other events.

Normafa Síház
District XII. Eötvös út 59
Open: Daily 10am-1am

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