Sensible Eivere Manor
More and more manors in Estonia are once again starting to open their doors to guests. There are bigger and smaller ones, fancy and less fancy ones, ones in a good condition and ones in not such a good condition. But they are there, and each of them provides in its own way an exceptional Estonian experience.
The tiny Eivere Manor is located near Paide, not far from the Tallinn-Tartu highway. Up to now, people mainly pulled over in the area to get petrol. However, these days it would be wise to give your car a night's rest and yourself an experience the likes of which were impossible to find in central Estonia before.
The Eivere Manor contains a small five-bedroom hotel. It is of no importance whether the other rooms are taken or vacant. The unique feeling of owning a manor is guaranteed for one night and evening.
There are only a few manors in Estonia that have been restored literally by the handiwork of the owner. Eivere is one of them.
This means that the manor is neither a business project nor a realisation of their ambitions to the owners. The manor is a part of their life. Therefore, Eivere is a sensible manor, where everything is as natural, simple and true to the original as possible.
A small farmstead with animals and a vegetable patch obviously go together with a sensible manor. The first generation of Eivere sheep in this picture is more like family members than anything else. The most distinctive trait of the Eivere Manor is a small manor shop, where visitors can buy the manor’s own products to go.
The biggest rooms in the manor are used as dining rooms. The terms “group tourism” and “group menu” are usually daunting when it comes to a small manor. But a manor has to be managed, even when it is for the most part your own home.
The Eivere Manor is perfectly suited for celebrations, both on a larger and a smaller scale. However, the full experience is still only reserved for those who spend at least one night at the manor.
A small manor has the ability to think small, should the need arise. A “group” can be as little as two people. The darker the evenings get in autumn and winter, the greater will the likelihood become that the entire guest room of the manor will be there for the entertainment of two people only.
This is the “terrifying” group menu. A soup from the produce of his own garden, made by the manor lord personally. The Finnish manor lord Janne Lahti fills most of the positions essential in the manor himself.
Although here in Estonia, we have a saying reserved for people like that, implying that they never do a single job well, a brief conversation with Janne puts an end to these old notions.
Even though his family has not owned the manor longer than for seven years, his thoughts and actions make you think as if they had owned the place for centuries.
With his simple meals, Janne Lahti once more proves that you do not have to be a chef by profession – if the job is your lifestyle, you are even luckier.
After a few dishes are tasted, the dread of a “group menu” is forgotten about completely. Indeed, these are the most common dishes on the menus of every dining place, but the difference is that Janne cooks just like he restored the manor. In his own personal way.
Dishes by the best chefs of Estonia would suit the tables at Eivere just as ideally, no question about it. But then it would be another Eivere – one that would give you no reason to call it a sensible manor.