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Barred windows and interior.

Unique composition of daylight lamps.

Flower shop with a great variety of plants from all over the world. In addition, a great variety of wrapping paper.

Old-fashioned bar near the canteen with the same workers as in the canteen.

Old-fashioned russian samovar in case you want some tea on lunch.

Surprisingly pleasant smell of flowers mixed with freshly mashed potatoes.
Enormous work of ceramics on the wall.

Red colour that makes a place look mysterious.

80’s style corner bar with glossy lamps and curved lines.

Flowers everywhere.

Students and quite intelectual discussions among them.

Disco for people over 30 on weekends and disco style attributes in the canteen.

Two huge palms near the window.

Enormous picture on the wall. Painted poppies could open a discussion about a landscape painting.

Background music (only Russian).

A corner bar with all facilities.

Lots of tables at the windows.
Vintage interior.

A cash-lady using old school cash register.

Free art and fresh gossips.

A bar with nice service.

Talkative diners.

Head spinning corridors with old squeaky floors.

Young diners.

Eating in the canteen felt like sitting in a sauna.

Painting on the wall and cleanliness.

Architecturally interesting building for a walk after lunch.

Impressive pink walls.
Unexpected location for a canteen – a dormitory between skyscrapers.

Colourful carpet on the wall.

Young diners.

Exceptional service for newcomers.

Food portions with a little bit extra.

School kids, who willingly show you the way to canteen.
Very talkative canteen worker.

Most of the things in the canteen are marked with „Vilniaus degtinė“ logos.

Everything is new.

Canteen is full of flowers. Orchids included.

Various types of dishes, even after lunch time.

Cosy interior.
One won’t find two identical plates in the canteen.

If you are in a hurry, you can eat your quick lunch sitting at the bar.

If you are bored, you could try guessing the names of the plants at the windows of the canteen. I guess that would take you at least a week.

A coat rack.

A good location in a center of the city.

Air conditioning system (though, it was not working on my visit day).
Microwave oven – you can use it to warm up your own food.

Company store selling sweets at the same place.

Easy to read sign of WC – you will never have to ask for the way.

A smell of chocolate and cheap candies (and somehow cheap portions of ice-cream too).

Fan-page on the Internet.

Sophisticated food that one won't find in other canteens (escalopes, Chicken Kiev, etc.).
Availability of alcohol.

Great window view.

Enormous mirror near the exit.

Lithuanian soap operas on LCD TV (it is also possible to see the view of the other canteen hall on the TV).

White tablecloths that enrich the dining experience.

Awarded a Diploma for good service.
A worker with plates with lunch dishes running among tables.

Long, but quickly moving queue on lunchtime.

Barely heard music.

Freshly made carrot juices.

Examples of folk art (i.e. wicker lampshades).

No tray system – all dishes are served to your table.
Vintage interior.

Long conveyer for dirty dishes.

The students in the canteen are open for discussions about physics, law, economics or communication science.

A microwave oven for heating food you brought from home (though heating your food is not allowed, but when the staff doesn't see...)

Radio announcing about the situation on the roads for drivers.

No queues in the canteen during lectures.
Furniture, walls and interior details that remind of the Soviet times.

A long table always served for the banquet.

A male cook in the kitchen.

Soft and nice music.

Special enclosed corridor for the queue. Very interesting thing.

Conveyer for dirty dishes.
Visually handicapped and deaf people work in the canteen.

Silence during lunch time.

The location is hard to find.

Big tables if you want to have lunch with a group.

A lot of artificial flowers.

Sincere concern of a cook: „How come you’re not eating soup? That is not healthy.
Funny carved heart shaped chairs.

Great combination of colours! Yellow walls match blue artificial flowers.

Low door, so everyone has to lean over to enter the canteen.

Fresh coffee and an espresso machine!

A sink to wash hands.

A coatrack.

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About the project

The begining

How and why project started?

The project that explores Lithuanian canteens was started by the graphic designer Indrė Klimaitė, at the moment living in the Hague. She received her BA in Design in Vilnius Academy of Arts, and MA in Type and Media in The Royal Academy of Arts (The Hague).

Indrė liked canteens all her life. When she noticed the canteens were closing one by one, this artist decided to try to stop it.

In collaboration with historians, writers and a photographer, Indrė traces histories and contemporary operation of Vilnius' canteens, researching them as places of current social relations. The aim of the project is to expose and revive dying, neglected and controversial canteen subculture in a modern outfit, to increase public acceptance, awareness and appreciation of past tradition, and present it as a cultural value of Lithuania in these days. The research becomes a product itself, so it could inspire for new ideas in fashion, product design and life style areas.

Making of Kompotas.com

What was done to serve you our compote?

It is a great challenge to collect some kind of database of all the canteens. If you start searching for the canteens on the Internet or in catalogues, you will find only 5 of them. So the project team were asking their friends, taxi drivers to give information about the canteens. At first the canteen reconnaissance was conducted, and its purpose was to collect contacts, introduce themselves, plan future meetings, interviews and photo sessions with the staff. When the photographer Isabel had arrived in Lithuania, around 15 canteens were visited per week. In every canteen the team used to spend at least 2 hours while taking photos, tasting food and talking to the staff. Every canteen is 200 photos, one or even several main course dishes, and at least a half of an hour socializing with workers.

During the project we drank more than 110 glasses of compote which is more than 2 buckets of this sweet and refreshing drink. If we put together all the work experience of the cooks who were working in the canteens, we would get more than 300 years in total. A total record of the project is the day when we visited 7 canteens. One and the same person was not only drinking compote in each canteen, but also eating main course dishes. During the project the team didn't use more than half a pack of digestive pills. Also no one put any additional kilos while eating non-stop in the canteens for two weeks.

This project is funded by: