A Weekend in Budapest August 30 2013, 0 Comments
Budapest was grander than I imagined. Tall buildings and wide boulevards, with incredibly elegant street lamps. It seemed to be saying, I’m a very important city. I thought about the past and how opulent it must have been. This city is not somewhere they have held back when it comes to decoration! What’s so beautiful now is its faded worn look and I love the apricot and peach colours they have used on the facades. I was lucky enough to see inside some of the magnificent old apartment buildings which had elaborate curling cast iron bannisters and marble mosaic floors in the foyers.
I do hope it doesn't get too spruced up, a lot of big brands have glossy stores there but they are still side by side with some original shops, some of which I would like to present with the most unappealing shop window display award.
My favourite drink
The old Jewish quarter is now full of bars, clubs and restaurants, some open air with hammocks. Heaving with foreigners there for the weekend, I did get the feeling the city had been colonised. Every time I went past someone I thought looked typically Hungarian I heard them speaking English, Italian or French and was proved wrong.
Thank God they know how to feed people, there are some excellent inexpensive restaurants. Our favourites were The Big Fish, you pick your fish and sea food, they cook it in front of you and serve with salad. The Két Szerecsen bistro is great for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is where I spent time sketching the décor and customers while my boyfriend worked on his film scripts. My favourite drink was their delicious fresh pink grapefruit juice. Another life saver was the Culinaris Deli that had a better tea selection than Waitrose.
On the hottest day of the year (42 degrees) we did a real tourist thing and took an open top bus tour of the city – with bottles of water, headphones and straw hats supplied, Tim looked particularly fetching in one with a polka dot bow, (all the more masculine ones had been taken). The best thing was seeing the amazing view of the vast Danube river and Pest from the top of the hilly Buda side of the city.
Budapest is of course famous for its baths and the biggest one was just up the road from us. A huge complex of pools of different temperatures and treatment rooms surrounded by park, where I was rather alarmed by middle aged men with large stomachs playing table tennis in tight speedos, but, what the hell, it’s their city.
I wouldn't hesitate to go back, so much more still to see, but I would wish for slightly cooler weather.
Too hot and tired to eat!
Art Deco Cinema