The Pazuki Blog
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
A Creative and Inspirational Trip to Barcelona June 05 2013, 0 Comments
Casa Battlo, Barcelona
Why Barcelona? I needed some sun and colour to get inspired for my 2014 Spring/Summer collection. I wanted to go somewhere with a different atmosphere to London or Paris or more northern cities, and I was the only person I know who had never been there so off I went a couple of weeks ago.
In my imagination I thought it would be more modern but it’s quite traditional – so many old buildings and fascinating alleyways, you get a strong sense of history.
Unfortunately we only had two days so decided it was best spent mostly outdoors soaking up the atmosphere, our eyes on stalks looking at every detail, so different from our everyday London life.
The Boqueria Market, Barcelona
The colours are bolder – strong primary colours: in the adverts, the Picassos, flower stalls along the Ramblas, the Boqueria food market with its brightly coloured sweets, fruits, strings of chilli peppers, the giant Miro sculptures. Desiguel stores on almost every corner shouting colour and prints, elegant neoclassical plasterwork allover buildings and even some of the pavements had patterns embossed into them. We had trouble progressing from the metro, there were so many interesting textures, patterns and colours. No surprise I bought some bright red desert boots and some wavy striped Miro shoes!
Too long a queue to go into the Sagrada Familia, we sat in an outdoor café looking at the scaffolding and sculptures of saints at the front and then did a circuit, discovering the melted stonework of the older building at the back. I know Gaudi always intended it to be a work in progress but I rather wish it had been left as it was, I’m not sure about the new editions, but still, what a great idea, an amazing project gifted to future architects and artisans.
Casa Battlo, Barcelona. I loved the coloured glass, organic forms and mosaic
The Casa Battlo was 20 euros entrance fee and crammed with people but it was still worth it. I loved the coloured glass, organic forms and mosaic, though a little bit creepy as inspired by animal bones. Totally bare of furniture now, it seems the family it was built for didn’t quite get it as they filled it with traditional bourgeois pieces.
We met up with an old school friend of mine who had lived there 20 years and now worked as a film soundtrack composer. He appeared outside Café Zurich with his 14 year old son, on scooter and skateboard and took us away from the tourist zone through the maze of backstreets to a great restaurant. We plugged him for insider info on life in Barcelona and caught up on 30 years, reminiscing about boho London in the 70s.
The food delicious and again full of colour – from the deep red of the tomatoes to the silver sardines. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much fishy food in two days. Restraining myself from doing a seafood design!
Back to rainy London too soon but full of ideas.
Miro Sculpture, Barcelona
Clams in Barcelona. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much fishy food in two days. Restraining myself from doing a seafood design!
Chilies, just look at the colours!
Picasso Art in Barcelona
Traditional Wall Patterns in Barcelona
Brightly Coloured Clothes Pegs
Map Reading (Broken Horizon scarf & Tara shirt peeking out bottom of jumper)
The ongoing saga of the Sagrada Familia
Where has my boyfriend gone