Best of Eastern Europe. And that’s official!

Romania – A blend of European history, with distinct reminders of a socialist past!

So apparently, you really didn’t like my previous post.

On Romania.

I won’t apologise for it!

When coming to The British Berliner, you expect a clear description of the places that I travel to, and my thoughts.

And that is exactly what I gave you!

I thought I made it crystal clear that my post, wasn’t about the Romanian people, who were perfectly alright. Nice and friendly.

It was about Romania – the country.

I said it didn’t tickle my fancy!

I stated that I simply wasn’t overwhelmed.

Or fascinated.

And sad to say.

I wasn’t even impressed.

I’m yet to find when it ever became a crime to like everywhere.

You just can’t!

And I’m a weird one ‘cos I didn’t like the following countries either:

Slovakia.

Singapore.

South Africa.

And.

The Dominican Republic.

I’m weird. I don’t like tropical beaches!

I don’t even like tropical beach destinations!

It just really isn’t my thing!

I know!

Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment! ©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

Although I’ve had my share of the habitual sun-kissed photograph

I’m a happy to spend a day or two.

But certainly, not more!

I love mountains!

Mountains and valleys are more my thing you see…

Myself with ski leaders in Rokytnice nad Jizerou – Czech Republic

Hence the skiing!

But I wouldn’t say No to a water destination!
I’m not really a beach person as I prefer mountains and rivers or beach destinations that have more than the sea to recommend them! Me at the Grotto in the Algarve!

But I wouldn’t say No to the water.

But only the water mind.

Without the beach thingy.

Because, I really don’t like hot-weather beaches!

Should I be British or European? Can’t I be both!

I’m a great supporter for Europe, and even more so for Eastern Europe. I mean, you only have to scroll through this link to experience my love for the continent.

I will write about the rest of my trip to Romania.

Very soon!

If you’re here for the first time, join in the fun.

I know I will!

However, before we start, you might notice a tiny change on the blog. If you’re a new reader, you’ll see a Mail Chimp subscription pop-up, a cookie pop-up and updated information about the EU Privacy Policy or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Eek!

There’s nothing to fear. As always, you’ll never receive any spam or weird emails from me, and you can unsubscribe without fear or favour absolutely any time you want to.

Phew!

So just so that we’re all perfectly clear, here’s the best of Eastern Europe!

TRAVEL THROUGH EUROPE!

Having a hotdog and beer, on a rainy day in Vienna, is more exciting than you think!

I live in Berlin.

In Germany.

And I travel a lot.

I do so because most of Europe is pretty much just around the corner, and because I can.

In fact, last year, I went to:

I was having a fine time flying all over Europe, thank you very much!
  • Holland
  • The Czech Republic
  • Austria
  • Croatia
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • England – twice!
  • Germany

This year, I started a new job so travel has been a little erratic and this blog has been a mess, ‘cos I’ve been living in hotels for the past 6 weeks, and the wi-fi has been absolutely horrendous.

Horrendous!!!

And coupled with early morning commuting at 03.15 in the morning in some places, let’s just say that Uber has been a godsend!

However, things have settled down, and I’m now on track.

Traditional Bergische waffles or Belgian waffles! 9 traditional things to eat & drink in Belgium. With mussels!

I’ve already been to

  • Belgium
  • Romania
  • Germany

And in the summer, I’ll be travelling to:

I love seafood and Sweden has a lot of it!
  • Sweden
  • Estonia
  • Latvia

And at the end of the year, I’ll be travelling to:

India
  • The Czech Republic
  • India!

Yay!

I very much enjoy travelling to Eastern Europe!

I’ve been going to the region for more than twenty (20) years, but judging by some of the comments that I get, some people think that I spent just 24 hours, and that I’ve only just passed through!

Some readers think I haven’t the slightest clue.

And some readers even think that like Queen Elizabeth I, I might actually be male!

So in no particular order, but just to whet your appetite, here’s where I consider, the best of Eastern Europe!

BEST OF EASTERN EUROPE. AND THAT’S OFFICIAL!

Croatian beer & Croatian coffee – Croatia – a basic guide to food!

Some people are confused as to what constitutes Eastern Europe, and I regularly get comments from the people who live there and complain that they don’t actually live in Eastern Europe, but Eastern – Central Europe, Central Europe, South-East Europe, and even as so far as to desribe themselves as Northern Europe, and the like!

But for simplicity’s sake, and because I have a BSc. (Hons.) Political Science, and two Master Degrees, I do actually know what I’m talking about so…

Eastern Europe is the Eastern part of the European continent!

Experts say that Eastern Europe is the region that historically has Greek, Byzantine, Eastern Orthodox, Russian, and Ottoman cultural influences.

Others say that Eastern Europe is the region that was created during the Cold War, are the former communist European states outside the Soviet Union, and are (including East Germany, and East Berlin, where I live) otherwise known as the Eastern Bloc!

POLAND:

Jesus in Warsaw.

THE CZECH REPUBLIC:

Myself as lovely as Prague!

SLOVENIA:

At Ljubljana Castle – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

CROATIA:

Croatian food is most delicious!

LATVIA:

The most popular international post so far was….Latvia!

HUNGARY:

My Hungarian goulash soup. Absolutely free of charge!

ESTONIA:

Tallinn Medieval Days. Kristina Õllek @Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau

LITHUANIA:

Lithuanian soup.

SLOVAKIA:

BEST OF EASTERN EUROPE. AND THAT’S OFFICIAL!

Best of Eastern Europe. And that’s official!

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions are really, my very own!

Next week, the Romanian places that I did like!

And in a few weeks, I’ll be revealing my next summer trip!

Stay tuned.

Yay!

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

The symbol of the former Communist European states outside the Soviet Union – The Eastern Bloc!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Best of Eastern Europe. And that’s official!

Have you ever been to Eastern Europe? Let me know in your comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

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How to be young, bright and absolutely fabulous – showing your stuff at Berlin Fashion Week 2016/2017 Part I!

How to be young, bright and absolutely fabulous - showing your stuff at Berlin Fashion Week!
How to be young, bright and absolutely fabulous – showing your stuff at Berlin Fashion Week!

I’ve got to tell you.

Living in Berlin is the dogs bollocks!

Berlin is just so amaaaaaaazing!

I know I go on about it, but moving to Berlin has got to be just one of the best things that I have ever done, and if you’ve ever visited Berlin, you’ll know absolutely why!

Germany - my adopted country!
Germany – my adopted country!

Beeeeerlin!

Less than a fortnight ago (two weeks), I was running around the city because I attended Berlin Fashion Week and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week as press, and I’m awfully proud of it.

Living in Berlin has afforded me the opportunity not only to grow professionally (opening up two schools in Berlin / gaining a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Education Leadership and Management ), grow personally (obtaining a German husband – a gorgeous talented fellow – and an equally amazing tween son), but also grow creatively working as an International Social Media Lifestyle, Expat & Travel Blogger with this here blog.

You know the one – my blog – The British Berliner!

As such, I like to give back.

I love giving something back! HFK Bremen Show - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Spring/Summer 2017 © Victor Boyko/Getty Images for IMG
I love giving something back! HFK Bremen Show – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Spring/Summer 2017
© Victor Boyko/Getty Images for IMG

I enjoy promoting young entrepreneurs and young people with vision, zest, energy and ideas.

As a result, I made it a point of duty to ensure that not only did I cover the classic wonderful fashion brands that delight and astonish us, but also the up and coming, the new generation, the unknowns and the I-do-it-because-I-love-it fashion designers and artists.

BUT WHAT IS BERLIN FASHION WEEK ALL ABOUT?

A model with a ballet slipper on her head and wrapped around her body. Yep! I'Vr Isabel Vollrath - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Spring/Summer 2017 © Victor Boyko/Getty Images for IMG
A model with a ballet slipper on her head and wrapped around her body. Yep!
I’Vr Isabel Vollrath – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Spring/Summer 2017
© Victor Boyko/Getty Images for IMG

So before we go any further, let me clarify that Berlin Fashion Week isn’t Milan, Paris, London or New York. It’s Berlin!

It’s different.

It’s vibrant.

It’s a hub for artists and designers to create, innovate, and showcase fashion, music, film, art, and culture.

Berlin is raw.

Berlin is rough at the edges.

Berlin is unique.

Berlin is creative.

And so is it’s fashion!

Eliot Sumner & Lucie van Alten. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Spring/Summer 2017
Eliot Sumner & Lucie van Alten.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Spring/Summer 2017

I’ll be writing all about the fashion and glamour of Mercedes-Benz next week but this week, I would like to write about emerging designers.

But before we go any further, a quick reminder of the stuff that I’ve previously written:

At the PANORAMA BERLIN Trade Fair AfterParty. Whoop! Whoop! Hello Kitty Stickers!!! Berlin Fashion Week 2016/2017
At the PANORAMA BERLIN Trade Fair AfterParty. Whoop! Whoop! Hello Kitty Stickers!!!
Berlin Fashion Week 2016/2017

Let’s be honest. One of the reasons that people swarm over to Berlin like bees flying to a sticky honeypot, is because of the constant jollification! Oh yeah! Berlin knows how to paaaarty, and Berlin Fashion Week was absolutely no exception. In fact, it was far much better….!

The fact that I had various press passes ensured that many doors were open to me and boy, did I use my privileges!

I received loads of invitations and parties that I actually turned some down!

And why?

Champagne Baby! Berlin Fashion Week Yeeeeeah!
Champagne Baby!
Berlin Fashion Week Yeeeeeah!

Because after my second and third season I was knackered, and had drunk far too much champagne!

I had to detox as I just couldn’t take the high life any more, and ended up having no alcohol. NO ALCOHOL! And then taking it really sloooow with just a glass of champagne. Only A GLASS! And the day after that, I had a glass of champagne at a fashion event, and a lemon beer. A LEMON BEER people.

OMG!

The first time I wasn’t actually invited and just sort of bragged and hustled my way through! However, by last summer I was well and truly on my way to being a real press person!

This was my sixth season at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin so I knew the drill:

Myself at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin! I'm wearing a British designer - Ted Baker - by the way lol!
Myself at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin! I’m wearing a British designer – Ted Baker – by the way lol!

Wear something nice.

Come early and get your make-up done professionally.

And your nails.

Wear heels.

Hide a pair of “comfy shoes” or birkenstocks.

When you’re in the press bus, take off your heels.

Take your notebook and pen / pencil.

Drink lots and lots of water.

Drinking a very important cup of tea! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Drinking a very important cup of tea!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Go home for a real cup of tea!

Take it easy on the champagne and cocktails!

At the end of the night, take off those damn heels!

Here we go.

I received press invitations and passes to thirty-nine (39) exclusive fashion houses and fashion trade shows, and about (20) after-shows functions and parties.

Twenty (20)!

Of course, after what happened a year ago, there was absolutely no way that I would even attempt to go to them all, so I decided to be smart and be selective. There’s always the next fashion season…!

WHERE WERE THE NEW EMERGING DESIGNERS?

New designers can be found at universities or on the High Street / Shopping Mall! SDBI European Fashion Award FASH – 2016
New designers can be found at universities or on the High Street / Shopping Mall!
SDBI European Fashion Award FASH – 2016

The new emerging designers could be found at:

  • The European Fashion Award FASH 2016 show
  • The Hungarian Embassy, Berlin and the Design Terminal Budapest
  • #FashionTech Berlin
  • Berlin Fashion Film Festival
  • Thomas Hanisch
  • Tomcsanyi
  • Sample – cm
  • HFK Bremen
  • Vanessa Krongold
  • Nathini van der Meer
  • MAISONNOÉE
  • LANA MUELLER – Prêt-à-Porter
  • Sammler Berlin
  • Cushnie Et Ochs
  • Jeans for Refugees by Johny Dar

THE EUROPEAN FASHION AWARD FASH 2016 SHOW

First prize winners went to Flora Sophie Taubner and Lars Dittrich. SDBI European Fashion Award FASH – 2016
First prize winners went to Flora Sophie Taubner and Lars Dittrich.
SDBI European Fashion Award FASH – 2016

The European Fashion Award FASH contest is organised by the Stiftung der Deutschen Bekleidungsindustrie zur Förderung der Ausbildung von Nachwuchskräften in der Modebranche, otherwise known as, the German Fashion Industry Foundation for the Promotion and Training of up-and-coming designers in the Fashion Industry, with the purpose of promoting the further education of exceptionally talented students in the fashion industry.

The fashion award is open to talented design students of all disciplines, with emphasis on fashion and textile design. Applications must be students currently enrolled in their fourth semester or higher, registered at an european university or fashion school, or have a Masters Degree completed in the previous academic year. The fashion topic was CHANGE – searching for visions of a new era.

The Neues Museum, otherwise known as the New Museum. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Achim Kleuker
The Neues Museum, otherwise known as the New Museum.
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Achim Kleuker

The award show took place at the Neues Museum, otherwise known as the New Museum, so I just knew that I had to go.

After all, you know how much I like history and art, so what could be better than fashion presented within the walls of ancient civilizations and remnants of the “old world!”

Colours were strong and dark such as red, black with trailing ribbons, yellow and green. Fabrics were wool, long suede leather skirts and aprons with belts. Leather slippers on feet. The male models wore pilot anoraks, dark blue leather aprons with leather pockets, and blue grey jumpers for autumn.

Very practical!

Lovely refreshments at the European Fashion Award FASH 2016.
Lovely refreshments at the European Fashion Award FASH 2016.

We were served cool glasses of wine and platters of cold cuts, wholesome chunky cheese, pickles, slices of crunchy bread, breadsticks, nuts, and mustard to keep our energy levels up!

Fashion people tend not to eat so this was surprisingly nice!

As for what the fashion and society set were wearing? Black and dark blue, black shoes, and here and there, flecks of silver!

I was wearing orange!

THE HUNGARIAN EMBASSY, BERLIN & THE DESIGN TERMINAL BUDAPEST

With Eszter Bittmann In Budapest, Hungary.
With Eszter Bittmann In Budapest, Hungary.

I went to Hungary last year and had a very nice time in Budapest. Perhaps that was why I was invited to the opening of a fashion room presenting young Hungarian Designers, by the Hungarian Embassy, Berlin and the Design Terminal Budapest.

The Design Terminal features design and fashion related exhibitions, fashion shows, design conferences, and many other programs along the lines of design and innovation representing all kinds of “creative industries” and promoting Hungarian design brands at home and abroad.

And that they did!

Celeni - NOT JUST A LABEL collection ©Celeni
Celeni – NOT JUST A LABEL collection
©Celeni

I hovered over one piece bodies and white – cream monochrome pieces inspired by wave-boarding for the nostalgic smart woman of Elysian. I especially liked the Celeni – NOT JUST A LABEL collection, and in fact, I went to a similar show-case organised by BOLD promoting i-D – a glossy magazine that documents fashion and contemporary culture and Zalando Fashion House, last summer!

The inspiration for Celeni’s S/S 2016 collection is the playful and romantic style of Hungarian Romany culture, with its lively style of dressing, the feeling of modern-day Roma domestic design with a chic, metropolitan style worn by professional feminine women!

A well-deserved dinner of Hungarian Goulash, Hungarian pasta and a side salad at the Hungarian Embassy in Berlin!
A well-deserved dinner of Hungarian Goulash, Hungarian pasta and a side salad at the Hungarian Embassy in Berlin!

After the speeches and fashion collection, I mingled, and helped myself to the warm filling of a Hungarian dinner, and full-bodied red wine!

#FASHIONTECH BERLIN

FASHIONTECH BERLIN 06/2016 © NILS KRÜGER
FASHIONTECH BERLIN 06/2016
© NILS KRÜGER

#FASHIONTECH Berlin is a platform for all ideas and business models that influence the way fashion is designed, produced, distributed, marketed and sold. It targets fashion industry digitalisation, fashion experts, industry insiders, designers, start-up businesses and where young designers and entrepreneurs can meet, learn, discuss, network, find out about fascinating projects and explore new opportunities.

I love going there!

And why?

‘Cos I’m a freak.

I like to learn about new stuff!

So sue me!

DTAG Fashion Fusion #FASHIONTECH Berlin
DTAG Fashion Fusion
#FASHIONTECH Berlin

I was awfully busy this season, and so I couldn’t really stay for the sessions which included such topics as Wearables & Design, E-Commerce & The Future of Retail, Digital Marketing & Communication, I did however, attend the Fashion Fusion Press Launch!

The Fashion Fusion initiative is a combination of high-tech and fashion converging to create smart apparel supported by Deutsche Telekom which is encouraging innovative ideas for the fashion of tomorrow as part of its plans to become a digital lifestyle brand. Deutsche Telekom and other partners have created the “Fashion Fusion Challenge”: an international competition, where young talent throughout Europe, will have the unique opportunity to draw upon the aid of experts from industry, the fashion sector and the startup scene to realize their visionary concepts for high-tech apparel, wearables and digital lifestyle products and bring them to market.

Students, young professionals and startups from the fashion, design and technology sectors have brilliant ideas!
Students, young professionals and startups from the fashion, design and technology sectors have brilliant ideas!

Students, young professionals and startups from the fashion, design and technology sectors may submit their concepts until August 1, 2016 in one of the three categories: Connected Devices & Accessories, Digitally Enhanced Fashion and Smart Services. If you’re interested, make sure that you avail yourself of each and every opportunity, to get your ideas and products out there!

BERLIN FASHION FILM FESTIVAL

Yes you art - Desigual AW 2015 - nominated for Casting, Use of Fashion and Emerging Artist Berlin Fashion Film Festival (BFFF)
Yes you art – Desigual AW 2015 – nominated for Casting, Use of Fashion and Emerging Artist
Berlin Fashion Film Festival (BFFF)

Now, I actually attended the Berlin Fashion Film Festival (BFFF) at the beginning of June, but I never got around to writing about it!

It’s a magnificent event created by a fellow British expat that I met last year – Niccolò Montanari – who is the young co-founder, and Head of Communications of the Berlin Fashion Film Festival (BFFF). And as you can see this is what living in Berlin does for you.

If you don’t find what you see, or feel that you can do something better, get up and do it yourself!

If you've got a great idea, don't wait. Get up and do it yourself!
If you’ve got a great idea, don’t wait. Get up and do it yourself!

You know how much I love art films and quirky films so it was only going to be a matter of time before I bumped into them, somewhere in the city!

The Berlin Fashion Film Festival is an annual Berlin‐based celebration of creative video content for the lifestyle, beauty and fashion industry, in which a selected group of 500 leading creatives working between fashion, film and advertising, come together to celebrate the best fashion film productions of the year. It’s goal is to recognise, embrace, and reward exceptional branded video content, focused on fashion, beauty and lifestyle.

LNFA Triple Launch: Network in Fashion & Film. Berlin Fashion Week 2016.
LNFA Triple Launch: Network in Fashion & Film.
Berlin Fashion Week 2016.

Phew!

Aimed at celebrating talent, discovering upcoming creative trends, and connecting creative professionals, the BFFF Awards encourages productions companies, film directors, filmmakers, producers, creative agencies, fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands, labels and designers to get to know each other and work together. The festival also includes 48 hours of talks, case studies, panel discussions, masterclasses, creative speed dating, film screenings and an international tour.

Jay Boogie - Lady - nominated for Experimental Video Berlin Fashion Film Festival (BFFF)
Jay Boogie – Lady – nominated for Experimental Video
Berlin Fashion Film Festival (BFFF)

With 40 winners, 20 categories and 100 nominated films, it was a couple of days of intense screen watching!

That’s it for now. See you next week!

This article is not sponsored, and all fashion opinions about being artistic and creative, are my very own!

Next week, I’ll be writing more about Berlin Fashion Week!

July is Pride Week!

From 02.07.16 – 24.07.16, the LGTB (community), well-wishers and gay-friendly supporters will gather in Berlin to celebrate and advocate a tolerant and open-minded society.

The Lesbian-Gay City Festival will take place from 16.07.16 – 17.07.16.

CSD on the Spree (River) will take place on 21.07.16.

Dyke * March Berlin will take place on 22.07.16.

Our main Gay Pride Day otherwise known as Christopher Street Day (CSD), will take place on 23.07.16.

The Berlin Chapter of Travel Massive and Terminal 3, will be hosting True Stories. Told Live. Digital Nomad Style as part of the Tech Open Air Festival on July 14th, at Spielfeld Digital Hub.

I’ll also be attending an Exclusive Food Tour with Fork & Walk on Wednesday, August 10th.

Save the Date!

July is going to be blazing hot!

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & Facebook!

If you’re not in Berlin in July, you’re missing all the excitement!

Watch this space!

How to be young, bright and absolutely fabulous – showing your stuff at Berlin Fashion Week 2016 - 2017!
How to be young, bright and absolutely fabulous – showing your stuff at Berlin Fashion Week 2016 – 2017!

Have you ever been to Fashion Week? Are you young, bright and absolutely fabulous? Do you want to be? Have your say?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you’re looking to go to a new European city then Budapest is surprisingly nice. And the food is Hungarian but really Turkish. And Italian too!

Now this looks a lot like brain, but I'm thinking they're probably Hungarian sausages in a stew! Or are they?!!
Now this looks a lot like brain, but I’m thinking they’re probably Hungarian sausages in a stew!
Or are they?!!

So Budapest.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Budapest was a really nice destination to go to.

But before that, for those of you who are new readers to The British Berliner, yours truly had a genuinely first-rate experience with the German media.

Because.

Oh you know.

The Queen came to Berlin!

Schoolchildren wave Union flags as the Queen leaves a service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral to celebrate its 300th anniversary.
Schoolchildren wave Union flags as the Queen leaves a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral to celebrate its 300th anniversary.

You can read all about how I was invited to be on the rbb (the Berlin-Brandenburg TV station) evening TV show as a sub-presenter on a panel of British experts and how I was a main feature on a documentary about established British people in Berlin.

I was featured as a British expat blogger about town on a show called Berlin. Very British! Not only that, but the documentary was picked up by other national German TV stations such as Phoenix, ARD and ZDF! And I was on a seven (7) minute radio interview broadcast about three (3) different types of British expats living in Berlin, of which I was one. The production was called Briten in Berlin or Brits in Berlin.

I mean, wow!

Sometimes, I still can’t believe it!

And just to add to that, at the end of July, I was contacted by the Editor-in-Chief of Europe’s largest online newspapers – The Local in Germany – in which I was interviewed about my life in Germany and how I came to make a documentary and headline on German TV. The piece was called How I explained the Queen to the Germans!

Me being thoughtful and looking as if I'm about to sing! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Me being thoughtful and looking as if I’m about to sing!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Do read! It’s a rather entertaining piece, as are the trolls at the end of it LOL!

Most importantly, you get to see a more personal side to me..!

Back to Budapest!

"The Tall Young Gentleman having "a rose" ice-cream at Gelarto Rosa, in Budapest.
“The Tall Young Gentleman having “a rose” ice-cream at Gelarto Rosa, in Budapest, Hungary.

Budapest can be a real gem if you let yourself be in the moment and just go for all the remarkable food that you can find right there. In Budapest.

So let’s go back to basics and start at the very beginning.

A healthy start to the day. Breakfast.
A healthy start to the day.
Breakfast.

At the beginning of any day, one ought to have a healthy breakfast. It’s even better if your place of sleep includes breakfast as a matter of course.

As a British person, it’s pretty much a given that when you have a bed, you also have a breakfast. It isn’t often so in the United States and it wasn’t to be at some of the places that I originally looked at before thankfully, landing on the Buddha-Bar Hotel and the Aria Hotel Budapest.

Last week, I told you all about the exquisite musically inspired boutique that is the Aria Hotel Budapest but I haven’t yet told you about the Asian-inspired Buddha-Bar Hotel Budapest Klotild Palace or simply the Buddha-Bar Hotel yet, and I should!

Look at the glamour of the Buddha-Bar Hotel Budapest Klotild Palace or simply, the Buddha-Bar Hotel in Budapest!
Look at the glamour of the Buddha-Bar Hotel Budapest Klotild Palace or simply, the Buddha-Bar Hotel in Budapest!

The Buddha-Bar Hotel is a 5-star urban chic luxury hotel based on the trendy corner of Váci utca, in the heart of Budapest.

The hotel was originally a delightful hundred-year-old (100) Klotild Palace which has now been dressed up as a mysterious Asian-colonial place influenced by Buddha. And indeed, every part of the hotel was coated with black, red and dark orange as well as Asian-influenced statutes throughout the hotel.

The location is absolutely divine!

The underground station nearest to the Buddha-Bar Hotel.
The underground station nearest to the Buddha-Bar Hotel.

There’s an underground station – Ferenciek Square – a few paces away, an exclusive pedestrian-only shopping zone, located on the corner of the famous Váci utca or Váci street, which is one of the main pedestrian thoroughfares and perhaps the most famous High Street in Budapest! Many of the major tourist attractions are nearby, as is the Danube river, the Chain Bridge, the Grand Market Hall, lots of historical buildings and the Buda Castle, which you can see right on the opposite side of the bridge!

In fact, from the Buddha-Bar Hotel, everywhere was pretty much walkable or if you’re so inclined, all the tour buses also stop near the outer side of the hotel!

Buddha can see yooooou!
Buddha can see yooooou!

Because the Buddha-Bar Hotel used to be a distinguished palace, the area is huge both inside and out. The hotel consists of one-hundred and two (102) rooms and we were upgraded to the Executive Room.

The tasty fruit and tangy colour tones of the Buddha-Bar Hotel.
The tasty fruit and tangy colour tones of the Buddha-Bar Hotel.

Our room was red and black with lots of Buddha heads and Chinese dragons. Unfortunately, because of the colour scheme, the room can seem a bit dark but there were hidden lights in obscure places.

If you’re a couple it would be brilliant, but as a mother with a growing lad and lots of technical equipment, it wasn’t bright enough.

I recommend that you use them all!

Our delightful tray of fruit. Thank you!
Our delightful tray of fruit.
Thank you!

We were welcomed by a gigantic tray of fruit and a rather nice bottle of Hungarian red wine!

Thank you so much!

Our Executive Room was roomy with a really nice seating area and two large twin beds.

Soft to the lightest touch at the Buddha-Bar Hotel!
Soft to the lightest touch at the Buddha-Bar Hotel!

I liked the way that the wardrobes and cupboards had the minimalist touch. Just push lightly and they would open.

There was a safe, fridge and a large-screen TV with all the international channels and Asian inspirational lounge music, as well as dressing gowns, fluffy towels and fluffy slippers.

The bathroom was amazing.

It was huge and had two (2) sinks.

Two sinks baby!
Two sinks baby!

Yeeeeeees!

It also had a gigantic bath tub and The White Company bathing products. If you’re a couple. You’re in for a wonderful time….! (Oh why. Oh why. Wasn’t my husband – The Music Producer with us?!)

There was also complimentary coffee with it’s own trendy coffee-maker but as you all know. I hate coffee and only drink tea.

Black tea.

Anyone for tea and scones?
Anyone for tea and scones?

Not fruit tea.

Not herbal tea.

Just black tea.

With milk and sugar.

Unfortunately, that was sometimes an issue. Either there was only a single tea-bag, no milk or even no tea bag at all. On our last evening I waited for 1.5 hours for my life-enhancing tea!

Our Executive Room also included complimentary WiFi which normally would have been quite OK, but as a blogger, I need fast reliable WiFi that won’t drop.

The connection dropped and I ended up having to re-connect again and again.

Sigh!

It’s a good thing that I had already written my post before I left Germany…

Shudder!

Bliss! Just complete & utter bliss!
Bliss! Just complete & utter bliss!

Having said that, as I told you last week, the sauna and spa were remarkable. I was worried about the sauna bathing situation as countries on the continent have no qualms about going au naturel.

But I cannot be so calm, and unconcerned.

I just can’t!

The sauna staff had assured me that by 20:00 the spa and sauna area would have very few people in and she was right.

Phew!

Not this!
Not this!

For the first twenty (20) minutes or so, we were all by ourselves. There was a Finnish sauna, an infra-red sauna, a steaming room, a pool that was a tank of ice-cold water à la Siberia, a Japanese bath (jacuzzi), warm stone beds and a fitness area.

We were later joined by an Irish man with his Spanish wife and his ten (10) year old daughter and we were all as nervous as each other.

So that’s alright then!

Blisssssss!

Good value.
Good value.

The spa and sauna were very, very good and highly recommended, the staff were obliging and friendly and the concierge knew everything that needed to be known!

The Buddha Hotel isn’t expensive but neither is it cheap.

Here it comes…

All this from €188.00 per night in the Executive Room which for two (2) people would be €94.00 a pop!

Enjoy the chic luxury hotel!
Enjoy the chic luxury hotel!

I think for the luxury of sleeping in a palace surrounded by a group of friends or an obliging lover, you would do rather well!

Speaking of recommended, I think it’s time to get back to talking about food.

Our going-on-the-train salami and green paprika sandwich arranged for us by the Aria Hotel Budapest.
Our going-on-the-train-salami-white-cheese-and-green-paprika sandwich arranged for us by the Aria Hotel Budapest.

Whenever we go on a family holiday, I like to mix things up a little in order to experience a wide variety of food possibilities, to meet the locals, and to stretch our budget in a more comfortable way.

Countries in this part of Europe are not known for having exquisite food. They’re not France you know! Even Germany has an image of cabbage and stodge and Hungary has been influenced by everyone and it’s mother, so I’m going to introduce you to some Hungarian delights!

Traditional Hungarian food tends to stretch from soups, stews, grilled and fried meat, the use of vegetables such as tomato, cabbage, beans and onions, garlic and stuffed cabbage, to a local type of pancake and of course, the Hungarian icon – the red paprika!

All hail the paprika! ©cnn
All hail the paprika!
©cnn

You can of course also observe and partake in fine dining places, trendy street food stands, organic farmers markets, soup bistros, fish restaurants, wine bars, coffee shops, cafés and of course, ruin bars.

I’ll be focusing on the more traditional, day-to-day stuff.

A HUNGARIAN BREAKFAST:

Breakfast at the Buddha-Bar Hotel, Budapest.
Breakfast at the Buddha-Bar Hotel, Budapest.

Both hotels that we went to had some delicious stuff.

As you recall, our trip to Budapest was at the Aria Hotel Budapest and the Buddha-Bar Hotel.

Eggs at the Aria Hotel, Budapest.
Eggs at the Aria Hotel, Budapest.

For breakfast at the Aria Hotel Budapest, an à la carte menu was supplied, and you could choose a selection of eggs to be cooked, and you helped yourself to a variety of breads, jams and honey, cereal, muesli, fruit and berries, home-made spreads and sauces, seafood, delicious cold cuts and Hungarian salami, a medium-sized range of cheeses, vegetables, pickles, nuts and cream, as well as cake, pastries, tea, coffee, water and juices.

A savoury breakfast at the Buddha-Bar Hotel, Budapest. Yum!
A savoury breakfast at the Buddha-Bar Hotel, Budapest.
Yum!

At the Buddha-Bar Hotel, they had an à la carte menu too in which you could choose eggs of any style, smoked salmon, pancakes with blueberries and syrup, or porridge! They also had a self-service buffet with cold cuts, vegetables, sauces, pickles and cream. As well as a wide variety of cereal, fruit, yoghurt, muesli, bread, cake, pastries, and juices.

An assortment of cheese and cold cuts at the Aria Hotel Budapest.
An assortment of cheese and cold cuts at the Aria Hotel Budapest.

Very nice!

Cost – €0.00.

HUNGARIAN SOUPS:

My Hungarian goulash soup. Absolutely free of charge!
My Hungarian goulash soup. Absolutely free of charge!

This soup and it is soup, is different from German goulash stew!

As you can see, there’s pieces of beef, potatoes, carrots and is a little bit spicy.

I don’t really like spice but I cope!

Anyway, we got this soup at the NIKA restaurant not far from the Buddha-Bar Hotel. And it was rather nice. We got this soup as a result of the Hungarian established Budapest Sightseeing Hop-on-Hop-off company. Their package came with a booklet of free stuff!

Cost – €0.00.

Hungarian soup!
Hungarian soup!

We had this soup at a Hungarian restaurant called Gastland Bisztró. We went to the establishment in Oktogon.

The soups above are meat soup and a traditional goulash soup and there’s a third (3rd) one but I forgot to note down which soup it was. On doing some research, I figure it could have been bean or chicken soup!

Cost – Included in the price of the buffet which ranges from 1,190 Hungarian Forint or €3.80 depending on the day. We went on Sunday so the price jumped to 1,590 Hungarian Forint or €5.15 per person. In order to have the two-hour (2) buffet price, you are expected to order drinks if not, 200 Hungarian Forint is added to your bill, per person. Also, if you take too much food and leave a lot of waste, you will also be charged for it.

Don’t say that I didn’t warn you!

Cost: 4,450 Hungarian Forint or €14.50 for both of us on the buffet option and also a couple of drinks.

HUNGARIAN MAIN COURSES:

The awesome chicken paprika with pasta or gulyas at Bali Caffe Étterem in Budapest. ©Kobako.
The awesome chicken paprika with pasta or gulyas at Bali Caffe Étterem in Budapest.
©Kobako.

The very famous chicken paprika with some sort of Hungarian pasta or gulyas.

The pasta – gulyas was a little chewy and I probably wouldn’t rush for seconds, but the chicken paprika itself was quite nice!

Cost – part of our first (1st) night three-course dinner at the Bali Caffe Étterem which at 2,690 Hungarian Forint or €9.00 was reasonable!

Budapest Spring Fair 2015
Budapest Spring Fair 2015

We saw pork on a spit in quite a few places as people in this region, do like their pork. And pancake filled with a meat filling. And beef. LOL!

Cost – I haven’t a clue!

Hungarian koftas.
Hungarian koftas.

Cost – Food from the Mediterranean could be found everywhere between 700 – 1,000 Hungarian Forint or €2.25 – €3.25.

OTHER HUNGARIAN STUFF:

Hungarian Flatbread!
Hungarian Flatbread!

Hungary, like Germany, has a large variety of bread which is influenced by it’s Turkish, Greek and Italian neighbours. As such, there’s a lot of street food that can be sampled…!

Kilfi - traditional Hungarian bread!
Kilfi – traditional Hungarian bread!

As you can see, the kilfi is a traditional Hungarian bread which is sort of moon-shaped and can be found all over the country at no more than a few Florints.

Cost – 20-100 Hungarian Forint or €0.06 –  €0.35.

A buffet breakfast at the Aria Hotel, Budapest.
Cold cuts and seafood at the Aria Hotel, Budapest.

You can’t go to Hungary without sampling some of the local Hungarian salami. And yes, some varieties are spicier than others.

And chewy!

But they are rich in flavour.

Cost – Varies.

Chicken Feet - Raw!
Chicken Feet – Raw!

I’m on a roll so I’m going to go straight ahead and show you the other side of rummaging and wandering through the market hall.

Chicken feet!

Yes, batches of chicken feet all wrapped up in plastic for soup, stew, pets, coffee..?!

Don't look!
Don’t look!

Don’t look if you’re squeamish.

Above are batches of plastic bags full of chicken heads!

I haven’t a clue what is to be done with them. Any ideas?

HUNGARIAN DESSERT:

Hungarian Crêpe or Palacsinta.
Hungarian Crêpe or Palacsinta.

We shared the Palacsinta or Hungarian Crêpe, with very warm honey and jam.

It was quite delicious!

Yummy!

Cost – part of our first (1st) night three-course dinner at the Bali Caffe Étterem which at 2,690 Hungarian Forint or €9.00 was acceptable!

Creamy dessert from the Great Market Hall, Budapest.
Creamy dessert from the Great Market Hall, Budapest.

 I think it’s called a Kréme which is a creamy dessert with a caramel topping, a puff pastry layer, whipped cream and a custard filling. We took the cake that didn’t have chocolate in it!

Cost – 200 Hungarian Forint or –  €0.65.

Savoury or fruit in Budapest. Who knows?
Savoury or fruit in Budapest. Who knows?

These buns are probably more akin to bread than cake but who’s counting?

Cost – 100 to 200 Hungarian Forint or –  € 0.35 to €0.65.

Cheese cream cornets.
Cheese cream cornets.

It is what it says on the tin – cheese cream cornets.

Cost – 180 Hungarian Forint or –  €0.58.

A set of Hungarian doughnuts and sugary balls!
A set of Hungarian doughnuts and sugary balls!

Cream split doughnuts and Fánk which is a sugary sweet traditional Hungarian dumpling ball!

Cost – 100 to 200 Hungarian Forint or –  € 0.35 to €0.65.

Kürtőskalács - the traditional Hungarian speciality in Budapest.
Kürtőskalács – the traditional Hungarian speciality in Budapest.

One of the most recognisable Hungarian desserts world-wide, is Kürtőskalács.

Kürtőskalács is a Szekely festival Hungarian cake and is made from sweet yeast dough in which a strip is spun and then wrapped around a cone–shaped baking spit, and rolled in granulated sugar and other items!

Cost – 265 Hungarian Forint or –  € 0.35 to €0.65.

Summer berry goodness in Budapest, Hungary.
Summer berry goodness in Budapest, Hungary.

 And lastly, some good ‘ole fruit and summer berries picked a-fresh!

That’s it for now.

Cheers!
Cheers!

For more information about the Buddha-Bar Hotel, please contact: The Buddha-Bar Hotel.

This article is part-sponsored by the Buddha-Bar Hotel in Budapest and part-sponsored by the Aria Hotel Budapest and I received a 50% discount on the Budapest Card, but all opinions and the very enticing Hungarian meals that I chomped on, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

Stay tuned!

Next week, I’ll be writing about Prague.

Amazing!

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

If you’re not in Berlin right now, you should be!

August is cooling down!

Watch this space!

I don't eat chocolate but I know that most of you do. This is for you - chocolate heaven!
I don’t eat chocolate but I know that most of you do.
This is for you – chocolate heaven!

Have you ever had Hungarian food or drink? Would you choose to eat chicken feet, chicken Paprika or goulash soup?

See you in Berlin.

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