If you read my post earlier this week on what to do and see in Budapest you will be expecting this instalment and second part of it, this time on what to eat and where to stay. I by no means got to try lots as we were only there for 3 days and 2 nights but we crammed in as much as possible.
On our hunt for the ruin bars which are pretty famous in Budapest we found Mazel Tov a stunning place set back behind big wooden castle like doors down a quiet street. We were looking for Szimpla Kert which is classed as the must-see ruin bar in the city but I don’t think I could have loved somewhere more than Mazel Tov. We went in for
lunch and drinks on the Saturday and everything about it was divine.
The décor was so welcoming with draped lights and exposed brick, old wooden tables leading out into an outside greenhouse style back with a great bar which would be perfect for the summer months. We sat near the back with a great view of the whole place with a live singer playing current music but to a slow and relaxing beat. Everything about this place was perfect.
We began with drinks, beer was Jonny’s choice as it was so cheap less than £2 for a pint and I started on the cocktail menu a Limoncello one to start followed by an elderflower number which was a firm favourite and was my chosen drink when we also couldn’t resist and headed back late in the evening for drinks because the bar was the perfect fit for people who just want to enjoy time together.
The food was exquisite Jonny had duck skews with a beetroot salad and I went for a chicken thigh pita with fresh salad and chips. It was so delicious and the colours and tastes were vibrant and explosive. In fact, the best meal I had all holiday which is saying something for someone who usually won’t go near chicken thigh.
If you love Instagram the chances are you will have seen a shot of the famous Gelarto Rosa – Rose ice creams, I did not have a care in the world when it came to thinking about how cold it was outside. A girl need’s ice cream especially when it is this instagramable and it did not disappoint. I opted Nutella and pistachio and I felt like a mini mission for ice cream was complete here.
My colleagues who had been to Budapest a few years back stayed in the Boscolo hotel and recommended going to the New York Café which is located inside the hotel but is open to the public. We went at midday so avoid that if possible as there was a que but it was worth it. It is one of those icon tourist locations and it was so grand and decadent. The detailing everywhere makes it one of the most beautiful cafes in the world. It used to be the home to ‘Nyugat’ magazine which is a Hungarian magazine renowned to be the centre of Hungarian literary life.
Jonny sipped on a homemade lemonade which we found to be on a lot of menus so may be something that they are ‘known for’ and I had a coconut hot chocolate it was very rich and sadly a little cold but the cake made up for that I had a hazelnut chocolate cake with touches of gold and Jonny had an apple tart with ice cream still warm too and to be honest I was a little jealous of his!
While Jonny got the bill I took a little walk around and snapped the most grand Christmas tree which you can see on my Instagram @LemonaidLies through the day at intervals they have a violinist and small orchestra playing to set the ambiance.
We also ate at ES bistro off fashion street it was the most expensive meal of the holiday but was lovely we wanted a break from more ‘picky’ style food for our main dinner on the Saturday so went for here after reading good reviews. It is set inside a hotel but the food was lovely here I has the best skillet of shrimp and a bowl of truffle mash because anything with truffle has me. It was lovely but was not the best but was good to fill a hole.
While browsing round the Christmas markets we snacked on lots of bits I had a Lángos a Hungarian flatbread topped with grated cheese and sour cream. To be honest It was not for me the flatbread had a pancake taste but was thick and too much so I ate the chees ad sour cream because I can’t let cheese go to waste. We sampled the mulled wine that fills the markets which was nice but one cup was good to share. Jonny however got the best deal for less than £5 (converted) he got a gorgeous beef goulash served in the bread bowl, it was melt in the mouth. It came with a meat stuffed cabbage parcel which was so unexpectedly good and thrown in for free a big slice of cherry strudel. I helped him with this all of course!
We stopped of for drink in a number of little bars across the city including a few down the cutest arcade cut through and did our own min bar crawl though a lot more civilized just as Jonny and I!
If you are looking to put down a base in a great accessible part of the city Hotel Parliament was fantastic. It was recently renovated and it is such a high standard for a great price. It is quirky and modern and has a boutique feel to it filled with bright colours and off the wall prints. The rooms were large and so spacious for the two of us, though no iron is provided in the room and you must pop down to the ironing room to do any bits you need. Though free Wi-Fi, they have you covered!
The breakfast was really nice for a hotel breakfast, a choice of hot food, yogurts, fruit and granolas and a good selection of pastries, meats, cheeses and juice. You can even squeeze your own if you’re in the mood or just stick with a coffee. In the day time they have a seating area where you can pick up a newspaper, take water or make yourself one of their hot teas or lemonade and add a dash of cinnamon and other spices and delights to spruce up you drink to warm you up as a break from the cold. They do also have a bar that is open in the evening but we didn’t get to try this nor the free of charge spa fitted with a little jacuzzi in case you just want half hour to yourself. We were not in the city for long so didn’t take advantage of everything so as we could pack in as much as possible.
What do you think, will you be going to Budapest any time soon?