Way Down in Budapest

It was said that George Ezra had never been to Budapest when he wrote this catchy little tune; just a little fun fact for you all to start my post about this amazing city.

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So, if you follow me on any form of social media you will know that I spent last weekend in glorious happiness in Budapest, Hungary. I was lucky enough to be chosen with a great bunch of colleagues to spend the weekend there as a reward for our hard work; as much as I would love to become a full-time blogger clearly my day job isn’t so bad!! I think I am starting to get over my fear of flying as I wasn’t totally terrified and by the second complimentary gin and lemonade I was practically enjoying the flight – who’d have thought! The company had organised for us to have a lovely woman called Jude arrange the trip for us so we had a full itinerary and tour guide the whole time, which is something that definitely makes the difference to a trip – no wandering aimlessly around finding out where to go and what to do. Her job is literally to organise trips for businesses and then go on the trips with them and make sure everything is sorted and people have a good time! What a job! If anyone would like to pay me for organising their holiday and getting drunk with them for the weekend i’m totally available!

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From the moment we arrived in Pest (one side of the river is Buda and the other Pest) I really did fall in love with the place. That is not me trying to be all romantic and ‘doesn’t this sound nice to write that I fell in love with the place’ I literally instantly loved it. We stayed in Pest’s Jewish quarter and everywhere you looked you could feel the history dripping from the architecture and it has such a nice vibe it everywhere you go. Obviously the fact it was glorious sunshine the whole 3 days we were there probably did help too but whatevs. It would be the perfect place to go for a loved up weekend away with your boo, I plan to go back with Dan as soon as I can!

We got there around midday Friday and went straight to a lovely restaurant called Kiosk. Think cocktails with fresh ingredients, a menu which makes it impossible to pick just one thing to eat and an interior to make the coolest east London hipster feel like an old woman in a nightclub. I had a cocktail which had the much anticipated Hungarian tipple of Palinka in it. This stuff is a spirit like no other, it must be tried if you ever go here – just don’t smell it first before you neck it if you have a shot – you.will.gag.  However, my drink at Kiosk was a long cocktail with lemon juice, elderflower and also oddly enough, gooseberry jam. I’m such a sucker for a sweet cocktail so it’s safe to say I was in heaven at this point!

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After several cocktails and a big ole plate of pasta we headed out for a walk in the streets of Pest. As we wandered, everywhere you looked there were little bars, cafes and lanes of food stalls and they all just looked so cool. I wasn’t really expecting this as normally you don’t think of places such as Hungary as being hip and trendy (god I sound like an old woman) but it really was. If you enjoy a shoreditch vibe, head here! The buildings were stunning too, I literally got neck ache from walking around looking up so much as there was so much to gawp at! It is beautiful.

In the evening it was time for a river cruise along the Danube and man oh man didn’t I feel fancy. We had a four course meal whilst sailing down the river taking in the sights and we had a man playing an actual white piano whilst a woman serenaded us, just like on the films. It was cheesy and bloody marvellous!! A bottle of prosecco later and we were all ready to leave the boat and head on to the absolute best night out I have had in years in a ‘ruin pub’.

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If you haven’t heard of them you must google ‘Budapest ruin pubs’ right now. I am literally urging you to leave my page (BUT COME BACK) and take a look. Long story short there is a law in Hungary that if a building is abandoned anyone can take it over and set up a pub until something is done with said building. Something like that anyway. So this particular pub, Szimpla, has become a permanent fixture in Budapest and it is amazing. The buzz of the different people, the different rooms and sections, all the different music, the colours, the plants – just everything. I honestly can’t describe how good it was or why it was so good, it just was. I urge everyone to go at least once, you wouldn’t regret it. I didn’t manage to get a good enough picture to share with you as it was so dark with just fairy lights mainly and a big projector for light, apologies.

On the Saturday we spent the day in the best possible way you could ever think of for a group of English people away in the sun in Europe together – Beer biking. Once again, please google this and book immediately. So you all sit around a table on bike saddles, you all pedal the table around the streets with someone driving it and there is a beer barrel onboard which is connected to a tap and one of you stands in the middle of everyone and serves the pints. This is steered around the city and you get a tour of the place whilst getting on the beers! Also, there is a speaker on board and the driver plays whatever songs your heart desires. I don’t think I need to say anything else about this, you can imagine what a scream it was! Much to our amusement they do tend to cause traffic jams and you have to be prepared for people to video you and take pictures of you as you pass them on the street on the bike!

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I won’t go into every detail of everything that we did whilst in Budapest as I have already been going on a bit, I know. I just feel it is my duty to share with you all the amazing time I had, so you are all encouraged to go and do the same! I had never really spoken to anyone who went before I did, meaning I had no pre-conceived ideas and I was so suprised at how much I loved it.

So, I think the moral of my post is this: Get the F off my blog and onto bookings.com. Pronto.

Just Hollie xoxo

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