Budapest was never on my list of places to visit but it was thanks to a lowcostholidays competition that I actually got to see the city, and it was then that I realised it should have been on my list years ago. It’s so beautiful and historic and I left after 4 days knowing that there was so much more to see than I had managed during my time there.
Phil and I arrived in Budapest on Thursday evening and walked from our hotel in Pest over Elisabeth Bridge to Buda in search of dinner having decided on 21 Magyar Vendéglő. Described by Lonely Planet as having an “innovative take on Hungarian classics” and home of the most delicious wine I’ve had in a long time (Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling all in one – can’t go wrong) this restaurant was a precursor to what was ahead on day 1 of the Hungarian adventure.
After dinner we walked back to Pest and came across the Four Seasons Hotel; a palatial building on the banks of the Danube which screams success and wealth but at the same time is much more welcoming than it is intimidating. With room for another drink we went to the Lobby Lounge where I ordered my usual cocktail, a Cosmopolitan, while Phil went for a Strawberry Cheesecake (drink, not dessert. And not the most manly of decisions he’s ever made). I had a sip of his and it tasted exactly as you would imagine; a cheesecake infused with alcohol then zizzed up in a Vitamix. Happiness in a glass.
This place is old money beautiful with class and elegance beyond anything I’ve seen in a hotel before. The pianist swayed to the sounds of his own tunes while the high ceilings provided the perfect acoustics and setting to the small audience that had gathered.
Along with our drinks came the most sophisticated bar snacks ever.
It was approaching 10:30/11pm when we arrived and I know from my own experience working in hotels that come this time of night you want to hit the high road but the reception staff were more than obliging in allowing us in despite not being guests and the bar staff were kind in creating impeccable cocktails to round off our first night in Budapest.
We weren’t there for a huge amount of time but I did have a quick nose around the bar and lobby, so below is a snapshot of the hotel and the glory that awaits every guest and visitor.