Let’s talk about the amazing cake in Budapest

I like to think I’m open minded about different cultures, but if I’m really honest with myself there are some countries I feel like I just… connect with on a deeper level. The one factor they have in common isn’t spiritual or political or profound in any way – the answer lies in a simple appreciation for cake. An easy test is as follows: does a place have an abundance of shops selling mainly freshly baked cakes, or cafes where glorious cake eating is the main event, the reason d’etre, along with which one may also order an accompanying hot…

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Budapest Bread Festival: Carb-loading on Hungarian street food

I’m trying this thing at the moment where I basically eat a paleo caveman diet about 80 percent of the time, and it’s going surprisingly okay, but when I’m on holiday I like to eat. I’ve enjoyed two excellent carb and cheese-loading trips this year, which I’m feeling very nostalgic for right now. The first was to Budapest. I had an idea that it would be indulgent holiday full of heavy, hearty food – Hungary isn’t known for its delicate soups and salads after all — but then we stumbled on the bread festival and embraced the gluten on a…

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City of spas: The thermal baths of Budapest

I’ve already admitted to being fairly lazy when it came to exploring Budapest’s nightlife, but what of its culture? The city is an ideal location for a museum marathon, if that’s the kind of break you’re after, but to really understand Budapest’s culture you can quite happily eschew the lot — providing you’re willing to strip off. With thermal springs bubbling under the city, public bathing is very much in the water here, so to speak. It’s medicinal too… or at least so they say. To me all this ‘taking the waters’ business stinks of Georgian quackery. I can’t prove…

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Is Szimpla Kert the best bar in Budapest? Europe? The world, even?

  I’m sad tonight. I’m sad because tonight is one of the few nights this week I’m not propping up the bar in Szimpla Kert, the most famous of Budapest’s ruin pubs. These grungy, mostly outdoor bars have sprung up all over the city’s Jewish district in buildings that have fallen into disrepair. Szimpla Kert was the first and is still the most famous of them, but is it also the best? Obviously, I don’t live in Budapest, so it’s a question I’m not really in a position to answer – but I could have tried at least. I’m a…

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