The holidays have just started for me and I’ve not been doing much cooking, instead I’ve been sampling local delicacies and soaking up a little culture. Last week I visited Budapest, a short flight away to Europe and what a stunning place.
There is a certain opulence about the city with its grand buildings and architecture, surrounded by crisp fresh air it brought a feeling of romance whilst walking through the streets. The one thing about travelling in Europe is that I’m always pleasantly surprised!
I love open top buses, a great way of exploring…
So when in Budapest….Goulash is the famous dish to taste. A hearty meal with dumplings which reminded me of Italian gnocchi served with a meaty stew. It wasn’t to my tastebuds…BUT for those of you that like stews and meaty casseroles it’s flavourful, rich and worth trying….
A great food fact I came across is that Paprika is a common ingredient used in the local cuisine, the flavours are NOT bland that’s for sure! A lot of the menus I came across incorporated it into a lot of their dishes. I find that even just a little addition of seasonings such as paprika can lift a dish to another level. At home I have smoked paprika on hand, I love the intense flavour it can bring to my cooking.
A place worth visiting- The Great Market Hall hosts colourful fresh veg, fruits and souvenirs definitely worth visiting if only to admire the building.
There was a time when fine dining was always my first choice, but family eateries, local cooking and quirky is something I now seek out first. It’s not to say that the restaurants with the Michelin stars are not appreciated but it’s all about tasting ‘outside the box’ making the most of the new places, what’s out there year on year. One place that reminded me of London this Summer was ‘Karavan’ a trendy street food / social eating place similar to Pergola Paddington. For lunch I’d say a perfect place to visit whilst in Budapest if you are a fan of street food. The atmosphere is lively and the food is excellent. A perfect place to try out Hungary’s “national street food” called lángos…& goulash filled bread bowls.
So more about food…..
Amongst the streets there are so many cafes and local eateries that you will come across whilst walking around, that’s what I love about Europe…
Fresh pizza to fine dining….
Book Café – Full of grandeur, a hidden gem but in reality it’s a chilled out cafe tucked away at the back of a huge bookshop where you can indulge in a macchiato and scrumptious cakes, perfect on a rainy day for a Pitt stop or simply to just hang out on the comfy sofas in amazing surroundings where you can chit chat away.
My love for Pan Asian food took me to Buddha Bar.. the atmosphere was not as lively as some of the other branches I’ve visited but food was on point as always.
Mak bistro – a rustic look combined with a great fine dining Scandinavian experience.
Café Vian – Good food and great atmosphere