|Liberty Bridge (taken from Buda)|
Budapest is a tale of two cities, quite literally: a city divided by the Danube: conservative and classical Buda on the East Bank bank and, over the water, Pest (where we were staying) - busy, buzzing and bourgeois (as one of the guides I picked up described it).
Basic Bár (aptly named) was a smashing little find tucked away in the Jewish Quarter. Selling locally brewed Hungarian beers (a great range of IPAs, cherry beers & dark beers) with luxuriant electronica (they love house music as much as they love lager, seemingly) booming out to its Bohemian clientele - not a tourist in sight, it really was the perfect spot.
In his broken English** the barman was able to tell me in words of one syllable just how good his beers were (and they were) and that he piped in John Digweed's "Transitions" (his London radio show/podcast) every week for his discerning punters. This was the one playing when we were in:
It took me back to the plethora of Fabric CDs I own - many with Digweed remixes - and Saturday nights in particular back at Medd Towers in the early noughties when I took charge of the decks and cooking (knobs and hobs) with Digweed, Sasha et al creating the perfect soundtrack to the best homemade pizzas in town, bar none. Ask anybody.
* With the exception of Pilsner Urquell Dark which hit the spot later in the week in Prague
** Still way better than my Hungarian
I never had you down as a house music aficionado John, you never cease to amaze me. It comes as no surprise at all though, to learn that your homemade pizzas are the business, having been lucky enough to enjoy a delicious soupçon of Medd Bread™ in the dim and distant.ReplyDelete
It sounds like you had a fine old time on your travels.
That's right, I seem to remember posting you a mini loaf of Medd's Bread when I was on secondment up north.Delete
Have you heard anything coming out of Ben Watt's Buzzing Fly label? He used to do a lot of DJ sets and pull out some really interesting remixes.
The holiday was FAB - I may write a separate travelogue at some point, though not sure it will appear here.
A cool beer, some cool sounds, in a cool place away from the tourists....and away from here... sounds perfect. Would love to learn a little more about life in Hungary too so will be very happy to hear it from you should you write that travelogue.ReplyDelete
C - You'd love it, I know you would. I'll gladly give you the details of how we booked it (easy peasy lemon squeezy) - it was a deal out of one of the Sunday papers. They handled everything, and the price they quoted was the price they charged - including all flights, taxi transfers, rail tickets, yadda yadda yadda.Delete
When we went to Prague in the mid '90s, my other half was amazed that his favourite premium lager was only 15p a pint - We went on a jaunt one day out into the countryside only to find the lager was 8p a pint there. The guide told us that we were being ripped off in Prague, the prices being just so high! No doubt things will have changed somewhat since those days but that was a very cheap trip.ReplyDelete
Would like to visit Budapest as I never have - I had this plan last year to journey through European cities in alphabetical order and started off with Amsterdam. As you know our plans are somewhat on hold at the moment but perhaps B should be for Bupapest.
Oops - Freudian slip there, health tourism being big business nowadays, maybe Bupa-pest it should be!ReplyDelete
This comment has been removed by the author.Delete
Alyson - I had already done Prague as a stag weekend a few years ago, but never Budapest. You and hubby should go.Delete
I'll gladly tell you how we did it, but you'll probably want to put your own spin on it. J