Budapest is a beautiful city, with wide boulevards and grand buildings decorated like wedding cakes, so it was apt that our latest ‘home away from home’ would be in one of the most splendid buildings of all, on one of the city’s most elegant streets, Andrássy Avenue.
Home to some of Budapest’s most magnificent late 19th century mansions and the handsome Hungarian State Opera House, Andrássy Avenue was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002, which gives you an indication of how remarkably beautiful its architecture is.
The boulevard is also one of Budapest’s swankiest shopping streets, lined with luxury boutiques like Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana, and chic restaurants and cafés. It’s undoubtedly a posh address, but fortunately there are still a handful of small supermarkets nearby and Budapest’s main shopping centre is just a ten-minute stroll away.
While our building boasts a façade decorated with statues and intricate ornamentation, and inside sweeping staircases, a colossal central courtyard, and an antique elevator, our compact apartment couldn’t be more contemporary. Though in keeping with the theme of the street, it’s very stylish.
Located right at the top of the building and looking over the rooftops and down into the courtyard, our two-bedroom apartment has been decorated in a minimalist Scandi style with lots of blonde and dark wood, polished floorboards, funky lighting, and a sleek kitchen. Colours are neutral – white, cream, chocolate, grey, and beige, with a splash of olive-green from the fluffy rug.
There’s an open plan living, dining and kitchen area, two bedrooms, and a good-size bathroom, plus there are foldout beds in the living area. There’s quality linen on the beds and the bedrooms have a nice feel. Our only complaint would be that if all the rooms are in use, there’s no room to open your luggage (we used the second bedroom), but there are plenty of drawers and cupboards, so unpacking would be the best option.
The kitchen is small but it magically seems to hold a big fridge, stove and dishwasher – everything brand new – and it’s been thoughtfully fitted out with lots of different types of glasses (it’s probably the most impressive glass collection we’ve seen yet), a white dinner set, good pots and pans, plenty of cooking utensils, including a good set of cooking knives, and a Nespresso coffee maker. It may be small, but it’s very well organized. Terence still managed to cook up a storm here!
In the living area there’s a flat screen television, DVD player, an excellent collection of movies that we made use of, an iPod docking station, and good wireless Internet access. And in the smart bathroom, there’s a nice bath and shower, and a washer-dryer.
The apartment is probably the most well thought out of any of the properties we’ve stayed in so far on our grand tour. With good heating that kept us warm and toasty when it was chilly outside, it was actually very hard to leave… but we did of course, and more on Budapest in posts to come…