What's the best thing about living in Budapest?
This city is gorgeous, with stunning architecture and incredible food. But it's also much more than that. There is so much to do: from simple joys such as walking around and taking in the baroque and neoclassical architecture to soaking in the abundance of thermal baths. The city does have a little something for everyone from history and culture buffs to beer-guzzling hedonists. You find a surprise at every nook and corner.
In which area do you live?
The Hungarian capital is really two cities (ok, it's three actually, but I don't want you to get totally confused) – Buda and Pest, separated by the River Danube. They officially became one towards the end of the nineteenth century. While Buda is full of architecture and hills, Pest is more commercial and boasts a thriving night life. I live on the Buda side. This is the green and hilly side of the town. For me it's a must as I was raised here and this is my home district.
How would you describe the style of your home?
No idea... but you know what? I show some pictures of it, so you can describe it for yourselves.
Tell us about your commute.
I use public transportation if it's raining or snowing. I walk if the weather is fine. I love walking. But public transportation is pretty good in Budapest. I don't drive. Not at all. I don't even have a license.
Do you have a favourite coffee shop near the office?
We have lots of fantastic coffee shops around the office as we are right in the middle of the downtown. If I need to pick one, it's My Little Melbourne.
Describe a typical work day.
Wake up, morning routine, walk my dog, go to the office, coffee shop, work, work, lunch, work, work, work, go home, walk my dog, dinner with my love, work, talk, bath, read, go to bed, sleep.
Assuming you don't have to work late for once, where might you head for a midweek dinner out?
I prefer home cooking!
With so many restaurants in Budapest choosing a place to eat out is not an easy task. The city is undergoing a culinary revolution: new places open month by month. But these are my favourite ones:
Hungarian (with a French/Italian touch): Petrus Restaurant. A friendly neighbourhood bistro where Budapest meets Paris - both in the decor and the food. The chef-owner's passion is obvious and the cooking is rustic and authentic, with bold flavours and a homely touch.
Japanese: Okuyama No Sushi. The restaurant run by Okuyama-san, a real master from Tokyo. Perfect!
Indian: Punjab Tandoori. Do you like authentic Indian food? Well, this is the best one in the city. Lamb korma is superb! And do not judge it by their website...
If you could buy clothes from only one designer, who might it be?
Dunno. But probably it would be one of the 'Harajuku Superstars'.
Do you wear anything that has become your 'signature'?
Probably my glasses. They are Cutler & Gross of London. Love them.
If you were having trouble cracking a brief, what or who would you turn to?
I don't have a specific recipe for it. Inspiration can come from anywhere. Open your eyes and ears, try to see and hear everything and then memorise as much of them as you can. Use your imagination! And try to stay a child forever!
Can you recommend a little-known area of Budapest that visitors should go to?
The Bauhaus era left behind some very interesting and valuable buildings in Budapest. One of its centres can be found in the inner part of Buda, in the area called Pasarét. In 1931, according to the Stuttgart model, the capital city allowed for an entire street to be built by various designers and entrepreneurs sensitive to modern architecture. In 1931 representatives of the modern architecture style proposed to the Budapest Public Works Council to have a whole street designed by the best architects, based on an example in Germany, the Weissenhof Estate . The plan was implemented one year later. In spite of using small sites, an enthusiastic builder devoted to modern architecture carried out the outstanding plans in a magnificent way. There is a small square in the middle of the street, where a stone displays the names of all architects involved. There are altogether 22 villas, with a creek called Devil's Trench on one side. Definitely worth a visit!
What do you most look forward to doing at weekends?
Being together with my girlfriend and my doggo, and trekking around the surrounding hills of Buda together.
Please share insights into your screen time. Which apps, social media platforms and websites do you use most and how?
Pocket Whip app. And how? Like this: 'Wuh-Psssh'!
Finally... what is the question you would have liked us to ask?
What is the meaning of life? This would be that question. And why? Because I don't know the answer, but it's driving me mad...
Photos clockwise from top left: Bauhaus quarter, city centre facades, Istvan's home, weekend walk.
Main photo: Istvan outside My Little Melbourne.
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