Europe

Lady Pi-Pi CROATIA

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he waiters and chef always open the gate with a smile and always know you’ll be back. On the last night as I’m half way up the steps it occurs to me why they might have chosen this lofty base camp for the restaurant – without the exercise of the steps, you would probably have to be air lifted out after every sitting.

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Cava Siglos

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It was 8.30pm. The hinterland when it is too late to drink horchata and too early to get lost in booze and tapas. Cava Siglos just looked too tempting, with its elegant glow radiating out, into Calle de Caballeros. My eyes adjusted to the twinkling delights in front of me as I watched the bar man muttering to himself, uncorking a fancy looking bottle of rioja The first row of spirits was a guided world tour of the history of gin. And above that towered a walled labyrinth of sherry, whisky, everything – all prize fighters of distilled majesty.

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Estado Puro Madrid

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I’m looking at a glass, filled with a rich, creamy foam. It looks and feels to the touch like an expensive coffee. Only I know it is filled with eggs. And caramelised onions. And liquidised potato. If ever there was such a thing as a post-modern tortilla español, this is definitely it. I plunge in and to my relief – and despite still definitely looking like a coffee – it tastes like the best omelette I’ve ever had.
Estado Puro is full of little surprises like that. This is Madrid tapas culture Kubrick style, a culinary Odyssey which keeps all the tradition and rich historic flavour of old Spain and playfully tips it on its head. It should be said that if there was ever a Spanish-themed space station, it would probably look like this.

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Gresham Palace Budapest

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Cocktails at the Gresham Palace, Budapest
reviewed by Matthew Dyson

Drinks:
Chilli Martini | 2400 HUF
Coriander Fizz | 2300 HUF
Elderflower Martini | 2400 HUF

Location:
1051 Budapest Széchenyi István tér 5, Hungary
Tel: 06 1 268-6000

“Darlings, I’m home”, he said, breezing through the opulent foyer and parading through the bar like a returning war hero. Dressed in a cricket blazer with dramatic gestures wafting in every direction, he took time to shake each and every hand of the attentive bar tenders. He slumped into an enormous leather chair. Behind him towered a wall of exotic spirits. Champagne was ordered by the bucket and a tray of Technicolor Hungarian sweets were soon presented. Each sugary delight tantalizingly lit under chandeliers.

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