Picture a small, intimate Italian square where you can meet like-minded people. Take inspiration from meaningful conversations, stunning outfits, and more.
Budapest’s gastronomy and nightlife scene has never been as exciting and colourful as it is today. We now have access to creative and innovative offerings, whether it be in a dark and dreamy boutique bar hiding in a tiny alley, a rooftop bar with glorious views, or the mystical high-end hotel bars. But where are the most exciting bars in Budapest, the highest standards of elegance, style and quality? Where are the best bartenders, who mix the best Daiquiris, Cosmopolitans or Margharitas to deliver exceptional flavour and add the spice to our night?
The Boutiq'Bar is a real concept for cocktail-fans. Their professionalism is not just well known amongst locals, but is recognised by international connoisseurs as well. It is no coincidence that this bar, managed by Zoltan Nagy, appeared in ‘The best 50 bars around the world in 2012’ by Drinks International magazine, considered the Bartender's Bible. This bar uses seasonal ingredients and offers a gourmet experience. The internationally successful team provides the best, high-quality service for its guests. Only fresh vegetables, fruits and purees are used for the drinks, and they have an incredible 300 different distillates on the counter,a gastronomical miracle in itself.
2. Black Swan
The chicest bar in Budapest can be found on the corner of Klauzal street. Behind the velvet curtains we can find an exceptionally stylish interior, and an immersive, mystical atmosphere. Nothing is impossible in Black Swan. They have at least 30 different variations of tequila, of which some are quite rare. The appetisers you can enjoy alongside your drinks include oysters and lamb ribs.
A real gem in an underground environment. Madach square is well-known as the central meeting point for the creative forces of the capital. BarSide has made its place within this milieu and is building a reputation for being unconventional. They offer a strong Old Fashioned and a spicy Mai Tai, but besides ordering drinks at their bar, you can buy professional bartending materials, ingredients and personalised aprons in their shop.
4. Blue Fox
The Blue Fox is not just for the standard uptight, sitting-at-the-hotels-bar crowd - they are open for all. The bar is not exclusive to the guests of this luxury hotel and accepts walk-ins too. They expertly maintain a high-quality experience, showcased through the most provocative mixology to serve popular drinks such as the Negroni and Moscow Mule. The bar of the Kempinski Hotel shines not only because of the flavours constructed using ingredients almost impossible to get anywhere else, but also the innovative presentation of their drinks: one of our favourite cocktails, the Oblivion, is served in a handmade bottle formed using sugar on a lazy Saturday night!
WarmUp opens new doors in the world of cocktails. This place does not have a menu for guests to select their favourites, instead you are asked to answer some tricky questions, after which a personalised cocktail will be served by the most professional and creative mixologists in town. Only high quality and rare ingredients are used, and an example of their innovation is their use of cornflower to create new and interesting flavours. This little bar and their most delicious masterpieces can be found in Nagy Diofa street and guests are able to observe the creative process, which is an extra fun factor.
At first glance, Sprezzatura seems like a very new, fresh trend to untrained eyes, but the use of this phrase stretches back to the 15th century. A renaissance writer named Baldassare Castiglione often used it and described it as "some kind of nonchalance, for which the goal is to hide all the wilfulness, as everything a man does should look very spontaneous and without any effort."
It is interesting that this effortless carelessness doesn't really fit into the fashion of the time. Therefore, perhaps the word "Sprezzatura" should not simply be used to describe a fashion trend, but rather a lifestyle, an attitude, or the playfulness that can be seen at the highest levels of elegance, avoiding any kind of effort. It is a form of artificial naturalism which is used by the greatest masters of streetstyle.
We can tell by the word Itself, that it is a popular tool of expression for the Italians. It describes the coolness and studied carelessness of style, the know-how of wearing matching pieces both in style and colour without looking like we are trying too hard. As the "carelessness" combines the mixture of different styles and trends, the sprezzatura can be found in sophistication and uniformity.
It is important to find balance and restraint. For example, we cannot wear a bespoke suit with hiking boots, however a loose belt or tie is a more significant piece of this style. An unbuttoned shirt, a colourful suit, or a high quality T-shirt with a bespoke suit can be a hit too. This lifestyle doesn't have a universal set of rules, although we must keep a few things in mind if we would like to follow it and preserve the "sprezzatura" feeling.
1. be striking or bold but not flashy
2. It is important to know the time and place for sprezzatura
3. it doesn't mix styles, as sometimes less is more
4. you must wear it with confidence
If we have the basic pieces; a high-quality suit, shirts and leather shoes, we have what we need to experiment with this very modern and also classic style to go against the conventional rules. The essence is the restraint and the respect towards the style. If this is given, we just have to find the balance between cool and nonchalant that suits us best.