Sunday, April 15, 2012

Entente Cordiale

We numbered nine. And together we represented five different nations - Germany, Holland,  Hungary, the United States of America, the United Kingdom - each with its own character, culture and individuality.

the vineyard where we gathered for a picnic on the slopes above Lake Balaton
  
It had been Horst's idea. But then it was his vineyard. How splendid it would be that we should all, on Easter Monday, repair to the vine-clad slopes over and above the Lake Balaton to enjoy an 'alfresco' luncheon 'en plein-air' [if we may be permitted to borrow from other absent languages]. So it was that we assembled, in something of an easterly breeze, so to speak, outside of his wonderfully romantic boros-pince, wine cellar, amongst the blossom of the wild cherries and where, basking on sun-warmed stones, lizards slept the afternoon away.

the exterior of the boros-pince which is built, at the rear, into the hillside

a contented lizard dreams away the April afternoon

Was there ever such a picnic? Dutch and Hungarian cheeses, the blackest of olives, patés, kolbász, salads, delicious tasting breads, all of which were accompanied with Horst's own 2010 Olaszrizling and then, treat of treats, perfection indeed, an icy clear, pale pink Rosé. And such laughter, merriment and joy, with stories and tales in abundance, as the April sun slowly sank over the distant waters of the lake and a far away clock chimed the passing of the hours.

inside the cellar, Horst draws off more wine from the barrel

Such small wine cellars are not uncommon in Hungary. Built into the hillside they provide a store for the wine and a simple kitchen where, by tradition, food may be prepared for those who work the land. Horst's is no exception but, adding to the simple charm, he has chosen to decorate the walls with a collection of rustic plates gathered from his travels in neighbouring countries.

just some of the many plates which decorate the walls

However, dusk settles quickly at this time of year and all too soon the company divided, each to go his/her separate way. For us, though, the day was not yet done for the evening promised time with more friends, artist, musician and scholar, Jan, and his delightful Hungarian wife, Judit, just returned home to their village house from an Easter retreat.

late afternoon showing posts in place to support the vines

But that is another story!

228 comments:

  1. Dear Jane and Lance
    Thank you so much for your sweet words in my hard time ! I am thinking that some people they have me in their though .I am so glad to have visit the Lake Balaton and you have fun .
    Have a nice sunlight Sunday
    Olympia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we had enormous fun in the countryside. We did not go to the lake this time, but we have previously and it is very beautiful indeed.

      Delete
  2. What a lovely way to spend the day.
    Good friends, food and wine storage with a kitchen built into the hillside.
    What a great place for a lunch.

    cheers, parsnip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Gayle, absolutely a perfect spot for lunch. It is all very simple but with such magnificent views and the company of good friends what could be better?

      Delete
  3. What a delight....good food, ( and wine ) good company, a beautiful place, and a purpose for gathering. The "story" and the photographs are lovely. I am sure you had a wonderful time. J.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The whole place is so beguiling that we are so tempted to look for a little vineyard to call our own....but, the work!!!

      Best, perhaps, to simply go and enjoy the food and wine in good company as you say!!

      Delete
  4. 'So it was that we assembled, in something of an easterly breeze, so to speak, outside of his wonderfully romantic boros-pince, wine cellar, amongst the blossom of the wild cherries and where, basking on sun-warmed stones, lizards slept the afternoon away.'

    I want to tuck these words into the pocket of my heart and take them out whenever I wish to feel -- without equivocation -- that all will be well, all will be well, all manner of thing will be well.

    A post to savor, dear friends. I think I actually felt that breeze, somehow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How really sweet of you, dear Suze, and this coming from a writer, such as yourself, has added meaning. And, of course, all will be well. That is our belief.

      Delete
    2. I saw similar little wooden wine cellars in the region around Eger when I visited Hungary in 1994 and 1997, but never had a name for them. I wanted to buy one, just one, and a few hectares of vines and never ever come back to the UK...

      The geese farms were summat else as well! Noisy & hectic, amazing to witness, especially when their feed was being strewn about.

      High spot of both trips was a day and night spent in Sopron, a baroque marvel, as small and perfect as an old jewellery box.

      Delete
    3. Oh yes, we too have fallen in love with the idea of a small wine house, but the work involved is really too much!!

      How very interesting that you visited Hungary in 1994 and 1997, we are certain that you would notice many changes since that time. Eger and Sopron are both very, very attractive towns and a trip to Eger by train to sample the wines is a favourite activity of ours.

      We are delighted that you have found our blog and found the time to leave such a kind comment. We hope to welcome you back in the future and, in the meantime, we shall be seeking you out!!!

      Delete
  5. A most wonderful way to spend Easter Monday! And while I would have left all the olives and the wine to you, I would have feasted merrily on everything else, especially bread and cheese. Afterwards, I would have joined the lizard, basking in the sun.
    In our region, it was way too cold for a picnic. I had the heating turned up and made sure I was never too far away from it on that day.
    Some of these plates look Bulgarian to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the truth is to be told, Meike, it was slightly on the chilly side but we all pretended otherwise and, out of the wind, it was tolerable! The breads which were provided were in fact wonderful and we did indeed rather greedily feast on them.

      Ye, you are probably correct about the plates which are collected from all over. Certainly Romania was mentioned.

      Delete
  6. Hi Jane and Lance, what a beautiful way to spend Easter Monday - with dear friends, delicious locally produced food and in a glorious setting. Whenever I head to a rural location, I feel healthier, centered and more in tune with nature. A rustic life seems so rich and perfect to me - like reading about Patience Grey and Elizabeth David. I really enjoyed reading this post and I hope you had a wonderful day. Fifi x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Fifi. We are so pleased that you enjoyed the post and it is so kind of you to say.

      An escape from the city is a real treat for us and we did, as you may imagine, have a wonderful, relaxing time.

      Elizabeth David was a great friend of friends of ours; very sadly we never met her.

      Delete
  7. This all sounds utterly, utterly idyllic..........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is, Cathy, exactly as it was. And we are now cherishing the memory.

      Delete
  8. You seem to lead such a healthy life! Country side, fresh air, vineyard, picnic...hmm...that's a dream come true. I wish one day I will be one of the lucky ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do very much enjoy being out in the fresh air and the countryside last weekend was looking absolutely lovely. And Horst's private vineyard is wonderful!

      Delete
  9. Hello Jane and Lance,

    This seems like the perfect day in the countryside. Often the nice things are verry simple. It should also be nice to have all these differed cultures at the same place at the same time.

    Have a wonderful sunday
    Jérôme

    P.S.Thank you for the last comment on my blog, it touched me :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was, as you say, one of those absolutely perfect days, Jérome, with an interesting mix of different nationalities.

      Enjoy your weekend too.

      Delete
  10. April has been delightful here, sofar, but I can see the signs of a looming autumn and then winter :( This is when Joe and I talk about having a studio flat in the northern hemisphere and a larger flat in the southern hemisphere. NO WINTER!

    I envy you the sun and the rosé. How about a live musical trio, in amongst the vines :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The thought of having somewhere to retreat to during the worst of the winter is very appealing at times.

      The wine was very good but, alas, no music. Now that would have completed the day.

      Delete
  11. What a lovely way to spend time with friends and each other. It certainly is food for the soul to be outside enjoying simple pleasures such as these! X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was a most enjoyable day - one of life's simple pleasures which will be remembered for a long time to come.

      Delete
  12. Lou Reed's Perfect Day came immediately to my mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If we could have sound tracked the post then, yes, it would have been perfect!

      Delete
  13. The perfect way to spend Easter Monday, and the picnic sounds delicious, I haven't yet had breakfast and the sound of it is making me very hungry. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was indeed a perfect Easter Monday with good friends, delicious food and excellent wine.

      We shall very much hope to welcome you here again, perhaps as a Follower?!!

      Delete
  14. Special memories are made of moments like these, to hold and to cherish. This is when our blogs come into their own. They are now captured forever, and you can visit and feel the experience again whenever you like, and you have kindly shared it with all of us. Lovely April images in Hungary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do agree with you, Rosemary. Indeed, our posts, much in the same way as your own, are for our own pleasure and to record events in our lives. We are, of course, delighted when people are kind enough to take an interest and to comment.

      Delete
  15. Super way to spend a day in such a beautiful location. Good cheese -- Dutch of course ;-) -- and chilled rosé equals a large 'YUM' in our experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Dutch cheese, the name of which escapes us now but we are certain you would know, was thoroughly excellent!! As was the company of our Dutch friend whose partner is a Hungarian set designer for film and television and working across Europe.

      Delete
  16. how utterly gorgeous.....what a delicious picture you paint I do so love a picnic....weather permitting!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The weather was all right - quite warm in the sun but a very chilly wind. But we all pretended otherwise whilst silently freezing!

      Delete
  17. Dear Jane and Lance,
    What and absolutely charming local as well as the post that brought it to us, marvelous. How often are we able to enjoy all the sensory stimulation at once, truly you two must have felt you had been whisked into an imaginary landscape for a brief time. – gary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Gary, you really always do say the most kind things and we are, we confess, always totally charmed by your very generous, and much appreciated, comments.

      Delete
  18. For some reason I thought the weather would have been a little chilly for an entirely 'perfect' afternoon... but then again one cannot help the weather. The lizard must have liked it well enough to emerge. Thankyou for these glimpses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Christine, we were also somewhat surprised to see the lizard for it was not that warm. Possibly, at the side of the building, it had found a sheltered spot.

      Delete
  19. One of my card sentiments reads "Good times, good friends, make happy memories" and seems apt for this particular post Jane and Lance. Some of my favourite times are spent outside on a sunny day with a nip in the air. Perfect for putting on an extra layer - or two - and heading out for a brisk walk.

    Exactly the conditions that prevail as I write. Off now to don my walking shoes - but no picnic basket in sight I'm afraid!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Isobel we do love picnics outdoors and, perverse as it may seem, our most memorable ones have been undertaken in far from perfect conditions weather wise.

      The message of 'good times, good friends,make happy memories' is so absolutely true and would certainly sum up our Easter Monday perfectly!!

      Delete
  20. I can't think of a nicer way to spend an afternoon and evening Jane and Lance.......and, the venue, perfect....A vineyard no less. Your description of the day makes me wish that I could have been a member of that little group !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do so hope, Jacqueline, that one day you will make a visit to Hungary and we shall be able to share such delights with you in person.

      If we owned one of these small wine houses, we should have to include a bed as well as a kitchen since, after an afternoon of wine drinking, it is absolutely hazardous to try and make one's way home downhill!!!!

      Delete
  21. Not by any means the first of your posts that I've read (I must sometime go and find those red chairs I'm sure I recall) but the first, I think, that I've commented upon. It's going to be good getting to know a bit more about a country of which I have seen very little in pictures and nothing in person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hungary has many hidden treasures and we so hope that you will enjoy seeing them through our eyes.

      Yes, we did write a post involving red chairs. They date from the late 1950s, were made in Hungary, and are in our small apartment that we rent out for holidays.

      Delete
  22. Oh la la la LA! After a perfect evening at the jazz club, here we are, with exactly a dream afternoon!! Heaven, pure heaven the idea of a picnic (and what yummy things on offer!) with a friend's wine in the sun and happy conversation. Sigh. I am so thrilled for you both that you are having such high times after a long and troublesome winter. Much, much deserved and I am fully confident that you are making the most of this spring.
    With much love,
    Heather

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Heather, how very kind you are. Perhaps you can sense the urgency in our words to make the very most of things which have not been possible for the past two years. And yes, the afternoon was a delight to all the senses and one that we are certain will be repeated in the summer sun. Perhaps then, on that occasion, we shall stay on the hillside and sleep beneath the stars?!!!!!

      Delete
  23. it sounds and looks wonderful! i love that little lizard too, and those plates are really pretty on the wall.x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is the first time that we have seen a lizard at such close quarters and he/she was dazzlingly green in the sunshine.

      Horst's plates have been collected all over Europe and, yes, we agree, they are so pretty!!

      Delete
  24. You couldn't ask for more..and we are loving how you share it with us..so alot more nations to appreciate this day with you.thank you, have a lovely week.
    greetings from South Africa
    Colette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Colette, how marvellous it would have been for South Africa to have been represented at the lunch too!! But, nevertheless, it is a joy to be sharing our day with readers worldwide today!!!

      Delete
  25. Ahhhh, your life sounds blissful! ENJOY every moment.
    Di
    X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Dianne, we are making up for lost time and do intend to seize the day whenever and wherever possible!!!

      Delete
  26. Thanks so much for sharing this with us Jane and Lance! Now you've had Canada there as well.
    The plate collection is lovely and what a wonderful group of friends. It just sounds like a perfect afternoon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And, it could only have been better if Canada had been represented by you in person, dearest Dani!

      The plate collection, of which we only showed a small part, is indeed extremely attractive, gathered over many years from all across Europe. Since seeing them, we have been looking at ways to copy this idea for ourselves!

      Delete
  27. Those grape vines exert a strong fascination, especially with the green grass beneath and those mountains in the background. There is an immemorial quality here; it is easy to imagine the scene five hundred or a thousand years ago looking exactly the same.
    --Road to Parnassus

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly so! We can easily imagine that we were enacting a scene that has been played many thousands of times before us and, one hopes, will continue to do so long into the future.

      Delete
  28. Once again I am transported to your world and left more content for the visit. This is how I imagine I would live if I actually had any time or...well, taste. I don't suppose you'd be as enchanted by a true tale of my trip to Taco Bell with my family. sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now, there you are completely wrong, dearest Helen. We are absolutely captivated by all things American and, never having visited, so many things hold a total fascination for us. A trip to Taco Bell[and, we must confess that we have no idea what this is]with you and your family would, we are certain, be a source of great interest and an experience we should be bound to talk about long after it is just a memory!!

      Delete
  29. Sounds like quite an international day in the country and lots of fun. Take care Diane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it felt very international. So many different cultures and personalities together in one place was a rare and delightful experience.

      Delete
  30. This post is like a breath of fresh air. I've heard so much about Lake Balaton. The place seems magical. And I noticed how many resemblances there are between Hungarian traditional art and Romanian traditional art. We share some common grounds in history. Jane and Lance csók és szerelem :).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right. There are so many areas of common ground which we delight in seeing in your own blog posts. Hungarian and Romanian Food, Art and Culture mirror each other in so many ways and yet it is also fascinating to see the ways in which each has its own particular styles and tastes.

      Delete
  31. Wonderful way to spend the day. You describe it so beautifully, I felt like was eavesdropping on your conversations.
    And what's really lovely about your day is that your circle of friends was so diverse, so many different countries and cultures, yet having so much in common.
    Just lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment. We are so pleased that you felt in some small way included in the conversation and the sense of community that we all shared on that day.It is, as you say, very special when a diverse group of people come together to share in the simple pleasures of life. Our common humanity is what binds us.

      Delete
  32. What a lovely gathering, Jane and Lance, and how delightful to spend such an Easter Monday. The setting, the food, wine and friends made for a perfect day. I must admit, I'm a trifle green with envy -smile- but your post is almost as good as being there. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But, one day, dearest Sandra, we know that we shall meet up again to spend such a time together. We shall try next time to arrange a vineyard with wine on tap since we missed out on that last time!!!!!

      Delete
  33. What a splendid outing with friends in a beautiful place! I especially like the lizard's take on the day.

    I have friends who recently moved to a home sounded by vineyards in the rolling hills of wine country in South Australia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The lizard was a huge surprise as we have never seen one at such close quarters before. He/She was really enjoying sunbathing and was even prepared for a photograph to be taken without moving an inch.

      Your friends' home sounds idyllic. But, such temptation to have such a ready supply of wine on tap!

      Delete
  34. What a beautiful experience. You describe it so well. I am glad you found my blog and now I have found yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Lisa. We are so pleased that you have found us too and hope to welcome you back again here soon.

      Delete
  35. Cherry blossom, wine...and a lizard! Perfect.

    Accustomed as you no doubt are to the British picnic the easterly breeze held no terrors for you.

    And then music in the evening...what a wonderful Easter celebration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, a brisk breeze holds no fear for us, although we did get rather windburnt in the process. But, the wine, food and good company more than compensated for the chilly wind!!!!

      Jan makes Hungarian zithers and so it was a real treat for him to play for us on one of his own instruments.

      Delete
  36. Dear Jane and Lance,

    Your descriptions, along with the pictures make me feel like I just watched an enchanting foreign film. The boros-pince stole my heart.

    xo,

    Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The boros-pince stole our hearts too, we have to confess. Horst signed the contract to buy the place after drinking too much wine, waking to find out what he had done. We could easily see ourselves doing the very same!

      Delete
  37. A bit of heaven, there is no doubt. Though I can't add another to the nations included from here, I am tremendously happy to be able to participate as another from the US, at least in this cyber-way. the repast sounds divine--now if only we could devise a way to pass on tastes and aromas over the internet--though better to visit "live," I think, and we are in fact intent on saving our pennies so as to make good on our dream to come to Budapest next spring. Oh, and those lovely plates on the wall!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, we are absolutely certain that you will have a wonderful time when you come to Budapest. Spring is such a delightful time to visit and, of course, it is a very musical city. There will, we are sure, be much to amuse, charm and entertain you and, perhaps, steal your heart!!

      Delete
  38. Ahhhh---I've longed always for a lunch party beneath/beside/ in any proximity to the vines, with a long table of rustic viands and charming company. Last night was a great saturation of such, with the gravelly charm of Bourdain at various tables in Sicily, and now YOUR lovely afternoon.

    I do believe that though we have wild grapevines taking over the back yard and heading at a great rate for the house, my own simple attempt at such must be set next to the big pots of tomato plants when the Summer brings them to their great heights.

    Just a lovely read. Did you get pictures of the table?

    rachel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did get pictures of the table and the guests but were sworn to keeping them out of view. Only Horst was prepared to be shown 'live' in the act of drawing the wine from the cask. A technique of which he is justifiably proud we think.

      With your marvellous cooking skills, Rachel, any lunch outdoors would be a delight. We should certainly want to be included if we were anywhere in the neighbourhood!!!

      Delete
  39. Dear Jane and Lance,

    Dear friends, good food, perfect surroundings and a bit of the grape - what could be better. I am happy you had an American with you, as he/she represented so many of us who would have loved to join you on that lovely day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. America, Arleen, was well represented on the day with two American women and an American/Hungarian man. So, the German and British natural reserve was more than compensated for by the gregarious characters of the Americans!!!! Well, truth be told, hardly anyone, of whatever nationality,could get a word in edgeways, particularly after the first few glasses of wine!!!!!

      Delete
  40. How delightful. What a convivial and pleasant afternoon that must have been. At first I thought the Horst you referred to was the photographer, and this was a memory of long ago. Imagine my pleasure to read that it only happened just now, and that such pleasure was more than a distant memory to you. RD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The photographs we showed on our post were ours but, as it happens, Horst is a professional photographer and we are certain that he captured the day far better than we ever could. He tried hard to take a picture of the two of us but we like to think that we thwarted him....

      Delete
  41. It looks and sounds like a splendid, perfect afternoon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the sun had been a little stronger, then that would have been absolute perfection. But, the warmth of convivial company more than made up for it.

      Delete
  42. Oh dear! What a nice way to live a life! Friends, artists, food and many stories to share. I wish I were there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are very grateful for the life we are able to lead, Simony.'Carpe Diem' is our motto!!!

      Delete
  43. Your celebration with friends in a beautiful place with good food and conversation -- so compliments the mood and the joy of Easter. Such events and the warmth of camaraderie certainly can mitigate the small nuisance of a 'nip' in the air! Your post is so uplifting and such testimony to the best of life. Thank you so much for telling us about this 'perfect' day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Easter is our absolute favourite time of year, Katherine, and you have said it perfectly that its mood and joy were brought together so well on this day.

      Thank you so much for your kind and generous comment. We are so pleased that you have shared in some way the charm of the day.

      Delete
  44. The feast (and wine!) must have been amazing, I love day outings like that. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The food was very simple, but the wine was extraordinary. We know that we shall remember it for ever.

      Delete
  45. Dear Jane and Lance, what an absolutely lovely tale of a wonderful day spent with friends! Your lizard reminds me of our house in Budapest - in the hot summers we often saw tiny lizards darting about the walls and on the driveway. By the way, you wrote a while ago about gulyasleves - we managed to find tubes of the paprikakrem in a Polish deli in town here, so my son got his soup, albeit a week after his birthday. It was delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Budapest is, as you say,incredibly hot in the summer but, this was the very first lizard that we have actually seen for ourselves and so close up.

      How wonderful that you could track down the secret gulyasleves ingredient and prepare an authentic version of the soup. It is, we agree, delicious!!!

      Delete
  46. Absolutely delicious - every word, every picture and every sentiment expressed. Glad you had such a wonderful picnic - maybe we could have joined you and brought a little chorizo and Serrano ham, perhaps?
    Axxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your Chorizo and Serrano ham would have beenmore than welcome, Annie. However, we fear that this might have set up a Hungarian/Spanish sausage war between the Kolbasz on the Hungarian side and the Chorizo on the Spanish. And the winner is......

      Delete
    2. A good picnic theme, methinks.

      Delete
  47. This sounds like an afternoon from a Bertolucci film, and the evening at the Hungarian Jazz Club could have also been included in one of his great films.
    Life imitating art? I think not. The artists make their works from people such as yourselves.

    (And those plates! I love them!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment made us smile warmly as we recalled with fondness many a Bertolucci film which we have watched in the past. It certainly could have all been a scene in a play and one which one feels has been played many times over, albeit with slightly different characters, in the past.

      Such an interesting point about Life imitating Art. You really do make us think.

      The plates are lovely and there were many more of them which we did not show.

      Delete
  48. That's the very nicest kind of food - simple, requiring no cooking, fresh and local, and of course accompanied by a fine wine. Next time you must bring along hot baked potatoes in your pockets to keep yourselves warm as the sun goes down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, dearest Mise, now if only you had been there to advise us about the hot baked potatoes. Next time we go, which will probably be in the summer, we shall take the raw potatoes and they will cook themselves outdoors!!!!

      Being no cooks, this simple food has a particular appeal for us.As, of course, so does the wine. Roll on summer

      Delete
  49. Hi Jane and Lance,

    Just to let you know I've mentioned you for a Lovely Blogger Award to show my appreciation to you and your blog. Please check the award at http://theseamanmom.blogspot.com/2012/04/lovely-blogger-award.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, dear Petro, for this very kind thought. We have been away from the computer for much of the day today but tomorrow we shall be over to look!!!

      And, we too appreciate the kindness and friendship which you have shown to us in the short time we have been acquainted.

      Delete
  50. Dear Jane & Lance,

    What a delightful day you must have had. Your photo's bring back memories of the afternoon my husband and I spent in a Dutch vineyard in autumn.

    The boros pince looks charming, the view breathtaking. Together with good company and a delicious rosé it must have been perfect!

    Happy new week to you!

    Madelief x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your afternoon in the Dutch vineyard sounds wonderful too. Perhaps there is something universally satisfying about enjoying a glass of wine outdoors in good company. A simple pleasure indeed, but oh so delightful!!

      The view over the rolling vineyards to the Lake Balaton is incredibly beautiful. So unspoilt, peaceful and charming.

      Hoping that your week goes well too!!

      Delete
  51. How I wish you'd been able to photograph your lunch too! What better way to spend our time? Eclectic company, excellent wine, interesting food, and above all - laughter. How much better does wine taste straight from the cask?
    A post which makes me excited about the coming season, very positive.

    Lucy x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As we absolutely hate having our own photographs taken, we always avoid photographing others except in extremis. As it happens, Horst is a professional photographer and so he has captured the people, the lunch and the essence of the day far better than we could ever hope to do.

      And, you are absolutely right. The wine did taste better straight from the cask and drunk alfresco. We had extra wine in bottles that we drank the next day but, although good, somehow some of the magic was missing!

      Delete
  52. It looks like a beautiful place to spend a day... great friends, delicious food and a good bottle (or two) of wine. I hope you have an equally wonderful week ahead. Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More than a bottle or two, dear Bonnie, much more....

      Hoping that your week is successful too!!

      Delete
  53. A day like that...what it would do for me right now....languishing here as I am in dreadful Southern California.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear. We imagine Southern California to be wonderfully warm and with most interesting countryside where all of that wonderful wine comes from. Perhaps you are just a little out of sorts. We hope no more than that.

      Delete
  54. Hi there Jane and Lance,
    I quite like a bit of lime cordial with a few ice cubes and a one of those cute little umbrellas sticking out the top of the glass. Oops sorry.
    Now, of course, I not going to have a good old whine over your latest excellent article and I heard it through the grapevine that you had submitted this posting.
    Speaking of Canada, did you know some of the finest wine is produced in the vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in the interior of British Columbia? One can sample fine wines such as "Fuddle Duck,Love-A-Duck, Kool Duck and Daddy Duck".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now, Gary, please do not shatter our illusions of your lounging by a pool on the 'Costa too Much' sipping your drink complete with half a fruit salad and several paper umbrellas stuck into the top!!

      And thank you for the witticism - the pun is not wasted!!

      We think we may well duck out of the Canadian wines!!

      Delete
  55. What a wonderful way to spend a spring day. I could feel warmth of the sun, smell of the wine, cheese and olives all through your words. Please keep taking us along with you on your visits.

    Best wishes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was, as we have said to others, a most wonderful day, a combination of people and place accompanied with excellent wine and good, simple food.

      Delete
  56. I really love the colorful plates! Lizards mean good luck

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The plates are most attractive and there are many more of them than are shown in the photograph. We did not know that about lizards. Good news!!

      Delete
  57. Lovely day to spend with friends, good food and good wine!

    Beautiful plates on the wall!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The plates are very attractive, Rose, and, since seeing them, we have thought about where we might put such things in our own apartment.

      Delete
  58. thanks for this beautiful trip!

    greetings from Spain,
    elena

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind comment. We hope that we shall welcome you back here again in the future.

      Delete
  59. A fascinating and atmospheric insight - thank you for allowing us a tiny peep! The landscape looks beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are so pleased that you enjoyed the post. The countryside in this area is beguilingly beautiful and makes one nostalgic for times of long ago.

      Delete
  60. I am following you now (I hope!). I must have done something wrong yesterday. I thought I had already done it. I am glad to find you. Thank you for your kind comments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Lisa, we are thrilled that you are our latest follower and hope that you will continue to find what we write of interest.

      Sometimes we have problems in 'following' too...just another Blogger blip!!

      Delete
  61. It looks like a great place to rest and share the day over good food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was a marvellous day, Larry, and one that she we shall cherish the memory of for ever.

      Delete
  62. What a beautiful afternoon! I love the picture of the lizard, he is adorable!

    Speaking of which, we had one get into the house the other day...just a baby (2 inches long), but we tried to catch him and get him back outside. Sadly, his tail fell off and he ran away somewhere. We are still hoping that he gets back outside and finds some tasty little bugs so that he does not starve and die somewhere in the house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gosh, what an extraordinary tale of your lizard. And, the tail dropping off, now that we should not wish to see!! This was, in fact, the first occasion on which we had seen a lizard close up and they really are such beautiful creatures.

      We do so hope that your lizard will find its way out of the house into the great outdoors once more!!

      Delete
  63. A luncheon in a vineyard. I can't imagine a more perfect setting. Lovely way to spend Easter Monday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Teresa, it was a lovely way to spend an Easter Monday, after which thoughts of owning our own small wine house tormented us for days! But, the work involved in maintaining the vineyard, in harvesting the grapes and in making the wine really is too much to contemplate. The view, however......

      Delete
  64. Another delicious post, Jane and Lance. What a beautiful country Hungary is. I so enjoy the glimpses you give of its landscape, architecture and history.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At first, having seen the Hungarian Plain, we thought that the Hungarian countryside was so very different from anything that we were familiar with in England. But, now we have visited this particular area we feel a great similarity with the English countryside. We do so love our adopted home!

      Delete
  65. Sounds like a very delightful outing. It's a very divine and inspired spot for a picnic. What beautiful scenery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The scenery is indeed breathtakingly beautiful. Completely unspoilt and rolling hills of vineyards as far as the eye can see. Yes, Mary, the ideal picnic spot!!

      Delete
  66. Hello Jane and Lance,
    I don't know the scale of your friend Horst's vineyard. It appears to be and to function as vineyards have for centuries. That to me is what the real pleasure of such a day would be. To be able to enter a hand-tended and valued, living tradition out of the glare of mass-production is reason enough to raise a toast!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Horst's vineyard is quite small, producing 1000 litres of wine in an exceptionally good year and 80 litres in the worst. He tends the vines in accordance with ancient practices as has been done for centuries in this region.

      It is, therefore, as you say, such a delight to feel part of these ancient customs and practices and to enjoy these very simple pleasures of life as many have done before us and, no doubt, as many will do after we are no longer.

      Delete
  67. Oh wow, you know how to live! What a wonderful time you must have had, I just love the whole idea of it, the rustic setting, the wonderful wine, the varied and interesting company, a simply wonderful experience!!! Cheers! Love Linda xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We really do think that this whole day would have appealed to you enormously, Linda, and both the setting and the company could not have been bettered. And thank you so much for your comment on our previous post to which we have replied.

      Delete
  68. Hello, Jane and Lance - Your Monday sounds delightful! And I certainly appreciate the work that Horst does. My great-grandfather had a vineyard in Switzerland, and my mother often told me that a year's worth of work could be undone with one fifteen-minute hail storm!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark, how splendid that your great-grandfather should have had a vineyard in Switzerland. We think that Horst would very much endorse your mother's words. So much of cultivating vines, as you know, heavily depends upon the weather. In fact, on the Tuesday after there was a very heavy frost but we do not know whether it affected Horst's vines. We trust not.

      Delete
    2. Hello Jane and Lance, I simply don't know how you keep up with all these replies...thank you. x

      Delete
    3. We type quickly, dearest Linda, and never sleep!!!!

      Delete
  69. Whatever you are doing - traveling, or visiting a vineyard - it is always a little adventure. Anything to deal with wine is not only a pleasure but a mystery to me. Especially the moment when wine accidentally turns into vinegar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We rather think, Olga, and we are fairly certain that you are the same, that all of life's experiences can be turned into little adventures on the one long journey. As for the technicalities of wine making, we can assure you that we know almost nothing.

      Delete
  70. Oh, dear Jane and Lance...this is perfection! What a beautiful, delightful experience! And an unexpected little green guest to boot ;)
    Just lovely...thank you for sharing the gorgeous photos... an idyllic landscape and afternoon! So happy for you...
    A splendid week to you both!!
    xoxo,
    - Irina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 'little green guest' was a complete surprise. However, we were happy that he chose to stay where he was rather than mingle more closely with the party. The landscape in that part of Hungary is exceptionally beautiful and, as yet, almost totally undiscovered.

      Delete
  71. Oh what a wonderful escapade you two had! I could almost taste the goodies you described! YUM!
    A lovely memory to keep indeed!

    Hugs,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a perfect occasion, Katherine, and the 'goodies' were exceedingly good to eat, as was the wine to drink!!

      Delete
  72. I envy you. I can imagine the picnic and specially the fruity rosé. Lucky you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are sure that you would have loved it all too. Especially, as you say, the rather 'cheeky' Rosé!!!

      Delete
  73. What a delightful day (and evening, I am sure). Such days do stick in the mind. I'm intrigued at the idea of having a small kitchen built into the rock. It's the sort of thing I would have loved to discover as a child.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Holst's little kitchen was so very intriguing and the kind of place where, immediately, even at our ages, we felt we should like to remain and play at 'houses'. And of course the wine store, set right into the hillside, was exceptionally cool.

      Delete
  74. Dear Jane and Lance,
    your description of the picnic sounds so alluring, and (now I can add for once this word) 'bucolic'. Vineyards have their own special beauty (Husband comes from the Mosel, where they have wonderful white wines, and my brother-in-law is French from Macon - precious dark red wines there too.) The Rosé sounded lovely - it is equivalent for spring to me: fresh and light and beautifully coloured.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Britta, bucolic is such a perfect way to describe the whole ambience of the afternoon. Vineyards do, indeed, have a specially magical quality to them and to sit amongst the vines over a good lunch is perfection in our book.

      Clearly, wine runs in the veins of your family. We have German friends and the Mosel wines which we have drunk with them on many an occasion have always been delicious.

      Delete
  75. What a glorious day! What a perfect meal! ok, must go and wipe off drool-y chin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A happy day it was indeed. Yes, we are sure that the food and wine would have tickled your taste buds!!!

      Delete
  76. Hello! Excuse me , for yesterday...I could not write the comment in Your blog...I work in night at the factory...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Amin, your comment made us so sad. We are so sorry that you have to work at night in a factory as your creative talent is so uniquely wonderful. It is our sincere hope that one day you will find a way to earn your living in a creative environment for that, we feel, is what you deserve!!

      Delete
  77. You know that I do not know the English very well...If understood correctly///You had good exprience...Thank You very much sharing these beautiful photos...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We appreciate the fact that even though you must struggle with the English, you always find time to leave such kind and happy comments. And, we do know, that although you are always so complimentary about our photographs they are of very poor quality in comparison with yours!!!

      Delete
  78. What a delightful Easter Monday. A pic nic with special friends.
    Holst's collection of plates are so lovely
    I can imagine the wine so good.. I can smell the "bouquet" from here.
    Happy times to remember Jane and Lance.
    As always, a most enjoyable post.
    best wishes
    val

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We very much like the plate collection and think that we shall copy this idea in some way ourselves!!

      The Rosé was deliciously crisp and glinted in the sunshine. Now we vow to return to sample more in the heat of the summer sun!!

      Delete
  79. I have been meaning to write you for days.....
    You are quite possibly the loveliest virtual couple I have ever met!
    So charming and intriguing!!!
    I feel like I have met a modern day Scot and Zelda Fitzgerald.
    I would like to employ the two of you to come and stay with me in California and regale us with your life adventures!!! I think it is quite rare to come across treasures like yourselves!!!
    So happy you found me and I you!!!
    XO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, dearest Terri, what an absolutely charming and gracious comment. Serendipity brought us together and we are so thrilled about it. We love the idea of being Scott and Zelda and shall work upon it!!!

      We have never visited the USA but it is our sincere wish to travel there one day. Paul and Gil have already promised to show us the delights of Palm Beach and the Dixie Highway and it would be with such delight that we should add California to our itinerary. What fun, we know, we should have!!!

      Delete
  80. It sounds like an idyllic way to have spent your Easter Monday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was, thank you, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

      Delete
  81. What an special event with special friends! Your adventures in life are those most of us only dream of. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Life is something of an adventure, we think, and occasions such as the Easter Monday at the vineyard are a very special part of it.

      Delete
  82. Wait, you would have to extend your tour towards New York, so I could show you a little of the Hudson valley treasures..... indeed, what a delightful Easter Day! Nothing better then an almost spontaneous get together, wine and all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Victoria, how perfectly wonderful that would be and we are certain that there are many, many treasures in your area which we should so much love to discover with you. Perhaps one day?!!

      Delete
  83. I have never been to Hungary, but your pictures and description spark an interest. In truth most of Eastern Europe is a blank to me; terrible really.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is no reason at all, Mark, why you should have visited Hungary but we are certain that if you were to come you would find much of interest, both in Budapest and also in the countryside.

      Delete
  84. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comments on my blog. I hope you are having a beautiful week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are delighted that our paths have crossed. Your poems are enchanting.

      Hoping that you too are enjoying a happy and successful week!

      Delete
  85. That big wind gets everywhere! And now you have made me hungry...
    Sx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right! We were positively windburnt when we rolled down the hillside afterwards!!!

      Delete
  86. I'm soaking in the picture postcard scenery and marveling at the vinyard, it's a pity they weren't heavy with fruit you could have all helped yourselves, the perfect accompaniment for the cheese board. The'boros-pince' reminded me of an old derelict ramshackle of a hut I once came across in Guadeloupe, I was keen to take a look inside, so I prised the corrogated iron which covered the window frame and poked my head through the gap only to see a whole family sat down for dinner, all looking at me. I apologised and scarpered down the street like a headless chicken wearing flip-flops. I visited Scarborough yesterday (The UK's answer to Cannes) where I enjoyed a cup of tea and a scone in a cafe that had vinyl tablecloths!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Mitzi, how we have laughed at this wonderful comment. As one of us [and we shall not at this point reveal who]was born in Leeds, visits to Scarborough were frequent occurrences in childhood. However, the UK's answer to Cannes it was not,but then, it was all a long time ago and perhaps much has changed? Or a bomb dropped?!!!!

      Your afternoon tea sounds to have been absolutely delightful but, should you wish to 'slum it' one day then we should be only too happy to treat you to a slice of Eszterházy torta and a tejeskávé in an Art Nouveau coffee house in Budapest.....only high heels, no flip flops!!!!

      Delete
  87. It must have been a very special day, Jane and Lance. But then, you seem to have many wonderful days residing in such a unique area of the world. I am quite envious - but in a good way. :)

    Love those plates on Horst's wall! And that pink rose sounds absolutely delightful. We had some good wines here on Easter Sunday at my brother's house. He's the big wine maven in our family. I'm partial to Sauvignon Blanc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having missed out on so much over the past two years, Yvette, with our hospital trials and tribulations,we are making up for this lost time. And, we are so very, very fortunate to know so many wonderful people who are making our days so intensely enjoyable and memorable.

      Your wine maven brother sounds very much like a kindred spirit and we too are rather partial to a crisp, chilled Sauvignon Blanc. But, when in Hungary, it is Hungarian wines all the way and they are very good indeed!!!

      Yes, the plates are charming, we wanted to steal them!

      Delete
  88. Looks gorgeous! Got to love vineyards. We have some great ones in the nearby Napa Valley.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have heard of the Napa Valley and can well imagine that a tour amongst those vineyards would be wonderful....and wine tasting too, of course!!

      Delete
  89. You always seem to be involved in the most wonderful and interesting things...this sounds like such an amazing and glorious day. Definately a time to remember.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Adrienne for your kind comment. We try to 'seize the day' whenever possible and one never knows what delights will emerge!!

      Delete
  90. That's so wonderful; when the company is good, everything is good. A day out of doors, with good food and a glass or two of splendid wine, that is exactly my idea of paradise. It is too early to spend time sitting out of doors in the UK; I can't wait to set up a table in the shade of a tree and talk until eyes shut in a doze caused by good living.

    Which language did you speak?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we so agree with you that it is the company which makes all the difference. In June Horst has promised that we will all do it again when he will have two opera singers staying who will, we are promised, sing to us all. Now that will be something.

      In the main we spoke English and Hungarian with, as you might say, a dash of Dutch and German.

      Delete
  91. I didn't realise you had a blog, I have just found it and I shall enjoy following you and your life in both Hungary and Brighton. I have had a quick look through your posts,but couldn't easily see how you ended up with a place in Hungary, it sounds fascinating.
    I love Mahjong haven't played it for ages my parents lived in Hong Kong and learnt how to play the game there.
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are absolutely delighted to welcome you as a Follower, Sarah. It is very much appreciated. As for our being in Hungary, such a long story but may be one day for the telling!! What a pity that you are at such a distance from us as it would be such fun to play Mah Jong. At present we are without partners with whom to play.

      For our part we are so pleased to have discovered 'Down by the Sea' and will, particularly with our love of Dorset, much look forward to future posts.

      Delete
  92. Hello Jane and Lance! Yours is just the kind of blog that I love. Beautiful, beautiful description of an April day; one that one generally dreams of or reads in Jane Austen's novels. Of course, I being an Indian find it all so very terribly exciting, the idea of a little winery of one's own in particular.

    P.S. Loved the rustic plates!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is so very, very kind of you. We are, of course, delighted that you enjoy what you read and do hope that you will continue so to do.

      For our part we find everything to do with India so very fascinating. Only recently a Hungarian friend, just returned from a tour of the northern part of your country, treated us to a show of some of the pictures he had taken. The temples, the palaces, and the colour are truly amazing.

      We too love Horst's plate collection.

      Delete
  93. Dear Jane and Lance

    The countryside looks beautiful and what a delightful way to spend Easter Monday. Good food, en plein air, friends and fun well it just does not get any better.

    I am fascinated at the image of Horst siphoning the wine from the barrel. This is a delightful and beautiful way to experience country life and wishing you many more picnics.

    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was interesting to us, Helen, to hear from Horst, and to see, the processes he employs in the production of his wine. In everything he uses the old, traditional methods, even down to the way in which the vines are grown, around short poles rather than trained along wires.

      We are hoping for a June picnic with opera singers, friends of Horst, to entertain us!!

      Delete
  94. I do believe all will be well. It will. Thank you so much. Annie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do trust so. You are much in our thoughts.

      Delete
  95. Oh darn, I got a double edit notation and my comment was lost.

    When we lived in California we belonged to a dinner group and we'd meet once a month at each other's homes, mostly out of doors though, at a farm, an eco ranch, in my lavender garden and we'd have a potluck dinner and those were the best times.

    Love the plates Horst has displayed and the shot of him drawing off the wine, the simple pleasures in the countryside, it doesn't get any better than that, does it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Linda, we are so sorry. It is so frustrating when that happens which, it seems to us, is all too often.

      Your pot luck dinners sound to have been great fun. And we imagine that in all that Californian sunshine they could, more often than not, be eaten out of doors.

      We should perhaps have shown more of Horst's plates as they are a splendid collection and look absolutely right on the walls where he has them.

      Delete
  96. I'd been so curious about the lake and wine country, after hearing so much about it over dinner with you and friends in Budapest. The countryside is stunning, and fresh in my memory is the lovely clean taste of the wonderful Hungarian wines you poured which came from those gentle hills. Oh well, another trip!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The countryside around the Balaton is exceptionally lovely and we are delighted that Hungarian wines are now being recognised more widely.

      We do so hope that your next trip here will not be too long off when we should all venture out of Budapest, possibly to explore one of the wine regions.

      Delete

Your comments are warmly welcomed and appreciated. We shall reply to each one individually since we value establishing a dialogue. However, we do not publish anonymous comments.

On occasion when comments are in excess of 200, then it is necessary to click on 'Load More' to view all comments that have been left.