Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Social Diary of Two Absentee Bloggers

BUDAPEST


R pictured by Jane Hattatt at The Four Seasons Hotel, Budapest, on the night of 3rd. October

Wednesday, 3rd. October:


Armed with sheaves of white gladioli, somewhat in the manner of Dame Edna Everage, and with an equal touch of vulgarity, we arrive for drinks at R's wonderfully stylish and uniquely theatrical apartment where we consume much in the way of champagne, possibly more than is wise. Later our party progresses to Tom-George Restaurant in the shadow of the Basilica where, seated at the best of all tables, we enjoy more champagne and the most delicious of dinners. Pudding, R announces, is to be taken at The Four Seasons Hotel, which it is, but not before a serving of yet more champagne. Meanwhile, we are informed, one B will dance [is this to be taken literally?] through the bar for our amusement. B fails to put in an appearance. Do we even notice? The Metro has long since stopped running; we opt to walk home.

Friday, 5th. October:

N and A descend upon Budapest accompanied by huge quantities of luggage [we privately question the length of their stay]. Warnings about unscrupulous taxi drivers are ignored and so they travel from the airport at considerable cost. We dine out at M's where they are charmingly charmed by the intimacy of this bohemian bistro.

A and N pictured by Jane Hattatt at Modem, Debrecen, where N is photographing her

Saturday, 6th. October:

We entrain for Debrecen to arrive in time for a VIP luncheon [the food is rather dreadful] at Modem, the city's Contemporary Art Gallery, in advance of the Private View of 'Nightfall', an exhibition which runs until February before transferring to Prague. We are met and escorted upstairs by the Director, introduced to the Curator and several artists, and decline an invitation to be interviewed for television. Afterwards we indulge ourselves with a splendid afternoon tea at the iconic Ikon.

an interior view of Ikon, a leading restaurant in Debrecen, Hungary - we took tea outside

Sunday, 7th. October:

At the State Opera House we have tickets for a performance of 'Carmen'. But first N and A generously insist on champagne at the nearby Callas Café and Restaurant where, at a pavement table, we enjoy some early evening sun which, happily, breaks through the rain clouds. Afterwards dinner is at Klassz Étterem where our favourite waiter, Tibor, welcomes us with complimentary glasses of, yes, champagne and is endlessly patient with A who, knowledgeable of wine, commences a lengthy tasting. We leave long after the kitchen has closed.

the closing of a dance recently performed by R, our affectionately styled Mad Boy
  
Wednesday, 10th. October:

At home where we host a Birthday Dinner for 'Mad Boy' in celebration of his coming of age at twenty-one years. Wax from the lighted candles drips heedlessly onto the cake, rendering it largely inedible. The Hungarians are somewhat dismayed. We, British, in a display of fortitude, take up our cake forks with aplomb.

BRIGHTON

K is seen sporting patriotic shoes in accordance with his new found status as a British citizen

Saturday, 13th. October:

K and N, no longer our young Russian friends for they greet us flaunting British passports having, most recently, jumped through all imaginable hoops to achieve citizenship, come for lunch. It is the first occasion on which we have seen the eight month, infant Isabelle who is cocooned in the Rolls Royce of a 'baby buggy'. Where, we wonder, are the perambulators, nannies and walks in the park of our day? They bear gifts of bouquets of heavenly white flowers which positively, and perfectly, fill the flat.

iced 'Fondant Fancies' as enjoyed by us when taking tea with our much loved neighbour, S

Sunday, 14th. October:

To tea with our neighbour, S, who delights us with a plate of iced 'Fondant Fancies', last seen sometime around the 1950s. We eat rather too many of these sweet, 'melt in the mouth' little cakes. S has put out a 1960s dolls' house, complete with original furnishings, for her grandchildren and so we have a very jolly, retro afternoon.


This evening P and N collect us in their rather swish new motor car and whizz us off to Marroco's Restaurant on Hove seafront. There we are presented with the most generous gift of the entire recordings of Kathleen Ferrier together with her 'Letters and Diaries' as edited by Christopher Fifield. Perfect. Our own renderings of 'What is life to me without thee?' are eclipsed a million or more times.

Monday, 15th. October:

Tea at Metro Deco in Brighton's Kemp Town with N, P having to appear at work! The clientele rather Marks and Spencer but the cakes surprisingly good. We discuss Vatican II, Rome and the Papacy, and the local Co-op.

Food for Friends, a Brighton vegetarian restaurant where we dined twice in one week

Tuesday, 16th. October:

With E and S, both weighed down with the trials and tribulations associated with selling houses in Britain, for a pre-arranged dinner at Food for Friends, appropriately located next to the Friends' Meeting House in central Brighton. Excellent vegetarian food is enlivened further by the presence of our fun waitress, the effervescent Patsy, who is as entertaining as she is efficient. Too late for a train to Lewes, E and S depart in a taxi.

Wednesday, 17th. October:

V and M, lately returned from the South of France where they have a house, visit for the day. Inheritance tax preoccupies them, something about which, since we have no heirs, we care not a jot. In the evening we are again for dinner at Food for Friends but this time Patsy is not, alas, on; her replacement is duller than a shop girl from Tunbridge Wells. Oh well!

C, of whom we are most fond, who runs the café attached to the local bookshop in Kemp Town


Thursday, 18th. October:

Catch up with C who, when not in Bosnia, Croatia or Cambodia, runs the café in our local bookshop.

BUDAPEST

interior view of M's Restaurant, Budapest, with our favourite table waiting in readiness

Saturday, 20th. October:

Dinner á deux!

236 comments:

  1. Interesting and exciting life you lead...
    And love how you describe your friends and loved ones and the wonderful things you enjoy with them,
    makes me feel like I know them as I know a character from a book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are so fortunate to be blessed with so many good friends, Ann. The difficulty sometimes is to find the time to see everyone particularly as many are spread over several countries.

      Delete
  2. What an elegant and charming few weeks away from us all. And what stamina you both have! Mad Boy is certainly charming to look at -- I adore the shoes, by the way. I am having a sleepless night tonight, but just imagining the quantities of champagne you have imbibed makes me think that vicariously I may be able to indulge in some much needed kip! (At the rate you are going, I expect you will soon be through the alphabet!!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Life continues to be somewhat hectic, Katherine, although we have, since our return to Budapest, somewhat cut down on the amount of champagne consumed. Happily it is very much less expensive here than in Britain!

      The shoes are indeed great fun - and so very patriotic!

      Delete
  3. Dear Jane & Lance,

    It sounds as if your break from blogging was well spent!! The fun you had oozes from the post. You had me LOL several times! It must have been nice catching up with your friends in the UK again and inviting friends at your own home in Budapest. We can now imagine how you must have all been sitting around the table :-)

    Enjoy your dinner a deux!

    Much love,

    Madelief x

    The doll house sounds good!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Madelief, It was all great fun and, as always, so very enjoyable to catch up with old friends. As for sitting around the table, we look back fondly to when you and J were with us, something which we know will take place again, and not before too long.

      S's dolls' house was, and is, totally remarkable and wonderfully furnished.

      Delete
  4. Incredible! I'm sure there are prolific restaurant critics who don't have anywhere near the scale of diary entries you demonstrate here.
    Building up a rapport with the waiting staff is such a big (but usually overlooked) part of enjoying a dining experience. Of course, bottomless glasses of champagne also enhance the culinary adventure.
    What better way to live your life? I'll give the French Fancies a miss though. I overdosed last year after a bout of illness which killed my appetite. When it returned, I made up for lost time. Mr Kipling is a little too heavy handed with the sugar, I fancy!
    R looks quite the celebrity in that snap, very well groomed and charismatic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Lucy, you are so right about establishing relationships with those who work in restaurants. It is such a joy to be greeted and welcomed with warmth, and even champagne, as friends and to be made a fuss of.

      It is so long now since the days when Mr. Kipling featured heavily in our lives. Then we had a passion for Cherry Bakewell Tarts - think of all those 'e' chemicals we must have eaten!!

      Charismatic is such an apt description of the Mad Boy who entertains and amuses us greatly and is exceptionally kind.

      Delete
  5. Good morning Jane and Lance,

    Wow!

    What a busy and very entertaining social diary. I hope you enjoyed every last minute... and, that there is plenty more to come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good morning, Gaynor, on a day which is a National Holiday here to commemorate the 1956 Uprising!!

      Life continues apace, which is no bad thing, and we now have a trip to Venice in mid November to meet up with a friend there to look forward to. We very much hope that the term is progressing well.

      Delete
  6. Dear Jane and Lance..methinks you are a gorgeous pair of social butterflies and have been having the time of your lives! Fabulous adventures and lots of food..average and amazing by the sound of it. Great to see you here again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a lovely idea, Carol, of being 'social butterflies' which suggests such carefree joy. Alas, from time to time the more mundane aspects of life rear their heads and must be dealt with.

      Delete
  7. For me, there is just one thing missing from this post: a picture (or maybe more than one) of the 1960s dolls' house.
    Thank you for letting me learn something new - Fondant Fancies! In Germany, we call these "Petit Fours", the "Fours" obviously pronounced French, not English. My Mum loves them very much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did in fact take some pictures of the S's dolls' house which we may indeed post at some future date. It is, we thought, incredible to have one from that time in such good condition and so complete.

      Your mention of 'Petit Fours' brings back very happy memories of having them in Germany with our German friends. And, oh, those wonderful cake shops which you have!!

      Delete
  8. Thank goodness for the restorative properties of champagne! Your schedule would tire an athlete - you may yet be asked for training tips.
    I loved this vicarious experience of so many lovely soirées, so many interesting meals, so many lively conversations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let it not be said that, on occasion, the morning has come round rather too quickly! That said, we have had, and continue to have, the most wonderful time and are now looking at a very full diary for November.

      Delete
  9. What a social whirlwind of an October you have had. My favourite bit, the Champagne of course darlings!
    Di :-)
    xxxx

    PS: Thank you for the beautiful note x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There will just have to be a time, dear Dianne, when we are sipping the champagne together - as there surely will be! The thanks are entirely ours and, once organized, our wonderful gift will be proudly displayed on the sidebar.

      Delete
  10. Dear Jane and Lance,

    So sad to read that you were so bored during your travels.

    When they make a movie about your lives, who do you think should play your parts? My first thought is, of course, dear Meryl for Jane , and maybe Daniel Craig for Lance. I will have to give some thought to your Mad Boy now as I am not too familiar with the younger actors out there.

    So much champagne and so much fun for you to enjoy and share with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arleen, you really do flatter us far too much, but how we love it and how kind! The Mad Boy is proving hugely entertaining and great fun and certainly keeps us on our toes. Now, as for the champagne.....!

      Delete
  11. What a delight this post has been....... such lovely places and people. You certainly live life to the full, and so you should.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are so very pleased that you have enjoyed the post which was great fun to put together recalling some of the things which we have done recently.

      Delete
  12. Quite fascinating and you are so selfless in your stimulation of the French economy, one flute at a time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now, Andrew, which of us could step aside and watch France go under?!!

      Delete
  13. Dear Jane and Lance - my brain is now totally befuddled, for some reason I feel as if I have downed several champagnes, along with a plate of vintage iced fondants!!!
    Your journey is like eating alphabet soup - I cannot remember whether C is with V and M, no thats no right, she goes to Cambodia, and they have inheritance tax problems. Given time I will work it all out.
    It was good to see you pop up on my sidebar, and I am delighted that you have been enjoying happy social days and nights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For some rather unknown reason, Rosemary, we thought to protect identities(!!) and refer to friends by their initials the result of which, we assure you, is to leave us totally confused. Indeed, we may well have the wrong people in the wrong place, but that simply adds to the fun of it all.

      And on occasion, when reading 'Where Five Valleys Meet', we are reminded that if it is Tuesday, then it must be Belgium!! For you both are most certainly the great travellers - and how wonderful is that!

      Delete
  14. I feel drunk by default. Unfortunately champagne has been off the menu since we decamped to Turkey. Thanks for the picture of Food for Friends, we had many enjoyable meals there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We should most willingly exchange the delights of champagne for those of Turkey and very recently discovered exactly where you are - such a beautiful situation.

      How splendid that you know Food for Friends. It has changed much over time and gone are the days of the self-service counter.

      Delete
  15. Hello Jane and Lance, Such an eclectic whirlwind is presented here one hardly knows where to begin comment. One detail I noticed was the lighted display of liquor bottles in Ikon. They have achieved a beautiful stained-glass-like effect, although I wonder if it is a good idea to pass light through bottles of beverages.

    Your vacation and this whole post is the epitome of Good times with Good friends.
    --Road to Parnassus

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The interior of Ikon, Jim, is very much like a glamorous film set but, we have to say, that this should in no way detract from the food which is clearly prepared with passion and skill. The stained glass bottle effect was mesmerising and would, we imagine, be even more impressive at night. However, whether this damages the contents or whether those particular bottles are for display only we know not. It was just tea and coffee for us to drink that afternoon!!!!

      Delete
  16. What a busy social whirl you've been caught up in! Champagne and friends make for a wonderful combination. I also would like to have seen the dolls house. Your Mad Boy seems very entertaining!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 1960s dolls' house is pure delight and will, perhaps, demand a post of its own one day. It was in remarkable condition and had been languishing in an attic for years. Wisely, in our view, the grandchildren were to be supervised when playing!!!!

      Delete
  17. No wonder you haven't had time to blog, Jane and Lance! Your schedule makes me tired just to read, but you have obviously had the most wonderful time with your friends. Welcome back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We feel ourselves truly blessed to have such a wonderful circle of friends. But, between just ourselves[!!!!]we too are exhausted from all the catching up. So much seems to have happened to everyone and not all of it is without some trauma......that's Life!!!

      Delete
  18. Dear J and L, your energy, exuberance and cultural hedonism know no bounds. I expect we shall all be cast aside without a care now that R is on the scene with flashing eyes and floating hair, but one day we can sigh as we tell our children that we briefly sipped champagne in the outer circle of the Hattatt Court.

    Your humble servant,
    M

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest, darling Mise, cast aside.....we shall hear none of it!!! Indeed, we were only just musing this very day that one can, perhaps,not have enough Mad Boys since they are by their very natures 'flashes in the pan'and when they hail from a variety of countries one can never be quite sure who will be actually in the same country as oneself at any given time.And so, an international string of Mad Boys seems to us to be the perfect solution!!!

      One day, perhaps in the warmth of an Aga, we are certain that the Courts of Mise and Hattatt will collide and, like Halley's Comet, what a spectacular sight that will be.....for sure!!!!

      Delete
  19. I was about to say that - judging from the top photo - R, like Sir Cliff Richard, seems to have discovered the secret of eternal youth, but then I read about his birthday celebrations. Let's hope he is telling the truth, and there is not a picture going wrong in an attic somewhere...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. R's boyish charms are captivating. We are absolutely confident that there is no possible similarity with Dorian Gray.

      Delete
  20. The eclectic, the eccentric as long as the esoteric,
    do not mean much without a splendid sense of humor!

    Like our Rosemary, I might need some time to short out all your adventures,
    but in any case I am thrilled you are back!

    love from the north xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And we too are pleased to be back in contact with our dear virtual friends such as you, dearest Demie.

      We can hardly remember it all ourselves and have certainly left out a number of events to be shared at a later date. It was all rather reminiscent of the days of our youths when we partied the night away regularly.....it had been a long time since we had done this and now we need a rest!!!!

      Delete
  21. Mr Kiplings French Fancies, an exceedingly good choice of cakes. My personal favourites, an eclair in the mouth, a cream horn in the hand and something "ruddy'ard" up the sh...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mitzi, darling, can you not tell that these 'Fondant Fancies' were from no less a food store than Marks and Spencer!!!!!The quality of the icing tells it all!!!

      And, as for your eating habits, well, surely, afternoon tea at The Ritz would be the only suitable venue!!!!One day.....

      Delete
  22. Dear Jane and Lance,
    what an enjoyable holiday you had - packed full with wonderful people, places and puddings! One can swoon over such lovely events, (and not to forget the champagne!) - in German we will say it's time for a "Schwärmerei". I will indulge in that - and than back to work (sadly without Petit fours - but you made me think -- I know where to get them...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Britta, how we love the idea of a Schwarmerei[alas we are incapable of including the umlaut]and we shall certainly suggest indulging in the same when our German friends come to stay with us for the New Year.

      By now we hope that you have tracked down those delicious cakes and are not finding work too trying today! Guten Tag!!!

      Delete
  23. Chers Lance et Jane,
    j`espère que vous avait un super fête!! :O) Avec des intéressant gens!! Et du pudding !! Mmmmm.... XD

    Bonne journée!!
    xxx Maria xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Maria, we have enjoyed some wonderful times with friends in Brighton and Budapest over the past few weeks. Hectic but nevertheless great fun and it is so important, we feel to keep in touch with people and be part of their lives as it is so easy to lose touch when separated in different countries.

      Delete
  24. Fascinating snippets of your absence from the blogosphere!
    I am very taken with Food for Friends and would definitely pay a visit if I was ever in Brighton (I love vegetarian food although not strictly vegetarian), hoping Patsy was on duty. The building in which it is housed is absolutely gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the Regency building in which Food for Friends is situated is wonderful and is within a most interesting area of Brighton filled with good places to eat and interesting individual shops.

      We too are not vegetarian but we did enjoy the food served here which was deliciously fresh and in season. The assiette of beetroot and sticky toffee pudding were particularly memorable!As was Patsy!

      Delete
  25. You have been busy! Time, I think, for a lie down or a diet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No time to lie down and diets are so dull....just more activity, that should do the trick!!!

      Delete
  26. Wow, what a lovely whirlwind tour of your recent days! I feel dizzy from the bubbly and cakes.
    Thank you for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Gil, our days were filled with joy and laughter and reminded us of our happy times with you and Paul. When you are next in Europe, you must meet with both Rs, as we are certain that you should find them delightfully entertaining.

      Delete
  27. Welcome back Jane and Lance....whew and I thought I was busy! The interior of Ikon looks very elegant. Thank you for showing us. Got a kick out of those shoes and reading about all of your escapades! Janey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are delighted to be back, Janey!
      Ikon is very elegant and the chocolate cake with plum sauce which we devoured there was truly delicious!

      The shoes are by Repetto.....made for dancing!!!

      Delete
  28. Although I can spot a couple of engagements when champagne was NOT imbibed, I'm surprised anyone is left standing with that schedule!

    So glad you've cleared up the mystery of what Jane was photographing in a previous post!! Now I'll be able to sleep ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a miracle, Red, that we were able not only to walk home after an evening with R but to still remember where we live!!It is such a long time that we have partied the night away but the champagne certainly oiled the wheels!

      N is the real photographer of us all and we have many examples of his work lining our walls as a testament to his artistic eye.

      Delete
  29. What excellent friends you have, that speaks to the joy and fun with which you live your lives.
    I am so happy you've been having such a ball! I've also been busy drinking champagne and kicking it up, we were in Paris for a wonderful week.
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your week in Paris also sounds great fun, Dani. Between us all we are propping up the French wine industry admirably it would appear!

      We feel blessed to have such wonderful friends,many of whom we have known for decades, and we always have a good time when we meet up wherever and whenever it may be.

      Delete
  30. I opened this post on my balcony, the rainy season clouds surrounding the place....by the end, the sun had come through...Hattatt power!

    What a super, hectic time you've been having!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, no, we cannot claim to be able to make rain clouds disperse. However, we can testify that, with sufficient champagne, one does not notice the weather!!!

      Delete
  31. Ah, dear Jane and Lance...live so your last check bounces!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That, dearest Sandra, is definitely our aim!

      Delete
  32. What a whirl!
    Edward and I feel decidedly left out.
    xo,
    p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It had been such a long time that we had last set foot in Brighton that there was much catching up to do. It will be not so long until the next visit so perhaps the partying can be at a more leisurely pace!!!

      Delete
  33. Jane and Lance, no wonder you have been 'off the blogs' so to speak, a whirlwind lifestyle of many wonderful moments demands much attention. I can't tell you how envious I am and am looking forward to the time (not too long off now) when we can throw caution to the winds and gad about not worrying whether the children have brought another coachload home who need feeding. Housework can become a distant memory and we hiccup along on a cloud of champagne bubbles. What a life you two lead, enjoy every damn moment, after all it is the only way to live I think. We already have a 'mad boy' lined up, a very neccessary addition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We feel immensely privileged, dearest Susan, to have the time, the health, the friends and the ability to 'gad about' and enjoy life. We have learned not to take anything for granted and to live the moment, but it has been a long time since we have had such a hectic round of merrymaking. We can recommend it without reservation and, to have your MB in tow already, is all the preparation that one needs!!!

      Delete
  34. Re: R = MB

    I KNEW IT!!

    Haha, I am so thrilled for you at the reading of this delectable post. And how much do I love that you posted a photo of N photographing J after having posted J photographing N?

    Did you save me one of the fondant fancies? S is particularly fond of pink foods, just so you know.

    Ah, what a wonderful, wonderful post to come back with, my DFGP's. I am gratified immensely that while you were absent it was for so splendid a series of fetes and events!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest, darling, S, of course you can read minds, how could we possibly think otherwise!!!!We do not need to even be in the same continent for you to know exactly our thoughts and movements, how perfectly wonderful is that?!!!

      J ate two lemon fancies and L a pink and brown one, but we are sure that you guessed that already. This was in addition to two slices of fruit loaf, something we have not tasted since the 1960s, and which all added to the retro vintage atmosphere of a wonderful afternoon with S.

      Thank you for your kind and generous welcome back to the land of Blog. We are thrilled to be here and to once again take up the mantles of DFGPs and putting on our superperson outfits in the nearest telephone box.We shall be over to a blog written by you before we can spin round.....no, turn round slowly, as spinning makes us dizzy these days!!!!

      Delete
  35. I've decided dear Lance and Jane that I would fancy your life. Such fun; good times, great friends, beautiful surroundings and champagne..lots of champagne!! If second best is living vicariously through your both, then that will do.
    Sending you both all my best from rainy Aberdeen,
    xx Deb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have to say, Deb, that we have not been in the least envious of the UK weather this year, especially over the summer. And we have read with horror the stories of rain, hail and storms in Aberdeen....we are sorry to even mention that it is pleasantly warm and sunny in Budapest as we write....just saying!!!

      And, we know of your fascinating and exciting escapades too. At the end of the day, it is being with people whom one loves that counts!

      Delete
  36. My husband never wants to leave home permanently, but he is quite happy to have a flat in Europe/UK for our winter holidays. Every time I read your blog, I become more and more restless about getting back to the music, coffee society, architecture, champagne, spas etc from your part of the world. The flats above Food For Friends look perfect - interesting architecture, great location vis a vis the coast and a close connection to cafe life.

    *sigh*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Increasingly, we find it difficult to make the trip to England as we really love our life in Budapest. Its position in Central Europe is such a boon to any travel plans and the way of life here and the climate are very much to our liking. It is friends whom we miss and miss them we do and dreadfully.

      The flats above the restaurant would be in a great location in central Brighton although the biggest draw for us when we go back is to be able to lie in bed and look out to sea!!!

      Delete
  37. Good to know you've been out there living instead of blogging. Far better than the reverse.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hello, Jane and Lance,
    to me, it's wonderful to see two people enjoying life so well...I'm not surprised you've been absentee bloggers! Absence, though, makes THIS heart grow fonder.
    I wonder what it was that took you to Budapest originally, when Europe is so full of so many beauties. I can see, of course, that Budapest is beautiful. But was there something in particular that caught your eye?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Faisal, it is a very long story how we came to find ourselves in Budapest and, for certain, one day it is bound to be the subject of a post. For now, we leave you with the thought that 'gardening in the distance' could have been our mission statement!!!!The world grows smaller every day!!!

      You are always so kind and thoughtful in your comments and for that and, most importantly, your friendship, we feel truly grateful and blessed. Of course, one day you must come to see the beauty of Budapest for yourself!!

      Delete
  39. Dearest Jane and Lance

    This reads like published Royal Family's schedule from The Times but with much more lingering and without the paparazzi present.

    As I listen to Kathleen Ferrier sing "What is life to me without thee" and I scroll backwards and forwards I realize this reads like a beautiful opera.

    Thank you for another splended post and welcome home

    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are listening to Kathleen Ferrier as we write this reply to you, dearest Helen, as that seems singularly appropriate so to do.An Opera in two halves, yes, that really could describe our lives with all the drama, trauma, theatricality, sadness and joy that this would entail. Live the moment is Mad Boy's motto and one that we should wholeheartedly share.

      No Royalty on this visit but a Norwegian friend here in Budapest was somewhat taken aback by our having had lunch with her Queen Sonja whilst in Lucca this summer. We have promised to enlighten her further over dinner later this month!!!

      Thank you so much for your warm and generous comment. We are happy to be back in the Land of Blog in the company of friends, of which you occupy a special place in our affections.

      Delete
  40. Darn you two. Now you have me questioning whether watching a black squirrel burying acorns is all it's cracked up to be.:) All of this sounds beyond delightful,although the Food for Friends is particularly appealing. Looks and sounds quite wonderful.

    Thank you for this fascinating travelogue, lived vicariously by me. You bring an intriguing world to my doorstep and I'm most grateful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to come back and thank you for that exquisite Kathleen Ferrier song.

      Delete
    2. Ah, Teresa, but as you well know,it is in the small details that the fascination and true quality of life lies. The black squirrel surely is making plans for the winter that should be a sign to us all to batten down the hatches and make provision for the lean months ahead.

      And, you too, and all our blogging friends, enrich our lives with tales of adventures across the world. For that we are grateful too.

      Delete
    3. We are so pleased that you liked it. It is an absolute favourite of ours. Sad, yes, but powerfully uplifting too.

      And, thank you too, for your recent post which has rekindled memories of nights under a starry sky....

      Delete
  41. Dearest Jane and Lance,
    This post is such a delicious way to record your time off with friends . . . dining . . . sipping . . . viewing art . . . sipping . . . dining . . . celebrating ~ totally delightful to visit you today and hear the sublime voice of Kathleen Ferrier singing from one of my all time favorite operas. Truly a loving and poignant gift. What unique surroundings you find yourselves in daily . . . both in cities, landscapes and entertaining friends within your beautiful interior views and sporty cars. Beauty and joie de vivre are overflowing . . . along with the champagne! What fun! I am not sure I could keep up!! ;>)) M's restaurant looks fantastic and I love the image of N and A arriving in Budapest with "huge quantities of luggage" and your silent questions to the length of their stay at seeing them! Precious! Thank you so for sharing your remarkable lives with us! How my life is enlivened with you within it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were, as you can imagine, thrilled with the Kathleen Ferrier discs and book. It is lovely when friends seem to know one better than one even knows oneself and are generous in buying the most perfect gift, one which we should have definitely chosen ourselves!

      M is a promise, dearest Carol, and there are three chairs at our favourite table!!!Opera seats are also booked....oh what joy and fun we shall have!!!

      N and A did look as if they were arriving for a fortnight rather than a long weekend, but they assured us that this is their usual routine as 'travelling light is so tiresome'. We would certainly have put it the other way round!!!

      We are counting the days down to the great European Adventure as we refer to it between ourselves.It is to you, dearest Carol, that we look for strength to keep up and we know that our lives are going to be richer for the experience of meeting you after all our years of correspondence. Joy, joy, joy!!!

      Delete
  42. my goodness, you've been busy having a grand time! I thought perhaps you were in some strange land without internet.....oh, say.....mars?? Congrats to K and N!! I was beyond thrilled when I received my American citizenship many years ago. And, I'm crushing on K's shoes...very cool :)
    Welcome back ~
    Loi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although we must seem to be permanently 'on line', Loi,we really rather like to be 'disconnected' once in a while. However, there is always the thrill of returning and we thank you for your warm welcome back.

      K's shoes were extremely 'cool' in our view and he sported them beautifully and with pride. Isabelle was the first to get her British Passport which miffed K and N slightly and they all went immediately to New York on the strength of the new passports and no visas!!!

      Delete
  43. Dear Jane and Lance - I am vicariously enjoying your social life with R, N, A, R, K, N, S, P, N and C. Something tells me you're going to party through the alphabet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For an awful moment,Mark, we thought that the initials of our friends might make a rather naughty acronym, but, happily, they do not seem to!!!

      Plenty more alphabet to work through yet....and more champagne, no doubt!!!

      Delete
  44. Thank You for the lovely peek into your diary.
    But the part I loved the best was the last photo of M's restaurant with the table by the wonderful wall !
    Perfect !

    cheers, parsnip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. M's is a wonderful little bistro, Gayle, which is within easy walking distance of us and which we is ideal for a simple dinner. The walls are decorated by a Serbian artist and are, we think, most jolly.

      Delete
  45. A whole month of non stop elegant restaurants of wining and dining with your friends v and c and a and b and mad boy dancing.. It all sound wonderful. You both have been very busy indeed.
    As you write, i am sitting there with you enjoying all those lovely delights and especially sipping the champs, something I do myself now and again.
    Your post reads like a chapter from a book..
    All ever so exciting Jane and Lance.
    How great that you can catch up with old friends ..
    super photos
    wishing you happy days to the "H" bloggers.
    nice to see you.
    val

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is, as always, so very kind and generous of you, Val. October has certainly been a busy month and November is very pleasantly filling up with interesting happenings, not least another foray to Venice to meet up with a friend from America who will then come on to spend some time with us here in Budapest.

      Meanwhile, we are delighted to know that you too treat yourself to the occasional glass of champagne.

      Delete
  46. Lovely post Jane and Lance. You certainly lead an exciting social life, and all that Champagne, sounds wonderful. I too have been away from blogging for a while. Lots of busy days and things to do. In the midst of which we welcomed our darling new granddaughter Winnie into our family born on the 12th. Champagne here was brimming too!
    Patricia x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But how exciting to have another member of the family and Winnie is, we think, a delightful name to have been chosen. We wonder if she is your first grandchild or if you possibly have others? Whatever, we send our very best wishes to both mother and child and will certainly raise a glass to her when we open our next bottle!!

      Delete
    2. Thank you both for your lovely reply and your best wishes. Winnie is our fifth grandchild. My son now has two girls and a boy. My daughter has two boys.
      Patricia x

      Delete
    3. How very lovely to have five grandchildren who, we are certain, must give you untold pleasure. Although we have no children ourselves, thus no grandchildren, it was such a pleasure when our young Russian friends brought their baby, Isabelle, to see us.

      Delete
  47. My dearest Jane and Lance, Welcome home! This hearty post makes up all the absent time when you've been away. All the usual ingredients are here - there is art, High Culture (with capital H and capital C), classical music, friendship, humour, wit ("we privately question the length of their stay") and honesty ("the food is rather dreadful"). Move over James Lees-Milne, there's Hattatt in town!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are so touched by this comment, dearest ASD, for it truly conveys the very real warmth and affection with which we associate you at all times. And it is, as we do so hope that you know, so very much appreciated. In response we can only say that all of this, from our direct experience, can be applied to you many, many times over.

      Delete
  48. what a fun read in the middle of my night!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not to be taken too seriously, Gina. We trust that it will induce pleasant dreams.

      Delete
  49. Such a wonderful post, I giggled all the way through and loved the line about the French fancies.
    Is everyone in the Hattat enclave drop dead handsome ? It would seem so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Tabitha:
      Now we do not need to tell you the importance of surrounding oneself with beautiful people. In fact, we think that we picked up the idea some time ago from 'Bourbon and Pearls' which is very much a part of our required social reading!!

      But isn't it all such fun?!

      Delete
  50. what a great time you have! my son also turned 21 on 10th October.

    Luaghed at "privately questioned the length of their stay"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We really do hope that you celebrated in style your son's coming of age. Although these days more importance seems to be attached to reaching the age of eighteen.

      Delete
  51. Dear Jane and Lance

    You've been enjoying a wonderful social whirl, thank you for taking us along albeit via cyberspace!

    The people and friendships are the best part of course!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Friends really are the very best part of life, Rose, and with them and through them so much fun may be had and experiences shared.

      Delete
  52. You have been so busy, that explains your absence. You are right about those little cakes, who makes those anymore? Who eats them? Luckily there was all that champagne, makes me giddy just reading about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cakes were truly delicious but we dread to think how much sugar each one contains. And, not disclosed, we had previously eaten several slices of fruit loaf smothered in butter!!

      Delete
  53. Dear Jane and Lance,

    I enjoyed your post a lot. What a lovely champagne-flavoured time you have been having: Artistic, social and fun.

    I myself am somewhat partial to 'fondant fancies' although my Grandmother and Great Aunt always referred to them as 'petits fours' which made them sound that little bit more lah dee dah!

    Kirk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are so pleased that you enjoyed the post, Kirk. Indeed, we learn from another commentator that Fondant Fancies, or similar, translate into German, or more accurately Germany, as Petits Fours although we do realise that your grandmother was not German! But possibly aspiring to 'Continental' ways!

      Delete
    2. It's funny you should say that because well into her nineties, she could sing 'la Marseillaise' from memory - having been taught it at school.

      Delete
    3. How absolutely splendid. She clearly would have been one for the EU!! A real 'goer' to put it into the vernacular!

      Delete
  54. You seem to lead such a wonderful, bohemian life. A visit here is like a whirlwind tour through Europe :) BTW, I would easily have scoffed half a dozen of those delectable Fondant Fancies. Mmm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem was, Loree, that we did scoff rather too many of the cakes as to be considered polite. But S is such a good friend and neighbour that we trust she overlooked such greed.

      Delete
  55. My you have been busy and in such a fun way. It all sounds very glamourous and exciting, a far cry from my activities this month ~ planting bulbs. (-: I think I would rather be having fun like you two.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But, Adrienne, we know from our gardening days that there is something very satisfying indeed about planting bulbs and, unlike the drinking of champagne, the pleasure to be had is much longer lasting.

      Delete
  56. "fondant fancies" - he he I'm sure those were good.

    Thank you for letting us take a peek into your splendid social life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In truth, absolutely delicious but, we fear, very, very fattening. Diets are now the order of the day!

      Delete
  57. But does Mad Boy play piano for you in your morning room? That's the key thing, now, isn't it? (Perhaps you've said and I have missed it!) M's Restaurant looks splendid. Oh, you do know how to live!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Susan, such a disappointment. Yes, Mad Boy can play the piano but having chosen ballet as a preferred option at an early age, now claims not to be able to play to a reasonable standard. How fickle are the young!

      Delete
  58. Individual Iced Cakes!!! Were there flavors? Do I see a covered cherry? Oh, you Dearies.

    It's good to have you home.

    rachel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In theory, Rachel, there were different flavours but in the eating they all rather tasted the same - utterly delicious but gone in a moment. Hence the need to scoff many!!

      Delete
  59. I feel like I have just read a wonderful novella, and I want to know more about the characters--especially that adorable mad boy! So glad you've been having fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As always, you are so very kind, Jen. Mad Boy is entertaining, amusing and talented and has taken to dropping in on a regular basis which is rather fun. What is more, through him, we are making contact with an entire corps de ballet!!

      Delete
  60. Mad Boy and the fondants seem irresistible to me :). That is one unforgettable tour de force Jane and Lance. You waste no moment and make no boring compromise with life....That seems like a great choice and I can only applaud you :). Kisses and have fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both are fairly irresistible, Petronela, but like all good things must be severely rationed!!

      This is so generous of you. Life is, of course, one huge compromise but we have learnt, over the years, to make the most, or at least try to, of every situation. Carpe diem is a good watchword. And our love is returned to you.

      Delete
  61. Entertained by an entire alphabet ... how jolly! I was rather hoping a mysterious Q might turn up and we could marvel at the possibility that the peripetetic Hattatts are in fact more than they seem!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does, Annie, begin to seem rather like an alphabet of friends which, we assure you, was not our intention. We are not quite certain why we did not post their names in full as none of them would have minded. But we are all for a little mystery!!

      Delete
  62. Wow no wonder we have not seen you around for a while, I have to admit to getting a bit behind myself but I have not been as busy as you. Have a good and keep well Diane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes, as you clearly find too, Diane, real life does rather edge aside the blogosphere but possibly, occasionally, that is no bad thing. It helps to keep one's feet on the ground, so to speak.

      Delete
  63. Well that explains your recent absence. Thank goodness you had the presence of mind to note down where you had been, and indeed with whom, on those champagne-filled days!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear, Marilyn, we are now left wondering if we missed out on something and are expected somewhere or other. If that is so, we hope it is a casserole in the oven which cannot spoil too much!

      Delete
  64. Now that's what I call 'life'! What an absolutely fascinating account of travelling and catching up with friends. For me, this whirlwind of a post would probably be a month-long schedule, and that too after many a second thought and cups of tea.

    It's good to have you back. Have a lovely week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When we return to Brighton, which we do only occasionally these days,there is so much to fit in and so little time to do it all. Hence, the rollercoaster but it is all the more enjoyable as a result.

      We miss our friends in England dreadfully and so it is pure joy to catch up with them and hear all their news, no matter what hour of the day or night that takes us to!!

      Thank you for your warm welcome back, we do miss our 'blogmates' too!!!

      Delete
  65. Jane and Lance,

    I have been wondering where you were. Thankfully you are well and enjoying life. I always love visiting here, I feel as if I am reading a wonderful, travel diary of two beautiful people on " the Grand Tour" of old. Friends, culture, quiet dinners, tea and cakes with the neighbor, and champagne to toast to them all! Indeed a ond earful adventure and life.

    Thank you as always for taking us along for the ride!

    Have a wonderful day, Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We promised a 'catch-up' of our activities on our return, hence this rather breathless post. Not every week is so hectic, although we do find that the pace of life seems to quicken these days, something we enjoy very much.

      Friends are so very important to us and so we try not to leave anyone out and to keep up with their activities. This does mean that we can live vicariously through them as well as riding our own rollercoaster. Never a dull moment, as they say!

      Hoping your week is going well!

      Delete
  66. It's been a joy to read through this whirlwind 'catchup' of all that's been going on. No wonder there's been no time to blog! I LOVE Annie's comment about the possibility of Q turning up - I think you'd fit wonderfully in the role of secret agents - your social life throwing everyone off your scent! R is really rather gorgeous and a dancer to boot, (so to speak) though I had rather imagined the Liszt pianist of some posts back as MB...but R does look fun.
    Go for it, Hattats, J and L, you really show us how to do it! Axxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Annie,we do secretly!!! hold the desire to be spies, but our Russian friends declare that we still have plenty of training to do before we should be able to slip under the Kremlin net [or wall]. Still, never say never say we!!!

      Truth be told, we now seem to be adding up the Mad Boys which must say much more, we think, about us than it does about them. Still, one can never be sure that there will be a Mad Boy available when one really needs one, so the only solution seems to us to be to have several waiting in the wings....so to speak!!!

      And, there is still plenty more of the alphabet to work through. No doubt a Q will present himself or herself in due course!!

      Delete
    2. Now, I'm wondering...is it possibly to have more than ONE Mad Boy?? Why didn't I think of that myself? So much to learn, so little time.....

      Delete
    3. Increasingly we feel that to have several on hand is a necessity. They temper inevitable disappointment.

      Delete
  67. Dear Lance and Jane,
    What a fun post-- I'm dizzy from the virtual chapagne-drenched adventure! Your table at M's restaurant is my favorite...so charming. I look forward to more with R&Co.!
    Best regards,
    Erika

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we are sure that there will be more tales to tell about R and Co!!

      We are certain that the decoration at M would have an appeal for you. The walls are lined with brown wrapping paper on which a Serbian artist has made drawings and, in various places, particular artefacts are included in the overall design. We love it and the food is good too!!

      Delete
  68. Jane and Lance, You have been very busy, and it all sounds like a lot of fun. I particularly noted the amount of champagne consumed as it is my beverage of choice. It does sound as if you have been, as we say, burning the candle at both end..... I can't think of a better way to live life. I is so good to have you back. Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Busy, true, but enjoyably so. We should excuse the quantity of champagne consumed by assuring you that here it is very much less expensive than anywhere else we know of. But your kind words of encouragement are so much appreciated, Bonnie.

      Delete
  69. Hello Jane and Lance,

    Oh, have you two been absentee bloggers? Just kidding! A marvellous and articulate visual tour of seventeen days in your fulfilling lives. I'm amazed you know so many people with such short names!

    Take very good and peace be with you.

    Your starstruck fan, Gary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We rather thought, Gary, that if we slipped quietly out of the Blogosphere no-one would notice at all. But we had not reckoned with your setting that tracker dog, Penny, on us!!

      Could not think of any proper names for our imaginary friends so just started working through the alphabet. That or we cannot spell!!

      Delete
  70. Hello Jane and Lance,

    It's delightful to see this post from you all and discover that the effervescence in your lives does not all come via champagne. You all have such fabulous zest for life! You are an inspiration to the rest of us.

    You are very generous to share this spirit with your readers. You had me smiling with each additional capital letter, and each fresh glass of champagne and change of scene.

    Many thanks from this appreciative reader. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But in truth, Frances, it is you who add glamour and much interest to our lives with your tales of happenings directly from the Big Apple. And for that neither Budapest nor Brighton can ever compare.

      We are blessed to have so many very good friends both here and abroad and count ourselves very privileged to be able to enjoy life in the way in which we do.

      Delete
  71. I love this post!!! I especially enjoyed M's restaurant with all the drawings on the wall!!! I smiled throughout each of your days!!! :) What a delicious post!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is so kind and generous of you, Suzanne. M's is a delightful little bistro style restaurant, a short walk from where we live, and whenever we go we are always made most welcome. The wall drawings are by a Serbian artist.

      Delete
  72. What a lovely tour of your adventures! Im seriously envious of all the wonderful streets, nooks and crannies you two enjoy that are sadly lacking over here. And with fabulous company, what more can one want? Living the dream, my friends! :) And thank you for the opera to boot, I was just sitting here replaying it over and over, sooo delicious! :)
    Thank you for beautiful post!
    Hugs,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has to be said, Kasia, as we are sure that you appreciate only too well, it is the friends with whom one has been blessed who so much contribute to one's well being. Kathleen Ferrier remains one of our all time favourite singers - such a tragedy that her life was cut short at so early an age.

      Delete
  73. Absentee but not inactive. What enchanted lives!

    ReplyDelete
  74. What a hectic life are you leading! Take care, rest sometime, like the rest of us! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you knew the truth of it, we seldom do a hand's turn!!

      Delete
  75. Love the bold painting in levi jacket; the fondants look to be precursors to petit fours, hope you don't get hangovers from all that champagne; you're back in Budapest full swing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There were many covetable paintings, Linda, and a significant number of works from Eastern European artists, some of whose work we had not seen before.It is a most exciting exhibition and will transfer to Prague in February.

      It is good to be back in Budapest where the champagne can flow freely and less expensively!!!!

      Delete
  76. I could I not have known you before? You are exactly the kinds of people I find most interesting. I love your point of view, and your whimsical way of writing. Heather @ Lost in Arles is one of the dearest, loveliest women on the planet and so you and I have collided in Provence...how wonderful!! I'm following you too. Sending a big Texas hug....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are absolutely thrilled that our paths have now crossed, Marsha, and are delighted to welcome you as our newest follower.

      Although we have never met Heather in person we feel that we know her and love her as a true friend. She writes from the heart and illustrates her posts beautifully. We sincerely hope that our paths will cross in reality one day.

      And, what fun and excitement are to be found in your own blog posts. Splenderosa is an eclectic confection of delights and we love it!

      Delete
    2. Oh my goodness, now you both have made me teary-eyed twice in one week! Plus Marsha too! Thank you, dear friends. I feel confident we will meet. It is just a matter of when and where, pesky things considering the import of such an event. :)

      And truly, this was, as it has been stated already in the comments, one whirlwind of a post! So much so that I have had to read it in installments to catch my breath. You know how thrilled I am for you both and how much I love to hear your stories of glamour and more importantly, a life well-lived. And well-appreciated but actually, that perhaps is implied!

      I remember sharing a glass of champagne with my Mom once and she said something along the lines of "Well, if you had this everyday then it wouldn't be special anymore now would it?" Oh, I begged to differ! Champagne everyday I say!!

      It is a cold and rainy day here in Arles and I couldn't be happier about it.
      Sending much love to you both,
      H.

      Delete
    3. Dearest Heather, thinking of you sipping champagne we can cope with, thinking of you reduced to tears is not something we should wish for!!!!May your heart be warmed this cold and rainy day by the loving thoughts of your friends.....you deserve it!

      As for champagne every day, well we certainly got into a roll and decided that we really could carry on in that fashion most days. Just as well, perhaps, that the budget would not run to it!!!

      'Live the moment' says Mad Boy and so say we too!!

      Delete
    4. Hooray! Mad Boy is right and I will carry that around with me this weekend--a little like a Hugh Honour Companion Guide to Life. :) Speaking of, somehow that post had escaped me until just now and how I loved every bit of it. I had it for breakfast! Oh, how I hope to get to Venice. Wouldn't I love it there? And I really interesting story about Florence for you both!

      And those were happy tears, happy tears! I am, alas, the ridiculously sentimental American and as genuine kindness is not exactly over-flowing in my part of the world, I am moved when I come across it...

      Gros, gros bisous,
      H.

      Delete
    5. Good morning, dearest Heather!

      How we delight in thinking of you 'living the moment' this weekend and, indeed, as far as we are concerned, all the days of our lives.

      Would you love Venice?.......oh,most certainly you would. It would surely arouse every passion within you and be a haunting memory in your soul for ever. How we should love to be there with you and share the excitement, the thrill, the melancholy, the joy, the beauty and the sheer magnificence of it all by your side.

      Happy tears we can cope with. As you may imagine we can be moved to them at a drop of a hat.....or Hattatt!!!!

      Love to you J and L

      Delete
  77. Dearest Jane and Lance!

    My goodness, I have to say that I would love to sit in one of your soirées with such interesting people, food, drink and inspiration into this fascinating world between worlds of yours BRAVO! And what gorgeous people!

    Thank you so much for your visit and kind comments. Yes, we have some basic human needs and communication is certainly up at the top of the list, and my desire is to work with artistry and writing that will connect me to my fellow human being. Thank you for your encouragement and wise words!

    Now enjoy yet another evening of champagne for me!!!! I love the pink "sparkling wine" as we call it out here!

    Fondly, Anita

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And, how we should very much enjoy your being included in the soirées, dear Anita, for we are certain that you would have such enchanting tales to tell.Pink Fizz, yes, the perfect accompaniment to...well...anything!!!

      We did enjoy reading your post which gave much pause for thought on issues very much in the ascendency today. Somehow one feels that the solutions to the world's difficulties are probably quite simple but getting everyone to agree is so very complex. Perhaps it will be ever thus?

      Delete
  78. Welcome back you two!

    I must say that I am quite envious of your escapades. The Four Seasons, opera, champagne by the bucketful....and do I spy 'French Fancies'? They are addictive little devils are they not? A wonderful post about your recent exploits!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It appals us to say but we could have easily eaten the entire box of Fondant Fancies in one go. They are, as you say, Gary, exceedingly addictive and, surely, there has to be truth in the saying 'a moment on the lips and an inch on the hips' in the case of these seductive delicacies!!!

      Delete
  79. Helen's head is spinning! Don't call the Exorcist, it's just the after affect of trying to keep up with your mad adventures! Loved all the photos almost as much as the narrative.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is all indeed great fun. But, believe us, when it comes to heads spinning......!

      Delete
  80. I enjoyed this post so, so much that you are forgiven for being away for so long!
    Welcome back!

    Red

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is so kind of you. And it really is good to be back amongst friends in the Blogosphere once more.

      Delete
  81. Very cool:) I particularly liked the song!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen Ferrier remains one of our favourite singers. Her death at an early age was a great tragedy.

      Delete
  82. I love how you find places to go that are so interesting and how you share them all with us. I always know I will be entertained when I see you have posted a new blog... the pictures are amazing as usual, I love that one building that says food for friends, so pretty.

    Thank you for the kind and wonderful comments on my blog;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Food for Friends, which is exactly that, Launna, is situated in the most delightful of Regency buildings right in the heart of Brighton. The food, which is totally vegetarian as it happens, is excellent.

      We are always most interested to read your posts and to know how things are with you.

      Delete
  83. Well, I'd say it was high time you two had some fun!!
    Ohhhh that Ikon!! Take me there!!!
    And the Food and Friends...what an awesome building!
    What did you order there?
    I LOVE those tennis shoes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Phyllis, isn't Ikon just wonderful? Apparently the chef trained in London. As it was tea time we had tea, coffee and the most perfect of chocolate cakes, beautifully served, as you might imagine, with small, individual jugs of plum sauce. WE shall most certainly return for lunch or dinner even though it is over 260km from Budapest.

      Delete
  84. That's quite a schedule! Nothing like mine: walking dog, driving to work, walking dog during lunch , going back to work, driving home, cooking/eating, walking dog, sleeping. Repeat all of the above. Not that I am complaining, or anything... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now, Rose, you surely do not expect us to believe any of this apart from taking up a very small portion of your time which is otherwise occupied with the most exciting of activities.

      Delete
  85. I am dizzy from reading this whirlwind of social activity. Dizzy and a tad jealous, I must admit, as I would have loved to have spent but one of these enjoyable gatherings in your delightful company! With kind regards, Reggie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We can think of nothing we should like more than to have you and Boy to add your own very distinct sparkle to each and every occasion. Is there any chance you can both be on an aeroplane to join us at a little dinner party we are giving tonight?! We do so wish!!

      Delete
  86. This restuarant looks most inviting - I love the decor! And reading all of your many adventures. Minerva x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ikon is a restaurant very much building a name for itself in Debrecen. Sadly, it is quite far from Budapest otherwise we should definitely be in there more often.

      Delete
  87. Dear Jane and Lance...what a fabulous whirlwind of a month!!!
    Good friends, luscious food, splendid art, champagne flowing, and a Mad Boy! C'est Magnifique!!!
    Thank you for always bringing le joie de vivre! So glad you're back...
    Warmest regards from chilly Minnesota.... :))
    - Irina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did, Irina, have a wonderful time catching up with friends in both Brighton and Budapest. The champagne fuelling did help to speed us through it all!

      We know that you too share our philosophy that one must make the most of every moment and, at the end of the day, it is spending time with those with whom one is close that really matters. All the rest is fancy wrapping paper!

      Delete
  88. Your style of writing is very charming to read, and allows me to imagine the scenes and friends, art and food you describe, along with your photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your most generous comment. We are delighted that you have enjoyed reading about our exploits. They were fun!!!

      Delete
  89. I would rather drink champgane than blog any day, Jane and Lance. You two are very smart to take time to sample the delights of wine, friends, dancing, good food and frivolity.

    The only thing missing was MOI. Ha!

    I'm with Minerva, I love reading all about your adventures. It is especially cheery tonight while we sit here on the east coast of North America waiting for Hurricane Sandy (yes, that's the inane name)to make landfall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Yvette, we had not really considered the choice between champagne or blogging before, but, now that we have, we can definitely recommend the former. However, it has been lovely to be back amongst our dear readers. We do miss you all when we are away.

      We are hearing such devastating news and are very alarmed about Hurricane Sandy and you are in our thoughts and prayers while the storm passes. Take care and stay safe!

      Delete
  90. Dear Jane and Lance
    When on earth do you two draw breath - it's such an amazing life you lead.
    I felt I was on a merry-go-round racing from one divine engagement to the next, almost without time for a change of dress (I know that was not the case)!!!
    You are the inveterate raconteurs - love you both and everything you share with us!
    Take care and keep enjoying life.
    Shane ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have to admit to feeling slightly giddy ourselves after putting together the blog post and wondering how did we manage to do it all and remain standing.Still, champagne is a perfect fuel to keep one going....it is only when it stops flowing that the problems start!!!

      Thank you so much for your most kind and generous comment. We hope that you have had a wonderful weekend!

      Delete
  91. As a vegetarian and sometimes visitor to Sussex I'm glad to pick up your tip for vegetarian dining in Brighton.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We can definitely recommend Food for Friends, Paul, as an excellent vegetarian restaurant. It had been awarded the 'Foodies' award in 2012 and we were not surprised after our most delicious dinners on two consecutive nights. The menu is interesting and the flavours fresh, seasonal and delicious. The service is excellent too!

      Delete
  92. Because of this rapid fire bullet point recount of your whirling social calender of the last few weeks, we can excuse you your absenteeism from the blogging world, real life seems far more interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brighton, as you well know, dear Jason, is a 24/7 full on experience if you want it to be. So, catching up with friends whom we have not seen for several months, turned into this hectic schedule quite easily!!!

      Just time now to catch breath and catch up with blogging chums before we are off again. Hope you too are enjoying living the moment!!

      Delete
  93. My dearest Jane and Lance,you poor things, you must be exhausted, all that champagne, all those fondant fancies! I rather like the look of 'Food for Friends'and love the way they have sign written the wall.Your 'mad boy' looks to be thoroughly enjoying himself. You are a lesson to us all on how to live life. Hats off to you, Hattats!

    Many thanks for your extremely helpful comments on my blog. I am sure that your wedding although small and quiet was romantic and wonderful. Big hugs to you both. I am a little confused as to where you are right now, all that jet setting has made me dizzy! Love Linda x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Linda, how we loved your wedding suggestions and only wish that you could have been in charge of our proceedings some 32 years ago!!!!

      The champagne sipping, although exhausting, was certainly something that we could readily get used to on a weekly if not a daily basis!!! Yes, we are sure that you would like 'Food for Friends' which not only serves delicious food but also is decorated simply and stylishly.....quite a Linda signature we think!!

      Delete
  94. Well, I can understand the absence, with all of these wonderful things, I would have been absent too ;) I adore French Fancies, haha :) I always say, I'll just have one and end up eating quite a few ;) But, they are wonderful :) And I enjoyed this music too, very calming for my day!! Am really pleased you had such a splendid time!! I do hope your week will be as enchanting!! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The little cakes were positively addictive. We could have eaten the entire box. A very dangerous addition to the kitchen cupboard in our view.

      We are so pleased that you enjoyed Kathleen Ferrier. This particular aria is a great favourite of ours, one which we break into song with at the drop of a hat. Sadly, though, neither of us sounds like Kathleen!!!

      Hoping that your week is going well too!!

      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.