Budapest – a diamond in the rough

A guide to Budapest.

Straddling both sides of the Danube with impressive buildings and bridges, Budapest is a jewel on the Hungarian landscape. Hungary is a rural country, extremely hot in summer, frightfully cold in winter, and poor all year round. The countryside is broken up by picturesque villages, smatterings of colourful cottages and some very run-down homes and towns too. Graffiti adorns even historical sites and in local hospitals, patients are expected to bring their own toilet paper because the hospitals no longer stock it due to recurring thefts. Like most Eastern European countries, it is still trying to recover from its past. A fact which makes Budapest, standing proudly on the glistening banks of the Danube, even more of an impressive sight to behold. Read More

The Continental Hotel Zara, Budapest – Review

Much like the city it is located in, the Continental Hotel Zara is a delightful mix of grand decadence, subtle elegance and vibrant character. My stay here was one of the highlights of my trip to Budapest and so has moved me to pay tribute to it!

If you weave down a maze of quiet streets lined with historic buildings still reaching with pride to the skies, having aged gracefully from opulant to shabby-but-interesting, you will find the giant iron revolving doors of the Continental Hotel Zara. A mere ten minutes from the heart of Budapest. Read More

A completely serious analysis of Prince Charles’ Jubilee tribute to his ‘Mama’

Never one to resist a publicity stunt in a bid to improve his image after Tampax-gate and the machinations of Princess Diana, the Prince of Wales decided to have a documentary tribute to his darling mother to celebrate her Jubilee. Except for a bit of a struggle at the start with remembering how to speak normally for the common masses (because when one is of the upper classes sounds beyond horsey grunts are unnecessary to communicate with your peers, and, really who else do they speak to most of the time)  the Prince put on an admirable facade of decorum and of almost being bothered to string some words together to talk the British people. He even managed to show his humanity with some well-timed mechanical chuckles (which might need a bit more work for all the diplomatic work he’s supposed to do) and a few watery tears here and there, which some no doubt will think are crocodile tears but I have no doubt were prompted by the crushing truth that his mother has been on the throne for sixty years and he is unlikely to ever achieve that now (unless the elixir of eternal youth is invented at some point in the next twenty years).

Read on for a round up of the stunning observations and questions this deep and insightful exploration of the Royal Family has to offer: Read More

Royal Palaces – Hampton Court vs. Windsor Castle

With the Jubilee weekend fast approaching and all forms of media saturated with insights into and pictures of our dutiful monarch’s life, you may have been inspired to check out our historic palaces, in between getting tangled up in Union Jack bunting and eating cake in your local street party of course.

For those of you based in London who want to use the long weekend to venture tentatively out of the big smoke but not go too far, two of the options available are Hampton Court and Windsor Castle. Read on for my verdict on which is the one more worth your precious extra holiday time. Read More

London Pet Show 2012 – Review

Animal mad? Thinking of getting a pet but no idea where to start? Or maybe you just wish you had a pet/were able to get one so you want an opportunity to stroke other people’s pets? Then visiting the annual two-day London Pet Show is the ideal weekend treat for you. Read More

The King’s Speech- Review

Here is a review I did for The London Word of the stage version of The King’s Speech, currently on at the Wyndham Theatre, London.

The play is sadly closing early, however I do think it is worth booking for so catch it while you can!

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The posters lining the tube escalators urge you to come and see the play that inspired the film, a slogan designed to snare fans of the Oscar winning film, The King’s Speech. It’s also a slightly double-edged sword because it puts pressure on the stage version to be as good, even if the script was originally meant for the stage. However, the play has held its own. Read More

Mycroft Holmes – sleuth’s surprisingly sexy sibling

He’s mind-bogglingly smart. He has a flair for the dramatic. And people turn to him for solutions of problems that have dire national consequences. If brainy is the new sexy as Irene Adler says (and I’m not going to argue with someone who uses a riding crop with such panache) then it is no wonder I’m developing a deep admiration for Holmes. No, I’m not talking about Sherlock, as ahem ‘admirable’ as his black curls, well-cut coat and ability to pull off a bed sheet is. I’m talking about Mycroft. Read More