Crossing the Danube via the Elizabeth Bridge, it is impossible to ignore the Klothilde Palaces. Side by side, a matching pair, they act as sentinels, guarding the gateway to nineteenth century Pest.
For too many years they remained neglected, run down, symbols of a troubled past. That is until very recently when Fortune, smiling and munificent, restored these wayward twins to former glory.
|the Klothilde Palaces [courtesy of Geolocation, Wikimedia] looking west|
We are no strangers to them. For in December of last year M, our most generous friend, following a spectacular evening at the ballet, hosted the most glittering dinner and party in what has now become the Buddha Hotel, Restaurant and Bar.
|the grand staircase of the Klothilde Palace leading upwards to the Buddha Bar [December]|
|looking down from above into the Buddha Restaurant on the night of M's December party|
And only last week we were there once more, together with M, this time in celebration of the Chinese New Year at Richard's invitation. What immense fun too it proved to be. Throughout dinner, each course more delicious than the last, in a restaurant which positively dazzled, we were entertained to cavorting, dancing dragons whose brilliance and colour transported us from a snow filled Budapest to an Orient of gaiety and promise.
|a dragon cavorts in the most entertaining fashion through the Buddha Restaurant last week|
|an impassive Buddha looks on at the antics of the dragon in celebration of the New Year|
|striding into a New Year last week, a yellow dragon partnered by one clothed in red|
Then in complete contrast, the gentle, quiet sophistication of a dancer whose beauty, grace and charm captivated and enthralled the entire room.
|an admiring onlooker at an adjacent table looks on in wonder at the grace of the dancer|
Afterwards, in the upstairs bar, and now well beyond the witching hour, to music, dancing, laughter and more dragons we ate the most wicked of chocolate puddings and 'partied' the night away.
|much merriment and enjoyment to be had at our table in the bar, well into the early hours|
And in opening our Fortune Cookies, no snakes in the grass to be found!