Parliament Buildings in Budapest, Hungary
In late March of 2017, I was lucky enough to be flown out to London and Budapest for ten days. There is nothing more magical than a free flight, especially one to England which gets more than a little pricey. I spent five days in London, shooting and visiting with friends. London is one of my favorite cites and I’d love to be able to spend more time there. Perhaps one day when I’m independently wealthy. Highlights included lots of walks on Hampstead Heath, a trip to Secret Cinema’s Moulin Rouge (if you don’t know about Secret Cinema, look it up. What they do is truly amazing!), so many amazing sweets, a trip to an underground Bletchley Park immersive bar, and the magical convenience of the tube (seriously LA, catch up!).
After London, I jumped on board a Wizz Air flight to Budapest, one of the most beautiful cities and a place that I hadn’t visited since 2007. In those last 10 years it has just gotten more beautiful. More and more of the pre-war aesthetics have slowly been restored and it is an incredibly vibrant city. I had the pleasure of visiting the wonderful Gellert Baths for a day of spa relaxation in an art deco setting. Budapest is the spa capital of the world with numerous different places to soak in the healing hot springs. I look forward to trying many more on return trips.
With my troubles soaked away, I was ready to head to Korda Studios, a huge studio about 45 minutes outside of the city that is currently shooting the upcoming Robin Hood movie. The studio was also acted as the setting for The Borgias, The Martian, Emerald City and The Lost Kingdom (to name a few). Despite the fact that I live a stone’s throw from multiple studios, I was blown away by the sheer magnitude of the various outdoor sets that had been built here. They truly become their own self-contained worlds and it was a total pleasure to explore them.
Other than that, there were trips to Palaces and almost all the Dobos Torte that I could eat (I probably could not be satiated here, let’s be honest). If you aren’t familiar with Dobos Torte it is made up of many layers of very thin sponge cake with rich, dark chocolate ganache in between and it is topped with a hard caramel layer. It was invented by Jozsef Dobos who was looking for a way to preserve the shelf life of cakes in the 1800s. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s filled with buttercream. They’re wrong. Ganache all the way! Sadly, it is also impossible to find in Los Angeles and incredibly difficult to make well. So, Gerbeud (a wonderful chocolatier in Budapest), please send some. Thanks.