Grateful 19

People change. Every day. We age. We put on weight. We lose weight. We restyle our hair. We get glasses. We try contacts. Places change, too. New buildings. New skylines. New owners. New management. This funny old world of ours is never the same two days running. Budapest, particularly, is undergoing a massive transformation. Shops and cafés and restaurants are closing down. New ones are opening up. Because something is there today doesn’t mean it will be open tomorrow. Because the food is good today, doesn’t mean it will be good tomorrow. And as for the service… excuse me while I take a deep breath.

Back in 2009, I discovered Épitész pince and I blogged about it. Now, three years later, I practically spent the weekend there and found that amongst life’s myriad changes, Épitész has remained a constant.

On Friday, JFW had his not-a-stag-do there. It was not-a-stag-do in that the party included both men and women… and his mother. A trifle non-traditional. The food was excellent and the service remarkably smooth. On Saturday, we were back there again for the wedding. And it was beautiful. The courtyard setting. The ivy-covered balcony. The stone steps. All so very Romeo and Juliettish. And ever so romantic. About 40 sat down to dinner and conversation flowed as people made new connections and reconnected with old ones. Two waiters worked the floor. For the first time in Budapest, I never had to repeat an order – just catch their eye and nod and my Havanna gold was delivered. And the pleasantness never waned. Truly remarkable.

The Hot Jazz Band entertained us till 10 pm and then DJ Ábrahám Zsolt took over in the adjoining gallery and played a storm. Songs I could sing to and dance to, too. Haven’t heard many of those in a while. What struck me about it all though was that the good things in life never go out of fashion, they never change. Love is love, no matter where you are in the world. Friendships thrive despite the miles that separate. And people coming together to celebrate is something that has been around since the dawn of time. Add that heady mixture to Épitész pince, what has for me become a sanctuary of sorts, and you have a recipe of success. If you’re in the market for a venue that will live up to expectations, then look no further.

This week, as Mr and Mrs JFW, embark on married life, I am grateful for the constants in the world – love, friendship, and reasons to celebrate –  the benchmarks which keep us grounded and furnish our reality with strength and fortitude.

Note: For a reminder of what the Grateful series is about, check out Grateful 52