…and Hungary

We’ve chosen to live in Budapest, at least for the time being. It is a beautiful city, often rated one of the most beautiful in the world for its eclectic architecture. Many interesting sites,  museums, shops, bars, and restaurants sit alongside an often troubled history. Like all cities, it has its problems and its detractors, but for us it is a home from home and we love it. So we write about Budapest and Hungary quite a lot.  While we hope these articles will be useful to visitors, many are just about life in the city, and those of people we meet. If you plan to visit Budapest (as you should) don’t ignore the rest of the country. There are some hidden gems, fantastic food and wine, and wonderful festivals. Enjoy.

Bedroom: So ugly it's beautiful

Every Saturday for the last five weeks, I've visited this antique shop near Szabadszag hid on Vámház korút. It's one of those curious shops with two fronts. The first door opens into what looks like a rather small jewelry shop. Well, truth…

Living room: Have a seat

A few years ago, I came across a diary I had written when I was 16. The certainty of my writing left no room for discussion. I had obviously given a lot of thought to what I wanted from life and, in that innocence peculiar to 16-year-olds who…

Living room: China cabinet

My mother has a china cabinet at home. I still wonder why she refers to it as the  'china cabinet' when there's no china in it. It's full of Waterford glass and various trophies us kids won at school. I've never been a great lover of fine china;…

Living room: Chobi carpets

When I was in India early last year, I found myself effectively kidnapped on a number of occasions by rickshaw drivers who were working on commission for carpet sellers and gift-shop owners. It didn't matter how many times I asked  to be taken…

Hallway in black and white

I think it was when I was going through my 'country mansion' stage that I first hit on the idea of a black-and-white hallway. Not the most original idea in the world perhaps, but one that has been a long time in the making.  I am particularly…

Living room

Back in 2001, just before I left Alaska and the USA to return to Ireland, I took a last-minute whirlwind tour of the south. Along with my good friend RosaB, I flew into New Orleans and hired a car. From there we headed to Biloxi, Mississippi, over…

Living room: Dinner parties

The first time I brought an American boyfriend home to Ireland, in 1996, we went to dinner at my friends' house in Dublin. The N-Ms  have a great big dining table and eight of us sat around until the small hours of the morning, talking,…

Bedroom: The piece that made my heart stop

I never thought it possible that I could get excited about a piece of furniture. I would have laughed in your face if you'd told me that I'd be spending more time in flea markets and antique shops than in boutiques and salons. But it's true.…

And my heart missed a beat...

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to own my own place.  Over the years, the 'place' in question has moved from a stone cottage in the West of Ireland, to a crofter's cottage by a loch in the highlands of Scotland. I've had visions…