An oasis is probably the last thing you would expect to find in a Central European capital, but a new community hub in Budapest is offering just that, and more besides.
Twentysix Budapest, a new gastronomical and community hub, has been opened in a former residential block on Király utca in the heart of the Hungarian capital and is a real first for the city. Those visiting the place can immediately escape the dark days of winter and find themselves in a cosy urban jungle filled with banana trees, rubber plants, palms and all sorts of begonia in every corner of the inner garden.
You can enjoy your meal or a great cup of coffee in a perfect Mediterranean climate, the temperature a constant 26°C.
Describing itself as a shop, studio, house and garden, the newly unveiled hub consists of four parts. The Garden of Twentysix is the central element: a nutritious soulful restaurant with a mostly Mediterranean food with a heap of vegan options. Brunch is offered from 10.30 and includes magnificent self-roasted Arabica coffee prepared by Amezze, a small Italian company. Similarly focal is the House, also called the Chameleon Room, whose elegance provides a perfect venue for thematic pop-up dinners, birthday parties, gastronomic workshops or community events for nearby companies.
The Shop is also a unique addition. Besides environmentally friendly items from Bloomingville, a Danish home decoration company, a collection of Hungarian wines, champagnes, jams and other homemade delicacies, there is an extensive range of freshly baked morning goods.
And this leads us to the Studio, the fourth element of Twentysix, which is a soundproofed yoga studio hosting all kinds of classes. “For such a place that could guide you somewhere far from everyday life, it was important to connect to an earthly paradise by introducing a service that goes beyond the physical plane,” said Barbara Poisson-Angeli, the founder of Twentysix, during the opening ceremony.
“We believe in simplicity. We wanted create a place where everybody can enjoy some Mediterranean bites close to nature, go to a yoga class if they feel like it, or buy dinner for the evening without travelling far or leaving downtown,” she added.
According to the creators of Twentysix, the aspiration is to create what they view as the “perfect balance” between gastronomy, nature and a conscious life that is perfectly suited for providing a pleasant atmosphere both in the winter and a summer. The number 26 was also important since it is not only the ideal Celsius temperature for tropical plants, but the street number of the former apartment building in which the hub is located.
You can even contribute to protecting the environment by choosing to drink a Plant a Tree cocktail, a part of a special local initiative: after buying each cocktail, one tree will be planted in Budapest and dedicated to the person who has bought the drink. Drink lots.
For someone like me who lives in the central part of Budapest, but originally comes from the Hungarian countryside, Twentysix is paradise if you wish to get back to nature – even if you are unable to get out of the Hungarian capital.
Twentysix Budapest is located at Király utca 26 in District VI, and is open from 9am to midnight on weekdays and from 9 am to 2am at weekends. Photo: Twentysix Budapest