Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Na zdrowie Warszawa

Fresh back from Warsaw and I must admit, there's not much 'fresh' about me.

A weekend spent enjoying the café culture of Poland's 'least exciting city' (thanks Tripadvisor), has left me about a stone heavier and my liver screaming 'mercy' - but my god was it fun.
Custard and vodka pączek (doughnut) - Yes.
With a best friend relocated to somewhere referred to as 'least exciting', I set off on what I thought would be more of a duty trip. Lovely to see my girl, lovely to catch up, lovely to get away - all very lovely, but I was hardly expecting a light up my life weekend. But, as ever, low expectations a joyful surprise doth make and I had a bloody corker.

Whilst Warsaw isn't the most picturesque of cities, with the 'Old Town' completed in just 1963 and few of the older buildings remaining post-Soviets, there is a hell of a lot of concrete. But where there is concrete, so there is graffiti and there are some amazing murals around the city providing a nicely gritty backdrop to the multi-coloured blooms of the tulip sellers sat on most streets.

But behind the walls of what could seem to be a cold and stark city is a treasure trove of incredible cafés, restaurants and bars for discovery. 

After a late Friday lunch of surprisingly delicious pierogi (Polish dumplings), we headed to Mielzynski - a wine bar run by a Polish Canadian called Robert. It was heaven, the waitress poured us two glasses of red that slipped down like the sweetest nectar. If we hadn't been so full of dumpling we'd have tucked into the amazing food that we saw being eaten all around us (even by Polish supermodel Magdalena Frackowiak who I spied at a table just near ours - b.a.b.e.).

On Saturday we decided we'd treat ourselves to a blowdry and half an hour later came out looking like tarty poodles, with curls that Dolly Parton herself would be proud of. But in a city that's just so cheap, why the hell not?

A quick supper of polish sausage, gherkins and vodka and we headed out to Praga - an area that most Warsawvians (?!!!) wouldn't be caught dead in but the young and trendy love (Em and I obviously slot right into the latter). Dancing to the Spice Girls Wannabe (sorry, had to be done) on the dancefloor of Hydrozagadka, I momentarily forgot who and where I was. But, I soon fell into step with a nice man in a dicky bow, as Warsaw's fresh young things pashed around us.

Sunday came around and with it brought the perfect brunch occasion (one of my favourite occasions) - the only way to overcome our end of weekend melancholy. Warsaw's take on a French brasserie wasn't half bad, with the continuous flow of people to Charlotte's laying testament to it's popularity.

A glass of fizz and a croque madame later and it was time to head to the airport. As I waved my bestie goodbye, I couldn't help but feel a little envious that she got to stay in this slightly-odd-but-in-a-good way place and looked forward to hearing what tales of adventure she comes back with- I should think there'll be a few.

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