The hotel chose to highlight the Five Basic Elements of nature that govern our lives, namely the four physical ones – Fire, Earth, Water and Air – and the fifth one, variously identified as Health, Spirit or sometimes by other names. Whichever, the planet is reeling from climate change and pollution, and the InterContinental's party was all about going green and being environmentally sustainable.

As one of the bigger buildings in town, with just over 400 guest rooms, the hotel has recognised that its approach to the beleaguered natural world is of special importance, and the party was consequently built around this theme, allowing guests to discover the unique qualities of the five elements as they form part of the InterContinental lifestyle.

Perhaps the hotel's most important way of minimising its ecological footprint is by regulating the huge building itself, and InterContinental Budapest's Director of Engineering, Tamás Kószó, was on hand to explain about the led lighting, temperature control and water- and energy-saving solutions that are some of the steps which have been implemented. At the summer party, Kószó's efforts illustrated the hotel's approach to the element air, and he was able to guide guests through a series of questions that showed their personal effect on the planet, such as being wasteful in the way we travel, eat and shop.

Some party guests were lucky to be given a glimpse of a previously "secret spot", a rooftop bio-garden where the staff are growing plants organically, including herbs, tomatoes, paprika, zucchini, eggplant and strawberries for use in the hotel restaurant and bar. This initiative by InterContinental represents the element of earth.

The element fire was to be seen on the riverside Corso Terrace with modern Big Green Egg grill technology, these barbeque units with a ceramic shell being able to hold their heat for even cooking. The InterContinental's chefs were using them to take the barbeque experience to a higher level, with both vegans and meat lovers able to find delicacies to their taste among the savoury dishes made of local seasonal ingredients. Debreceni sausage, signature pork spare ribs, csevapcsicsa and sopszka salad were among the offerings.

Representing the element of water were the hotel's partners from Kaviczky, a Hungarian brand made of locally sourced medicinal clay and grains that is used in the InterContinental Spa. Party guests could learn how to make their own sustainable spa products. Here was an opportunity to enjoy the beneficial effects of the Héviz thermal springs brought to the banks of the Danube. Ladies could create their own pampering facial mask and hand cream from the Kaviczky products.

Finally, element five, in this case health, saw the Béres family's representative join the party fun to showcase a joint project between the hotel and the Tokaj vineyard and winery – the "health infused" cocktail called Béres drops, part of the Hungarian inventions-inspired cocktail selection. Similarly, on the alcoholic front, more than 100 of the guests could savour French bartender Matthias Giroud's lavender and blackcurrant beverage novelty and the InterContinental bar's bestseller the Mai Tai-inspired Rubik's Cube cocktail speciality. This came served in a Rubik's Cube-shaped and -coloured cup/glass.

InterContinental Budapest's Live on the Terrace event series is back again in 2019. Visitors can enjoy live music, DJs and culinary treats while sipping cocktails inspired by Hungarian inventions created by the Corso team.

Thursdays are all about Latin rhythms, with the Mai Rumba band taking the stage in the bar, and Fridays feature acoustic music. For a complete culinary experience, the fashionable Big Green Egg ceramic grill can be brought to diners' tables so they can actively participate in preparing their own dinner. On Saturdays a DJ and a singer jazz up guests so that after a light meal and some cocktails they are ready to explore the night life.

Having returned home after years of gaining experience abroad, executive chef Gergő Gullner is in charge of the restaurant's kitchen and his goal is to reinvent Hungarian traditions in the light of the international influences to which he was exposed. By transforming traditional dishes, he explores regional gastronomy spanning borders from the Dalmatian seaside to the mountains of Tatra in Slovakia.

The emphasis is on using locally available ingredients and using them in season. Sustainability is also a key aspect: Gullner is an avid proponent of the globally popular "zero waste" trend that aims to make use of every bit of ingredients. He oversees the rooftop bio-garden.

Hungarian pálinka and gin are on offer at the bar. The cocktails inspired by world-famous Hungarian inventions reframe in special drinks the exciting and innovative stories that are hopefully familiar to foreign guests too – such as Rubik's Cube, Vitamin C or Biro's pen – and now they can also taste them in an unexpected form.

The Vitamin C cocktail is a homage to inventor Albert Szent-Györgyi (1893-1986). This is vodka-based and includes sour-tasting Vitamin C pills finely pulverised in a mortar, with the fresh flavours highlighted by the addition of tonic water. The citrus sorbet and Corso Elixír are also freshly prepared and the roasted cocktail tomatoes and fresh herbs come from the roof garden.

The Live on the Terrace experience can be enjoyed until September.


InterContinental Budapest
Apáczai Apáczai Csere János utca 12-14, District V
Tel: (+36-1) 327-6333
www.budapest.intercontinental.com


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