I like places with surprises: hidden courtyards, secret gardens, unexpected details. There’s one place in Budapest that always surprises those who see it the first time. It’s the Lotz Hall, or Lotz Terem, on 39 Andrássy ut. Entering the building, you’ll find nothing special, just a bookstore. But take a ride on the escalator and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Upstairs is the breathtaking Lotz Hall, or Lotz Terem, one of the most beautiful places to enjoy a coffee and pastry in the city. Glittering with mirrored walls and gilded chandeliers, this once former ballroom is the Versailles of coffee houses. And the best part is the ceiling. With artwork by Károly Lotz (hence the name), one feels like he is sipping coffee in the Sistine Chapel. It’s no wonder the Lotz is my favorite Sunday sit.
When I’m there, I like to relax in my deep leather chair and ogle at the interiors. But I also get a kick out of watching the tourists’ faces as they first lay eyes on the room. Their reactions are always the same: jaws drop, arms go up, smart phones start snapping. Tip: if you visit the Lotz, go after four o’clock to enjoy live music on the Steinway grand. It doesn’t get much better that that!