red|guide Tipps: Bucharest
EAT in Bucharest: Balthazar
The Balthazar is one of the top places to dine in Bucharest. Here you are served French-Asian fusion cuisine at its most sublime. For foreigners it's affordable, but you can assume that the Romanians you see here belong to the capital's top earners. The old villa where the restaurant is located has been lovingly restored with an eye for detail. The gardens and avant-garde bar?perfect for a drink before or after dinner?are especially attractive. The guests are still hip, even if the times have past when business dinners took place no where else. Perhaps too, despite the culinary delights, guests have noticed the restaurant's two weak points: a rather anemic wine list and music which can sometimes drive you to distraction. But if that doesn't trouble you, you are set to enjoy a very enjoyable evening in an elegant ambiance.
SHOP in Bucharest: Nichi
At first glance you might not suspect that Romania has a good deal to boast of in the world of fashion. Nichi Cristina Nichita is a Bucharest girl made good. The fashion designer has presented her creations on many a catwalk and invariably earned ecstatic kudos. In the shop on Piata Unirii slip into one of the designer's latest creations; you're sure to be won over. Elegant businesswear with that certain something extra, lovely handbags, and clothes for that special event. Too bad Nichi Cristina Nichita only designs for women, but she really knows how to pamper them. The designer plays with classic looks that are never dull because they all have a dash of contemporary spirit. Pick out your favourite dress and reserve a table at a chic bar to show it off.
STAY in Bucharest: El Greco
You may feel as though you are in an antiques shop. But here you actually get to use the creaky chests, sleep in the romantic old-fashioned beds, and wander at will through the historic halls. After all, it's still a hotel, even though quite a historic one.The EL Greco is a dream that dates back to the 19th century?both the façade and the lovingly restored lounges and staircases. True, the rooms can seem somewhat full and the décor a bit overladen unless you have a special penchant for heavy, burgundy-coloured curtains, gold braid, stucco, and patterned carpets. If your eyes need a rest, then repair to the garden and terrace in the hotel's interior courtyard. Here you can also savour Greek and international cuisine. One night's accommodations in a double room start at 110 euro.
SEE in Bucharest: Kinofestred|guide Bucharest
At Bucharest's Kinofest the focus is on fascinating animated films and exciting shorts. Anyone can participate, whether professional director, or hobby cineaste. Romanian and international film-makers have the chance over five days to screen their latest works. The organisers' goal is to create a stage for young cinema-makers' films. The also aim to stimulate interest in media arts and showcase new forms of creativity. This formula seems to be a success, with the festival taking place this year for the fourth time. At Kinofest the best films in the categories animation, fiction, and micromovie will be awarded prizes. You want to get a taste of the festival in advance? Log on to the festival website, where entries of past years can be viewed.