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Budapest’s renewed Émile is a paradise for open-air family dining

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  • Nick Robertson

04/05/2017 9.21am

When the management behind downtown Pest’s legendary Gerbeaud Confectionery opened Émile restaurant on the city’s Buda side in spring of 2015, Budapest’s foodies were immediately impressed by this top-quality eatery’s classic villa and spacious garden, all thoroughly renovated with 21st-century style. After operating as a fine-dining destination for the past two years, this spring the Gerbeaud team is taking Émile in a new direction to make this sunshiny locale more family-friendly, dedicating an entire room to kids and launching a series of Sunday “picnics” that are appealing for all ages.

Tucked amid the Buda Hills in the city’s leafy District II, Émile occupies a former family home that is now dramatically renovated into a modern restaurant by leading Hungarian designer Zoltán Varró, while the property still bears the classic elegance of a stately villa. Although Émile’s interior is comfortably sophisticated, the garden dining area is especially inviting during warmer months, as a variety of wicker sofas and shaded tables welcome everyone to enjoy gourmet breakfasts and other meals alfresco, or to simply relax while delighting in coffee, ice cream, and/or a slice of new-wave cake dreamed up by Tamás László, Gerbeaud’s creative pastry chef.

Budapest’s renewed Émile is a paradise for open-air family dining

Photo: Émile

While the upstairs dining area remains a tastefully understated place for grown-ups to savor diverse seasonal cuisine by Chef Ágnes Tóth – currently including marinated salmon with avocado, cream of green-pea soup with mint, and roasted lamb with polenta and lecsó pepper stew – the downstairs dining room is now reserved for children, featuring a colorful décor and a wide variety of toys and books, along with a play kitchen set up directly next to Émile’s real show kitchen. Parents are welcome to dine with their kids here, but on weekends a professional nanny is also available to look after the little ones while mom and dad dine upstairs or in the garden.

Budapest’s renewed Émile is a paradise for open-air family dining

Photo: Émile/György Darabos

Speaking of the garden, Émile is now expanding their family-friendly appeal even more with a series of “picnics” held here almost every Sunday between 10am and 3pm, featuring diverse alfresco entertainment and activities with prominent Hungarian performers. The Émile Picnic series begins on May 7th with a Mother’s Day celebration, followed by a party to mark Émile’s second birthday on May 14th. On May 28th, celebrity gardener Mark McMenemy will help kids tend the plants surrounding Émile, and on June 11th, internationally renowned Hungarian folk singer Ági Szalóki entertains everyone. Other upcoming Émile Picnic events include fun Father’s Day festivities on June 18th – check the Émile Facebook page for additional details.

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