Music, food and history - an unforgettable tour to Budapest | Portsmouth High School

Music, food and history – an unforgettable tour to Budapest

Pupils, parents and staff enjoyed the cultural splendours of Budapest during last week’s exciting music and food tour along the Danube River.

The group performed concerts at Budapest Zoo and Botanical Gardens, The Institute of Musicology, and St Michael’s Church where appreciative audiences clapped and shouted for encores. The locals particularly enjoyed the British pieces performed by soloists Zosia (Year 9, violin), Thalia and Olivia (Year 9, voice) and Rebecca (Year 12, guitar). Our youngest singer, Eleanor in Year 7, was cheered for her beautiful rendition of Once Upon a December.

­For the food part of the tour, the group rolled up their sleeves for a three-hour cooking class, preparing classic Hungarian dishes such as the multi-layered Gerbeaud cake, paprika and onion stew, and chicken soup with tarragon. Throughout the visit the pupils sampled Budapest’s heartiest cuisine, from the full buffet on the sunset riverboat cruise, to the puffy fried Lángos flatbread at the Central Market, to fresh blackberries plucked straight from the brambles.

Szimpla Kert, an atmospheric “ruin bar” ranked in the world’s Top Ten pubs, served fresh lemonade to the thirsty group, and evening meals at Vidróczki Csárda, a traditional Hungarian bistro, included delicious soups, pork schnitzel, vegetarian salads, pancakes with curd cheese, and fresh, seasonal fruits. Pupil reviews on food scored an average 9 out of 10, with one enthusiast awarding a 9.8.

This unforgettable trip taught pupils about much more than music and food. They also learned about history, including the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, politics, and geography. Team building and problem solving helped pupils crack binary codes in six themed Escape Rooms. Director of Music Mr Tinsley introduced the group to Art Nouveau by treating them to cakes at the Art Nouveau Café.

Able linguists such as Daisy in Year 9 used the notoriously tricky Hungarian language in order to communicate with the locals. Emily in Year 9 even had a taste of work experience when she was invited into the cockpit of the plane by the British Airways staff who overheard her say she wanted to become a pilot. The trip was a tremendous success and a true example of learning outside the classroom.