See What Happened @ St. George's Day Bash - Feast of English Music, Film & Street-Food

  • 30 Apr 2024 4:50 PM
See What Happened @ St. George's Day Bash - Feast of English Music, Film & Street-Food
The 3rd celebration for St. George organised by XpatLoop attracted a full house to the Premium Level at Etele Cinema on Wednesday 24 April - Szent György Nap - raising nearly HUF 1 million to help children in need according to the count by UNICEF Hungary.

Via these links you can see three Event Photo Galleries by the loyal Xpat Event sharpshooters:
Marko 'Awesome' Novkov / Árpád 'Amazing' Bakcsy / Marcus 'Mavrick' Schirrmacher.

To mark England’s national day in Hungary this annual event brought together a great group of guests from the international community - including Ambassadors from Indonesian and Ireland, the Country Director of the British Council, along with top people from the British Embassy.

“Thoroughly enjoyed my first St. George’s Day in Budapest – brilliant entertainment, fun company, and phenomenal food, reflecting the diversity that makes England great! Oh those salt & vinegar crisps made me nostalgic! All that, and raising funds for a most worthy cause in UNICEF. Köszönöm for the invitation!" -  said Ragnar Almqvist, the Irish Ambassador to Hungary.

Friendly expats met cosmopolitan locals from Hungary’s business, diplomatic and cultural circles at this popular gathering in Budapest to mark the Patron Saint of England, AKA Szent György.

During the meet-and-greet section of the evening guests enjoyed an extensive cheese and wine tasting reception. English and local cheeses were paired with wine from St George Hill near Balaton - along with whites, rosés and reds from the other top wine regions around Hungary.

Once the room was full a welcome address was lead in an energetic and accomplished manner by Master of Ceremonies Peter Linka. He went on to make a short yet powerful Shakespeare recital, as St. George's Day in England falls on the birthday of the Bard of Avon - widely regarded as the world's pre-eminent dramatist and greatest writer in English.

Then a great St. George speech was given with both passion and expertise by Matthew Kirlew, the Head of Policy at British Embassy Budapest - who studied history at university.

As a regular crowd-pleaser on the mic at such events, his speech was well received by the audience who heard about St. George’s fascinating international background in an entertaining way.

Matt also highlighted English has 360 million native speakers, 1 billion people use it as a second language, and it is the official language in 67 countries.

Following on smoothly from those fun facts, Antónia Mészáros gave a heart-touching talk about the work and challenges faced by UNICEF Hungary.

Antónia highlighted that the United Nations Children’s Fund is reliant on donations, and her warm and charismatic words about the work of her team - and UNICEF Champions - received a large round of applause.

Stephen Linfitt, the event organiser, gave thanks to returning Platinum sponsors B+N and to Sapphire sponsor Taxually. Equally he praised the three other loyal returning sponsors BritannicaDr. Rose and BISB - each got a special token of appreciation together with a hand-shake on stage.

Next up DJ Woods introduced a special version of the hymn 'Jerusalem', the contemporary anthem of England was played to announce the opening of the ‘street-food buffet’ - featuring favourites enjoyed on a typical night out in England.

Andrew played cordial English classical music as guests arrived, to elegantly settle them into the evening. Then he pumped up the party atmosphere with English pop hits during dinner.

The wide range of catering ensured everyone found a good few dishes to savour, such as the English favourite of Chicken Tikka Masala by Bombay Budapest

Also a hit were the fabulous quality kebabs with Hummus, Muhammara and Baba Ghannouj by Leila’s – a popular returning food sponsor.

Also the cinema put on a great range of Pizza varieties, plus Burritos with Guacamole and a Salad Bar all pleased guests.

Fresh Pasta options, featuring Bolognese Sauce, Bell Pepper Ragout with Chicken, and Wild Mushroom Sauce, all went down well. And let's not forget the Classic Meatballs with Mash and Brown Sauce, all served by Etele Cinema Premium.

For desert there were 'Guilt-Free Sweets' from the Zsolnay Café, a super selection of special Ice Cream by Cloud9, M&S party treats from, and of course fresh cinema snacks thanks to Etele Cinema Premium.

Naturally there was English gin on offer, with top qualiy tonic, plus fabulous English single-malt whisky to help guests get in fine spirits - all kindly served again by Cotswolds and WhiskyNET.

The tasty cheese plates were presented with fruit & nuts courtesy of Tesco Hungary on guest tables which were beautifully decorated with roses and fresh blooms arranged by flowerMe.

The wines included a great range by Dúzsi Tamás from Szekszárd, Hilltop from Neszmély and Pajzos from Tokaj. All had been popular at previous events too, like the other wineries.

Also on show were fine wines to try from the Polgár Family Winery in Villány and Szeremley Wine House in Badacsony - with their friendly representatives on hand to personally chat with guests about the terroir, grape varieties and all.

Once guests were suitably ‘fed and watered’ the event MC introduced TV star Zsuzsa Demcsák, as usual she elegantly hosted the Live Charity Auction, with all funds raised collected by UNICEF.

Star prizes included a Special Test Drive by Aston Martin Budapest, a VIP Package from Budapest Airport, and a 'Manager Health Screening' from Dr. Rose Private Hospital. They all atttracted significant attention, not least from VIP's in attendance.

“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

Catherine Dickens-Massey presented a bespoke solo stay experience to 'Pause, Reconnect & Reflect' – including yoga, a hamper, a personal one-to-one coaching session and more - at Catherine’s Vineyard, Cottages & Gardens.

Suze Collings, the owner of Bortodoor, also presented her prize on stage, and got plenty of offers before a nice final sum for a special Private Wine Tasting experience for 14 people.

A six-pack of Unicum Riserva from Sándor Zwack proved very popular, and first category box tickets at the National Opera House raised a good amount in the auction.

The live bidding was followed by a prize presentation for the best Amy Winehouse costume, which deservedly went to Lili Mészáros

The event MC mentioned that Lili's been supporting events for 8 years, and that she’s recently found fame on the top TV show 'Next Top Model Hungary'.

The organisers chose to put this iconic female English singer in the spotlight this year for good balance because previously the event had showcased the music of David Bowie.

Next up was the premier screening of Back to Black’, celebrating one of the most iconic English female musician of the 21st century, honouring Amy Winehouse's artistry, wit, and honesty.

The film was shown in the Premium screening halls within the superb surroundings of Etele Cinema, where guests watched the movie from super-comfortable and adjustable luxury reclining armchairs.

After the movie DJ Woods played English soul, pop and rock hits during an afterparty. To close the night on the right foot there was some dancefloor fun, and more red-carpet photos shot and printed on-the-spot as keepsakes by

An impressive line-up of liquid refreshments continued to flow all night, including Aperol Spritz perfectly poured by the Dunapro barman. Once again there was great quality Pálinka from Márkházi, and a Sparkling Selection by Bortodoor.

Craft Beer and 'Jell-o-shots' were provided by a cool couple from Ruin Brew, and they are now offering another chance to anyone who did not win a bottomless brunch experience - to redeem this free gift simply email Meg by this Friday to reserve your space.

They invite guests to take advantage of this opportunity to indulge in this all-inclusive weekend meal, and try more of their in-house brewed beers and homemade treats.

Alcohol-free options at the event included a special selection of Coke products – including some not even launched yet in Hungary – along with Costa coffee, and NaturAqua mineral water.

The occasion demands a special mention of Gilvesy from Szent György-hegy, located amid the peaks and volcanic terrain overlooking the northern shore of Lake Balaton. This welcome white aptly named George went down well with guests all night, who appreciated its quality and that it was available on every guest table as well as on ice at the bar.

"St. George is a positive symbol of multiculturalism, as the great range of guests at this event proved again! England’s patron saint was a truly international figure and a unifying force for good," noted Stephen Linfitt, the publisher of XpatLoop.

Stephen thanked everyone for joining-in, presented Tamás Dömötör with a bottle of gratitude for hosting the event, and gave bouquets from flowerMe to VIP ladies on behalf of all involved.

To conclude, Antónia Mészáros the Executive Director of UNICEF Hungary said, 
"Thank you ever so much for supporting UNICEF's work for children through this wonderful event! It was great being part of the evening and we're very grateful for all the funds raised!"

The event closed at midnight, and many guests departed merrily after a night full of English music, a great movie, free-flowing refreshment and even some fun on the dance floor.

To top it off everyone received event gifts, including a pair of movie tickets from ETELE Cinema, a free membership voucher for 1 month to Premium Service, and an ETELE Plaza Gift Card.

Finally on a personal note, I want to thank the amazing team at for being such a pleasure to collaborate with. 

Creating the visuals for this event - including the digital signage that my mom proudly spotted - was a smooth process thanks to their open communication and support for all the sponsors. 

It's truly rewarding to contribute to such an enjoyable event that also benefits a great cause like UNICEF.

Words by Aniko Woods

Photos by Marko Novkov, Árpád Bakcsy, Marcus Schirrmacher.

Event Sponsors

Platinum: B+N Referencia


DiamondBritannica International School, Dr. Rose Private Hospital BudapestThe British International School Budapest.

Event Supporters

BBJ, flowerMeFuncode, ProhumanS3 Entertainment Europe.

Event Feedback

Matthew Kirlew, Head of Policy, British Embassy Budapest: "It was a real pleasure and honour to support this event, and welcome the Expat Community to a great gathering marking St George’s Day – a significant day for much of the international community that share our Patron Saint. I’m also pleased that all the money raised will support UNICEF Hungary’s several good causes."

Ben Turner, Principal, The British International School Budapest: "An enjoyable evening of English culture, fine food and wine all in aid of an excellent cause supporting UNICEF. Thank you to Xpatloop and all those who helped put the event together."

Neil McGarry, Principal of Britannica International School, Budapest: "It was a pleasure for Britannica to, once again, sponsor the St Georges day event. As usual, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening with great food, amazing drinks and great company. All in aid of a fantastic cause, I am looking forward to next year's event already."

Related links

See What Happened @ St. George's Day Bash - Bowie, Charity & Partying for England

See What Happened @ St. George's Day Bash in Budapest - 'Smashing Success' say Guests

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