Ambassador of the UK to Romania Paul Brummell bid his farewell from Bucharest on Thursday by touring the Capital in a double-decker – the famous red London bus – in which the diplomat told stories about food, his favorite places, as well as about a ghost that seems to be living in the office of the Political Section of the UK Embassy.
Brummell, who, in fact, dedicated his most recent Instagram and Twitter posts to the experiences that he had in Romania, talked in Romanian about the places he passed by in the double-decker bus, which, in its turn, represented an attraction for the passers-by of Bucharest.
The bus-tour started at the Ambassador residence, in North Bucharest and continued near the Herastrau Park.
“We have a 4-year old son, George, who really likes the playgrounds of the Herastrau Park. I believe it’s a very beautiful park, very quiet and it’s one of my favorite places in Bucharest,” the diplomat stated.
In his stories, about the events organised by the Embassy, the diplomat demonstrated that it took him four years in office to know Romanian music and mentioned “Voltaj” band, that represented Romania at the Eurovision and “Holograf” band. “No I won’t sing ‘How far’ (a song of the Holograf band),” he joked.
The British official confessed to being passionate about gastronomy.
“Marriage must be a partnership and it’s very appropriate if one of the couple knows how to cook and the other one how to eat. I am in the second category,” he joked. In this context, the Ambassador also revealed what British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson ate in Bucharest.
“We have a chef … a very clever chef. (…) When Boris Johnson, the Foreign Affairs Minister, came here, in Romania, for dinner with Mr Melescanu, he [the chef] prepared a Romanian style dinner, with stuffed cabbage rolls [sarmale] and polenta, and Romanian traditional cheese doughnuts, for instance,” he stated.
The bus passed by the ambassador’s favorite places, that have a significance in respect to the link between Romania and the UK: the British Council, the Romanian-British Chamber of Commerce or the Maria Rosetti street. Jammed in traffic or slipping through the small streets of Bucharest, the bus arrived at the headquarters of the UK Embassy in the centre of Bucharest. “We are well protected by the Romanian authorities,” Brummell stated.
He also made a brief journey into the history of the embassy building and offered juicy details. Thus, he stated that, during the Cold War, in the embassy headquarters there was a small British grocery store, nowhere to be found back then in Romania. Moreover, he talked about the legends from the embassy. “It is said that a ghost appears in the Political Section of the Embassy, but we haven’t seen it,” the diplomat stated.
After the Embassy headquarters, the bus passed by streets and places related to the personalities whose destinies have linked Romania to Britain – the Ivor Porter Residence and the Maria Rosetti Street.
The Athenaeum and the National Art Museum were not left out from Mr Brummell’s tour.
The bus trip was preceded by a conference held by the Ambassador, during which he spoke about what ties him to Romania and about what he wants to take with him. Shortly before moving to London, Brummell confessed that he has not yet packed his bags, but he guarantees that the respective luggage will include his wife’s “ia” collection [Romanian traditional folk blouse – which is part of the UNESCO cultural heritage]. “My wife is a ‘ia’ fanatic, if I might say so,” he stated. Prior to the moment dedicated to questions, the British Ambassador recited Mihai Eminescu’s poem called “What I wish for you, sweet Romania.”