Hungarian night

The Balaton Folk Dance Group are the central attraction in tonight’s Hungarian evening put on by the thriving Lewes Hungarian Society. The group, which is travelling from all over the South East to participate, will perform traditional dances from Hungary and Hungarian-speaking Transylvania. “You could say it is quite a spectacular form of dancing,” says Leslie Haddon, group leader. “Dancers make noises with their feet while dancing, like a percussion instrument. There is also a certain amount of boot-slapping. You have to raise your feet quite high to be able to slap your boot.” The dancers, six in number, will be changing costumes according to the region of the songs they are dancing to. I tell Leslie he doesn’t sound Hungarian. “I’m from Hackney,” he says.

There will also be Hungarian food and wine on offer. The main chef, Edo, is Hungarian, and she will be preparing cold cherry and goulash soup, followed by a beef casserole cooked for five hours in paprika (and pasta in sour cream for vegetarians). “The paprika is from Hungary,” says Nandor, speaking on behalf of his chef girlfriend. “It is very typical of Hungary. We wanted to give people the idea that there are different dishes from goulash, which is normally associated with the cuisine of the country.” Hungarian paprika can be sweet or spicy – a sauce will be made of the latter version for those who like it hot. There will be Hungarian wine to wash everything down, and get you in the dancing spirit. Egeszsegetekre! AL

Ashes to goulashes: there’s much more to Hungary than its
national dish
Function Room, Royal Oak, Station St, Lewes
When? 7pm (arrive early if you haven’t booked a ticket)
How Much? £6 in advance
Royal Oak
(t) 01273 486 212