Eat & drink Capsa Pastry
The “CAPSA Hotel”, opened in 1886, under the french manager Bourdell, ex-director at “Hôtel Café Anglais”, in Paris, became shortly the most elegant Romanian hotel.In 1908, the British Magazine “John Bull” named Capsa Hotel “among the best Hotels in the world”, comparativelly with “Douglas Hotel” in Madrid, “Capello Nero” in Venice, “Giappone” in Livorno and “Hungaria” in Budapest.It was considered for a long time the only suitable residence of the artists, rich and aristocratic families or high rank politiciens and diplomats visiting Romania. They prefered to live Capsa Hotel, because they found here the same western elevated and aristocratic ambiance.“Grigore Capsa is one of 12 macedonian-romanian family brother. The CAPSA Family has been actively engaged as merchands and furriers in Bucharest for several generations. At age 14, Vasile CAPSA become an apprentice to one of the most renowed pastry chefs, constantin Lefteriu. Ten years later, in 1852, he had already purchased a pastry shop across from Zlatari church. His older brother, Anton, who worked for the Treasury, decided to join the business, and they opened the pastry shop ” La doi frati” (“At the two brothers”). The pstry shop moved to a larger quarters along Podul Mogosoaiei. Vasile Capsa went to Vienna, Paris and Lipsca to colect pastry innovations. He also encuraged his brothers, Constantin and Grigore to join the business.Grigore apprenticed in Paris for one year, where he managed to present his products to Empress Eugenia. Shortly thereafter the shop, already competing with the most refined shops in Europe, moved to the former Slatineanu House on Calea Victoriei, at the corner of Edgar Quinet Street, where is still housed today. In 1873, the pastry shop was awarded a medal in Vienna and organized the first gala dinner at the Palace of Prince Carol I. From then on no ball, reception or musical evening went without Capsa delicacies. Casa Capsa was awrded the gold medal at the Paris Universal Exposition in 1889 and 1900. The hotel and Restaurant were opened in 1881, and was the first time hotel offered both accomodation and food. The model was later adopted along the Cote d’Azur and arround the world. At the conclusion of National Theter shows, the restaurant would fill up with customers, and the end of the War brought artists as well. Some attacked the frivolity of bucharest’s writers, but poet Tudor Arghezi retorted: ” If you are stupid at Capsa it is impossible…to be intelligent anywhere else..”The Bratianu Family, that gave birth to numerous liberal politicians, rented one of the rooms for 30 years, while Maniu’s Peasant Party members met under the same roof. This led to Capsa being nicknamed the ” Bicameral Parlament”, as it was often the site of the making or breaking of governements. The Viennese ” Neue Freie Presse” wrote in 1932: ” The CASA CAPSa terrace is a point of view on the universe”. In our days, CASA CAPSA continues to be a place for the elite, and has been one of the few successful romanian experiments in restoration of a heritage building. The archiect Adina Dinescu acted to rebirth of the hotel in an old building of the Capital of Romania, Bucharest.