All posts by Lelde Benke

Green living in Riga

It always seemed strange to me that Latvia was ranked 2nd greenest country in the world according to the Environmental Performance Index in 2012. As a simple consumer without a background in environmental studies, my key arguments to claim the opposite have always been “but we don’t even recycle!” and “we rely on central heating […]

Pizza in Riga

Latvians haven’t taken to pizza quite as much as our southern neighbours. You’d be forgiven for thinking Čili Pica and Charlie Pizza, both Lithuanian chains, are the only places for pizza in Riga since they’ve snapped up some of the best real estate in town in terms of getting passing traffic. But look ever so […]

Cycling in Riga

Ask any local and they will have an opinion on cycling in Riga. There are violent pedestrians who push cyclists off pavements, drivers that toot their horns dare a cyclist cross their path, and daredevil cyclists weaving their way through rush hour traffic without a helmet. There are also the pacifist cyclists, pedestrians and drivers […]

Do Latvians really hate “gays”?

“You’re leaving, how delightful!!! Truly! One less perverted and degraded person! What a nice bit of news! Gives me hope.” – a comment on the Kas Jauns article ““Esmu nogurusi cīnīties.” Psiholoģe Cihanoviča kopā ar savu mīļoto sievieti pamet Latviju” (I’m tired of fighting. Psychologist Cihanovica and her beloved partner leave Latvia). When I last […]

Latvian ice cream is amazing

On 2 January 2014 Estonian President Ilves journeyed to an unassuming Latvian town just south of the border where his aim was to make a purchase using Latvia’s then-new currency – the euro. Media followed him into the local supermarket so that Latvians across the land could see him fork out on a tub of […]

Best coffee in Riga

Would you rather be late to work than miss out on your first Aeropress of the day? Do you cringe at the idea of pouring boiling water over your favourite fairtrade, organic Ethiopian blend? Would you be offended or embarrassed if your friend rocked up cradling a Starbucks Frappuccino? Have you ever received a coffee-related […]

Online shopping in Latvia

Since moving into the new home, Alex and I have spent a LOT of time browsing both bricks and mortar furniture shops, and their online counterparts. At times I’ve been on the verge of tears – coming to a standstill mid-shop-floor surrounded by an odd mix of blinged up, faux Rococo sofa sets, plastic chandeliers, […]

Weekend away from Riga: Tallinn

One of the things I love the most about living in Rīga is that we really are in the heart of the Baltics. Vilnius and Tallinn are literally just a 4 hour bus ride away, and boy do Lux Express buses make the time fly quicker than any low cost airline. Instead of getting crammed […]

Useful Addresses In Riga: Spice Up Your Cooking

Shock horror, your local Riga supermarket isn’t guaranteed to have an ethnic food section! And there’s no Asian supermarket as of yet. So what do you do when you crave a kickass korma or desire a decent dhal? Well, you could just visit the one-and-only Stockpot bistro that rates its food on a scale of […]

Useful Addresses In Riga: For Renovating Your Home

Renovating a property in Rīga? You’ll find there are a whole host of massive hardware stores for pretty much everything, as well as smaller specialist shops for articles like sink fittings and paint. If you live out of town and don’t have access to a bricks and mortar store, there are also a number of […]