All posts by Lelde Benke

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: International Food

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 […]

How Latvians Earn a Living

Originally, this post was inspired by three conversations and events that have happened over the last few weeks… Then, a colleague told me a fourth story about a taxi driver that really drove the point home. 1) Recently, a Riga citizen journalist reported a police raid on a number of older ladies selling garden apples […]

Weekend away from Riga: Cēsis

Life in Rīga wouldn’t be complete without the occasional journey outside the city to one of Latvia’s many charming small towns. One of them – Cēsis – is a particular favourite of ours. In fact, if I were a singer-songwriter, I’d write a serenade to Cēsis in a heartbeat, so charming do I find this […]

Buying Property in Latvia

Or things that I have learned while trying to find my ideal property in Riga and buying it. No one property purchase is ever quite the same and purchase agreements vary greatly so be advised this is not a foolproof guide! However, I do believe this information will come in handy to anyone who felt […]