Halfway through the week, and for some reason, I cannot get the minuet out of my head. Perhaps I’ve entered a subtle trance from our hot summer combined with the classical music drawing me in from swanky restaurant patios. The minuet, the classical music, the patios, it has all taken me back to Vienna, a haven of history, harmony, and flavour.
Vienna was one city I was truly excited for a return engagement. A city where there is never enough time to explore its plethora of historic buildings, quaint patisseries and iconic landmarks.
While travelling through Vienna, I thoroughly enjoyed learning about one of Austria’s most famous countrymen – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. One of the most renowned and talented composers in history, Mozart shaped the classical music genre while captivating the world. Born January 27, 1756, his music has inspired concert pianists, child prodigies, and many others throughout the centuries. Known particularly for minuets and sonatas, audiences are compelled to visualize dancers dressed in suits, bustled frocks, and powder wigs with each chord.
Austrians have such pride for Mozart. In his honour, statues have been erected in various cities commemorating his life and contribution to music. The monument located in Vienna was sculpted in 1898, then was moved and dedicated to the main city centre in 1953. This beautiful statue can be easily identified thanks to the pristinely landscaped flowers of a musical treble clef.
To delve further into Mozart’s life and music, visitors have many options. There are many organized tours offering thorough itineraries. These tours escort visitors to the concert hall where Mozart was a discovered 5-year old prodigy, his beautiful residence, and many other significant landmarks. Conclude your tour with a lilting tribute concert. Tickets are prevalent and quite reasonable.
As cultural as the musical accolades and history characterize Vienna, its cuisine is also deserving of honourble mention. Gourmands will enjoy a variety of exclusive Viennese sweets and savouries while exploring the iconic streets.
These signature dishes are among my favourites:
The Sacher Torte:
Originating in 1832, the Original Sacher Torte has satisfied many a sweet tooth for centuries. Created at the Hotel Sacher, visitors flock to its famed tea room for a taste of the original recipe. Since its debut, chefs and bakers worldwide have launched their own adaptation of the chocolate indulgence as the original recipe, housed in the hotel’s “culinary vault,” is a closely guarded secret. Visit the hotel and try its fluffy and rich chocolate cake topped with apricot preserves, thick to-die-for frosting, and capped with a signature Sacher medallion.
Second only to Coke in popularity, the Almdudler is an apple ginger soda with herbal extracts. The Almdudler, deemed the national drink of Austria, is a perfect accompaniment with schnitzel or bratwurst.
Vienna is also a haven for strudel lovers. This flaky pastry full of sweet apples and syrup is a favourite of dessert fanatics. Pick a sidewalk café, order a strudel made with phyllo, then crown it with a dollop of iced cream. A patisserie classic.
A beautiful fusion of strong black espresso with whipped cream (in lieu of milk and sugar). Order one next time you are in a cafe. It goes perfectly with strudel or Sacher Torte.
Throughout Vienna’s city centre, you will find many kiosks offering wursts. Variations include plain, chili, and my favourite – the cheese-filled brat. Foot-long in length, these sausages are available in a variety of spices and served in a round closed-bottomed bun. Wash one down with anAlmdudler – Heavenly!
As you can see, Vienna is truly a foodie capital of the world; a city not to miss. A city that combines sweets, savouries and symphonies – a most mesmerizing trifecta.