I just got back from a wonderful trip in Vienna, which included a lot of tasty treats! The last time I was there in March, I was experiencing extreme hunger, which made it super scary. Despite this hunger, I wasn’t eating enough, and it made the trip really hard. I walk around a LOT, and I was also doing a drama school audition… the lack of food made me so exhausted one day that I just had to stay inside and basically sleep! I was determined to not let that happen this time, especially as I had yet another audition to think about. I also really wanted to try some more Austrian food. I’ve been to Vienna a few times, and I’ve been good about branching out in terms of cake, but when it comes to main dishes, I seem to eat a hell of a lot of schnitzel (I love it, and it’s just not as good in the UK!). On top of this, I wanted to eat what I wanted, when I wanted – not what anorexia or orthorexia told me I should be eating.
[This post won’t include every single thing I ate on every day, because some things are pretty uninteresting!]
My first stop, of course, had to be for schnitzel! I had been travelling since 3am, and was absolutely ravenous… I knew that this would be the only thing to fill the hole. My favourite place to go to in Vienna for schnitzel is Schnitzelwirt, a restaurant on Neubaugasse (close to the Mariahilfer strasse). The portions are huuuuuge, and you really don’t have to pay a lot. Additionally, it’s filled with locals, and you have to share tables, so it’s a really authentic experience. I kept it simple (and stereotypically Viennese) with Wiener schnitzel, cranberries, potato salad, and a white wine spritzer. It was absolutely delicious, and I ate most of it… but the heat outside, plus the giant portion, plus the alcohol, plus my lack of sleep made me feel very interesting afterwards!
After that, it was time for ice cream! Empress Sisi (who I am absolutely fascinated by, and wrote my undergraduate dissertation on) was famed for her love of violet flavoured ice cream. Demel is an imperial bakery, and provided for the Habsburgs in the past. It is very close to the Hofburg palace, and it is said that Sisi would sneak out to Demel for treats! I totally failed at getting a picture of the actual ice cream, but it was an absolutely gorgeous pink colour. I think it was also mixed with raspberry, to my relief. I was a little wary, as I have had some of the candied violets which Sisi loved, and I thought they were revolting… so the raspberry definitely helped! I only got one scoop as I wasn’t sure if I would like it, and I definitely regret that choice!
Whilst waiting around to check into my airbnb, I had a pretzel covered in poppy seeds… delicious! When I was finally able to check in (at 4pm! I was dying!), I went to the supermarket to get some bits and pieces (stuff for breakfast, snacks), and picked up these Manner sticks!
I love regular Manner schnitten, and tend to eat a pack in one go, so I was really curious about these. I felt pretty apprehensive, considering what I had already eaten that day, but when travelling, pre-ED me loved to try out new things like this, so I took the opportunity. They are basically Manner schnitten covered in chocolate. Very light, crunchy, and more-ish!
On Wednesday, I was going to visit the Hermesvilla, Sisi’s ‘dream palace’. It was built for her by Franz Joseph in the hopes that it would keep her in Vienna (safe to say, it didn’t work!). It is not in the centre of Vienna, and on top of that, it is in the middle of a big nature park. So, I took this as the opportunity to have second breakfast, and what a second breakfast it was!
I had Kaiserschmarrn, a favourite of Franz Joseph’s. This was only the taster portion, I can’t image being able to eat even the small portion (which comes in a huge pan)! This is shredded pancakes with stewed plums, and it tasted divine (my eyes rolled into the back of my head a little on the first bite)! I can see why Franz Joseph loved it so much.
After wandering through the Lainzer Tiergarten and the Hermesvilla, I took advantage of being able to eat lunch in Sisi’s villa itself!
This was Wildschweinknödel (dumplings with wild boar in the middle) and Sauerkraut, and it was soooo good. But so much food, so I couldn’t finish it, no matter how good it tasted! I also ordered an Aperol spritz, but for some reason they brought me spritzed apple juice. This was still a good opportunity, as I am terrified of apple juice, so I drank it!
That evening, I had quite a bit of champagne, and also a käsekrainer (a Viennese hotdog filled with cheese) which I was too ravenous to photograph after the show that I had seen and all of the walking!
This day was not particularly an interesting food day. Sadly, I still struggle with digesting meat, and so I was in a bit of pain, and went for some things like huuuuge wraps and pasta. I also didn’t do anything particularly interesting, as it was the day before my audition, and I wanted to rest up and relax.
Audition day! I was fully prepared with snacks and two sandwiches, expecting a long day after what I went through in March… nope, I was done and dusted by 10am! But the sandwiches were much needed after the dancing, and also a walk through Schönbrunn palace gardens.
I had to return to the Konservatorium at 2pm, and guess what? I was accepted! Ya gurl is moving to Vienna in September to study musical theatre, so there will be plenty more delicious food posts to come.
I celebrated at Cafe Central, which was frequented by the likes of Alfred Adler, Anton Kuh, Leon Trotsky, Sigmund Freud, Adolf Hitler, and Vladimir Lenin! I had thought of treating myself to some original Sacher torte (super touristy, I know, but I swear it doesn’t taste as good anywhere else), but the queue was huge. I hadn’t visited Central since January 2016, so I decided it was time to go back.
My cake of choice was the ‘Central Surprise’, with orange cream, coffee crisp and caramel. It was suuuuper sweet, so I ended up leaving a little bit, but it was really nice. As you can probably guess, I chose it for how pretty it is. This was washed down with a Kaiserspritzer (white wine with elderberry spritzer).
Despite feeling slightly sick from the previous cake, that evening, I had my beloved Sacher torte at Cafe Griensteidl, directly across from the Hofburg palace (look at me conquering those sugar fears)! This tasted almost as good as the original, but even if it didn’t, it would have been worth it for my favourite view in Vienna!
I am really proud of myself for travelling like a normal person last week, and trying out new foods. It’s not like I eat cake every day (and even if I did, who cares?). I obviously brought back a few of my favourite Viennese sweeties with the intention of tiding me over in September, but I am sure that I will have eaten them by the end of the month!
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