Sunday, January 6, 2013

My Imperial Affair with Vienna

This isn't as lurid as it sounds - but I have had an ongoing affair with Austria for many years now. I first visited as a backpacker in the early 80s and really only saw Salzburg but was smitten by the country of Austria and captivated with the little city and its history. Later I began the journey in Austria with Vienna as my base.
Vienna is a city I never tire of - it has something different to unveil to me every time I turn up unexpectedly or on a long-term invite.
I love to see my favourite nooks and crannies - and many of the nooks are where I can enjoy the cakes and pastries . . .and with a stroll around St Stephens and I am at home again.
My last visit was in June - a perfect month with perfect weather. My birthday happened to fall a day or so after I arrived and as it is an Imperial city I managed an Imperial birthday - it was a right royal indulgence in the Art of Enjoyment. My hosts treated me like the Archduke's next best friend. The birthday began with a trip to the Kuntstkammer (Chamber of Art and Wonders) which will open late February after being closed for almost 10 years - wondrous!

Lunch was held at Hollman Salon, a designer restaurant ( which is quite minimalist with staff wearing old-style waitress uniforms which are quite fetching. I was presented with a divine box of chocolates as a gift.
From there we had the privilege of meeting a stunning woman Petra Bacher, the mastermind of the extravagantly decorated Sartori Torten. The amazing pieces of art look like sculptures but taste like cake. Each Satori Torten is individually made and designed and tailor-made. Petra has worked with Viennese museums to create themed tortes for their exhinitions. The lovely Petra presented me with a large Sacher Torte in honour of my birthday.

That evening it was a night at the opera to see Tosca at the Vienna State Opera. After the tragic and torrid opera Tosca we had been invited to go where no man/or woman had been before - we had the most fabulous experience of walking around - outside - the imperial rooftop of the Kunsthistorisches Museum by night. A different perspective of the city indeed. Once back under the eaves and tucked into the roof we were served Goulash soup and - another Sacher Torte. Now if you can beat that for an Imperial Birthday - tell me how.
When you are treated in Vienna - there is no holding back of the bold and the beautiful . . .ah Vienna.
Image at top by Kim Grant - outside the museum; above Petra Bacher and some of her inspired sweet creations; and the roof of the Kunthistorisches.


  1. Great report about Vienna.
    I also love that city and have been there first in 2009 for 10 days. Before I never had the chance to go which I regret.

    There is so much to see. The many Art Deco and Youth Stile in architecture and decorations is just fascinating me.
    One cannot get enaugh of that city. Hopefully I will go there again.

  2. Visit:
    - this is the website to further explore the beauty that Petra Bacher creates