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A Viennese Whirl

It’s a beautiful, crisp cloudless morning and we opt for omelettes at breakfast time in a vain attempt to soak up some of last night’s alcohol, but everyone is still feeling pretty delicate as we head out into the early-afternoon sun.

We amble along just behind the town hall to a quiet little row of buildings where the Rueff Dance School is located. We head up a  stone spiral staircase and are welcomed into a lovely little studio with a colourfully decorated waiting room. There’s a waggy-tailed dog who comes to greet us and collect some belly rubs, her affectionate nuzzles helping a little with the hangovers.

There’s no-one else here save us, for our activity today is private Viennese Waltz lessons.  Continue reading “A Viennese Whirl”

Walking in a Wiener Wonderland

It’s a couple of degrees colder this morning and we’re all slightly shivery as we arrive at The Albertina to begin our walking tour. Our guide today is a lovely gentleman named Wolfgang (yes, like Mozart) and he begins by taking us up onto the roof of the gallery so we can look out across the city of Wien – what the Viennese call Vienna in their native German tongue. He points out the famous Vienna Opera House, which was built around 150 years ago and was the first major structure to be built on the now-busy Vienna Ringstraße, which also plays home to the Civic Hall and Parliament building. This boulevard was where the old city walls used to stand before being torn down by Emperor Franz Josef, Vienna’s longest reigning Emperor, and part of the Habsburg Dynasty that ruled over Austria for over 600 years. Continue reading “Walking in a Wiener Wonderland”

Oh, Vienna

Today we are up before it’s light, only slightly marred by the effects of last night’s wine consumption, to head to the airport and jet off to Vienna.

Austria’s capital is our chosen destination for celebrating the baby bro’s 30th birthday, and as none of us have even been before, we are all pretty excited (despite the hangovers).

It’s a short two hour flight and we take off as dawn is breaking and land mid-morning – the whole day still ahead of us. The airport is in the industrial outskirts of the city and so we hop a cab to our hotel which is central.

Once we leave the smoky chimneys behind we are greeted by strange trees whose leaves grow in little blobs, reminding me of a child’s painting, and apartment blocks in varying shades of cream and yellow, their windows framed by ornate stucco trims. keeping us company on our ride is the great Danube river, not so blue today, but rather a murky green.   Continue reading “Oh, Vienna”

The importance of being Aubergine.

The other day I had a craving for the humble aubergine. In a ‘first world problems’ scenario my local supermarket was bereft, so I called and asked my father to grab me a couple since we were due to meet up after work anyhow. Continue reading “The importance of being Aubergine.”

The Avocado, baby.

I’ve always been a massive fan of the avocado. Growing up, I would watch my mother prepare this delicious and exotic snack for me. I would gaze with burgeoning delight as she scooped it’s green flesh from it’s tough bruise-purple skin; rippled and hard like a crocodile, or the folds on a tortoise’s neck. It was such a treat, and I would anticipate it’s arrival with impatience; eager to devour it’s creamy flesh, slick with oil and peppery vinaigrette. Continue reading “The Avocado, baby.”

The joy of eggs…

Yes ladies and gents it’s breakfast. The art of refuelling and powering your body to make it through whatever various schemes you have plotted for the next 5-8 hours. Usually a meal I skip during the working week at home; but possibly one of my favourite meals to eat out. Indeed, when it comes to breakfast I’m all about the eggs (no scramble). Continue reading “The joy of eggs…”

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