Binny’s Vienna Diaries – Day 4

Our last day in Vienna was a pretty chilled out one. We woke up leisurely, packed everything up and headed out in search of refuge in a cosy cafe for lunch.

We decided to go to Cafe Mozart, as I am a fan having played some of his pieces for some of my piano exams back in the day. 

Caffeine was much needed and it was absolutely freezing so I ordered a latte.   
Amit went for Chocolate Mousse on sponge cake for lunch. Ahem. To be fair the cafe had a massive display of different cakes and desserts it was difficult to resist.

 
As I am more sensible (!!) I tried a spinach and cheese strudel which was gorgeous. It came with a garlic herb dip which just took it to the next level.

   
  

We then walked around the central part and did a bit of shopping.   
Soon we stumbled across the market place so wandered around looking at the different shops and restaurants within the market area.

Cheese was massive!

   

Loved the variety of fruit and veg in this stall.

  

There were lots of Christmas goodies too.  
 

I saw a spice stall but the lady was against having photos taken so unfortunately can’t share.

It was so cold we then went to look for the closest Aida Cafe and went in for hot chocolate and cake. Pictured below is a hazelnut torte with walnuts on top.
   
 

After that we headed back to the hotel and had a look at all the art on display. My favourites are pictured below.
   

We had a fabulous time in Vienna and it was a lovely time of year to experience it as it was so festive. It is freezing so best to have a thick coat, scarf and gloves and boots. It does add to the winter charm as everything looks magical.

We got to see the Christmas markets at Schönbrunn palace (pictured below) and had amazing food (Sacher Torte and sweet and savoury strudels). Would highly recommend it as a winter city break.

There is lots to see and do and you can also take a day trip to Salzburg. We didn’t go this time round but definitely next time.  
We are now off to Lisbon for a couple of days where it will be warmer and sunnier!

xx

Binny’s Vienna Diaries – Day 3

 Day 3 of our Vienna trip started with breakfast at Cafe Aida, which has lots of branches across Vienna.

The Coffee was amazing and the one pictured below is a small “Brauner” which is espresso, cream and whipped cream.

 This cafe and its branches were set up by Josef Prousek in 1913. All the cafes were destroyed during WW2 and in 1948 AIDA reopened in Wollzeile and the rest is history. The cakes, pastries and coffee are pretty epic.

  

For my food I decided on a savoury cheese and onion quiche which was so warm and satisfying.
  

Amit went for a Ham and Cheese Toastie.  
  

After a hearty breakfast, we headed off for day 2 of the Hop on Hop off bus tour. I am glad I packed extra layers of clothing as it was absolutely freezing!

I did have to buy a beanie hat from H&M as my ears were super cold.  

Europe is pretty on edge after the Paris attacks and we saw banners like this one pictured below across the city. Europe  does feel like one at a time like this.    

There were plenty of different museums and points of interest you could stop at on the different routes along the way.

The Criminal Museum caught our eye so we went in with a was of explanations in English to explore each room and its exhibits.
  

There were pretty gruesome pictures and photos of executions, murders and examples of their weapons exhibited throughout the museum. It was not for the faint hearted that is for sure.  
  

It was really interesting as you could get a sense of the Austrian history in snippets.

After that we sat on the bus and took in some of the many sights. Pictured below is the giant ferris wheel.  

It is similar to the London eye and was only meant to be a temporary fixture but it was too expensive to dismantle.
    

After touring around we decided to go on it.  It has wooden cabins which are somewhat romantic. Some cabins have a table and chairs for dining.
    

After a round on the ferris wheel and braving the cold we were hungry.

We found a stall selling langos so we got one.  We had to who can resist?    

Above is a short clip of the lovely lady putting the different toppings on our langos. We went for garlic, onions and cheese.

  
  

After finishing the route on the hop on hop off bus we went back into the central part and found shelter from the cold inside the Fashion TV Cafe.

It was super fashionable inside and even had a catwalk. The menu was pretty cool.  

I ordered a Mojito and it was so delicious!    

Amit went for an apple strudel which was also lovely and perfect to indulge on.
  

After that we went to the hotel, played cards and then headed out for our last dinner in Vienna. We chose to go to Do & Co, a restaurant with a view.

We started off with bread which was lovely and warm.  

I ordered Tom Ka Ghai soup which was perfect for the cold weather, super tasty and spicy.
  

We then shared sushi. A highlight was the pumpkin sushi.  
  

We then had prawn green curry for mains with rice which was superb.  
    
  

A highlight of the meal was their assorted salt much to the delight of my salt loving husband.

 
The restaurant was very romantic and had amazing food. Really recommend it!

We were in a food coma after that so headed straight to bed.

Tomorrow is our last day in Vienna before we head to Lisbon for a couple of days.

xx
  
  

 

Binny’s Vienna Diaries – Day 2

Day 2 in Vienna we woke up to a clear, but freezing day. Was grateful that there was no drizzle so off we went to the Moet Bar & Restaurant in the hotel after a lovely long lie in and had some breakfast.

All I had on the brain was coffee so I ordered a cappuccino and I like to think that there is a foamy heart in the cup. Let’s just pretend there is.

I wanted a savoury breakfast so went for poached eggs on brown artisan bread. This was so good and yolk-tastic too. I cut into it and the yolk just oozed out beautifully.

Amit went for omelettes and he said these were really good. Unusually, his breakfast was accompanied with a dollop of red pesto on the side which I stole as it went really well with my breakfast too.

Breakfast was so good and after a satisfying meal, we ventured out to find the stop for the Hop on Hop off bus tour. We had done our maths to compare the costs of going to the sites individually or with this tour service and it worked out cheaper at 69 Euros each for a 2 day pass which included entrance to the main places we wanted to visit. So off we went!


Our first stop was Schonbrunn palace and gardens. It is a former imperial residence and has an amazing 1,441 rooms and is a Baroque Palace. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside but we did take loads of the areas outside as they were magnificent.

Here is us in front of the palace. It is MASSIVE. It had a lovely Christmas Market festive area in the entrance area with wooden stalls selling food, drinks, gifts and other bits and bobs.
  

The food blogger in me got attracted to these “props” which to a normal person is dinnerware. Just loved the colours an the designs on them. Amit wasn’t falling for my “I need this” so I left without a bowl or a plate. Boo.

They also had lovely Christmas decorations like these colourful baubles.

These looked so magical and pretty and loved their intricate details.

I am loving the food in Vienna and I believe this is an unsung food trend. Doughnuts and pretzels? These sound absolutely amazing!  

After staring at and salivating at all the amazing food, we took a walk through the grounds towards to the Zoo. Just look at these beautiful scenic gardens!
  

They even had massive ponds with ducks. I was surprised with the crazy temperatures the water hadn’t frozen yet.

We finally made it to the Zoo after walking around mesmerized with the grounds of the palace and this is when my excitement kicked in. I love animal and so was super excited to see Giant Pandas for the first time. I also saw Koala bears but didn’t manage to get a clear picture to share with you.

Pictured below is a super cute polar bear. He was really hungry as the polar bear in the neighbouring part had just been fed and so he was going a little crazy. I guess he felt left out and impatient. It didn’t stop me taking a selfie with him.

  

Then I saw these birds. Not sure what the one in the middle is but he/she had a really cool look don’t you think?

We also saw this super inquisitive black bear which I know my work mates will appreciate because of an inside joke. It was so cute but apparently quite dangerous.

Now this dude was seriously hilarious as he climbed out of the water and straight on to the weighing scale. Now he was huge and he looked like he stared at his own weight, made a huge sigh and dived back in the water. One can only presume he thought he should lose a few pounds.

Now the panda, the highlight of our trip to the Zoo. Here is a selfie with one of them.

Literally all the two of them did was eat leaves in opposite parts of a room. A tad bit anti-social with each other but nevertheless super cute. I want a panda bear!
  
After lots of waking we had built up an appetite plus it was super cold. We tried Langos, which is actually a Hungarian specialty and which is a deep fried flat bread. This tasted so good as it was smothered with garlic. 

After devouring a langos each we carried on visiting all the animals in the zoo. I was calling out to the Cheetah and it looked at me. They are harmless. Well I believe they are as when I saw them on safari they jumped on the car an were purring away.

Next up was this noisy lot. Pink flamingos who reminded me of home too. They were really loud not sure what was going on but they sounded like they were having a massive argument. Pretty birds nevertheless.

We saw this gorgeous gorgeous tiger but it was sound asleep. It looks so peaceful doesn’t it?

I had to share this video of the panda. 
 

We saw lots more animals but I am not going to bore you with more stories about them. After leaving the zoo, and purchasing a 3 Euro mood ring which has brought great fun, we stumbled across a Lindt shop. Mostly because we went the wrong way. Sometimes it is good to get a little lost!

We filled a pick and mix bag with lots of different Lindt varieties that we haven’t seen in London. We ended up with 600 grams of chocolate. Better eat half (we are so eating our way through it all as per picture below).

  

Once we eventually found our way back to the bus stop, we chilled for a bit and then headed out to find a nice place for dinner. This was so pretty I had to take a photo.

We decided on Primi, which is a trendy, up market restaurant and bar with lovely interiors and a fantastic menu, which looks like a magazine.

No prizes for guessing that I ordered a Mojito. It was really refresing and so good.
  

For starters we ordered pizza sticks which had garlic, olive oil and rosemary. They were delicious and got eaten very fast.

I ordered a risotto with Gorgonzola cheese which was beautiful and perfectly cooked.

Amit went for chicken steak with green peppercorn sauce which was pretty spectacular. He had it with a side of mashed potato. The chicken had a soy and teriyaki glaze and the skin was crispy.

We also ordered grilled tiger prawns which were nice but I have had nicer prawns before.
  

It was a lovely day and I was glad I could tick of seeing Giant Pandas off my bucket list, surprisingly in Europe.

Tomorrow is another busy day sight seeing. Hope you enjoyed reading about my day xx

Binny’s Vienna Diaries – Day One

The Cosmopolitan Blog Awards have been the highlight of this year and week for me and it still feels so surreal that I was awarded Highly Commended for Best For Food. I am very very happy though.

After the event, I had one hour of sleep, jumped into a cab with Amit at an ungodly 4:30 am and turned up at Heathrow terminal 3 ready to go on vacation. We ate breakfast, drank lots of coffee, did some duty free shopping (I bought Burberry Body it smells so good and a book), and settled down on a British Airways flight.

We arrived in Vienna a few hours later and my home for the next few days is the stunning Le Meridien Wien, in a central location and with a lot of grandeur. The hotel has a lot of interior heaven and an amazing Unlock Art exhibition at the moment so there is plenty of trendy art all over the hotel.

As soon as we checked in we napped out of utter exhaustion and boy was the bed comfy!

The highlight of the room though is the bathroom as it has this beautiful pink tub. JUST LOOK AT THAT! I have already warned Amit that we are bath tub shopping when I am back. I am now very pleased I packed a lush bath bomb in my bag as I intend to spend some “me-time” in that tub!

After a power nap, we freshened up and decided to explore the hotel and our surroundings. When you look like you have had very little sleep, this Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector is a god send. It woke up my skin and transformed it from tired to fresh and dewy. I wore it under my tinted moisturizer.

The hotel is really cool. They have this massive lips piece in the lift lobby.

They also have an in-house Moet Bar and restaurant.

I decided to treat myself to an apple strudel eclair and boy was this good!

We then grabbed an umbrella and decided to brave the rain and wander outside. The hotel is in close proximity to shops, museums, restaurants and bars and we stumbled across Hotel Sacher, the Vienna branch, and home to the famous Sacher Torte.

While we queued up in the trendy cafe for a table we ogled at the different cakes on display.
  

We didn’t have to wait long and got a cute corner table where we could people watch and indulge.

To warm up with I started with a Viennese coffee with lots of whipped cream.

I went for the Sacher Torte of course and it exceeded my expectations totally. I have a feeling I will be eating some more during this trip.

Amit went for the Apple Strudel with ice cream and this was so delicious too.

After indulging we walked around snapping photos of the hotel exterior and walked about.
We came across this really cute street which had lots of wooden pop-ups with food, drinks and gifts. It was very festive and lots of nice foodie treats. We were so full from the cafe so we just browsed.  

We also took a selfie :p

I was so tired though from the run up to the awards and the journey so we headed back to the hotel, planned what we were going to do the next day as both of us had been so busy prior to the trip we hadn’t had a chance.

I am ashamed to say I didn’t make it out for dinner and instead snuggled into bed with chips from room service. If you had tasted these chips you would understood. THEY WERE INSANELY GOOD!

My first impression of Vienna is it is beautiful, with lots of historical charm, amazing architecture, beautiful streets all beckoning to explore and is a very cosmopolitan city.

Tomorrow we are going to be proper tourists and get on the hop on hop off bus. I hope you enjoy reading about my mini break in Vienna 🙂 xx