So this Saturday morning Schopenhauer in the 18th District became the first stop on the quest for my perfect Viennese Coffeehouse. Entering this large L shaped venue it immediately scored points with me for its space, layout and décor. Romana and I had just done some light shopping in the local street market where we had found some lovely cheeses and fresh bread. The cheese seller had been happy to try out his English on me and as often happens did not at first realise that Romana was Viennese rather than English.
We found a nice corner booth in which to sit and received a friendly welcome from the waitress. In addition to coffee and cakes, the menu offered various breakfast options or you could help yourself to the breakfast buffet. The coffee was enjoyable and we settled down to the bright and comfortable atmosphere. An added bonus was the free internet access which allowed me to make use of my iPhone (which is still English and so I try not to use outside of the house or free hotspots). After uploading a few pictures and comments I received a few replies’ from friends and some light abuse from one friend who would clearly have wished to swap places for the morning.
We were joined after about half an hour by Charly and Regina who live locally. Their arrival was a wonderful excuse (if one was needed) to order some more coffee and to settle down to a morning of catching up and generally chit-chat. Importantly, Charly and I discussed the prospects for Austria Wien this season, dates for home games we would attend in the second half of the season, as well as debating the merits and use of technology to resolve controversial decisions in matches. Throughout our morning conversations the staff at Schopenhauser kept us supplied with drinks and provided excellent service.
As the morning crossed over into the afternoon the coffeehouse had become busier and yet its space and light never made the atmosphere anything less than relaxed and enjoyable. I noted that some of the children were using the toys and space made available to them and seemed to be as happy as the adults. The gradual increase in customers coincided nicely with the equally gradual increase in staff which meant that the level and quality of service remained as good as when we entered.
The Schopenhauer provided the setting for a relaxing morning with friends. As the start of my quest it set a high standard for other coffeehouses to meet.