Those who follow this blog and/or my tweeting will be well aware of my passion for good coffee in general and Meinl coffee in particular. Another of my interests is the Vienna Secession movement which was a group formed in 1897 by Austrian artists and whose influence can still be seem throughout Vienna today.
Oddly the starting point for my daily train journey to work, on the S-bahn, brings together these two themes. The Hernals station is one of the buildings that formed the Wiener Stadtbahn which operated from 1898 and was designed by the leading Secession movement architect and urban planner Otto Wagner.
Hernals in within a short walk of the Meinl coffee factory and this is (I assume) why the station is the location for these classic coffee posters:
The Hernals staion:
Returning to the subject of coffee, over on the Meinl website (amongst other coffee info) is this delicious quote from a French diplomat about the beautiful drink:
Coffee ought to be hot as hell,
Black as the devil,
Pure as an angel,
Sweet as love.
Charles Maurice Talleyrand
(1754-1838 – French Diplomat)
Thanks to a bout of flu it looks like I’ll miss tomorrows (20th Sept 2011) 7th Krimi Nacht (Crime Night) begin staged at Cafes across the city. Personally I would have been heading for one of my favourite venues Cafe Schopenhauser in the 18th district.
The Naschmarkt is a magnet for tourists to Vienna and within a short walk of the market is one of the city’s most famous shopping streets Mariahilferstrasse. Both tend to be bustling, crowded, noisy places with plenty to see as well as opportunities for a coffee and food. However, situated between these two is the Cafe Sperl, another of my favourite coffeehouses, offering a more peaceful atmosphere in which to refresh and regroup before throwing yourself back into the fray that is the shops and market.
Although in the classic Vienna Coffeehouse mould Cafe Sperl also includes, oddly, two pool tables and a piano (the latter actually begin used for musical entertainment on occasions I understand, rather than simply providing decoration). Naturally the coffee is of the quality you would expect and they also have a rather good light meal menu. The coffeehouse provides free Wi-Fi and for the English and I noted on my most recent visit copies of the Times to read.
Meeting up with a friend this morning and once again I find myself in Cafe Schopenhauser. This is definitely becoming one of my regular Vienna Coffeehouse choices. The coffee and service in excellent and the atmosphere is always relaxed and welcoming. Added to this it has a no smoking policy which means you don’t have to suffer in order to enjoy your coffee and newspaper. It offers friend Wi-Fi connection and is also a rather child friendly cafe which is always a plus as I usually have H (and often one or more of her friends) for company.
Last Sunday, some friends and I took a stroll from the English Theatre round to the Museum Quarter. Zigzagging through the quiet
streets gave us a chance to enjoy some of the local architecture, as well as building up an appetite before settling down to a rather relaxing breakfast in the Museums Quarter (MQ). After which we intended taking a look at the works of some of
Austria’s most famous artists at the Leopold Museum before returning in the theatre in the afternoon.
Having dropped H off at the English Theatre, for the dress rehearsal of the English Youth Theatres musical production of the Wizard of Oz, we set off taking a roundabout route through the 8th and into the 7th District with the promise of a late breakfast at one of the MQ’s restaurants:
Halle at the MQ:
The MQ and the Leopold Museum:
After Klimt and Schiele at the Leopold we returned to our walk:
And finally ….coffee at Elles Coffeehouse
The coffeehouse at Cobenzl provides superb views across Vienna with the river Danube cutting through the city. With vineyards directly in front and Vienna Woods behind, you just need to block out the car park to your left.
Our waitress this morning was very friendly and helpful. She quickly adjusted to talking to H in German and switching to English to deal with yours truly. With the sun shining in on our quiet and comfortable setting H and I agreed that driving up into the woods for a late breakfast was an excellent choice.
This is a popular location. There is a very small zoo, restaurant, playgrounds and paths for walking in the woods. With tourist coaches and city dwellers alike filling the car park at weekends this is not usually top of my list for a quiet coffee. However, with many people away skiing during the school break and by arriving mid morning we seem to have found the right moment.
Our location is round the corner from the church where the King of Poland, leading the Christian army, prayed before leading his forces down the hill to relieve Vienna from the besieging Turks. The site is also the location of Modul University.
Return to the coffeehouse, H highly recommends the boiled egg which she says was fresh and nice – a high complement from my eight year old. However, she would liked to have had Nuttela served with the fresh rolls rather than the raspberry and apricot jams.
Coffee was enjoyable and to confirm this I of course had to order a second just to double check.
The Kaiserpavillion sitting within the grounds of the Schonbrunn zoo offers a taste of imperial grandeur and a decent coffee.
It’s a good place to rest up during a visit to the zoo, so long as it’s not too busy – it’s relatively small size can make it a little unpleasant in a squeeze. The coffeehouse also provides a reasonable lunch menu including Veggie and kids options. The foods better than you might expect but watch out for the side plate of salad which I think was the lettuce the monkey’s turned down. But all in all though its worth a visit.