We started our day with another incredible breakfast at Clementine’s in the Palais Coburg. If you make it to Vienna, add this hotel to your list. Their breakfast venue is in an all-glass garden room, and they make their own clementine marmalade from their little trees. Hands down one of the best hotel breakfasts we’ve had. My favorite – the Egg Clementine. Their version of an Eggs Benedict, with lemon wild herb hollandaise on a croissant bun. Likely the best hollandaise I’ve ever tasted.
After a leisurely stroll through the side streets around our hotel, we made our way to Belvedere Palace, original summer home of Prince Eugene of Savoy. This massive compound includes two Baroque palaces (Upper and Lower), linked by magnificent gardens, and offers some of the best views of Vienna. Sadly, it was pouring down rain when we arrived, so we missed getting many good photos. The Upper Belvedere became one of the first public museums in the world, when Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa purchased the palace from Prince Eugene’s heirs.
It’s most famous for displaying the world’s largest collection of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt paintings, including his most famous, “The Kiss.” While he was known for his focus on the female body (and his early work was deemed erotic and pornographic!), he was also an accomplished portrait and landscape artist.
Forsthaus im Weißenbach (Forrester’s House in Weissenbach)
Ceiling frescos in Upper Belvedere
We then made our way in the pouring rain (but with a newly acquired “the Kiss” umbrella from the museum gift shop!) to Karlskirsche where we met our guide, Wolfe, for our evening Food and Drinks of Vienna tour. We always find time to squeeze in a foodie event – it’s the best way to taste the flavors of any place you visit. The lovely 18th-century Baroque church was built by Emperor Charles VI. The Karlsplatz Christmas market was directly in front, and full of unique handcrafted items. More on the Vienna Christmas markets in a bit…
Our first stop on our tour was Vollpension, a lovely little café in district 5 (forgot to mention, Vienna is made up of 23 districts, or neighborhoods). Vollpension is known for its kaffee and kuchen and also for its unique approach to staff. They only employ senior citizens to prepare the food, and young adults to serve it, with a focus on uniting these two generations and creating bonds of commonality. Pretty cool concept! The stop didn’t disappoint – we were treated to lovely pastries, and our choice of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.
We then made our way by subway to the Jewish district, where we stopped at Praterwirt, a butchery and restaurant. Here, we tasted several Viennese favorites – a spinach and cheese dumpling, traditional goulash, and a roasted pork belly. Delicious!!
Our next stop Chez Bernard, a very hip bar and restaurant at the top of Hotel Motto in the Spittelberg area. There, we had great conversation and fantastic libations. In fact, I had one of the best Moscow Mules I’ve ever tasted – they make their own ginger syrup.
We capped our evening with a quick stroll through the Spittelberg Christmas market with its small stalls tucked into alleyways along winding streets – a truly unique market in a city full of them! And no Christmas market is complete without a toast of glühwein.
Und allen eine gute nacht!