One the first day of every month, my mum wishes you ‘white rabbit’ for a month of good luck. It’s an old English tradition that no one else remembers or recognises, but it doesn’t stop me from spouting it to anyone I’m talking to during the day. But anyway, that’s neither here nor there.
After a week of being decidedly dull, I eventually forced myself out into the city center yesterday for some much-needed summer shopping. I’d kind of holed myself up for the week to catch up on work after a raucous few days with my dad, his partner Jane, and Jack, who all flew over last weekend. Any sense of responsibility naturally went out the window. We had a weekend full of sun-soaked beer-drinking at the Sacher Hotel, frozen yogurt, and battling our way through the Naschmarkt on the search for white asparagus (really).
Now, back to the daily grind, I’ve remembered all the notes I missed and, even worse, two mid-term exams this week. Still, with this super weather and my utter lack of attractive summer clothing, it was actually very necessary to creep out into the sun yesterday and arrange to meet Ayesha and Jasmine at Stephansdom for a trip to Zara and some frozen yogurt.
After a rather successful trawl round the shops, we decided that rather than waste the rest of the evening, we’d go and get a drink and bask in the evening sun. We briefly sat down at the Sacher Hotel (have you heard of Sacher Tort? This is where it was born), but on realising that we had cigarette smoke billowing our way from one direction and that the air was slightly chillier than we’d expected, Jasmine cleverly suggested we go for hot chocolate in the Gerstner Cafe across from the opera house.
For some reason, I’d never been here before. This gorgeous Viennese-Ladurée-esque gem with the most incredible view of the opera house in the city, complete with velvet plush stools and a large screen showing the stage inside the opera house. I couldn’t believe my luck.
Look at this decor! I just couldn’t get enough of the colour scheme. That makes me sound simple, but colour schemes are a huge part in enjoying any experience for me. I associate things very strongly with colours – places, people, activities. Paris, for example, is gold, baby pink, dark red…perhaps that’s an obvious choice. Home (at my dad’s house) is green and sunset orange. My mum is blushed pink; I could go on. To cut a long-winded and confusing story short, the first thing I notice about the place is the colours. So here we are, surrounded by cherry and mustard velvet, cerise pink, deep blues, and I just thought it was brilliant.
The cafe itself was set up in 1847 by Anton Gerstner, who was the appointed Imperial Court Confectioner and served at banquets in all the major palaces of Vienna including Schonnbrunn and Belvedere (which can be seen in some of my other posts. I’ve literally been to both about 4’000 times at this stage). Anyway, the place is chock full of cake, macaroons and pastries, and even has a tower built from iced roses at the front entrance.
It’s the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon drinking an organic carrot-juice (I’m on a health kick since Jack and Dad’s departure also – days of white wine and late nights eventually take their toll. I’m not 18 any more -ha) and watching the opera (Mozart, that particular day, if you’re interested), as tourists bustle about on the street, trying to decide on their next sight-seeing destination and taking snaps of the beautiful Kendlerstrasse.
This morning while I was white-rabbiting Jack and Lucy from my little apartment I realised that I have exactly two months – 8 WEEKS – before I’m back in Ireland for good. And then I realised how many coffee shops, patisseries and hidden gems I’ve so far left unvisited. I’d better get cracking, if I’m to visit every one.
So for now I’m off. Thanks for reading, and keep a look out for upcoming delights. Much love, as always.