I was tired and needing a break. Dad suggested a special place called Cafe Central. Cafe Central has been a part of Vienna’s culture forever. This cafe is one of the most magnificent places I’ve ever had the privilege of eating at. As we walked through the narrow streets of the city, dad pointed out the Hofburg Imperial Palace. The palace was just standing there, right beside you as you walked the street. What shocked me was the quiet. The city was so quiet and the only smell was from horses, the imperial horses, that is. A little bit about the palace: “The Hofburg Imperial Palace has played an integral part of the Austrian government scene since it was built in the 13th century. It has been home to some of Europe’s most powerful royalty over the centuries, including the Hapsburgs and rulers of the Holy Roman and Austro-Hungarian empires. Today it is a museum and home to the president of Austria.”
The Lippizan Stalions are also from Vienna, as we walked, we did pass where they were kept. It was dark in the arena, but I pushed my nose up against it to get a glance at some of the horse’s feet. The inside of the performance space for the horses looked like a palace itself. The Spanish Riding School is a traditional riding school for Lipizzan horses that offers public performances in the Winter Riding School in the Hofburg. “The Riding School calls these performances classical dressage, but most viewers would call it magic. The school has been training horses like this for more than four centuries. The 68 stallions – their ancestors came from Spain – have trained and performed at the Winter Riding School since about 1735. Horses and riders both undergo special training that lasts for many years.”
Finally, we came upon a unique lit up building. It looked like a picture from a travel magazine. Once we walked in my jaw dropped. The architecture! The royal red material! The paintings on the wall! Oh and the desserts! Cafe Central was so special we ended up eating there again later in the week on our way home. “The café was opened in 1876, and in the late 19th century it became a key meeting place of the Viennese intellectual scene. Key regulars included: Peter Altenberg, Theodor Herzl, Alfred Adler, Egon Friedell, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Anton Kuh, Adolf Loos, Leo Perutz, Alfred Polgar and Leon Trotsky. In January 1913 alone, Josip Broz Tito, Sigmund Freud, Adolf Hitler, Vladimir Lenin, and Trotsky (the latter two being regulars) were patrons of the establishment.” It was so weird to think I was in a building where Freud had coffee or Hitler met with imperials!
Well, the desserts and coffee were delicious. I tried some mini desserts that were the cutest thing in the world. We also had an apple danish with homemade ice cream. Each time you ordered a cup of coffee in Europe, it came with a glass of water “with gas” meaning carbonated. I would ask for it without gas because I liked still water best. The coffee would also come with a small mint. I liked this place so much that I purchased a book with recipes and the history. It was truly magical, even though we had to wait a bit for a seat.
Love & Laughter,