The table was once shrouded in white linen, and the slice of chocolate cake were given right here on a bone china saucer. A few minutes later, merely since the pianist switched from Schubert to Haydn, an effete, penguin-suited waiter offered the sparkling riesling with a bow. Next to me sat a girl in a fur coat; at her ft was once a poodle. It was once 11 a.m. in February, and I would possibly simply recall to mind a no a lot much less appropriate place to be than Austria, and no stranger procedure to engage in than the solitary consumption of Viennese pastry and wine.
There wasn’t snow on the ground, on the other hand the whole thing else was once white — the palaces, the ponies, the pedestrians. It was once ball season, and inside the velvet-lined house home windows of jewellery shops sat tiaras, twinkling without irony. If Austria is best-known for schmaltzy sentimentalism and a refusal to acknowledge its Nazi heritage, the capital the city of Vienna is widely known for its Habsburg-era decadence. The city turns out and seems like a monument to itself.
It gave the impression atypical to have the benefit of cultural nostalgia for a the city whose main asset is undeniably its imperial earlier. Unusual or now not, proper right here I was. Eating cake. And as it was once Vienna, quite a lot of the cakes were in step with recipes at the start devised for somewhat a large number of members of the royal family. There was once chocolate and apricot Sacher torte, shocking crimson punschkrapferl stuffed with nougat, kardinalschnitte made from génoise sponge and meringue. There was once apfelstrudel mit schlag and round waffles topped with extruded worms of maroni cream. Liquor and buttercream Esterházy torte was once on offer, as was once rehrücken, a dome spiced with ginger and adorned to look explicitly like a “slab of venison.” Marzipan made common appearances in my possible choices and so did poppy seeds, pistachios and glacé cherries.