I only had one thing on my must-do list when I visited Vienna – I wanted to have kaffee und kuchen in a nice shop.
This is thanks to my childhood obsession with The Chalet School, the titular boarding school in Elinor M. Brent-Dyer’s series of books. I also did my research about other places for travelers to visit in Vienna, but this one was my non-negotiable.
I had no idea that it was Pentecost Sunday when I arrived, but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise because the city was quiet when I first started exploring. I don’t even remember where I finally found my coffee shop, because it was just serendipity and the result of meandering through various streets that I finally came upon it.
It’s pretty basic – after all, kaffee und kuchen is simply coffee and cake. But it was a wonderful experience sitting outside, sipping my coffee while people-watching (though there weren’t a lot of them around because of the holiday).
When I hear “cake”, I think loads of icing. But this cake (and the others I had here) wasn’t iced at all, but instead served with a dollop of whipped cream on the side. I suppose when you eat it with coffee, you have to tamp down the sweetness so you don’t ruin the coffee. The cake was denser than I expected, but the coffee was divine. And taken together, they worked!
It was one of the few quiet moments I had during my trip where I could take a breath and appreciate the fact that I was actually in Europe, a dream destination for most of my life. I was in Vienna – the city of Mozart, the city where Baroness Schraeder had her glittering salons (according to Captain Von Trapp), and the city where my childhood “friends” the Chalet girls often spent holidays. I was here, having my kaffee und kuchen! I know this was one of the more trivial things on my list for this trip, but the experience and memories I formed are definitely anything but.