Dining out in Budapest

A glass of sauvignon blanc wine from unknown o...

A glass of sauvignon blanc wine from unknown origin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have been joking about being on the Schnitzel or Goulash trail for weeks but Budapest is really rather special. It is easy to find modern, trendy restaurants full of people of all ages enjoying themselves. Fresh produce is of high quality, with some excellent and imaginative cooking available. Budapest boosts great beer, some outstanding wines and less well-known, some spirits of excellent quality. Most importantly, Hungary is not in the Euro and offers some exceptional value for money.

Yesterday, we had a late dinner at Callas Restaurant, next door the Opera House on Andrassy which we would thoroughly recommend – it was a beautifully decorated restaurant in Art Nouveau style. Alf had tuna and Marilyn took Chicken Paprika with both dishes being excellent. We sampled a recommended Hungarian Sauvignon Blanc wine which was outstanding and would put many New Zealand examples to shame. We had been aware of the Hungarian wines since we learned that they were much favoured by the Austrian emperors. Hungary is especially famous for dessert wines and Marilyn tried a glass and was amazed at the quality. Alf was after a Grappa but was encouraged to try an award-winning Hungarian digestif, called “Arpad Palinka” which was outstanding.

The only disappointment was that the Callas Restaurant was only six years old and had never been visited by the legendary opera singer Maria. Callas…

A very special day in Vienna Austria

Wiener_Philharmoniker_coin_Reverse

Wiener_Philharmoniker_coin_Reverse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being first time visitors to Vienna, this blog picks up some our highlights on our first day. The day starts slowly and builds to it climax.

We headed off for the U-Bahn (underground railway) and purchased a pass then spent half the day on the excellent on/off tour buses, taking in the major sites of Vienna and getting our bearings.

Lunch was a very special bowl of soup at legendary Cafe Mozart which is behind the beautiful Opera House. It was at Cafe Mozart where author Graham Green wrote the Third Man, which later became a major film success. Looking around Cafe Mozart reminded us that Vienna was the spy capital of the world in the Communist era.

The pinnacle of the day was an evening listening to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the Golden Hall (Großer Musikvereinssaal)

The famous Großer Musikvereinssaal is widely-known as the best and most beautiful concert hall in the world. Moreover, the Musikverein is home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the venue where its annual New Year’s Day Concert takes place.

Here are some excellent photos of the Großer Musikvereinssaal :

großer musikvereinssaal