Cruising out of Vienna at midnight — lights fading in the distance, dancing on the water, air cold and clean, (yes, we have the balcony open so we can stretch out and see the city go by.) Vienna was lovely — graceful and gracious. And cold to the bone with a damp chill that hurts your toes and frosts your ears.
We toured around in the morning (the Amawaterways European tour guides to date are nowhere near the class of the Vietnamese and Cambodians we met this summer, by the way.) Then we visited some Christmas markets but it was cold (did I mention that?) so we went for a coffee and a strudel. The real thing, and boy was it good. I’ve seen pictures of how they make that flaky pastry but this was light and crisp and filled with apple and spice and swimming in custard.
They say you can hang around in a Viennese coffee house for three hours and no one cares but we had lunch reservations and could not put it to the test.
Le Ceil is in the Grand Hotel Wien — the lobby so beautiful and unfortunately smoke-filled. But the restaurant was beautiful and the food was really special.
An amuse of spinach soup as delicious as it was colorful.
Burrata with grilled lettuce and passion fruit. Fabulous.
Tagliatelle with a leek pur��e and roasted tomatoes.
Venison loin with potato needles and silky parsnip pur��e.
Beet risotto with horseradish foam.
Pear tart tatin.
Cheese and petit fours, and a taxi back to a three hour nap.
It’s almost good that the food on the ship is just average since it inspires discoveries like this one.