No time for calorie-counting on this 24 hour Viennese whirl.

With apologies to Helen Fielding. And Bridget Jones 😉


Thursday, February 2nd:


Weight: not known. Officially (c’mon…) still in ‘post Christmas-scoffing’ phase. So, for both of us, still a ‘work-in-progress‘, if you will. (In the same way that a woman might be forgiven for saying she’s still carrying her baby-weight…when the infant starts school.)

Calories consumed on said date, before arrival: Not entirely clear.(Not entirely keen to calculate, either, actually...) We’d been at a Slovakian spa. So far…there had been a modest breakfast. And a passable lunch.

Cigarettes or cigars smoked:  Nil. (Never, actually, on both sides. Well…not since that episode in the woods, during Jane’s fifth form tennis lesson, anyway)

Units of alcohol necked: Zero.

But then this happened…....

It was 4pm: We’d crossed the border into Austria, and had been driven through the snow to our hotel in Vienna where…lo….in the salon….it was tea time. How incredibly RUDE it would have been to have turned down the offer from our charming receptionist.. of free tea and freshly-baked cakes. So:

Cups of tea: 2

Slices of cake: 4

We may have peaked too soon. Because in no time at all, we were due to take up an invitation to dinner, with a chance to sample traditional Austrian fare at Huth.

We braced ourselves. And went in:

Plates full of (only lightly battered, tbf ) Wiener Schnitzel: 2

Bowls of rather lovely potato salad: 2

Glasses of white Austrian wine: 2

We thanked, tipped, and left. The night was young. But the air was chilly. Luckily, Vis a Vis, a cosy Viennese wine bar came into view.

Even larger glasses of white Austrian wine (Gruner Weltliner) : 2

Time to head back out into the snowy city, and find our hotel. But just round the corner, Victus und Mili were still doing brisk business, so we popped in.

This ensued:

Large glass of white Austrian Gemischter Satz wine: 1

Large glass of Sauvignon Blanc: 1

It would have been game-over at this point, had it not been for the suggestion by *one of us* that he might quite like a little cheese, to go with his Gemischter Satz. In what I considered, at that hour, to be my very best A’ level German, I asked the waitress if it was “moglich, ein bisschen Kase mit unsere Wein, zu haben ?”. She replied in English more fluent, lucid and eloquent than either of us was able to muster at that point, that the cheese had been put away in the fridge now, and so was colder than they would normally serve. How about some slices of meat to nibble on, with a little salad?

To be precise :

Warm, generously proportioned salad of thinly sliced fillet of beef with huge kidney beans and leaves (after aforementioned huge plate of Wiener Schnitzel only two hours before), eaten only by *one of us* : 1

We paid, tipped and left. (This place, and its team, are lovely, by the way….!)

Moments later, we were back in our suite where one of us, having lambasted the other over demolishing two dinners, waited until guilty party was nodding off on the sofa and then (having silently removed the cellophane with consummate skill…) laid into the complimentary pack of the richest, darkest, most delicious chocolate she had ever tasted.

So that’ll be:

Medium sized, but incredibly rich pack of dark chocolate: 1

<Night fell>

Friday, February 3rd:

Breakfast time at the Altstadt

One of the breakfast counters at the Altstadt

There were two possible approaches here, frankly. 1.) Rein back on the calorie intake after a shameful overload the previous evening, with bio-yoghurt and berries, and an apple and kiwi shot chaser. Or… 2.) Cast all caution to the wind. We voted unanimously for option 2, to include, out of courtesy and curiosity, option 1.


Bowls of mixed crunchy cereal, seeds, bio-yoghurt and fruit: 2

Cute little apple and kiwi shots: 2

Servings of perfectly poached egg with spinach: 2

(Then….here we go…..)

Plate of salmon with caraway bread: 1

And this plate of lovely smoked Austrian cheese, as it was close: 1

Lovely slice of caraway bread with generous dollop of home-made jam: 1

‘Just one croissant as I was passing the plate full of caraway bread’: 1

Pot of tea: 1

Pot of coffee (NO milk,or sugar, whatsoever): 1

It would be OK. We had a day of sightseeing ahead of us, which would clearly annihilate the calories thus far consumed.

Until we realised that Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier was really only moments away.And its array of cultural gems? So fabulous that they needed to be viewed at a snail’s pace.

Calories used in brisk walks so far: pitifully few.

Even so, as lunchtime approached, how rude, once more, we reasoned, would it have been not to use the complimentary Bratwurst vouchers we’d been given for our trip by the brilliantly helpful Wien tourism info team. We walked, with brisk enthusiasm, to the Bitzinger sausage stand and clocked up:

p1020279Bratwurst with bread, ketchup and mustard: 1

Bratwurst with bread and ketchup: 1

Small glass of beer: 1

Warm cup of Gluhwein: 1

The only thing that was missing here….was a cup of coffee to warm us up. And Vienna is famous for its coffee houses.We set off for the beautiful, well known Cafe Central with thoughts of a calorie-free espresso in mind, and maybe an equally calorie free, mere drool over their infamous cakes. We sidled round the glass cabinets nonchalantly at first. Within seconds, we were like tigers eyeing their quarry. Don’t blame us. It was some kind of chemical attraction thing going on here.

OK, so, in spite of ourselves :

Cups of melange coffee, mit froth on top: 2

Big fat slice of Apfelstrudel, with vanilla pouring sauce and whipped cream: 1

Slim, oblong slice of (even now, I can’t believe we did this…) Nuss Kuss (hazelnut crisp and milk chocolate, in layers. Like I said…don’t blame me….): 1

p1020289Delicious, of course, and perfect to fill us with sugar infused energy for another sightseeing march around the city. And march we did. Past Goethe’s statue (was that a judgemental stare..?)..and on to Vienna’s beautiful Rathaus, with its popular winter ice-skating rinks. Rather than risk a triple Salchow- induced injury only hours before our flight, we viewed Viennese skaters gliding past us in quiet admiration. But standing still can be a chilly business, and we’d so enjoyed Rick Stein‘s televised visit to the Landtmann Cafe that we felt it polite to pop in. Necessitating orders for:

20170203_153537Schokoccino (heißer Schokolade und Cappuccino): 1

Mozart Schokola mit Schoko- und Pistaziensoße und Mozartkugel 1

(Don’t speak German? Look right…)

Time to head back briskly to the hotel. A tram was passing so we (athletically…) jumped aboard…just in time for today’s hotel teatime session.

No, we didn’t even look at the cakes. Truly.

Cups of black tea: 2

We allowed ourselves an hour to get to the airport but luckily for us, parts of the city were sealed off for a political demonstration. This was payback time.

Fifteen minute yomps across city with fully laden cabin bags, thick coats and one of us wearing several layers of clothes that she couldn’t fit into cabin bag, not that she didn’t already resemble Michelin woman:   1

Maniacal hurtle through station at speed, with aforementioned excess baggage of every variety, and down steps to reach city airport train which the man in information kindly advised us was leaving in one minute, with several shouts of ‘wait for MEEEEee’ and a wristband triumphantly fizzing a congratulatory *10,000 steps* milestone midway, (but at least we proved we could both still run a bit):  1

Planes caught in good time: 1

Wait. What? It’s not over yet?

‘Paid for’ onboard orders of easyJet focaccia with mozzarella and pesto and a side of Pringles and a swig of San Pellegrino, polished off while watched incredulously by other half: 1

This concludes the full and transparent calorie disclosure declaration for the 2emptynesters 24 hour trip to Vienna. Which we loved. And to which, after some savage dieting, we shall return. Total calories consumed? Who cares. Vienna’s amazing. Go there soon !

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