The Hotel Kugel, Vienna

We stayed at the Hotel Kugel for a week whilst researching our city guide to Vienna and loved it. It’s very central, Christina and Johannes, the owners, are charming hosts and it’s very comfortable with a timelessly classy feel to the decor.  Here are a few photos and observations that we made during our stay; at the bottom of this review is a video that’ll give you a further idea of the hotel. Location – There’s a bus stop outside, with a bus going direct to the main train station. The west train…

Mini Restaurant, Vienna

Within fifteen minutes of our arriving at Mini – a Hungarian restaurant situated midway between the Museum Quarter and the West Bahnhof – we understood clearly why it’s rated as one of the top three restaurants in Vienna. We’d been to a food tour in the city the previous evening and also visited five Viennese restaurants during the preceding week and every single one of them could learn so much from Mini about how to treat guests and to offer up a satisfying dining experience. We were to be served by three waiters…

Shalimar Restaurant, Vienna

The Shalimar, which has a sister restaurant in Budapest, is a twenty minute walk from the central Museum Quarter of Vienna in the direction of the West Bahnhof, and about five minutes from the station itself. It’s not a regular Indian restaurant, the sort you go to in order to dull your taste buds and drink a lot of beer, it’s more veering towards a fine dining experience borne out by the fact that it was full of quietly spoken locals by 7pm on a Sunday night and that the…

Cafe Leopold, Vienna

The Cafe Leopold is in the Leopold Museum, in the Museum Quarter of central Vienna. You don’t have to visit the museum in order to access the cafe – there’s an external stairway as well as a door leading in from the museum – but we do recommend a visit to the museum itself as it has an art collection including some incredible work by Egon Schiele. The museum is a fine sight at  night, with art projected onto its outer walls, as you can see above. The cafe was…

Fett Und Zucker Cafe, Vienna

Fett Und Zucker is a cafe in the 2nd district of Vienna, not far from the main centre or Das Capri Hotel. There’s a very comfortable, retro, arty and alternative vibe there, free wi-fi and everything on the menu has been baked in the cafe itself, with plenty of vegan options and the fruit ingredients coming from the manager’s village garden. We wished we were coffee drinkers when we visited as their coffee is locally roasted and sourced fair trade and organic from a collective in Indonesia, but we stuck to…

Cafe Sperl, Vienna

The Cafe Sperl provided us with an authentic, enjoyable introduction to Viennese food, and to the cities famed traditional cafe scene. We thoroughly recommend you pay the cafe a visit. Before we continue with the review, here are some more images we took whilst there to give you an idea of the place. If you were to read TripAdvisor and take notice of many of the reviews you’d think that the Sperl was a dingy old cafe with unsmiling staff, indecipherable menus and other customers who’d physically disapprove of you using a…

ZSL London Zoo

London Zoo is a short, signposted walk from Camden Town Underground station. Usually we don’t entertain zoos but one look at the London Zoo website was enough to show us that these people are all about conservation, and getting involved with projects around the world that’ll help animals try to survive the immense pressure that humans are putting them under at the moment. Also, the website advised us that there was an open air photography exhibition in the middle of the zoo, which sounded great as well! We only had…

The Drawn by Light Exhibition at the Science Museum

Although the ‘Drawn By Light’ Exhibition will have closed in London by the time you read this, we feel it’s worth talking briefly about our visit as we reckon that this new exhibition space on the second floor of the Science Museum is now the Number One place to view photography in London. There were actually two exhibitions on when we visited, the ‘Drawn by Light’ show that had an entrance fee and another, free exhibition by Nick Hedges in the huge open space next door. The show was called…

Gänse Blümchen Food Tour, Vienna

We’d experienced several food tours and cookery courses in Italy and found them to be a fascinating, enjoyable and very social way of getting to know a city so when we arrived in Vienna we attempted to track down a company that could lay on a similar tour or course to what we’d been used to. It wasn’t easy, there are several companies listed in guide books and online lists but when you get down to the nitty gritty of finding course or tour dates it’s clear that many of…

Hotel Casci, Florence

We stayed at the Hotel Casci for six nights whilst we created our Florence City Guide. Here are a few photos and observations that we made during our stay; at the bottom of this review is a video that’ll give you a further idea of the hotel. Location – The hotel location is ideal, in a 15th century palazzo that’s a few doors away from the old Medici house where Michelangelo stayed whilst a student and a five minute walk from Duomo (one of the centres of the old town). The Uffizi…