A taste of imperial indulgence
For a chocolate lover like me, trying Viennese confectionery and dabbling in the cafe culture is a quintessential experience of my trip to Vienna.
“Empress Sisi indulged in chocolates and candied violets from Demel’s Chocolatier,” says Florian, my enthusiastic well-dressed guide. “She’d eat them for breakfast and when she was feeling peckish, she’d sneak out of the palace to Demel’s.”
Demel’s, Vienna’s most popular confectioner has been around since 1786 once catered to the aristocracy and the upper middle-class. Now a post-Imperial attraction, anyone from normal folk to the likes of me can enjoy the best chocolates of Vienna.
I heard Demel’s were infamous for its long queues, but thankfully I was shown right in. The first floor is made up of three elegant patisserie rooms, filled with vintage coffee tables, chairs and red upholstered sofas in the window boxes.
With a variety of cakes displayed in the glass vitrines, I felt like a little kid excited about choosing a new toy my mum would buy me. The endless display of mouthwatering cakes & pastries when you enter make every nerve in your body tingle. The lady behind the counter suggested I try the Sacher torte, the infamous Viennese chocolate cake. A simple, but an elegant cake that has been said to disappoint than charm. I didn’t come here to try a simple cake. I came for my chocolate fix and the Truffle Torte fulfilled its duty.
The cafe is connected to a marvelous confectionery boutique. Each chocolate item is so beautifully crafted & presented making it the worst souvenir because you’d want to keep it for yourself!
Step a foot in Demel is like entering a Viennese museum: everything echoes an imperial past or is simply iconic – from the sign ‘K.u.K. Hofzuckerbäcker‘ (Imperial and Royal Supplier to the Court) and the cake vitrines down to its waitresses, called Demelinerinnen because of their black attire.
Demel Vienna nurtures an emphasis on tradition, an Imperial experience in particular. Although Demel’s a tourist attraction, it’s totally worth the visit even if it’s to feast your eyes on the chocolate display. At least you’ll know where the Austrian Royal Family got their chocolates from.