I've just returned from a rather spectacular wedding in the pretty ski-resort of Kitzbuhl, about an hour or so outside beautiful Salzburg. The food was surprisingly good; in fact extremely good. Having just arrived, we were spirited away to join the Herrenvolk at an 18th century chalet, where they served all sorts of goodies including large dumplings (knoedel), stewed venison in a rich sauce (hasenpfeffer), noodles (fleckerl), luscious sauces made from cranberry, and mushrooms; piquant red cabbage, and tankards of the local Kaiser beer- all finished off with tots of schnapps.The Austrians don't just sing about mountain goat herds and the like- they eat them- that is the goat, not the goatherd.
On the second night, we were joined at a charming beerhall by young blades in leiderhosen, and pretty Heidi look-alikes in the traditional dirndl. On day three, I persuaded The Girl to let me drive her across treacherous mountain passes into Bavaria to ogle at Mad King Ludwig's Wagnerian fantasy, Schloss Neuschwanstein. I managed to take a few photographs, before we had to return across the werewolf infested mountain roads.
Before we crossed the border into the Fatherland proper, we pulled off the road at a hearty gasthof. I chose a massive Wienna Schnitzel. The Girl went for a better option and had an interesting Wiener Saftgulasch (goulash)- very similar to the Hungarian version; that is more of a soup than a stew; and served with dumpings.
Day Four involved a cable car ride up to a mountain retreat which would have done Dr Evil proud. At the click of Mein Host's extremely clean fingers, a bottle of the excellent local wine was produced for an impromptu tasting, while we were serenaded by old men in shorts playing tubas. The wine was similar to a Reisling- a lovely golden colour, floral bouquets on the nose, but with a dry finish to the aftertaste. If you've never been to Austria, I urge you to go there soon. The food is delicious, and the people are charming.