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"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." - Confucius

At the SIHH this January, the grand master of gears and decoration, Jaeger-LeCoultre issued a new model in their feminine Rendez-vous line with a genuinely fitting complication. The collection, which has been around since 2012, has always had a little star caressing the charming watch face; however it would only serve as a visual aide-mémoire to rendez-vous. (The Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Ivy Minute Repeater has the chiming function, but in a very different price category…) I’m guessing that many ladies have missed the meeting set with the silent reminder, because in the 2017 models the little star is connected to a chiming complication, which affect other senses.

The new jingling 735 automatic manufacture calibre received two homes to move in: a white gold case married with an amethyst dial and diamonds, and a rose gold case with a light guilloché dial and a nude alligator strap.

Following the big week in Geneva in late January, the twins (and fellow cousins) arrived to the Jaeger-LeCoultre boutique operated by Hübner in Vienna. While twirling the alarm-setting crown in the middle of the Imperial City – the cultural, historic and culinary scene of which goes beyond imagination – I could not help but guess where in the city I would sport a rendez-vous.

You know what? – let me share with you some obvious places in Vienna and others that might not be on your apparent love affair list.

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Rendez-Vous Sonatina Large, pink gold

 

Never start hungry

The pledge of a promising start is a happy tummy. Under the watchful eyes of Johann Strauss and Franz Schubert in Stadtpark, Heinz Reitbauer and his team grew Steirereck to be the 9th best restaurant in the world in 2016. Styrian traditions are creatively reinterpreted by Mr Reitbauer and meals are cooked from Austria’s finest local ingredients. I suggest that you organize the first meeting for lunchtime and enjoy Steirereck’s relaxed setting and its exceptional mid-day menu.

Steirereck Marzipankarotten
Steirereck - Marzipan carrots (Stefan Liewehr, Copyright © Studio Liewehr)
Steirereck Zander
Steirereck - Zander fish (Stefan Liewehr, Copyright © Studio Liewehr)

Once stationed in Steirereck, Konstantin Filippou is another exciting chef in Vienna. The restaurant bearing his name offers a mixed blend of Austria and the Mediterranean. Having convinced the inspectors of both Guide Michelin and Gault Millau, his meals will be your delicious companions on a dinner date. The best spot in the restaurant for a particular experience is at the kitchen table – you can book this place for two to directly face the kitchen. This gives you a sneak peek into Mr Filippou’s creative workshop; what’s more, certain dishes are prepared right in front of you.

If you want to take home the cooking buzz, I suggest you purchase Konstantin Filippou’s newly published cookbook with more than 80 mouth-watering recipes. Who knows, you might want to appoint your dating partner to sous-chef!

Konstantin Filippou Kitchentable
Konstantin Filippou restaurant, kitchentable

Artistic readiness

The myriad of museums and art galleries of Vienna are the right scenes to test the cultural intelligence of your partner.

Albertina has one of the most important graphic art collections in the world and one of Europe’s largest private collections of classical modernist paintings. Because of its rich palette of exhibitions and the team’s ultimate dedication to spreading the love of contemporary art, the institute has been among my regular go-tos even in non-rendez-vous times. Their new exhibition is dedicated to one of the greatest expressionist painters of Austria, Egon Schiele, who tragically died at a very young age in 1918. The 160 gouaches and drawings of landscapes and portraits showcased in Albertina will start the series of events organized for the upcoming 100th anniversary of his death.

Park Hyatt Vienna’s Lounge or their Café Am Hof are nice place also for afternoon coffee and home-made cakes. Only two minutes walk from the hotel the Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien at Freyung 8 is another highlight of the inner city.

Park Hyatt Vienna's Lounge
Park Hyatt Vienna's Lounge

The Bank Austria Art Collection includes around 10,000 works from the era of historicism, Viennese art nouveau, post-1945 avant-garde painting, classics of international photography and contemporary art. An exhibition of American modernist artist Georgia O’Keeffe is on until 26 March 2017. She is probably best known for her enlarged flower paintings, such as the “Oriental Poppies” or the “Jimson Weed/White Flower”. She was also one of the first female painters to achieve worldwide acclaim from critics and the general public alike with her bold art.

Georgia O’Keeffe Oriental Poppies, 1927
Georgia O’Keeffe Oriental Poppies, 1927 The collection of the Frederick R.Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis © 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Bildrecht, Wien
Georgia O’Keeffe Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1, 1932
Georgia O’Keeffe Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1, 1932 Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas © 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Bildrecht, Wien Foto: Edward C. Robison III.

 

Shhhhh

Sometimes it is just enough of the spoken word and the only sound you want to hear is that of instruments. Especially, when one of the greatest orchestras of the world is playing. The 21st OsterKlang Festival takes place between 3-16 April 2017 at three locations: Theater an der Wien, Wiener Konzerthaus and the Hofburgkapelle. Among the many musical and dance programs, the Easter Day evening offers a special performance. The Wiener Symphoniker officially welcome the spring in Vienna with songs from George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein. The melodies of Bernstein’s operetta Candide, the West Side Story and Gerschwin’s An American in Paris will compete with the singing of the April birds. The concert of the over 100-year old and 128-member orchestra takes place in the Grand Hall of the Wiener Konzerthaus.

Let’s go outside

Depending on the maturity of the relationship, you might want to hop in the car with him/her and drive a bit further for some truly spectacular joint relaxation. A sumptuous mountain eco village in the Alps approximately 3,5 hours away from Vienna is the golden retreat if you need privacy, quiet alpine surroundings yet still luxurious surroundings. Chalets in Das Almdorf have open fireplaces, wooden interiors, large windows with breath-taking panorama, all set for a romantic weekend. Local food is served by sedulous hands – you can even have your personal innkeeper.

With the arrival of the spring it’s time to hop on the bicycle you two! The picturesque Neusiedler See is just 50 kms away from Vienna to the east and the lake area is a World Heritage Site. A circle around the lake is approximately 120 kms and there are plenty of rest areas you can stop by on both sides of the border, Austria and Hungary. One of the must-do attractions is the Seejungfrau restaurant on the Northern tip of the lake in the marina called Jois am Neusiedlersee. The idyllic surroundings and the tasty meals will be great rewards after the 4-hour cycle-tour.

 
Have you made up your mind who you are going out with? Hop by at Hübner and listen to the chime of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Rendez-vous, perhaps it tells you the right place too!

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Das Almdorf, summertime view

 

Photo credits: Steirereck – Studio Liewehr, Konstantin Filippou, Park Hyatt Vienna, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Bildrecht (Wien), Das Almdorf, Loupiosity.com.
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All rights reserved.

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