burgenland-austria-548We landed at Vienna Airport and travelled to the 4-star Hotel Burgenland in Eisenstadt, the capital of Burgenland, where we were greeted with coffee and open sandwiches. Then some of us couldn’t resist the selection of kuchen in the fridge. I had a gorgeous, creamy cheesecake.
In the evening, Alfred Diewald, the Director, took us up to the roof and pointed out landmarks, while filling our glasses – and his own – with the wine that is bottled specially for the hotel.
Burgenland is a flat area bordered by Slovenia, Slovakia and Hungary, plus forests and lakes.
In the evening, we ate in the hotel restaurant, ‘Bienkorb.’ We were just reading the menus when Alfred whisked them all away, saying, ‘No no, I have something better for you!’
We started with a small ham salad, followed by kohlrabi soup with fish croutons placed on a spoon across the bowl, which looked really good.
I love it when I discover a new, simple idea. I’m working on that one!
Next came boiled veal, which I wasn’t looking forward to. I had boiled meat dishes in Germany once and they were horrible! But this was perfect, as though it had been grilled. It was served with mashed potatoes and asparagus.
It really is a good year for asparagus. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted it so full of flavour!
We finished with strawberry tiramisu, and rhubarb cake.
Then out came the schnapps. I usually find it tasteless, but I tried one called Nuts, and I liked that, so I had two!
burgenland-austria-615In the morning we drove to Purbach, which is full of funny little buildings, often with grass growing on the roof. They’re old wine/meat/fruit cellars, below ground level, and a lot of them are still used. But most of them went out of use in the 19th Century as Lake Neusiedl would often flood them.
Fossil is an old cellar that has been turned into a restaurant.
When we saw the menu, we thought that we had to choose something, but they served up everything in lovely dishes, like tapas, so we could taste everything. It was excellent!
After the meal, I went inside, which is down some stone steps and below ground level, and I couldn’t believe how they can produce such a wonderful selection of food in such a tiny kitchen!
This is the menu;
Beetroot carpaccio with horseradish and cream cheese.
Catfish duet;
Smoked catfish spread, and catfish marinated in tomato-chilli sauce
Beef-tongue aspic with onion and pumpkin seed oil.
This was layered in different colours and looked impressive.
Bacon ‘Spreizenbarth’ with home-made red onion marmalade
Smoked wild boar from Leithaberg
Mixed salad with grilled cheese
Home-made olive-rosemary bread and rye bread.
Deer Gulasch with Rye bread and roast potatoes.
burgenland-austria-647Some of us had cake, and my friend had a Cappuccino which was served in coffee-coloured layers like sand sculptures in a straight glass which was fitted inside a larger curved plastic glass.
We were highly impressed with this, and I’d love to buy some! Can anyone help? The coffee stays hot, but the outside is cold.
In the evening we drove to Der Reisinger am Neufelder See.
Quite honestly, when we arrived, we all looked at each other, wondering why we’d been brought here!
It’s a plain, almost ugly, Communist-looking hotel with modern lettering on the outside.
But when we walked inside, all was forgiven! It overlooks Lake Neufeld and it’s stunning!
We drank local sparkling wine on the terrace and watched the sun go down over the lake, then we retired upstairs to the restaurant.
The food was Nouvelle Cuisine, artistically displayed.
Again, we were served almost everything on the menu in small portions, only choosing the main course.
The starters were set out on a large slate;
Beer-beef aspic and pumpkin seed oil.
Ham roll tubes and mayonnaise
Pike and white garlic pesto.
The soup came in two huge tureens so we could help ourselves, with lots of bread, of course;
Cream of asparagus soup and ricotta tortellini.
Clear beef soup and pancake and liver dumplings.
For the main course we had a choice of
Catfish with asparagus and cumin mashed potato.
Veal and steamed cabbage, curd cheese and pepper dumplings.
I chose the catfish.
To finish, we had Bisquite cake, vanilla and chocolate sauce,
Raspberry Parfait
Apricot Strudel.
Every course was a work of art.
burgenland-austria-757The next day, we drove to Rust, where storks perch in large nests on the rooftops.
After a walk round the picturesque village, we ate outside in the ‘Wirsthaus im Hofgassl’ courtyard.
The sky was a deep blue, and the clock tower, seen above the roof, announced its presence every 15 minutes. We were surrounded by plants and herbs. A peaceful oasis!
We started with
Beef Carpaccio with spicy mustard cream and parmigiano.
The thinly, sliced meat was so delicate that it could be eaten with a spoon.
Clear beef broth with butter dumplings.
I passed on this as I knew we had more walking to do and I was getting rather full!
Pike perch from Lake Neusiedl with white asparagus and brown mashed potatoes
Or
Medium roasted loin of local deer with creamy celery and poppy seed gnocchi.
I fancied the deer, but with the perch accompaniments. And if you want something, it’s always good to ask. A quality restaurant should be adaptable to cater for the customer’s taste.
And they were. It was no bother at all for them to change the menu!
burgenland-austria-859This restaurant is so good that they make their own bread, and the butter too!
In the evening we dressed up and strolled up the road to watch a Haydn concert in the Esterhazy Palace.
More about that later.
Afterwards, at 9.45pm, we crossed the road and ate in Restaurant Henrici, opposite the former palace.
This old building was originally the palace stables and it’s named after the architect, Benedict Henrici.
The marble mangers still line the walls. The horses must have lived a life of luxury!
Luckily, this was a lighter meal than we’d had so far as it was so late, and my stomach was very grateful!
The starter was ‘Henrici’ Goose liver variations.
Then the main course was Esterhazy roast joint with curd cheese dumpling.
Dessert was Finger-shaped potato dumplings with poppy seed, honey and apple-vanilla cream.
The food was good, the staff were professional and attentive, but we found the new owner a bit fierce!
burgenland-austria-881After breakfast, we had a boat tour across Lake Neusiedl, and stepped ashore at Mole West.
We perched on high stools outside, under cover and ate with our coats on, enjoying the view of the lake, and the atmosphere.
It was hard to choose what to eat as the menu was huge. There were several Lebanese dishes, which are popular now.
I had a selection of mezzes, Babaganoush, hummus, tzadziki, etc with pitta bread and I asked if I could have a small salad with it. I said it must have tomatoes, and the waiter wrote, ‘Extra tomatoes.’
It’s amazing what you can do with a small salad. It even had a flower in the middle!
The food was local, fresh and high-quality wherever we went. So was the wine. And the service was friendly. Nothing was too much bother. That makes such a difference to your enjoyment, don’t you agree?

About Lyn

LYN FUNNELL CV (well, sort of!) Lyn had very successful careers as an Air Hostess, Sales Rep, (she was one of only a couple of women. She beat all the men regularly, becoming the Top Rep in the UK, and 2nd in the world.) And then Catering took over. She did everything from the washing-up, to Silver Service Waitress, and Chef. A few times, she had to cook the meal, dash round the other side and Silver Serve it! In between all this, she wrote as often as she could, building up a reputation as a published short story writer, (Horror and a twist in the tale,) and a Poet. She has appeared as a Performing Poet, and a Demo Chef. Then she discovered the world of the Food & Travel Writer. And that’s what she has continued doing to this day. Her main hobbies are Cookery and entering Competitions. She has won many prizes, including holidays and a moped. She enjoys entering Competitions, submitting her original recipes. She was first in many Competitions, including the Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu, Fruits of France, Bernard Matthews Turkey Recipe, and appeared on BBC’s The One Show Spag Bol contest. She was one of three Finalists, coming 2nd, which makes her Britain’s Spag Bol Queen! Now she runs B-C-ing-U! and loves it! After several years of being messed around by Editors, and having loads of contacts, Lyn formed her own online Magazine, vowing to treat her writers fairly, and to do everything possible to further their careers, publicise their books, etc. She now has a band of excellent regular writers, and the Magazine’s going from strength to strength! Lyn’s online published books; Adverse Camber A collection of my published poems. The First Book of Short Stories The Second Book of Short Stories The Third Book of Short Stories. Many of these stories have been previously published. St Anthony of Padua. The Patron St of the Old. A story of one woman’s terrible ordeal in a Home, and her family’s rescue of her. The Girl Who Watched. A Cuban girl is attacked by an English journalist & what follows! Willy the Whizz & the Wormhole. Suitable for Young Adults, aged 15-95! Get Out Of Debt And Stay Out – Forever! Unsympathetic, hard-hitting, realistic solutions to your problems. All these books are published by Andrews UK Ltd www.andrewsuk.com No, I didn’t pay them to Vanity Publish! They’re all available from Amazon, and many other online publishers. LYN FUNNELL.