A grand day out in Vienna a few Saturdays ago finished in the 19th district at the fantastically-named Bamkraxler pub.

I had no real expectations of the place, but it turned out to be so much more than an amusing name (although after 5 pints of beer, it’s amazing how long you can be kept amused by a name that sounds a bit like “bum cracks”).

Anyway, it served great food – I had the rack of ribs, straight off the barbeque – and of course, the real clincher: some truly excellent pints of Augustiner ale from Salzburg, straight out of the wooden barrel:

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The beer was served in these great ceramic mugs – it’s the small details like this that keep me happy ;). In the second one I’m pictured with my brother-in-law who had recently become a dad (hence the cigars).

The day had all started so innocently, with a wander around Vienna, taking in visit to the wonderful KarlsKirche. Inside a lift took you up to a viewing platform, from which you could walk up through the centre of the dome. It’s amazing what this does to your sense of balance – I suppose it’s the walls moving towards you in unusual ways as you climb through the dome. Anyway, you got close enough to have a very good look at the dome mural.

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We followed that with a visit to the MAK museum, which focused on architectural pieces — and fair game to it for having the only exhibition of chairs that has ever kept my attention for more than two-and-a-half minutes, along with a great restaurant.

We then headed to the far flung regions of the 19th district to visit some traditional “Heurigen” – wine restaurants – that are found in the vineyards surrounding Vienna. Don’t miss them if you ever visit the city. Each sells (very cheap) carafes of wine from their own vineyard. We toured around several of these, probably the best (but also most remote) being Heurigen Sirbu:


After the wine tour, I was ready for a bit of food and then bed. As it turned out, Bamkraxler had other ideas…