All posts by Richard

Serena Williams reveals motherhood difficulties as she graces Vogue’s February cover alongside baby Alexis

As the cover star of Vogue’s newest cover, alongside her newborn baby Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., Serena Williams has opened up about motherhood, and how difficult it can be.

The tennis pro and her newborn, who happens to be Vogue’s youngest cover star ever, grace the cover of the magazine’s February issue – and the picture is beautiful.

Williams, who has openly discussed the struggles of new motherhood, along with the immense joy she feels over being Alexis’s mother, tweeted out the photo alongside the caption, “This is a moment I will never forget.”

And on Instagram, Williams wrote, “When I first saw this @voguemagazine cover it brought tears to my eyes.”

“All Vogue covers are special but to share this one with my beautiful daughter @olympiaohanian also the youngest Vogue cover star makes it a moment I will never forget.”

The cover, shot by Mario Testino, features a smiling Williams wearing a red curve-hugging dress and her engagement ring and cradling newborn Alexis, who is dressed in a white onesie.

However, as Williams describes in the accompanying article, motherhood is rarely smooth sailing.

For Serena, health challenges arose as soon as she delivered baby Alexis – she was delivered by emergency Caesarean section after her heart rate became extremely low during contractions. But once the new mum recovered after a terrifying six days, motherhood did not get easier.

In the article, she opens up about the doubts she feels, “Sometimes I get really down and feel like, Man, I can’t do this,” before continuing “No one talks about the low moments – the pressure you feel, the incredible letdown every time you hear the baby cry.”

Williams also shares, “I’ve broken down I don’t know how many times. Or I’ll get angry about the crying, then sad about being angry, and then guilty, like, Why do I feel so sad when I have a beautiful baby? The emotions are insane.”

But as the greatest tennis star in the world, Williams is unquestionably hard on herself – in the article she also admits, “It’s that same negative attitude I have on the court sometimes. I guess that’s just who I am.”

The magazine hits newsstands January 16.

Energy bursts arriving from deep in space have strange origin, scientists say

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    Earth from the ISS

    From the International Space Station, Expedition 42 Flight Engineer Terry W. Virts took this photograph of the Gulf of Mexico and U.S. Gulf Coast at sunset

    Nasa

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    Frosty slopes of Mars

    This image of an area on the surface of Mars, approximately 1.5 by 3 kilometers in size, shows frosted gullies on a south-facing slope within a crater. The image was taken by Nasa’s HiRISE camera, which is mounted on its Mars Reconaissance Orbiter

    Nasa

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    Orion Capsule splashes down

    The Orion capsule jetted off into space before heading back a few hours later — having proved that it can be used, one day, to carry humans to Mars

    Nasa

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    The Soyuz TMA-15M rocket launch

    The Soyuz TMA-15M rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, carrying three new astronauts to the International Space Station. It also took caviar, ready for the satellite’s inhabitants to celebrate the holidays

    Nasa

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    Yellowstone from space

    NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman shared this image of Yellowstone via his twitter account

    Nasa

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    Black Hole Friday

    Nasa celebrated Black Friday by looking into space instead — sharing pictures of black holes

    Nasa

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    NuSTAR

    X-rays stream off the sun in this image showing observations from by NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, overlaid on a picture taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)

    Nasa

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    Saturn

    This near-infrared color image shows a specular reflection, or sunglint, off of a hydrocarbon lake named Kivu Lacus on Saturn’s moon Titan

    Nasa

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    Worlds Apart

    Although Mimas and Pandora, shown here, both orbit Saturn, they are very different moons. Pandora, “small” by moon standards (50 miles or 81 kilometers across) is elongated and irregular in shape. Mimas (246 miles or 396 kilometers across), a “medium-sized” moon, formed into a sphere due to self-gravity imposed by its higher mass

    Nasa

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    Solar Flare

    An X1.6 class solar flare flashes in the middle of the sun in this image taken 10 September, captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory

    Nasa

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    Solar Flare

    An image from Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) shows a 200,000 mile long solar filament ripping through the Sun’s corona in September 2013

    Nasa

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    Cassiopeia A c

    A false colour image of Cassiopeia A comprised with data from the Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes and the Chandra X-Ray observatory

    Nasa

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    Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy

    An image of the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy seen in infrared light by the Herschel Space Observatory. Regions of space such as this are where new stars are born from a mixture of elements and cosmic dust

    Nasa

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    Mars Rover Spirit

    Nasa’s Mars Rover Spirit took the first picture from Spirit since problems with communications began a week earlier. The image shows the robotic arm extended to the rock called Adirondack

    Nasa

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    Morning Aurora From the Space Station

    Nasa astronaut Scott Kelly captured this photograph of the green lights of the aurora from the International Space Station

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    Launch of History – Making STS-41G Mission in 1984

    The Space Shuttle Challenger launches from Florida at dawn. On this mission, Kathryn Sullivan became the first U.S. woman to perform a spacewalk and Marc Garneau became the first Canadian in space. The crew of seven was the largest to fly on a spacecraft at that time, and STS-41G was the first flight to include two female astronauts

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    A Fresh Perspective on an Extraordinary Cluster of Galaxies

    Galaxy clusters are often described by superlatives. After all, they are huge conglomerations of galaxies, hot gas, and dark matter and represent the largest structures in the Universe held together by gravity

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    Veil Nebula Supernova Remnant

    Nasa’s Hubble Space Telescope has unveiled in stunning detail a small section of the Veil Nebula – expanding remains of a massive star that exploded about 8,000 years ago

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    Hubble Sees a Galactic Sunflower

    The arrangement of the spiral arms in the galaxy Messier 63, seen here in an image from the Nasa Hubble Space Telescope, recall the pattern at the center of a sunflower

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    A Hubble Cosmic Couple

    The spectacular cosmic pairing of the star Hen 2-427 — more commonly known as WR 124 — and the nebula M1-67 which surrounds it

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    Pluto image

    Four images from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) were combined with colour data from the Ralph instrument to create this enhanced colour global view of Pluto

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    Fresh Crater Near Sirenum Fossae Region of Mars

    The HiRISE camera aboard Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired this closeup image of a “fresh” (on a geological scale, though quite old on a human scale) impact crater in the Sirenum Fossae region of Mars. This impact crater appears relatively recent as it has a sharp rim and well-preserved ejecta

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    Earth Observations From Gemini IV in 1965

    This photograph of the Florida Straits and Grand Bahama Bank was taken during the Gemini IV mission during orbit no. 19 in 1965. The Gemini IV crew conducted scientific experiments, including photography of Earth’s weather and terrain, for the remainder of their four-day mission following Ed White’s historic spacewalk on June 3

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    Nasa Celebrates 50 Years of Spacewalking

    For 50 years, NASA has been “suiting up” for spacewalking. In this 1984 photograph of the first untethered spacewalk, NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless is in the midst of the first “field” tryout of a nitrogen-propelled backpack device called the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU)

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    Hubble Peers into the Most Crowded Place in the Milky Way

    This Nasa Hubble Space Telescope image presents the Arches Cluster, the densest known star cluster in the Milky Way

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    An Astronaut’s View from Space

    Nasa astronaut Reid Wiseman tweeted this photo from the International Space Station on 2 September 2014

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    Giant Landform on Mars

    On Mars, we can observe four classes of sandy landforms formed by the wind, or aeolian bedforms: ripples, transverse aeolian ridges, dunes, and what are called “draa”

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    Expedition 39 Landing

    A sokol suit helmet can be seen against the window of the Soyuz TMA-11M capsule shortly after the spacecraft landed with Expedition 39 Commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin of Roscosmos, and Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio of NASA near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan

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    Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Viewed by Voyager I

    Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system and perhaps the most majestic. Vibrant bands of clouds carried by winds that can exceed 400 mph continuously circle the planet’s atmosphere

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    Chandra Observatory Sees a Heart in the Darkness

    This Chandra X-Ray Observatory image of the young star cluster NGC 346 highlights a heart-shaped cloud of 8 million-degree Celsius gas in the central region

British Vogue advert for fur trade causes confusion over magazine’s stance under new editor

The relationship between fur and fashion has always been a tempestuous one.

With several major labels now boycotting the use of fur in their designs entirely, British Vogue’s decision to take advertising from the International Fur Federation (IFF) may come as a surprise.

A full-page ad for Wearefur.com appears in the February issue of the magazine in a prominent position alongside the title’s masthead.

Gucci and Michael Kors are just two of the high-profile bands to stop using fur in their products.

Speaking at the London College of Fashion, Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri revealed that the label would be going fur-free in 2018.

“Technology is now available that means you don’t need to use fur. The alternatives are luxurious. There is just no need,” he told Vogue at the time.

Meanwhile, one of the most recent blogs on the IFF’s website condemns this decision in a post entitled: “Does Gucci really want to choke the world with plastic fur?”

The ad features three models, each posing in opulent fur items of clothing.

According to the site, animal welfare is a “top priority” for the IFF, who claim that the fur sector respects the legal and ethical rights of animals.

“Anti-fur groups do not want to hear this message,” they write.

“Many anti-fur campaigns and campaigners are not about improving welfare but simply the abolition of the fur trade on ideological grounds.

“Most anti-fur myths that are regularly circulated are easily debunked.”

However, according to PETA, there are a myriad of ways in which fur production goes against animal rights.

For example, they claim that animals are often electrocuted by fur manufacturers to limit damage to their fur. The only US state in which this process is currently illegal is New York.

Meanwhile, in China more than 2m cats and thousands of dogs are hanged or skinned alive for their fur.

Plus, they state that one third of all fur sold in the US comes from animals who have been killed in steel-jaw traps which slowly suffocate the animal.

It was widely known that fur products were not to be promoted in editorial content under Alexandra Shulman’s reign; speaking to The Guardian in 2009, Shulman revealed that British Vogue “broadly speaking” doesn’t feature fur.

While the advert might have led some to believe that Vogue‘s policy has changed since new editor Edward Enninful joined, a spokesperson for the magazine confirmed this is not the case.

Vogue’s policy has not changed,” they said.

“From an advertising perspective, it has always been the commercial policy to accept fur advertisements as long as they strictly respect British and European Union legislation. Vogue may make reference to fur editorially as a trend if it is being featured on the catwalk.”

Red Wine Hot Chocolate Recipes

There are many ways to kick up hot chocolate. Marshmallows, brandy, whipped cream and even a dash of cayenne pepper are all popular options. But there is one addition that make these all sound like child’s play: red wine.

Yes, red wine hot chocolate is the trendiest drink this winter. There are dozens of versions on the internet but all agree on one thing: chocolate and wine are a killer combo.

How To Make Red Wine Hot Chocolate: 3 Tasty Recipes

To make the best red wine hot chocolate you’ll want to start off with high-quality dark chocolate. This will be added to the milk so it can melt as it cooks.

A sprinkle of sugar will help it be perfectly sweet while the addition of your favorite red wine will make it boozy enough. We prefer full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon but a Malbec or Shiraz are great options too.

Red Wine Hot Chocolate with Merlot

Here is an easy red wine hot chocolate recipe using Merlot from the folks at Forkly:

Red Wine Hot Chocolate a la Jacques Torres

If you really want to chef it up, try this tip from famed chocolatier Jacques Torres: mix hot chocolate with mulled wine.

The spices will beautifully perfume your gourmet red wine hot chocolate. You can try this recipe for mulled wine (pictured below).

Torres told the New York Times that adding a bit of condensed milk to the hot chocolate mixture will add extra creaminess.

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Amazing Dishes from One of Japan’s Best Restaurants

 

If you’re planning a gastronomical trip to Japan, Kyoto has to be right up there on your list of must visit places: it currently has 95 Michelin-starred restaurants, including eight, three-stars.

One of those is Kyoto Kitcho Arashiyama. What started out as a small family run restaurant now has numerous outposts around Japan, but it’s the Kyoto flagship that you come to for the true experience.

There, in a traditional building surrounded by lush gardens, chef Kunio Tokuoko serves a kaiseki (multi-course) menu of elegant dishes, including horse hair crab and barracuda sushi, to diners seated on the floor.

YouTubers Simon and Martina recently paid Kyoto Kitcho a visit, as documented in the video below, and were blown away, calling it “the most beautiful restaurant in Japan.”

You really get an idea of what it’s like to dine at the top level, in a country abound with three-Michelin-star restaurants.

Watch the video below

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Actress Slams ‘Pretentious’ Restaurant After Husband Eats Napkin

 

A British actress has publicly called out chef Martín Berasategui after her husband accidentally tried to eat a napkin at one of his restaurants.

Tracy Ann Oberman, who’s appeared in the soap Eastenders, was dining with her husband Rob at Berastegui’s eponymous three-Michelin-star restaurant in Lasarte-Oria, Spain when the couple were presented with an inflatable napkin inside a stone receptacle. At some point, it’s not quite clear when, Rob, thinking it was the next dish, started to nibble on the napkin in front of horrified staff.

“My husband tried to eat the white thing. I mean c’mon. Isn’t everyone’s napkin inflated with water then served in a wooden medieval stone????” said Oberman in a Tweet.

Oberman tweeted several dishes during what was a bemusing meal for the couple, tagging We Want Plates, the Twitter account dedicated to bizarre plating. She also tagged Berastegui, who currently holds eight Michelin stars, in one tweet, telling him that the food was “exquisite,” the presentation “a tad pretentious,” and the staff “so patronising.”

Take a look below, and if you’re wondering how these inflatable napkins work, check out the video further down.

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How to Make Heston Blumenthal’s Triple Cooked Chips

 

Heston Blumenthal’s triple cooked chips are legendary. Super crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, these luxurious fries are now seen on gastropub menus everywhere thanks to the British chef – in fact they’re one of his iconic dishes.

Triple cooking is far from a quick method, in fact the time it takes to devour them is but a fraction of the preparation time, but as you can see from the video below, the results are totally worth it.

The potatoes are first simmered and then fried twice, but crucially placed in the fridge in between cooking stages to remove all the moisture. And it’s hard to argue with the results.

Watch the video below. Heston gets cracking with the chips from 1.35.

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A selection of Pictures of Dinara Kasko’s Pastries

 

Since her childhood, Ukrainian pastry chef Dinara Kasko has been interested in art. After graduating in architecture, she became fascinated by baking. Thanks to the influence of her studies and background, she soon decided to try something new.

Kasko uses specific software and 3D printers to create “sculptures”, her own silicon cakes’ moulds. As she explains, “It’s very important to me to create something beautiful, that’s why making cakes is a way how I’m doing self-realization as a designer.”

Her creations became very popular and she has been involved in several projects, including the last edition of Ruby Chocolate event in Shanghai or the collaboration with SoGood Magazine, taking inspiration from the work of various artists, like José Margulis and Matthew Shlian.

Intrigued by her projects, we asked Dinara Kasko some questions about her inspiration, techniques and future projects.
Before reading the interview, enjoy the selection of pictures of her pastries in the gallery on the top of the page!

Where does your inspiration come from?
People ask me about inspiration quite often. And every single time, it’s not easy to me to give a clear response. In fact, an inspiration can be in everything. It can be an object on the street, nature, architecture, an image of something, a country, different shapes and so on.

What challenges/rewards do you encounter when working on a new cake project?
We work a lot on recipes and moulds. Every single time when we create a new project, we do a lot of testing with materials for mould (we model a mould, buy special plastic etc.). I bake a lot of cakes experimenting with recipes. This is the most challenging as there are a lot of issues that we have to deal with.

Can you tell us about any specific techniques or equipment you use to create your cakes? 
Technology and design play a very important role in my creations. I create a 3D model for the mould on my computer first. I have special softwares installed (3ds Max, Rhinoceros, Grasshopper, Archicad, Autocad, Cura etc) and an Ultimaker 3D printer. Also, sometimes I use a milling machine and a laser machine. As for pastry, I use a lot of construction tools (a spray gun, a building satula, different tubes, rules, etc.)

Tell us about your most challenging creation.
It was the Ruby cake. It took us 1.5 months. It was a really hard work to create the mould. We used 3D printing every day to print the models. Two kinds of plastic were involved. Finally, we got the mould.

What is your favourite ingredient/material to work with and why?
It can be caramel, chocolate, exotic fruits, berries, vanilla and so on. As for the ingredients that I always use to make cakes, these are cream, flour, sugar, eggs, milk, and gelatin.

What are you looking for in a successful cake: flavour or desing?
There are two main concepts that I keep to. The first one is “appearance is as important as taste”, and the second one is “taste will always be more important than appearance”. I always try to make cakes that taste delicious and look beautiful, so they could bring visual and taste pleasure to people. And again, taste is always more important than appearance as people won’t buy your cake for the second time if they didn’t like the taste trying it for the first time.

Any future projects you would like to share with us?
I have started working on a new project with a Spanish chef. I am working on new moulds (parametric design). We are planning on releasing our project in December. We will be taking pictures and making videos of our creations as usual.

You can find the description of all Dinara Kasko’s creations on Instagram.

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10 Stew Recipes To Help You Beat Cold Weather

 

Hearty, tasty and satisfying these stew recipes are a surefire way of warming up on a cold winter’s night. Whether you favor seafood, chicken or red meat, these winter stew recipes offer a little something for everyone. So get ready to combat freezing temperatures with a bowl of these comforting stews.

10 Winter Stew Recipes

Posole

We begin our cold-weather stew journey with posole, a hearty Mexican stew made with pork, chicken and hominy is an excellent way to keep warm.

Try this stew recipe.

Japanese Seafood Stew

Seek refuge from the cold with this hearty Japanese-style stew featuring scallops, shrimp, ginger and noodles.

Click here for this stew recipe.

Coq au Vin

This classic French chicken stew infused with red wine will leave you wanted more.

Learn how to make it with this recipe from legendary chef Paul Bocuse.

Brazilian Shrimp Stew

This alluring shrimp stew laced with coconut milk and spices will bring a bit of the tropics to your table.

Find this stew recipe here.

Wild Boar with Chianti

This is a decadent yet hearty Tuscan stew featuring wild boar simmered in wine – the perfect antidote to a bone-chilling weather.

Find this stew recipe here.

Guinness Irish Stew

Lamb, veggies and a generous amount of Guinness beer make this a stick-to-your-ribs stew.

Click here for this winter stew recipe.

Vegetarian Lentil Stew

Here’s a filling stew for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. It contains Hokkaido pumpkin, carrots, scallions and green lentils.

Click here for this stew recipe.

Vegan Black Bean Stew

This is another great option for vegetarians and vegans: a robust black bean stew flavored with chipotle, peppers and coriander.

Find this stew recipe here.

Flemish Beef Stew, Stoverij

This exquisite Belgian beef stew features meat braised in dark beer, thyme and mustard.

Click here for this stew recipe.

Castillian ‘Olla Podrida’ Stew

It’s name translates to ”rotten pot” but there’s nothing unpleasant about this Spanish stew prepared with a blend of chicken, veal, chickpeas, potatoes and chorizo.

Click here for the recipe.

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Where to Eat in Vienna

Despite being a city steeped in history and to all effects an open-air museum, Vienna throbs with life, with its cafés, concerts and shopping districts. Its streets are filled with young people and its nights are frenetic, Strauss and heavy metal rub shoulders and Starbucks has opened in front of the legendary Sacher Hotel.

While it is easy to survive in Vienna by eating in the beisln, traditional venues of Viennese cuisine offering simple yet stodgy food, it is a little more arduous to enjoy a fine dining experience on a low budget. Here’s how to gain access to some great hotels and luxurious restaurants.

From 0 to 25 Euro

Since no one can really say they have seen Vienna without tasting some Sacher cake, it is worth seeking out the authentic version, even though it is sold in almost all the cafés in the centre of town. The Original Sacher-Torte, as it was patented, has been one of the most famous cakes in the world, ever since it was first created by apprentice chef Franz Sacher in 1832. It is basically a chocolate cake filled with apricot jam and often served with a dollop of fresh cream.

The Café Sacher is annexed to the Hotel Sacher, a magnificent 5-star hotel right in front of the Opera House. On this budget, you can treat yourself to a couple of slices washed down by coffee and, from 10 am to 2 pm you can also order a coffee and a snack in the legendary Blaue Bar of the hotel, where you will be immersed in an atmosphere of brocade wallpaper and velvet sofas, both in a deep shade of blue.

From 25 to 50 Euro

The Opus Restaurant is housed inside the Hotel Imperial and stands as a perfect example of how traditional Viennese cuisine can be transformed into something that is sparkling and contemporary, thanks to Sous Chef Stefan Speiser and his experienced team. For this budget, try the amazing Oibèrico pork served with yogurt, cabbage and mustard as a main course.

The Ritz-Carlton occupying four historical buildings on the Ringstrasse boasts a top floor bar with a panoramic city view, called the Atmosphere Rooftop Bar, where you can sip creative cocktails as you admire the skyline. The most discerning carnivores flock to the Dstrikt Steakhouse attracted by the establishment’s “farm-to-table” philosophy and ingredients brought in straight from the countryside. You will spend 20 Euros for almost two hundred grams of excellent organic beef fillet supplied by a breeder of Salzburg, which may be accompanied with a glass of Australian Cabernet Sauvignon selected from a lavish wine list.

A spectacular all-round view can be enjoyed from Das Loft, a restaurant on the 18th floor of the Sofitel, a hotel designed by Jean Nouvel situated on the Danube Canal, with one wall entirely constructed in glass. This place make the perfect venue for a drink, before or after dinner.

Fabios is a trendy Italian-style restaurant popular with celebrities. The venue offers a dining room and a separate, beautifully designed Lounge Bar. The mood and cuisine are Mediterranean-chic and the quality of the ingredients is tip top. Well worth trying are: the Lemon-flavoured risotto with smoked salmon trout (25 Euro); Beef fillet carpaccio with cream of chilli pepper and ricotta salata (25 Euro) and, extracted from the vegetarian menu, Pumpkin flowers filled with tomato sauce and courgette spaghetti (16 euro).

From 50 to 100 Euro

The Steirereck, owned by chef Heinz Reitbauer, is not just one of the city’s best starred restaurants, but has also won the tenth place in the rating of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. An experience in every sense of the word and a gourmet’s dream but it does not come cheap. Surrounded by greenery, it looks like a metal plate mirror positioned in such a way as to reflect the trees of the Stadtpark. Our recommendations: Courgettes and spelt with the fragrance of orange blossom, pistachio and egg yolk (34 Euro). Wild boar with purple carrots, pineapple and late-growing radicchio (34 Euro), accompanied with a fine glass of wine.

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