There is a new concept store in town and a really special one! The “Wiener Design Pop Up” is organized by two Viennese designers, Edita Rosenrot and Frl Else Vintage.
Small artisan designer often sells their work on markets and events but when more or less every bigger event is cancelled they had to creative and find a solution to still be able to earn their income. After a few weeks of cruising around the 7th district looking for some empty shops, they found the perfect one on Westbahnstraße 7. Cosy but still big enough to house a whole collection of Austrian designers.
From jewellery to upcycled lamps and fashion to gin – there is something for everyone in the shop, And in the upcoming four months the designers will change around and it would be the best idea to visit the Wiener Designer Pop Up often and check out the changing assortment.
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2020 seems to be the year of the staycation or like we use to say in Austria “Sommerfrische”, which loosely translated means summer retreat. People (who could/can afford it) left the city and spend the summer months in the cooler and relaxing countryside. When you couldn´t afford to have to residences you just rented a villa or booked a hotel for the summer. A tradition started by the aristocracy during the Renaissance time and adapted by the upper-middle class in the 18th century. Railways in the 19th century made travelling easier, faster and more affordable.
Not so different from me spending the last three summers in Northern England and Scotland to escape the heat in Vienna. As we know this year is different, I´m back at exploring different options for a bit of a Sommerfrische.
Sommerfrische in Vienna
Schönbrunn Palace was built as the summer residence of the monarchs. Without proper sewer systems and condensed housing Vienna probably got quite smelly in the summertime and the palace travelled outside the city to Schönbrunn. Originally a hunting ground Maria Theresia received the estate as a wedding gift and had the palace remodelled.
Spend a day in the gardens, enjoy the view from the Gloriette or go for a swim at the Schönbrunner Bad (pool). A quick and instant Sommerfrische reachable by subway or tram.
Go for a swim in the Danube, old-fashioned river baths, the Lobau or the Donauinsel, there are so many different possibilities to tip your toes in.
Take a tram or train to Bad Vöslau or Bad Fischau – two stunning thermal baths and you´ll be swimming in cold mineral water – exactly the one you could buy in a bottle!
Or if you don´t even want to leave the city centre what about a Sommerfrische at the Burggarten? The Lipizzaner horses do it every year and will be back this August.
Emperor Franz Joseph loved Bad Ischl as his summer retreat and funny enough I know quite a few people who also went there this summer. I chose a different corner of Austria for my Sommerfrische weekend: The Kamp Valley (Kamptal)
We spent a whole day at the river bath in Plank am Kamp – another lovely bath from around 1900 with a great café. You can rent SUPs, kayak, umbrellas and enjoy coffee and snacks. It was a super hot day and swimming the river was just amazing. The water was around refreshing 16°C.
There are three reservoirs in the valley and even though the first one was already closed due to too many people we found a very secluded spot at Stausee Ottenstein and spent another day just swimming and relaxing.
And on our third and last day, we just walked around Gars am Kamp and went to the local pool. There are many castles and palaces in the area and also lots of options for hikes, but we just wanted to swim and enjoy the water.
It is a little gem just about 1h by car from Vienna!