Blues News Issue 46 March 2018

historical state, including the wall colours, furniture, furnishings such as carpets, right down to various media such as old newspapers, etc.). Klimt’s presence was tangible. One of the most unusual experiences was an afternoon at the Theatre Museum where we met Angela Sext, the guardian of Richard Teschner’s Javanese- inspired handmade puppets and theatre. After a detailed explanation by Angela, we enjoyed the first ever performance of Teschner’s ‘Christmas Story’ (written for his friends Klimt, Hoffmann and Moser) for the first time since those heady days of the Secession. The puppeteers had been practising to use these infamously difficult puppets for eight months, especially for us! On Saturday evening, coming from an afternoon visit into the roof of the Secession Building, we dined beneath glittering chandeliers in the 19th century Kursalon, before sitting down to a concert of Strauss and Mozart in the ballroom. The boys clapped along mightily to the 'Radestsky March' before finally ending our magical evening by standing to the applause of 'The Blue Danube' (the unofficial Austrian national anthem). This was alltogether an unforgettable experience filled with Viennese charm and joi-de-vivre, and stepping back in time. Sunday took on a distinctly Freudian theme with a visit to the Freud Museum (thank you, Mrs Clews…) and sustenance from Café Demel where, traditionally, all ladies of esteem and importance met on the first cold day of the year to drink a cup of hot chocolate. Demel has always been a much-loved meeting point of the aristocracy, as well as of the bourgeoisie, and now it was our turn; however, we included a tremendous slice of Torte as well! In the evening, we found ourselves deeply immersed in the romance of Christmas that was the imperial setting of the Schönbrunn Palace. Every year, visitors from all over the world are enchanted by the seasonal atmosphere of the Schönbrunn Christmas market. This provided the ideal setting for the romantic Advent village, with the enticement of delicious food, savoury aromas and Austrian craftsmanship. Our last port of call was a stop at the traditional Café Central - first opened in 1876 and, at the turn of the 20th century, a popular meeting point for leading lights in the world of art, literature, politics and science, such as Arthur Schnitzler, Sigmund Freud, Peter Altenberg and Leon Trotzki. Then, like today, the legendary literary café was a meeting point for all ages. Its unique architecture combined with excellent classic Viennese cuisine and finest home-made pastries to make our visit on Monday lunchtime a special experience… this left us enthusiastic about the next chapter of our living design history - Post-war modernism in Denmark and Sweden - next year! - Mr McGough, Head of Design Technology

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