The lovely Nina Glatzel from the a-list.at interviewed me recently on my favourite hangouts and hotspots in Vienna. The full article is here (German). The English translation can be found below!
Richard Holmes makes Britwurst: traditional British sausages, produced by hand and with different spices. His current gastronomical project is “in the making”.
Britwurst is a project that aims to establish handmade, British sausages in Vienna. How did it happen?
When I visited my home in England, I noticed that most of all I missed the traditional British sausages on my return to Vienna. I’ve always liked cooking and being creative, and after researching online forums and videos I started to produce my own. After several failed attempts, I found a product I was happy with and asked friends and acquaintances to taste them. After they came back to me with lots of praise, I realised that there’s was a gap in the market here in Vienna. Trying to start a business is extremely difficult. The Austrian rules on Artisanal foods are very strict. After a few setbacks, I now have the backing of the Lebensmittelgewerbe (Austrian Food Industry), so I can slowly start to see my dream progress. Until the the company is officially up and running I am producing samples every couple of weeks to anyone who is interested to try.
You have been living in Vienna for seven years. What do you like so much about the city?
I am very lucky to have good friends in Vienna, who have introduced me to lots of different sights and scenes. I like Vienna due to its modest size. Travelling around the city is always very quick. Also Vienna’s cultural and restaurant scene is growing very quickly and I am looking forward to its development in the next few years.
For research purposes I guess you are quite a bit out and about in the city. What can you tell us about your newest restaurant findings?
I’m always looking for the best burger in Vienna but have so far not found one that can keep up with the street-style burgers in England or Paris. I am looking forward to try Lane & Merrimans (Spitalgasse 3, 1090) or a couple of places which are soon opening: Said The Butcher To The Cow (Opernring 11, 1010) and the pop-up project Habern (www.facebook.com/burgerhabern). The best pizza in the city is at Disco Volante (Gumpendorferstrasse 98, 1060). If I fancy something sweet, then I am going to Tart’a Tata (Lindengasse 35, 1070). The new pâtissier is creating amazing cakes and desserts.
You are concentrating on everything meat at the moment. Where in Vienna is ‘Meat Heaven’?
The ham in Fleischerei Ringl (Brückengasse 16, 1060) is amazing. I like to go there even if it is just to window shop. The meat I am using for my sausages comes from Fleischerei Hödl (Loosgasse 3, 1230). Unlike most butchers nowadays he is butchering the meat himself (while most get the meat already in cuts and just put it out to show). You can not beat this in terms of freshness.
In addition to Britwurst you are also working in a pub. What is the pub scene like in Vienna?
There are lots of pubs popping up all over Vienna, and I think there are already over 20 of them here. When I feel like going to one apart from the one I work in, I like to go to Shebeen. I have never been disappointed by their food or drinks. But actually I prefer a classic Viennese Beisl such as Anzengruber (Schleifmühlgasse 19, 1040) or the Alt Wien (Bäckerstraße 9, 1010).
Where do you go to cure a hangover after a long night?
Wherever Eggs Benedict and Earl Grey are on the menu! A typical English breakfast is also only complete with British bacon and sausages – something that will hopefully provide in future. The rooftop terrace at 25hours Hotel (Lerchenfelder Straße 1-3, 1070) on a sunny day is a great way to drive away the cobwebs and hangover. For my last hangover I found comfort in Figar (Kirchengasse 18, 1070).
You are a big music fan, where do you go to concerts in Vienna?
I like the WUK (Währinger Straße 59, 1090), because of its atmosphere and the diversity of bands playing there. I have also seen great concerts in the B72 (Hernalser Gürtel Bogen 72-73) and Chelsea (U-Bahn Bogen 29-32), right up to stadium venues such as the Stadthalle (Vogelweidplatz 14, 1150).
Design friends know your sausages from the opening of the stationery shop Sous-Bois. Where in Vienna can you find other good design?
I could spend a lot of money at the Feschmarkt (www.feschmarkt.info) which happens twice a year. Sous-Bois (Neustiftgasse 33, 1070) is perfect for gifts and my notebook collection grows every time I visit. Designqvist (Westbahnstraße 21, 1070) has also lovely small accessories for the kitchen.
To clear your head of Business Plans, where do you relax?
When the weather is nice I like to cycle along the Danube to Kraftwerk Greifenstein and back, perhaps stopping off at the Naschmarkt to visit the Asian shops searching for new spices to inspire me. If it is really hot then I like to go boating at the Alte Donau. But I have also found that there is no time to relax if you want to start a business!
When friends from home come to visit, what do you show them?
In the summer, various Heuringens on the outskirts of the city, the BBQ at the Volksgarten Pavilion, or Beer and Pork Knuckles at the Schweizerhaus (Prater 116, 1020)! In the winter I would take them for a giant schnitzel at Figlmüller (Wollzeile 5, 1010) or to the Palmenhaus (Burggarten 1, 1010) for delicious desserts or cakes.
Thank you Nina for the lovely interview!