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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Visiting Graz: Culinary Capital City of Austria

“… and look around for yourself. Everybody is smiling here, all are united in their happiness of celebrating something extraordinary: Our ‘Lange Tafel‘ gourmet event in the heart of the city of Graz really is quite spectacular!” Lisa, who works for the city of Graz, beams with happiness and pride. I lift my gaze and chime in myself: “It really is quite spectacular …” Everywhere I look, I see happy faces, people talking to each other, sharing their excitement and making new friendships. So let me tell you what exactly is going on here!

The so-called ‘Lange Tafel der Genusshauptstadt Graz‘, a once-in-a-year top gastronomy and culinary event celebrated by the city of Graz for the fourth time this summer, draws in the crowds from near and far. Of course living in Austria, I have been to the second largest Austrian city many times, but never on such a magical occasion. 700 (international) guests, five long tables set like in a top gourmet restaurant open air at the centre square of Graz, over 150 service staff and 27 chefs plus teams from the city’s top restaurants draw forces to make it all happen. With eyes, ears, palate & nose delighted by ambiance and taste, it is time to celebrate the magic and withdraw from this world into culinary heaven. 😉 “Wooowww … ” is all I can muster in the light of the following. Check this out!

Die Lange Tafel ist in vollem Gang: Mitten am Hauptplatz nehmen außergewöhnlicherweise Hunderte Menschen Platz, um Kulinarik & Sinnenrausch zu feiern!

The ‘Lange Tafel’ is in full swing: On this special occasion, hundreds of people gather being seated in the open air right on the main square in the heart of Graz.

Das Team an perfekt geschulten Service-Mitarbeitern, welches uns während der rund fünf Stunden dauernden Veranstaltung betreuen, umfasst gut 150 Mitarbeiter.

The team of top-motivated and very professional service staff is here to welcome us and ensure our wellbeing during the five hour evening event.

Wir kommen aus dem Staunen nicht mehr heraus ... uns wird ein Ei serviert, welches bei 62° exakt eine Stunde gekocht wurde. Selbstverständlich 700x mal. Für alle gleich ... ein Wahnsinn!

And surprise (and spoil) us they will: Check out this incredibly soft boiled egg, which has been cooked to perfection for one hour (!) at exactly 62° … 700 times of course. For everybody here is served at the same time! 😀

Das Fleisch zum Hauptgang ist ebenfalls außergewöhnlich gut ... Geschmorte Schulter und gerollte Beileid vom steirischen Murbodnerrind.

The meat here is exceptionally good as well … Tasty Murbodner Styrian beef.

Janett lässt sich vornehmst bedienen und ist ob der Präsentation der Speisen begeistert.

My friend Janett is simply delighted while being served a wonderful sauce to complement Alpine salmon raised in Styrian rivers.

Zu später Stunde wird's dann wirklich romantisch: Blick auf den berühmten Grazer Uhrturm und die Lange Tafel der Genusshauptstadt ...

Late at night, magic & romance sets in: View over the famous clock tower of Graz and the “Lange Tafel” (long tables) of the gourmet capital of Austria, Graz.

 

Upcoming “Lange Tafel der Genusshauptstadt” Event: Saturday, 15 August 2015

The “Lange Tafel der Genusshauptstadt” gourmet event takes place each year in the middle of August in front of the historic town hall as well as the surrounding mansions in the city centre of Graz. The good summer weather of course is something everybody prays for and so far has been just perfect four years in a row (please keep praying). Tickets for the event are € 95,- per person which kind of “melts down” over the excellent quality-price ratio: What you get is a beautiful 5-course menu including wines and drinks, appetizers and the unique atmosphere that surrounds you in one of the most beautiful cities of Austria. Tickets come on for sale starting in mid-November and are usually sold out by Christmas of the same year, so be quick! I will be, in any case. Because I definitely want to come back here with friends & family next time. See you there? 😀

Am Tag der "Langen Tafel" selbst besuchen wir in diesem Jahr den Landhaushof, welcher die ersten Stehtische für den Empfang beherbergt, und erleben die Aufregung und Vorfreude auf das Event live mit.

At the “Landhaushof”, everybody gathers preparing for the big event: We steal a chat with the organizer before coming back ourselves beautifully dressed for the evening event.

Die charmante und überaus engagierte Waltraud Hutter, "Mutter der Langen Tafel der Genusshauptstadt Graz", nimmt sich trotz der vielen Vorbereitungen Zeit, uns ausführlich und geduldig sämtliche Fragen rund um das Event zu beantworten.

Charming event manager Waltraud Hutter, the “mother of the Lange Tafel der Genusshauptstadt Graz” event, takes her time to answer all our questions despite the pressure going on just hours away from the event.

Der Augenschmaus alleine ist schon ein Festessen für die Sinne ... am Nachmittag wird die "Lange Tafel" vor dem Rathaus der Stadt Graz aufgebaut. Hier nehmen wir wenig später Platz ... !

In the afternoon, all tables are being prepared and set by a huge team of staff … the atmosphere is thick with pre-excitement, we cannot wait to be seated here tonight!

Die ersten Vorspeisen im Landhaushof, wie hier "Kernöl-Paradeisshots mit Naaser Schafkäse", begeistern uns.

Before being seated, we are served delightful Styrian appetizers such as “pumpkin seed oil tomato shots with Naaser local sheep cheese” …

... noch dazu, wenn sie so charmant wie hier kredenzt werden!

… of course being beautifully presented.

Und seht Euch mal die Vorspeise auf dem Teller an ... Rücken vom Weizer Berglamm mit Paprikagelee & Schwarzwurzeln, ein Gedicht. Und 700 Mal in derselben Qualität serviert. Ich ziehe den Hut ...

Now have a look at this … Local mountain lamb from Weiz on a pepper glee and different vegetables, being served 700 times in the same quality for everybody participating. I draw my hat in front of such perfection …

... wenn ich denn einen aufhätte: Lisa von der Stadt Graz & ich beim Geniessen & Schlemmen. Wie es sich gehört. (!?)

… if only I had one. 😀 Lisa and I in front of “our table” at the gourmet event in Graz.

Für Naschkatzen: Kriecherl & Eierlikör - Heiß & Eis. Köstlich steirisch geht es hier zu!

For the sweet-toothed 😉 After five hours of eating and chatting, we are all just emotional, vowing to come back for such a beautiful and extraordinary event.

 

Have a look at more images of our city walk through Graz as well as the “Lange Tafel der Genusshauptstadt Graz” event here. Careful, mouth-watering photos ahead! 😀

 

Thank you very much, Graz Tourismus, for inviting us to come to the “Lange Tafel der Genusshauptstadt” event. All opinions are my own.

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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