Creative Summertime: Cooking, Felting, Food & Shopping Tours!

Summertime is the perfect time to get creative. Finally, you take all that time to focus on … yourself. On your own sense of creativity & inspiration. And if, like me, you have turned your passion into your business, and have just finished writing the first ever “Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, then you can’t really put your leisure time to any other use than … getting creative again. 😉

My friends, too, are here to support me in “this quest”: Dear Katie from New Zealand has come all the way from down under, carrying her natural sense of curiosity and – heaps of wool! “I just love to knit, crochet or felt”, she laughs, choosing coloured strings of felted wool for her hair from Ulrike, who runs creative workshops at her local wool craft studio “Die Spindel” in Langenlois, Lower Austria. “This colour goes really well with my dreads, don’t you think?!” Beaming at us, Katie has chosen a string of orange felt for her hair: “You won’t believe it, but this merino wool actually comes from New Zealand. Amazing. So the circle closes here!” Ulrike, Katie and me all laugh together, the beginning of a woollen friendship really.


“Could we please go and do a wool workshop with dear Ulrike? And ‘Shopping with Lucie’ in Vienna, just as I’ve read about it in your book …?”

Katie has got really excited now with the sheer range of creative options in front of her, jumping up and down like a happy child. She knows that she does not really have to ask me anyway: Of course, we are going to be creative together! Just a stone’s throw away from where I live, Ulrike’s “Wool Craft Studio” beckons visitors to come as guests and leave as friends. The creative atmosphere there is truly inspiring, starting with a casual get-together in Ulrike’s fantastic garden, where she talks to us about her “woollen way of life”.

Zu Besuch im Garten von Ulrike ...

Visiting Ulrike’s garden …


… empfängt sie Katie und mich erst mal zur netten Plauderstunde vor dem Workshop.

… is being welcomed to the charm of an individual get-together ahead of the creative workshop.


Stolz präsentiere ich Ulrike eine erste Kopie meines Manuskripts, "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Aufregende Tage !!!

Proud & happy to share a first copy of my book’s manuscript with Ulrike, in addition to talking about more creative travel opportunities during summer. Exciting days !!!


Katie selbst ist sichtlich überglücklich im Woll-Himmel angelangt ..

Katie herself meanwhile has made it to “wool heaven” …


… und macht sich drinnen gleich mal ans Werk ...

… naturally inspired by Ulrike’s creative art studio …


… mir diese wunderschöne, kleine Tasche für mein Buch zu filzen: "Für Dein Baby", lächelt sie mir liebevoll zu.

… to felt a little pouch, or slip case, for my “baby book”: “That way, it is always going to stand out on the future book shelf”, she smiles at me encouragingly..


vIn der Zwischenzeit ist mir selbst diese hübsche Blume gelungen ...

Feeding off all the inspiration around me, I have started to felt this pretty little flower …


… Schritt für Schritt zum Erfolg dank Ulrike's Unterstützung und Anweisungen ...

… following Ulrike’s instructions step by step …


… ein Nachmittag, den ich jederzeit wiederholen würde: Danke für alles, liebe Ulrike !!!

… on the way to our final achievement: Thank you so much for all the good, creative vibes dear Ulrike !!!


But the creative journey continues, “Shopping with Lucie!” providing both a food as well as a shopping tour of a kind in the heart of Vienna. Irresistible!

Some two years ago, I have already participated in a pre-Christmas tour “Shopping with Lucie!”. Thought I already knew it all. But of course, the opposite is true: A lot can change in two years, especially in a world city like Vienna! So many new stories, so many new shops. The crazy 70s shop, reminiscent of a second-hand shop in trendy Berlin. The delightful, cool chocolate tasting shop. The professional wine tasting at “Best of Wines”. I am caught up, fascinated by Lucie’s tour being both a food as well as a shopping tour of a kind. And Lucie really knows how to present the best local tips and insights for travellers like us. Check this out.

Wiedersehen mit der lieben Lucie …!

Lovely to see Lucie again after all these years, Lucie who originally hails from New York and has since made herself a name in the creative fashion districts of Vienna thanks to “Shopping with Lucie!”.


Erneut bestaunen wir die vielen Goodies, Geheimtipps und Gutscheine, die Lucie in ihrem "Shopping Bag" für uns bereit hält ...

Once more, the creative journey starts with a peek inside her “goodie bag”, including many discount vouchers, maps and detailed information about the shops we visit …


… Katie ist, ganz klar, schon bald im siebten Shopping-Himmel …!

… Katie and me shopping away happily …!


Und ich erst, angekommen bei den #Winelover von Wien …!

… as well as enjoying a #winelover visit to Vienna’s most recent wine bars …!


Der hippe 70er-Jahre-Laden hat es Katie und mir besonders angetan ...

And don’t you just love the atmosphere of this funky 70s shop?



… ebenso wie die nahe gelegene Schokoverkostung ...

Or is chocolate more your thing …?


… oder das Abtauchen in einen der coolsten Läden der Stadt, ein riesiges unterirdisches "Afrika-Zentrum" im Herzen von Wien!

Even Africa has found a home here in the creative shopping district of Vienna!


Im Anschluss an die Tour empfangen uns die Innenhöfe der Wiener Altstadt im siebten Bezirk mit ihrem überaus adretten Charme.

A little later, we are tempted to chillax in one of Vienna’s charming inner courtyards, offering a country feeling to the heart (and summer heat) of the city.


Talking about top foodie travel tips, we also have to mention Thomas Hüttl, a pioneer in designing creative cooking workshops sourcing only the best ingredients from the world-famous Naschmarkt food market.

Thomas Hüttl loves to get his hands on … “designing kitchens! Honestly, I would love to turn this into a second profession; I think I could be quite good at it! Believe me, after more than 20 years of experience …” He smiles at us, talking about the story of “Das Kochatelier” and his rise to fame, leaving him with many guests turned friends thanks to his innovative cooking classes. “I love to take my clients shopping at the Wiener Naschmarkt”, he explains (remember our own creative cooking experience with Thomas, dear Sarah & Terry?)

This time, I have visited Thomas again together with Monika & Petar Fuchs, of TravelWorldOnline, for a creative cooking class focused on using only the best regional ingredients from around Vienna and Lower Austria. Among these are apricots from the Wachau valley, carp fish & pork meat from the Waldviertel as well as wine from the Kamptal valley. Check this out.

Der Genuss-Workshop bei Thomas Hüttl startet mit köstlichen Appetithäppchen wie diesen ...

Hungry again, thinking back of our wonderful starters: Pepper-chili-chutney on toasted rye bread served with sparkling wine.!


In seiner Küche ist Thomas Hüttl in seinem Element ...

Thomas loves to welcome creative foodie travellers to his kitchen …


… das Publikum lauscht seinen heiteren und oftmals humorvollen Äußerungen gespannt!

… listening and learning as we speak!


Erst mal geht es um die richtige Würze für den Braten ...

First of all, it’s all about using the right amount of spices for our pork roast …


… während ich mich an die Zubereitung der (exakten!) Masse für das Schokosoufflé mache!

… while I start weighing up exact amounts for our melt-in-your-mouth chocolate mousse!


Toll, den eigenen Papa zum Kochen & Anrichten inspiriert zu sehen !!! :D

Nice watching even Dad getting inspired during the workshop in the kitchen !!! 😀


Denn auch Anrichten will schließlich gelernt sein ...

Serving, too, can be quite an art form …


… so wie hier: Dachsberger Schweinefilet auf Schwammerl in Wurzelsauce mit Kräuter-Serviettenknödel. Ein Traum!

… à table: Pork roast with mushrooms and fresh dumplings!


… der Duft dieser frischen Marillen steigt mir noch heute in die Nase ..!

Still remembering the sweet scent of these apricots today ..!


… während mir der Marillenhof Aufreiter aus der Wachau, Ursprung dieser köstlichen Marillen, bestens bekannt ist.

… while I am happy to show Monika where exactly these apricots have come from.


Vielen Dank für diesen genussvollen Tag zusammen!

Thank you so much for this insightful, and above all delicious day together!


Check out even more tasteful photos in this yummy photo album:


Disclaimer: We have been invited by Thomas Hüttl to join his creative cooking class in Vienna. All opinions are my own.

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