Human Interest

Cake-away: Austrian café adds spice to Valentines despite Covid lockdown

Vienna, Feb 13 (efe-epa).- Having a traditional Austrian chocolate cake delivered to your door by a bellhop worthy of a Wes Anderson movie is an ideal way to kick off Valentine’s Day celebrations but it is also a unique initiative one traditional purveyor has undertaking in a bid to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown in Vienna.

“This year the Sachertorte would be the perfect present for Valentine’s Day,” Andreas Keese, manager of Vienna’s Hotel Sacher, tells Efe in a dining room that would normally be packed with guests.

Before the pandemic, large groups of tourists would line up patiently for a chance to sample this most-famous of Viennese desserts, but the Covid-19 restrictions has forced the café to find a different approach by delivering the cake, which comprises a sponge bases smothered in apricot jam and coated in unctuous chocolate icing.

The outbreak of the pandemic in Austria last spring prompted a 75% drop in Hotel Sacher’s revenue compared to 2019, when it took in some 100 million euros across its outlets.

“The situation has affected the sales dramatically, but we are still looking on the bright side,” Keeser adds.  With the new, romantic delivery service, Hotel Sacher hopes to send off around 20 cakes per day, far from the 1,000 it once produced daily between its establishments in Vienna and Salzburg. EFE-EPA

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