Vienna’s Lovely Cafe Culture and Design

cafe das mobel vienna

Oh, Vienna, I’m so smitten! My favorite part? The cafe culture and design. Cafe culture is a huge thing in Vienna and we took full advantage of it, stopping in as many as humanly possible in the short amount of time we had there.

I loved how the design of each cafe was to the next, and how well thought-out each was. And I loved how all the cafes transitioned to bars in the evening, where you could still get an amazing cup of coffee, but you could also have a glass of wine or a beer. I think we need more of these in Dublin! cafe orland 2 Here’s the disclaimer, I had no part whatsoever in planning this trip, so all credit for finding these cafes goes to Michael and/or chance. We walked by a few that looked cute and stopped in, and the others Michael planned based on recommendations or guides he researched. He is an awesome travel partner and I’m not sure I totally pulled my weight on this trip! 

But what I can do is pass on the super places we found. Here are just a few of our favorite cafes in Vienna!  cafe orlando vienna


This cafe above, Orlando di Castello, is famous and swanky and the design was super, super cool. I was dying to steal a few of those green glasses and I’m still researching where to find them online! They’re the perfect color to add to our bar cart.  cafe vienna

Cafe Ritter was one of the more traditional cafes we tried, and in the middle of the day on a Thursday, it was buzzing with people drinking beer and coffee and having lots of animated chats! It looked like it maybe hadn’t changed in 100 years, which was really charming. eis vienna

I can’t remember the name of this cafe on Burgasse, but it was sort of Cape Cod meets Vienna and served the most serious desserts and ice cream cones.  green and blue cafe vienna

We didn’t try this cafe, but I wanted to take all of those green and blue chairs home with me. The perfect shades of my favorite colors. Plus, they match my green glasses I will eventually find!

wirr coffe vienna wirr cafe vienna

The service in Vienna is reputably grumpy (and we did find that to be the case most of the time), but Wirr‘s staff was so friendly. And they serve their lattes in glass goblets!  vienna cafe treats

We sat outside at Cafe Museum, another famous and traditional cafe, and had treats and spritzers. Their menu is really sweetly illustrated.  vienna cafe ceiling Excuse the grainy iPhone photo, but would you look at the ceiling in that place? I think it was the cafe in the Mumok Museum and it was beyond cool.  michael in das mobel And to round out our cafe tour of Vienna (don’t worry, I have photos to prove we did more than sit around drinking coffee and wine!), another favorite of mine, Cafe das Moebel. It’s part show room, part cafe. Every piece of cool furniture is also for sale, and they often feature up and coming designers looking for a place to try out products with real people.

One more tip about the cafes in Vienna – if you order a melange, you’ll get the equivalent of a cappuccino without the chocolate sprinkled on top and you’ll pay 50 cents less. Meanwhile, a cafe latte is often a whole euro more expensive than other coffees! Needless to say, we were drinking so many coffees, we both opted for melanges more often than not!

I’m already planning our return trip to Vienna – one where I will actually only go to cafes, and maybe I’ll bring a notebook and draw or bring the laptop and write a book or something! It’s the perfect place for that sort of relaxed arty thing.

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Irish Maker at Work / Rene from Placed

Placed Rene Mullins Video

I’ve written about Rene from Placed before – remember the adorable Irish alphabet book? – well here’s the loveliest little video interviewing her about her work and her interest in including the Irish language in her sweet tea towels and prints.  I just loved it!

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Evening Beach Walks in North Dublin

emily_beach_walk_april_2014 Now that the evenings are getting longer, Michael and I have been venturing up to the beach for after dinner beach walks. Or sometimes before dinner beach walks when I underestimate how much time dinner is going to take to cook and we need a distraction while it finishes. We have our best chats walking on this beach, planning trips and adventures and talking about big ideas and decisions.  beach_walk_dublin_2014_2

On this particular walk, I brought the camera and he asked to use it straight away. He took some lovely photos of one of our favorite rituals. He’s quite a good photographer and I always love seeing what he likes to capture from behind the lens.  emily_beach_walk_2014_dublin beach_walk_dublin_2014 emily_beach_walk_dublin_2014_2

We call this beach Hole in the Wall beach, but I’m not sure that’s its technical name. It’s just north of Dublin, below Howth. In fact, when the tide is out you can walk all the way up to Howth but I usually don’t get Michael to agree to that! For the record, this beach has the best clouds and the best sunsets.  michael_beach_walk_dublin_2014

And it has the best handsome photographers, even if I do really dislike that beard!


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Back from Vienna

easter eggs vienna 2

We just spent the most wonderful long weekend in Vienna, Austria. The weather was so sunny, there were lilacs in bloom all over the place, and wherever we turned there were hand painted Easter eggs. It was a little hard to come back to Dublin!

easter eggs vienna em and mike vienna lilacs vienna

I’m working on a full recap with lots of thoughts and opinions and tips (and Michael is even going to do a guest post on planning a trip to Vienna since I did zippo in that department!), so you should see that later this week. In the meantime, happy Monday!

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DIY Stamped and Watercolored Poem Greeting Cards


I have a confession to make. I do not actually need more greeting cards. I’m a recovering greeting card hoarder. I’d pick up pretty boxes of thank you notes and blank cards, mostly from TJMaxx, whenever I saw a new design I liked. And I picked them up at a much higher rate than I mailed them out. When I moved to Dublin, my whole card collection came with me, at which point I realized I’d better use up those cards before I bought any new ones. I’ve mostly kicked the addiction in the last few years, but that doesn’t stop me from DIYing a few now and then. After all, I also have a giant collection of blank greeting cards out in the studio. Many, many more than I’ll ever need.  diy_greeting_cards_poem_stamp_2014_2

For all my vast collection of greeting cards, I didn’t have anything particularly sweet or inspiring. Tons of thank you notes and some floral prints, but nothing with an inspirational phrase. Which led me to this simple DIY project. Blank greeting cards, watercolor paints, and a super-duper customizable stamp. (I got mine from Viking, they’ve quite a selection to choose from but I thought this one was the best – it comes with tweezers for moving the letters around. And they also have same day delivery in Ireland which is fairly novel.)


I painted on really simple strokes of thinned out pink watercolor paint and let it dry completely. Then I arranged my little letters on my stamp and pressed it on. Once you have your stamp set up, you could whip out lots of them really quickly. A whole pack of them would make a really sweet gift, actually. And there’s a new way for me to use up that stockpile of blank greeting cards!

I’d love to know what poem you’d stamp. I find this Emerson poem nicely inspiring without being too over the top. It just makes you want to take a walk around the block!


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Breakfast with an Artist at Talbot Gallery

breakfast_with_artist_talbot_gallery Last weekend I spent a heavenly few hours in the Talbot Gallery at their Eat / Talk / Art breakfast series. I didn’t take many photos, but I wanted to share just these few and encourage you to buy a ticket to their next event on April 26th if you possibly can make it. It’s so, so worth it. It was one of the loveliest, most delicious, and most inspiring mornings I’ve had in a long time.  breakfast_with_artist_talbot_gallery_2

The team at the Talbot Gallery set the most gorgeous table and then cooked up a delicious meal – granola and fruit and yogurt, and then a savory hot dish (I’ll leave it a surprise in case you do make it to the next one!) with crusty bread, followed by sweet treats I was too full to try. After we munched and chatted, artist Alison Pilkington had an open conversation with the featured painter, Joe Scullion. It was an inspired format – perfect for amateur art-lovers as well as those better acquainted with the subject. It wasn’t intimidating or too theoretical, instead, it was a great way to learn about Joe’s paintings and add a few new art terms to your vocabulary.

breakfast_artist_talbot_gallery_2014_4 breakfast_with_artist_talbot_gallery_3

Really, if you’re free and in Dublin on April 26th, book a ticket. And don’t be surprised if you see me there, back for seconds!

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A Connemara Road Trip Pit Stop in Photos

connemara lake 2 While my parents were here a few weeks ago, Michael and I took them on a two-day road trip through the depths of Connemara. I have to say, we packed a lot in to those to days – a giant drive through Connemara National Park, into Kylemore Abbey and around Killary Fjord before having dinner in bustling Westport (make a Saturday night dinner reservation in advance!), then an all day cycle from Achill Island to Newport before driving home that evening. Here are a few photos from a little scenic pit stop we made in the middle of nowhere in Connemara.  mike and em connemara Thanks for taking this one, Dad! connemara lake 3

connemara lake 4    connemara moss 2

I thought the soggy, mossy grass was so beautiful. In a previous trip out west I learned all about how this soggy moss eventually piles on top of itself for years and years and finally makes peat. It’s really springy to step on!  connemara moss

connemara lake

It’s a road trip I’d thoroughly recommend if you are visiting Dublin and looking to get out of the city for a few days. The driving is a good mix of highways and tiny winding roads with sheep traffic jams. And the views are ridiculous and much different than you might expect for the Emerald Isle. You can certainly do it in two days, although three days might mean a little less of a whirlwind adventure!

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Going to Vienna – Do You Have Travel Tips?


On Thursday this week, Michael and I are hopping on a plane for the first time in months and heading to Vienna! I’m so excited to see different scenery and travel with my man for a few days. We’ve started planning a little (who am I kidding, I haven’t done a thing but nod encouragingly at Michael’s suggestions!), but I’m wondering if you have any tips for Vienna? Anything you think is a must-see? Anything to avoid? We’re very excited about what seems like a really fun breakfast and coffee culture. We love those things.

Image from here.

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4 Spots for the Best Street Art in Dublin

tivoli outside dublin street art

You know what I love about Dublin? In the last few years, there’s been so much great street art popping up around the city, which makes it feel like a we have bonus art exhibits all over the place. Some days happening upon a new one is a really nice surprise, and other days I take little detours to catch a glimpse of my favorite pieces I know will bring a smile to my face.

I thought it would be fun to share just a few spots that have my favorite street art today, but I have to make a little disclaimer about this list. In a few months or even in a few weeks, this list might be out of date. But you can almost guarantee that if one piece of street art gets painted over, another will pop up down the street. You just have to keep your eyes peeled!

Four Spots for the Best Dublin Street Art

tivoli street art dublin

Tivoli Car Park

Tivoli Car Park is by far the best spot because each year there’s a street art festival and they bring in loads of talented street artists to re-graffiti the whole place. The other hilarious thing about it is it’s a parking lot. But it’s by far the most beautiful parking lot in all of Dublin!

dealer street art dublin

Temple Bar

You have to look a little harder for the street art in Temple Bar – you’ll find it hiding down alleyways and up on the side of buildings. But when you do find it, it’s colourful and sassy.

Baggot Street

Baggot Street is a sleeper spot for Dublin street art. Last I saw there was a unicorn on the side of one of the buildings which is just about as good as it gets.

homebird street art dublin

Newmarket Square and Francis Street

That little old lady at the start of this post lives on Francis Street and she cracks me up. I agree, little old lady, I agree. Meanwhile, just down the block in Newmarket Square, you’ll find the Homebird, which is the name of the new clothing line from Dublin’s favorite street artist, Maser.

So those are my favorite street art spots in Dublin at the moment – do you have any to share? I’d love to hear what fun free art exhibit is hanging on the side of a building in your neighborhood!

Are you planning a trip to Dublin? I give walking tours of Dublin. If you’re looking for accommodation for your stay,  check out the great deals available with Expedia Ireland for city breaks in Dublin. 

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DIY Fabric Covered Numbers for

fabric table numbers finished 2

I was doing so well with DIY Thursday at the start of the year, and then those Thursdays just got away from me. I do have an excuse, which I’d like to share with you today. I’ve been creating so many projects and posts and content for that there has been very little time or space in my brain left for my own projects. Which completely contradicts the point of DIY Thursday. However, now that I’m starting to put these posts up on Confetti, I thought some of them would be fun to share with you while I catch up on DIYing around the house.

This one is a DIY tutorial for fabric covered table numbers. They’re designed for a wedding (because Confetti’s a wedding site), but I think they’re so cute I’m going to have to make some with our initials to sit on our bookcase. The fabric is a Liberty print and there’s something about their florals that makes me get over my general distaste for florals.

You can see the full (and super simple) tutorial over on

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