Dress up court style; indulge in the sweet things Vienna has to offer. Today we celebrate the birthday of Marie Antoinette with cakes and the lovely wines of Austria. Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna von Habsburg-Lothringen, known to history as Marie Antoinette, was born November 2, 1755 as an Archduchess of Austria and later became Queen of France. At fourteen, she was married to the future Louis XVI. Marie Antoinette is perhaps best remembered for her legendary excesses and for her death: She was… executed by guillotine in the French Revolution 1793 for the crime of treason. We want to celebrate her birthday because we love her for being in the forefront for the shopping and consumption mania that is the hallmark of our own modern times today. And could you blame her? What would you have done being fourteen and trapped inside Versailles with all that money to spend and all those boring people to hide from? This is an evening to forget your own boring life. An evening for dressing up, eating cakes, maybe drink some wine and dancing and playing with your friends. Indulge yourselves→
You’re in luck! We're going to try some golden nectar from the gods. Austria has some of the best sweet wines in the world and they are cultivated in one of the most remarkable places on earth for botrytis-affected (noble rot) wine - the Neusiedlersee. This is a shallow, warm lake of about 10,000 hectares, located in the warmest part of Austria, right on the Austrian-Hungarian border. The lake's microclimate is key to the wine's production; the environment around it is flat and marshy. Here they make wonderful Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese and Schilfweinmade from grapes dried on straw or reed beds and Ausbruch wines which are exotic, full and luscious. Here, as in other regions in Austria, you also find fantastic Eisweins. These sweet wines are simply amazing, and if you're passionate about dessert wines and you have not yet tasted Austrian sweet wines, you are in for a treat. Visit your local wine merchant and ask for a selection of Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenaslese, Schilfwein and Eiswein. You wont be disappointed.
Mozart is considered the most important composer in the Wiener classic style. There are a vast selection to choose from so if you are a novice go for the ones suggested below. If you get tired of Mozart, why not put on the soundtrack from the Sophia Coppola movie "Marie Antoinette"?
It might be tricky to find something for this evening in your existing wardrobe. Renting a costume is a fun way to get a complete look. If you want to make it a bit more mysterious; ask your guests to also wear an eye-mask, like they did for the masquerades back then. Ladies: For this night you need a big puffed up dress with narrow waist and deep décolletage, white stockings, a big white wig, pearl pendant ear rings, a push-up bra and of course a beautiful hand fan to hide behind. Be inspired by pale colours, lots of bows, laces, soft curls, satin ribbons and creative hats and hairpieces. Your make up should be based on a very thick layer of light foundation and white powder, two focused round circles of rouge on your cheeks, blood red lipstick and of course the obligatory mouche on the cheek. Not so much focus on the eyes, just mark your eyebrows with a dark pencil. Gentlemen: The white wig is a must, also a layer of white face powder, rouge on the cheeks and the mouche (yes, that's correct also for men...). White over-the-knees stockings, knee-length puffy plus fours, suede loafers and a long frock-like jacket with a waistcoat underneath. A lace scarf around the neck topped of with a big bling-bling brooch will do the trick. Have a white lace napkin in your hand to use as a fan or to just wave around as you entertain your guests.
Since Marie Antoinette was only 14 years old when she was crowned queen, the games for this evening are a bit childish, but none the less lots of fun! Truth or dare. The classic tell-it-all or do-it-all game. One player starts the game by spinning an empty bottle and asks another player, the one the bottle is pointing at, "Truth or dare?" If the queried player answers, "truth," then the questioning player asks a question, usually embarrassing, of the queried player; otherwise, if the queried player answers, "dare," then the questioning player asks the queried to do something, also usually embarrassing. After answering the question or doing the dare, the queried player spins the bottle again and asks "truth or dare?" of another player and the game proceeds as before.
The key phrase is OVER THE TOP. Besides the huge amount of pastries, cakes and chocolates, fill the table with grapes, peaches, apples and all sorts of fruits, placed directly on the tablecloth. A few porcelain animals, foxes and rabbits for example, also make the setting authentic. Of course, if you dare to use real stuffed animals that’s even better... A big vulgar centrepiece of flowers should be placed in the middle. Otherwise it’s the usual classy setting we are aiming for; white linen cloth, silver cutlery, crystal glasses, big chandeliers and white napkins. And of course lots and lots of lit candles.