Banish the grey, go for colour!
Amba and Lederleitner in this month's Treasure Hunt
The perennial "high fog" of Vienna’s winter weather calls for a powerful antidote! So here are some shops in cheerful colours offering a wide selection of tempting goods from the luxurious to the sensuous for all ages and all pocketbooks. They are off the beaten track, perhaps, but worth a visit when one isn’t sure what one wants – except the lift of spirits engendered by an imaginative assortment of unusual items, to banish the outside gloom and fuel the imagination.
The 8th District’s Josefstädter Straße is a busy succession of retail temptations, many with intriguing window displays inviting further investigation. At No. 16, the seemingly small frontage of Amba announces itself as being "the realm of the senses" and opens into a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of colour-rich textiles, glittering jewellery and glowing decorative items.
In sparkling colours, jackets, shawls and scarves, bags, throws and cushions provide a feast for the eye, while an enticing array of bracelets, rings, pendants and necklaces and other jewellery, both in plain silver and with semi-precious stones or gleaming beads in a myriad of colours, encourage closer inspection. Gleaming lacquer wares can double as serving dishes or decoration, and shell-handled cutlery provides an elegant touch to any table. Decorative seasonal items make attractive "Mitbringsel" or even a personal treat, and the sales staff is helpful and friendly.
8., Josefstädter Straße 16
Mon.–Fri., 11:00–18:00; Sat., 10:00–17:00
When one descends the stairs leading to the Roman Market Hall of Lederleitner in the basement of the handsome old stock exchange (the Börse) on the Schottenring, the wintery grey is already tempered by a pleasing array of live plants and greenery, often brightened with berries.
Inside, the magic of Lederleitner’s floral wonderland assails the senses with the colours and scents of stunning flowers in the spacious airy vaulting.
The botanical theme extends to garden ornaments, accessories, tools and furniture, candles in many different hues and shapes, vases, containers and planters of all sizes for indoors and out. The space is highly recommended for its feel-good factor, especially in winter.
As well as the amazingly inventive yet stylish arrangements of both fresh and dried flowers, seasonally changing goods include trays, tea-towels, old-fashioned glass wasp-traps, handsome rubber boots, candlesticks and hurricane lamps, gardeners’ wear for all ages, handsome decorated doormats and amusing cast-iron bootscrapers or door-knockers for the shed.
And to recover from all the heady visual and old factory treats, the adjacent gourmet restaurant and café Hansen can delight one’s taste-buds.
1., Schottenring 16
Basement of the Börse (Stock Exchange)
Mon.–Fri., 10:00–20:00; Sat., 9:00–17:00
(also open on 8 Dec., 10:00-18:00)