My best mate P and I had come to Vienna to get an extra dose of festivity in the run up to Christmas (well, actually, for me, my only dose, as I was swerving Christmas this year and heading off to sunny Egypt). We did all the usual things one does here at Christmastide: glugged gluhwein at the Weihnachtsmarkt outside the Rathuas, imagined we were in a James Bond film while riding in the Wienerrisenrad - the big wheel used in both The Living Daylights and Orson Welles’ masterpiece The Third Man – and stood, utterly entranced, in front of the original of Klimt’s The Kiss at the Schloss Belvedere. But Vienna is known for hearty, Mittel-European food and our main goal was to track down a perfect Wiener Schnitzel.

Thankfully my little Lonely Planet guidebook came up trumps with the recommendation of Figlmuller, supposedly Vienna’s oldest and most traditional purveyors of Schnitzels. There are two branches, as we found out when we tracked down the first one on Woilzeile, only to find it so full (at 2.30pm no less) that we were directed to its sister location round the corner on Backerstrasse. We ordered the ‘classic’ schnitzel accompanied by potato salad, and within 15 minutes had been presented with these bad boys: apparently each piece of pork tenderloin used to make them is hammered out to a diameter of 30 cm. It was literally bigger than my head. I couldn’t even finish mine, but it was light, crispy and delicious, and the accompanying potato salad was smothered in a quite exquisite creamy, mustard dressing. Epic, we decided. And then made plans to head off to Cafe Sacher for a massive slab of Sachertorte.