Austria: Dirndl Temptation

The Commons, Darlinghurst, Sydney

The Commons is a surprise find in Sydney’s Darlinghurst. It’s a heritage building with sandstone walls, rustic furniture and cheery flowers on the tables. Originally a farmhouse, it was built in the 1850s, about the same time that female peasants in Austria began wearing the dirndl.

Astrid Mulholland-Licht, director, Austrian National Tourist Office in Australia

This colourful costume consists of a tight bodice, blouse, apron and skirt, and depending on which way the bow is arranged, it can even indicate whether you’re available in the marriage stakes. If you’re taken, you wear the bow on the right. If you’re happy to flirt, you keep it on the left.

The dirndl is enjoying a renaissance in Austria, where young fashion designers are creating hip designs with a nod to the past.  Having undergone its own renaissance, The Commons was the venue of choice for the Austrian National Tourist Office’s ‘Dirndl Temptation’ lunch for members of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.

Girls in Dirndls

The Austrian tourist office is currently running a promotion with 40 ambassadors, dressed in dirndl and lederhosen, flirting around Sydney. The costumes are the real deal, flown over from Austria, and yesterday the society’s travel writer and PR members were invited to dress up in them and flirt too.

Members of Australian Society of Travel Writers dressed in dirndls.

The Commons put on a banquet of good, honest food with antipasto and charcuterie followed by slow-roasted Mirrool Creek lamb, quinoa and eggplant salad. There were Austrian drinks, including Trumer Pils and a refreshing herbal lemonade, and to finish, Austrian-inspired doughnuts.

Michael Gigl, US regional manager of the Austrian National Tourist Office, announced a new campaign called Moments of Bliss, highlighting 250 special travel experiences such as walking in the footsteps of the Third Man (which was filmed in Vienna), unwinding at the Hotel Sacher (home of the famous Sacher Torte) and learning the Viennese waltz.

Related post: Postcard of the Week: Vienna, Austria.

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