13 June: 'Goodnight Vienna'







From Barbara Pym’s Diary 13 June 1932

‘I had a note from Rupert and Miles asking me to go the the flicks. I dashed to Carfax at 7.30 and we went to see ‘Goodnight Vienna’ at the Queener. It was lovely, and somehow appropriate. We sat in the back in the corner and I had two arms around me for the first time in my history. The flick was over at 10, so we stopped at the coffee stall by Cowley Place on our way back. We drank to each other in chocolate Horlicks.’


‘Goodnight Vienna’


1) A 1932 film starring Jack Buchanan and Anna Neagle, directed by Herbert Wilcox.


2) The title of a romantic operetta in 1932. Book and lyrics by Eric Maschwitz, music by George Posford, starring the famous tenor Richard Tauber. The big number was was ‘Good night, Vienna - You City of a Million Melodies'.


3) From ‘A Dictionary of Catch Phrases American and British' -


'a pen-knife phrase, in that it can be put to a variety of different uses - often apparently contradictory. ‘If the officer catches us up to this, it's Good Night, Vienna, for the lot of us.’ or ‘So I met the girl. We had a few drinks. Back to her place, and Good Night, Vienna’.


4) The fourth solo album by Ringo Starr.


5) Rigsby's cat in ‘Rising Damp’:


As he pries and spies upon his tenants, Rigsby is often seen carrying Vienna, his big, fluffy, white-and-black tom cat about the house. Rigsby's amiable pet (and confidant) is so named because - as Rigsby tells it - when he goes to put him out on a cold dark night, if there is another set of eyes out there, then it's ‘Goodnight Vienna’


Viennese Hot Chocolate for two good friends.


1 pint of full fat milk

2 heaped teaspoons good cocoa (Green and Blacks or similar) not hot chocolate powder

2 squares high fat content chocolate blitzed in a grinder to coarse powder

Sugar to taste (about 2 teaspoons)

1 egg yolk

I tablespoonful of brandy

Whipped cream and/or chocolate shavings to decorate


2 wide cups or mugs filled with hot water


Bring the milk to the boil and pour a little onto the cocoa powder to dissolve. Add the rest of the milk and the sugar, return to the heat, bring to the boil again to ‘cook’ the cocoa. Let cool a little then add the egg yolk and the blitzed chocolate. Whisk vigorously. Empty the mugs of the hot water and pour in the chocolate milk, add the brandy, then top with cream and chocolate shavings.


Definitely not Horlicks!


'Goodnight Vienna,

Now lovers kiss beneath your linden tree

The world is waiting on the edge of the day

Just waiting to say goodnight.'


(Mashwitz/Posford 1932)


Thanks to wikipedia for the 'Rising Damp' quote.



4 comments:

Choclette said...

Hi Liz, had not heard of putting egg yolk in hot chocolate. I can imagine it makes for quite a nice rich ad thick drink. We passed the Carfax Hotel in Bath last weekend, so wondered if Barbara Pym stayed there!

Emmalene said...

Sounds delightful...thick and creamy- and definitely not Horlicks!!

Liz said...

I used to have a Viennese Coffee in Betty's in York years ago, then they gave up doing it because people kept asking for cappuchino. It really is lovely - thick and creamy. I imagine on a cold Viennese night it's just the thing!

Brownieville Girl said...

Sounds wonderful, I'm putting this recipe in my folder to try when the weather gets colder.

Thanks.