Simon Ballam

Simon Ballam
34 posts
English, studied in NY and worked in London, Düsseldorf, NY, Fankfurt, Prague and Vienna. This covered stints in market research and the film industry, international advertising coordination and strategic planning. Currently business school lecturer and journalist.

Posts by Simon Ballam

The Weinviertel has as many philosophies as vintners

Here’s the challenge:  First, eradicate poverty by getting over 90 percent of the world connected to electricity.  Second, save enough energy to keep global warming below 2 degrees.  And get both done by 2030.

The dangerous dance with Kern, Kurz and Strache

Even the color is iconic: “Pantone rose” is a registered trademark for Austria’s signature snack – Manner Schnitten, the pink block of hazelnut cream wafers on the country’s candy shelves, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s legendary power food.

After eons, kosher wine finally matures

Vienna’s eternal mayor Michael Häupl is under mounting pressure to step down. And the squeeze is coming from within his own party

The “golden” cook of Fischrestaurant Kaj transforms the fresh catch from the Adriatic.


Steinhof is a Wiener Melange of health and history and now the city adds housing to the mix.

For savory Gulasch, Gasthaus zum Sieg is the real deal.

Glasses from the Empire and Biedermeier Period documents a rising middle class and its search for its own aesthetic.

Cellar, field and desk; March is a busy  time of year for winemakers.

Amid the erosion of the political center, little Austria may be the unlikely champion to stem the surge of the far right.

Film stills as drama suspended, art as advertisement: Even if you’ve never seen the movie, chances are you know the image.

As chairmanship revolves to Austria, we listened to what Foreign Minister Kurz sees as the biggest challenges.

Graham Greene’s The Third Man: An iconic portrait of gloom and corruption in Austria’s postwar capital.

Vienna’s smallest working vineyard is in the heart of the city

For better or worse, the Langenlois Loisium is a theme park for the thirsty.

This is a sad morning for Britain and unfathomable for Europe. The morning after Brexit, the headlines make grim reading: “Pound sterling crashes to 1985 low”, “World stocks in free fall,” “The rage of the working class,” “Cameron resigns,” “Scotland …

Breaking its election promises, a Tory government has left expat Britons out in the cold

Austria’s refugee crisis has not only polarized the political landscape,  it has split the country’s ruling party right down the middle

Born in the chilliest era of the Cold War, Vienna’s OSCE fosters common-sense cooperation between people of good will

Serving delicacies to discerning patrons since 1618, the Kameel is a gourmet temple and a place to see and be seen

One of Vienna’s few accredited slow food chefs has a special recipe for the Lenten fast: Viennese snails with artichoke ravioli

Banks have reacted to the post-2008 crisis climate in different ways. Some focus on squeaky clean ethical transparency, others on special programs to help poor people

Whatever Happened To The U5? The Vienna subway network is fast, safe, and clean – but something has been missing.  The lines are U1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 – but no U5.

ON THE VINE guides you through our wine regions, wines and some of the growers behind them. This month we look at the Wagram region.

The Servitenviertel is almost hidden, with countless side streets and cobblestones walks inviting you to a leisurely stroll. It’s almost impossible to rush anywhere here.

An exhibition of iconic photographs from the revolutionary camera that made them possible – the legendary Leica

Art pressed into the service of political persuasion is rarely convincing. This exhibition proves a point. The online blurb is refreshingly honest: POLITISCHER POPULISMUS, the striking title of the exhibition, leads you expect to a lot. So what do you …

It’s one of the miracles of Vienna – most of Austria’s greatest wines grow right nearby. ON THE VINE will guide you through our wine regions, wines and some of the growers behind them. Burgenland is first on the tour.

From antiquity to today, looting art for the black market remains big business

Chef Denis König of Le Salzgries: The brasserie reloaded – a French treat for your special guests

With Pierogis for Grown-ups and a Kindergarten with French Fries, this is a neo-classical Wiener café with a special heart for children.

It’s surprisingly difficult to give stuff away. Busy city people don’t expect anything offered on the street to compete with what they know, and visitors assume you’re trying to sell them something they don’t need.