A TRAIN JOURNEY THROUGH TIME IN VIENNA
By CHANTAL COOKE
The mirror belonging to the Empress Elizabeth, the napkin used by Franz Joseph I, and a train ride back into history; this is no ordinary corporate venue. It’s one that moves – not just geographically, but through time as well.
The Majestic Imperator train, based in Vienna, is the baby of Gottfried Rieck, a train enthusiast since a young age, who has lovingly recreated this luxurious mode of transport used by the Emperor Franz Joseph I and his beautiful wife Elizabeth.
An evening on the Majestic Imperator is like being transported into a bygone era – an era when dressing for dinner was the norm, when gowns shimmered, jewellery glittered and moustachioed men puffed on fragrant cigars.
As corporate entertainment goes this is first class – literally. The carriages are beautifully decorated recreating the original train in almost every detail from the velvet curtains to the gilded mirrors, from crisp white linen in the dining car to sumptuous armchairs in the lounge.
The food was also of a surprisingly high standard. No chewy steak and soggy vegetables. It was a well thought through 4 course meal, and as a vegetarian I was thrilled that I wasn’t palmed off with pasta or risotto. Instead I had a meal prepared with the same care that went into the meat dishes.
But the Majestic Imperator is not just a posh restaurant – it’s a working train. As you sip your champagne, and tuck into your dinner the train moves smoothly along presenting an ever changing vista. The train is usually stationed in Vienna but it also travels around continental Europe – so it can come to you or you can go to it!
If you want privacy there are private compartments, if you want to dance there is a dance floor, if you want culture the walls are a museum (including the unwashed napkin used by Franz Joseph and the intricately carved mirror of the Empress Elizabeth), if you want to chill out the lounge is laid back and comfy, if you want ambience – well the whole train just oozes it! And if you want good conversation and an inspiring tale – try to get a table with the owner, Gottfried, who has a fascinating life story.
This is a train journey that is guaranteed to impress. I had a fabulous evening and my guest was so blown away she spent the whole of the following week telling everyone she met all about it! Just imagine what that could do for your business!
Photo courtesy of Majestic Imperator
About the Author:
Chantal Cooke is an award winning journalist and broadcaster with a passion for the planet.
In 2002 she co-founded the award winning radio station PASSION for the PLANET and in 2009 Chantal was awarded London Leader in Sustainability status. Chantal also runs a successful communications agency – Panpathic Communications.