Imagine you and your guests are waiting at the station and then the Original Prestige Continental Express – a 180-ton steam locomotive with four restored carriages – comes steaming in. Together almost 100 metres of pure nostalgia, exclusively for you and your guests. The 125 guests were of course suitable impressed, and after a call of “All aboard and close the doors” from the host, the show started full steam ahead.
just arriving: the Special train to Heidelberg
It was all a bit like the world of Harry Potter. The train in fact stopped at Stuttgart’s main station and not – invisible to muggles – on Platform 9 3/4 of Kings Cross, but even so that in itself almost bordered on magic if we consider that this special train was on Germany’s regular Bundesbahn rail network. It probably doesn’t need to be mentioned that it involved a lot of organisation and permits to get the train on the tracks among all of the network’s inter-city and local trains. Or maybe it should.
kilos of material had to be loaded and stowed in the train as it waited on a siding within only two hours. A lot of equipment is required for such an original British afternoon tea, a ten-course set meal and a single-malt whiskey tasting for 125 guests.
And after the return journey the entire train was completely unloaded once more in another two hours. Maybe that’s why the train is called the “Prestige Continental Express”. With the emphasis on “Express”, of course.
Five o‘clock tea,
125 times please
This would have caused even the most laid-back butler to break into a sweat. For us the matter wasn’t exactly business as usual, but as hospitality professionals it was the kind of challenge
we look forward to.
It’s quite a project when you couple a saloon carriage with a bar and grand piano, two dining carriages – one of them offering a panorama view – and a kitchen carriage to a steam locomotive and tender from 1941. But then, we don’t do things by halves.
IF IT’S GOING TO BE ORIGINAL FIVE O’CLOCK TEA, THE SETTING OF COURSE HAS TO BE APPROPRIATE. THE PRESTIGE CONTINENTAL EXPRESS SEEMED TO US TO BE IDEAL. TO THE CUSTOMER, TOO. SUCH PROJECTS ARE WHAT WE DO BEST. SO FULL STEAM AHEAD!
Peter Scharff, Head of Culinary Competence