Fascinating, enchanting, sumptuous…
That is Vienna. And that was the 5th birthday celebration of ESSENS, which took place in Vienna during the long weekend of 14th – 16th October 2016 in the exclusive five-star hotel Ritz-Carlton.
A great opportunity presented itself to see the city of waltz, well-known cafés, prominent world opera scenes, rich history, impressive architecture and delicious gastronomy.
The Friday programme started in the early afternoon with a ride in a historical tram through the Ringstraße, the unique circular tour leading around the inner city, which was built on the basis of architectonic competition announced in 1858 from the impulse of the emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria a year after the demolition of city walls. We could see the fascinating monumental buildings such as the building of the government, State opera, Parliament, new City Hall, City Park, theatre and famous University of Vienna, founded in 1365 by Rudolf IV, Duke of Austria.
Four tourist guides told us about the history of the city and the whole Austrian monarchy. They say that a visitor cannot truly experience Vienna unless they visit local cafés. That is why we visited Demel, the imperial café house, which has an unrepeatable atmosphere and this thanks to the many years’ history, coffee quality and traditional cakes, original equipment and period paintings. The café house was very often sought-after by the members of the ruling dynasty, primarily by the empress Sissi.
The day was not over yet. Soon after dusk, the unbelievable number 21 of “droshky” drawn by a team of horses came together in front of the hotel to take the birthday guests to an exclusive supper in the well-known restaurant Augustinerkeller. It is situated in the historical palace Albertina, known as the seat of Arts Gallery that has a wide collection with such giants as Santi, Rembrandt, da Vinci, Buonarotti, Picasso and many others.
The luxurious menu consisting of traditional Austrian dishes was accompanied by delicious drinks.
The following morning was dedicated to the visit of Schönbrunn. This magnificent baroque castle, in the past serving primarily as a summer residence of Austrian emperors, was in 1996 with its extensive gardens included in the List of World Heritage UNESCO. The tour of the interiors left many astounded and enchanted. It was an amazing experience to walk through the spaces where the European history was written, where Napoleon Bonaparte held meetings, where Maria Theresa was moved by six years old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart playing the piano, where Franz Joseph I alongside his beautiful wife, empress Sissi held office and where in 1918 Charles I of Austria signed his abdication that terminated monarchy definitely.
A delicious lunch was awaiting our guests at the hotel and after, the possibility of using the hotel’s wellness. With the sunset nearing, the final preparations for a ceremonial gala evening were made in luxuriously equipped rooms; ladies were putting their evening gowns on, gentlemen were polishing the tips of their patent shoes.
The gala evening itself was opened by one of the owners of ESSENS company, Mr. Michal Kovář, by a celebratory drink on the hotel roof with a fascinating view of the city evening panorama. After returning to the hotel hall, the celebratory four-course supper of hotel’s master chef was served, reflecting the top of local gastronomy. Delicious food was softly accompanied by swing rhythms of a live band.
The highlight of the evening awaited with excitement, handing over the awards and rewards to the most successful leaders of the past year, thanking the managers of our branches, our precious guests and the owners of ESSENS, was opened by a singing performance of a jazz blues-soul singer Betty Semper.
This year for the first time, we thanked the TOP 10 ESSENS WORLD, meaning the most successful leaders from the international point of view.
The entry into the next, already sixth year of ESSENS existence, was initiated with a deafening applause by cutting a three-storey cake which was preceded by a demonstration of classical dance and a performance of the world tap dance champion, Kateřina Fialová.
A free programme accompanied by music under the leadership of an experienced DJ perfectly completed the overall atmosphere. An open bar and a midnight reception were available, alongside with a favourite smilebox.
The birthday stay was in the spirit of ease and friendship and the relaxing atmosphere floating around all the guests as if there was no language barrier. We believe that all the guests present took a lot of amazing experiences with them and they will happily reminisce the pleasantly spent days with ESSENS.
And since, in the past, a long qualification period for the stay in the Republic of South Africa was in held, our closest management flew from Vienna with some of the most qualified leaders on the Sunday evening to a dream stay on the south of African continent.