200 guests, including the Lord Mayor of York, joined friends of the museum, local businesses and corporate clients for an exclusive first look at the restored 1956 Pullman-style carriage, which has been given a new lease of life by the museum following a full refurbishment.
Designed to replicate the opulence and luxury of turn of the century rail travel, the carriage features grand Edwardian furnishings, antique framed photographs, bespoke Countess of York branded China, as well as waiting staff dressed in vintage steward’s uniforms.
Visitors were invited to tour the carriage, observing how the layout can be adapted to accommodate diners for both breakfast and afternoon tea, as well as private and corporate dinners.
The museum’s caterer, Levy Restaurants UK, treated attendees to a sample of the decadent dishes available in the carriage, which included, Yorkshire blue cheese and red onion marmalade tart; homemade scones baked to a traditional Yorkshire recipe, served with vanilla enhanced clotted cream and homemade jam; as well as a selection of homemade fancies.
Musical entertainment was provided by local harpist Angelina Warburton and the Yorkshire based Mirage String Quartet, whilst silhouette portraits of guests were made by The Roving Artist Company, and actors from Platform 4 Theatre donned Edwardian era outfits in keeping with the historic theme of the carriage.
Sam Owen, head of commercial operations at Science Museum Group, said: “The Countess of York is a fantastic new addition to the National Railway Museum and gives diners a taste of the splendour and lavishness that was once an important part of turn of the century railway dining. We wanted to create a truly unique and nostalgic dining experience by whisking people away to a bygone era right in the heart of York. We’ve already had a lot of positive feedback and look forward to more visitors coming to see The Countess of York.”
With covers for 24 guests, The Countess of York will be available for exclusive evening hire for corporate and private dining, while serving luxury afternoon tea during museum hours.