Imagine a time when riding the train meant sitting on cushioned dining chairs, flowers at the center of every table covered with fancy cloths, and waiters with impeccable manners & attention to every detail to make your trip enjoyable. No time machine is required, just travel to Essex, Connecticut.
Every summer and fall, the Essex Train Depot takes passengers on a ride through some of the prettiest towns along the Connecticut River. Plan your trip during the fall foliage, and it will be difficult to stop looking out the window to eat the food. Although the trains at the depot offer short rides for visitors in old-fashion train cars, the lunch or dining excursion is a must for anyone who wants to experience travel by train in the 1920’s.
The train ride begins with the conductor explaining the woodwork and decorations in the cars. Then, music is softly played as the train enters the quiet trails of Connecticut along the river. As the appetizers and warm rolls are brought to the table, travelers are asked if they would like hot chocolate or an alcoholic beverage. Then, salad on chilled plates are carefully brought to each table, as the train cars sway. The train stops at a few points of interest, like the Goodspeed Opera House, and a bit of history is shared. The meal choices of chicken, prime-rib, or fish all smell delicious & are presented like you were eating in a five-star restaurant. Coffee or tea ends the trip back to the depot, with a choice of chocolate cake or cheese cake.
As the conductor carefully pulls into the depot, the passengers discuss how the train ride was so relaxing and enjoyable. But wait, there is one more surprise. As everyone exits the train, the staff has formed a line along the tracks to wish you a happy day, and a rose is given to every lady.
The Essex Train Depot reminds us all of a time when people traveled in style, and reaching your destination left you feeling refreshed & invigorated.