Review: Riding Dinner Vienna

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Steph Theodosiou enjoys a Viennese whirl around Austria’s capital in a horse-drawn carriage with a culinary twist

With the sun shining across Vienna, I strolled through the gorgeous First District to the famous 400-year-old Zum Schwarzen Kameel restaurant, where I had arranged to meet the co-founders of Riding Dinner Vienna, Marco Pollandt and Raimund Novotny, outside.

At just 23 and 26 years of age, the awaiting well-dressed pair (who have an educational background in F&B and tourism, plus experience working in 5-star hotels and private jets) have created a unique business idea which combines Viennese tradition with 21st-century glamour.


The inner district of Vienna is full of beautiful Fiaker: horse-drawn carriages, a tradition which dates back to the 1700s. What singles Riding Dinner Vienna out however, is that it’s the only Fiaker journey to include an on-board traditional Viennese meal provided exclusively by celebrated partnering restaurants.

The pair proceeded to show me to my vintage carriage equipped with a custom-made table and introduced the driver for our “Sparkling Sightseeing Tour” around the city. As I was to be riding alone, the pair joined me in the carriage – an indulgence for them as much as me. They normally ride up front with the driver to enable quick jump offs at the restaurant stops as they perform their butler duties.

The food and drink

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After taking a keep-sake Polaroid snapshot, our tour began with a bottle of Grüner Veltliner, a crisp, fresh white wine produced in the vineyards on the outskirts of Vienna and a firm favourite with locals. To eat, we devoured eight breads with traditional spreads (or as they are described in Austria, “open sandwiches”), as well as six small sweet treats, all from Zum Schwarzen Kameel.

The pair ensured my glass was always topped up and my in-carriage service certainly made an impression as we trotted through the city; we even had passers-by taking photographs and waving!

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As we trotted over the cobbles, the charming business pair regaled me with interesting historical facts about the beautiful sights we passed, as well as personal anecdotes from their careers and stories about their 1-year-old business. Within this first year, they’ve already witnessed 24 marriage proposals! It isn’t hard to understand why – what an idyllic setting to pop the question.

Before long, it was sadly time for the fairytale tour to end. With my uneaten cakes in a charming little take-away box, I fed the horses some well-deserved carrots and strolled off into the sunshine.

Make it happen
Cost: Standard tour packages currently available are the shorter “Sparkling Tour” (295€ per carriage) of 40 minutes with alcohol and snacks, or the 90-minute “Culinary Sightseeing Tour” (480€ for 2 people, 595€ for 4 people) which includes an aperitif, 3-course meals complete with Schnitzel and apple Strudel, wine and water. All tours can be personalised by getting in touch with Marco and Raimund directly.
Bookings: To book, email or visit

All images courtesy of Raphael Berthold, Hype Grafik

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