Well, it doesn’t get more Cinderella-like than going to a grand dinner party at The Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg.
At-attention torch bearers welcomed our Virtuoso Travel group (both property reps and agents), who were all in black tie and ball gowns. We strolled through various palace rooms dripping with gold leaf and chandeliers and took photos in the amber room (whose walls are covered in amber and gold). Then we entered the grand ballroom, which was set for dinner. I kept thinking back to my days of working with Donald Trump, who loved this kind of setting. But there is a difference between creating something like this and seeing the real thing. Truly extraordinary.
It kind of makes you understand why there was a revolution in Russia. This sort of wealth for a few would be a mind-boggling contrast to the hardships most Russians faced. How wonderful that many of these places were preserved as museums and everyone can visit today.
Spas were not on my mind this evening. I was just grateful that I could still fit into a gown I bought years ago, which has a black velvet bodice and a lace train. It has never worked better than in this setting.