All Aboard the Orient Express

 

Photo courtesy: Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises

Images of the legendary train conjure up puffy clouds of steam being blown into the air as the locomotive chugs across the English countryside. For others, it brings to mind
a certain book penned by Agatha Christie called “Murder on the Orient Express.” Nevertheless, this fabled luxury train is real and still operates on the rail tracks of England. The actual Orient Express is steeped in history having made its inaugural trip in 1883 from Paris to Istanbul. In those days, it was considered a luxury mode of transport reserved for the rich.

The Orient Express Northern Belle is the locomotive that will take you on this once in a lifetime journey. It was designed to represent a decadent locomotive from the 1930’s. It is painted in distinguished colors of
maroon and cream and came into service in 2000. It is considered as the sister of the Orient Express and was built in Crewe with carriages named after British castles and stately homes.

Elegant Tableware by Tracey Gibbs
Photo courtesy: Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises

The interior décor of the carriages replicate the period of the castle or stately home which it is named after. Passengers are made to feel like royalty as they experience the most stunning interiors that use
furnishings, porcelain, tapestries, brocade and polished wood to recreate a feel of absolute opulence.

There are a number of inclusive packages as well as special European trips for the summertime on the Venice-Simplon Orient Express which includes overnight stays in Europe at top hotels.

The journey begins at London’s Victoria Station with brunch served on the British Pullman which has a vintage interior complimented by an Art Deco style as it heads to Folkstone.

The pampered journey begins on the platform of the train station where elegantly dressed passengers are greeted by Orient Express stewards. At each entry to the carriage, a red carpet is rolled out to welcome you on board and the steward personally escorts each passenger to their seats. Once there, another steward will take your coats and ensure you are comfortably seated at your designated table in the opulent dining carriage for brunch.

Photo courtesy: Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises

The Pullman’s large window panes you will view the impeccable English countryside. The view is very soothing with the green open spaces set on the backdrop of undulating hills. The fields are separated by different shades of green grass and the dots scattered amid them are livestock of either cows of sheep. Amid the hills, the winding estuary of rivers, weave their way through the beautiful countryside.

At the formal, fully laid table you are treated to the best polished silverware for brunch placed on a brilliant white linen tablecloth. The tableware includes a bread/salad plate with a soup bowl an array of different sized plates and beautiful crystal glassware.

Then just as you sit back to soak up the luxurious décor of the carriage, the sound of popping champagne corks echo throughout the carriage as if to herald the wonderful journey on the British Pullman.

Photo courtesy: Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises

The steward provides tea or coffee while he presents passengers with a menu that serves quintessentially British food. He offers his recommendations and will offer descriptions of dishes at your request. There is even a special wine steward to assist you with the wine and champagne choices available.

After lunch, relax to the gentle swaying of the train with the clinking of glassware and china that keeps a soothing background lullaby to soothe your soul. This is when the Train Manager visits, asking if all is well. He will personally ask every passenger not just once, but a couple of times during the journey.

This is but a sample of the luxurious journey’s available on the Orient Express, where you will be treated like royalty on board and be provided a decadent experience and a magical journey across the British countryside and into Europe.

 

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