Experience the Belmond British Pullman
There's something romantic about rail travel: going back in time to a bygone era and relaxing on a journey through scenic countryside - which is why a day trip on board the British Pullman, A Belmond train is a must-do experience, and one that will live long in the memory. At Tripsmiths, we offer journeys on board the British Pullman to Georgian Bath, Henley and the 'Garden of England', Kent - and it was the latter that we travelled to on this sensational day trip.
As soon as you step aboard the Art-Deco carriages of the train, you are immediately transported back to the Golden Age of Travel. Each carriage is named and is unique in décor and history - having been restored to their former glory. It was just like the rail journeys of the 1920s and '30s.
It was stunning and there's a real attention to detail. From the gleaming veneer panels with their intricate designs, to the beautifully patterned upholstery of the armchairs and curtains, and classic Art-Deco lamps with mahogany and polished brass completing the look.
We travelled in Cygnus, originally constructed in 1938 but which recently underwent a complete refurbishment in collaboration with filmmaker - and train lover - Wes Anderson and returned to service in 2021.
The service throughout the journeys from and to London Victoria was exceptional - nothing was ever too much trouble and it felt like we were celebrities, travelling in first class! Glasses were always topped up - both with water and Champagne (or alcohol-free fizz) - and we were able to relax and watch as the Kent countryside unfolded before our eyes.
If you've ever stayed at a Belmond hotel (such as Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, in Oxfordshire), you'll know that the dining is exquisite. On board the British Pullman, everything from a three-course brunch and afternoon tea to four- and five-course lunch and dinner could be served - and you'll be in for a treat, whichever meals you feast upon. Everything is presented beautifully and tastes divine.
On our outward journey, we had the three-course brunch - beginning with a classic Bellini. The freshly baked pastries were sublime, with the choice of a pain au chocolat or banana swirl (so much tastier than its cinnamon counterpart), before we tucked into a brunch bowl of homemade granola, whipped yogurt, and berries (garnished with edible flowers), followed by the most incredible fillet of smoked salmon, accompanied by an English muffin, poached egg, hollandaise sauce, and caviar.
The return journey saw us travel to Dover, before making our way back to London Victoria, so that we could savour an incredible four-course dinner. The menu included a Cornish haddock rissole, Romney salt marsh lamb (with a mini shepherd's pie), a wonderful cheese course featuring a selection of three cheeses, onion chutney, fruit bread and crackers (and pickled orange, which was a fantastic accompaniment), before finishing with a rhubarb & vanilla roulade - perfect for summer. Chocolates from Pump Street of Suffolk completed an exquisite foodie experience, and we even had a boxed cupcake to take home.