If you’re one to relish the journey as much as the destination, train travel is the answer. Spend a luxurious day aboard the British Pullman, London’s luxury train.
Cathy and I love luxury trains. In fact we love all trains in general. If like me, you're one to relish the journey as much as the destination, train travel is the answer.
A great way to spend the day is on one of the many day trips offered by Belmond on the British Orient Express, better known in the UK as the British Pullman, or London’s luxury train.
Our most recent journey was from London, Victoria to the historic city of Worcester.
I typically book online at www.belmond.com or via e-mail as we find that easy and convenient. Tickets are mailed out to you in advance or can be collected at reception. The tickets themselves set the tone that this will be a classy experience in true Orient Express style—dress accordingly!
Check in is at the Belmond reception on platform 2 in London, Victoria.
Watch at the platform as the British Pullman luxury train to Worcester pulls in. As you board you will be welcomed onto this luxury train to Worcester with a sparkling Bellini. Your steward will help you settle into your plush assigned seat and is at hand to tend to your needs. Sit back and admire the gorgeous art deco detailing and patterns of the 1920’s styled carriage.
On this occasion, we had my nephew with us, and were pleased to be assigned the Coupe Private Compartment section of the carriage, named Cygnus.
This was one of seven Pullman carriages originally ordered by the London North Eastern Railway in 1938, with the building work being subcontracted to the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company. These carriages were originally reserved for use by Royalty and visiting Heads of State and made their last journey on the Golden Arrow in 1972. They were later featured in the 1979 film ‘Agatha’ starring Vanessa Redgrave and Dustin Hoffman, and have since been restored to their former glory.
The train also forms a crucial part of the Venice Simplon-Orient Express on the train’s British journey for those wishing to do both trips.
The outward journey to Worcester offers not only luxury surroundings but also a delicious silver service, fine dining brunch served at your elegantly-set table. This gastronomic experience of your journey commences as the first of your three-course brunch is served.
You will arrive into Worcester at about midday, here you will be met by guides for an insightful walking tour of Worcester’s Cathedral and its main attractions. You should also have a little time of your own to further explore Worcester at your leisure.
After exploring wonderful Worcester, you will then take the British Pullman back to London and if you glance at the station arrivals board while waiting for the train to arrive, you will notice the train is posted as the Orient Express. One can’t help but feel rather special!
As you arrive back to this luxury train, you will be welcomed back aboard with a sparkling champagne reception. The main culinary event is set to begin as the first of your fine dining four-course dinner is served, along with the British Pullman’s sommelier’s choice of wine.
Every trip on the British Pullman is a celebration of the best of British cuisine. Our dedicated crew had a combined 200 years of experience and many started their careers at the original Pullman Training School. Staff are always happy to share stories about the train’s glittering history, so be sure to strike up a conversation!
It seems people are in such a rush these days, but the Pullman advertises itself as an opportunity to slow down, relax and enjoy the finer things. After five hours being whisked through glorious countryside in the Pullman, I was inclined to agree. I felt totally detached from modern society, and enveloped in a bygone era of luxury travel, where it’s all about passenger comfort, and even a gentle snooze is not frowned upon.
Sadly it’s all over much too quickly …as soon as the world re-opens, it will definitely be time for me to book our next trip.
For Andrew, travel is so much more than just learning history or taking photos. Rather, the value of travel is witnessing a lifestyle, bonding with locals, and gaining rich cultural experiences. That’s why he founded the Luxury Wanderer; a place to share itineraries, offer advice, swap stories, and foster a like-minded community of curious travellers.