Money is tight, but you long for a little luxury? Why traveling back in time on the luxurious Belmond British Pullman train is just the thing for a feel-good day
- Ben Douglas boards the Belmond train for a celebratory round trip from London Victoria to Oxford
- He says the train, sister train to the Venice Simplon Orient Express, “oozes with glamor and luxury.”
- Dating to the 1920s, the carriages “wouldn’t look out of place on an Agatha Christie film set”
So money is tight, you don’t want to go too far or too long, but you long for a bit of luxury.
Now it’s time to think about Daycation – and about traveling back in time on a luxurious train.
For the ultimate feel-good journey, the Belmond British Pullman – sister train to the Venice Simplon Orient Express – is just the ticket.
Ben Douglas takes a day trip on the Belmond British Pullman (pictured along the Kent coast), sister train to the Venice Simplon Orient Express
The carriages are from the 1920s and “wouldn’t look out of place on an Agatha Christie film set”
Full of luxury and glamour, it harks back to the heyday of the railroad and there are various festive itineraries that take you through glorious countryside.
High on the list of favorites – and selling out fast – are day trips to Oxford’s Christmas market and a performance by the Canterbury Singers in a candlelit crypt of the city’s famous cathedral.
We booked a 3½ hour round trip with afternoon tea. At Victoria Station, we’re greeted by liveried stewards and invited to a drink in the Belmond Lounge, where the harmony singing trio The Spitfire Sisters will set the mood.
It’s a glamorous start before we climb into 1920s-era carriages that wouldn’t look out of place on an Agatha Christie film set.
“There are various festive itineraries that take you through beautiful landscapes,” says Ben. At the top, the train is decorated with Christmas decorations
Top of the list of Pullman favorites in terms of itineraries – and selling out fast – are day trips to Oxford’s Christmas market and a performance by the Canterbury Singers in a candlelit crypt of the city’s famous cathedral
Ben reveals that he eats sandwiches, delicious appetizers and cupcakes and scones, all washed down with champagne
Ben reveals that his trip celebrates birthdays from the 21st to the 101st
The whistle blows at 12.30pm and the Belmond begins to meander her way out of London and through Kent via Redhill, Edenbridge and Ashford.
There’s a happy atmosphere on board – birthdays are celebrated from the 21st to the 101st – as we indulge in sandwiches, delicious bites and cupcakes and scones, all washed down with champagne.
Before arriving back in Victoria, two guests confided in us: “It’s worth every penny to feel so special for just a few hours.”
- The Luminary Afternoon Tea Trip, £340pp (belmond.com).