The Orient Express

The highlight of the Networkshop event was the conference dinner on Wednesday evening. This year they had arranged for delegates to dine on the Orient Express. 😎

A champagne reception, complete with a 1930s style jazz band, awaited us at Victoria station when we arrived. Both of the famous trains had been chartered for the event, the Northern Belle and the British Pullman.

The gleaming carriages of the British Pullman adorned in umber and cream livery wait as stewards, in their immaculate uniforms, welcome you on board the train.

Your steward will show you to your reserved seat in one of eleven carriages, each an original masterpiece from the 1920’s or 1930’s with their own name and unique personality.

The British Pullman can carry up to 252 passengers and consists of 11 parlour cars, of which 5 are kitchen cars, and a service car. The carriages seat between 20 and 26 passengers in each.

On board passengers are seated in either ‘coupé’s (small compartments seating up to four people) or in the open car mostly at tables for two. There is a limited number of single tables and of tables for three persons in the open car.

The cuisine on board the British Pullman is a delight. Meals are freshly prepared by our master chefs and accompanied by a selection of wines carefully chosen to complement the fine food served at your table, which is set with starched white cloths, shining silver and glittering glass. Your steward on the British Pullman train will serve your meals and any other drinks or refreshments you may require.

We were booked on the British Pullman departing for Llandudno at 8:34pm. Our seats were in the beautifully restored Zena carriage, as used by visiting royalty in the 1950s. 🙂

We were seated by Charles, our steward for the evening, who offered a welcoming glass of champagne and smoked salmon canapes. As the train pulled slowly out of Victoria on its way to Wales, I couldn’t help thinking it was like being in an Agatha Christie film. 😯

The four course dinner was fabulous and the service was truly exceptional, with every attention to detail you could possibly desire. I have never experienced anything like it before, it was a once in a lifetime experience. 😀

Edit: I’ve just found out that even with a substantial discount for block booking, it worked out at over £150 per person. 😯