There’s no better way to step back in time and enjoy some traditional luxury than by spending a day onboard the Belmond British Pullman! This is fast becoming one of our favourite short breaks, when we head down to London for a two night break and full day on this historic train.
Timing as they say is everything – so travelling down to London on the hottest day of the year with record-breaking temperatures was certainly an experience. Instead of having some free time in a nearby town, we headed straight to the hotel and its air-conditioning to get settled in and relax ahead of our trip on Belmond British Pullman the following day – thankfully with much cooler temperatures!
On day 2, it was an early start to get to London Victoria Station with our hired-in coach (yes, Nigel and I joined the group onboard the train too!). Today our train was diesel-hauled and we were welcomed onboard our carriage, Minerva, with a glass of Bellini to enjoy. Each carriage has its own name and history, and Minerva was built in 1927 by the Midland Railway Carriage and Wagon Co. Ltd, and took part in the Festival of Britain in 1951.
From the start, the experience is a relaxing and luxurious one, with attentive stewards on hand to make our time onboard the train truly special – nothing is too much trouble. Journeying through the Surrey and Wiltshire countryside, we enjoyed a delicious three-course brunch on our way to the Historic city of Bath – we were even treated to a little serenade from one of the stewards who had played Gavroche in Les Mis in the West End as a child!
Arriving at Bath we disembarked the train for a few hours free time to explore, with representatives from Belmond British Pullman on hand to help guests navigate the station and locate landmarks. We enjoyed a wander through the city centre and seeing sights including the Roman Baths, Royal Crescent and Pulteney Bridge (with another Les Mis link – the filming location of Javert’s suicide scene in the 2012 film starring Russell Crowe & Hugh Jackman).
All too soon, it was time to head back to the station and rejoin Belmond British Pullman for our return journey, with a welcome glass of champagne, delicious four course seasonal dinner and half-bottle of wine per person as we travelled back to London Victoria, to round off a perfectly luxurious day.
We even met Olympic Medallist Tom Daley as he walked through our carriage, enjoying his own day out onboard Belmond British Pullman, and he was kind enough to pose for photos with some of our group!
After a good night’s sleep, we ended our break with a couple of hours free time in Windsor, where we were lucky enough to catch the Changing of the Guard and some of us enjoyed a quick visit to Windsor Castle before heading homeward.
This trip really is the most wonderful and luxurious way to treat yourself – we can’t wait until next time!