Orient-Express has unveiled its new brochure ‘Journeys in Great Britain’ for the 2012-2013 season, showcasing its luxurious UK Day Trains, the Northern Belle and British Pullman and their schedule of enchanting excursions. The new brochure features a collection of elegant journeys to historic cities and castles, gourmet dining experiences, relaxing weekend trips and exhilarating sporting events.
The calendar of journeys, including over 30 special steam hauled departures, provides an ideal way of exploring the best of Great Britain in true style and comfort. The new brochure displays the trips according to different themes; Best of British, Seasonal Events, Fine Dining, Special Occasions, The Dinner, Signature Journeys, and Christmas.
Highlights of the New Season:
Best of British
The history and heritage behind the British Pullman and Northern Belle trains is reflected in the schedule of excursions to many of the treasured historic castles and stately homes that illustrate the story of Britain’s vivid past. The collection of journeys, that includes firm favourites such as Hampton Court Palace, Leeds Castle and Chatsworth House, will also see the arrival of several new itineraries for the new season.
Travelling the length and breadth of Great Britain, the Northern Belle will be introducing seven new journeys to its programme. Guests will be able to travel in style to some of the country’s most impressive landmarks, Blair Castle and Garden in Scotland, where the famous Mortlake Tapestries are housed; the medieval town and spectacular grounds of Conwy & National Trust Bodnant Gardens; and one of England’s most spectacular Victorian castles Highclere Castle, the setting for ITV’s Downton Abbey and home of the 5th Earl of Carnavon who is most famous for excavating the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun. For wine aficionados, or for those who would like to know more about the art of wine tasting, a trip to London for Wine Tasting at Vinopolis offers a guided tour and private tasting will educate guests to “sniff, swirl and slurp” a selection of fantastic wines.
Also new to the itinerary will be excursions to Powis Castle and the Welsh Borders where the spectacular hanging terraces of the castle’s garden will delight as much as the collection of Indian treasures on display in the Clive Museum; the Glasgow Explorer journey will highlight the best of this cultural hub of a city, with world-class art, fantastic shopping and stunning architecture on show. Dramatic architecture can also be found at Inveraray Castle where the impressive rooms including the Armoury Hall and State Dining Room are housed inside a magnificent building reminiscent of a French Château.
The British Pullman will be introducing two new journeys to its programme of trips round the south of England. After traversing the scenic Swanage railway line, guests will be free to explore the majestic ruins of Corfe Castle and learn of how royalty, war and nature have shaped the castle. The British Pullman will also be visiting the delightful coastal resort of Swanage. Once a sleepy fishing village, Swanage flourished in the Victorian era and remains a popular destination with miles of picturesque scenery to enjoy.
With a year round itinerary, the Northern Belle and British Pullman are an ideal way to visit some of Britain’s best and most famous sporting, horticultural and racing events. Added to the schedule of legendary races already attended by Orient-Express’ day trains, will be the Cheltenham Races on the British Pullman, whilst the Northern Belle will be having a flutter at the Chester Races.
Other iconic sporting events including Wimbledon Centre Court and the Masters Tennis Tournament will see a welcome return from the Northern Belle, adding an air of glamour and luxury to the proceedings.
The Northern Belle is primed to take guests in true style to some of the jewels in the horticultural calendar’s crown, including RHS Hampton Court and Harrogate Autumn Flower Show. Green fingered or not, these offer wonderful days out to see the best of the horticultural world and provide ideas for those itching to get their hands dirty in their own gardens.
Dining aboard the Northern Belle and British Pullman is a celebration of great food and fine wines. Alongside the selection of delightful afternoon tea and brunch experiences, guests can enjoy a range of exceptional themed dining adventures including the introduction of the new Brighton Belle Experience on the British Pullman. The beautifully restored vintage carriages, including original Brighton Belle cars Audrey, Vera and Gwen, take in part of the original iconic Brighton Belle rail line whilst guests sit back and enjoy the scenery and a delicious lunch.
A trip on the Orient-Express’ day trains is an exciting experience anytime of year, but travelling onboard these luxurious trains to celebrate a special occasion makes for a truly wonderful day. New to the calendar of celebratory dates the Northern Belle will be holding an exclusive St David’s Day Celebration Dinner on a journey round the Welsh countryside. The liveried stewards will be welcoming guests onboard the luxurious carriages, which will be adorned with decorations of daffodils and leeks, for a delightful Welsh themed evening to celebrate the patron saint.
The Dinner onboard the British Pullman is one of London’s most exclusive and luxurious dining experiences. Guests will begin their evening with a glass of Champagne before indulging in a sumptuous seasonal tasting menu, accompanied by the sommelier’s choice of fine wines. This year sees the return of “The Dinner” in association with Laurent-Perrier, created with the expertise of Orient-Express’ Executive Chef and Head Sommelier of Laurent-Perrier, a champagne inspired tasting menu will be served alongside a careful selection of complementing Laurent-Perrier Champagnes. Another welcome return to the British Pullman schedule is the 1920’s Dinner, a night of vintage glamour and romance with a themed dinner. Guests are invited to don their best vintage dress and revel in the atmosphere of the 1920’s.
The Golden Age of Travel on the British Pullman and The Spirit of Travel on the Northern Belle offer guests the quintessential Orient-Express experience. Whether it be a on lunch or dinner trip, guest will find themselves nestled amongst beautiful decor, glistening crystal and shining silverware and will enjoy a delicious meal served by liveried stewards, whilst watching the glorious British countryside roll past through marquetry framed windows.
Throughout December, Orient-Express’ stunning British Pullman and Northern Belle trains offer a full schedule of Christmas lunches, dinners and day trips to festive markets, historic cities and carol concerts. Each excursion on these iconic trains includes an exquisite brunch served with a Bellini on the outward journey to set the mood for a sumptuous day out. A delicious four-course meal served with champagne and wines will finish off a memorable day on the return journey.
The vintage carriages of the British Pullman, meticulously restored to their former glory, instantly transport anyone aboard back to the glamorous age of the 1920’s and 1930’s. Departing from London Victoria, guests will find themselves surrounded by art deco marquetry, original brass fittings and crisp white linen, with liveried stewards serving fine cuisine, wine and Champagne.
Modelled on the iconic ‘Belle’ trains of the 1930’s, the Northern Belle is a testament to British engineering and design. Evoking the golden age of travel throughout the carriages with its intricate floor mosaics, gleaming brassware and the ornate marquetry which lines the walls, the Northern Belle has welcomed a new addition to the line up of carriages, each named for a British stately home or castle. ‘Duart’ is the seventh carriage recently added to the fleet and features a floral theme throughout, with a subtle Scottish twist to reflect the location of its namesake Duart Castle.