If one train journey inspires people more than any other, it’s undoubtedly the Orient Express. Since painstaking restoration took place the route has returned to the top of many wish lists, with a beautiful and ornate train taking people through some of Europe’s finest countryside, and linking the continent’s most iconic cities. Harking back to the golden age of steam and the glory days of luxury travel, this is an adventure for those who value the finest things in life from fantastic food and drinks to decor dripping in opulence, with the London to Venice Return route among the most popular on offer.
Climb aboard the elegant British Pullman at London Victoria station, where the steward will show you to your seat. From here, simply sit back and relax as you roll through majestic Kentish scenery before enjoying a brunch, served with a Bellini.
Once across the English Channel it’s time to board the Venice Simplon-Orient Express train, with its lavish carriages and sumptuous interiors. After departure, sit down to gorge on an international standard four course dinner as prepared by expert French chefs before either retiring to find your cabin transformed into a beautiful bedroom, or mingle with other travellers in the Bar Car, where the finest quality drinks will be served to your specification.
Waking up to find yourself meandering through the Swiss Alps, breakfast will be brought to your cabin at a time to suit you. Next, spend the morning relaxing and taking in the stunning scenery before enjoying a three course lunch in one of the jaw-dropping restaurant cars.
Passing through Italy’s Dolomite mountains, late afternoon tea will then be served back in your cabin, before crossing the iconic lagoon and arriving at Venice’s Santa Lucia station, the beginning of your two-night stay in the City of Canals.
With some of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, Venice is your oyster. Marvel at St. Mark’s Square, take in the majesty of the Basilica di Santa Maria, or simply wander the canal-side streets before jumping aboard a water taxi to really get to know this world famous town.
After experiencing Venice itself, it’s now time to relive the experience of travelling on board arguably the planet’s most prestigious train. Boarding at Santa Lucia Station, the steward will show you to your cabin. Once settled in, a three course lunch will be served in one of the lavish restaurant cars, at which point you will be free to sit back and watch the passing scenery as your route takes you through Italy’s stunning Dolomites.
Later, afternoon tea will be served in your cabin, before you enjoy more free time, either in privacy or mingling with other travellers in the Bar Car. As the sun goes down a mouth watering four course meal will be served, as devised by international standard French chefs, leaving you free to enjoy evening drinks or simply head back to the cabin, which has now been converted into an elegant bedroom.
Breakfast will be served in your cabin at a time to suit you, making for the most relaxing morning spent in transit imaginable. Pulling into Paris Gare d l Est station you will have the opportunity to stretch your legs on the platform, before returning to the train to enjoy a delectable brunch as the train draws ever closer to the English Channel.
Before making the crossing, you will change onto the historic British Pullman for the last leg of the journey, returning you to London Victoria Station before evening, once you have enjoyed a traditional afternoon tea served with a glass of champagne; the icing on the cake of a journey fit for royalty.