When you talk about a bucket list adventure for me riding the Orient Express was right on top of that list.
I mean what other trip has been at the centre of a murder mystery best selling novel and several movies. The Orient Express is everything that you would hope it would be. Glamorous, romantic and a very special adventure. Come onboard as I take you inside the world's most famous luxury train ride, The Orient Express. I even found a mysterious man with a moustache to rival Poirot.
A-BROAD IN LONDON ABOARD THE ORIENT EXPRESS
My weekend onboard this luxury train started in Venice and went through a total of six different countries before finishing in London. Although have to say you wouldn't know that unless you were using international data roaming, which I was.
Representatives from the train picked us up at the hotel by boat and escorted us to the platform where everyone was dressed to the nines. There was a strict dress code. No jeans or shorts onboard and in the dining cars and bar car formal attire was required. The staff stood formally outside the train and greeted all the passengers.
ONBOARD THE ORIENT EXPRESS
The interior of this restored 1930's train was incredible. Inlaid wood, lalique crystal, polished nickel and brass hardware was the standard for every part of the train.
Chilled Taittinger Champagne was waiting for us in our room with monogramed champagne glasses. And just like that the whistle blew and we were on our way. Don't you just love the sound of a train whistle?
ROOMS ONBOARD THE ORIENT EXPRESS
The rooms were beautiful and romantic, a throwback to another era.
I think I got better video of the rooms than photos as they are indeed quite small and the photos don't do them justice but here is a typical room taken from an adjoining room onboard during the day and below they transform the room for sleep into luxury bunk beds with bathrobes and slippers.
There are no toilets in your room. As the rooms are small there is only a little sink in your room to brush your teeth or freshen your makeup. If you have any other "business" there is a shared toilet down the hall.
There are a few outstanding Grand Suites onboard that don't require nightime transformation. They defined the word luxury.
There are 3 dining cars onboard. L'Oriental, The Côte D'Azur and the Etoile Du Nord. Each with the same menu but a slightly different feel and decor.
The details were exquisite. Furnishings of plush rich velvets, lacquered inlaid woodwork and polished brass and nickel hardware. Lalique crystal panels lay etched between the windows. The dinnerware sophisticated and the crystal stemware truly added to the taste of your wine.
THE FOOD...OH THE FOOD
As you can imagine the food was plentiful and outstanding. Meals were included (alcohol was not) but there were some ala carte supplement options. You had a choice of two sittings 7:00 or 9:00. The cuisine is French and the chef walks amongst the dining cars ensuring everyone enjoyed their meal. Every table was set like they were expecting royalty. I ordered the sea bass at dinner and at brunch they served lobster, one of my absolute favourites.
What is a journey onboard a London bound luxury train without a formal high tea? You could have it either in your cabin or in the Bar Car.
COCKTAILS & MARTINI'S ~ SHAKEN NOT STIRRED
AND MY FAVOURITE THING ONBOARD... THE BAR CAR ~ 3674
I have to say this art deco bar car wowed me. We came in for a cocktail(s) before our 9:00 dinner and it was like you walked into the glamour of the 1930's. I was waiting to see Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall lounging by the piano. Most men were dressed in tuxedos, a look I LOVE and the women were elegant and glamorous. And what's a elegant bar without a piano player? More cocktails were consumed after dinner, we joined the piano player and lets face it, once we starting singing there was no getting rid of us.
As luck would have it my tuxedo jacket matched some of the staff, so they put me to work behind the bar.
We finished our journey on the Orient Express in Calais, France as the train does not go through the Chunnel. We boarded the Bellmont British Pullman train to the sounds of a live Dixie Land Band once though the Chunnel. Our final leg of the journey we dined on tea, scones and finger sandwiches as we pulled into Victoria Station, London.
Truly this was the most special weekend. As a added touch we watched Murder on The Orient Express whilst traveling onboard The Orient Express. No murder (that I know of) but as I mentioned at the top there was one man with his incredible moustache who was traveling alone who did remind me of Detective Hercule Poirot. Hmmm?
“The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”
― Agatha Christie
Thank you Bruce.