An Insider’s Look Back to an Iconic Railbooker’s Holiday There are some train journeys that carry a certain reputation before them, but arguably none have the reputation for glamour, style, and sophistication of the Orient Express to Venice. Anticipation was certainly in the air as Gareth and I arrived at London Victoria, suited and booted, ready to begin the trip. We were immediately amused to see a Dutch couple waiting to check-in clad in denim – we were sure a quiet word would ensue and we were not disappointed. The passengers performed a quick change, almost worthy of a West End musical. After waving goodbye to our luggage we began to board the British Pullman, where we were met by the liveried stewards and assisted on board. After taking our places in a carriage named “Ibis” (all are individually named) we began to admire the period detail of the train. The regal carpets, woven brass luggage racks, and mahogany glass-panelled doors to silken lampshades and velour tapestry armchairs all take you back to the so-called golden age of travel. Soon our steward arrived with the welcome offer of a champagne apéritif, which we were delighted to accept. Soon we had left London behind us and we were heading through the Kentish countryside to Folkestone. En route, we were served lunch which started with a cold soup which was strawberry combined with champagne. This was soon followed by a hearty main meal accompanied by a glass or two of wine and in no time at all, we had reached Folkestone. Due to its age, the Orient Express does not pass through the Channel Tunnel. Instead, you take a luxury coach through the tunnel with Eurotunnel and are dropped off at the station in Calais, where the gleaming blue and gold carriages … ContinuedRead full article
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