Inside the Belmond British Pullman, the opulent train that takes you on a journey back in time

Inside the Belmond British Pullman, the opulent train that takes you on a journey back in time

Inside the Belmond British Pullman, the opulent train that takes you on a journey back in time

Money is tight, but long for a little luxury? Why a trip back in time on the opulent Belmond British Pullman train is just the ticket for a feel-good day

  • Ben Douglas boards the Belmond train for a festive tour from London Victoria to Kent
  • He says the train, sister train to the Venice Simplon Orient Express, is ‘dripping with glamor and luxury’
  • The carriages, which date from the 1920s, “wouldn’t look out of place on an Agatha Christie film set”

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So money is tight, you don’t want to go away too far or for too long, but you long for some luxury.

Now is the time to think about day kitchens – and a trip back in time on a luxurious train.

For the ultimate feel-good trip, the Belmond British Pullman – sister train to the Venice Simplon Orient Express – is just the ticket.

Inside the Belmond British Pullman, the opulent train that takes you on a journey back in time

Ben Douglas takes a day trip on the Belmond British Pullman (pictured along the Kent coast), the sister train to the Venice Simplon Orient Express

The wagons are from the 1920s and

The carriages are from the 1920s and “wouldn’t look out of place on an Agatha Christie film set”

Dripping with luxury and glamour, harkening back to the heyday of rail power, there are various festive itineraries that take you through glorious stretches of countryside.

High on the list of favorites – and selling out fast – are day trips to the Oxford Christmas market and to see a performance by the Canterbury Singers in a candlelit crypt at the city’s famous cathedral.

We booked a 3½ hour tour with afternoon tea. At Victoria Station we are greeted by terrified stewards and invited to drinks in the Belmond lounge, where the harmony singing trio The Spitfire Sisters set the mood.

It’s a glamorous start, before we board carriages that date back to the 1920s and wouldn’t look out of place on an Agatha Christie film set.

“There are different festive itineraries that take you through glorious parts of the countryside,” says Ben. Above, the train is decorated with Christmas decorations

High on the list of Pullman itineraries - and selling out quickly - are day trips to the Oxford Christmas Market and to see a performance by the Canterbury Singers in a candlelit crypt at the city's famous cathedral

High on the list of Pullman itineraries – and selling out quickly – are day trips to the Oxford Christmas Market and to see a performance by the Canterbury Singers in a candlelit crypt at the city’s famous cathedral

Ben reveals that he tucks into sandwiches, delicious dishes and small cakes and scones, all washed down with champagne

Ben reveals that birthdays celebrated on his tour range from 21st to 101st.

Ben reveals that birthdays celebrated on his tour range from 21st to 101st.

The whistle blows at 12.30pm and Belmond begins to snake its way out of London and through Kent, via Redhill, Edenbridge and Ashford.

There is a happy atmosphere on board – birthdays celebrated range from 21st to 101st – as we eat sandwiches, delicious dishes and small cakes and scones, all washed down with champagne.

Before returning to Victoria, two guests confided: ‘It’s worth every penny to feel so special just for a few hours.’

  • The Luminary Afternoon Tea trip, £340pp (belmond.com).

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