Travel Bureau - Blog: All aboard the Orient Express

All aboard the Orient Express

Friday 19 October 2018

Travel Bureau’s personal travel expert, Danielle – a self-confessed train travel geek – had the treat of a lifetime earlier this year, when she climbed on board the Venice Simplon-Orient Express service from Venice to London.

The Venice-Simplon Orient Express

Since its very first service on 4 October 1883 the Orient Express has stood as a shining example of the finest in luxury rail travel. The historic service was given a new lease of life when Belmond founder, James B Sherwood, purchased two vintage train carriages at an auction in Monte Carlo in 1977. After five years spent hunting down more antiquated rail treasures and finding the expert craftsmen to restore them to their former sophisticated glory, the iconic midnight-blue cars of the Orient Express hit the rails once more.

The recognisable blue carriages of the Orient Express

Over its long history the Orient Express has played host to such famous guests as Tolstoy, Lawrence of Arabia, Dame Judi Dench and now, Danielle Waters! Danielle boarded the iconic train in Venice at 11:05 am, welcomed on the platform by a white-gloved steward in blue and gold livery.

Danielle gets ready to board the Orient Express

Once on board, Danielle was instantly transported to the golden age of travel; the storied carriages holding whole worlds of imagination, their opulent yet elegant décor recalling the easy glamour of bygone days.

The Orient Express Bar Car

The train’s accommodations are housed in the original 20s and 30s sleeping cars, which are full of classic Art Deco accents. Each cabin has been flawlessly designed using beautiful polished wood, sumptuous furnishings and stunning antique fixtures. What’s more, the Orient Express now has three utterly gorgeous Grand Suites on board which, comprising a set double bed and spacious en-suite, even come with free-flowing Champagne!

A Grand Suite on board the Orient Express

If you’re not in a suite, your cabin is discreetly transformed from a day-time lounge to a cosy bedroom with upper and lower births while you dine.

Dinner on board the Orient Express

Perhaps Danielle’s favourite part of her experience on board the Orient Express was, in fact, dining; an event which is not just about exceptional food but also attitude and ambience. But, of course, the food is exceptional. Ingredients and inspiration come from the destinations that the train travels through and every dish is artfully designed by culinary master, Executive Chef Christian Bodiguel, who has dedicated his 30-year career to honing his craft on board the Orient Express.

One of the dishes on board the Orient Express

Danielle was blown away by the 3-course lunch, the first of many spectacular meals enjoyed on board, while travelling through the scenic landscapes of Italy and France. Changing into evening dress for dinner is a huge part of the experience, a small act of self-transformation that allows you to truly embrace the sense of occasion. And let’s be honest, anyone would feel out of place wearing jeans and a t-shirt in the magnificent dining carriages of the Orient Express. 

Dressed for dinner on board the Orient Express

After dinner, step through to the glittering, Art Deco bar car and embrace old-school sophistication as you sip on a glass of Champagne while the resident pianist plays on the carriage’s baby grand piano.

A waiter pours Champagne on board the Orient Express

Of course, as well as transporting the rich and powerful through Europe, the Orient Express has also played a part in the continent's literary history including crucial roles in Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the eponymous Murder on the Orient Express. Fancy a cocktail? Ask the barman to mix you a Guilty 12. This unique drink is an homage to Agatha Christie’s famous murder mystery, with each of the twelve top secret ingredients representing one of the novel’s culprits.

Bed time on board the Orient Express

Full and happy after a day of the finest kind of indulgence, you can retire to your cabin for a restful night’s sleep on crisp damask sheets. And if you think that your indulgence quota is full, think again! The next morning, after a light breakfast served in your cabin, an exquisite, mouth-watering brunch consisting of smoked salmon followed by lobster is served in the dining car.

Brunch of smoked salmon & scrambled eggs on the Orient Express

Watch the world go by from your cabin as you steam towards Calais where you will finally have to say goodbye to the Orient Express. From here, luxury coaches will transport you through the Eurotunnel, from where you will board the British Pullman and enjoy a delectable afternoon tea en-route to London Victoria.

It might be hard to tear yourself away from the heady romance and nostalgic glamour of luxury rail travel, but at least you know you’ll be able to face the challenge well fed!

To find out more about journeys on board the Venice Simplon-Orient Express speak to Danielle or another of our personal travel experts on 0191 285 9321. Alternatively, you can email holidays@travelb.co.uk or visit us at 69 High Street, Gosforth. Find out more about Danielle’s stay in Venice or luxury on the rails in Canada on board the Rocky Mountaineer.

Sign up to our instore events and holiday inspiration mailing list!   

Foreign currency now from Travel Bureau

Planning a holiday, honeymoon or trip abroad? Speak to our team about currency today.

Find out more

Latest Event

Thursday, May 2, 2019 - 08:00
Travel Bureau and our partners Silversea Cruises and Carrier Holidays are delighted to invite you to our ladies golf day at Close House on...

Latest News

In 2020, Regent Seven Seas’ newest ship, Seven Seas Splendor™ will make her highly anticipated debut. On board, the opulent Regent Suite claims the accolade of being the most exclusive address at sea. This indulgent private...
With continued uncertainty over Brexit, the Foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for all European and EEA countries with information and advice for British Nationals travelling to or living in...
Explore the world with Travel Bureau, where personal service is all part of the price. Here at Travel Bureau we believe that the best advice comes from people with first-hand expereince who really know the destination. Our...
COMO Hotels have 12 award-winning properties around the world in enchanting destinations all the way from North America and the Caribbean to Indonesia, Thailand and the Indian Ocean. All about experience, Como’s ethos...
It’s the season of giving and we’re feeling generous! If you’ve liked and shared our post on Facebook you’re in for a chance of winning our fantastic prize from Close House… An overnight stay for two people in a Courtyard...

Travel Tweets

Discover why New South Wales is on its way to becoming #Australia's number one #luxury #destination...… https://t.co/xkUBoBVI98 1 day 20 min ago
Save £150 per couple on this luxurious spring escape to beautiful #Madeira. 7 nights in a 5* hotel with private tr… https://t.co/apAKxcaH6P 3 days 25 min ago
RT @NatGeoTravel: There's nothing quite like drifting off to sleep in the canopy of a forest https://t.co/PcIt7nmAP0 3 days 4 hours ago
RT @CNTraveler: Looking for travel inspo? These are the 20 most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage sites https://t.co/33ytTwsDv3 https://t.co/ 3 days 5 hours ago
RT @AnneAbbot: Whether you love music, history, food, parades or the beach, one of the world's most marvelous celebrations will suit your t… 3 days 9 hours ago
RT @ExploreCanada: Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the premier whale watching locations in the world. #ExploreNL #ExploreCanada https:/… 3 days 9 hours ago
RT @tourntravelnews: Beach resorts and vegan food in Hua Hin, Thailand https://t.co/veRVcUm7uY via @luxury__travel #travel #luxurytravel ht… 3 days 9 hours ago
RT @LisaLutoffPerlo: Last night in NY, @CelebrityCruise announced 2 unique & unexpected partnerships. We are proud to join renowned @ABTBa 3 days 9 hours ago
Save £787 per couple on this luxury #Malaysia beach escape... 7 nights B&B at a stunning 5* resort from just £1,07… https://t.co/zoVZnANmde 5 days 46 sec ago
RT @CNTraveler: These are officially the 50 most beautiful places in Europe https://t.co/c1ARM2FAB5 https://t.co/CJO8t9ZZGV 5 days 3 hours ago