Recently we were invited aboard the Belmond British Pullman to sample a delicious Afternoon Tea with Fortnum & Mason.
After a friendly welcome we were delighted to witness the ten dazzling and elegant carriages of the Belmond British Pullman, sister train to the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Once we had settled in our seats, the journey began; we were whisked away to a more sophisticated age of travel where supreme comfort, silver service and fine dining were the order of the day.
We enjoyed Fortnum’s much celebrated Afternoon Tea and we were treated to decadently layered finger sandwiches, cakes, scones, jam and cream, delicious cakes and feather light pastries. All presented whilst travelling through stunning British countryside, topped off with a glass of Fortnum’s English sparkling wine, Camel Valley.
Our carriage was named ‘Ione’ and was built in 1928 as a first class kitchen car. Ione was originally intended for the Queen of Scots Pullman but by 1929 was running instead on the Great Western Railway, on both the Ocean Liner service to Plymouth and on the Torbay Pullman. We were interested to hear that from 1931 she was part of the Bournemouth Belle and was included in the Southampton boat train meeting transatlantic liners.
Each carriage has a colourful story, and it is these tales of travelling royalty, visiting Heads of State and dedicated crafts people which makes it all so special. One of our favourite carriage stories was about ‘Cygnus’. It was designed in 1938 as a First Class parlour car her most dignified moment came in 1965 when it was selected along with Perseus to join Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral train. The whole train is steeped in history!
If you’re keen to experience a unique, authentic and exceptional journey- we’d highly recommend a trip with Belmond!