The UK will be locked again this week – but in some cases it still makes sense to plan when the restrictions will lift. A British luxury train, in particular, certainly requires early booking.
This month, the Belmond British Pullman was named the best luxury train journey in the world by Condé Nast Traveler’s 2020 Readers Choice Awards.
The train consists of 11 wagons, each with its own name and history, which have been restored to their Art Deco splendor. They embody the 1920s and 1930s Glamor reminiscent of the “golden age” of train travel.
Originally, most of the cars were part of different trains across the UK.
The oldest carriage, called “Ibis”, however, was first made on the journey from Milan to Venice for the Simplon Orient Express at the end of the 1920s. It was operated by the Deauville Express and was intended to attract wealthy Parisians to the Deauville Casino, the affluent French seaside resort that is still on the “Parisian Riviera”.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, commonly known as Kate Middleton, welcomes children aboard the British Pullman train from Belmond.
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In the meantime, the “Phoenix” car was once used as a static restaurant in Lyon, France. Before that, it was the carriage of choice for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
The “Vera” carriage was used by Prince Charles and Princess Anne for their first ride on an electric train in the 1950s.
The Belmond British Pullman train is the sister of the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. One of the carriages of the original transcontinental service was once trapped in a snowdrift outside Istanbul for 10 days, an incident that inspired Agatha Christie’s classic novel, Murder on the Orient Express.
The Belmond British Pullman has its own trip for lunch. In fact, two of his cars – “Perseus” and “Cygnus” – appeared in the 1979 film “Agatha” with Dustin Hoffman.
On the way to London, drivers aboard the British Belmond British Pullman toast at Ashford International station in Kent.
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The crime lunch is a popular trip, as is the trip to Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England, better known as the title set for the popular TV show “Downton Abbey”.
Belmond released bookings for the trip to Highclere earlier this year, which sold out a year in advance. The next available trip is September 29, 2021.
Other trips include train rides to the cities of Canterbury and Bath, known for their well-preserved historic architecture.
The train usually departs from London Victoria Station.
Unsurprisingly, it is expensive to travel like royalty for the day. Tickets start at around £ 250 ($ 323) and go up to over £ 500 ($ 646). However, it is an option to upgrade a whereabouts and provides an alternative to traveling by plane.
Prince Harry prepares to board the Belmond British Pullman train in London, England.
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To keep things safe, Belmond vice president of trains and cruises Gary Franklin said the service had reduced capacity and introduced social distancing on trolleys.
“Each car has its own steward who ensures intimate service and enables us to continue delivering a truly exceptional experience to our guests,” he said.