I’ve had some ‘pinch me’ moments since I’ve started blogging, but being invited aboard the Belmond British Pullman with one of my closest friends, Angie, thanks to Red Letter Days is a real highlight, and a huge tick off the bucket list! For two gals who love luxury travel, climbing on board the Belmond British Pullman was about as exciting as it gets without using your passport! But let’s start at the beginning…
We arrived at Victoria station ahead of time (as always) and made our way to the dedicated Belmond British Pullman lounge for a cup of coffee before we hopped on board. A short walk to Platform 15 and we were able to watch our luxurious transport arrive – and I have to say we both let out a little squeal as it pulled in!
The Belmond British Pullman is the sister train of the Venice Simplon Orient-Express (a journey I’m reserving for a mother-daughter trip one day!) and is the way to experience luxury train travel in the UK. Giving the gift of an experience is my favourite gift to give and to receive; there’s nothing like the memories you make with close friends to make an amazing birthday present or a treat for mum at Christmas or Mother’s Day. Red Letter Days help you do just that with their incredible selection of experiences, including trips on board the Belmond British Pullman – the ultimate gift for a luxury lover.
For our brunch, Angie and I were on board Perseus, a beautiful carriage that was actually used in Winston Churchill’s funeral; the Belmond British Pullman really is steeped in British history. The carriages are all from the 1920’s and 1930’s, but have all been carefully restored since. You can book tables for two, for four or even little private rooms!
As you step on board, it’s almost like stepping back in time, to what rail travel should be – not the commuter carnage it sometimes is! Each carriage has its own personality, its own identity and so each carriage has its own experience. As we settled into our extremely comfortable armchairs we felt the train pull out of the station and start its journey to Kent.
With beautiful white and blue china, crystal glasses and Tiptree jams already on your table, you’re in for an amazing time – and that’s before your bellini or any brunch!
As if on cue, our waiter brought us drinks topped up with prosecco, which made the perfect drink to say cheers to such a special occasion.
You can choose from so many experiences on board Belmond British Pullman that there’s something for whatever occasion you want to celebrate. From afternoon tea, to lunch, dinner and even an Agatha Christie inspired Murder Mystery Lunch (as a Hercule Poirot addict this is firmly on my to do list) you can visit the Belmond British Pullman again and again and have a different experience each time!
Credit: Angie Silver
As we ventured out to Kent, an area I know well as Andy grew up there, Angie and I caught up, chatted about our upcoming staycation and potential trip (eek!) and generally couldn’t believe we were ticking something so exciting ff our bucket list. It’s not a memory either of us will be forgetting any time soon.
Tea and coffee arrive shortly after, served by waiters and waitresses with steadier hands than I could have imagined, and served with biscuits to nibble on before the main meal arrives. As someone who has traveled to Kent regularly, I couldn’t help but wish I traveled this way all the time! Belmond is a luxury hotel brand that I want to get to know more, as their Belmond aux Quat’Saisons is top of my UK staycation list, and I loved getting to know their service, attention to detail and love of luxury on this trip. There’s not one thing you can ask for that won’t be served with a smile here.
Before long the pastries arrive – from pain au chocolat, to croissants, apple tarts and raspberry delights, it’s all the pastry love – which if you’ve read any of my Paris posts, you’ll know is pretty much my idea of heaven!
A clean, fresh fruit salad follows the pastries, and is beautifully plated on the blue and white china which I had completely fallen for…
For a few moments we couldn’t help but admire the beautiful English countryside around us… I’ve said it before, but allowing yourself to experience England is such a treat, and one we often don’t allow ourselves enough.
When celebrating bucket list events, there’s only one thing for it: Laurent-Perrier! A champagne which Angie and I both love – and in fact a champagne that allowed us to take our first trip together – it seemed only fitting to toast our brunch with a glass, served in the most beautiful crystal flute.
As we approached Tonbridge it was time for the main brunch course – smoked salmon, a perfect crumpet, scrambled eggs and caviar. With each element of the dish plated in front of you, it’s a feast for the eyes as well as for your stomach.
Credit: Angie Silver
First the crumpet…
Then the smoked salmon…
And finally, the creamiest scrambled eggs you can imagine, all topped off caviar for that extra luxurious touch.
If you have any room after, there is the most delicate and light lemon cake served with a light icing and cream. Promise me you’ll save room for at least a mouthful?
A more special brunch you’re not going to find, and better memories, well, hard to imagine. Discovering Belmond this way has made me fall in love with them even more and I can’t wait to come back to the Belmond British Pullman for another experience. Something tells me mum would love this!
As we pulled back into Victoria station, we were still on cloud nine and so happy we had ticked something that was high on our bucket lists together. ‘Cause those are the best memories: memories made with friends.
Book your memories on board Belmond British Pullman with Red Letter Days here.
We were guests of Belmond British Pullman and Red Letter Days.