Have you ever wondered how it feels to be treated like royalty? Well come with me and I will show you a place where you will treated exactly that.
When Sabina presented me with the Afternoon Tea on board the Northern Belle Luxury Train ( A Pullman train that uses the Orient Express route), I think I cried a little. I’m not really much of a crier so you can imagine this was huge.
I probably have been after a trip on the Orient Express for as long as I remember I learnt of it, going back more than a decade. But it seemed impossible, this was a trip for the incredibly stupidly rich with prices currently running at £3000 plus per person for one night onboard. (Absolutely crazy right?!) But what I always say is ‘One can dream. Right?’
And my dreams one by one are coming true. Here she was with my wallet and tickets for 2 to go onboard a luxury Pullman train for Afternoon Tea. We were booked in Northern Belle Luxury train for nothing other than what I love most in the world. Afternoon Tea.
Afternoon Tea on board the Northern Belle.
The Northern Belle is a Pullman Train (same as what Orient Express use) which is used for day trips, like Afternoon Tea or luxury dinners.
This heads off from a few locations, You can find it here. We headed off from Coventry station.
Its a 5 and a half hour luxury train ride with Afternoon tea and entertainment throughout.
I didn’t know that Day trips were available onboard the Pullman trains, I think it may be something that has been introduced in the last couple years.
The magic starts when the train pulls up- I mean its no ordinary train is it?
We were taken in by a lovely gentleman called Michael who even before entering was giving us attention, asking about our day, did we travel far? how glamorous we looked. This wasn’t reserved just for us, this was for each and every person boarding the train. We were already smiling and gushing before we got on.
Their was no sense of rush and they even allowed everyone a opportunity to catch a photo or two whilst boarding. The ease at which they worked made it a nice calming start.
Photos do absolutely no justice to the interior, the glamour, the style, the sophistication transported us from 2022 back to the 1920’s where I am hoping ladies did indeed wear jumpsuits on luxury trains as that was how I was dressed.
The beautiful padded armchairs on a train, with cushions added on for extra comfort allowed us to sink into our seat for the journey ahead.
We sat down and just took in all the detailing whilst everyone was taking up their seats. It felt surreal that we were actually on a train.
The tables were already beautifully set up ready for our Afternoon Tea on board the northern belle. Rich fabric’s, beautiful table lamps, quality linen, silverware splashed out, delicate dishes, It was absolutely overwhelming.
As soon as the ride started we were introduced to our staff, and were told they were ‘on call’ for our every whim and demands. I mean like I did say we were treated like royalty didn’t I?
First up drinks- its actually a champagne afternoon tea- but we had already requested no alcohol in our food and drinks. They were well attuned to that and offered us soft drinks instead.
And then we got Tea! The options were only Tea or coffee- which I’m not too fussed about because I love me English tea more than anything else, but I think this may be the only thing I had to pick on. I like being asked what tea I’d like, even if I choose English tea afterwards. (do I sound spoilt?). I just think that if you are going for Afternoon Tea- ‘Tea’ being the chose of consumption- their should be more than one right?
But English tea was spot on!
Next up we got a warm cheese and onion pasty. It smelt divine and tasted just perfection. I’m not joking when I say I devoured this, and it was so filling too. It made the perfect start to the afternoon tea.
We were then topped up with more afternoon tea and then came the plate fulls of sandwiches. My eyes were instantly drawn to the bombay potato and spinich sandwich, and it was devoured.
We also had a cream cheese sandwich with celery, and egg and tomato sandwich, and three cheese sandwich. After that pastry I only had 2 sandwiches and I enjoyed them both.
The sandwiches are left on the stand whilst tea is topped up- so there’s no real rush on getting through them. Whilst sandwiches were going round we got a little live entertainment onboard. The musicians were friendly and talkative and attentive throughout. It was really nice experience. They went from one bank to the other- so we get a little private entertainment, but we can also view and hear it as they move down the carriage entertaining the other guests.
Desserts were next up where we got a raspberry souffle, lemon curd bite, macrons ans a chocolate cake slice. I love my tangy desserts and the raspberry souffle and lemon tart were just spot on.
More Tea followed.
Obviously with all that round of teas- a trip to the loos is a must, and a cute little resting room is available on both sides of our carriage. Feels a bit surreal going to a loo on a train with the movement, but hey all that tea has gotta go somewhere. right?
Whilst desserts were being devoured we then had a magician come round with live magic tricks. Once again so friendly and hospitable, and also cue the jokes. It was a good round, and once again we had our own little special trick but we could see him doing the same as he went further down the carriages.
Cream First. Always!
And then we got our Scones, Jam and Clotted cream- because that’s what afternoon tea are all about. And remember folks cream first always!
The end of our trip was made perfect with some strawberries and cream and further entertainment. By this point we were so full and the sun was climbing in, and I was ready for a nap- and with the comfy seating, I think I did get 40 winks in somewhere.
Strawberry and Cream
It doesnt end there- a final traditionally british dessert. Strawberries and Cream.
Overall a absolute bliss day of being treated like the Majesty herself in a royal train full of luxuries. An experience I will not be forgetting very soon. Also I cannot believe that I got this ticked off before I retired.
A trip on the Pullman Northern Belle train with afternoon tea costs £500 for two people. The adventure starts when you receive the leather wallet with your tickets in the post. It a magical experience and I would recommend it in a heartbeat.
Yes. I agree its on the higher end of the market, but its one of life’s little pleasures and it a ticked off.
NOTE: Halal food is not an option.
Hope you enjoyed the journey with us.
To more journeys
Love and regards