Last month I was lucky enough to get tickets for a journey aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and I have to say, it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had, from start to finish.
My adventure started with a night in Venice where I spent the afternoon getting wonderfully lost in the winding alleyways and finding beautiful streets, bridges and sights at every turn.
The next morning, I was greeted at my hotel by a Venice Simplon-Orient-Express representative who escorted me to the train station. As I arrived on the platform and saw the iconic train waiting for me with impeccably-dressed staff welcoming me aboard, I felt like I was on a movie set!
Once I had boarded, I was shown to my cabin, where I enjoyed a glass of champagne as I marvelled at my surroundings – it was hard to believe that I was aboard a train! My room was not only beautiful, with a plush patterned sofa and dark wooden furniture, it had also been meticulously designed to make the most of the space with a cleverly hidden wash-basin and a seat that could be swiftly converted into a bed in the evening.
My room was a single cabin which can be made up with a single bed, a twin with upper and lower berths or even with interconnecting cabins. I also managed to take a peek at the most luxurious accommodation available on board, the Grand Suite. It was stunningly decorated with polished wooden wall panelling in-laid with beautiful gold art-deco patterns, and featured a sitting area, dining table, double bed and even a marble en-suite bathroom – the epitome of elegance! As a Grand Suite guest, you can also enjoy free-flowing champagne and private in cabin dining – perfect for a special occasion.
As the day went on, the glitz continued. At lunch I dined at the Etoile du Nord restaurant which was beautifully decorated with deep green velvet armchairs and crisp white tablecloths. After three delicious courses of fine French food freshly prepared on board, I slipped back to my cabin where I enjoyed a leisurely afternoon taking in scenes of the snow-capped mountains we passed by.
As the night drew in, I changed into my finery for an evening of glamour. First, I went to the ‘3674’ bar car for a pre-dinner glass of champagne before heading to the Cote D’Azur restaurant car for a delicious four-course meal. To finish off a beautiful evening I went back to the 3674 car for a nightcap, where I sipped on delicious espresso martinis, listened to someone playing the baby grand piano and soaked up the magical atmosphere.
When I returned to my cabin it had been transformed into a cosy bedroom complete with a comfy bed, bathrobe and slippers. After a deliciously comfortable night’s sleep I enjoyed a morning coffee and continental breakfast as I took in the views from the cabin before a steward stopped by to stow away the bed and return the plush sofa.
As if the in-cabin breakfast I’d had was not enough, I then went for a special culinary treat at the L’Oriental restaurant car, where I feasted on a tempting selection of fresh bread, smoked salmon, eggs and lobster – a sumptuous start to the day.
The whole experience was such a luxury and the butlers really couldn’t do enough to make every guest’s trip special. Whether you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion or want to tick a trip on this iconic train off of your bucket list, I couldn’t recommend this experience enough.
If you’re tempted to immerse yourself in the romance of the railways yourself, call one of our Travel Specialists to tailor-make your luxury train holiday today.