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The Afternoon Tea team recently took a trip on the iconic Belmond British Pullman to try out their wonderful Afternoon Tea offering.
The Belmond British Pullman has been lovingly restored to bring glamour back to travel, offering passengers a wealth of destinations and dining experiences to enjoy. We were booked in for the special Ruinart Rose Afternoon Tea, an opportunity to try the British tradition during an afternoon round-trip to the Kent coast.
Upon stepping onto the platform, there was no doubt that we were in the right place. In view sat the iconic Belmond British Pullman transporting us back to the Golden Era of the 1920s. Outside the ticket office, a trio of singers entertained the passengers with vintage inspired songs, and tea and coffee was on offer to the more punctual of guests.
It felt like we were going on a special journey; passengers had embraced the smart dress code, and there was an air of anticipation as we were handed our tickets.
We were welcomed onto the Phoenix carriage and directed to our cosy table for two. We were introduced to the carriage crew who would be looking after us, and as we sunk into our armchairs we admired the art deco wood panelling and royal blue upholstery.
We were told this particular carriage was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mother, dating back to the 1920's, and we were encouraged to take a stroll to see the other carriages each with its own story. As we pondered the menu, we didn't fail to notice the chilled bottle of Ruinart Rose champagne on our table, elegant glassware to match and bespoke china
After enjoying a glass of Champagne, we were served our first course of assorted sandwiches and savouries. Instead of the traditional three-tiered stand, the Afternoon Tea is served as courses throughout the afternoon, in between which you could enjoy your Champagne and take in the views.
We sampled a mixture of traditional Afternoon Tea favourites and classic British flavours including the roasted sirloin of beef sandwich, seasonal sausage roll and English cheese puffs.
The tea was also poured as we felt the gentle rocking of the carriage, however this didn't phase the staff on delivering first class service. There was a friendly ambience throughout the train, enough space from the guests next to you to share the occasional comment about the experience that we were sharing, and there were also closed compartments for bigger groups.
Steadily approaching the coast, we enjoyed our baked fruit scones with clotted cream and strawberry days jam, both commenting that it was possibly the best jam we'd ever tasted! We then anticipated the assorted seasonal cakes to compliment the Ruinart Rose Champagne.
We were not disappointed as shortly after we were each served four elegant masterpieces of all shades pink. We both agreed that the Strawberry Battenberg was our favourite, with the ruby chocolate Eton mess tart a close second. They were the stars of the show.
We were soon on our way back towards London, as the railway takes you back west along the north Kent coast. After regular tea top ups, we had our last sweet treat of the afternoon with a lemon and olive cake.
To make the most of the trip, you could also order drinks from the bar menu which included some specially selected fine wines. As we neared our destination, we didn't want the experience to end, and left us wanting more.
The novelty of touring the British countryside in such comfort was a luxury. As we stepped onto the platform at Victoria station, we felt like we had been away for a long time and had to adjust back to 21st century life. It was only fitting to pair the quintessentially English tradition on one of Britain's finest trains, making it an experience to remember.
You can book your spot on a special Festive journey of the Belmond British Pullman now and receive a complimentary bottle of Champagne and £50 on board credit per couple to embrace the generous spirit of the season. See here for full details.
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