The British Pullman, Belmond’s English luxury rail line boasts a well-deserved reputation for culinary excellence.
Aptly describing itself as an “evening on rails”, this train features Michelin-starred chefs, fine vintage wines and elegantly plated seasonal dishes. à la carte menus with an emphasis on regional flavours, freshly prepared from hand-selected ingredients in the British Isles.
Although the precise details may vary depending on the duration, destination or theme of a trip, there are several gastronomic must-haves that British Pullman passengers can expect to enjoy it on just about any route they choose.
These include a healthy cocktail, a multi-course brunch, multiple rounds of tea and coffee, Petit fours, a glass of chilled champagne, half a bottle of fine wine and a three to five course gourmet dinner or lunch.
Upon boarding, British Pullman passengers are ushered to their seats – luxurious wingback chairs around an elegant table adorned with bespoke silverware – and presented with a peach bellini.
As the British Pullman signature drink, this simple and nostalgic blend of fresh Prosecco and delicate Italian peach puree marks the beginning of an unparalleled epicurean journey.
Morning tea and coffee
As the train departs Victoria Station, breaking away from the vibrant cacophony of London, passengers are offered a wide selection of gourmet teas and freshly brewed coffees.
Served in fine china and served by liveried attendants, the British Pullman the tea and coffee offerings are a kaleidoscope of distinct flavors, including full-bodied java roasts, subtle chamomile blossoms, zesty citrus blends, and richly spiced flavors. chai masala with hints of vanilla.
Three course brunch
As the concrete sprawl of London gives way to the rustic splendor of the English countryside, passengers are treated to a sumptuous brunch consisting of three distinct and decadent courses, accompanied by a wide selection of freshly squeezed juices.
The first course, served quickly as guests near the end of their tea and coffee, is light and refreshing. Past trips on the British Pullman offered wild berry and granola parfait, fresh fruit salad with Greek yogurt, lobster medallions with avocado tartar and fruit infused buttermilk scones.
The second dish is more substantial and usually includes the main brunch item. In the past, this has included rosettes of smoked salmon with caviar and Hollandaise sauce, winter truffle omelettes and buttermilk pancakes topped with strawberries with sour cream.
The third course is traditionally sweet and gourmet. Previous selections have included passion fruit cracker puffs; lemon and olive cake with vanilla whipped cream, dark chocolate, cherry meringue, French macrons and bramble tart.
Shortly after the last brunch dish was cleared, British Pullman trips usually arrive at their destination. It may be one of many stops on this line’s vast, ever-rotating itinerary of journeys to quixotic villages, opulent mansions, historic marinas and elegant college towns.
After their afternoon outing, passengers are taken back on board for a glass of chilled champagne, usually a vintage Widow Clicquot or one Laurent Perrier– to savor as the train begins its return to London.
Any return journey to London on a British Pullman The day trip includes a sumptuous three to five course dinner, depending on the outing. Everyone is a seasonal Brit host table, curated and prepared by a Michelin starred chef.
On board of British Pullman, the timing of each course is carefully matched to the pace of the journey, with dessert often served to coincide with a breathtaking sunset.
Dinner aperitifs spent on the British Pullman presented a chilled strawberry and champagne soup; truffled cauliflower purée; duck terrine and Granny Smith apple; leaf salad mixed with saffron; ballotine of chicken with tanned tomato; and Roasted Asparagus with Apples and Walnuts sour cream.
Starters have included Welsh fillet of lamb over candied potatoes and spring peas; wild Cornish bass; roast rump of lamb on a wild mushroom ragout, pan-fried rib steak, dauphine potatoes and oxtail jus; and Kent guinea fowl on Niçoise salad.
The desserts consisted of a white chocolate, lemon and blueberry Charlotte with Lemon Custard; an Eton strawberry cheesecake a black forest cake with cognac cream and berry coulis; raspberry rhubarb and custard; a caramel, banana and pecan pudding; and a pineapple and English rum cake drizzled with a spicy caramel sauce.
In addition to the offer of appetizers, entrees and desserts, four and five course dinners on board the British Pullman will also include hors d’oeuvres, a chef’s selection amuse bouche, a plate of British cheeses with fresh jams and homemade chutney, or a combination of the three.
The British Pullman offers an extensive range of carefully selected vintage wines, all hand selected by an onboard sommelier and carefully paired with each menu. On all routes, a passenger is entitled to half a bottle of wine of their choice, usually served with dinner.
Evening tea and coffee
Naturally, a final round of tea and coffee is served after dinner on the British Pullman, accompanied by a cuteness, or a sweet after-dinner, to be savored with the approaching views of London’s dazzling nighttime skyline.
These after-dinner sweets tend to be bite-sized but richly decadent, like chocolate-dipped fresh fruit, hand-rolled truffles, or assorted Petit fours.
As the train draws closer and closer to the hustle and bustle of Victoria Station, these final indulgences form the sweetest of literal and figurative notes to wrap up this gloriously extravagant sightseeing and culinary adventure.