London to Venice aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
There is something about the glamour and history of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express that lends itself to the imagination like no other train journey – from James Bond in ‘From Russia With Love’ to Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, films and novels have attempted to capture the romance and mystery of the world’s most enigmatic train. So what is it that entices film directors and authors? Is it the timeless elegance of the lovingly restored 1920s carriages, steeped in history and telling their own stories, or is it the sheer opulence of the luxury polished mahogany with its ornate marquetry? The Art Deco luggage racks, silk lampshades, bespoke porcelain, or the stylish pleasure of fine dining in vintage cabins dressed with white linen table clothes, fresh flowers and sparkling silver and crystal. Maybe Oscar Wilde captured it best when he said “I have the simplest tastes, I am always satisfied with the best”.
One of our very satisfied customer’s described travelling aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express as “a journey where you don’t really want to arrive.” that made me smile, as it puts it so perfectly. Another customer recommended “relish the experience and don’t think about getting from A to B.”
So where does this experience start? It starts as you board the gleaming British Pullman train in evocative Victoria station, bound for France on the first leg of your journey. Your adrenalin rises as you get a glimpse of the distinctive blue and gold carriages; excited, you step aboard and are welcomed by your personal steward; your Venice Simplon-Orient-Express journey has begun!
By day, your private vintage oak-panelled cabin has comfortable banquette seating from which to enjoy the ever-changing, magnificent views. As you dine, your steward transforms your cabin into a cosy bedroom with upper and lower berths having crisp damask sheets; the oak panels draw back to reveal a washbasin and bathrobes hang behind the door.
Once dressed for dinner (and ‘you can never be over dressed!’), the Bar Car provides the glamorous setting for pre-dinner drinks and cocktails. Relax to the sound of the baby-grand piano before you’re seated in one of the unique dining restaurants, ready to experience captivating dishes combining classic French cuisine with an innovative twist.
Next morning you wake to the glistening snow-capped Swiss Alps. After breakfast in your cabin, take a stroll to the Bar Car to chat to fascinating people from all walks of life, like-minded adventurers who share your joy of travel. Later, relax over lunch while passing through the Italian Dolomites and Brenner Pass, soaking up the experience of rail travel at its best – “a calmness you cannot replicate in any other form of travel.”
As the train crosses the shimmering Venetian Lagoon it’s nearly time to wave a poignant goodbye to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, but Venice offers a magic of its own: glittering palaces and artistic treasures, dreamlike vistas of canals and renaissance architectural gems. Returning via Montreux, the pretty Lakeside town on the shores of Lake Geneva, could not be more beautiful, as you watch the rolling hills flash past, travelling first-class back to London.
Whether it is a special treat, a lifetime ambition, a birthday, anniversary, marriage proposal or honeymoon, travelling aboard the iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express to Venice is a journey you’ll never forget, a journey that captivates the hearts of all who travel its legendary route.