What a trip this was. Seems like ages since I was back at the Casa du Borghese. We arrived in Londontown, just in time for London's Gay Pride festivities, but alas, since our train was heading out the next afternoon, we didn't have time to partake of the festivities, but the Lait Hotel for overnight was excellent, and before our departure we got to experience Sketches for tea. I was in love with the place, but the train awaited.
Taking the Orient Express was definitely one of the very best parts of this trip, perhaps of any trip I've taken. I heard a saying once...the greatest defeat in life is to miss a train. And this is one I'm glad we didn't miss. THIS is what train travel should be. Everywhere you looked were beautiful details. The train was gorgeous, the staff was extremely attentive and impeccable, all very knowledgeable about details and history of the train and décor, the food and cocktails were fantastic...
Oh, and the fashion opportunities!!!! This lady was fabulous!!!!!!
This woman was our neighbor in the next suite. She was ever swank and was from France. We were going to the bar here.
Warbucks at dinner one night.
The train is made up of sleeping cabins and suite cars, and restaurant cars, mostly from the 1920's and 30's. Almost every detail in the cars is the way it was. And the guests have to take part, too. Be prepared to dress. No blue jeans, sweatpants, exercise wear or tees shirts.... no cell phones or talking on them (except for photos), no bottles - glasses only, thank you very much. It's lovely!And, of course, the train is quite famous for being the backdrop of Agatha Christie's mystery, Murder on the Orient Express. Luckily I'm happy to report there were no murders. We boarded in London at Victoria Station, and were shown to our cabin suite. It was a lovely and cozy room. Warbucks treated me right. I was relieve to see there was actually a full size bed, thank goodness, room for you know, huh, room to play!!!
A lovely little cabinet door opens to reveal a wash basin. Each cabin has one, but the WC is down the hall.
The bar car was, by far, the best part of the train! I know, your all clutching your pearls in shock. So rich and decadent.
Our bar tender was from Lake Como, Walter, so we were already sent with an introduction. We spent most of the days at the bar, which was a real treat. Walter has a passion for historical cocktails and some very special gin cock-a-tails. Each drink had a story and was made in the same way as it was originally. Even the ice has to be picked up along the way, as the kitchen situation is the same on the train now as it was almost a century ago .At one of the longer stops, I had a special drink made for me. The Pousse-café. It was special because, being a layered drink, it can only be made with success when the train is stopped. Woo, so sweet, though! But the various sweetness of the liqueurs are what makes them dense enough to stay separate from the next layer. There is also a baby grand on board! It comes off at the end of each season. Quite a feat, as they have to take the legs off I was told.
As the dinner hour approached, the bar car became packed! Absolute sardines! Of course, excess space is nowhere to be found on board. When passing in the corridors, it's a very "cozy" affair. I could have sworn, a steward from another car adjusted my junk for me in passing one time. Also each of the dinning cars have a different feel and style.
yes...the dance floor!Being the first night of the journey, the energy on board was fantastic. You could tell everyone was excited to be there. It was like a big party! On the second night, there was a huge party that went right on till 5:30am!!!!!! Another afternoon a group called the Gyspy Queens performed and did they ever having me swooning. Other times it was nice to just sit and relax and take in the passing views.
We had to wake up punctually, as the train was arriving late morning the last day, and we wanted to be able to experience breakfast before disembarking off the train. Your steward brings continental breakfast to your cabin on a tray. Our steward Dennis was extremely friendly with us...and was always there for any need we had, The cars concierge, Patric, was also very good with services too, and granted all our needs. They were both handsome.
After dressing on our last day, we went to the bar car for some tea, while Dennis made our room back up, and arranged our luggage for arrival in Vienna.
Hello, Vienna! Bye, train. At the end of the trip, the whole train staff was present at disembarkment. I almost took Dennis with me, I believe he enjoyed Warbucks and myself. But tis life. Well, until next time train! It really was unforgettabe.
Next up.....some sights in Vienna. And yes...I did make it up to Warbucks for those wondering. I'm still sitting on a donut.