All aboard for a touch of sophistication

ONE of the world’s most luxurious trains will be setting out from Coventry and Birmingham in August – but passengers had better look smart if they want to catch it.

For jeans and trainers are frowned upon aboard the ornately-decorated, 1930s-style Pullman carriages of the Northern Belle. – Especially as one of them, named Duart after the ancient home of the Maclean clan in Scotland, used to form part of the Queen’s Royal Train.

Northern Belle, steam train, afternoon tea

Businessmen David Pitts, who bought the train three years ago from the iconic Venice-Simplon Orient Express group, laughed: “This is a very special train. We transport passengers back to the golden days of rail travel. So we do like them to dress up for the occasion.”

Liveried stewards will welcome passengers on board over a red carpet on Saturday August 15th.

Northern Belle, steam train, afternoon tea

Then they will be served a Classic Afternoon Tea of sandwiches, cakes, pastries and scones during the five-hour journey through the countryside.

Mr Pitts said: “We like to think there is something quintessentially British about afternoon tea. And what better way of enjoying it than travelling in style on a train from a bygone era?”

Strolling musicians will entertain passengers during the trip and a table conjuror will add a touch of magic to the day.

The train will leave Birmingham at 11am and pick up passengers at Coventry at 11.30 on August 15th.

It is scheduled to arrive back in Birmingham at 4pm and Coventry at 4.30pm. The fare is £210. For further details of this and other planned excursions, COVID-pending, see or phone 01270 899681.

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