At the end of August my parents went on a very special day trip and my Mum has written down the experience to share with us all. The epitome of luxury, a journey on the Orient Express is a thing of daydreams and wishful wonder in my mind – it is now a happy memory for my parents. (Their trip has made me a little more determined to one day save up and do the Trans-Siberian railway journey. It has always been on my dream holiday list…)
A Day to Remember
What a way to celebrate a 60th birthday and a Ruby Wedding Anniversary!
From being greeted at 5.30 am at the entrance to Crewe station until bid farewell at 11.45pm we were treated to a journey of sheer luxury in the Glamis carriage of The Northern Belle. We were a little concerned before we went that everything would be too posh and that we would feel uncomfortable, but we were quickly put at ease by the stewards who were polite, friendly and helpful and for whom nothing was too much trouble. Time became irrelevant as we relaxed & enjoyed the well-timed & seemingly effortless delivery of much needed early morning tea/coffee, followed by Granola (to put us on until brunch), Bellinis – yes, cocktails at seven thirty in the morning – a three course Brunch, an (extra) light lunch & more tea/coffee. A Northern Belle Steward Teddy joined us after I had visited the onboard Boutique and sat by me looking out of the window!
All too soon we were in Edinburgh – where did the last six hours go?
On arrival we were escorted to waiting coaches which transported us, albeit slowly as they had to contend with Edinburgh Festival/Fringe Festival traffic and congestion, to Leith harbour where we enjoyed two hours exploring The Royal Yacht Britannia. She was surprisingly small but very homely in a grand sort of way!
You could easily see why the Royals enjoyed going aboard and having some real privacy. The staterooms were impressive but not overly ornate. Another shop to visit & lo and behold, another Teddy joined us, this time a Royal Yacht Britannia Bear!
The coaches returned us to Edinburgh centre and we had an hour or so to wander round and view some of the street entertainment. The place was certainly teeming with people enjoying both the atmosphere and the many stalls dotted around the parks and streets.
At five o’clock we boarded the train again (using the red carpet laid out at each doorway) and returned to our seats, eagerly anticipating the homeward journey.
Champagne & canapés awaited us as the train left the station, leisurely followed by a superb four course evening meal washed down by a plentiful supply of wine. We enjoyed chatting with our table companions, comparing notes on our time in Edinburgh and taking lots of photographs to remind us of our amazing day. As The Northern Belle pulled into Crewe station just before midnight we all agreed it had been a very special day out.
Yes, it was a long day but thoroughly enjoyable & truly memorable. Our thanks go to all the staff, (especially the Chefs for producing such excellent meals in such cramped galleys), who contributed to this fantastic excursion.
It was a wonderful adventure made all the better by knowing we did it using Tesco vouchers!!
(NOTE: This is not a sponsored post – Mum just happens to have a teddy bear addiction and shops at Tesco!)