So much more than just a train, Belmond’s Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is a legend on rails; originally purchased by James Sherwood at a Monte Carlo auction in 1977 and then lovingly restored until the unveiling in 1982. From the moment of embarkation, welcomed by a steward in blue and gold livery, wearing white gloves, one is teleported back to an era of decadence. Polished cherry wood, plush upholstery, starched uniforms, and unbeatable service all combine to create the bucket list portal for those wanting to explore Europe’s highlights in the most opulent style.
The sleeping cabins come in singles, twins, doubles or inter-connecting suites, each with day and night configurations and a wash basin. WCs are located at either end of each sleeping carriage and the three Grand Suites enjoy their own marble en-suite and private butler. Three dining carriages play host to culinary sophistication, offering tastes and infusions that span the globe. Seasonal sensations are made from the freshest ingredients sourced by the skilled team along the way, such as lobsters from Brittany or salt marsh lamb from Mont St Michel.
There are many different journeys one can take on the VSOE, including the classic route from London to Venice, or through French farmlands and Swiss Alpine valleys or further afield to Istanbul via Budapest and Bucharest. The latest route travels between Paris and Berlin, taking in two of Europe’s most vibrant, cultural cities.