The 'Northern Belle'                                 View the lunch and dinner menu page                                   Return to Home Page

  As a special birthday treat, my good lady wife booked us two seats on the Orient Express Company's Northern Belle Pullman from Perth to Edinburgh. You can follow the above link to their website.   The trip was scheduled for 2nd September 2006 and needless to say the day was looked forward too with a great deal of excitement! 
The video on the left shows the train arriving in Perth on the (rather wet) day in question.  EWS locomotive 67017 'Arrow' at its head and a very impressive site it made.  Although the train was eleven coaches long only six were for the passengers.  The rest were for the staff, together with kitchen cars and a shop.  The carriages, named after stately homes, were;  Glamis, Warwick, Belvoir, Alnwick, Harlech, and Chatsworth. We were travelling in the Alnwick coach, second from the rear of the train, and of which there are some pictures below. 
The train departed Perth at 11.25 and arrived in Inverness at 14.30.  We were then treated to a guided tour out to Culloden Moor where the battle took place.  The coach then took us to Cawdor Castle and did a tour of Inverness before dropping us of at the station for 18.20hrs.  The train left at 18.40 and dropped us off in Perth at 21.35. 
Suffice to say the day out didn't come cheap, but by the time we had returned home we were both well satisfied, with what had been an absolutely excellent day out.
The approaches to Inverness certainly weren't in keeping with the quality of our train!  Waiting, forlorn looking, amid the barren wastes was our train's sister engine EWS No. 67019 Inverness Motive Power Depot, or whatever fancy name they use for engine sheds these days, was also bereft of life, engines, and even any spare train sets, apart from the little diesel shunter No. 08 308
A timely reminder of the winter to come!  The snowplough also sits in splendid isolation.  Hmm!  I wonder who put that signpost in the way? EWS engine 67017 'Arrow' at the head of the train in Inverness.  I didn't get the opportunity for any further filming at the station.  We went off on a posh coach for a tour to Culloden battlefield, Cawdor Castle, and a whistle-stop tour of Inverness prior to rejoining the train for our journey home.
What can I say!  The red carpet treatment is evidence of the absolutely wonderful levels of customer care. Inside the coaches were reminders of the glory days for railways, each of the coaches had different types of wood inlays.  In our carriage "Alnwick is pomelle veneers with a lily motif of oak, box wood, yew tree, sycamore, satin wood, purple heat with pith walnut."  According to the description provided. 
The table set on our return to the train on boarding for the return journey.  Complete with the complementary bottles of wine and the plate of nibbles.  I'm sure there's a posh name for them but it doesn't immediately spring to mind!  Click this link to view the lunch & dinner menus. With the face of the steward blanked out to protect the innocent, Janie and I prepare to board the train for the return journey!  If accents are anything to go by the staff appear to have been Liverpudlians.  Wherever they came from, there was certainly no doubt they knew how to look after their customers

                   Return to Home Page                                                                           View the Brunch and Dinner Menus Page