I can not tell you, how happy I am to finally be able go out and discover more of my new home-country again! It feels like the last lockdown lasted forever, so when May 17th 2021 finally arrived, Frenchie and I decided, that we wanted to do something really special together!
We felt so lucky and excited about our first date-night out for a very long time! If you are looking for romance, this is the answer! Last week, the National Railway Museum’s Flying Scotsman took its first main trip with passengers since 2019 as part of The Steam Dreams Rail Co’s series of summer trains from London Victoria station – and can you believe it… We were invited! Joy, oh joy!
We went to London Victoria Station Platform 2, where we waited in a line with other lovely dressed (and very excited passengers)!
– And then The Flying Scotsman arrived! Let me tell you, it was not easy having a photo taken, as everyone wanted to see the beauty. We were told to get on board as quickly as possible, as we had plenty of time to take more photos, when we came back, so off we went!
Bonus-info: A3 60103 Flying Scotsman was built in 1923 for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) at Doncaster Works. The locomotive set two world records for steam traction, becoming the first steam locomotive to be officially authenticated at reaching 100 miles per hour (160.9 km/h) on 30 November 1934, and then setting a record for the longest non-stop run by a steam locomotive when it ran 422 miles (679 km) on 8 August 1989 while in Australia
Flying Scotsman also holds the very impressive record as the oldest working main line locomotive currently running on Britain’s tracks. The loco has retained the double chimney and smoke deflectors it carried, when The National Railway Museum acquired it in 2004. The museum decided to present it in its final BR working appearance as far as was reasonable practical. From 2006 Flying Scotsman underwent an extensive restoration in the workshop of Riley & Son Ltd. When the process came to an end, all eyes were again trained on the world’s most famous locomotive! Now owned by the nation, Flying Scotsman is back in peak condition, as it returns to the main line, continuing to fly the flag for British engineering and innovation! One can only get goosebumps, when seeing this beauty passing by!
On this trip passengers were able to enjoy either a lunchtime or evening journey across the scenic Surrey Hills. We went on the evening tour.
There are three classes of travel to choose from: Pullman Style Dining in beautiful vintage carriages with wood panelled walls, table lamps and curtains, whilst enjoying a 3-course meal to Premium Standard where passengers are welcome to bring their own picnics whilst seated in 1960s open carriages with large picture windows.
We were invited to try the Pullmann Style Dining – and it was an absolutely amazing experience. We felt like we had just stepped into an old movie!
Steam locomotive selfie….
As you can see there is plenty to choose from in the drinks card. We started with a gin and tonic, and had a lovely bottle of rosé wine with our meal
Bonus-info: Flying Scotsman has its own specialist onboard kitchen where the chef prepares fresh meals, and the friendly staff will tend to your needs at your table, so you can sit and relax and enjoy good company, lovely food and a stunning view!
Lovely assorted canapés with our gin and tonic…
Roasted beetroot and goat cheese salad served with rocket, caramelised walnuts and a sweet balsamic dressing. This was my favourite. Very delicious and freshly served!
Frenchie’s favourite was a tender piece of British prime lamb rump with mint glaze, root vegetable mashed potato and seasonal spring vegetables
The Steam Dreams makes sure, that you have an exact idea, of where you are going! This is a map of the countryside / Surrey Hills tour and inside my little book, The Steam Dreams has provided historic and cultural insights of the areas facing the direction of travel throughout the journey
A glimpse of the beautiful Surrey Hills…
Dessert! A cheesecake, that made the angels sing! It was so good! (I still dream about it) Imagine eating this, whilst sitting in a beautiful vintage carriage watching the world go by – in the world’s most famous train! Life is good! (We also enjoyed cheese with biscuits and coffee and truffles… so we were more than full, when the journey was over)
Back in London Victoria, Frenchie took a photo of me, when all the other passengers had left – just so you can see exactly how beautiful our carriage was!
There was plenty of time to have a good look at the beautiful locomotive back in London. We also had a lovely chat with the train-driver. Not many people are skilled enough to drive a locomotive of this caliber! What a cool lady!
Bonus-info: David Buck, owner of Steam Dreams Rail CO is very excited about “bringing the magic of steam train travel back to those who have missed it so much over the last year!”. He says: “We have a fabulous season ahead of us with lots of varied itineraries including more Flying Scotsman trips and the long- awaited return of the very popular Windsor Steam Express and Sunset Steam Express trains, which will be running out of London Victoria every Tuesday from the 1st of June – 14th September” (I would so love to go to Windsor in style!)
This is a must-try experience for young and old! I can not tell how many people envied us for going on this trip – and you can go too! Read more about Steam Dreams Rail CO summer programme here
We were invited on the “Surrey Hills evening tour from London Victoria with Flying Scotsman” by Steam Dreams Rail CO. All opinions are as always my own