Dress up for the Northern Belle

Luxury train to leave from Birmingham.

One of the world’s most luxurious trains will be setting out from 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 on the Isle of Mull, used to form part of the Queen’s Royal Train.

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 at Birmingham International Station on Saturday August 15th. 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 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 on August 15th pulled by a heritage locomotive and will then pick up passengers at Coventry at 11.30am. It is scheduled to arrive back in Birmingham at 4pm and Coventry at 4.30pm. The fare is £210; for further details see www.northernbelle.co.uk or phone 01270 899681.