“All that is exquisite ripens slowly.” In a time like ours, dominated by the frenzy of activity and an increasingly fast pace of life, we should treasure this quote by German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer inviting us to rediscover the importance of slowness. An invitation that also applies to the way how, more and more often, we plan our holidays that besides giving us a well-deserved relaxation could also be the chance to know and learn more about the culture, customs and traditions of the places we visit. In short, the opposite of the “hit and run” tourism so trendy today, usually done reaching the resorts we want to visit by plane rather than by train, a means that allows us to admire wonderful landscapes and views. The International hotel and travel group Belmond seems to share these considerations, promoting a series of new cultural experiences in Europe and UK including 2 new itineraries by train. The first one (One-night trips) offers the possibility to visit some of the most beautiful European cities such as Amsterdam, Brussels, Geneva, Rome and Florence on board the legendary Art Deco train Venice Simplon Orient Express. Inside, the train is the vision of 1920s glamour.
The meticulously restored cabins feature polished cherrywood walls, flashy Art Deco detailing and plush furnishings, creating a truly luxurious home-away-from-home. The train has also recently debuted three new Grand Suites which are located in its oldest carriage, dating back to 1926. In-suite amenities include free-flowing champagne, a 24-hour cabin steward and private dining. To make the experience even richer, Belmond also gives its passengers the chance to extend their journey choosing to sleep in charming Belmond properties like Villa San Michele in Fiesole whose façade is said to be by Michelangelo or at the Casole Castle, a resort immersed in the green Tuscan countryside. The second itinerary proposed by Belmond is instead a culinary one and will develop on board the British Pullman, a train departing from Victoria Station in London to reach various destinations in the United Kingdom. Every trip will see the involvement of a renowned chef who will combine a delicious menu with moments of meeting with the passengers during which he will explain his approach to cuisine and other curiosities on food making. The British Pullman itineraries will be offered from July to October. Further details on the trips and the chefs involved are available on the Belmond website:
Above: A Venice Simplon Orient Express’ cabin