Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

These commuters just got surprised with the best journey to work ever


Unless you’re very lucky, your commute to work probably feels like a voyage through the seventh circle of hell. And in the UK, that’s especially true if you have no other option than to get the train. They say that it’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey – but when the journey is subject to delays, cancellations and overcrowding on a near-daily basis, it’s tempting to sack off the destination entirely and go and live in a cave in the mountains.

So how do you feel about the fact that one group of commuters have just been surprised with a trip to work that was – shock, horror – actually enjoyable?

People waiting at Ashford International in Kent were expecting to see their usual train to London Victoria roll into the station at 7.24am this morning (if it wasn’t late, that is).


Two commuters take a selfie in front of their surprise ride to work this morning.

But instead, they were treated to a trip on the Belmond British Pullman – a gorgeous, old-school vintage train straight out of a period drama.

Read more: The (chatty) girl on the train: why I talk to strangers on public transport

The average commuter train comes complete with chewing gum-stained seats and grim strip lighting, but the antique Pullman – a sister train to the legendary Orient Express – is a place where you can imagine Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary feeling right at home.

Inside, it looks like a cosy, luxurious living room-cum-restaurant: think gilded wood-panelled walls, soft lighting, plush armchairs, tables laid with white linens and silver, and sharp-suited waiters.


The inside of one of the Belmond Pullman carriages.

As the train swept towards London Victoria the passengers were treated to five-star service and a three-course Bellini breakfast, as well as retro music from 1940s-style group the Spitfire Sisters.

Read more: Emma Watson hides feminist books on the tube for commuters to find

And quite frankly, their Instagrams from the journey are making us seethe with envy.

Breakfast on the go☺️ #discoverbelmond #britishpullman

A photo posted by Michelle Clark (@chellzo18) on

No, we mean it. SEETHING.


Bit of a different commute this morning 🚂☕️😍 #discoverbelmond #takeyourtime

A photo posted by ✨Elle Hodson ✨ (@ellehodson) on


Happy commuter 🚂❤️️ #discoverbelmond #teambelmond

A photo posted by ✨Elle Hodson ✨ (@ellehodson) on

“We felt commuters have had a rough ride recently, so we wanted to sprinkle some Christmas magic on the rails and do something that reminded people just how wonderful train travel can be when you have the luxury of time,” said Gary Franklin, the managing director of Trains & Cruises Belmond.

In case you didn’t get the very subtle reference Gary was making there, trains from Ashford International to Victoria are often run by Southern Rail. Southern trains have been consistently delayed or cancelled in recent months as staff strike over safety concerns – meaning that the passengers who got to board the Belmond Pullman today have probably had their fair share of rubbish journeys.

Here’s hoping we’ll see the Pullman at our own station soon...


mrs claus hillary clinton.jpg

M&S’s Christmas advert could be a subtle tribute to Hillary Clinton

you and your dog.jpg

A Great British Bake Off-inspired dog show is coming to the BBC

tokyo corp.png

Rail company urges women to stop applying make-up on trains



Messy people everywhere, scientists have very good news for you

Show this article to the next person who dares to complain about your messy desk

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Apr 2017

Science says this is how to get over a break up

Because how many Celine Dion power ballads can we really perfect?

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

Cheese addicts, science says that brie could help you live longer

We can’t brie-lieve it…

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Apr 2017

Netflix's GLOW celebrates the might of women in all forms

The new show might be the best thing to hit Netflix this year

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

Calling all Harry Potter superfans: we've found your dream job

Fancy running the new Harry Potter exhibition?

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

The innovative beer advert trying to bring people together

It has already clocked up millions of views on YouTube

by Amy Swales
28 Apr 2017

Viral photo series captures what it truly means to be black and Muslim

The photo series captures “the most resilient people in the world"

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

First Dates’ Raymond taught us an important lesson about loneliness

‘Just to hear somebody else breathing… that’s all I want’

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Apr 2017

These cheesy, cheesy recipes will give you life

Get a load of this fromagerie

by Jasmine Andersson
27 Apr 2017

This Commuter Barbie video is the most relatable thing we’ve ever seen

“Commuter Barbie has a seat at the table – and on the train!”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
27 Apr 2017