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


Ryan Phillipe on how he tackles depression

“I’m thinking about how to focus and steady myself”

by Susan Devaney
17 Aug 2017

Are black girls being forced to grow up too fast?

A study has shown that black girls as young as five are seen as more adult than their white peers

by Kemi Alemoru
17 Aug 2017

Teen receives sickening messages after asking for career advice

This businessman's response was shocking

by Sarah Biddlecombe
17 Aug 2017

We want everything from this new high-street Disney collaboration

Seriously magical

by Megan Murray
17 Aug 2017

JK Rowling's video game confession has sparked a Twitter frenzy

The internet is LOVING it

by Megan Murray
17 Aug 2017

New law forces women in Texas to buy “rape insurance” for abortions

“I am proud to sign the legislation,” Governor Greg Abbott said

by Sarah Biddlecombe
17 Aug 2017

Mother of Charlottesville victim gives passionate memorial speech

“By golly, if I’ve got to give her up, we’re going to make it count.”

by Moya Crockett
17 Aug 2017

Dame Helen Mirren has her say on Ivanka and Melania Trump

She’s not one to bite her tongue

by Susan Devaney
16 Aug 2017

These are the most-searched gender-neutral baby names in the UK

Parents are increasingly leaning towards androgynous names, according to new research.

by Moya Crockett
16 Aug 2017

How to stop negative news stories impacting your mental health

14 ways to stay calm when the world’s headlines trigger your anxiety

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Aug 2017