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


20 soothing, beautiful songs guaranteed to help you fall asleep

An expert picks the ultimate classical music playlist

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Oct 2017

Puppy dog eyes are a thing and your dog makes them just for you

A study says dogs change their facial expressions when humans are looking

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2017

Here’s how to buy a house or a flat for the princely sum of £1

It's time to enter the real-estate raffle

by Megan Murray
20 Oct 2017

Oxford University under fire for shocking lack of racial diversity

One MP called the revelations an example of “social apartheid”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2017

This prosecco festival is the best way to start feeling Christmassy

Bubbles, bubbles everywhere

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Missing your 16-25 railcard? We have good news for you

Rail bosses have taken pity on cash-strapped millennials

20 Oct 2017

This man’s response to his friend’s period while hiking is everything

“I had NOTHING on me and I was wearing shorts”

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Why anxiety makes it harder to follow your intuition

It can have a paralysing effect on decision-making

by Anna Brech
19 Oct 2017

“Why all men must work to stamp out sexual harassment and abuse”

In wake of the Weinstein allegations, one writer argues why men need to be counted

19 Oct 2017

Rage, lust, power and warmth: how it feels to experience ‘red emotions

“I grew up being told my body was terrifying and my voice was unimportant”

by The Stylist web team
19 Oct 2017