Don C – Steam and Dining at its best!20 Jul 2020
My wife and I had the pleasure of travelling on “The Fellsman” on the 15th July 2020. This was the first outing for Saphos trains after the COVID-19 lockdown, and if I’m honest I was a little apprehensive about social distancing and the knock on to the steam experience, especially as this was my wife’s treat to me for a significant birthday. We needn’t have worried. All of the measures Saphos Trains have put in place are both discreet, effective and did not affect the outing. The day was an absolute delight. As the BR Standard Pacific “Britannia” rolled into Crewe station with a floral arrangement for a head plate we knew we were info a great day. Travelling in Premier Dining the Train Manager’s and Stewards provided a service second to none and were full of information about the trip, the train itself and the company ethos. They were clearly delighted to be back to work after having been furloughed. It was also an excuse to dress smartly for the day and that added to the class the whole day took on. The dining on the train was exceptional. The full English breakfast was the best I’ve had in ages and I’d love to know who supplies their black pudding as it was the best I’ve ever tasted. The route included the internationally renowned Settle to Carlisle line. I’ve walked in the Yorkshire Peaks a number of time, so was interesting for me to get a different perspective of the area, particularly through Ribblehead. The time in Carlisle was judged nicely with enough time for a leisurely visit to the attractions the city has to offer. Again dining on the return was superb – a four course dinner dinner to savour – those working in the Kitchen carriage are culinary masters! The wine list also needs a mention. The company has a very good wine buyer and we’ve subsequently gone to find where we can purchase more bottles of the Shiraz and Rose they had on offer. A very nice touch was a complimentary glass of champagne from the company to celebrate this being their first train in 2020. I must mention the rolling stock which was of a very high standard. A fellow traveller commented that you won’t find better restored carriages anywhere in the UK. So whether you are a steam enthusiast, a foodie or just like a fine day out, The Fellsman had it all. How good was it? We’re now looking for the next Saphos Train we want to travel on. Enough said!