Britain's poshest train returning to Norwich with slap-up meal

Train manager Paul Heathcote and team member Graham Smith on board the festive Northern Belle Picture: Ella Wilkinson 

Team member Graham Smith and train manager Paul Heathcote (L-R) on board the festive Northern Belle when it came to Norwich at Christmas. Picture: Ella Wilkinson  - Credit: Archant

Step on board and immerse yourself in pure luxury as the Northern Belle, once part of the iconic Orient Express group, is returning to Norwich.

The Northern Belle, which last came to the city at Christmas, is running two trips from Norwich Station on Monday, June 14 and Tuesday, June 15. 

Immerse yourself in luxury with a trip on the Northern Belle. 

Immerse yourself in luxury with a trip on the Northern Belle. - Credit: Northern Belle

The train features 1930s-style Pullman carriages named after British castles and stately homes, with dining tables and plush seating. 

On the first day it will depart at 12.15pm and take passengers on a round-trip through the East Anglian countryside.

Guests will have the choice of ordering a seven-course lunch or a classic afternoon tea with sandwiches, cakes, pastries and scones, while being entertained by strolling musicians and a conjurer.

Passengers queue up to board the Northern Belle outside Norwich Station Picture: Ella Wilkinson 

Passengers queue up to board the Northern Belle outside Norwich Station Picture: Ella Wilkinson - Credit: Archant

On the Tuesday, it is an earlier start for guests at 7.30am for a trip to Derbyshire with the choice of two stately homes.

One of the options is Chatsworth House, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and where Pride and Prejudice was filmed. 

Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. 

Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. - Credit: Michael Day/Flickr

The other option is Elizabethan masterpiece Hardwick Hall, built by Bess of Hardwick, which doubled as Malfoy Manor in the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1.

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Whichever destination passengers choose, they will get a glass of champagne and a three-course brunch on the journey to Chesterfield Station, where there will be coach transfers.

So far Chatsworth, set in 105 acres of gardens, is winning with almost 10 times as many bookings as its lesser known rival.

Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire. 

Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire. - Credit: Helen@littlethorpe/Flickr

But a spokesman for Northern Belle said: “Hardwick, which is now owned by the National Trust, may not be as famous but architecturally it has few peers.

“Uniquely among Elizabethan houses, Hardwick retains many of its original textiles  – huge Flemish tapestries, Persian carpets and wall-hangings – as well as the world’s finest collection of medieval needlework."

The Northern Belle features 1930s-style Pullman carriages. 

The Northern Belle features 1930s-style Pullman carriages. - Credit: Northern Belle

On the way home, following another champagne reception, passengers will be served a slap-up five course dinner with wine and it arrives back at 11.30pm.

On both days, the trains also depart and arrive in Ipswich, with timings an hour later. 

Tickets start at £210pp at northernbelle.co.uk or call 01270 899681.  

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