Sure, the Europeans may have given Americans the Statue of Liberty, tea, and mezze penne, but James Sherwood of Kentucky, USA brought Europe one of its most famous transportation services. The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, also known as VSOE, is a private luxury train service from London to Venice amongst other European cities. The VSOE is like something out of a 1950’s classy movie where everyone was dressed to the nines and cigarette smoke felt like fresh air. Now you may not be able to smoke like Mad Men today, but this luxury train just got a major upgrade.
The notorious service was christened as the King of Trains and Train of Kings back in the 19th century, and there are many reasons it warranted such a title. The VSOE routinely transported European royalty, Presidents, and even Russian Tsars. The original Orient Express went from Paris to Istanbul (then Constantinople) in 1883. It’s notoriety gained it mentions in many movies and novels from Agatha Christie’s Hercules Poirot to 007 James Bond’s preferred mode of transportation.
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express has as much charm today as it did back then. In 2016 it encapsulates Golden Age luxury through cuisine, ambiance and service. Starting with their new champagne bar, the revamped train is dedicated to reviving the sophistication of their ‘Roaring Twenties heyday.’ The Belmond Group, who operate luxury train and cruise services around the world, unveiled a completely new bar car titled 3674. The vintage 1920’s restored cabin now provides the perfect place to enjoy some bubbly against the picturesque backdrop of the Swiss Lakes. Speaking of bubbly, at 3674 you will find a selection that includes Taittinger, Laurent Perrier Rose and Louis Roederer Cristal, chilled in Lalique crystal ice buckets, as it should be.
If all the booze and elegance is leaving you famished, not to worry, 3674 will be serving bites such as sandwiches made with ‘papierusse.’ If this sounds like just your cup of tea, you can book a celebratory champagne breakfast with pastries, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and of course, champagne.
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express offers several different journeys across the continent. While it only operates seasonally, they just added a series of one-night trips from Paris and London to Berlin, in both directions. Once a year they also bring back the iconic 5-night trip from Paris to Istanbul that made it so famous. The new 3674 will make it’s first trip from London to Berlin on June 2nd, 2016.