Britain's poshest Christmas train arrives in Norwich
PUBLISHED: 17:21 12 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:47 13 December 2019
Britain's version of the Orient Express jingled all the way into Norwich on Thursday morning ahead of a luxury train journey across the country.
Hordes of passengers dressed in their finery gathered at Norwich Station for an early festive treat as the Northern Belle arrived at platform one for midday.
The luxury locomotive nods to 1930s rail travel and features carriages named after British castles and stately homes, with plush seating and dining tables between two.
With tickets priced at £260 per person, expectations were high and the five-hour round trip to the south-east coast, which also picked up passengers in Ipswich, included a seven-course festive meal.
The food included a cheese board with biscuits and chutneys, coffee, tea and petits fours and there was also a bottle of wine for each couple and a champagne welcome reception too.
Tom Leonard, Northern Belle train manager, said: "The Northern Belle is a throwback to traditional British rail travel with traditional carriages and dining.
"It is popular as it is nostalgia - a lot of our customers are a little bit older and they enjoy the luxury."
Father Christmas put in an appearance on the train to get guests in the festive mood and there was also musicians and a conjuror adding a touch of magic across the seven 1930s-style Pullman carriages.
Before boarding the train, Russell Leggett from Gorleston, who came with his wife Yvonne and friends, said: "We've been once before and we had a fabulous experience and we thought we'd come with our friends David and Janice and introduce them to it.
"The last time it was really enjoyable, we brought my mother and she thoroughly enjoyed it as well and the food was really tasty."
Gill Goodey, who had travelled from Poole in Dorset for the journey with husband Jim and friends, said: "It is our first time and we thought it would be something nice to do before Christmas.
"It is also a celebration as I've had an operation recently."