An Art Deco icon, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is resplendent in polished woods, sparkling crystal and plush fabric. And, it’s a sense of style that extends to right into the private cabins and new Grand Suites. Dating back to the early 20th century, each of the former has been restored to its Roaring-Twenties glory. Oversized windows take in views of rural Europe, oak panels hide washbasins and embossed detailing plays out over polished walls. Even the lavatories are tiled in mosaics. And, come the evening, your private attendant will transform your seats into two sleeping berths, complete with crisp damask sheets and fine blankets. Meanwhile, the all-new Grand Suites – named Venice, Paris and Istanbul – bring a new level of luxury. Double beds and en suite bathrooms, complete with showers, Murano glass sinks and underfloor heating, are both a first for the train. And, there's complimentary caviar on arrival and free-flowing champagne throughout to make the whole experience even more special still.
No matter whether you choose a cabin or suite, however, you'll be treated to some seriously delicious dining in the train's elegant restaurant car. Here, you can expect only the finest in multi-course delicacies, with ingredients sourced from stops along the route, whether it’s tomatoes from Provence or saltmarsh lamb from Mont St. Michel. You’ll also have a choice of three venues, resplendent in black lacquer, beautiful marquetry and Lalique glass panels. And, in the morning, you’ll be served a Continental breakfast in the privacy of your cabin, while the complimentary afternoon tea is equally welcome.
After dinner, be sure to head to the bar car for a nightcap. Sip on cocktails and coffee in the spectacular Art Nouveau ambience, your evening soundtracked by the resident pianist. There’s also the champagne bar where favourites from the likes of Laurent Perrier and Taittinger are served in yet more Lalique glassware.
Lastly, while the train’s London to Venice overnighter – or vice versa – remains its signature, there’s a full range of itineraries available. Perhaps link the twin delights of Verona and Paris, or, for something truly special, head east on the Paris to Istanbul route. Operating just once a year, this six-day extravaganza is a true lesson in indulgence.