My love affair with trains (and classic movies) started one rainy afternoon when I was introduced to “Murder on the Orient Express”. My mom, an avid reader and huge fan of Agatha Christie, insisted we watch this classic together. I was 15 years old and was naturally more interested in MTV, but mom made a pot of tea and a tray of finger sandwiches (cut in triangles with the crusts removed!) and I couldn’t resist. I was hooked and many years later I still adore that movie and the magic of the glamorous Orient Express.
Although I’ve never been on the famed train, I was thrilled to learn you can experience two of the magnificent carriages at the Pullman Restaurant Aboard the Orient Express in Galway City!
This unique AA Rosette (a coveted award given for culinary excellence) winning restaurant sits behind the golf course on the grounds of the beautiful Glenlo Abbey Hotel and is one of Ireland`s truly unique dining experiences. Comprising of two dining carriages--one of which is called Leona, which dates back to 1927, and was part of the original Orient Express that carried VIP`s all over Europe and the UK during her life span.
The Leona made her final journey in 1965 when she was used as part of Winston Churchill‘s funeral cortege to the Village of Bladon, close to his ancestral home--Blenheim Palace, where he is buried. After this event, Leona with other carriages played a starring role in the classic movie, Murder on the Orient Express that featured greats such as Albert Finney, Ingrid Bergman, Vanessa Redgrave, Lauren Bacall and Sean Connery!
Leona was originally in Elsenham Station in Herfordshire, England and included the 1954 carriage Linda--which makes up the other half of dining facility of the ‘Pullman Restaurant aboard the Orient Express’.
Opened in May 1998, this restaurant enjoys fabulous views of Lough Corrib and ironically is about 900 feet away from the old track bed of the now lost Galway-Clifden Railway Line which was disbanded in the mid 1930`s.
The dining service is personal and professional (not stuffy!) while the talented chefs deliver Irish & modern cuisine in true farm to fork fashion. Guests can select a 2-or 3-course dinner that include offerings like Pan Fried Dexter Beef with Thyme and Garlic Pomme Puree Peppered KohlRabi, Braised Shin Croquette and Oxtail Demi-Glaze or Monkfish Fillet with Broad Beans and Nameko Mushrooms. The restaurant offers a nice selection of fine wines and delectable desserts.
Pre-Booking is advisable—from May to September the restaurant is open for dinner 7 days a week---in winter months opening times vary.
For more information: http://www.glenloabbeyhotel.ie/en/pullman-restaurant-galway/