FGW Pullman dining experience

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by ge-gn, 8 Jun 2015.

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  1. ge-gn

    ge-gn Member

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    Just thought I would share that after 23 years on the railway, for the first time I have taken up the restaurant service available on the 1045 Paddington to Swansea. I would have used it years earlier but my local service was stopped several years ago on the GEML.

    And I just want to pass on that it really was an enjoyable experience. Great staff, great food, and pretty good value. At first I thought 18quid was a bit steep but given the length of my journey today (NRW-CMN) and the amount of underwhelming coffees (with flapjack only 99p extra), over chilled sandwiches, and other snack food items I would have consumed over the journey to pass the time in cramped standard class conditions, I probably would have spent about this amount anyway! I'm on my 4th coffee now (good coffee) and it just keeps coming.

    So I think more folk out there should use the service and hopefully it can be carried on into the future, and even re introduced on other companies. If this "old fashioned" tradition had no future then surely FGW would drop it. It must be financially worthwhile somehow or the bean counters would have axed it years ago. More advertising of the service required I think. The current "golden generation" of pensioners would lap this up!

    Any thoughts?

    Ps, I don't work for FGW or any other toc so I'm not biased.
     
  2. GodAtum

    GodAtum Established Member

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    I used them a few years ago and have a delicious steak!
     
  3. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I did Pullperson Dining for breakfast (they call it "brunch" for some reason) on this train back in February and I certainly agree that it's exceptional value for money if you have a 2nd class ticket. I was the only person using it al the way from London to Bristol.

    Given that at a weekend I'd pay £15 to upgrade and would have to go to the buffet to collect tea/coffee/biscuits/water; for an extra £3 I'm getting a cooked breakfast, fresh orange juice, toast, granola/porridge, and tea in a pot. I know officially that you can't spend the whole journey there, but it takes until after leaving Swindon to finish up; and I understand the 1045 is never busy.

    The extra dining services were reintroduced when the Travelling Chef was axed last year.
     
  4. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    I had the monkfish a few months ago and it was delicious.
     
  5. bkhtele

    bkhtele Member

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    yes very good highly recommended! Very good breakfast from Swindon to Paddington think it was about 7.55am. A lovely experience!C
     
  6. tobytronic

    tobytronic Member

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    We're doing this on 1000 Penzance - Padd on Tues.

    Not sure which menu will be on?
     
  7. cambsy

    cambsy Member

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    It will be main menu and not set price as breakfast, 3 courses costs me about £50.00 with couple soft drinks, I have steak and 2 other courses, though some people have just main course or 2 courses.
     
  8. bkhtele

    bkhtele Member

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    Menu is on main Fgw website, I believe it includes Brunchbreakfast enjoy
     
  9. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I believe he was asking which of the three "Main menu" menus will be available on that train

    That service DOES NOT offer the brunch/breakfast menu. Service is from Plymouth only.
     
  10. tobytronic

    tobytronic Member

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    Travelled on this train today.

    Did sleeper to pnz last night,

    10:00 Penzance to Padd with Pullman from Newton Abbott - a few spare seats but a good crowd.

    Staff - 100% friendly, helpful and bar forgetting the menus...... good all round.

    Food. - Menu 2

    We had:

    Start

    Devon Crab
    Red Pepper & Cornish Yarg Tart

    Main
    Monkfish (Ox Cheek looked better though!), vegetables

    Desert
    Olive Oil/Pine Nut Cake with Grappa/Orange/Marscapone

    Bottle of Sauv Blanc, coffee, biscuits, etc

    £108 - not a food review site but a bit of a report from the front line never hurts.

    With views and general warm feeling of the experience it was well worth a treat for 2 and I'd go back in the future.

    Did WAG express yesterday..........

    Hot coach, nice food, good team on board but completely different (and cheaper!) but temp in coach spoilt it. Although, still not as hot as the 158 with no zircon from Shrews to Birm afterwards......
     
    Last edited: 16 Jun 2015
  11. Iskra

    Iskra Established Member

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    Good to hear you're enjoying your ALR! I'll do the WAG in winter then I think...
     
  12. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I did the Wag Express last week and it was absolutely baking then as well
     
  13. dave55uk

    dave55uk Member

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    Did the 1006 ex Paddington to Par a couple of weeks ago (the Wednesday the strike was to start) in First Class. Had Brunch on the way down, and very nice it was too. Staff were very friendly. The following week we were on the 1047 Penzance to Paddington. Went to buffet to get a coffee and asked if I could reserve a table for Dinner (available from Plymouth). After Plymouth, one of the catering crew came down and told me my table was ready. I had the belly pork and my partner had the fillet steak - both were absolutely excellent (I'm taking her word for the steak, I didn't try it) and we both had a very flavourable apple crumble to finish off. Expensive but really worth it. Would certainly do it again with no hesitation.
     
  14. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    Has anyone else done Pullman lately? I am making a trip to Devon and Cornwall in March as my last big trip on my railcard and I am considering back to London on the 1201 from Plymouth and having lunch. Any other experiences of the meal menu?
     
  15. Iskra

    Iskra Established Member

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    The menu is great, I did a write-up in my trip report thread for a trip last year http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=108357 . Current menu's are usually available on the GWR website.

    The main thing for me, is that if I did it again, I'd buy a cheap standard class ticket to do the dining with if you're on a quiet train. I essentially paid for a ticket in 1st and then again for the Pullman dining ticket, which is essentially 1st class too, so paid twice.
     
  16. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    Thanks for the link - will have a gander

    The day I am looking at is Maundy Thursday, so no guarantee any train will be quiet. I will see what sort of prices I get when tickets go on sale in a few weeks
     
  17. dave87016

    dave87016 Member

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    It is worth bearing in mind that pax with first class tickets get priority.
     
  18. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

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    I have done the Pullman 4 times now all on a standard class ALR and got a seat every time. Not sure if thats just blind luck but getting your name down early obviously helps. Not one of those times was the dining area completely full either
     
  19. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    Ill see what AP prices are like come the time I think. If First Class is a sensible rice, I will probably do it so I can visit the Lounge at Paddington at the other end to kill time before my journey back to Yorkshire (which, from looking at the prices a couple of weeks before, will probably have to be in steerage, hence my thinking of doing Pullman instead - certainly £80 First Class London to Leeds doesn't represent any value!)
     
  20. deltic

    deltic Established Member

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    I dont suppose there is much chance of getting a meal on the 19:03 ex Paddington with a standard class ticket?
     
  21. Nippy

    Nippy Member

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    I've never been turned away yet. That said, I haven't been all that recently.
     
  22. deltic

    deltic Established Member

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    well got to have dinner on the 19.03 Paddington to Plymouth - said I had a standard class ticket but no-one seem bothered and just told me to join the queue - excellent meal although was rather more expensive than the last time I had dinner on a train!
     
  23. philjo

    philjo Established Member

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    I'm travelling back from Devon to London next Friday.

    Is there likely to be room for dining on the 13:02 boarding at Exeter (or alternatively at Newton abbot) - the train comes from Penzance and it is a Friday so wondered how busy the dining section would be. There is the later 13:56 train that starts from Plymouth though that train also calls at Castle Carey and it is Glastonbury that weekend so may be best to avoid that train?

    Also does anyone know which of the 3 menus listed it would be next Friday?
    I assume after lunch I would have to go back to the standard class?

    Many Thanks.
     
  24. dave87016

    dave87016 Member

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    Usually plenty of room on the 1256 ex Plymouth to Paddington that said it was January so it may be busier given time of year

    I already got my 1st class ticket booked for the 1006 Paddington to Exeter St David's On July 6th and am planning on having brunch on it as last time I did it was excellent
     
    Last edited: 15 Jun 2016
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