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Take a Ride on the Orient Express

Isn't it Romantic, intriguing and intoxicatingly mysterious... the thought of taking a long-distance international train ride on the Orient Express?

The original Orient Express ran between Paris and Istanbul, but new routes (and variations on the name) were developed. In its pre-war years at least, it was also associated with elegance, luxury and culinary excellence. Today, these same qualities are found in the private, 'Venice Simplon-Orient-Express'.

In Paris the train uses the same station from which the first Orient Express departed on October 4, 1883, Gare de l’Est.

Step back in time to days gone by... Dinner-jackets are in full swing here as passengers linger at the bar car’s piano while period tunes play as you drift away from technology. It's the best that train travel had to offer in the in the 1920s.

Exquisite Art Deco marquetry, Lalique glass panels and sleek wood paneling will delight the eyes. Three dining car choices offering refined French cuisine, that is to Michelin-star standard, are offered. Meals are served with silverware, crystal glass and starched linens and are the highlight for many passengers.

Dress to impress while aboard the Orient Express! Most passengers make the effort to complement the setting, so pack black tie and evening dresses for dinner and smart casual during the day. And if you're in the mood... period dress is always in fashion, however, jeans are never acceptable.

So sit back, relax and let yourself be transported to an era of romance and intrigue while weaving through the hills that produce the Champagne served on board. Take a snooze through Eastern France and Northern Switzerland, but wake in time to take in the waters of Zurich and the peaks lining the shore of Walensee. Different landscapes and changing architecture will not disappoint. Just let yourself go...

Sources: The Orient Express, The Telegraph Travel, Conde Nast

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