My GWR Pullman Dining Experience

Woman with grey hair on train in baggy shirt raising a glass of white wine to the camera.

I love trains and I love food (doesn’t everybody?)

Which means that when GWR (Great Western Railway) my local train company asked me if I would like to try the new summer menu for their Pullman dining experience, I jumped at the chance.

And so did my daughter.

In truth I had been looking for a mother and daughter day out, and this seemed like the perfect way to spend some quality time together.

Because eating together is always special.

What is Pullman dining?

Pretty girl in blue shirt smiling at the camera. Sitting on a train with a menu in front of her.
Enjoying the menu, Fi Darby

You will of course have noticed the capital letter on Pullman in my heading above; it’s there because Mr Pullman was a real person who was inspired (after a long uncomfortable journey) to build sleeper cars with fold down beds.

He made a lot of money but didn’t always look after his workforce.

These sleeper cars eventually became mini hotels on wheels that also provided innovative and tasty meals to keep customers on long-distance journeys well fed.

Because nobody likes hangry passengers.

Today the Pullman dining experience is often thought of a luxury treat. And indeed, there are some expensive Pullman train options available but one of the best things about the GWR Pullman dining experience is its affordability.

How much does Pullman dining cost?

What would you pay for a delicious meal out? And what would you expect for that price.

  • A choice of two or three courses?
  • A fantastic wine list?
  • Restaurant quality food?

Well the GWR Pullman menu (summer 2024) costs just £37 for a two course meal and £44 for three courses. Although our experience was gifted by GWR, we both thought it was excellent value (and my daughter is a restaurant manager so she should know).

Great service, great food

White plate on white table cloth with a rectangular pastry topped with pea shoots.
Asparagus, pea and feta puff pastry tart

From the moment we were greeted at the train door, to the end of our journey, we both thought the service for our Pullman dining experience was excellent. Just the right level of chat, super friendly, and we were able to relax right through our meal.

So much so, I even dozed after dinner.

Woman asleep on train with finished meal on table in front.
I told you it was a relaxing experience

The food was nothing short of delicious; neither of us left a morsel and highlights included:

  • My first time eating soup on a train (pea, watercress and plenty of ‘Two Soups’ jokes
  • Salt and vinegar roast potatoes (why haven’t these been in my life before?)
  • The tastiest of UK cheeseboards
  • Accidentally ordering too much wine

We arrived into London relaxed, full, and happy. We really felt like we had enjoyed a first class dining experience.

Where does the GWR Pullman train go?

Mother and adult daughter smiling at the camera wearing rucksacks.
Spend time with someone special

GWR has a great network, which joins Cornwall and South Wales with London. Whether you want to visit the capital or escape to the beach, GWR have got your train adventure covered.

GWR Pullman dining timetable

  • London to Plymouth – lunchtime and evening
  • Plymouth to London – lunchtime and evening
  • London to Swansea – evening
  • Swansea to London – lunchtime

So that you have time to enjoy your meal, each Pullman train has a ‘last orders’ station. So for example, if you’re travelling from Plymouth to London Paddington, you’ll need to start your meal by Exeter St Davids.

Check out my other adventures by train

You don’t have to be travelling in first class.

Three types of cheese with chutney and a pile of crackers.
Selection of British cheeses

Although you can’t book a GWR Pullman dining table in advance without a first class ticket, you can decide, from standard class, to dine on the day if there are places available.

There were on our trip and one very sensible gentleman took advantage of that.

If you do have a first class ticket, it’s easy to book your Pullman table online. The trains don’t stop at all stations so choose one that works for you.

And if you suddenly decide you’re hungry, you can reserve a table up to an hour before boarding your train.

The ultimate on board dining experience

Large flat white bowl with green soup, topped with pea shoots. Full wine glasses nearby.
Pea and watercress soup

My mouth is watering just writing about my Pullman meal.

But of course, this experience wasn’t just about a delicious (and it was) meal. It was about the journey, the experience, and the time spent with someone special.

Why not treat yourself soon. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Station to station walks

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