Fast Food: the secret to creating a fine dining experience whilst travelling at 75mph

For over fifteen years, The Cathedrals Express steam train has been taking passengers on day trips to beautiful cathedral cities such as Salisbury, Bath, Canterbury and York. As soon as they board the train, passengers travelling in the Premier Dining or Pullman Style Dining classes are treated to a full English breakfast and a glass of champagne, with a four or five course meal on the return journey – all cooked on the train in a renovated 1960s kitchen car.

The Cathedrals Express kitchen serves up to 5 courses to almost 250 diners

The on-board kitchen was designed specifically for Steam Dreams by a Michelin starred chef, bringing it up to date with modern restaurant requirements within the confines of a vintage carriage. The modernisation was completed in June 2013 and the Head Chef, Tony Keene, is delighted with the result; “Since our kitchen car entered service, the modern bespoke facilities have enabled us to raise our food offering to a whole new level. The new space allows food to be cooked and presented as close to modern restaurant style as possible, with all dishes plated and finished off at the last minute.”

He added: “On most of our day trips, we serve over 200 diners across our Pullman and Premier Dining coaches as well as 30 members of staff. Preparing and serving this number of meals whilst moving at high speeds and often working to very tight deadlines can be very challenging. Unlike any other kitchen I have worked in, we don’t have unlimited supplies, with finite amounts of cooking gas, water and electricity but the new on-board facilities have made a huge difference. The extensive new storage and preparation space has enabled us to develop our dishes to offer a modern British menu with a nod to the glory days of the British Pullman cars.”

All meals are prepared on board

Tickets for Steam Dreams tours are available in four different classes, ranging from Premium Standard through to the top class of Pullman Style Dining. Passengers travelling in Pullman Style will enjoy a two course champagne breakfast on the outward journey and a five course dinner on the return, whilst those opting for Premium Standard will be seated at tables of four in open carriages and served with complimentary tea and coffee at their seats.

For further information visit our website

Sample Pullman Style Dining menu on board The Cathedrals Express

Fresh Croissant with Preserves
Fruit Compote with Granola & Yoghurt
Porridge or Cornflakes
Fresh Bread
Full English Breakfast with Free Range Scrambled Egg,
Lincolnshire Sausage, Sussex Bacon, Hash Browns, Tomato,
Mushrooms, Black Pudding & an English Muffin
(v) Vegetarian Sausages, Roasted Portabello Mushroom
with Free Range Scrambled Egg, Tomatoes,
Hash Browns & an English Muffin


Amuse Bouche
Smoked Mackerel Pâté,
Cucumber Pickle & Herby Leaves
(v) Chickpea Falafel with Beetroot Tzatziki
Sage Roasted Guinea Fowl, Crushed Sweet & New Potato,
Petit Pois & Wilted Baby Chard, Red Wine Jus
(v) Goat’s Cheese & Red Onion Marmalade Tartlet
with Thyme, Crushed Sweet & New Potato,
Petit Pois & Wilted Baby Chard
Lemon Mousse
with Raspberry Coulis & Blueberries
Selection of English Cheeses with Grapes,
Celery & Biscuits
Coffee & Biscotti


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