Dining in style on board of First Great Western Pullman

First Great Western Pullman fine dining

I had the opportunity to travel from London-Exeter by train on first class on board of the First Great Western Pullman car to sample the elegant silver service fine dining service, and it’s new menu. I always liked traveling by train because you can take in the scenery, relax, read, chat, work  and sleep during the journey. Now you can do all the above and eat fantastic, locally sourced and seasonal fare on board of the Pullman.  They provide this services on selected services to Penzance, Plymouth, Bristol Parkway, Cardiff and Swansea.

The Meal on board of First Great Western Pullman

first course: delicious and very fresh dressed South Devon crab, warm breads and farmhouse butter £10/person

 Main courses: Roasted Monkfish with mint and caper sauce, fillet steak, melt in the mouth braised ox cheeks in red wine with Somerset quince. All dishes accompany by cheesy cauliflower, roasted potatoes and zucchini, mains priced from £19 to £29/person

This one was order:  Prime West Country Reared Fillet Steak, with Café de Paris butter or a choice of Tracklements mustards or horseradish –  the meat was first quality and good size, it was tender and juicy. Vegetables were surprisingly not overcooked.  Dishes were well seasoned and hot. £29/person
The perfectly formed menu has been created by Mitch Tonks, award-winning food writer, restaurateur and fishmonger. The new menu includes fish from Mitch’s local Brixham market, fillet steak from Somerset, scallops from Devon, burrata from Laverstoke Farms,  Westcountry cheese and Somerset quince jelly. The wines including Cornish wine, Knightor Trevannion, have also been specially chosen by Mitch from his own restaurant’s wine list, in order to match each dish. The wine list also includes wines from producers from other parts of the world.

The wines  at First Great Western Pullman

 There was something for everyone on the list. Be aware that the train wobbles sometimes so things go flying and bottles will roll – all part of the fun!


 Locally sourced Cornish wine, Knightor Trevannion


Much of the meals are freshly prepared on board or just finished off on board in the tiny galley kitchen by First Great Western’s highly skilled chefs on services to Penzance, Plymouth, Bristol Parkway, Cardiff and Swansea.


Pullman – tiny galley kitchen where chef Chris was working his magic

Desserts and cheeses


Right: Good quality local West Country cheese selection with quince jelly and Fudge’s biscuits from Dorset. £9/person
Left: ‘The Seahorse’ Olive oil and pine nut cake with Blackmore Vale Dairy mascarpone and grappa syrup – I wish I had tasted it. I heard was very good. £9/person
Fine dining on the First Great Western Pullman

At the moment, there are three different menus that rotated every couple of weeks, and it’s available to all passengers. However,  first-class ticket holders have priority.
Advance booking is advisable if you haven’t you can contact the Pullman. Service Leader when boarding to request a table in the restaurant.

The fine dining, breakfast and brunch experience and it is available to certain services and not on weekends or public holidays.  Brunch have two seatings and dining is one sitting.
Remember that two and half hours is just about right for a three course meal, be attentive not to miss your stop.

The way back was first class, unfortunately without the silver service, but nice trolley with teas, coffees, something a bit stronger and small nibbles. What a treat!  It was a splendid and unique adventure.

Veredict: Highly recommended, what a nice treat!

For more on this service, menu, routes, schedule and to book head to First Great Western site
Disclosure: I was a guest of First Western Trains on this occasion. All views are my own.



  1. February 15, 2015 / 10:09 pm

    Thank you for joing me on the trip, it was nice to travel in comfort and style and most of all enjoy good food and wine.

  2. February 15, 2015 / 10:15 pm

    Hey Dini, it was a great way to celebrate your birthday too! Good food and fun

  3. February 17, 2015 / 8:32 am

    Oh wow! That sure beats the sandwich bar in economy class ;o) Gorgeous photos too!

  4. February 17, 2015 / 8:44 pm

    Thanks Jeanne. Great food and drinks menu, fresh too. A winner! I am hooked on first class train travel.

  5. March 3, 2015 / 8:09 am

    Oh wow your pictures are very enticing. I can't remember travelling first class ever. Food for thought.