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Many dream of an epic trip on the legendary Orient Express, the luxury train at the centre of so many brilliant novels and movies. Inspector Hercule Poirot is perhaps one of the best known, albeit fictional, passengers, to have boarded the infamous Pullman. Now it has become possible to experience all the elegance and excitement of the trip without even needing a passport. The Venice-Simplon Orient Express has a sister, the British Pullman, and the owners have arranged day trips for those who fancy trying their hand at sleuthing without having to actually imperil themselves by travelling all the way to the Orient.

The carriages are all impeccably decorated in period style, and in a sumptuous and comfortable layout unbeknownst to most commuters on modern day British train systems. Individual compartments seat only four, and are bedecked in glowing polished wood, with luggage racks in original brass, Art Deco style marquetry panelling and that's just the seating area. The dining room is a 5 star hotel on wheels, with thick linen tablecloths and napkins, gleaming cutlery and tinkling cut glass. It is the epitome of class.

When you board the train at Victoria, you are given a sheet of paper with a clue on it, and actors aboard the train perform their parts to great effect. This is a murder mystery adventure with a difference. Participants get a chance to do so much. They can unleash their inner thespian, indulge their nostalgia for a bygone age, which includes dressing the part, and have a great deal of fun in the process.

The trip around Kent takes five hours in total, and this will whizz by as champagne is sipped and motives and murder suspects are examined. Much cross-questioning and quizzing goes on as the suspects are narrowed down. There is also a tour and a talk on the history of the train. But the key question of the day is "whodunit" and whoever solves this will win prizes. The killer is finally revealed by the coffee stage as the train chugs its way back into London. For those who fancy themselves as would be Sherlocks or Poirots, this is a perfect bit of easy escapism, and it doesn't cost a packet either. The next departure is on November the 15th and the price includes a five course lunch, with the obligatory champagne. It would be unthinkable to travel on the Orient Express without a glass of bubbly in hand.

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