Dinner on a steam train!! I was so delighted!! And pleased Mr G told me before I was ready to go out as this called for little black dress and posh chignon!!
Now I apologise for the quality of the following pics, our camera is rubbish at the best of times and by the time we arrived at the station (which was a short walk from the hotel) it was starting to get dark:
Isn't it fab? Note the vintage suitcases on the trolley....
We were all welcomed and invited aboard for a drink whilst we awaited the arrival of the engine:
There was even a red carpet....
Inside the bar car, it even smelt vintage (in a good way!!):
Soon it was announced that the Wessex Belle had arrived:
Filling her up with water....
I am unashamed to confess that I cried!! I was so overcome with emotion at the sight of this magnificent engine and at the fact that my wonderful husband, whom I *utterly* adore had arranged such a special surprise and one that was just so *me*.
Ugh, bingo wings....
My lovely Mr G holding my wrap and my drink!!
It was then time to board the train and go to our table. The dining car was just how you would imagine it with tables for four on the left and tables for two on the right, plush blue velvet "wing back" chairs, soft lighting and linen tablecloths:
I meant to take pictures of the food but I forgot!! I had minestrone soup; chicken fricassee with roast potatoes and veggies; lemon cheesecake (one of the best I've had in a while); cheese and biscuits and coffee and mints. Mr G had ham terrine; lamb shank with blackberry sauce; tiramisu cake plus the cheese and coffee.
We went along the track at quite a leisurely pace and if you peered hard enough through the window you could just see the ruins of Corfe Castle silhouetted against the night sky. Although it would have been nice for it to have been lighter so we could have seen the view, the darkness coupled with the chuff chuffing of the engine, the steam floating in through the open window and the soft lights made it very romantic.
The pic on the tickets....
The only comical part of the evening was when I had to swap places with Mr G as the train went up and down the line twice and I can't travel backwards - this amused our waiter (who looked exactly like Sir Ian McKellan!!) no end!!
We finally arrived back at Swanage full, happy and loved up and strolled back to the hotel. Mr G commented that he hoped he had earned lots of Brownie points and I replied that he had, but a few had been deducted for saying he hoped he had!!
Come back tomorrow for part three when we go to Bridport Vintage Market and I show you the purchases made there from....