Review: A new look Pullman menu and Bristol Food Connections kick off GWR’s Summer of Food

Enjoy a revamped menu on Great Western Railway's Pullman train services between London and The West Country, then head to Bristol Food Connections, one of the many festivals they are sponsoring for the 2016 Summer of Food.

The revamp of Great Western Railways (previously First Great Western) has extended to their on board dining Pullman services between London Paddington and Plymouth, Swansea or Penzance. Book a meal on board in the dedicated dining carriage and you’ll be treated to restaurant quality food, with menus designed by chef Mitch Tonks.


The new look trains have super-comfy spacious leather seats in both the first class and Pullman carriage. Tables are laid with china and crisp white tablecloths and all food is silver service so you are guaranteed a luxurious experience, even at 125MPH.

All the menus focus on local ingredients in the areas through which the train is travelling (there are two different menus inspired by the West of England and Welsh produce). Travel over breakfast time and you can treat yourself to Pullman reserve smoked salmon cured in Somerset.

Later, brunch menus include a classic full ‘Westerner’ breakfast including potato “sausage” with Cornish Yarg, Somerset pork sausage and Wiltshire back bacon; or for something a bit fancier try the Omelette Arnold Bennet. And lunch or dinner stretches to three courses including grilled Devon scallops with fennel butter, slow braised Somerset pork belly or seared fillet steak, an impressive local cheese menu including goat’s cheese from Glastonbury. There’s also an exciting wine list, selected to pair with the menus, including a just-added sparkling white from Cornish winery Knightor. Since launching the initiative to support more local suppliers in 2013, GWR now stocks over 130 locally sourced products that customers can enjoy onboard.

So now you can dine, and travel in style, and start your celebrations a little earlier in your weekend away, to make every part of your trip special. Need some inspiration on where to start? Our tip is to stick with food and catch a Pullman train to this weekend’s Bristol Food Connections festival. Running from 29th April-7th May across the city, the main hub of activity will be on College Green in the city centre.

There will be talks, tastings and workshops during the daytime. Learn how to make sauerkraut, dumplings, make the most of leftovers, improve your knife skills and hear from some of Bristol’s best chefs and foodies including Elly Curshen of Pear Cafe, Telegraph Food writer Xanthe Clay, and the boys from The Ethicurean and River Cottage.

All cooking demos and talks are free and open to everyone as long as you register on the website

In addition the best street food producers from across the South West will come together to create ‘Street Food Central’. Or head to the Producers’ Market where everything from chutneys, charcuterie, cheese and beer will be on sale to take home (or enjoy for an impromptu picnic).

New for this year is a music and performance stage, which will see Bristol bands playing live each Bank Holiday evening.

Check the festival’s Facebook page and Twitter feed to see full details.

GWR’s Summer of Food highlights continue throughout 2016 with St Ives Food and Drink Festival in May, Dartmouth Crab Festival in August and the Great Cornish Food Festival in September.

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