On the train…

Earlier this week on my way to a conference decided to have a coffee on the train.


In the past coffee on the train was basically a no no for me!


Well generally it was instant coffee and as a real coffee aficionado (or is that just a posh word for snob) I don’t drink instant coffee. So I would normally get a tea.

Things have improved in recent years and now on the high speed First Great Western services you can get freshly brewed coffee from freshly ground beans. As with any high street coffee outlet you can get your choice of cappuccino, latte, etc…

I went with an Americano and though pleased to see that it was Fairtrade, it was freshly made, I was disappointed with the resulting coffee. It lacked depth, character and flavour. Don’t get me wrong it was so much better than instant coffee, but was not special and to be honest on the way back I didn’t bother with the coffee.


Well not sure that was such a good idea.

On the train (a First Great Western high speed train) and decided to have something to eat from the buffet car and ordered a cheeseburger…

Hmmm, well that was not such a good idea.

It was not very nice and rather salty as well (contained nearyl 5g of salt, when you consider that your recommended daily allowance is 6g then that’s a lot of salt).

It reminded me of the burgers I use to make and sell at Travellers Fare Buffet back in the late 1980s… so things haven’t changed much!

Breakfast at 125mph

So there I was on the 7.30am train to London, and I was feeling a little peckish, so off I trot down to the buffet car to get some breakfast.

One of the nice things about First Great Western is that they do do a nice freshly cooked breakfast on their trains.

High Speed Train

Usually you have to fall back on some kind of roll filled with breakfast items or thrown together, heated up in a microwave which when you bit into it, slurps out the other side of the roll and onto your lap, giving you third degree burns and a nasty stain on your trousers which takes a bit of explaining. You can buy a breakfast roll, well a bacon roll to be heated up in the microwave if you wish, but I would recommend that you avoid that and try the proper breakfast menu out.

I has the brasserie breakfast platter, which in a real language means a box full of breakfast items. Okay so the scrambled egg could have been better, but the tomatoes and mushrooms were fresh, the sausage was over cooked and the bacon was okay. The toast was nice.

Actually thinking about it, at £6.95, it was over priced for what I got. However compared to breakfast at a motorway service station it was much much nicer and compared to the ghastly breakfast rolls you can get, or those muffins from a certain so called restaurant, it is really nice.

Awful tea, just like British Rail use to make…

I had a terrible cup of tea. It was on a train and was reminiscent of the tea that British Rail use to make!

It was on the buffet car on a South Devon Railway train from Buckfastleigh to Totnes.

South Devon Railway

I always think preserved railways have a real opportunity for on-board catering, however I am virtually always usually very disappointed.

The tea was foul and served in a depressing polystyrene cup. The milk was that awful long life milk in spring loaded containers; what’s wrong with serving fresh milk?

I was so disappointed that I decided I wouldn’t eat in the station tea rooms as I expected it to be just as bad, but on reflection that may have been a bit premature, as I was told the menu looked interesting and the food looked really nice.