Pair the Art Deco elegance of the world's most iconic rail journey with views out to some of Europe’s most breathtaking scenery on this route from Florence to London. You’ll start among the galleries, bridges and cathedrals of Renaissance Florence, before stepping aboard the blue-and-gold carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. It's a wonderfully relaxing, and indulgent, way to experience the breathtaking beauty of central Europe, as you traverse Austria’s alpine meadows and pass snow-capped mountain ranges, enjoying multi-course gourmet dining and the very best in discreet white-gloved service as you head to Paris, followed by a Eurostar hop to London.
You’ll start your holiday in relaxing fashion with included UK airport lounge access before boarding the short flight to Florence. On arrival, you'll be met by a private driver who'll bring you to your exclusive accommodation the river-side Hotel Lungarno looking out over the historic Ponte Vecchio. You’ll have the first day at leisure to acquaint yourself with Florence’s Renaissance charms. Wander its cobbled streets where heritage architecture peeks around every corner, take in an overview from the hilltop Piazzale Michelangelo or simply take some time out with a glass of Tuscan red and authentic food in one of its backalley trattorias.
Tonight why not try out the Borgo San Jacopo Restaurant where Lungarno's Michelin star chef Claudio Mengoni presents Italian cuisine crafted with painstakingly selected ingredients with dishes ranging from Risotto with pecorino from Pienza to Oxtail tortelli with Castelmagno fondue.
Today you have time to gaze upon the Gothic splendour of Giotto’s Campanile, or the Renaissance magnificence of the Florence Duomo. Admire stunning frescoes by Gaddi and Giotto at Santa Croce Basilica, or marvel at masterpieces including Michelangelo’s David, at the Accademia and Uffizi art galleries. After this feast of culture, why not tuck into some mouth-watering Tuscan cuisine at a charming trattoria or designer eatery?
Leave the splendours of Florence behind today as you head to the station to board the iconic blue-and-gold carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. You’ll be welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine before you prepare for your night on board. It's a special one, as you'll enjoy a four-course dinner, sampling everything from Brittany lobster to saltmarsh lamb, alongside, of course, an extensive fine wine list.
Breakfast & Dinner included
Begin your last day onboard with a delicious Continental breakfast served in your cabin, as you race across France, disembarking in the heart of Paris. On arrival, a private transfer will whisk you to your accommodation, which is perfectly placed to explore the best of the French capital. Perhaps you'll choose to see the sights, from iconic Notre Dame to the grand artworks of the Louvre. Or, take a stroll along the cobblestones of Montmartre, pausing for a cafe or a glass of wine before taking in sweeping city views from the steps of the Sacre Coeur. This evening, take the chance to dine in style at your hotel, whose pair of restaurants share no fewer than four Michelin stars between them.
You'll then take the short journey to Gare du Nord where you'll board the Eurostar for the final leg of your journey back to London.
"A new route for 2021, but just as spectacular as its cousins. You'll begin with a five-star stay in one of my favourite cities, Florence, before boarding those famous blue-and-gold carriages – for me a real trip highlight. It's then that this journey really comes into its own as you head north towards Austria and the high mountain passes of Brenner and Arlberg, before stopping in Paris en route to London"