Glenlo Abbey Hotel, Galway: dining on board the Orient Express
Have you ever dreamt of eating on board the Orient Express? If you happen to be in Ireland, you can do it! The Pullman Restaurant at Glenlo Abbey hotel, in Galway, offers the opportunity to have dinner in two of the original dining carriages restored and set on the grounds of the hotel.
Dating from 1927 these carriages served on the Paris to Istanbul to St. Petersburg route and one of the carriages, Leona, was used in the filming of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.
The experience of Dining on board the real Orient Express is quite impressive: a romantic location, old-style dishes and the opportunity to step back in time and eat in a 2 AA rosette restaurant while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
I had the opportunity to try The Pullman Restaurant at Glenlo Abbey during a special event that took its inspiration from the cities the train passes through and specifically London, Calais, Paris, Zurich, Innsbruck, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, and Athens; if you’re wondering if this was a special event just for PR purposes the answer is no. We ate what all the other regular customers were eating and no special dish or arrangements were made, to keep the experience real and authentic.
It surely is a different kind of experience, something to do for a romantic getaway or simply to treat yourself; kids, of course, are allowed but I’m not sure this is the kind of place where you’d love to bring your children.
The menu changes seasonally and you can also choose one of the “dine & stay” packages offered by the hotel.
Sleeping in Galway at the Glenlo Abbey Hotel
The Pullman Restaurant is not the only reason to visit Glenlo Abbey Hotel: if you’re looking for a place where to sleep in Galway and you don’t want to be in the city center, this can be the right choice (of course, it’s a no if you’re backpacking, if you’re young enough and you want to explore Galway’s nightlife!).
Originally a mansion with its own church (never consecrated), today Glenlo Abbey Hotel is a tremendous 5 stars hotel. It lies on the Lough Corrib and it’s surrounded by a 138-acre estate where you can play golf, have a walk or simply relax. Galway City Centre is 4kms far from the hotel which is a perfect gateway for a visit to Connemara.
You can choose among different types of rooms and even if the Glenlo is well known as a luxury hotel you will never feel uncomfortable; the reason being is that people choose the Glenlo Abbey Hotel to relax, eventually play some golf and have amazing food and certainly not to show off (or, at least, I didn’t notice).
The entire atmosphere is relaxed and cozy; while we were there, a piano guy was entertaining his guests during the evening, behind the bar a cocktail guy was preparing his old-style drinks and the fireplace was up and running making the entire place even more appealing.
During our stay, we’ve decided to try the famous afternoon tea which is served every day 1 – 5 pm.: freshly baked scones, Kylemore Abbey jams, seasonal sandwiches, and decadent pastries all served with coffee or tea of any kind. No disappointment at all and from a person who in some ways always complains about something this is a big achievement.
Whether you’re Irish or you live in Ireland or you’re visiting Ireland, Galway and Connemara have a look at the Glenlo Abbey hotel website and give it a chance: you’ll be surprised by the entire hotel, its services, and the surroundings. And if you want to spoil yourself, book your table at The Pullman Restaurant for a real scoop into old times. Just remember: The Pullman Restaurant is open from 1st April to 31st October, 7 days a week from 6.30pm each evening and it’s only opened at weekends throughout winter months.
The followings are some of the pics Giuseppe has taken during our dine and stay at Glenlo Abbey: not many more words are needed, I believe.
[DISCLOSURE: We’ve been invited to visit and stay at the Glenlo Abbey Hotel and have our dinner at the Pullman Restaurant. The opinions in this article are solely mine and not influenced by the partnership with the hotel]
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