Plenty of Choice
The choice of things to do in the evening is overwhelming. An opera was performing in the ornate National Theatre which faces the river, a must-see if just for the magnificent plush interior, and it is worth booking in advance to get good seats.
Unfortunately, we were too late to get tickets, and instead went to see The Magic Lantern. Also part of the National Theatre, it was a unique evening of multi-media using a combination of film projection and stage action where the performers use dance, pantomime and theatre to entertain.
Our other evening was spent on the Jazz Boat, which operates from Easter until the end of October. As its name suggests, the boat takes you on a small trip up and down the river which unfortunately is not lit up.
A good, warm atmosphere is soon created with food and drinks available, although you are not obliged to eat. The owners also run a jazz club in town in the basement of the Hotel U Stare Pani.
What could be more exciting than returning to London on board the luxurious Venice Simplon-Orient-Express? The train is still heated using coal, and as we sat in our compartments everything went black and I imagined we were taking part in 'Murder on the Orient Express'. Fortunately, we were just going through a tunnel! The train has 17 carriages, all of which are different. Dining is the main event, and provides you with the opportunity of really going to town as far as dressing-up is concerned. Seventy percent of the food comes from France, and everything is cooked to a very high standard. The train doesn't go through the Channel Tunnel, and so we were transferred by coaches to the British Pullman for the final lap of our journey.
However, we continued our gourmet treat with a glass of champagne and full English tea. It was not surprising to find that many of our co-passengers were celebrating a special occasion. A lovely end to a lovely trip.
Stephanie Voyager's trip was arranged by Travelscene, specialists in short breaks. www.travelscene.co.uk www.orient-express.com
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