SLEEP ER TRAINS
All aboard for the stylish revival of this elegant mode of transport
With overnight trains being given elegant modern makeovers, the lush locomotive is back on track. Rose Uniacke, the British antique dealer and interior designer, leapt at the chance to spruce up dining carriages on The Royal Scotsman (right). Though the intention was to evoke a traditional Scottish country house, Uniacke’s light touch means the palette is more creamy raspberry cranachan than the heavy heather-and-peat of yore. Chairs are upholstered in modern tweeds, and sketches by Glaswegian visionary Charles Rennie Mackintosh hang on the walls. As the train weaves through rugged landscapes, sip a dram in the open-air observation car before heading for North Sea mussels cooked by Mark Tamburrini, who was formerly the chef at Soho’s L’escargot restaurant. Follow this with a Swedish massage in the new Haybarn spa carriage, which is lifestyle brand Bamford’s – and Britain’s – first-ever spa to be set on rolling stock (from £3,112 for a two-night trip; belmond.com).
Another of Britain’s overnight services, the Caledonian Sleeper, takes passengers from London to the Highlands and back. It is releasing its first fleet of new trains in over 35 years, all offering passengers double beds, en suites and simple, modern interiors by Edinburgh-based designer Ian Smith – as well as the tradition of a cup of tea brought to your bedroom as you roll into your destination (Inverness to London Euston, from £90 one-way; sleeper.scot).
For a trip further afield, jump aboard the glamorous Venice Simplon Orient-express. London design firm Wimberly Interiors has redesigned three of its carriages as an homage to the cities they pass through: Murano glass chandeliers sway gently in the ‘ Venice’ suite and Lalique crystal panels divide the Art Deco ‘Paris’ room (London to Venice from £3,500; luxury-trains.co.uk).
THE ROYAL SCOTSMAN’S CHAIRS ARE UPHOLSTERED IN MODERN TWEED AND MACKINTOSH SKETCHES HANG ON THE WALLS