I love railways. I’m always looking for excuses to go and watch trains somewhere.
A statue of Sir Nigel Gresley was unveiled at King’s cross recently – a perfect excuse to visit the station.
As part of the unveiling celebration, a lovely old London & North Eastern Railway train and carriage was at Platform 1. The beautiful teak dining carriage contained two LNER menus from 1936, one for First Class Dining on all trains and the other for dining on “The Silver Jubilee”, the crack express between King’s Cross and Newcastle.
The quality and depth of the wine list is remarkable by comparison to today’s anodyne offering. I guess that Virgin Trains would use Virgin Wines, which is not a pleasing prospect.
I doubt that Virgin or any other train company would list Mendoza’s 1863 Brown Sherry at one shilling (5 pence) per glass.
The Mosel wines are twice as expensive as the Medoc and St-Estèphe wines, which would be unthinkable now. Niersteiner costs the same as Sauternes.
“Empire Wines” would now be called “New World”. (“Commonwealth Wines” wouldn’t go down well with Australasian republicans.) To aid neophyte drinkers, an Australian wine is described as “Hock type” and a South African wine as “Burgundy type”. I can’t think of a contemporary “Hock type” of wine made in Australia, though Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Elgin could be described passably as “Burgundy type”.
The Champagne offering is outstanding. Pol Roger 1926 is priced higher than the great Krug 1928. The renowned Pol Roger 1921 is available in an Imperial Pint bottle for 19 shillings (95 pence). One can estimate a price of £2,000+ for a bottle of this nowadays.