Remember the glory years of year-round business lunches? Dry January? Bah. “Veganuary” (rather than “vaguary” as one reader described it)? Never. These were just a figment of someone’s rather annoying imagination. We worked in marketing and we were hard as nails.
Still, these days the world and his wife, her wife, husband, civil partner, lover, friend with benefit, office affair, “them”, “they”, singletons, “self-partnered” and transitioning trans – is it just me or is the list getting longer by the day? – would rather eat quinoa and drink green shakes than steak and chips and a full-bodied Merlot in the first month of the new year.
So, imagine my joy when I got an invite to “step aboard the famous British Pullman train for a fun adventure of which Agatha Christie would approve”.
I know this is may be hard to believe but I have never been on a “sumptuous lunch” which concluded with someone getting killed, although it has been touch and go at times.
Who could resist the chance to “go back in time to the 1920s aboard the vintage train, sister to the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express”?
You see, “during the afternoon you will meet the cast of suspects on board to ascertain who is the most likely murderer”.
And here’s the best bit, the train whizzes through this green and pleasant land full-steam ahead while we all savour “exceptional cuisine, paired with fine wines. Glamour, fun and a dash of adventure are all part of this fabulous day out”.
And then it hit me, it wasn’t an invite at all, it was a sales pitch and I was being expected to cough up £460 for a five-hour train ride that departs from London Victoria at 11.05am and returns at 4.15pm and funnily enough goes nowhere near Venice.
The exact route has been kept under wraps but if the current rail travel situation is anything to go by, you probably spend five hours stuck in the sidings just outside Battersea Park station.
I actually think I would rather go thirsty and hungry – or, even more extreme, I would actually prefer to have lunch with a list broker. And, dear Foxy fans, I am sure you will believe me when I tell you, that is the epitome of cold-blooded murder…
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