Dine in style on The Watercress Line’s Royal Wessex


Commanding Officer of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, Lt Col Anthony Sharman (left) stands with Rebecca Dalley Chief Executive (2nd left) of the Watercress Line and it’s President Air Vice Marshall Richard Lacey CBE MA (1st right) at the buffer of Urie S15 506 steam Locomotive in Alresford station ahead of cutting the ribbon to the inaugural Royal Wessex fine dinning service giving diners the opportunity to take in the countryside of the Southdowns whilst relaxing in first class and enjoying traditional sunday roast.©Russell Sach/Watercress Line – 0771 882 6138

The Watercress Line has launched its latest fine dining service, The Royal Wessex, which will offer a delicious and locally sourced three-course Sunday lunch in its elegant First Class Pullman-style carriages, while passing alongside beautiful South Downs countryside.

‘The Royal Wessex Fine Dining Sunday Lunch’ service was launched on Sunday 14 April by special guest, The Commanding Officer of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, Lt Col Anthony Sharman.

Lt Col Sharman congratulated The Watercress Line on the new service before cutting a red ribbon and launching The Royal Wessex. He joined other guests to enjoy the Sunday lunch dining service on the inaugural journey afterwards.

Ideal for a special celebration or family occasion, The Royal Wessex will run on various dates through the year: 12 May, 30 June, 28 July, 4 and 18 August; 1 and 29 September; 13 October and 3 November. Tables are available to book now.

The Watercress Line’s CEO Rebecca Dalley said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of our newest fine dining train, The Royal Wessex. It was an honour and a pleasure to welcome Lt Col Anthony Sharman, Commanding Officer of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, to The Watercress Line for the launch from Alresford Station.

“Our diners can relax in the sumptuous comfort of The Royal Wessex carriages furnished with richly upholstered seats, cosy table lamps in the windows, curtains, and tables laid with white damask cloths. The gastronomic lunch, prepared by Lemon Stone Events, is served with a selection of fine wines, including English sparkling wines.

“It’s a chance to return to a bygone era and sure to be an unforgettable experience. It’s already proving to be a popular choice.”

The original Royal Wessex service was introduced by British Railways in May 1951. It was one of a number of named trains introduced to commemorate the Festival of Britain of that year, and transported people from the South Coast to the festival in London.

It left Bournemouth West on Mondays to Saturdays at 08.20 for Southampton and London Waterloo, returning from Waterloo at 16.35. It stopped running as a named train in the 1960s when steam haulage ceased on the Southern Region.

The train was hauled by a Merchant Navy or West Country class locomotive and used a dedicated set of the newly-designed all-steel standard Mark1 carriages, still used on The Watercress Line today.

To find out more about The Royal Wessex Fine Dining Sunday Lunch service and to book, visit:  https://watercressline.co.uk/all-experiences/dining-experiences/the-royal-wessex-gastro-sunday-lunch/

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