Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 1 March 2018

May be those were the days ... rail travel in style

 Menu card for The Flying Scotsman 8th November 1957

 The Talisman 

It is always fascinating to come across old menus and, in particular, old wine lists. Here are a couple of examples from a time when rail travel could be glamorous. Here are two examples from November 1957 from two of the named express trains running from London Kings Cross station to Edinburgh.

The Flying Scotsman still runs but now only one way leaving Edinburgh at 5.40 am and arriving in London four hours later. The Talisman, however, has long gone.

Back in 1957 you could settle down to a proper meal, although relatively expensive, with an intriguing selection of wines:

Four course lunch for 9/6 (240 pennies to the £ or 20 shillings to £)
Menu (below)

 The wine list

Once again an old wine list demonstrates how prices 50 years ago were much closer together now than they were. This is most starkly demonstrated by the decidedly tempting 1949 Château Pichon-Longueville-Lalande for 17/6 (82.5p in today's money) – the same price as an anonymous Beaune and 2/6 more than an anonymous Sauternes – 15/-.

Interesting to see that Champagne is markedly more expensive than any other wine type – a 1945 Louis Roederer for 47/6 (£2.35 in current decimal money) and even the NV Champagne – St Marceaux for 37/6. Curiously there are no German wines listed, although there is an Alsatian Sylvaner at 16/-.

Also interesting to see the two Spanish wines: Graves Type and Burgundy Type. Once the UK joined the EU we had to respect appellation contrôlée rules etc. Equally South African Pearl Amber Hock and Australian Emu Burgundy would now be a no-no!

All aboard!

1 comment:

graham kent said...


Of course it didn't end back then; I quote from a Review I wrote of Simon Bradley's 'The Railways':
"He recalls how good an experience dining on the railways used to be, mentioning its last stronghold on the GNER, finally withdrawn in 2011 (the wines are mentioned, but not that on the GNER, perhaps the best rail-bourne cellar on scheduled services of recent times).".

My comment in brackets was a nod to GNER's Ch Musar, which sustained me on many a weary evening return from Scotland.

Hope you're surviving the snow up there - we've been pretty much cut off down here in Devon, but only for a couple of day.