A night on the Orient Express is just one of many of Ireland's most unusual dining experiences.

The shores of Lough Corrib harbours a secret. 

The locals know it and love it but now it is time for the rest of Ireland to find out about first-class dining on 'Galway's Orient Express'. 

The Pullman restaurant is made up of two original carriages from the famous Orient Express.

The carriages have been restored to their former glory and now sit in their new home on the grounds of the Glenlo Abbey Hotel. The views of the fabulous estate and the picturesque Lough Corrib are a stunning backdrop to a very unique dining experience in Ireland. 

The Pullman Restaurant
The restaurant front door

Opened in May 1998, The Pullman has experienced a very varied life. Built in 1927, its routes included the Monaco/Istanbul/St. Petersburg runs, and also the Brighton run.

During World War II, it was used by Sir Winston Churchill and his family. Its final run was on January 30, 1965, when it carried Sir Winston’s remains.

In 1974, it played a starring role in the Agatha Christie film "Murder on the Orient Express".

The Food
Lead by Head Chef Michael Safarik, the enthusiastic chefs abroad the train serve up Irish & modern cuisine. For our meal on board, we tried a large range of what was on offer and we were not disappointed. 

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Mains at The Pullman

Amuse Bouche.

Starters: Castlemaine Beef Cheek and Irish Beetroot

Mains: Irish Venison and West Coast Plaice

Food at the Pullman Restaurant
First-class food and service - this is the Irish beetroot

The service is - as you would expect - first class. Lee did the welcoming and handed over the 'train tickets'. Vito read the menu (no need to read it yourself) and Zoran was on hand for our every request. 

Add in the lush, comfortable surrounding and sound effects of a moving train and you really feel like you had a fabulous evening on the Orient Express.  

The Accomodation
The perfect end to the evening is to pop up the steps and head to one of the luxurious rooms in the hotel for a good nights rest. 

At the Glenlo Abbey Hotel, they also have the River Room Restaurant, which is perfect for larger formal affairs. It is where breakfast is served each morning.

Breakfast is a combination of a cold buffet and hot food to order. The full Irish is well worth a try as are the pancakes. A nice feature is the ability to order coffee beyond the basic filter black coffee.

Outside Glenlo Abbey Hotel
Stunning settings

Also on site is a recently re-developed 9 Hole Championship Golf course designed by Christy O'Connor Jnr, fishing on Lough Corrib, a movie theatre and it is a popular location for weddings. 

The Verdict
The hotel and Pullman restaurant combination is perfect for couples for a romantic dine and stay experience. A 5-star get-a-way with first class food thrown in. 

For families, I would definitely recommend leaving the kids at home and enjoy the splendour of the restaurant and the estate at your leisure. The carriages of The Pullman are tight and cosy - so toddlers don't mix well.

Glenlo Abbey Hotel
Big, cosy rooms

The details:
We dined at The Pullman Restaurant as a guest of the Glenlo Abbey Hotel.
€61.00 Two Course / €69.00 Three Course
Booking essential - find out more here.

Glenlo Midweek Escape: 

  • 2 Nights Bed & Breakfast in a Classic Bedroom
  • Complimentary pick up from Galway Train or Bus Station upon request. (Pick-up must be arranged in advance of your stay)
  • Four Course Evening Meal on a night of your choice
  • Available Sunday-Thursday from €205 per person sharing
  • See glenloabbeyhotel.ie.

Other unique dining experiences around Ireland: 

La Peniche - Dublin's canal boat restaurant
A memorable dining experience on the Grand Canal.
More information. 

Medieval banquet at Bunratty Castle, County Clare
Join the Earl of Thomond for a glorious banquet at this majestic 15th century Bunratty Castle
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The Cottage Restaurant, Leitrim
The traditional half door entrance to the restaurant leads into a bright, contemporary dining space.
More information.

Titanic Meal at Rayanne House, Belfast
The Titanic Menu is a recreation of the last menu served in the first class restaurant on board the iconic ship.
More information.

Game of Thrones feast at Castle Ward, County Down
In proper Thrones attire, you will be seated to break bread, sink your teeth into a roasted hog, and wash it all down with a pitcher of Winterfell’s finest ale.
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Harry's Shack, Portstewart 
A beach shack right on the sand in lovely Portstewart. Stunning views and fresh seafood from local boats.
Check out @HarrysShack