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On a train journey, what would you consider a 'meal'?

(77 Posts)
OliviaStabler Mon 06-Nov-17 18:31:14

I booked a first class return ticket as I was travelling a long way and the train company advertised a meal on both sections of the journey with that ticket. It was a bit more expensive than the standard class fare but with food and coffee I thought it was a bargain.

So I get to the train and I ask about catering. I get told that, as it is a weekend, there is no hot meal but a trolley of sandwiches and wraps etc will come round several times during the journey. This sounded fine.

The first time I see the trolly I pick a sandwich and a packet of popcorn. The sandwich was tiny but so was everything else on offer but as they supposedly come round several times, I was not worried. The trolly came by 30 minutes later and I ask for a sandwich. However I was met by the mother of all cat bum faces saying she has other stops to carer for and she walked off.

Was I being unreasonable? I picked the more expensive ticket as it had a 'meal' included. A tiny sandwich and a small pack of popcorn is not a meal to me.

Glumglowworm Mon 06-Nov-17 18:33:25

On a train, I would only expect a sandwich tbh. Maybe a lukewarm sausage roll or similar.

I don't travel first class though so maybe I just have low expectations

GhostCurry Mon 06-Nov-17 18:33:25

Nope, not great!
When I’ve travelled 1st class on the Eurostar, it’s been a hot meal with 3 courses.

Fffion Mon 06-Nov-17 18:35:48

The weekend ticket is presumably not much more expensive than standard class, so whatever you get is going to be small. You have to build in lounge, quiet coach, free wifi, at chair service.

GraciesMansion Mon 06-Nov-17 18:35:57

Yes, it’s sandwiches only on weekends. We travel on virgin east coast quite a bit. They’re usually happy for you to have as many as you want though and crisps and biscuits. The alcohol is included too! It is full hot meals during the week though.

museumum Mon 06-Nov-17 18:42:35

I’ve not gone first class at the weekend but in the week the sandwich is normal sized and with a packet of crisps too. Is that not enough?
I’m a bit greedy but that’s enough for me for a meal.

BarbaraofSevillle Mon 06-Nov-17 18:43:08

I think it does say in the small print that it's only sandwiches and other cold food at weekends, which is disappointing as the proper meals in the week used to be quite decent. I don't really like sandwiches so wouldn't see much value in it TBH and would probably get something from the station instead.

CurbsideProphet Mon 06-Nov-17 18:44:53

Virgin trains? On a weekend the food service is greatly reduced. Unfortunately it pays to check the small print!

Fffion Mon 06-Nov-17 18:52:14

The last time I traveled on Virgin East Coast, I had some kind of creamy chicken and rice. It was delicious, but only really a half-portion. I made up for it in wine. None of the hospitality staff cared what you asked for, and the crews changed at different stations.

The last time I travelled at the weekend, it was just naice sandwiches with soft drinks. No wine but that was last year so maybe things have changed.

LadyOfTheCanyon Mon 06-Nov-17 19:05:01

I travelled virgin east cost last week from London to Edinburgh and back again two days later. Went first class as got an advance deal.
Train left on time, but slow due to earlier problems on the line. For some reason this meant breakfast service was reduced. Got turfed out at York and when back on another train told that there was nothing but tea and coffee going till Edinburgh. Bit miffed as I would have got something while stuck at York had I known.
On return leg, hot meals advertised but none available. However, very nice lady gave us a bottle of wine and managed to find us a sausage roll from somewhere, which was handed over with a conspiratorial wink while other travellers looked on jealously.
The staff were lovely, and I would have paid the money for first class just for the seat, legroom and comfort. But I did expect more from them in the way of catering, tbh. So YANBU.

Cheeseandcucumber Mon 06-Nov-17 19:13:47

YBU. You wanted two sanwiches which would potentially leave other passengers with none.

I often do London to Edinburgh first class and have been on the receiving end of an empty trolley. I once had nothing but panettone there and back and I hate panettone.

Read the small print.

LoniceraJaponica Mon 06-Nov-17 19:24:07

When DD and I travelled first class on East Midland trains recently we got drinks and biscuits on the way down (Friday morning) and just tea and water on the way back - no food (Sunday).

HighburyHattie Mon 06-Nov-17 19:30:25

I travel long distance on trains regularly for work meetings (3x day return trips per week) and I get so confused when passengers expect a full supper on a train. You’re only missing out on 1 meal, I’m sure a sandwich is sufficient?

What were you expecting, a 3 course restaurant dinner? There’s shops before and after your journey for you to get something else. I’m sure you can eat at home/your destination. A sandwich is fine for the train journey. You’ll live, honestly.

LoniceraJaponica Mon 06-Nov-17 19:31:58

We didn't expect a meal on either leg BTW. On the way back we stocked up with food at St Pancras.

SlothMama Mon 06-Nov-17 19:32:09

Last time I went first class all I got was a cake and a cup of tea!

NapQueen Mon 06-Nov-17 19:32:20

Dont you also have access to the Virgin forst class lounge? Cokes and crisps nuts and fruit aplenty!

MarmaladeIsMyJam Mon 06-Nov-17 19:32:41

I travel on virgin east coast a lot. The sandwich is just a normal sized sandwich cut into four, and the wrap is also a normal size cut into two.

I'm not surprised she pulled a face if you had only eaten a sandwich and had a bag of popcorn 30 minutes before. Only hot food and alcohol during the week i'm afraid! first class on a weekend isn't really worth it.

LapinR0se Mon 06-Nov-17 19:33:22

Fondly remembering the glory days of business class on the Eurostar with 3 course lunches, starched napkins and champagne...

MarmaladeIsMyJam Mon 06-Nov-17 19:39:44

I love going Business on the Eurostar Lapin

Haint Mon 06-Nov-17 19:45:52

How do they make a sandwich small? Isn’t bread fairly standard sized? Was it only one slice? I’d be horrified if it were only one slice

HotNatured Mon 06-Nov-17 19:58:55

I travel first a lot for long distance with both Virgin and East Coast. What you have described sounds about right for a weekend. I travelled with East Coast yd and was told by some miserable woman with a face like a split boot after I asked that there is no trolley service and that I had to go to the buffet carriage, where i was then told by another sour faced woman that with my first class ticket i was entitled to tea, coffee, water and a biscuit. Not even a measly sandwich! So I'd say you lucked out, OP grin

MarmaladeIsMyJam Mon 06-Nov-17 20:00:39

Haint just normal size sandwiches!

MyBrilliantDisguise Mon 06-Nov-17 20:01:55

I've got first class travelling back home on the 9pm train and the staff couldn't give me enough. There were dips, M&S sandwiches, crisps, nuts, chocolate bars - when I said I couldn't eat them all the woman on duty said "Oh take them home." When she heard I had a son at home she gave me some packs of sandwiches and chocolate for him. The women opposite had three G&Ts and a little bottle of wine each on top of their food. I was driving and she gave me mine to take home. I thought it was great!

RaindropsAndSparkles Mon 06-Nov-17 20:04:59

Brings back memories of silver service restaurant cars. Used to be a toss the country. Remembers childhood fondly. Esp. Brighton Belle.

Orient Express would be good grin

LoniceraJaponica Mon 06-Nov-17 20:07:04

I remember the Brighton Bell I use to live in Croydon and often used to see it going through South Croydon station.

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