Eating and drinking
Virgin Trains East Coast will take you up and down Britain to discover some of this island’s most extraordinary food and drink. Hop on board for whisky distillery tours in Glasgow, seaside fish and chips in Newcastle, alfresco dining in London and Harrogate’s refreshing real ales.
You’ll smell the malt from Glasgow’s local breweries when you step off your Virgin Trains East Coast train, and whiskies aren’t far away. See how the ‘water of life’ is made at nearby Auchentoshan Lowland Single Malt Distillery - Scotland’s only triple-distilled malt - and end your visit with a wee dram. Sip at greater length when you visit Babbity Bowster pub and hotel. Housed in an 18th-century building, local musicians regularly gather there for ad hoc sessions playing traditional Scottish and Irish instruments.
Glasgow has regularly worn the Curry Capital of Britain crown, and has a claim to be the home of the original chicken tikka masala. Dine on Hasina lamb chops at Shish Mahal or, for superb fusion, try haggis pakora at Mr Singh’s India.
Virgin Trains East Coast brings you to the spa town of Harrogate, on the edge of the Dales. An elegant fixture on the town’s scene is Bettys Café Tea Rooms which has welcomed visitors for its traditional afternoon tea of hearty cakes with a steaming pot of Yorkshire tea since 1919.
Summer is the season for picnics, perhaps at the floral Valley Gardens or a short journey to the rolling Yorkshire Dales - just drop into at popular deli Fodder to stock up on delicious fresh local produce first. End the day in Hales Bar, Harrogate’s oldest pub still proudly wearing its original gaslights, for a beer from family-run breweries in nearby Masham.
You’ll soon be refreshed after arriving in dynamic London with its plethora of world-class wining and dining options. Admire its famous royal parks on sunny afternoons, try Hyde Park’s lakeside Serpentine Bar & Kitchen and check out their famous wood-fired pizzas. The meandering River Thames is home to some of the city’s best restaurants - treat yourself with exquisite French cuisine at Coq D’Argent where diners enjoy superb views from their table on the rooftop terrace.
Venture further west along the Thames and you can sit back with a pint or a chilled glass of Pimms in Hammersmith’s choice of charming riverside pubs.
You’ll feel the warm welcome in Newcastle moments after stepping off your Virgin Trains East Coast train. Panoramic views of the cityscape and Gateshead Quays await at Six, the rooftop restaurant at the dynamic Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. Fancy some succulent seafood? A few miles east of the city is North Shields Fish Quay, hub of the fishing industry since the 13th century and still the best place for waterfront brasseries and fine dining - plus fish and chips out of newspaper.
Newcastle’s friendly locals love a night out in this party city. Join them for a ‘bottle of broon’ in a traditional Geordie boozer - the dark wood-paneled Newcastle Arms is a good place to start your night out.