Victorian Dining Carriage
Also situated within the garden of High Cross Cottage is another railway carriage! This one is remarkable because it is the oldest surviving carriage of the former London & South Western Railway, dating from 1876. What is equally interesting is that it was a First Class Family Saloon; essentially, the best private hire carriage available at that time. In 1905, the carriage was converted into a house at Exmouth, Devon before eventually being rescued in a very dilapidated state. Charles and Marion have restored it with enormous attention to detail, made possible by the discovery of a time-capsule of original fittings and materials concealed, together with a newspaper dated 1896, within the walls. The result is a museum standard restoration of a beautiful railway carriage interior composed of fine Brazilian mahogany, gold leaf lining, polished brass fittings, embossed wallpapers, rich fabrics, superb lace antimacassars, fascinating notices and a railway map and sepia photographs under the luggage racks.
The First Class Saloon is available for hire, either by guests staying in the Camping Coach or by other visitors. Guests can savour for themselves the delights of a First Class dinner prepared by a professional cook, a more affordable Second Class dinner or Afternoon Tea served in a sumptuous Victorian setting complete with original South Western silverware and china. A meal in the carriage is a wholly memorable experience and ideal for a special occasion.
Menus vary depending on the time of year. Below are samples for your information.