Press release -

Virgin Trains new executive chef James Martin serves up sweet surprise

Virgin Trains new executive chef James Martin serves up sweet surprise

Award winning chef James Martin was on board Virgin Trains serving up treats from his new seasonal menu to surprised customers in a newly refurbished First Class Carriage. The train operator’s new executive chef then put his catering skills back into action as he travelled from King’s Cross to Leeds, delighting customers with samples from the new menu.

On arrival in Leeds, James met suppliers whose food is featured on his recently launched First Class menu, which is currently being served to Virgin Trains’ customers on the east coast route. Amongst these was award winning rare-breed farmers,Taste Tradition.

James said: “It was great to hear from the local suppliers whose produce has gone into making the new Virgin Trains seasonal menu and to be able to share with them the great feedback we have had so far from customers’’.

Alison Watson, Customer Experience Director at Virgin Trains on the east coast, added: “We’re delighted that James’ new menu showcases the delicious foods produced on our route. It gives us an opportunity to support our local communities and offer a fine dining experience to our First Class customers.’’

A new James Martin menu is being rolled out to Standard Class customers in autumn as part of Virgin Trains’ ongoing £40m investment in its fleet. 


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About Virgin Trains

Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the East Coast and West Coast inter-city routes under the Virgin Trains brand. Together, they are on track to revolutionise rail travel across the UK.

The combined network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, York and London.

Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains as one of the top long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.

On the East Coast route, £140m is being invested to create a more personalised travel experience. This includes a major fleet revamp, smarter stations and exciting new routes. From May 2016, there will be 42 additional services (22,000 extra seats) per week between Edinburgh and London. 2018 will see the introduction of completely new Azuma trains being built in the UK by Hitachi.

The West Coast route has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.

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