It was a typically cold and wet Melbourne day, however, that didn't dampen our spirits as we were excited to be going on the Puffing Billy! We hadn't been back since our childhood, so the memories of riding on the train were a little blurred.
The Puffing Billy Steam and Cuisine Luncheon was a gift we decided to use for a special occasion, so we booked the weekend of my birthday! Arriving in Belgrave just before 12pm, we parked our car nearby and walked down to the Puffing Billy station. If you are coming by train, it's just a short work under the bridge.
The first class dining carriage was wonderful and cosy. As the steam train meandered through the temperate rainforest ferns and gullies, climbing its way up through the Dandenong ranges, we had a great view of the Silvan Reservoir and spotted the occasional bike riders.
The train made a couple of stops before reaching Lake Emerald. Once we arrived, we had 45 minutes to explore around the lake. The temperature had dropped and the rain finally stopped, so we took advantage of getting some exercise and breathed in the fresh crisp mountain air!
By the time we walked around the lake and explored the picnic grounds, it was time to board the train. Dessert and hot drinks were served on our leg back. Delicious chocolate mud cake served with cream was quickly devoured along with unlimited cups of tea or coffee. The other dessert option was key-lime pie. Yummy!
Overall, a great 3-hour experience riding on the Puffing Billy, in first class for the Steam and Cuisine Luncheon! The food was delicious and quite filling. The scenery is breathtaking! I highly recommend it as a gift for someone special or get a group together and experience a bygone era travelling on a vintage steam train whilst getting spoilt with some delicious food!