Culture, Events, Travel

The Love Train

Last week I plied two of my best and most brilliant single girlfriends with gin and persuaded them to do a guest post for Bloody Hell Brennan. Their mission? To board a train crammed with loads of of single men and Radio 1’s Scott Mills and go and make chocolate in York. Read on if you’re intrigued:


“Good afternoon team! Bloody Hell Brennan’s very first guest bloggers here! Namely Nat Smith and Vic Savva. We’re waving.

When our best mate asked us to board the Love Train, I think we both initially assumed this was the big proposal and we could finally drop this ‘quest for love’ hullabaloo and shack up together in Mexico… no? NAH we’re saving that for next year.

“Um, what is the Love Train mate?” we quizzed, after our third gin… WELL. The Love Train was an inspired event set up by the swoonsome team at, in association with East Coast Trains, to get a load of game singles to meet on a train to York, and treat them to on-board bacon baps, a bevy of fun activities to do in this BEAUTiful city and a wine infused dinner in first-class on the train back to London, accompanied by entertainment. “Errr hi YES MATE WE’LL GO!” we cried.

So we set off last Saturday in our best ‘we are totally cool but also talk to us cos we’re bare nervous about this’ outfits.



First stop: to hit the first class lounge at King Cross station. But wait… as we approached the door a synchronised wave of The Wobbles hit us.


Both strangers to online dating (I know, don’t judge us, we’ve been too busy working and watching Bake Off) we suddenly realised we were metaphorically jumping into the dating deep end without armbands OR pyjamas. After an adult game of ‘you go first or you’re a rotten egg’ I stepped up. We bumbled through the crowds and found the team. (It’s also worth mentioning at this point Vic asked an elderly stranger in the lift forcefully if he was boarding the Love Train. He was not. HAHAHAHAHA as you were kid.)

Our nerves dissolved when we hit the lounge. The Match team were there to greet us; we walked in to a gaggle of laughter and coffee, and immediately made friends. Not yet confident enough to talk to boys, we grabbed a couple of huns who looked similarly bewildered and trotted off to the train together on the quest for the thing that all regular train travellers covet so… THE TABLE.


eastcoasttrains.jpeg lovetrain.jpeg
SUCCESS! Table found, we were welcomed by some more singles, and let me tell you guys, we lucked out. WHAT a lovely bunch.

Vic and Shiv <3

Vic and Shiv <3


this guy wooed me by making a person with a bobble, and hair grip and a coffee stirrer- it worked

this guy wooed me by making a person with a bobble, and hair grip and a coffee stirrer- it worked

Not ones to shy away from the pack, we were old friends by the time we hit Peterborough. Some people were there with pals, some were alone. Some were on the quest for a match; some were there to simply meet some new people. They were ALL there to have a lovely day.

There was a choice of breakfast goodies to gorge on, obviously we hit the bacon baps hard, and the staff made sure we were topped up with refreshments for the whole trip. THANKS GUYS. Counter to creating our own entertainment, the Match kids had also provided us with some treats- we met Judge the Poet, who performed impromptu poetry with words you gave him. (It was SO HOT and clever. Poem porn. Kudos)

We also got serenaded by these guys….They were siiiiiiiiiiick.

Once in York, we hopped off the train to explore the city for a spell before our chosen activity- a Chocolate Masterclass. OH HAIIIIII. Now I’m not a stranger to York, but it’s been a while, and guys, I bloody love it.

welcometoyork.jpeg image[6]
The cobbled streets steeped in history are a beauty to behold and there’s SO much to see and do. We pottered around, window shopping and swooning over trinkets, found the York Minster, watched some street performers and just generally had a really nice time.

Vic is Queen of the Selfie

Vic is Queen of the Selfie

As we were sporting our Match lanyards loud and proud we bumped in to some fellow Love Trainers and had our first ale of the day in a pub where Guy Fawkes was ACTUALLY BORN. Is that not the coolest thing ever guys? Er YEAH I think it is.

image[19] image[9]
More mixing/lolling was done and then we scampered off to our Chocolate Treat… little did we know we would then take one of our best snaps of the day… and the fodder of profile pictures for probably quite a long time to come… WATCH OUT FACEBOOK CHUMS- IT’S A PICTURE YOU PUT YER FACE IN….


this shows our ‘fun’ side

Guys, the Chocolate Story was reeeeeallly good. I like chocolate, sure. When I tried to quit sugar for the day I chewed a hole in my own face and punched a wall. So to be taken through a history of the bugger and given loads of chocolate treats on the way was pretty much sweeeeeet. We had a lovely tour guide called Ben (who I’d marry on confectionery knowledge alone) and we got to see the masters at work, and even made our own chocolate lollies with the gorgeous lovely compere for the day, Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills. (He’s a huge babe).


Radio 1's Scott Mills making some chocolate. Of course.

Radio 1’s Scott Mills making some chocolate. Of course.



Smacked up on sugar, some folk left for the other activity of the day which was a lovely river trip, but we chose to take in a little more of the city and debrief our day so far. I found the BEST CRAFT BEER SHOP ever, grabbed some gifts for our very own Bloody Hell Brennan (Editor’s note- Thanks guys. It was delicious.) then found a pub and nestled in, on a natural high from the day’s events.

It was then time to board the Love Train again. Match, East Coast, and Mills were there to meet us and, now remarkably looser than the morning (ale), we chatted happily to all the single gang about our days. The East Coast staff, again, were awesome. There were A LOT of people to contend with on that ‘ere train let me tell you, but they served up delicious mushroom and spinach lasagnes (cooked by the on-board chef) and drinks with a smile. There was more entertainment en route back to London, and there were couples literally busting a groove in the aisles to the Mariachi band (who I’d marry on their HATS alone). In fact, we were having so much fun in fact, we weren’t content to leave it at Kings Cross. Oh no. We had to go to ANOTHER pub on landing, and celebrate our new found friendships with a night cap(s).

Now, when I got back, a lot of people asked ‘oooo did you meet anyone?’ (I say a lot, mainly our mums, through tears, clutching confetti), and the answer was YES we met lots of lovely people! We didn’t find a ‘love’ match, but I’d be fibbing if I said I was looking for one. The Love Train is a marvellous idea, and where some lovely romantic connections are made, it’s also an excellent way to meet new pals, and enjoy the company of like minded people out of the hustle and bustle of this wonderful capital city (which as we singleton’s ALL know can be a squizz lonely at times). We loved it. P’raps we’ll even do a little dating ourselves AAAAAAARRRRRRRGHHHHHHH.

So GOD SPEED Love Trainers!! And thank you and East Coast Trains for an excellent day. I have had Billy Ocean in my head for three solid weeks.

Lots of love, Bloody Hell Brennan’s excitable guests, NAT AND VIC





Bloody Hell Brennan was a guest of and East Coast Trains. All opinions, reviews and content (unless otherwise specified) are Bloody Hell Brennans’s own and are 100% honest.


1 Comment

  1. …In which our hero talks about why he has started a blog, and probably what’s going to be in it… | Grumblepatch

    September 21, 2014 at 12:51 am

    […] the punctuation part. But I managed to shake off my foibles, mostly after reading an excellent article in a blog by a friend of mine that inspired me to pick up the keyboard, spend hours finding a name […]

Leave a Reply