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A quite indifferent day turns into a beautiful but chilly May evening. Wisps of steam are visible in the distance, rising from the picturesque station at Llangollen, the very distinctive smell of coal in the air.

Instantly transported back in time whilst being whisked through the glorious Welsh countryside, the journey on board the amazing Llangollen steam train is an enchanting experience. But tonight, expectation and excitement is riding high, with further thrills promised as as the plot of the Baker Street murder mystery is revealed.

Luckily for us, there is just enough time on route for a visit to the lovely Cottage Tea rooms.

Sitting next to the huge black range that would have been the heart of these cosy old cottages, our tea pot arrives. To my absolute joy, it is leaf tea, and contently, we sip away as delicious Welsh Brew is the blend. Absolute bliss!

At Llangollen’s glorious vintage station the warmth of the enchanting real coal fire in their tea room is an inviting distraction from the cold.

The date is 8th May 2010 and as our glorious steam engine pulls us gently out of Llangollen station, history echoes at the amazing coincidence – it’s exactly 145 years to the very day a steam train first travelled down the track. The spectacular countryside is framed in the old carriage windows. The steam hisses, rather cleverly warming the carriages. The engine whistle sounds, such an evocative noise…

But we’re here to solve the Baker Street Murder Mystery. The Victorian characters appear, the plot unfolds.

Sherlock Holmes is under arrest for murder. His only chance for clearing his name is for his loyal friend Ron H Wotsit (a lovely humorous take on Watson!) Wotsit must find out who has committed the crime! Engaging and totally entertaining, the talented actors from Interact (Wales) transport us to another Victorian era, and it does not take too much imagination, surrounded by the noise of the wonderfully authentic steam engine.  As the plot thickens, we journey on. After a quick stretch of the legs at Corwen station, the train turns around to head back.

It is getting dark as we speed back to Llangollen. All too soon our nostalgic journey, replete with Victorian murder mystery, is almost at an end.

There is no doubt for me though, the real star of the show is the glorious steam train, and the wonderful station at Llangollen. Tea with Mary Kate adores the nostalgia of the Llangollen steam train, its vintage station transporting you on a journey to cherish. The next murder mystery “Murder onboard the Abbey Express” is on 17th July – Tea with Mary Kate’s advice – don’t miss it!

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