Filmmaker Wes Anderson is no stranger to vintage travel. Between his movies “The Darjeeling Limited” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” he’s become something of a visual connoisseur of the golden age of travel, blending old-school design movements like art deco and art nouveau with his signature cinematic aesthetic of symmetry, pastels, and jewel tones. By
But film lovers and travel lovers alike will now be able to experience Anderson’s style in real life. The filmmaker has designed a vintage train carriage for luxury travel company Belmond, which itself is known for its revitalisation of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, arguably one of the most famous trains in the world.
“I love trains! I have often had the chance to invent train compartments and carriages in my movies — so I was immediately pleased to say ‘yes’ to this real-life opportunity and very eager to make something new while also participating in the process of preservation which accompanies all the classic Belmond train projects,” Anderson said in a statement released to Travel + Leisure. “They are keeping something special alive; igniting this endangered species of travel into a new golden era.”
Anderson redesigned the 1950s-era Cygnus carriage aboard the British Pullman, A Belmond Train, a leisure train comprising vintage rail cars that traverses England on day trips. The carriage is a dining car — most of the British Pullman’s journeys are culinary affairs — with detailed wood marquetry on the walls, colourful patterned upholstery, a pastel-pink and silver-leaf ceiling, and swan-shaped Champagne coolers as a nod to the carriage’s namesake, the Greek god of balance, who is personified as a swan.
Rates for a seat at an open table start at USD 545 (INR 40,918) per person. But new with Anderson’s re-imagination of the carriage are two private coupés, each seating four guests who will be treated to unlimited Champagne — prices start at USD 2,455 (INR 1,84,322) per coupé. And it’s even possible to book the entire carriage for a private affair for up to 26 guests, though that price is only available upon request.
“At Belmond, we are custodians of timeless heritage. We are always seeking new ways to remain relevant and create new legendary adventures. It is our mission to keep the travel dreams alive by collaborating with the most creative talents, who share our passion for design and craftsmanship,” said Arnaud Champenois, Belmond’s senior vice president of brand and marketing. “It has been a privilege to work with Wes Anderson who is one of the most captivating storytellers in the world and a true legend.”
Ready to book your trip? Take a look at the itineraries here.