Those who have read Agatha Christie’s novel Murder on the Orient Express (1934), will have a vivid mental image of the train I am about to describe: Art deco cabins with shiny polished wood, brass luggage racks, staff members in elegant hats, champagne bar, high-end cutlery and crockery for sophisticated dining.
These original Pullman coaches, dating back to the 1920’s, were bought and restored in 1982 by Belmond and further enhancements such as Art deco lamps, armchairs and electric heating were added. There are currently 11 original Pullman carriages, some of which were used to transport royalty.
On Thursday March 28th, I embarked towards Canterbury in Zena, one of those original carriages, built in 1928 and to my delight, used in the film Agatha (1976).
Once the train had departed, it was clear that the journey – and means of transport – would become as important as our destination, or perhaps even more.
I had made much effort, upon setting off, to keep in the present moment to enjoy every aspect, taste and image of this wonderful experience but instead, my mind was filled with euphoria and busy planning the future. Every bite of salmon brought me to the stories of my next book, every castle we caught sight of made me think of the new approach I’ll apply to my drawings and each background noise – cutlery, champagne hitting the glass and small conversation – mixed with my happy thoughts of the coming times. For some reason, I was strangely enjoying this journey both in the present and the future.
I am often asked why I won’t make an app of my books. The medium, dear traveler, should be as important as the destination itself.
You can book this train experience here. Tickets start at £312 per passenger.