Angular, symmetrical and intricately designed, Wes Anderson films are known for their exquisite aesthetics and predilection for panache. Just look at the snow-capped pastels of Zubrowka in ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, or the whimsically named Ennui-sur-Blasé in ‘The French Dispatch.’
Anyone who has seen ‘The Darjeeling Limited’ will also know that Wes has an affinity for the beauty and excitement of train travel. Starring Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman, the film sees three brothers reuniting in India and embarking on a luxury train journey together.
“I have often had the chance to invent train compartments and carriages in my movies,” Wes tells Belmond. “So I was very eager to make something new while also participating in the process of preservation which accompanies all the classic Belmond train projects. They are keeping something special alive. An endangered species of travel which is nevertheless very suited to our time.”
Cygnus—a carriage built in the 1950s—has its fair share of cinematic history, featuring in the 1972 film Agatha starring Dustin Hoffman and Vanessa Redgrave. It is one of eleven on the British Pullman, whose carriages have hosted royalty, carried statesmen and survived World War II bomb raids over the years.
With his love of trains and passion for craftsmanship, Wes was tasked with balancing the history of the Cygnus carriage with his own bold and modern vision. The result is a carriage straight out of one of his films: stunningly symmetrical marquetry, bold rectilinear shapes and a feast of complementary colours.
With a pastel-pink ceiling detailing and a variety of green tones in the carpets and chairs, at first glance Cygnus feels like stepping onto one of the director’s film sets. Stunning marquetry work in numerous wood panels shows sunbeams, clouds, stars and waves.
Bold, sharp lines feature in the shape of the chairs and mirrors, adhering to the angular equilibrium the director is famed for. Eagle eyes will also spot the many swan details, referencing the carriage’s name and history.
Guests can ride in Cygnus on any journey on the British Pullman, a unique travel experience that rumbles across the rails all over England. Whether a murder mystery lunch through the Kent countryside or a sparkling dinner hosted by an up-and-coming guest chef, a ticket in Cygnus means you can experience the Golden Age of Travel while appreciating the beauty of modern design.
Apart from the visual spectacle, guests aboard British Pullman can look forward to new levels of privacy with the launch of two exclusive private coupés. The intimate space can house up to four guests and features an unprecedented level of luxury, from 360-degree handcrafted marquetry, to contemporary British menus served on special crockery with compliments of British Pullman’s Head Chef. You can also look forward to a range of exclusive cocktails served in glassware only available in the private coupé.
With plush furnishings, delectable meals, and unparalleled luxury from the moment you step on board, it’s all about the journey and less on the destination with Belmond.