Idea #429 – Dinning in the Orient Express train
The Orient-Express is a luxury train created by the International Company of the Sleeping cars ( CIWL) which, since 1883, assures the connection between Paris, Vienna, as well as Venice, from 1919, and Constantinople, serving several capitals of European nations. From its origin, the Orient-Express conjugates innovation and refinement. Nicknamed ” king of trains, train of kings “, it is based( on the innovation and cabins are equipped with what is made of more modern for time : they have a central heating, a hot water and a gas lighting. Concerning luxury, the inside is papered and with impeccably drawn up beds, with bathrobes marked with the seal of the company wait for the travelers. We use the best materials: sheets are silk, the marble toilets, the crystal cup and the flat silvers. Twenty cabins are transformed into lounge during day. Before the World War I, the structure of cars was in teak. After 1920, it becomes metallic, what eliminates the crackles of the wood. René Lalique designed the interior design of restaurant cars with glass panels embeded in woodwork of mahogany of Cuba.
The Orient-Express so becomes a ground of expression of the Art nouveau. Among the personalities who dream then in the couchettes of the Orient-Express, let us let us quote king Ferdinand of Bulgaria, Russian writer Léon Tolstoy, American actress Marlene Dietrich, creator of the Russian ballets Serge Diaghilev… This luxury train is also borrowed by adventurers as Lawrence of Arabia, and spies as famous Mata-Hari. The myth of the Orient-Express builds itself later through the literature and the cinema. Numerous authors find the inspiration there: Joseph Kessel, Ernest Hemingway and Agatha Christie. The British novelist meets her husband there and her journeys on board inspire her three novels of which the famous “Murder on the Orient-Express” which will immortalize the train, in a investigation of the famous Hercule Poirot. In 1963, James Bond appears to it in Good Kisses of Russia.
The Second World War then the partition of Europe between the East and the West puts the Orient-Express in great danger. The last round trip Paris-Istanbul takes place in 1977, in a speed of 55km / hour because of the numerous customs offices of the Cold War. Today, there is a train made of 7 cars, property of SNCF(FRENCH NATIONAL RAILWAY COMPANY) and classified historic monuments. They are called Taurus, Anatolia, Golden arrow, Riviera, blue Train, star of the North and Côte d’Azur(French Riviera). We invited each other there to have dinner, on a historic section of Paris to Epernay.
Where is it ?
Paris Gare de l’Est Station – Epernay, France