Postcard of the Week: The Orient Express
These are in fact two separate postcards, both from a series of six posters by Pierre Fix-Masseau (1905-1994) in the style of the 1920s. He was the last of the great French Poster artists of the Art-Deco period. For those who don’t already know, the Orient Express is the name of a luxury train route created in 1883, that originally went from London all the way to Istanbul. Over the years there have been various changes to routes and of the owners of the rail service, but thanks to its popularity with prominent writers (who hasn’t heard of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, written in 1934, of which there have been film adaptations) it has retained its glamourous reputation and its intrigue over the decades. The service is currently operated by the Venice Simplon Orient Express and the classic journey covers just under 1000 miles (1500km) from London to Venice, passing through Paris, Innsbruck and Verona first. It takes only 29 hours, only 1 night, yet it costs from £1,920 per person.
I unfortunately can’t claim to have experienced it for myself, but my mother Malvena Stuart-Taylor absolutely adored it and described it as an absolute must, atleast once if not more:
Setting off from London Victoria, we had a short crossing of the Channel before settling into a retro-style dining area with exquisite food and wines and with the piano accompaniment in the background. Following a comfortable night in bed, being lulled to sleep by the rhythm of the rail track we awoke to breakfast in bed, followed by lunch and tea before arriving at the time-honoured city of Venice. The pity was to have to fly back for the return journey a couple of days later but by then we were saturated with the beauty and history of this Italian enclave.