The Carriage Club: London’s First Cabaret on Rails

Words by Belmond Editors

The Carriage Club: London’s First Cabaret on Rails

A line-up of five female performers in Art-Deco gowns and headdresses and three men in black, white and pin-stripe suits.

Join us onboard the British Pullman train for an immersive experience that combines seasonal fine dining and live performances.

Wilkommen, bienvenue and welcome. These three little words (an iconic introduction to the most famous burlesque song from the musical Cabaret, 1951) are enough to conjure up a mood of decadence and thrilling entertainment that could last until the early morning. Originating in Paris in the 1880s, le cabaret bloomed when musicians, dancers and humorists gathered around the streets of the French capital to entertain the passing bourgeois society. Quickly, street shows and troupes of artists found shelter in the “café-concert”, with clubs opening around Palais-Royal, les Champs-Elysées and — the area we most associate with burlesque — Montmartre.

Right on the hills of the vibrant Parisian village, Le Chat Noir opened the first-ever burlesque show, where bohemians and artists once held residence after dark. Toulouse-Lautrec rubbed shoulders with Vincent Van Gogh and, a few decades later, Édith Piaf and Django Reinhardt sang encores to crowds of creative outcasts. At the cabaret, guests and performers alike were brought together by the idea of being their most authentic selves.


The Carriage Club journey begins as you approach the train and hear the first notes of jazz classics played by Mr. Christopher’s Boys in the distance, growing louder with every step. Meanwhile, a burlesque dancer rushes to the train, the clattering of her kitten heels clicking on the platform with each drumbeat. “Was that Golden Arrow?” someone whispers, enquiring about the starlet of tonight’s show. A few moments later, a crisp whistle — the train manager momentarily stops all conversations, moving the guests from the platform onto the train. Inside the carriage, Champagne cork-pops are the soundtrack to start the evening’s celebrations. And as simply as that, the cabaret on rails begins— and so does one of the wildest of nights onboard British Pullman.


The desire to reveal the most spectacular acts has always been the pinnacle of the music hall. When London cabaret clubs opened in the 1920s, they morphed into jubilant theatrical acts, bringing the crowds together in grand style. Mr. Sammy Jones gets the party started onboard British Pullman with a rendition of Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald’s iconic “It don’t mean a thing”, as the first course of the cabaret dinner is served: lobster and prawn cocktail paired with a crisp glass of white wine from England’s Whitehall Vineyard. Served in style by a team of dedicated staff, guests will witness ‘Lady Lucille’ and her signature ukulele, and a dazzling dancing act by ‘The Brighton Belles’.

These are the key ingredients to the British Pullman’s most immersive experience yet. In The Carriage Club, you’ll laugh, sing at the top of your lungs, dine on the finest food and drink the finest wine. When 'The Trickster’ will surprise even the most dubious of guests, before the grand finale, ‘Rainbow’, the second emcee, leads the parade of talents in and out of the gilded carriages as British Pullman heads back to Victoria Station. As the modern landscapes of London loom on the horizon from the windows outside, you’ll be pulled back to reality. But don’t worry, for the next British Pullman departure, head this way.

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