RMS Aquitania - The Ship Beautiful
assengers travelling aboard Aquitania were afforded all the luxuries of a land-based hotel. The styling throughout was harmonious and comfortable, and indeed it was her fine fittings that resulted in the nickname “the ship beautiful.” One particularly nice feature that was confined to the Aquitania was the Garden Lounge, situated outside the public rooms on both port and starboard sides of the “A” Deck. The endeavour had been to obtain the effect of an old garden by means of trellis in natural teak on walls treated to represent stone. Glazed windows at the sides and at the after end afforded protection from the wind. The furniture consisted of wicker chairs, settees and tables.
Garden Lounge
RestaurantThe decoration of the Restaurant was in the Louis XVI style, and the woodwork was in panelled mahogany. The whole was enriched with carved ornament, pilasters and columns. Between the pilasters and on the panels of the vents were hung decorative paintings, descriptive of the work of masters of the 18th Century. Two big decorative paintings were hung above two magnificent console tables. In the great ceiling of the well was a decorative painting representing the Triumph of Flora. The well was surrounded by a rich wrought iron balustrading, with motifs forming panels representing the monogram of the Company and of the ship, with two anchors crossed on a trident, sybolical of Neptune, the God of the Seas.
Restaurant
The general scheme of decoration in the First Class Lounge was reminiscent of the work of Sir Christopher Wren. The color scheme of the room was executed in wine red and grey. The centre of the room, which was eighteen feet in height, was ornamented with a genuine old ceiling painting on canvas, signed by Van Cuygen. Large Georgian windows overlooked the Garden Lounge. The spandrels at the end of the room, on each side of the arches, were copied from old panels representing the Elements -- Fire, Earth, Water, Heaven, after Jean Baptiste Van Lee, 1684-1745. A semi-circular stage or platform was planned at one end of the room, and was decorated with a fine coffered vault, under which appeared a reproduction of the famous Mortlake tapestry representing the Battle of Solebay. The floor was of oak and suitable for dancing.
Lounge
The First Class Smoking Room was an adaption from Greenwich Hospital, the period being late Charles II. It was 76 foot long and 52 foot wide, and had a lofty central portion and five spacious rooms adjoining. On all sides were carved trophies and coats-of-arms in the earlier manner of Grinling Gibbons. Much of the carving had been executed out of solid oak. In the centre of the high portion of the room were two large decorative painted panels, in richly carved old gold frames, representing the “Embarkation of St. Ursula” and a “Seaport with Figures.” The lower portions of the room had a rich oak beamed ceiling, and the window treatment suggested the Admiral’s Walk on an old battleship. The electric light fittings were copied from an old Dutch ship lantern.
Smoking Room
First Class Continued
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