All Aboard – London to Brussels


trains

Hello!  I hope you all had a nice Christmas holiday!  For anyone wondering (Alf!) I have this post and one more to do on Belgium and then starting the first week of the New Year I will begin sharing the tales of our six week Euro trip taken last fall.  I’ll try to get in two posts a week and see how that goes! (without dragging it out until next fall.)

For today this is a continuation of when my American friend came to visit.  After a day in London we were off to Belgium via the Eurostar.  Taking the Eurostar train from St. Pancras in London via the channel tunnel to France or Belgium is super easy and and I thought a fun journey.  I was a little concerned about feeling claustrophobic going under the English channel in a tunnel, but you don’t even realise it, other than it goes dark outside the train windows.  If you are OK in the subways of London, you will be fine on the Eurostar, (plus more comfy seating and no crowding.) Above are the Eurostar trains parked inside St. Pancras station, between journeys.

interiors

Now I say it is super easy, but be sure to allow enough time to get to the station before boarding your train. (ahem!)  Yes we were a little too late to board our scheduled train, but not to worry as they promptly booked us on the next train in two hours time.  I don’t know if this is a common practice, but we were grateful they accommodated us so kindly.  This gave us some time to get a bite to eat and look around the historic station.  Because even if you aren’t taking a Eurostar journey it is a great station to visit with loads of atmosphere.  Behind the booking office sign, which was the original booking office, is the restored St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel.  To portray what I am trying to convey is this information from the St Pancras website:

Sir John Betjeman called this Gothic treasure “too beautiful and too romantic to survive” in a world of tower blocks and concrete. Its survival against the odds will cause wonder; the building itself will take your breath away.  After years of devoted restoration, the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel is being hailed as London’s most romantic building. Its glorious Gothic Revival metalwork, gold leaf ceilings, hand-stencilled wall designs and a jaw-dropping grand staircase are as dazzling as the day the hotel in 1873.

http://www.stpancraslondon.com

station

Also in the middle of the station is the worlds longest champagne bar.  At Searcys you can sip champagne and take in the glorious surroundings of this Victorian masterpiece and plan or dream about your next journey.  It was a little too early in the day for us to partake this trip, but we did have time on our return.  For now we didn’t want to miss our train (again) so we were off to the boarding area.  Next stop Brussels.

wine bar

Categories: EnglandTags: , , , , ,
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