November 8, 2010 by Jools Stone
Train stations often get a bad rep, but our very own London St Pancras International turns out to be something of a sparkling diamond in the rough, as Corinne of the discerning foodie travel blog Gourmantic reports.
Travellers and foodies visiting London need no longer be confined to the newest eateries that have hit town, the swankiest bars or the latest trends in food and cuisine. A contender has arrived on the scene delighting train travellers and gourmands alike.
Last year’s trip to London took me on a voyage of culinary discovery right in the heart of St Pancras International. The refurbished train station became home to the Eurostar in 2007, and with a modern makeover, a remarkable range of eateries and bars have made themselves at home and turned a vintage station into a food haven.
From the moment you step through the station, your eyes are draws to the arched blue steel and deep orange bricks. Geometry plays an integral part of the design, leading your eye into the distance adding another dimension of space.
Comprising two levels, the lower level is dominated by the Eurostar departures and ticketing. Further along, you might think you’re in a shopping mall or retail arcade were it not for the trolley bays and travellers wheeling their luggage. A strip of shops and informal eateries run along each side where you can pause for a coffee and croissant at the likes of Le Pain Quotidien, enjoy a glass of wine at a Wine Bar or browse through a bookshop for something to read on your outward journey.
Away from the ebb and flow of commuters, the upper concourse offers a more subdued ambience. Art and upmarket eateries occupy the vast space surrounding the platforms from which the Eurostar and regional trains depart.
The statue of former poet Sir John Bentjeman pays homage to his role in saving the old station. Equally impressive is The Meeting Place, a tall statue of a modern couple locked in an embrace.
This is the place to give in to your inner foodie. You can indulge in Italian cuisine at Carluccio’s, the famed chef and television personality, enjoy a few oysters at the Oyster Bar and drink Champagne by the glass at Europe’s longest Champagne Bar.
Waiting for your train to arrive need no longer be fraught with boredom. At St Pancras International, there are ample eateries to tempt food lovers on a budget as well as those seeking a touch of luxury. London residents can also enjoy the foodie events which the station hosts throughout the year.
Next time I’m bound for Paris on the Eurostar, I’ll be arriving at St Pancras early. You’ll find me perched at The Champagne Bar as I farewell London by raising a glass of French bubbly.
St Pancras International is easily accessed by Tube from central London, with a direct connection at Kings Cross St Pancras.
St Pancras International Station
London, NW1 2QP
All photographs are copyright and courtesy of Gourmantic.com
Corinne has a strong penchant for packing a laptop, a camera, a large suitcase and roaming the globe in search of gastronomic adventures. An avid scribe who lives in Sydney (Australia), she feeds her passion for writing on Gourmantic, a magazine-style website for independent travellers and discerning foodies.