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London St Pancras Station: Trains, Art and Eateries

27

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.

Airy Architecture of St Pancras Station

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 Platform of St Pancras International

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.

St Pancras Statues

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.

Champagne & Oyster bar at St Pancras

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
Pancras Road,
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.


27 comments »

  1. […] Brain, Jools Stone’s inspirational blog dedicated to travel by train. The article entitled Trains, Art and Eateries at London’s St Pancras Station relates my impressions when I visited St Pancras International in London last […]

  2. I love the couple’s statue. Very evocative.

    Isn’t the wine bar the longest one in the world?

    I hope the surrounding area of St.Pancras gets as lovely as the station itself, one day.

    • Hi Eurotrip Tips – the couple statue is my favourite too, couldn’t take my eyes (and camera) off it. I think you’re right about it being the longest bar. As for the area surrounding St Pancras, from the little I saw, I couldn’t agree with you more. Like many areas around train stations, it could do with a little TLC. Thank you for the comment 🙂

  3. Krista says:

    Oh how interesting!! Usually I’m just in and out or so bleary-eyed from a fiendishly early morning wake up to even think about wandering, but you’ve just shown me how silly that is. 🙂 I had no idea there were such culinary delights to tempt and nourish. 🙂 I will definitely have to go exploring next time. 🙂

  4. Forest says:

    Thanks for the nice rundown, as usual. i get back and forth between paris and london frequently, and love that the Eurostar uses St Pancras – and i usually arrive early enough before coming back from there to have some shopping and eating time! (i’m off for London this weekend, so you’ve inspired me to hit the champagne bar on this trip, which i haven’t done for a long time!)

  5. Corinne – I love the photos, especially the statue of the lovers embracing. Well, this train station is sure a lot different then any I’ve seen in Italy, or France for that matter. Wow! It’s like a shopping mall. Which makes me wonder if people who aren’t traveling go there, also? I think I would stop by the wine shop and bookstore. I love checking out the books in other countries. Now that I think about it, train stations like this aren’t logical in Italy. That would mean passengers were arriving early enough to take advantage of the eateries and shopping. Thanks for the tour around St. Pancras station.

    • Kathy, I had to laugh at the ‘logical’ reference to Italy! 🙂 As for the people going there, not everyone was travelling. There were a few people at the Champagne Bar in business suits around lunchtime so my guess is they’d get people as well as visitors. St Pancras Tube station is nearby, so it isn’t difficult for people get there.

  6. Jools Stone says:

    Late to the party I know, but would like to thank Corinne for a wonderful post which captures the place perfectly. I was there myself on Sunday to see a friend off and we spent a good hour there.
    I think it’ll be a long time before the area around Kings Cross matches the interior and I guess the increasing the gentrification of inner London is not always a good thing for residents despite the visitor appeal, though the area certainly feels safer than it used to at least.
    Was gobsmacked by the lovers statue, had no idea it was so huge! Especially loved the brilliant fresco details around the bottom. May add to the post with a pic or two of that of my own. Couldn’t find Betjemen though.

  7. Corinne, so glad to read this post. I was at St. Pancras in December 2009 to catch the Eurostar to Paris and was quite impressed. However, I somehow missed the Champagne Bar – will make sure I find it next time. I really like your photos, too.

  8. As a frequent user of the Eurostar, I must confess to loving St Pancras which is so different to Brussels’ Gare Du Midi as to almost be on a different planet. I keep forgetting about the champagne bar – must try that out some time!

  9. Amy says:

    Ah, I miss London sometimes. St. Pancras is such a beauty!

  10. inka says:

    Isn’t St. Pancreas just something? I’m so glad you made it known what a wonderful train station in London that is. Makes me really home sick, I lived in London fro 10 years. Thanks for your comment on the interview with Maralyn.

  11. Kerry-ann says:

    Makes me miss London and the ease of travel. Only travelled Eurostar once and that was before St Pancreas. If I get the chance to do it again I will take your advice and get there early. Thanks for great post

  12. Nice write up Jools, and I love the photos. I’m usually flying in and out of London but I always do enjoy the train trips when i get a chance.

    • Jools Stone says:

      Thanks Todd, actually this one’s a guestie from my pal Gourmantic. A great blog if you like classy culinary stuff, and well who doesn’t? Which reminds me, how’s that Japan post coming along?

  13. Wow! It has changed a lot since I was last there

  14. Ayngelina says:

    I love those statues, so much more interesting than just weird abstract stuff.

  15. robin says:

    Now that’s a train station. Dublin’s train stations are a bit of a mess compared to that.

  16. Kitty Blake says:

    North London is so lucky to have St Pancras, and now Kings Cross has had a facelift. I quite often go just to eat, shop have a cuppa as there are some really good places, better than usual train cafes and fantastic building.

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