With France still being the top destination for Chinese visitors to go to, two members of our editorial team took a quick trip to Paris, travelling on one of Eurostar’s new trains.
By July Pang – Travel Section
Having arrived at St Pancras International train station an hour before departure, we were invited by the welcoming staff to enjoy the free wifi and complimentary drinks, pastries and snacks in the lounge, as we had Business Premier tickets for the outbound journey. There was even time for a small glass of wine or two as we relaxed in the comfortable executive style lounge area reading the latest magazines and newspapers. With this type of ticket, you can even check in just 10 minutes before departure and with the journey time from London to Paris at just 2 hours and 16 minutes, this made it so much more convenient and time saving than flying there.
The boarding experience was very straight forward and efficient. One thing we particularly liked was that there was less waiting time than in an airport, so we still felt very fresh as we boarded.
The new trains are designed by the legendary Italian design house, Pininfarina, and come with sleek lines, a smart new livery, chic designer interiors and a whole host of eco-friendly upgrades. The seats were very comfortable, clean and spacious. The cabin was light and airy and the ride was very smooth.
As we settled into the journey and admired the scenic route where the English countryside meets the French countryside, we were offered and served a range of refreshments and a meal devised by Eurostar’s Culinary Director, Raymond Blanc, OBE. As Chef Patron of two Michelin-starred restaurants, it brought a delightful touch of gourmet to the train table.
On the train we sat adjacent to a Chinese couple from Hunan, a mountainous province in southern China. They were on the final leg of their European trip. They agreed that the Eurostar was a great and convenient way to travel from London to Paris.
After finishing the meal and before we knew it, we arrived safely at Paris’ central station, Gare Du Nord. Total journey time was 2 hours and 16 minutes. From the train station we took the metro to have afternoon tea near the Eiffel Tower on a splendid sunny summer’s afternoon.
Eurostar vs Plane
• Seamless city centre to city centre travel, with stations located in the heart of our destinations
• Fast and convenient check-in – passengers are requested to arrive only 30 minutes before departure (or 10 minutes if travelling Business Premier)
• The extra baggage allowance you get on Eurostar versus planes (Eurostar offers each person 2 bags/suitcases and 1 piece hand luggage)
• No queues or baggage reclaim upon arrival – simply take your bag with you on board
• Comfort and space on board to work or unwind
• Free travel for children under four