Eurostar vs Heathrow

Having just devoured half a dozen bi-valve molluscs in the form of ‘Rock Oysters’ and washed them down with two glasses of the very best, I feel almost on top of the world. Or at least fairly close to it, as the Kent countryside, whizzing past at almost 200mph seems to signify.

There is something very special about the whole St Pancras / Eurostar experience. I’m sure if you’d said 20 years ago that trains would start to take the place of, or even push aside air travel in terms of luxury and convenience, you would have poo-pooed the whole idea. But here we are in 2010, singing the merits of international train travel and its many pluses when compared to the Heathrow grind.

There is a certain informality and casual air to everything, from the market shops scattered around St Pancras, the mega-comfy seats at the Champagne Bar through to the speed and ease of getting through the formalities which have over the last few years become nothing but a pain at most airports.

Paris is now only two hours away, but in this two hours I have the pleasure of a two course meal to look forward to, as well as another chapter of my book, without having frequent flyer memberships, duty-free gin and an envelope for my miscellaneous loose change thrust upon me.

My better half is facing me, quoting every other paragraph in the Paris edition of Marie Claire, Elle, or similar, in her finest French. Something to do with ‘liaisons electroniques’ ou ‘aventures faciles avec femmes qui pensent de choses que fait plaisirs pour leurs hommes’.

Anyway, enough of that! Aforementioned meal now cleared away and the last of the extremely palatable ‘Mirambeau’ Bordeaux Sauvignon dispatched to where it belongs, Lille Europe station disappears into the distance and sun-drenched Ile de France whistles past our windows on our final hop into Gare du Nord. It all seems so much shorter than when we drove virtually the same route a few years ago. Possibly because we are moving at three times the speed we were then. The only thing that seems to be missing is the aerial view, but I think I can live without that for now!

Mr C.

Mr C
Dad to 2 grown-up boys and 3 lovely stepdaughters, I'm Mrs C's right-hand man and 'Bamps' to 3 new 'grand-arrivals' Dylan, Harris and Connie. I enjoy a weekend away, a good film on the telly and a good restaurant. I also love a good rant when things aren't up to expectation or are playing on my mind.

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