St Pancras station was famously saved from developers in the 1960s due to a campaign by John Betjeman and the Victorian Society.
Betjeman vividly described St Pancras as:
“…that cluster of towers and pinnacles seen from Pentonville Hill…outlined against a foggy sunset…the great arc of Barlow’s train shed gaping to devour incoming engines, and the sudden burst of exuberant Gothic of the hotel seen from gloomy Judd Street.”
Railway journeys are the perfect time to enjoy a nice cup of tea.
Pootling through the countryside with a cuppa is about as good as it gets.
Finding refreshment at the station, however, can be challenging.
Fast-food tea can mean juggling a paper cup of hot liquid, trying to dispose of the tea bag while hanging onto luggage, tickets etc., perched on an unsuitable stool.
So when taking a train from Liverpool Street, I gave myself plenty of time to explore the area for a civilised cuppa.
It is a beautiful Victorian station with warm brickwork, painted wrought iron (more…)
Kings Cross Station has had an facelift. The concourse to the west now has a stunning vaulted ceiling and mezzanine floor, and is home to several new places to eat and shops, including Patisserie Valerie, Kiehls and the excellent Watermark books.
I pop into Leon for a cuppa. I have always loved this London chain and have use the original Carnaby Street branch for years.
There is a large room at the back with high ceilings, and the decor is artfully done, with exposed piping, bare brickwork, mismatched chairs and some wonderful retro lighting. It is certainly a step up from the (more…)
I do like a railway station so sitting on the platform a mere feet away from the Eurostar train, drinking tea, is really quite exciting.
St Pancras is beautiful, and the upper level is the prime place to sit in the soft light of the wonderful arched roof.
Searcy’s have done a great job of fitting out the Champagne Bar at St Pancras. The quilted red leather banquettes give the impression that you are sitting in an old-fashioned train carriage; you fully expect the whistle to blow and be whisked away to the Continent. The elegant air puts you in mind of a former age, when travelling was a more glamourous and sedate affair.
While travelling to Oxford for a short break, I treated myself to a first class ticket with First Great Western railways. For a reasonable £30, the return journey included use of the First Class Lounge at Paddington Station.
Brunel’s majestic and beautiful station was opened in 1854 to serve the Great Western Railway and has been in use ever since.
If you have time before boarding your train, it is well worth exploring – at least walk to the end of the station to take in the incredible structure.
Paddington First Class Lounge is on platform one and is excellent (mind you, I usually use the one at Euston).
There are two areas, each with a different feel. (more…)