Plane vs. train… For me, the train wins hands over when it comes to the London-Europe commute.
It’s better for the environment, stress-free and perks range from no weight allowance on luggage to easy-to-reach station locations on both sides of the journey.
It was the first time I’d been on a Eurostar since the pandemic and I opted to take the non stop journey from Amsterdam to London. Ticket prices seem cheaper than I remember – starting from £60 – and in a bid to ride home in comfort I bumped up to business.
Arriving at the Amsterdam Eurostar terminal, which is located at the end of platform 15b, I was even happier about being in business as the security line was pretty long and business tickets allow you to skip the queue.
There wasn’t too much of a wait after going through the Dutch and UK border controls (meaning there are no security stops on the other side) and before I knew it I was boarding the train.
I caught a weekend train at 13:15 which was set to get me into London at 16:57 on the non-stop service.
The business class carriage was empty other than two men.
I settled into my seat, number 15, and took in some of the design features including a good measure of recline on the chair, a reading light and a handy coat hook. I nipped to the corridor and picked up a Vogue magazine from the well-curated reading selection.
With a blow of a whistle, we were off.
One thing to note if you travel at the same that I did, eat before you board as the lunch isn’t served until Brussels, which is pretty much around halfway through the journey.
A friendly waitress did come and fill up a little snack counter with artisan crisps, soda and sparkling water but my tummy was rumbling a little as I hadn’t anticipated the wait.
Finally. when we set off from Brussels after a brief stop, the trolley service kicked off with a lovely lady offering champagne (Piper-Heidsieck) to start.
You get a full meal service in Eurostar’s business premier with a mouth-watering menu rustled up by Raymond Blanc. Trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible, I pre-booked the vegan option.
It turned out to be a pretty delicious medley and much better than the bland vegan meals I’d been served on flights.
The late lunch / dinner consisted of a mixed bean and lentil salad to start, followed by a moreish mix of spiced winter squash and chickpeas for main and a berry fruit salad for dessert.
The one plus of the meal being served later was that the last leg of the journey flew by as the trolley service came into play.
Before I knew it, after a couple more champagnes, we were pulling into the beautiful surrounds of St Pancras International.
As all of the security matters had been handled in Amsterdam, once in London I just hopped off the train and was straight into the city in a jiffy.
If you’ve got some European adventures coming up, I truly recommend the Eurostar as a starting point, it gets top marks for comfort, ease, pricing, and its green credentials.
For more information on Eurostar or to book a trip, visit www.eurostar.com
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