I recently met a friend at the St. Pancras champagne bar.
Everyone deserves a moment of decadence once in a while and sitting under the giant Victorian arch you can certainly indulge yourself in an unpretentious setting.
We took a seat at one of their roomy booths and looked over the menu, which covers familiar as well as rare vintages. Bottles range from £42 all the way up to £6,500 although glasses start at a more reasonable £8.50.
Fancying something exotic we ordered an Oriental Bellini and a Blushing Bubbles, the first served up with a half submerged lychee and the latter with a topping of pretty passion fruit seeds.
Service can be a bit slow. But you can forgive the staff since this is the longest champagne bar in Europe (some 90 metres). The station originally opened in 1868 and re-opened in 2007 after extensive renovation.
Besides the Eurostar trains, the champagne bar shares the upper concourse with Martin Jennings’ sculpture of Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman, which is somewhat eclipsed by the 9 metre high “Meeting Place” statue under the handsome gold and black Dent station clock.
If you happen to be a lucky traveller, you could start or end your trip in style by splashing out on a Champagne Breakfast. If you feel particularly flush, you could upgrade to a Krug Champagne Breakfast for Two.
Trains from France and Belgium pulled in alongside us and we watched passengers come and go, trying in vain to make our drinks last as long as possible. Unfortunately the fruit addition only made them more drinkable.
We did manage to stay long enough to witness the evening illumination of the 14,080 glass panels overhead.
It was around this time that I gave thanks to Betjeman who helped save the station from demolition in the 1960s. It’s a breathtaking example of Victorian architecture and that alone is worth raising a glass to.
St. Pancras Champagne Bar is open from 7am-11pm (Sunday 9am-11pm), 7 days a week. Are there any good hotels within striking distance?
Last but not least, a slightly left-field option would be the fabulous 5 star country mansion-style Luton Hoo Hotel – it’s just a few minutes taxi ride from Luton Parkway station which has a rapid rail connection into St Pancras.
Finally, if you’re planning a Eurostar getaway to Paris, don’t forget to check out our “London versus Paris” head-to-head showdown!
The above article was contributed by guest writer Sara Revell who conducted the Champagne Bar review anonymously and paid her own way.