The final few photos I want to share are of the lounge at Gare du Nord in Paris. As I was on a Business Premier ticket coming home I had access automatically. If I didn’t, though, I could still have used my American Express Platinum card to get in.
Design-wise, it has a lot in common with the London lounge. Paris is also set on two levels, but is a more traditional square shape rather than the letterbox shape at St Pancras.
DO NOT COME HERE HUNGRY! This is what they offer in the way of food at 5pm. It is all cold, crispy, savoury stuff, but I couldn’t identify any of it with certainty:
The bar is a lot more enticing, although when you look closely at the selection it is less interesting than at first glance:
And another impressive magazine collection:
All in all, it seems a bit of a wasted opportunity. I have no idea why they do not bother with a half-decent food offering. Even if you are not a big fan of the British Airways Club Europe offering, for example, you can still pick up something filling in the lounge. Eurostar lets you down in the lounges and on the trains.
Apart from that, the lounge is perfectly satisfactory and does the job. The big chairs allow you to relax and the bar and magazine / newspaper selection is sufficient. There are also a couple of PC’s if you need one.
Finally, before I finish my Eurostar tale, let’s talk about wi-fi. Eurostar has no wi-fi. Full stop. They have it in the lounges, but there is nothing on the trains. This is, frankly, a joke, especially when you are paying £500 for a Business Premier ticket. A phased refurbishment programme starting this year will change that, and the new trains coming in from 2015 will have it built in. Somehow the emergence of ‘the cloud’ passed Eurostar by ….
Ironically, whilst the selling point of Eurostar is that you can work on the train without ‘dead time’, the truth is that – if you need to be online to work – you are currently better off flying if you live close to Heathrow. You can work in the lounge and your ‘dead time’ is less.