On my two trips to Paris this year I’ve been lucky enough to experience the Business Lounge experience on the Eurostar. Thanks to my boyfriend and his #werkperks of gaining enough Eurostar points, it meant we could experience the luxury of the Business class lounge before both our train journeys between London St Pancras and Paris Gare du Nord.
I’ve only ever managed to travel Business Class once before and that was a fluke via over-booking on a train from Brussels, which I slept through entirety of due to a particularly bad Bruges-induced hangover, so this lounge experience was the real deal.
I wanted to write up what the experience is like here, just in case any of you are wondering if it’s worth it on your next trip to Paris/Amsterdam/Rotterdam.
The Fast-Speed Access
On our trip, and with the promise of unlimited croissants, we arrived at London St Pancras as early as possible, but as we are complete novices at business travel we headed straight to the standard Eurostar entrance, only to be shouted at and pointed away as we were too early.
Not wanting to give up we attempted to enter via the business class entrance instead, and as it turned out, they welcomed us warmly and politely and we were swiftly sent through security and passport control and straight into the Business lounge. They pride themselves on this speedy service and advertise that you can technically be on your train 10 minutes from the entrance, which is pretty speedy.
The interiors of both business lounges – at London and Paris – had the feel of a swanky bar (and the unlimited drinks to match, but more on that later…). With deep velvet armchairs, gold detailed lighted and even art deco style glasses, it looked like somewhere that would charge you about £15.50 for a small glass of wine. The interiors are very Soho-House-esque, with brown parquet flooring and velvet armchairs.
Everyone there was polite and welcoming, and I saw on a few occasions people being delivered their food and drink to their tables (whereas I went up myself, so noone could judge as to how many salted peanuts I was really taking away with me…). Everyone was informative and helpful, and I didn’t see one eye roll when I went up for another free G&T when it was announced our train was delayed…
The Free Stuff
I mean, that’s what it’s all about really isn’t it? The real perks of the business and first class lounges everywhere is how much free stuff you can get away with indulging in before someone comes over to check if you’re really meant to be there…
Only kidding, (kind of), but it was a shock for me (someone who’s never been in before) that you can take away free glossy magazines (a copy of Vogue and Wanderlust magazine? Don’t mind me) – and not just to read, but also take away onto the train with you.
On our London part of the journey early in the morning, there were plenty of options for breakfast, but I mainly stuck to the free croissants. There was free coffee, tea, juice and alcohol (yep – #BritAbroad).
On our evening trip home the breakfast goods had been replaced with nuts, nibbles and fruit in addition to a help yourself bar that included a range of gins, beers and wines you could pour yourself.
Looking back on our journey via the Business class lounge, would I go again? Hell yeah! Would I pay for the privilege? I’d like to think so, but it entirely depends on the price you can find – but at the moment there are some really good deals out there, of which we’ve even booked a last-minute weekend trip to Paris at the cost of £50 return so it really pays to look at what you can find! We booked recently to go to Paris and our outward journey was upgraded spontaneously to Standard Premiere, which meant a nicer area of the eurostar train and free breakfast onbaord!
Also, when you add up how much you would spend on a normal ticket with the addition of a magazine and some breakfast/alcoholic beverage, the extra price of a business ticket might even work out evenly. The other benefit of travelling via the business lounge was the quiet and calmness of the place. I’ve been on the Eurostar via Brussels before, and it’s not much of an enjoyable experience, but getting to wait out our trains (and the further delay on the way home) was massively improved by our stay here.
Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post – if you’ve traveled business on the Eurostar to Amsterdam or Rotterdam, let me know! I’d love to experience those cities by train too. In the meantime, you can find my other Insta snaps on my Instagram @GrundyTravels
Thanks for reading! x