Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Dining on Eurostar

Well, this is a new one for me.  Travel via train!

On my recent trip to Paris and London, I took the train between the two cities.  I made a few errors in not realizing just how much time I needed in advance at the station in Paris (oops, it isn't like taking the subway ... you need to go through French and UK border control and through security in Paris ...), but wow, compared to air travel, it was amazing.

I had a Standard Premier seat, a step up from Standard, but down from Business Premier.  The experience included a full meal, and, given my 5:13pm departure, this was a nice touch, but of course I brought my own food on board in case it did not satisfy.

Meal service began literally as soon as we got underway, with a cart that rolled through the aisle.  I pre-ordered the vegetarian option.  The regular option was beef (I think cold roast beef), served with potatoes (I think cold potato salad) and veggies (also cold?)
Meal Tray.
My tray had a little chocolate and a dessert, along with the entree.  The entree was a veggie quiche with a side of carrot and raisin mayo slaw.  A basket was offered with assorted breads and rolls.  The tray also had President brand butter, salt and pepper, cutlery, and toothpicks.

I selected a long olive bread.  It was soft in a strange way.  Ojan tried some kind of roll, and declared it stale and not good.  Basically, airline quality bread.

I tried the quiche, even though I hate quiche.  It had some flavorful veggies inside, but, well, it was eggy quiche.  The pastry crust was fine, but not particularly good.  After a few days of amazing pastry in France, I didn't have much positive to say about this lower quality pastry.  In fact, in my bag, I had a confit tomato, mozzarella, and puff pastry tart that I much preferred.

The carrot and raisin slaw reminded me of British Airways offerings, in that it was just soaked in mayo.  I ate it, and it was "fine", but, I didn't particularly want it.

Dessert was a little caramel tart with a few cocoa nibs sprinkled on top.  It was literally just caramel, thick caramel, but, caramel.  Sweet, gooey, but not quite a full dessert in my mind.  I liked the crunch from the cocoa nibs.  The tart shell was a generic pre-made shell, not very good.
Wine.
My choice of red or white wine was also available, both French.  I selected one, Ojan the other.  The white was Muscadet, fairly harsh, not great.  Same with the red.  We were also provided water bottles.  After the meal service, staff came through with tea and coffee, plus sweetener and milk.  I opted for a decaf, which arrived lukewarm and was clearly instant.  At least they tried.

The service was friendly and efficient, and they even came to wipe up our table when they cleared the trays.  Far superior to most air travel.

So, overall, not great, but not awful, and it was nice that they had the meal option.
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