Eurostar Paris to London
It’s 12:10 pm on Friday 24 August and we’re on board the Eurostar bound for London. It leaves in 5 minutes and we’ll pull into St Pancras 2.5 hours later. This really is the only way to travel. The staff on the Eurostar are exceptional. There is person for each coach who greets you as you board the train and confirms your meal & seat choice. Once we get underway they came through the carriage with drinks then the meal which was lovely and fresh, though cold. As much wine, then tea or coffee as you like, all served by immaculately dressed and courteous staff. This really is how a customer experience ought to delivered. It makes you really want to experience the trip again in the future.
The train duly arrived on time and after an effortless de-training we were off to find our way to Euston Station. Tried the taxi rank, but t was queued out the door and round the block with few taxis in sight. Caught the tube to Euston Station instead to wait for the 4:30pm Virgin train to Glasgow.
On arrival at Euston headed up to ten Virgin lounge. This is not to be confused with the airline lounge which is lovely. This is more one step up from the old station waiting room with some staff and free stuff. It’s a bloody struggle to get up to it. It’s on the first floor and the lift never works properly, so you have to hoist your cases up the stairs. Ah well at least it’s good exercise.
Virgin Rail to Glasgow
They only announce the platform, and allow you to board the train at Euston 15 minutes before it leaves. This leads to a stampede across the station which we all get caught up in, even though we have reserved seats. Crazy and very British. Found our coach and got ourselves seated. Nice seats all set for some nosh.
Train left right on time and pulled smoothly out of the station. After abut 10 minutes a cross looking woman came through asking what we would like to eat. We asked for the vegetarian option, a quiche which she duly noted then stomped off. Five minutes later two guys who looked like they had just rolled out of became along with the food trolley. No vegetarian option, only a Mexican fry up of God knows what. We declined and asked for a bit of salad and tortilla chips from the Mexican dish. No problem. They then came through with dessert and asked if we’d like a yoghurt as well as cheese since they had not had our veggie option; very nice of the two guys but then one of the mean women said we couldn’t have more than one dessert! After some debate we grabbed the second dessert and left them to fight about it.
The service went on in the same vein. What a difference from the European trains.
. Our experience with Virgin makes us never want to do the trip again.
I think the issue is that there is little training on Virgin and certainly no dress code or sense with the staff. It’s quite depressing really that this is the type of service visitors to Britain can experience after the wonderful, elegant experiences on the Continent.