Monday 23 April 2007


As most Eurostar trains seem to run half-full, they are easily the most comfortable and convenient way to travel between the heart of London and central Brussels (two and a half hours) or the arrondisements of Paris (two hours forty minutes). The check-in and security processes are generally much faster than at the airports, there are acres of legroom in the carriages, no hanging around for luggage on arrival or long hikes to get out of the terminal. Moreover, the rolling Kent countryside makes a better backdrop to the journey than the inside of a cloud. However, the ambling pace in and out of London's sprawling suburbs can feel leisurely compared to rocketing across northern France. Skip business class, as the free food isn't particularly good and the standard class carriages are roomy and half-empty. But a flexible ticket, that enables you to hop on any one of the frequent return trains, is a good option for road warriors attending meetings that may overrun. And paying a premium may preserve this underused service for future generations. 8/10