Visit London Blog » eurostar Enjoy the very best of London Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:26:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 London Visitor Charter Promises Fair Prices During the 2012 Games Thu, 21 Jul 2011 14:15:33 +0000

Good news if you’re planning to visit London for the Olympic and Paralympic Games: some of the capital’s biggest attractions have signed up to a new charter promising fair pricing during 2012.

The London Eye, Tower of London, The O2, London Walks, Eurostar and Tom Aikens are among those who’ve pledged to maintain normal prices during the Games. More than 30 businesses have signed up so far.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said, “The London Visitor Charter demonstrates our determination to offer all our visitors both a great deal as well as a great time.”

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Eurostar Tri-City-Athlon: St Pancras, Regent’s Park, then Home, Sweet Home Wed, 15 Sep 2010 18:00:55 +0000

Last stop: St Pancras.

We had been up since 4.30am UK time, and the last leg was starting at 18.15: it had already been a long day. Now we faced a 10km run. 

Everyone had been fed, watered and massaged, and off we headed on the coach to Regent’s Park. As we reached the start, it was so nice to see the G/great British public out to support us all especially as the rain had begun to come down.

We started with a warm-up to some of the acts that were playing on the stage, both to entertain the spectators and keep the competitors motivated! Another great motivator was news that we had a glass of champagne and BBQ awaiting us at the end!

Unfortunately, after 5km I had to pull out due to cramp in my left leg, which had started in the bike race. But on went everyone else with Jonny Brownlee coming in first with an impressive 34 minutes! As everyone else passed the finish line, there was a sense of such great achievement by all, no matter what standard of athlete.  Out of 140 athletes, 100 completed all three legs – an amazing achievement.

The whole day was a fantastic experience and one that no-one will forget I am sure. We swam, cycled and ran through three major European cities in one day! There was great camaraderie between all, no matter what level of participant and fantastic encouragement from those on the sidelines.

A big thanks to Eurostar, IMG, the athletes and the volunteers who pushed us though each leg and made such an amazing experience possible. I’m looking forward to the next Eurostar 2012 activation event!  

Definitely a story for the grandkids…

Read about the first leg (swimming in Paris) here, and the second (cycling in Brussels) here

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Eurostar Tri-City-Athlon: Stage 2, Brussels, a Slipped Chain and a Broken Flipflop Tue, 14 Sep 2010 15:44:00 +0000

After my old faithful flip flops breaking and Karen Pickering lending me hers, we got off the Eurostar and braved the Metro in Brussels much to the bemusement of the locals. A quick walk and we were there.

To say the bike part didn’t go well for me is an understatement!

Having not been on a bike for the best part of a year, I was wondering whether I should have invested in some stablisers!

12.40 and we are off. Six laps, 40km in total of quite a technical course and a cut-off time to add to the pressure. We have to ensure we get the next Eurostar train back to London. (And oh, London, how I missed your flatness and straightness as I cycled round!)

By lap 2, the cramp has set in on my left calf. And then through came Alistair Brownlee, lapping me already! (I had to remind myself that he does this for a job).

Onward I went, cramp in toe. Lap 4 saw my chain come off my bike, but through pure grit and determination, I made it to the end. I wasn’t last, but almost.

We’re now enroute to London on Eurostar, just having had a massage on the calf and waiting for my dinner.

Looking forward to the last leg in Regent’s Park and determined to finish so hoping the good British public are there to cheer us on. There are lots of tired and achy bodies aboard along with a few injured but everyone is in high spirits and thoroughly enjoying the day.

See you all in London, home sweet home.

Read about the first leg, swimming in Paris, here

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Three Cities, Three Races: The Eurostar Tri-City-Athlon Tue, 14 Sep 2010 09:44:46 +0000 The Eurostar Tri-City-Athlon is a brilliant idea: increase the challenge of a triathlon by staging each leg of the race in a different European city.

And rest between races onboard the ever-relaxing Eurostar

So as you were all tucked up in your beds this morning, 120 of us were up at 5.30 French time getting ready to brave the Bassin de la Villette in Paris. 

The competitors range from first timers to athletes such as Karen Pickering, Ewan Thomas as well as the Brownlee brothers straight in from the Triathlon World Series. 

As it hit 7.30 and the light just came up, the gun went, and off we went…  A bit too cold for my liking, but hey ho. 

I managed to come in under 25 mins with the winner doing around 18 mins and slowest about 45 min.  We are now on the Eurostar heading off to Brussels for the 40km cycle. It’ll be interesting as all 120 athletes are starting together. I’m looking forward to taking in sights such the King’s Palace, Atomium, Stade Roi Baudouin and a couple of trams!

I’ll let you know how we get on. Better go now, breakfast is being served :)

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Belgium in London: Neuhaus Chocolates Tue, 24 Aug 2010 15:30:46 +0000

Belgium is famous for beer and chocolates. Since the developments to the Eurostar service back in 2007, the journey times between St Pancras and Brussels have been squeezed to an impressive 1 hour, 51 minutes. I made the journey myself earlier this month, and it really is a very smooth, stress-free way to travel.

While in Brussels I had the most amazing chocolates from Neuhaus. They were by far my favourites. And I’m not the only one! After the Royal Festival in 2000, King Albert II gave Neuhaus the title of Accredited Supplier to the Belgian Crown.

But if you don’t want to take the train, you can still get a taste of that famous Belgian chocolate here in London.

There are Neuhaus stores in London in St Pancras Station, Heathrow Airport, and in Harrods. They also have a gorgeous boutique on South Molton Street, full of wonderful chocolatey treats, and a café in Putney. All Neuhaus products are still made in Vlezenbeek, near Brussels, and exported to the UK.

My favourite is the St Pancras Station branch. It’s perfect if you want to pick up a last-minute present for someone before you catch a train. And it smells amazing!

I spoke to Sandra Szondi, Neuhaus’ communications manager, to find out what makes Neuhaus’ chocolates so special.

“Neuhaus have been making chocolates in Belgium for 153 years. They even invented the Belgian praline. Most people don’t know that. It was Jean Neuhaus, the grandson of the original Jean Neuhaus, who created the world’s first filled chocolate, which he named ‘Praline’.

“At the time, the pralines were served in paper cones, like you eat chips from, and the pralines got squashed together. Jean’s wife, Louise, invented a new box to keep them from getting spoiled: and that’s the ballotin (which you can see in the picture above). They’re still used today.

“For Belgians, the most popular chocolates are the old ‘Caprice’ and ‘Tentations’ – these are chocolates with a rich history. They were created for the World Expo in Brussels in 1958. And they are named after a famous quote by Brigitte Bardot.

“But my favourite is the Manon Sucre Vanille. It’s made with vanilla cream or butter cream, and it’s quite milky. Inside, there’s some pecan nuts, a little, little piece of waffle, and cream of vanilla sugar. It’s quite heavy; most people don’t like it, because it’s too rich. But it’s good for eating once a week or so, I think!

Do you have any other recommendations on where to find a taste of Belgium in London (beer, chocolate or anything else?!) Let us know in the comments below.

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Launch of The Railway Children Live at London’s Waterloo Station Wed, 24 Mar 2010 19:01:05 +0000 The poster for The Railway Children Live at Waterloo Station The old Eurostar lobby will be transformed into an exhibition space about The Railway Children Try to imagine 10 rows of banked seating on either side of the tracks: this platform is where the show will take place...

Today I went back to the old Eurostar terminal at London’s Waterloo. It immediately brought back memories of boozy fashion press trips to Paris, when I worked in a different job…

This trip was much more wholesome. This summer, one of the old Eurostar platforms is being transformed into a stage. Above it, a huge tunnel-like canopy will keep most of the noise of the station out, and provide the backdrop for an exciting, site-specific children’s theatre show: The Railway Children.

The star of the show is Stirling Single, a real steam locomotive, which’ll appear from a tunnel at a dramatic moment, pulling a carriage, its pistons gleaming, atmospheric steam adding to the theatrical tension. I can’t wait.

Other sections of the old Eurostar station are being transformed for the show too. So while you’re waiting for the play to start, you can browse an exhibition all about E Nesbit’s original book, the history of the railways, the Railway Children Charity, and the setting of the play: Yorkshire.

While you might think older railway sites like Shunt at London Bridge would’ve been a better fit for a story published in 1906, I think The Railway Children Live at Waterloo Station will make excellent use of the space. And there’s certainly something to be said for using a more modern site: nightly audiences of around 900 will be able to choose from 1,800 Eurostar toilets! A luxury you don’t often get at the theatre in London

It sounds like it’s going to be one of the family theatre events of the summer.

The Railway Children opens at the Waterloo Station Theatre on 4 July. Book your tickets now

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