8:30 am: Rise & shine in Brussels
Famed as the home of sweet treats and savory frites, Brussels boasts an impressive cultural scene with numerous foodie spots waiting to be discovered. Located in the commune of Ixelles and a five-minute walk from the Place du Châtelain lies Lulu’s Home Interior & Café: a creative concept project led by cousins Antoine and Mathieu. Named after the duo’s grandmother, it’s easy to see how Lulu’s homey charm quickly sealed its approval as a local favorite since opening in 2015. With a cozy and eclectic café in the front and a large home interior showroom in the back, Lulu’s is a unique spot to start your journey.
Help yourself to a buttery croissant with jam or pain au chocolat and pair it with a fresh juice and steaming cup of coffee, freshly roasted in-house. If visiting at the weekend, Lulu’s also offers a special brunch menu of seasonal dishes served by Chef Guillaume Gomez. Before heading off, save some time to explore the furniture pieces and unique pop-up store by SUPER, featuring exclusive products made by local Belgian artisans and designers.
11 am: All aboard to London
Once the caffeine starts kicking in, it’s time to head to your next destination: London. Take local transportation to Brussels-Midi and fly through a quick and easy check-in process before boarding your first Eurostar train of the day. Eurostar’s e320 trains are outfitted with all the travel necessities one might need right at your fingertips: pop-up extensions for tables, special reclining chairs, accessible outlets, and for the bookworms, a perfectly placed reading light.
If you’re still feeling peckish, passengers can treat themselves to Eurostar’s delicious breakfast, including hot and cold options. Traveler tip: download the Eurostar app to access free wi-fi and the train’s onboard entertainment system, featuring an array of movie and television titles to enjoy as you whisk through the European countryside. In two hours time, you will have crossed the channel to arrive at St. Pancras Station and be well on your way to exploring London.
12:30 pm: Enjoy a mid-day meal in London
Once arriving at St. Pancras Station, head to the tube and take the Northern line (Morden) to Moorgate and walk to your next culinary stop: The Modern Pantry. Nestled in Finsbury Square and the sister restaurant to the original in Clerkenwell, The Modern Pantry offers a top class gastronomic experience designed by acclaimed chef, Anna Hansen. Welcomed with a full tapas bar upon entering, guests are lead to the main dining room, complete with high ceilings adorned with beautiful lighting over plush furnishings, creating a sleek interior to settle in for a decadent meal.
With an impressive list of fusion-inspired dishes, it may be hard to settle on just one option. If the number of flavors and ingredients are a bit beyond your comfort zone of foodie knowledge, the friendly staff gives great recommendations to help you navigate through the starters and main courses. Fresh entrées such as the salmon sashimi drizzled with a cucumber and chipotle dressing, pickled gooseberries and shiso cress or the marinated diver scallops with fried plantain, tomatillo, yuzu dressing and a hint of apple are the perfect start. Save room for the main course bound to please all palates, with dishes ranging from rainbow chard, masala-marinated monkfish and roast Goosnargh duck breast.
3:30 pm: Dine in-style traveling to Paris
Once you’ve had your fill at The Modern Pantry, walk off the meal with a quick tour of the area before heading back to St. Pancras Station. After breezing through check-in, be prepared to enjoy the ultimate comforts of train travel as you embark on the second leg of your journey to Paris.
With 21 daily services traveling from London to Paris, Eurostar serves as a significant connection for travelers looking to visit the City of Light. While enjoying the view from your train window, passengers sitting in Standard Premier and Business Premier can indulge in afternoon fare, the latter has the opportunity to enjoy an Afternoon Menu orchestrated by Michelin-starred chef, Raymond Blanc. Passengers will feel as though they are already sitting in a top French restaurant with dishes such as smoked salmon, black quinoa salad, celery, apple, and walnut or Charolais beef with confit shallot, caper and tarragon sauce, sautéed peas, broad beans, edamame, spring onion and sugar snaps being served right at their seat. Complete the meal with sweet macarons and a bit of wine, you’ll feel like you’re in Paris already.
7:00 pm: Discover Paris by night
It’s now evening time, and you’ve pulled into your final stop of the journey: Paris. Disembark at Paris-Nord and set out for an evening full of fun, (and potentially even more food). First-time visitors dreaming of a romantic stroll through the streets near the city’s biggest sights, certainly won’t be disappointed. For those looking to enjoy a more local experience, head to the 20th arrondissement for a cultural night out. Peruse the streets, enjoy some terrace time or catch a performance in one of the many concert venues dotting this creative hub.
Once you’re ready to hit the hay, book a night in one of Paris’ most famous hotels: Mama Shelter. Created by renowned designer Philippe Starck, Mama Shelter’s chic decor and comfortable beds are the perfect way to end your day and start dreaming about that next adventure.
For more information about Eurostar and booking your next trip, visit the Eurostar website.