Review: To London and Paris – Eurostar 9018 London St. Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord E300 Standard Premier

Introduction
The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific The Wing Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific The Bridge Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific 239 777-300ER Business Class Hong Kong to London Heathrow
Hotel Indigo London Kensington
Eurostar 9018 E300/British Rail Class 373 Standard Premier London St. Pancras to Paris Gares du Nord
L’Empire Paris
Cathay Pacific Lounge Paris Charles de Gaulle
Cathay Pacific 260 777-300ER Business Class Paris Charles de Gaulle to Hong Kong


While British Airways didn’t post fares that were that bad, we decided trains were the way to go from London to Paris. Not only was Eurostar cheaper, but it would also have been more comfortable for a journey just as long, and didn’t require going to an airport (neither of London or Paris’s airports have a good reputation…I think). We decided to go with Standard Premier because it was only ~£30-40 more than a Standard seat, and I’d heard that Standard Premier and Business Premier share a same hard product. Steal!

After four days in and around London, I was ready to get to a new country again. After hauling our luggages on the Piccadilly line to St. Pancras, my newfound guns were more than ready to deflate themselves.

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London St. Pancras Station Entrance

The terminal was airy and featured a lot of stops, and reminded me of King’s Cross Station (which, for the record, is right next to St. Pancras).

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London St. Pancras Station Departures Hall

We cleared security immediately and waited in the departures hall.

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London St. Pancras Departures Hall

It wasn’t long until our train was called, and I was ready to get into the cabin…

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Eurostar E300 London St. Pancras

Even compared to a few of the sexiest trains I’ve seen in Hong Kong, this was pretty sleek, even from the outside.

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Eurostar E300 London St. Pancras

Eurostar 9018
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Origin: London St. Pancras (QQS) Gate: 8 Dep: 10:24 (10:20)
Stopover: Ebbsfleet Valley (XQE) Gate: 1 Stop: 10:33 (10:30)
Destination: Paris Gare du Nord (XPG) Gate: 7 Arr: 13:47 (13:35)
Duration: 2 hr 23 min (2 hr 15 min)
Aircraft: Eurostar E300/British Rail Class 373
Seat: 38 (Standard Premier)

While I really hoped to get the refurbished interior, I was fine with the old interior. Standard Premier and Business Premier have exactly the same seats, so naturally it was a comfortable cabin.

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier Cabin

The colour tones were a little shabby, though there was less wear and tear than I’ve had expected for a ~20 year old cabin.

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier Seat 37

The views were of a train bound for Lille and Disneyland Paris, in which there were a few announcements about taking the wrong train on our train.

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier View from Window

I explored the seat a little. The legroom was adequate, though I’m imagining I wouldn’t be the best person to judge in a club 4 seat.

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier Legroom

The tray table folded open, but there was a lot of grease and grit stuck between which was hard to retrieve.

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier Tray Table

And then there were alternating Type F/Type G 110V power ports. My seat featured the Type F power ports, so I conveniently used my mother’s seat’s Type G power port across the table.

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier Power Ports

There were also lights, which weren’t bright, though I was surprised enough that they worked.

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier Lights

The train left at about 10:20, and stopped at Ebbsfleet at about 10:40.

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier View of Ebbsfleet

We were on the go soon enough again, and the views were pretty awesome. I saw a lot of houses, a few cows, and we were only in the tunnel for a while.

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier View UK

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier View France

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier View France

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier View France

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier View France

During the ride we were served a meal.

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier Lunch

Now, I understand that it’s already a good thing that there’s a meal served. On any train ride, it’s a privilege to eat. But then, the croissant was hard and the almond croissant had a terrible aftertaste of plastic. If you’re going to serve a meal, either don’t do it, or make the quality of the food better, even if it means a more simplistic meal.

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier Hairy Back Croissant

I visited the washroom after the meal service, which was perfectly functional and felt like a delivery lift. It featured electronic door controls.

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier Washroom

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier Washroom

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier Washroom

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier Washroom

Shortly we were already nearing Gare du Nord, and I was ready to get into a new city.

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Eurostar E300 Standard Premier View Approaching XPG

We arrived in Gare du Nord at 13:35, twelve minutes before schedule.

Bottom line on Eurostar’s Standard Premier

Is Eurostar Standard Premier the best class of service for taking Eurostar? I think so. Minus the perks, the hard product is no different from Business Premier, and after all we all know that “business class is all about the seat”.

I’d be willing to take this product again, but am especially looking forward to the new E320 trains and interiors.

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