Eurostar, Gare du Nord to London Waterloo
Gare du Nord to London Waterloo
By Reggie Brek
Eurostar - what does it bring to mind? To this man, it conjures up a French service whose sleek little engines make quick pick-ups in London before racing back to the elegant sanctuary of the Gare du Nord. There's nothing English about it - that's why it's not called 'Anglostar'.
This being the case, I expect French standards of cooking to prevail. When I board the 8:07am from Paris to Londres, I want a Gallic wake-up call. I want flaky croissants. I want pain au chocolat so lavishly enbuttered that passing cardiologists would faint. I want a silken café crème to rinse it down my gullet. This, dammit, is the petit dejeuner I've paid £59 return for.
On being handed the menu by Mam'selle, however, the options appear to be thus: there's a continental breakfast consisting of yoghurt, ham and "soft figs" and there's something billed as Hot Cooked English Breakfast. Obviously, with figs the alternative, the only choice was the Hot Cooked.
My anguish knew no bounds when, instead of the fry-up I was expecting, I was handed a plate of omelette, tiny cubed potatoes and salmon flakes. There were approximately two tablespoons of each. There was a hard roll on a side plate, and a yoghurt, which I forced on my seatmate. The filter cafe tasted as if it had sulked in its coffeepot overnight.
Sacre bloody bleu! Up yours, Delors! Do they honestly think that Brits eat salmon at eight in the morning (otherwise known as seven, Proper English Time)? Or dry, miserly diced potato? Or a tooth-breaking rolls you could play boules with? Je suis desole. They'll be hearing from my soliciteur.