From Croissants to Crumpets: A Journey from Paris to London

June 05, 2023
By Leslie Kavanaugh
About Leslie:  Leslie is a Senior Travel Designer and VP of Sales at AmericanConcierge.com. Although most days she is seated at her desk in the suburbs of New Jersey, her mind is often in a far-off place gazing down the Seine while walking the cobblestone streets of Paris or having the crispest glass of champagne at the top of the Shard in London. Her love of sharing experiences and leading others towards joy is realized each and every day while she is creating itineraries for her clients.  This blog is about how when duty calls, she gleefully answers..

Every first journey starts the same way, with an inspiration.  A motivation to see, to do, touch, feel, taste something. Something unexplored, something that gets into your mind and instead of leaving, a seed is planted and starts to grow and before you know it, you are following an uncharted path.  Firsts are fun, they often leave a lasting impression, and they are the memories that remain.

And so it was that I traveled to London from Paris for the first time by train.  It started by booking my ticket on this train called a “Eurostar”.  Even the name “Eurostar” was exciting and unfamiliar like some sci-fi vessel that offered the promise of entering a new world!  I clicked through the site, and purchased the tickets I wanted, and immediately received a confirmation: “You are booked to London”.  It was so easy.

Could it be this easy to see London for the first time?  I couldn’t wait.

Now for those of you who know me, being in Paris, is truly my dream come true.  No matter how many days I stay, or times I go, it’s never enough.  Usually mid-trip, I start to feel the pull of not wanting to let go. It’s so beautiful in Paris, it’s always hard to leave and always wonderful to return to.  However, when I planned to go from Paris to London, I was so excited, it made letting go of Paris just a bit easier.

I remember getting up and out early that morning… the streets of Paris were quiet, wet, and the city at that time of day feels more like a place where people live, rather than a destination that travelers visit. My Uber took me to Gare du Nord, which had woken up with people sooner than the city around it.  Gare du Nord. I snapped a picture.  I wanted to remember.  I wanted to remember what it felt like to leave Paris. To travel by train from the city I loved to a city of discovery.  A place that held so much history, yet would be brand new to me –and I couldn’t wait to drink it all in.

Hello Eurostar to London.

I entered the station and felt the immensity of a place where so many journeys began and ended. I glanced at the clock and saw I had time to grab an espresso and a croissant to bring onto the train.  Then I made my way to board. Walking down the platform, knowing I was steps from getting on the train, I felt a joy.  The joy of embarking on a new journey.

About halfway through the trip, I looked at the GPS on my phone and saw that I was in the channel, under the water, just about mid-point between the 2 land masses.  It was a fun moment. I snapped a screenshot on my phone. I wanted to remember.

We entered the UK.  Nearing London and St. Pancras Station, my mood grew more alert.  I watched the tracks and listened to the quiet of the train as it pulled into the station. I stepped down the stairs that seemed a touch too high and started to make my way down the platform.  This initial visit, I didn’t see the beautiful welcoming clock that hung high above.  (It wouldn’t be until later trips that I saw it and realized this.)

So, there I was. And there I was, soaking it all in.  I was there to learn, to explore a new city on my own, to see whatever it was I would see.  I wanted to hear the voice and see the sights of London.

It was a short trip; just a taste, but it was a good start, and I understood what made London ever-so-smart. It was a place that made me want to return to again. But, in that moment then, I was on my way back to Paris.  But before I headed to my track …

Hello, St. Pancras.

Hello, clock to check the time.  Hello café where I ordered a tea and a crumpet this time, to bring onto the train…

Hello, Eurostar back to Paris.

And just like that I was on my way back in time for dinner.

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