How a train journey to Paris became a sumptuous picnic

The perfect stocking-up spot for a Eurostar trip

The Eurostar terminal at St Pancras station in London is famed for having the world’s longest champagne bar. But a little known, idiosyncratic food outlet there that just celebrated its first birthday is equally appealing. I first chanced upon the Sourced Market when a friend and I were catching a train to Paris. We were both ravenously hungry. I would have been happy to sample whatever Eurostar had to offer, but my companion was still in recovery from a pre-packed sandwich on a recent train trip to Manchester. The word “buffet” was to her what a clove of garlic is to a vampire. That’s how we stumbled across the Sourced Market.

The first produce market at a British train station, Sourced Market is a champion of small, artisanal food producers and wants to promote their produce to a wider audience. Fine breads, cheeses and charcuterie are in abundance. Their goal is to “take all the great attributes of farmers’ markets into the beating heart of the city”. As well as St Pancras, Sourced Market runs a street market in Clapham, south London, and has a touring market that can be found at events and festivals throughout the year.

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We grabbed salads, pork pies and scotch eggs (like me, my friend is a reconstructed Essex girl), plastic cutlery and dashed for our train. Despite travelling economy, we had a handy computer table to settle down to our picnic.

I love Paris. I love the food. I am especially fond of the steak tartare served at Bistrot Paul Bert, close to the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. But hand on heart, the best meal and certainly the most fun we had was eating our picnic on the train to Paris. Perhaps it was because we were so mightily famished, but the handmade scotch eggs by Black Watch and pork pies by Elite Meat in Harrogate in particular really hit the spot.

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