6 light bites for travelling on the Eurostar from Paris

If you are travelling on the Eurostar from Paris to London, then you might want to consider grabbing a quick bite to fit in with your travel plans.

When travelling on business, our normal routine is often interrupted. As a result, we either have a tendency to over indulge or miss meals.¬† One way of catching up on sensible nourishment and avoiding over eating upon arrival is to¬†have a light bite¬†during business ‚Äėdown‚Äô times, which business related journeys often equate to.¬† However, this can be problematic when passing through train stations, such as the Gare du Nord, where options are rather restricted.black businessman reading newspaper at airport

When travelling from Paris on the Eurostar recently, I was struck by, what appeared to be at first glance, a real lack of readily available, healthy food choices. Gare du Nord has about 190 million passengers passing through each year and being in the world renowned capital of cuisine, I had expected the station to be lined with delectable eateries.  Sadly, this was not the case. 

 On the trip, I was sat amongst French delegates who were travelling to London for a 5 day convention. As I sat there, eating my purchase of Eurostar canteen chicken tikka and rice, one of the French delegates pulled out a packet of steamed potatoes to share. Popular in France, vacuum packed potatoes are delicious cold and perfect served as a convenient finger food to share amongst companions on the same journey.   I admired their initiative, and wished I had thought of the same solution to snacking on the return journey. 

 This reminded me that not only is simplicity a fundamental approach for great tasting food, as the French often demonstrate, but it is also a central component of eating healthily. I have to admit when I walked around Gare du Nord, I struggled to find a variety of items to choose from which fitted this approach.

 So I’ve gone in search of some simple innovative choices you could purchase when hurrying to catch the Eurostar to London. Each suggestion is equipped with places that you can grab items just prior to boarding. 

 In the Gare du Nord Train Station;

  • ¬†Filled baguettes are plentiful in Gare du Nord train station.¬†¬† In fact you will be hard pressed not to Paris Gare du Nord Malongo salad 1 20140805_155948find them at any of the bakeries/cafes on the train station frontage. They are freshly made and fillings generally include tomato & mozzarella, chicken & salad, ham & Emmental cheese, and tomato & mayonnaise.
  • A prepared salad. ¬†If it comes to a push, you can always purchase a prepared salad from Malongo cafe.¬† Malongo cafe is located on the main terminal platform directly opposite the Eurostar arrival platform and also in the Eurostar waiting lounge. Salads include ham & mozzarella, chicken & tabbouleh, egg & potato, and egg, olive & ham.
  • Typical French delicacies, such as cheese, gherkins, olives, tapenade and mini toasts can also be purchased on the fly, at the store just past the security. Aelia Gourmet sells a wonderful collection of Paris Gare de Noid Eurostar Station Aela Gourmet 4 Sept 2014 20140923_193432cheese, although generally a high fat content, they could be a healthier snack than cake and chocolate items available in the Eurostar canteen. When combined with other items (mini toasts, gherkins, tapenade and olives) there will be a reduction in proportional fat content and possibly lower in total fat if you use the other items for filling up.¬†¬† What‚Äôs more, you can take the remaining cheese and accompaniments home for a snack another time.

 If you have a little more time, then you will find even fresher options in a couple of locations near the Gare du Nord train station. These include;

  • ¬†Monop supermarket on the corner of Rue de Maubeuge and Rue de Dunkerque, just left of the station‚Äôs entrance, has a wide selection of salads, breads, cold meats, smoked salmon, houmous, sushi and fruit. Just to name a few. I spotted a couple of business executives here when I was checking it out, and they had a train to catch within the hour. It looked as if they were regulars to stocking up before boarding, so they knew exactly where to come.
  • DSC00669Fresh market produce. Just south, only a few blocks from the Gare de l‚ÄôEst and Gare du Nord is Le Marche Covert Saint-Quentin. This popular market attracts both locals and commuters who need fresh provisions.¬†¬† If you have a spare 20 minutes or so prior to checking in and just passing by, then this is a good place to purchase fresh snacking items or even a light meal. Here you will find a variety of ethnic eateries (Lebanese, African, Brazillian), along with fresh fruit, bread, cheese and meat stalls as well as a popular cafe for a quick bite.

On my last trip I stopped at Le Charicuterie du Marche at Saint-Quentins, where I purchased a slice of spinach and goats cheese quiche and three freshly made salads; potato and sausage with mustard dressing, cous cous with peppers and olives, and beetroot with onions and chives.   All items were deliciously fresh and proved to be a great alternative to the usual options available at the Paris Gare du Nord train station or Eurostar fare.Paris Gare du Nord St Quentin market food Sept 2014

  • ¬†A seafood takeaway. Directly opposite the Gare du Nord main entrance is the Terminus Nord restaurant. It is highly commended by some reviewers for having both excellent food and service. Best of all they propose the option of a take-away. So if you don‚Äôt have time for their express menu, then you may be able to request a takeaway of fresh seafood. A quick visit to their website www.terminusnord.com will provide you with the option to email an enquiry/order in advance. Please do check it out in advance, as sometimes the staff might not be aware it is an option.

I will be going back to test out some more options in the near future. In the meantime, do let me know how you get on with these suggestions and any additional suggestions you would like to share with us.  Simply use the comment box below.

 Bon Appetite!

 © Extravitality 2014


Kathy Lewis, R.Nutr, BCApSc, MSc, MBA,
Author: Kathy Lewis, R.Nutr, BCApSc, MSc, MBA,
Kathy Lewis, Consultancy Director, enjoys a multidisciplinary career based on a portfolio of achievement.  Kathy is a Management Consultant for Executive Travel Wellbeing and Stress, Health Promotion Specialist, Consultant Nutritionist (Registered Nutritionist and World Public Health Nutritionist) and a Chartered Marketer with over 25 years of experience.   Her specialist areas include executive stress and wellbeing (including jet-lag and travel wellness),  travel nutrition, travel policies, corporate vitality, employee engagement, marketing and internal communications. Kathy holds several relevant degrees, Masters in Applied Psychology (MSc) with distinction for her research in Executive stress and maladaptive coping behaviours looking specifically at clinical work-based stress and the impact on healthy lifestyles, Masters in Business Administration (MBA), with distinctions achieved in Management Accounts, Statistics and Project Management, completed with a research-based dissertation in the marketing of healthy options in catering establishments, and a Bachelor degree in Nutrition and Food Science.Over the last 25 years, Kathy has worked as a consultant and advised in various industries, from travel, health and food to financial services and telecommunications, on nutrition, executive wellbeing, workplace health, change management, internal communications and employee engagement. She has worked with a variety of clients across local government, NHS, educational institutes, NGO’s, national and multinational companies. As a Management Consultant (post-MBA) Kathy was required to travel to several locations each week and in 2002 began her masters in Applied Psychology (& Health Promotion) as a result of observing the stress in senior managers.  She was awarded a distinction for both her research on work-related stress and maladaptive behaviours and her course work.  Prior to this, Kathy spent many years working with catering establishments to provide healthy options, and prior to this working in diet and fitness centres, following her degree in Human Nutrition and Food Science in 1989.   Combining all areas of experience and expertise was the obvious way forward, and subsequently founded the concept of business travel vitality and wellbeing. Kathy is a former Consulting Editor for Readers Digest Association Inc (USA) and Readers’ Digest UK (Vivat), as well as the former founding Non-Executive Editor for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Food, Drink and Agriculture group. As an author, she has written a number of publications and a variety of articles in consumer publications and professional journals, with guest media appearances on a number of radio shows, including the BBC, London and regional radio.  She enjoys public speaking on a range of topics and is a regular speaker at professional events. Kathy is also the Vice Chair of The Caroline Walker Trust, Founder of the International Forum for Health Promotion and Education, a board advisor for the Tessa Sanderson Foundation and Academy, the Vice-Chair/former Chair for the Financial Services Board at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, former Trustee/Non-Executive Director for the Association of MBA’s (where she chaired the Governance Committee and was a member of the HR Committee and Strategic Working Party), former Honorary Secretary for the Institute of Health Promotion and Education, a founding Council Member of the Association for Nutrition. Kathy was also a committee member for the Food, Drink and Agriculture group at the Chartered Insitute of Marketing and a current Non-Executive Director at NZ Engineering. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Association of MBAs, Institute for Travel Management, Association for Woman Travel Executives, Nutrition Society, SENSE, World Public Health Nutrition Association, Association for Nutrition (UK) and International Travel Writers Alliance.  She is a former member of the Institute Institute of Directors, Royal Society of Arts and Institute of Health Promotion and Education.

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