Tuesday, 22 February 2011

St Pancras to Paris

There's a milestone anniversary for Ms S and I, and in a surprise and uncharacteristically romantic gesture (a surprise for me as much as for her) I arrange a short, child-free weekend away for us both, which we all somehow manage to keep as a secret from her. Once she'd made the rendezvous at St Pancras it wasn't too difficult for her to guess where we may be heading (Corby or Northampton, two other destinations from the station, for all their probable charms, were unlikely contenders), and three hours later we are in a hotel in Paris.

There isn't time to draw this on the way, or on the way back. I head back later in the week for a few hours to draw. Railway stations don't often have quiet corners, but on the upper level there are acres of space, quiet cafes and the statue of John Betjeman, the poet laureate and founding member of the Victorian Society, gazing up into the arched roof that he helped save from the demolition mob. The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, the old Midland Grand Hotel designed by George Gilbert Scott, opens next month.