Trains beat planes and automobiles in the romance stakes every time. It’s no wonder then that St. Pancras International, which replaced Waterloo Station as the Eurostar’s London terminal in November, was conceived to get travelers in the mood—to shop. The station, which originally opened in 1868 and features an iconic red brick Victorian Gothic facade and vast glass ceiling, was overhauled to make shopping as integral to the travel experience as packing clean underwear. A plethora of boutiques, including Boots, Rituals, The Body Shop, L.K. Bennett, Hamleys and Thomas Pink, shares floor space (there’s over 82,000 square feet of retail space in all) with a market, various brasseries and Europe’s longest Champagne bar. The 43 million visitors expected to pass through the station annually may find they don’t have to board a Paris-bound train to unearth a certain je ne sais quoi after all.
This story first appeared in the December 7, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.