I have a secret shopping spot in London and it’s in a train station, confused? Well when you think of a train station you probably think of WH Smith and that’s about it, but St Pancras International is more than the home of just a newsagent and a fast food stop, it has so many amazing premium shops, bars and restaurants that it’s the perfect place to avoid the crowds on the likes of Oxford Street and enjoy a slightly calmer experience this Christmas.
Inside St Pancras International you will find shops such as MAC, Aspinal of London, Kate Spade, L’Occitane and also flowers from one of my favourites in London, Moyses Stevens. There is always something new to discover too, so whether you want to have a go at the free-to-play jukebox or tinkle on the piano just like Elton John did, yes he actually played the very piano in the station.
My gifting mission on this visit was to pick up some gifts for my sister and I knew I wanted to get her some chocolate as she has such a sweet tooth. Firstly I had a look in Fortnum & Mason, I loved their giant lucky chocolate pennies and also couldn’t resist trying the mince pies that the lady was handing out, I will have to stock up on some of those for sure. I also took a browse in John Lewis and got very distracted by all their Christmas decorations, but eventually I settled on a box of chocolates from Godiva and I couldn’t resist the cute Mr Snowman.
There are so many great shops to choose from at St Pancras International, so I also popped into Aspinal of London who do engraving on items in-store.
My sister loves her beauty so I knew I would find something in Chanel. Everything in Chanel looks so beautiful but after the help of the assistant I decided to go for the Le Volume de Chanel mascara, which I’ve heard such great things about, she also popped in a couple of samples too of the newer version – so I might have to try one of them myself! And of course, the gift looks perfect in the Chanel bag.
Now I had my gifts, it was time for a bit of relaxation, I decided to head upstairs to Searcys champagne bar, which fun fact for you is Europe’s longest champagne bar.
From the balcony of Searcys you can’t miss the Christmas tree for this year, which is in collaboration with Tiffany & Co and Coty.
The 43ft tree has a 17-foot mechanical robot which is brought to life via animatronics that enable the character to move as he helps to decorate the tree with 600 replica perfume bottles of Tiffany & Co’s Signature Eau de Parfum fragrance. Not to mention 600 hand crafted paper Iris flowers with Tiffany Blue detail, 600 silver and Tiffany Blue baubles and a 4-foot Tiffany fragrance bottle which serves as the tree-topper. If you get close enough you can also smell the perfume which is being sprayed out within the tree.
To celebrate the tree and pop-up, Tiffany & Co have teamed up with Searcys for a signature Christmas cocktail, served until January 5th. The Tiffany & Co cocktail is £18.50 and is made up of cognac, sugar, a dash of bitters, Mandarin liqueur, topped with Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label Brut, NVG and served with 23 carat gold flakes and fresh Mandarin fruit. Of course I just had to try it, the mandarin gives it a slightly fruitier taste over the traditional classic champagne cocktail which I really liked.
If you look to the other side of the bar you will also see the the Tracey Emin neon sign just behind the Sir John Betjeman statue and below the clock. Perfectly worded for everyone travelling to Paris.
If you fancy popping to my secret shopping spot this Christmas, you can find a full list of shops at St Pancras International here.