The thing is, you just don’t expect to have a joyous time at a railway station, do you? Even in this day and age, with the abundance of posh coffee and crafty beer on offer.
St Pancras is the terminus I pass through most regularly, yet, like most people, never feel the need to hang out there more than is necessary (although it’s reassuring that there are good places to hand, if that changes).
The other evening, however, my partner and I found ourselves with 45 mins to spare, after missing a train. Idly, with a shrug, we hit Sourced, which is going through a kind of protracted relaunch.
Remember how it used to look? A very long and thin deli that spanned the length of the departure boards, in situ since just after St Pancras reopened in 2007? Well, now they’ve rethought the space. Clearly a visit to Sourced is now An Experience.
The result? We had so much fun we missed two further trains.
Food-wise, as befits a mainline station, with time of the essence, it’s mostly charcuterie and cheese in various guises.
We shared a plate of excellent cured lamb loin, Cornish salami made with seaweed and cider, Suffolk ham, and cornichons, all correctly melt-in-the-mouth and served at room temperature. The cost was a tenner, although we did have to ask for more bread, as it came with barely a morsel.
There are all manner of sarnies and toasts too, such as black olive bruschetta, and a spicy n’duja with garlic; but most rated is a delicious smashed avocado with goat’s cheese and rose harissa piled high on sourdough. It should be good for £8 – and it was.
Best of all, there’s something mesmerizing about lingering with a glass of red, gazing out onto the concourse at the swell of commuters rushing and tutting.
It certainly made us wonder why we don’t all just slow down a bit – whether or not indeed we have a train to catch.
Sourced Market is open daily at St Pancras International until about 9pm.