Would you like trains with your pasta, sir?

When the lovely Clare from Random House took me out to dinner last winter, we went to Carluccio’s at St Pancras station. I had never been, which shows what a country bumpkin I am. Though I do recall buying an early train ticket from the now boarded up original ticket office.

It was winter, and although it’s under a roof, we didn’t sit outside. I noted – in that sieve I call a brain – that I should really make a point of taking Son there for a meal. What could be better for a train nerd than to eat pasta at the end of the tracks? But the likelihood of the two of us being there at a suitable time seemed slim.

So it was only as he was searching online for a choice of dinner venues near Euston the other evening, that my memory kicked in and I told him to forget all that because we were going to St Pancras to look at the trains. And we did.

As luck would have it, the restaurant was packed to the gills, but had one free table for two at the fence, with a good view of Eurostar rolling stock. He had ravioli with parmesan, black pepper and trains. He also taught the (Spanish speaking?) waitress a new word. ‘Fire away’ was what he said to her offer of black pepper, which made her back off, so he had to explain that it means yes. She was grateful for her new knowledge.

I may have come late to Carluccio’s, but I like it. The dishes aren’t the same pasta dishes you get everywhere. And they do coffee ice cream. Have you chocolate eaters any idea of how much I crave dessert and cakes that contain no chocolate? Something with an adult taste. I’m no coffee drinker, but I reckon this ice cream could be mistaken for coffee, were it not for its round shape and the low-ish temperature.

My first time eating at St Pancras was the day before I met Terry Pratchett. This recent St Pancras eating experience was the day before I met Terry Pratchett again. Nice pattern to it. And all the work of Clare.


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