From the Eurostar web site you can book a connecting but through ticket from London to Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris. Taking a little under three hours you connect at Lille from the Eurostar to a TGV which drops you at the heart of CDG.
It was a busy Friday afternoon when I arrived at St. Pancras Station, about 2 hours earlier than expected. A £30 change fee plus a modest bump in fare allowed me to travel on an earlier train. The connection at Lille still works but the agent could not re-issue my ticket all the way through.
You must check-in at the entry barriers 60-30 minutes before departure depending on class of service. Whilst the queues were long they opened the premium line to ordinary passengers just as I arrived and so I was quickly through the airport type security – except there was no limit on liquids or need to remove them from your bags.
A check of my passport by French Immigration authorities and I was in to the packed waiting area.
If you keep an eye you can usually find out which platform holds your train as the staff move to remove the barriers before the announcement is made. Up an inclined escalator and you reach the platform.
Signs above the escalator show you where your coach is located.
A member of the train crew checks your ticket as you board and I was fairly quickly at my Standard Premier seat. The carriage is set up with a number of SOLO single seats, DUO SOLO, 2 seats together and 4 seats at a table. You can pick your seat at time of booking. I was lucky that no one ended up next to me. Be warned the 4 sats together often end up being occupied by kids (and their parents).
There is space for bags at the end of each coach as well as above your seat:
The seats are large and comfortable for the 90 minute trip to Lille.
Shortly after leaving Kings Cross there were images of the Kings Cross redevelopment and then the English countryside.
The friendly crew served a light meal, which whilst tasty was not substantial. Wine and soft drinks were offered and tea and coffee came around a couple of times after the trays were cleared.
Arrival at Lille was right on time, and going up the escalator I located the ticket office where I needed to rebook for an earlier TGV. After about a 10 minute wait I was served although the agent had to get a member of staff who spoke better English to understand my problem. 1 minute later a new ticket appeared and the computer identified that I was due a EUR0.40 refund for the fare difference. And so I ended up with four shiny 10c coins in my pocket.
The TGV platform was across from where the Eurostar had arrived and I checked the indicators to see where my coach was to arrive. There are illuminated signs along the platform which you need to locate to find out your coach number and corresponding platform letter:
As I was in Coach 13 I went to area V as shown by large signs over the platform:
The train arrived about 10 minutes early as it splits at Lille and runs as two separate trains to two different cities.
I located my coach and my seat pretty quickly.
Oddly I was in Coach 13 on Friday the 13th and my hotel room was 1313 when I later checked-in!
The seating again was some singles, doubles and 4’s. As the train was packed I had a seat mate for hour trip to CDG. No ticket check, meals or drinks were served on this section.
Again the seat was large and comfortable with power at each seat.
We arrived at CDG on time at the TGV station which is in the basement of Terminal 2, under the Sheraton Hotel.
A quick trip up in the lift took me to the area where the hotel coaches pick up.
An easy way to get to CDG which whilst slower than from Heathrow, was certainly more enjoyable.