Should I Leave More to the Pros?
LONDON–This is the third time I have consulted with and relied upon Railbookers for a trip to the U.K. and Europe. The fact is, however, I think this trip would have been improved had I asked for their recommendations in one or two instances, rather than just making the decisions based on my own on-line “research”.
For instance, I chose Chalon-sur-Saône as one of the two towns in France where I would stop for a few days. Both the town and the hotel I chose were OK . . . but that’s all. Nothing special.
On the other hand, I also chose the little town of Montsoreau, about 15 miles from Saumur, and I loved it. I will also take full credit for deciding to stay at La Forge, the little guest house there.
As the name makes clear, Railbookers specializes in train travel and, once they know what kind of a hotel you prefer, they suggest those that fit your criteria and are usually located within walking distance of the railway station. (That’s not so simple in a city like Paris, of course, where there are seven major railway stations.)
Here in London, and at their recommendation, I am staying for the third time at the Hotel Megaro. The entrance is on a small side street and the first time around it’s hard to find, even for a London taxi driver. But it’s directly across the street from London’s magnificent St. Pancras station, which is where the Eurostar trains from Paris and Brussels arrive. The rooms here are fine, the staff is wonderful, and there’s an excellent restaurant where this morning’s breakfast of fresh orange juice, Eggs Benedict, and a double espresso was included in the price of my room.
Tomorrow I’m traveling to Edinburgh aboard Virgin Trains, departing from King’s Cross station, which is also within sight of this little hotel. I am told the ride will be an excellent experience, complete with in-seat meal service and an honest-to-God lounge car, meaning it comes with a real bartender. My return from Edinburgh will be aboard the Caledonian night sleeper and in between all that lovely train travel, I have a choice seat for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. It was all arranged by Railbookers and Matthew Foy, who has urged me to try the haggis. We shall see.