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Review: the Caledonian Sleeper lounge at London Euston station

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This is my review of the Caledonian Sleeper lounge at London Euston station.

HfP has been meaning to review the new Caledonian Sleeper trains since they were launched in 2019, after £150m was invested in new rolling stock. There were initial service and reliability issues which persuaded us to delay a trip, and then of course we had the pandemic.

The opening of a new lounge at Euston last November made us feel that it was the right time to give it a go, and we were tempted by a 25% discount offer available for trips in January. It still cost HfP over £300 for a one-way trip to Inverness in a double bedded room …..

Review: The Caledonian Sleeper lounge at London Euston

My review of the train itself will be published tomorrow. Today I want to look at the Euston lounge.

The Caledonian Sleeper lounge at Euston station

Ahead of my journey to Inverness I checked out the lounge which is located on Platform 1, the platform where the train departs from.

Access to the Euston station lounge is available for holders of Double En-suite and Club Room En-suite tickets. It doesn’t appear that other passengers can buy access to the lounge which is a bit of a shame, but to be honest I think capacity would become an issue.

The lounge opens at 18.00 although the first departure time for the Sleeper is 21.15. This is presumably for the benefit of people needing somewhere to wait after leaving their office.

I arrived at 18.30 and I wasn’t the first passenger there, but it was just early enough to get a few pictures before it became busy.

The lounge can also be used after your arrival back into London which is handy if you want to get a shower here instead of in the tiny train bathroom.

The lounge is welcoming with lots of bench seating and small tables. Everything is still very new and fresh, with the lounge under two months old.

Review: The Caledonian Sleeper lounge at London Euston

There appeared to be enough plugs and the WiFi worked well.

Review: The Caledonian Sleeper lounge at London Euston

There are also corners where larger groups can gather:

Review: The Caledonian Sleeper lounge at London Euston

Food in the Caledonian Sleeper lounge

If you want to eat before you board your train there are a number of options.

Sweet and savoury snacks are complimentary. If you want something bigger in the evenings then there is a paid-for lounge menu with toasted sandwiches, nachos, pizza twists, soup and sausage Wellington.

If you want to get into the Scottish mood, you can order Haggis, Neeps, Tatties with Whisky Sauce for £14.

For dessert you can choose from a brownie or a £14 cheese board. Non-alcoholic drinks are complimentary whilst alcoholic drinks are available for purchase.

Review: The Caledonian Sleeper lounge at London Euston

The lounge menu also includes breakfast options for arriving passengers, such as bacon or sausage rolls and pastries. I don’t know how big these are but they seem fairly priced by lounge standards at £5.50 with the pastries at £2.50.

Review: The Caledonian Sleeper lounge at London Euston

Here are the modest free snacks on offer:

Review: The Caledonian Sleeper lounge at London Euston

…. and the non-alcoholic drinks:

Review: The Caledonian Sleeper lounge at London Euston

I had a toasted sandwich (smoked ham & cheddar cheese) with tortilla chips which did the job, and only cost £6:

Review: The Caledonian Sleeper lounge at London Euston

Whether the lounge should be charging at all for food is a different question, of course. Given that my one-way ticket would have been over £400 at full price (£500 for a couple), and was still over £300 with the 25% January discount, allowing at least one free food item per passenger wouldn’t hurt.

The showers

I was impressed by the toilet and shower facilities, which are new and very clean. Toiletries from Scottish brand Arran and towels are provided at no charge.

To my mind it is a good alternative to have a shower here on arrival rather than onboard, especially if you come from Glasgow or Edinburgh which have much shorter journey times than my Inverness train.

Review: The Caledonian Sleeper lounge at London Euston


Review: The Caledonian Sleeper lounge at London Euston


This is an inviting lounge, perhaps a bit on the small side but with the benefit of everything being new.

With my Inverness train not boarding until 20.30 it was good to have somewhere to spend a couple of hours, especially as the main concourse at Euston is neither inviting or warm.

The shower facilities are excellent and as the lounge is open in the morning until 10.30 it also works as a smart arrivals lounge.

Tomorrow I will show you what you get in a double bedded Club room on board the Caledonian Sleeper.

Comments (120)

  • Chaz says:

    That place looks completely soulless and a miserable place to spend any time at all. If I’ve just dropped £500 on a ticket, I’m pretty sure I could spend a few pennies more, basically anywhere but there, and have a better start to my journey. A free tea bag isn’t going to swing it for me.

  • Amy C says:

    In fact you could spend less and get better looking food at the newly opened ‘Spoons that is visible across the road from Plat 1 at Euston.

  • Cat says:

    I wish there were photos of the sausage Wellington. I need to know if this is anything more than just a sausage roll!

    They’re having a laugh with the cheese board price, especially after the cost of the ticket.

    I’m lookin forward to the main review, Conny. I do love sleeper train journeys. Maybe if the service has improved, I may give the Caledonian sleeper another try, after the disastrous journey we had just after Serco took it over. Maybe. I’ve not quite forgiven and forgotten yet.

  • Rick MacLeod says:

    This was an interesting review, however £6 for a toastie or £5.50 for a bacon roll is not, in my view, good value at all. Your point about whether they should be charging at all should have emphasised more, because when your review suggests that these prices aren’t bad for a lounge then the lounge management is not likely to contemplate changing things.
    I would suggest that for the amount spent to gain access via my ticket, I would be shocked to then be asked for even more (I mean, seriously, £14 for a cheese board? It’s hardly The Shard, is it!!)

    • Rob says:

      If you’ve got a problem with £6 for a toastie (which I think is the same as Pret charges for a takeaway toastie) then I doubt you’d be on a £500 train ticket in the first place. Whether it is bad business sense from a customer experience point of view is a different question.

      I have more of a problem with, say, No1 Lounges charging you for cooked to order food in a lounge you’ve paid £40 to enter because you didn’t like the cost of food and drink in the main terminal ….

      • Richie says:

        The toastie in the photo doesn’t look as good as a Pret toastie, looks more like a Greggs toastie.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        It’s not the quality of pret and best to compare it to the standard/cost of similar in the brand new spoons a few mins walk away.

      • Jonathon says:

        Rob are you seriously defending this? It’s absolutely not something a serious travel blog or website should be reporting as a positive. But then that 25% discount apparently worked for them so….

        • Rob says:

          I just said that I don’t think its good for customer experience, and if its not good for customer experience its not good for business. This is no different to a £500 hotel charging you £6 for a mini-bar can of coke though.

          • Josh B says:

            It is a little different tbh. The point of a lounge is somewhere to hang out and have some refreshments! A better analogy would be a £500 hotel room charging extra for towels or a pillow!

          • Hampshirehog says:

            Which tbh isn’t great either what with free mini bars more common nowadays

    • Martin says:

      The £5.50 for a bacon roll is all the more puzzling when Club passengers get free breakfast on board – and the lounge is only open to Club passengers.

      I get that the munificence of the Scottish taxpayer only goes so far, but they could offer a voucher for brekkie in the lounge in lieu of something on the train, as the extra time to sleep is welcome on the lowland service.

  • HertsSam says:

    Out of curiosity, I looked up the flights to Inverness from London on Expedia for a business class flight. The earliest you can get there is 11:10am starting at Luton and arriving at the airport. I don’t know how long it would take to get into the town for a meeting.
    If you wanted to be there for the morning, you would have to go up the day before and stay in a hotel. And you would have to pay for the transport and the hotel.
    As another poster said with this service you get transport and accommodation.
    Whether you can sleep well enough in a train to be productive the next day is for you to decide.
    I note coming from Inverness to London, you can be at LGW by 8:45 or LHR by 9:15. So quite possible to make a morning meeting in London. Or you could take the sleeper train to London.

    • lumma says:

      Who are you flying business class from Luton to Inverness with?

      • HertsSam says:

        This was Expedia.
        Apologies. I did many searches to get my facts straight and then I quoted the results of the wrong search.
        Yes you are right it was Economy. And yes this was Easyjet.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Easyjet lands at Gatwick at 8:10/8:20am depending on the morning.

      If you’re going the other way 6:55pm departure gets in at 8:30pm.

      • HertsSam says:

        I searched for flights on 3/4/24 going to Inverness from a London airport. Earliest arrival time is 11:10 using Easyjet from Luton, which is listed as a London airport.

  • lumma says:

    The Caledonian Sleeper is one of the few TOCs that we don’t get staff discount on working for Network Rail.

    I’ve ridden it once to Edinburgh in the seat carriage, was only £55 but I didn’t get a minute of sleep on it, too bright, too noisy and really uncomfortable seats, even though they’re essentially the same as First Class on a regular train. Luckily the Kimpton had a room available first thing

  • gavalar says:

    I’m being gently nudged to use this to fit with the company’s ‘green’ stance but resisting as just doesn’t work for me with sleep quality, times & productivity.

  • MKB says:

    One of the knock-on effects of Caledonian Sleeper no longer using the Avanti First-Class Lounge is that the latter now closes one hour earlier Sun-Fri at 22:00, meaning that first-class ticketholders on the last two trains to the West Midlands no longer have the lounge facility after this time.

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