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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)

  • executiveclubber says:

    Pay a fortune for a train ticket, then pay restaurant prices for a drab staff canteen menu & atmosphere. Good old Britain. You could actually *save* money by flying business class and using a BA lounge, arriving in a good hotel and actually sleeping well, all while avoiding Euston.

  • Born2sKydive says:

    I love HFP and have read it for many yrs now. But Jesus, it sounded like Connie was fuming over actually having to pay for a review trip.
    Rather than say “Caledonian provided the trip for free however they had no input into the review or saw it prior to publishing oh and I paid gor my own Uber yo the train station”.
    Come on Rob

    • David says:

      Do you often project your assumptions/biases Born2sKydive?! It didn’t come across as fuming due to having to pay their own way – it felt more like an observation that it wasn’t cheap despite a 25% discount.

      Your last bit didn’t make sense to me – I don’t think it was provided by Caledonian.

      Out of curiosity, would you have ranted if this review was posted by Rob?

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      The trip wasn’t provided for free – as made clear in the second paragraph!

      If it was free would have been mentioned right at the top of the article!

    • Rob says:

      The company (HfP) paid for it, not her personally.

    • pigeon says:

      In fairness, I’d be fuming if I (or my employer) had to pay £300 for a one-way train ticket, let alone £500 at full price. I could go to New York and back for that price!

      • LittleNick says:

        Has it always been this expensive? I seem to remember it being a bit cheaper for lower classes (double birth) some years ago, that didn’t come with any lounge access mind.

        • John says:

          They don’t do sharing any more. And despite the price increase they (Scottish govt) still lose £hundreds per passenger every night

          • LittleNick says:

            Why does it cost so much to run? Something clearly not right then? Where is the money going then?

          • Rob says:

            Let’s depreciate the £150m spent on the carriages over 20 years and 4 trains per night (2 in each direction) …. that’s £5k before you start. Track access charges, staff, relatively low yield per square foot, long journeys ….

            We just booked F to Berwick for late Feb at £130 each way. This is a sub 4 hour trip for a seat which takes up a fraction of the space of a sleeper cabin.

          • pigeon says:

            Oebb makes the NightJet work with lower fares…is this down to lower capital costs?

            Oebb recently paid € 500 mil for 20 trains + locomotives, so that’s € 25 mil a train. In contrast, the Scotrail trains are £37.5 mil each (excluding locomotive, but I suspect more carriages).

  • Born2sKydive says:

    PS can’t fix the typos peeps

  • lumma says:

    Is a sausage wellington a posh way of saying sausage roll?

  • Amy C says:

    I cannot believe anyone ever pays £500 to travel on the sleeper. According to colleagues of mine and the railway enthusiast partner of my mother, it guarantees you a sleepless night. I know it’s about experience rather than cost but I’ve paid £174 CE return to Inverness in July for (as part of a holiday). No contest.

    • Andy says:

      Yeah, I’ve not done the refurbed trains, but used the old ones a few times. Actual sleep is impossible unless you’ve had a skinful! Reliability has been terrible, and it’s expensive. Option of very last resort for me.

    • Ryan says:

      I gifted a ticket to my parents for my dad’s 80th, he’s got limited mobility but no wheelchair – opted for the accessible room and it was “only” £250 for the double bed. No discount on disabled… assume it was an error, possibly discounted for being disabled room??

    • Hak says:

      But you need to factor in getting to and from said airports plus the hotel for the night.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Still seems quicker, cheaper and more likely to sleep

        • Novice says:

          True… and if you look around the hotel night might get you decent points or cashback as well.

          This sort of thing should be priced at £200 or maybe £250 for best rooms. More than that a person can’t justify it at all.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I don’t think they’ve intentionally priced it so high. Train fares are crazy all across the U.K. and this just matches

            Fact I can get to European cities via planes cheaper than U.K. cities via train tells you it’s a bit broken

          • Rob says:

            So something that is sold out EVERY DAY (with about 5 exceptions) for February, March, April, May, June and July is overpriced at £500?

            It is very clearly underpriced based on any standard supply / demand analysis. I’m not sure, as a taxpayer, I should be providing extra subsidy for something which could clearly sell out many times over at the current rate.

            If we had sold out every ad spot on HfP until August I’d be whacking up my prices, I promise you.

  • dst87 says:

    I’ve used the sleeper a couple of times now and I was very doubtful at first given the cost but I’m not completely converted to it being the best way to get to London for a short break.

    Being able to board the train in Edinburgh or Glasgow at night after work and just wake up in London really feels magical. You waste no “active” time at all.

    I think the Club En-Suite rooms are the sweet spot. I paid for a double once for the experience but unless you’re travelling with a partner and absolutely cannot face being separated, or one of you can’t physically deal with the top bunk, I don’t think it’s worth it. The cost difference is significant and the room is otherwise identical.

    Yes it’s pricy but if it saves you one night in a hotel it doesn’t seem nearly as bad. Sleep quality is also variable. I have no problem sleeping but I know others do. If you can’t sleep on it then you’d lose all the benefits.

    • Qrfan says:

      I must have missed the memo that bunk beds and a £6 toasty count as magical.

      • dst87 says:

        It’s not the beds or the food that’s magical. It’s using none of your active time to travel to London.

        • Qrfan says:

          It’s a 1.5hr flight. I could accept this argument about a night flight to Cape town, but using it for a trip that you can *easily* make after dinner on a Friday night and still sleep in a proper bed at your destination seems very silly to me.

          • Brian says:

            You’ve got to add all the dead time at both airports and getting to and from said airports, too. It’s not just the flight time itself.

          • Rob says:

            The double beds are sold out (at £500) every day until August, bar about 5 dates. Either you or the market is wrong ….

          • meta says:

            There are only two double ensuite rooms per train, so hardly a surprise that they are sold out. Every other room is wide open for booking.

  • Alan says:

    Lounge is too small. Had to stand for an hour last week. Has anyone ever slept a wink on this train?

    • Martin says:

      Last time I did it from Glasgow, I was asleep before we’d made it to Carstairs. It’s not always the most restful night but I’ve had more than a few decent journeys on it.

  • Stuart says:

    “…only cost £6”, “only”? That seems like a lot to me for that measly looking cheese and ham toastie and a few tortilla crisps.

    • AJA says:

      I thought the same thing, I’d rather buy a meal deal at Sainsbury’s and get a better sandwich, crisps and a drink for £3.50, not quite half the price but pretty close to it and they’re still making money on the deal.

      I accept it’s not as simple as that in reality as there’s economies of scale etc but you do have to wonder how they arrived at the price and how they think that is value for money.

      • John says:

        They don’t think it’s value for money! But if you offer it for less on the “ground” then nobody will want to pay the high prices on the train

    • Hak says:

      Yes indeed. I think I would sit in the boozer just around the corner from Euston which serves up some decent pies and then rock up for the train with 20 minutes before departure. But each to their own.

      • No longer Entitled says:

        It would make for a more honest review: Place was soulless, food expensive, drink choice poor so I headed to the local ‘Spoons. Here is a picture of my all day breakfast….

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