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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)

  • Jonathon says:

    Sorry but no lounge should be charging for food or drink. Cough up for a basic beer and wine for prices that would match main airline prices to Europe. If I have to ever take out my credit card in a lounge I’d be walking out of it right away. Bye.

    • ChrisBCN says:

      So as the route is subsidised by the tax payer, you are suggesting that tax payers should also fund the cost of beer in the lounge?

      • executiveclubber says:

        By that rationale should the journeys cost £500? Or, to go further, if a taxpayer funded my hospital stay should I have to pay for the NHS food?

  • broomy23 says:

    Feel like the only reason one would choose this service over the much more competitively priced flying option is because of environmental concerns. £300 is absurd when a flight and airport hotel would cost less. Plus the airport hotel would be an improvement on sleep quality.

    • John says:

      If you’re concerned about the environment you can take a day train. Faster and less likely to be cancelled.

  • Gordon says:

    There’s lots of criticism of the cost of rail fares and food.
    But there is some good news from Mr Khan for a change!

    Off-peak Friday fares trial to start for Tube and trains in London

  • Rma says:

    If they brought back motor rail, I would use the sleeper service again. Although the old sleeper cabins were fairly basic, the advantage of arriving in the north of Scotland with your own car transported there, packed with all the luggage etc needed for a family holiday, was well worth the cost. The service was expensive but always fully booked. The demand was certainly there but was discontinued several years ago.

    • tony says:

      As per comments above though when it comes to the actual cost of operating Motorail, doing it profitably would be impossible. You’d be looking at paying thousands. (Perhaps there’s a market opportunity here to drive someone’s fully loaded car from Fulham to Inverness and meet the family at the airport?)

      I used the sleeper in ‘21. Took a club room with my son. He could get onto the top bunk fine, but don’t think I’d have managed and whilst carrying some excess timber I’m not obese.

      Finally got to sleep around Carstairs but as we were heading to Inverness is wasn’t all bad. But don’t think I’d rush to do it again.

      • John says:

        I’d pay for someone to drive my car (with me and family and stuff in it) from London to Edinburgh / Glasgow to start off a Scottish car trip.

    • Richard T says:

      When I was a child in the 60s my parents always used the motorail from to and from Stirling and Newton Abbot; and until it was closed down I used to use it for family holidays to Cornwall and Scotland from London. As you say it was always fully booked and also I think strangely underpriced, I would happily have paid more. For the sake of doing it I took one of the last car trains to Cornwall in probably 2006. GWR told me they were closing the Cornwall route because it was so expensive paying professional drivers at each end to put the cars on and off the train; and having now sold the rolling stock to an operator outside the UK it would be very hard to get going again.

      • The real Swiss Tony says:

        I vaguely recall using Motorail in the 1970s with my parents – I was still in short trousers – to get from Newcastle to Bristol. The platform & height barrier at Paddington is still in evidence, although suspect construction means that couldn’t be resurrected easily.

      • Andrew. says:

        My late uncle worked for a windscreen replacement company in Stirling, part of their core business was replacing broken glass for BR. Windscreen and ballast aren’t good partnerships.

        This was in the days before the A74M and Newbury bypass though and cars were nowhere near as comfortable. There’s no way that a rail service could economically compete with Stirling to the M25 in 6 hours.

  • Lilian says:

    Food should be free pay for alcohol

  • babyg_wc says:

    This (lounge) looks grim… before this review i was curious to try the overnight train, but that desire has vanished..

    • Jan Wright says:

      You would be really right – lounge grim – exceedingly expensive double cabin with en-suite just about ok – world’s worst breakfast!

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      Looks pretty much like a lot of airport lounges to me.

  • Duncan says:

    I’m lucky to have a non-public railcard, so I do use the Sleeper a bit. Did a return to the HfP summer party on it.
    The new CAF (an appropriate abbreviation) carriages are a backward step from the BR stock. It’s more modern, sure, but the classic and club rooms layout is poor. The sink on BR had a lid, which was handy for organising things, while now, its open all night, with only a cheap pull-out drawer under the sink.
    The under-bed storage isn’t huge, and the ladder says do not remove. (It’s easily removable).
    The mattresses are in dire need of replacing already, and the soundproofing is also not as good as the old stock.
    I’m not a fan of the new lounge car. The lighting is a bit bright. There was something about the old couches the old lounge had.
    I had better night’s sleep on ViaRail’s 1950’s Canadian train than the new Cally Sleeper.

  • Alan says:

    Pretty shocking for them to charge at that ticket price and not sure I’d describe as ‘only’ £6 for a sorry looking toastie and what look like supermarket value tortilla chips!

    Also if you remove ‘back’ from ‘back into London’ it would immediately make it less London-oriented!

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