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(W.Europe) Food on long distance and overnight trains

Cork, Ireland
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(W.Europe) Food on long distance and overnight trains

I thought this would be a well discussed topic (and perhaps it is, but nothing pops up on my forum search).

I'm planning on taking 1 long distant train, Paris->Irun (nearly 6 hours) and 2 overnight trains (Irun->Lisbon and Lisbon->Madrid). I see that the Paris->Irun train is a TGV and has some sort of cafe-bar offering sandwiches and snacks. This appears to be somewhere you must walk to, I don't see any mention of an at-seat service on the SNCF site (you can get it on a handful of TGVs but not this particular one).

For the the 2 overnights, my choices seem to be a cafe-bar only. Again, looks like you must walk there, there's no at-seat service. And I can't find any menus or anything online about what's on offer.

Since I'll be travelling solo, I'd feel uncomfortable leaving everything at my seat to go stand in a queue, so if there's no at-seat service, at least I know ahead of time to pop into a handy Carrefour for some snacks. Having said that, I am planning on getting a sleeper for the 2 overnight trains, so at least I can lock my room and go to the bar, if that's the case.

So, can anyone confirm the dining arrangements on these 3 trains in particular? Also, if you've tried it, what's the food like on these trains?

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: (W.Europe) Food on long distance and overnight trains

The food on trains is generally not worth bothering about anyway. You do better to get some bread, cold meat, cheese and wine; and have a picnic on the train.

Albufeira, Portugal
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2. Re: (W.Europe) Food on long distance and overnight trains

The overnight trains you mention have indeed now only a café / bar service, no at seat service but if you have a sleeping compartment you can leave your stuff safely excepting money, phone and passport etc, never leave them in baggage.

There's a good description of the Paris - Irun - Lisbon etc trains with pictures at www.seat61.com/Portugal.htm#.U0uVw6LdGgE

As sydneynick says, you can always take your own food on board and certainly take a big bottle or two of water.

Wales, United...
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3. Re: (W.Europe) Food on long distance and overnight trains

Another vote here for taking your own food and drink on board. It will cost you less from Carrefour, and you will have more choice!

Cork, Ireland
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4. Re: (W.Europe) Food on long distance and overnight trains

Tks all, that's what I figured alright. Just didn't want to get home and someone to say "oh you should have eaten the X on board the TGV, it's world famous" :D

Quainton, United...
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5. Re: (W.Europe) Food on long distance and overnight trains

The Lisbon-Madrid train has a cafe-bar with full-length polished wooden bar and bar-stools, so is quite a fun place to go and eat on the move, assuming you haven't eaten before it leaves, as it goes after 21:00.

There is no problem leaving your big bag in your compartment, your 15Kg of part-dirty laundry will be quite safe. Your passport, cash, camera, iPad whatever will of course by in a daypack which you take with you, won't it! ;0)

The Irun-Paris night train is only a TGV if you take the sit-up-all-night one. The couchette one is a separate non-TGV train, with vending machines only. Take your own provisions!

Cork, Ireland
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6. Re: (W.Europe) Food on long distance and overnight trains

Thanks Seat61 (if I can call you that). You had me confused for a short while til I realised you were talking about Irun-Paris, I'm going the other way and it's during daylight hours, so I should be fine. But plenty of water (mixed with barley and hops) and I should be fine.

Strangely, and not really relevant to my thread, I can't find any actual trains going from Irun to Paris. renfe.com shows me a 15 hour trip via Barcelona, capitainetrain.com can't find anything, and even loco2.com is failing. Maybe it's just me, and like I said, it's irrelevant to my journey, but it's a bit odd.

7. Re: (W.Europe) Food on long distance and overnight trains

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