The capital’s stations are Victorian temples to a form of transport that was once a place of burnished walnut panelling, as opposed to today’s abandoned coffee cups and Ginsters wrappers. St Pancras’ shiny boulevard and slick lines, Waterloo’s ornate Victory Arch and ex-branch line to the London Necropolis, Kings’ Cross’ Eden Project facelift, Liverpool Street’s… OK, Liverpool Street’s sole virtue is that you’re rarely forced to pass through it accidentally. For true charm however, it’s hard to beat Marylebone; the church hall to those cathedral cousins. Why?
1. It has its very own cheese shop. Most towns can’t boast that. Just perfect for those impulse Époisses purchases on the way to your house-party in fantasyland.
2. WH Smiths is relegated to a retail unit that looks like a public toilet, which is precisely what it deserves.
3. It only has six platforms. Six! Even Finsbury Park has got more than that, and the only gift it brought to the world is that by pronouncing it backwards you get Crappy Rubsniff.
4. You can only catch trains from there to the kind of towns that never ever seem to appear on the national news bulletins. Good, solid, boring places. Places where the local newspaper runs with cute animal stories on the front page.
5. It looks like a short village street has been dropped into the station building by mistake.
6. The AMT coffee stand offers to put chocolate powder on your drink regardless of the drink you’ve chosen. And when it comes down to it, what drink isn’t vastly improved by a dusting of chocolate? Except for possibly Bovril?
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