There are about 9 critical supply centres where we need to seriously stock up on goodies or we’ll all end up hungry, sober and miserable.  These are Brussels, Copenhagen, Bodo/Narvik, Stockholm, Budapest , Zagreb, Rome , Lyon and Lisbon.

Brussels is our first point of call and a key point for getting the picnic larder up to scratch on our initial shopping trip, and also to stock up the GCERC cellar prior to heading for the arctic circle. We need chocolates of course, and the fancy place to purchase these is in the Galeries Royales, which will be akin to buying sweets in Burlington Arcade. I intend to get a box at both Corné and Neuhaus. After leaving the south end of Galeries we are virtually in the Grand Place. Walking out of the west side of the square, take the second right into Rue de Tabora and A La Bécasse, one of the Belgian capital’s hidden gems of beer consumption. Continuing down the street we have a bakery called La Wetternoise, a fromagerie called P’tit Normand, and across the road a charcuterie of the same name, and next to that a Nicolas boozerie. And barely 50 yards away there is a Delhaize supermarket to get the fruit and salad and anything else needed to kick the pantry off.

Picnic Requirement: 3 hours to do the GP and then shop, (including purchasing bread knives, you technically aren’t allowed them on the eurostar) leave 15:50,  picnic has to last us till 10:00 the following day in Copenhagen. We should all have a waffle I guess.

Amsterdam, enough time to go to a liquor store outside the station for the Jenever.

Copenhagen, 10am till 2pm. Need supplies for over 24 hours. There’s some great local recipe ideas here We’ll do lunch in Tivoli, it’s full of places, but we’ve a long haul up to Narvik for 36 hours.

Torvehallerne market at Nørreport is a purpose built, posh picnic and fancy walking lunch procurement option, just opened in Israels Plads near Nørreport. It’s got just about everything we think we could need and a whole lot we didn’t know we did.

Picnic Requirement :- Picnic has to last 27 hours till Bodo

Trondheim. We have very little time here, so whatever the station has to offer we’ll have. But I need to check out what the eating situation on this train is. if it’s minimal then we’ll need to have a hamper full of stuff on leaving Copenhagen

Bodo. What ?, you’ve never heard of it ?!.

Narvik. We will be able to get stuff in the morning before getting the 10:00. The super’ opens at 9:00. I’m sure there’s some cured fish that we’ll all have to confront. if you are an expert in northern Scandinavian cuisine please tell us what we need to consume to be culturally fulfilled. We are all going to want some amount of sleep, so these huts will need booking. If you are coming as a twosome and want one of the twin cabins then I would imagine you’ll need to book well in advance.

Picnic Requirement : we need 24 hours worth of supplies.

Boden. We’ve got just half an hour here, I think platform burger is all we can hope for.

Stockholm, 3 1/2 hours starting at 6:30 am. we’ve found somewhere which is not only a fantastic bakery and can supply us with Scandinavian pastries and breads, and critically several Smörgåstårta, but also opens at stupid O’Clock in the morning!. Wienerkonditoriet is a treasure of Stockholm, and is on the case at the conveniently sprightly hour of 7am. Anyone not up for a rapid circuit of the city can spend a couple of hours having a leisurely breakfast there before strolling back to the station for the train south. The famous Saluhall main food market, which is a tourist sight in it’s own right, doesn’t open it’s doors till 9:30am, which is round about when I’ll be ordering everyone back to the station.

Picnic Requirement leave 10 oclock, has to last us till 11pm (so 13 hours) till Berlin

Berlin, we’ve got natives on the case for this one. It will be late, we land at 23:10 and leave at 08:45. if you no a good sausage and beer stop not too far from the station open between either of those times let us know.

Picnic Requirement 7 hour journey to Prague


jacket potaotes –

Prague, Black Ox pub, and there’s a foodery nearby also.

Vienna, Breakfast in Stefanplatz at Aida.

Budapest. We’re going to do a massive shop at the Great Market. We know about picked water melon and fire sausage, and tokaj. We’ll need a full list, written down, so we can just hand it over to the relevant stalls. See Budapest page.

Picnic Requirement we need to leave here with 36 hours worth of munchies, for a route where the on train options are likely to be poor to non existent.

Sofia. Evening meal. pack lunches to go the following morning.

Picnic Requirement we need pack lunches to get to Skopje

Skopje early evening meal

Belgrade, 2 hours, bread, yogurt, cured pig, and more polinka. very early arrival, a medium sized day picnic would be in order.

Picnic Requirement 9 hour ride to Sarajevo

Sarajevo get in at 5:30pm so all evening. There’s a range of kebab options, very early departure in the morning so will arrange for hostel to sort out pack lunches.

Picnic Requirement packed lunches

Split from about 3pm till 8pm. plenty of time for a sit down.

Zagreb Arrive early on the sleeper from Split, we need a good sized day picnic to get us to Venice. Dolac market opens at 7:00

Picnic Requirement need 11 hours worth of supplies to Venice, though snacks can be had at Ljubljana and Gora Novica.

Suggestions: dimsi (a smoked cheese), kukuruzni kruh (corn bread), dzhem od suha smokve s’narnacom (dried fig and orange jam), bajadera (chocolate and hazelnut sweet, made by Kras). Burek (puff pastry pasty type things) ,pečeni štruklji (a stuffed bready thing). Wild Boar pate, creme fraiche. (all from here

Ljubljana, 90 mins.

Venice. 18 hours. This place is such a rip off I’m going on a fast.

Rome, Get in at 5, leave 11. we need street food. I have finally thrown the towel in on getting supplies delivered to us in Milan or Tirano.  We’re going to be in Milan before the locals have really got going, and we wont be in Tirano long enough to do the job justice. So we are going to stock up the night before in Rome. I have found Volpetti’s, who are open till 20:15, and are also within walking distance of the Circo Massimo. The Sun will set at 20:41 that day, and that’s exactly the time we need to be at the local derelict sports stadium. We’ll probably get the No. 3 tram a few stops from right outside the deli to the the Roman rubble region.

Milan. We’ve got a man on the ground for this, and I have an Italian gastronome in the crew.

Picnic Requirement 24 hours worth of supplies to Barcelona.

Geneva there are excellent chocolates in the precinct under the station

Barca, 5 1/4 hours. 9:45 till 3 in the afternoon. We have serious on the ground contacts here so I await your suggestions. We will definitely be wanting to pig out at a proper table at this stage.

Madrid. 2 1/2 hours only, but enough time to do some more pigging out on tapas.  It will need to be < 1km from the station.

Lisbon, Almost 9 hours, including getting to Belem and back.  I need to take a look at the tram map and see how we can elegantly do everything. we will need a final picnic sorting out though. Pasteis de Belem is the cake option.

Picnic Requirement need to last 18 hours to Paris

Paris We’ve got all afternoon here, the choice is endless, so we need to whittle that down a bit.

Picnic Requirement just something outrageous like frogs legs and snail salad for the last episode.


One thought on “Food

  1. Pingback: Don’t Thomas Cook It Up | The Great Circular European Railway Challenge

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