9 October 2014

Eurostar sets new Guinness World Records™ title as countdown to 20th birthday begins

Raymond Blanc starts the 20th anniversary celebrations in style with the Largest Champagne Tasting Event
  • Eurostar sets new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the Largest Champagne Tasting Event with 515 passengers taking part
  • Raymond Blanc hosts event with record set on board as Eurostar celebrates 20th anniversary
Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service linking the UK with mainland Europe, kick-started their 20th anniversary celebrations by setting the  GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the Largest Champagne Tasting Event earlier today.
Passengers on the 10:25 service from London St Pancras were welcomed on board with a special announcement from Eurostar’s Business Premier Culinary Director and Michelin starred chef Raymond Blanc who hosted the tasting alongside his very own sommelier from Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Arnaud Goubet.
Travellers in all classes were served three types of Champagne to sip one by one guided by leading wine expert and sommelier Arnaud Goubet. Passengers were also given a slice of Opera cake selected by Raymond Blanc to complement the Champagne.
Shortly after the tasting finished on UK tracks, the official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS adjudicator raised her glass to announce to passengers that a new record title had been set for the Largest Champagne Tasting Event, with 515 taking part.
Raymond Blanc, Eurostar’s Business Premier Culinary Director said: “I’m honoured to have been on board this special service to celebrate Eurostar’s 20th Anniversary and set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the Largest Champagne Tasting Event! The Champagnes were carefully selected and I hope everyone will join me in raising their glass to mark this momentous occasion.”
The tasting also marks two years since Eurostar and Raymond Blanc joined forces to transform the on board dining experience for Business Premier passengers. Renowned for his passion and innovative culinary expertise, Raymond works with each of Eurostar’s three kitchens to create seasonal menus combining the best of British and French cuisine and featuring sustainable ingredients of local provenance.
Marc Noaro, Service and People Director, Eurostar, said: “Today marked the start of our 20th anniversary celebrations and we’re delighted to have shared this special occasion with our passengers who joined in the festivities and set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title.
“With a leap in passenger numbers to 145 million, as well as the introduction of new routes and new destinations, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate this year. From our birthday on 14th November, we’ll be hosting a series of events for customers to commemorate our birthday and thank them for their support over the past two decades.”
Eurostar passengers can look forward to a series of events and promotions in Eurostar stations over the coming weeks to help celebrate 20 years of Eurostar.
For more information or to book Eurostar tickets visit www.eurostar.com or call the Eurostar contact centre on 08432 186 186.
About Eurostar
1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
2. Eurostar was established in 1994 as a partnership between three railway companies: SNCF, SNCB and LCR (London and Continental Railways).  On 1 September 2010, Eurostar became a single, unified corporate entity owned by three shareholders: SNCF, SNCB and LCR.
3. The current Eurostar train was first introduced into service in 1994 carrying 750 passengers and operating at speeds of up to 300kph.  Since then, the fleet of 28 trains has carried more than 130 million passengers between London and the Continent.  Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet. The new e320 will carry around 900 passengers at speeds of up to 320kph.
4. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe’s leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network.
5. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies.  Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel’s biggest customer.
For more information:
Eurostar Press Office 
020 7843 5500
About Raymond Blanc OBE, Chef Patron of Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
Born in Besançon, France, Raymond Blanc is acknowledged as one of the finest chefs in the world.  Entirely self-taught, his exquisite cooking has received tributes from most national and international guides to culinary excellence.
At the age of 28, Raymond opened his first restaurant, ‘Les Quat’Saisons’ in Summertown, Oxford.  After just one year, the restaurant was named Egon Ronay Restaurant of the Year and was awarded two Michelin Stars.
It was in 1984, however, that Raymond fulfilled a personal vision, creating a hotel and restaurant in harmony when he opened ‘Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons’ in Great Milton, Oxfordshire. Celebrating its 30th birthday this year, Le Manoir combines magnificent surroundings with gastronomic excellence. It is the only UK country house hotel to have retained two Michelin stars for the past 30 years.
In 1991, Raymond established ‘The Raymond Blanc Cookery School’, welcoming enthusiastic amateurs and professional cooks, as well as children, to the kitchen. The school provides the opportunity for students to develop their skills while learning some of Raymond’s own kitchen secrets.
In 1996, Raymond opened his first brasserie in Oxford.  His vision was to be the best within the brasserie scene in England, serving good quality, freshly prepared, seasonal food at accessible prices. Brasserie Blanc now has some 20 brasseries throughout the UK including 7 London locations.
Raymond is a best-selling author, and his BBC2 television series have included such programmes as The Very Hungry Frenchman, Kitchen Secrets and How to Cook Well. He is currently filming a new television series with the BBC and Kew Gardens, titled Kew on a Plate, which is due for broadcast in 2015. He is also writing two books.
An acknowledged advocate of sustainability, Raymond is Honorary President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), a not-for-profit organisation championing sustainability within the industry.