It’s hard to believe a quarter-century’s gone by since Eurostar services began, and the first train from London pulled into Gare du Nord station. If a train under the sea sounded unthinkable, suddenly it was the norm. You could start the day in Paris and be in London in time for lunch. A quick business trip to Brussels, or anniversary dinner by the Seine? Easier than ever before – so long as you packed your passport.
But Eurostar wasn’t the only launch that got people talking that year. From a label that redefined Parisian chic to a pioneering restaurant in London, we’d like to wish the happiest of birthdays to these three icons born in 1994.
If nose-to-tail eating’s everywhere now, it’s thanks to St John, Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver’s game-changing Clerkenwell restaurant. Set in a former smokehouse near Smithfield Market, it persuaded even squeamish Londoners that offal could be delicious. Start with the supremely delicious bone marrow on toast, and end with the steamed fig sponge or half-a-dozen fresh-baked madeleines.
It’s been 25 years since the Parisian designer founded her namesake label, whose romantic cuts and rock ’n’ roll edge changed the way we dress. Her much-imitated pieces are effortlessly cool, from slouchy knits and high-waisted jeans to ruffled mini-dresses. For a masterclass in modern femininity, swing by her rue Saint-Honoré store, where investment pieces run from studded boots to chic tweed coats.
Back in 1994, this Belgian toy company started small. At first, it was based in a garage. Now, its creations are stocked in some of the world’s best toy shops, like Paris’s enchanting, pastel-painted Le ciel est à tout le monde. Its toys are sweetly old-fashioned. Think wind-up music boxes, tin tea sets and origami paper planes, along with plush dinosaurs and cute white-rabbit nightlights.