Euston Road London, England NW1 2AR
Visit the Website +44 20 7841 3540
Area: Kings Cross
It’s taken some time to arrive (we could slip in a few old-style British Rail jokes here) but the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, the rebirth of the building that was Gilbert Scott’s landmark 1873 Midland Grand Hotel, has just opened after years of painstaking renovation. There’s only one word for it: magnificent! Actually I could add ‘stunning’, ‘spectacular’ and simply ‘luxurious’.
If you’re not bowled over by the perfectly restored Gothic exterior, you’ll be wowed by the dazzlingly recreated public rooms. If you’re not overwhelmed by the service, (booking in a Chambers room means round-the-clock access to the ‘Chambers Club’ including complimentary drinks and tempting nibbles at all times of day) you’ll be charmed by the gorgeously jewel-like spa and pool in the basement. Most of all you can’t fail to be impressed by how the hotel hovers over St Saint Pancras International Station. A night here has to be the smartest way to arrive or leave London by train.
We stayed in one of the sumptuous Chambers Suites where modern luxury (crisp cotton, rich velvet and Ren toiletries in the marble bathrooms) has been added sensitively to original Gothic features and ate in the bustling ticket office, whose club-room ambiance gives straight onto the station concourse. The restaurant carries its witty mix of modern and Victorian from the decor to the wine list, which contains a section marked 'British Empire'. Starting with excellent 1873-themed cocktails (my date went for a pint of traditional London porter) we managed resist the tempting bar snacks - including pigs in blankets and haggis bonbons at £6 each - and chose from a menu of hearty English favourites. Starting with a charcuterie plate (£11) of coarse duck pate, cured meats, chutney and picallili my date moved on to an excellent steak (£20) while I chose the dish of the day - a satisfying steak and kidney pie.
If you want to go even luxe-er, the hotel’s other restaurant, Marcus Wareing’s renowned Gilbert Scott, is just on over the platform.