City eats: St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel is one of those rare places which gracefully meets expectations.  I love places with history, character and an air of romance and, as a 19th century building brought back to life after 26 years of neglect, I was not disappointed.

Lunch in the Booking Office Restaurant provides a great opportunity to take in the building’s gothic architecture without paying the 5 star hotel bill.  Its former life as a ticket office is left open to inspection as the tables sit beneath high ceilings and the bar curves carefully around the old ticket counters.  Whilst your mind could wander about the possibility of getting on the Eurostar to Paris, you might get a bit distracted by the chill of sitting in such a large lofty room especially if it’s below 10 degrees outside like it is at the moment. The food was good though and all six of us enjoyed our meals, being a fairly British menu it was perfect for a bitter winter afternoon.  For £25 per person, I thought it was pretty good value for money for the location and surroundings, although the service was a little slow for a week day lunchtime.

As we made a passing visit to The Gilbert Scott bar for a coffee, you definitely get a sense of the buildings restoration and atmosphere.  It would be a great option if you wanted an excuse to nose around or just a nice place to sit for a while.

I’d like to hope that my next visit will be for an overnight stay in the hotel, or a drink before setting off to Paris on a lovely weekend. We’ll see what 2012 brings…

The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel website and The Observer review provide further insights if you’re intrigued to know more.