St Pancras station was famously saved from developers in the 1960s due to a campaign by John Betjeman and the Victorian Society.
Betjeman vividly described St Pancras as:
“…that cluster of towers and pinnacles seen from Pentonville Hill…outlined against a foggy sunset…the great arc of Barlow’s train shed gaping to devour incoming engines, and the sudden burst of exuberant Gothic of the hotel seen from gloomy Judd Street.”
The extraordinary redevelopment of the area around Kings Cross Station continues apace. Since the Eurostar terminal arrived at St Pancras in 2007, the area has seen the opening of King’s Place – a canal side arts centre and home of the Guardian newspaper; the restoration and reopening of Sir Gilbert Scott’s much-loved Midland Hotel and an impressive new roof at Kings Cross Station.
Recently Granary Square, an expansive cobbled space north of Regents Canal, has opened, making apparent the scale of the final project (it even has a new postcode, NC1).
Formerly a canal basin where barges unloaded their goods, (more…)
Kings Cross Station has had an facelift. The concourse to the west now has a stunning vaulted ceiling and mezzanine floor, and is home to several new places to eat and shops, including Patisserie Valerie, Kiehls and the excellent Watermark books.
I pop into Leon for a cuppa. I have always loved this London chain and have use the original Carnaby Street branch for years.
There is a large room at the back with high ceilings, and the decor is artfully done, with exposed piping, bare brickwork, mismatched chairs and some wonderful retro lighting. It is certainly a step up from the (more…)
I do like a railway station so sitting on the platform a mere feet away from the Eurostar train, drinking tea, is really quite exciting.
St Pancras is beautiful, and the upper level is the prime place to sit in the soft light of the wonderful arched roof.
Searcy’s have done a great job of fitting out the Champagne Bar at St Pancras. The quilted red leather banquettes give the impression that you are sitting in an old-fashioned train carriage; you fully expect the whistle to blow and be whisked away to the Continent. The elegant air puts you in mind of a former age, when travelling was a more glamourous and sedate affair.
At the King Cross end of ‘the Cally’, you are invited to DRINK; from a choice of teas, wines and cocktails; SHOP for quirky retro treasures; and DO a range of crafty courses.
The cafe space is bright and airy – the former chill-out zone of a Victorian Turkish bathhouse – with a lovely skylight. The furnishings (all for sale) are a delightful and colourful hotch-potch of junk shop finds – 1950’s formica and grandma’s best china. The atmosphere is warm and informal. Girly but not prissy, art school-cool but not pretentious.
I first encountered this Belgian cafe on a Eurostar trip to Lille, and having bought one of their big glass salt grinders, was very pleased when they opened in London, so I could get the matching pepper pot! LPQ serve reliably good food and the bread is fantastic if you like chewy rustic stuff.
I had a fresh mint tea, which was wonderfully refreshing, if a bit pricey at £3 for a small pot. They serve tea in a bowl, which must be the Belgian way. I went to website to get further info, and was invited to sit at a communal table and “share the Brunette”(more…)