Nothing comes to mind more when you hear London than trains steaming off into the early morning. In the glory days of trains in the 1800’s riding a train was a grand experience for wealthy individuals. The St Pancras is a paragon to that bygone era and was thankfully restored in 2011 by MLC and Whitbread, franchisee of Mariott Renaissance hotels.
The most iconic spot is the Grand Staircase with its amazing High Victorian architecture with Gothic decoration from vaulted ceilings to carpeted stairs that exude a timeless luxury. If I ever built my own dream house this would definitely be its heart.
The walls were adorned with crests much like the Fleur-de-lis of France
Traveler tip #1: In order to see the best view of the stairs you need to be a guest of the hotel to reach the upper floors however you can take a picture of the ground floor without being a guest.
Traveler tip #2: If catching a train from St Pancras the Renaissance Hotel is the best place to stay with a literal direct connection to the station in minutes. The doorman will even bring your luggage to the boarding area (We felt like travellers of old). The rooms were amazing with high airy ceilings and large windows making you feel like being in a palace (but with modern amenities)
We ate in the Gilbert Scott under a package with the room. Unfortunately the food was uninspired perhaps due to being part of a 3 course set menu, I would prefer that they offer a chance to upgrade to other dishes if you wanted something else. For a fine dining area it was not strict dress code and seemed to try very hard but fail to be the fine dining spot of the hotel (Oh how we miss Le Cinq in Paris)
My son is going off to school in England so we took a farewell photo for our memory as we wish him all the best. It was his choice to study in England and we feel he made the right choice.
As the daylight ebbed amid the bustle of the people coming in and out of the busy station, we caught the classic outline of this great building. It more than made up for the Big Ben that is presently under rennovation.
Travel tip #3: Take a moment at night to stop by one of the arched hallways to soak in the moment and imagine life back then.