Monday, 9 May 2011

The Gilbert Scott at St Pancras NW1

So firstly, let's have some love for the wonderful, amazing St Pancras and old Midland Grand Hotel building - one of my favourite buildings in London (I do love a bit of Gothic revival architecture).  It defies belief that it almost got demolished in the 60s - but then again that was the decade of "out with the old and in with the new" so perhaps not so surprising.  Anyway thanks to, amongst others, John Betjeman demolition was avoided and this wonderful building lived on and is now the Eurostar hub, a snazzy new hotel plus the site of super-chef Marcus Wareing's new venture The Gilbert Scott - named after the architect responsible for all this splendour.  The other half and I were lucky enough to get a sneak peak at the restaurant before it officially opened, thanks to some friends who know the main man himself.  I have to admit, getting to shake Marcus' hand on the way in did make me slightly star-struck - in this age of instant celebrity, meeting a true master of their craft is actually something worth getting excited about.  (On that note - I include in that category novelists, musicians and actors who can actually act).  Anyway, enough name-dropping - on to the place itself.  The bar as you walk in is really cool - great seating, fantastic lighting (including enormous bells hanging from the ceiling) and most importantly brilliant cocktails, including one that was delivered out of a soda siphon (very carefully!)  We could have happily spent the evening downing cocktails but were shepherded into the main room - which is grand in all the right ways and harks back to the days when dining at a railway station was a real event.  It reminded me of a pared back version of Le Train Bleu at Gare de Lyon in Paris (if you haven't been - go).  Unfortunately I was in the middle of a 5 week battle with a super-cold virus and I could barely smell or taste anything, which was hugely frustrating so it's hard to report on the food.  What I can say is that I loved the menu - very traditional British dishes, local produce and fully in keeping with the overall vibe.  I can't wait to go back and actually taste the food properly - my 3 dining companions loved everyting they ate.  I know it's a little weird to blog about a restaurant and not describe the food but come on, it's Marcus Wareing, the food is going to be good.  Plus the location is amazing and you can jump on a train to Paris after dinner -what's not to like?  And if you can't get a booking at the Gilbert Scott (important to note that the bar is open to non diners also), buy yourself a sandwich and stand and admire the magnificence of this building - even more beautiful given how close we came to losing it forever. 


  1. But I want to hear about the food!!

  2. Sorry Kat - I know it's kind of a weird blog post on a restaurant! But I wanted to give a shout out to the place as it's really cool and also I wanted to mention St Pancras overall. I'll def go back there now I can actually taste food and I'll update the review!