The area around Kings Cross and St. Pancras Stations used to be a rough one. People didn’t generally go too far away from the station.
But by the late 20th Century, the area known as the railway lands had become a series of disused buildings, railway sidings, warehouses and contaminated land.
Things started to change when the Eurostar station was moved to St. Pancras. The landowners decided to redevelop the area starting in 2008. Things have changed and the area is undergoing a serious urban renewal, let by the development of the Pancras Square area and its headline tenant, Google.
All of those new employees need places to eat after work and there’s no shortage of brand new establishments popping up to serve that need, each one trying to be more trendy, hip, elegant yet comfortably casual than the next. As I read it described online, it’s like Silicon Valley, but with more British accents.
If you’re staying in the area, this is great because there’s no shortage of places to go to dinner. Well, if you can get a table, that is.
St. Pancras Station – Renaissance Hotel
The Renaissance Hotel at St. Pancras Station has its share of restaurants.
The showcase restaurant is The Gilbert Scott. Located in the former entrance of St. Pancras Station, it’s headed by British celebrity chef Marcus Wareing. We didn’t eat at the restaurant but did visit the bar, called George’s Bar, one evening before heading out to dinner. The room is spectacular to behold and worthwhile stopping in just for a look. It’s only polite to stay for a drink.
We did have a meal at the other restaurant located inside the hotel. The Booking Office Bar and Restaurant is located in the former, you guessed it, booking office of St. Pancras Station. We’ve eaten here twice and it’s such a unique location. I can’t think of many other places where I spend most of my time looking around the room instead of at my phone (Note from Sharon: until I give him major side eye for looking at his phone while we’re eating, and then he puts it away).
Reservations are suggested for both restaurants, but since we were staying at one of the suites in the Chambers Wing of the hotel, we had no trouble getting a table at either location.
While those are the places inside the hotel, there’s another location just outside the hotel, in St. Pancras Station. MI + MI is advertised as a burger and milkshake location but gives off a more classy vibe than your normal burger joint.
We stopped by here for breakfast one morning when we missed breakfast at the club. While we also missed the cutoff for breakfast at MI+ME, our waiter asked the kitchen and they went ahead and cooked up some eggs and bacon for us. A plus about eating here when staying at the Renaissance is that you can charge your meal to your room and earn Marriott points.
There are several other restaurants inside St. Pancras Station including:
- St. Pancras by Searcys – British Classics
- The Betjeman Arms – British Pub Fare
- Carluccio’s – Italian
Near St. Pancras Station
Just across the street from St. Pancras, in the Great Northern Hotel, is Plum + Spilt Milk which serves “simple classics” such as rack of lamb and pork loin.
Another nearby restaurant is the strangely named German Gymnasium. The name references the building’s history when in 1865 it was built for the German Gymnastics Society. The two-story building now houses an all-day cafe, restaurant and bar serving Mittel-European cuisine (that’s food from the middle of Europe for those without fancy vocabularies).
We walked past this place several times and I never understood the name or the cuisine. I was thinking it was a German Biergarten place. In hindsight, I’m sad we didn’t go inside to check it our because it looks really cool.
Just A Bit Further Away
Within a 10 minute walk (which I need to mention is uphill), there are a number of restaurants.
Behind the German Gymnasium is the beginning of Pancras Square. Just across the canal are two other shopping and dining complexes, Granary Square and Coal Drops Yard. Besides a bunch of office buildings, there are tons of restaurants. Here’s a link to a list from their website.
We decided to check out chef Bill Granger’s Granger & Co., which specializes in Australian dishes. What was nice for us is that they don’t take reservations. We had to wait around 30 minutes for a table but that was OK for us since we didn’t have any other plans.
Those are only some of your options within a 10-minute walk from the station. Back from when this was the home of disused buildings and contaminated land, the Kings Cross/St. Pancras area has turned into a pleasant place to spend an evening.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary