Munch in the Middle of Movement
Even if you’re not taking a train from there, the newly renovated St Pancras Station is worth visiting whenever you’ve got London flights. It’s a stunning example of modern design and engineering showing restraint and respect for styles of the past. The station is at the heart of a regeneration effort that’s bringing new shine and bustle to a conveniently central area of London that for too long had been overlooked and not seen as a great destination in and of itself.
Whether just passing through or staying put for awhile, make sure to enjoy some of the area’s impressive range of food and drink outlets. Trendy cafes, upscale restaurants, street food, celebrated bars and pubs – the food and drink scene around St Pancras is a healthy and delicious blend of local and global, old and new, fast and refined. Here’s a list of just a few notable mentions. Bon appetite!
In the Station
McDonald’s, Burger King, Starbucks … many of the global brands you know from the States are in or near St Pancras Station. Along with these you’ll also find more locally recognized and European chains such as Carluccio’s, Caffee Nero, Le Pain Quotidien, Paul and plenty more. The Wi-Fi’s free throughout the station and finding somewhere to sit for a re-fueling or a bit of prime location people watching is usually pretty easy to do.
St Pancras Grand Champagne Bar
Of course, it’s not all fast food and coffee in paper cups inside St Pancras. The longest Champagne Bar in Europe, St Pancras Grand, is smartly situated within the station and offers breathtaking views of the entire terminal.
The Betjeman Arms
The Betjeman Arms, is a very comfortable pub and the nearest pint available from the platform. Decent pub grub, good selection of ales, wines and spirits, front row seating for trainspotters and a spacious terrace overlooking the hustle on the streets below make this station insider a winner of a pub.
On the Street
The eat.st street food market is the first dedicated street food zone in London and serves as the first permanent base for the eat.st collective, a group of food vendors “who think it would be a damn shame if the excitement and magic of selling food in the open air didn’t reach more people.”
Being so close to St Pancras Station means locals and visitors alike are able to indulge in the eat.st treats with ease and convenience. If you’re taking the Eurostar to or from Paris or one of its other continental Europe destinations and have a bit of time to kill, the new market is just a couple of minutes away. Even if you’re not hungry, ambling about the market with its vibrantly coloured vans and stalls would be a fun way to break up the monotony of waiting for your train. And if you’re just arriving in London for the first time, grabbing a quick bite at eat.st would make a brilliant introduction to the world within the world that is London.
The Gilbert Scott
When a restaurant is named after the architect who designed its building, it better be a stunning setting. And if the chef patron is a two-starred Michelin chef with experience at some of London’s most lauded restaurants, then the food certainly better taste as good as the place should look. Set within the old Midland Grand Hotel with its high ceilings, limestone pillars, ornate ceiling details, and gilded-framed oil paintings to ponder, Marcus Wareing’s The Gilbert Scott at the St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel presents a wonderful atmosphere for celebrating British food made with British ingredients. Whether you’re staying at the Renaissance or not, hopping on or off the Eurostar or not … in a hurry … or on a budget … or not … The Gilbert Scott offers a brilliant excuse to get to St Pancras a little early or even leave it a little later than you might have otherwise.
Peyton & Byrne Espresso Bar at St Pancras
Churros and chocolate! You can get ’em freshly made here. An order of long and warm churros squeezed out of a big and shiny churro maker dusted with cinnamon and sugar and served with an espresso cup helping of fairly thick hot chocolate – now that’s a gorgeous way to start the day with some Spanish style! Catching of a whiff of these fried dough yummies should improve vastly anyone’s King’s Cross/Euston Road trudge. With its takeaway window, outdoor seating and bar with a street view, the Espresso Bar is a nifty spot to watch the world go by. Indeed, the bar’s proximity to St Pancras guarantees prime people watching.
A sherry bar in London? What a fino idea! Sherry is one of the tastiest excuses to raise a glass, and Bar Pepito is a great place to do it. In the same secret courtyard as Spanish restaurant Camino (Pepito’s big brother restaurant and a fine Spanish restaurant at that!), Bar Pepito is a tiny place with a hefty list of 15 sherries, a delectable smattering of tapas and a rustic atmosphere that’ll have you forgetting you’re so close to King’s Cross St Pancras Station. Bar Pepito is located at 3 Varnishers Yard, The Regent Quarter (N1 9DF) across the courtyard from Camino.
Photo: Chris Osburn