There’s style, and then there’s STYLE. And when we talk about the latter, we’ve got to talk about Booking Office 1869, the charming drinking and dining spot found at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. As you can probably tell from the photos, it’s utterly dripping with swag. The venue is a a reimagining of the original nineteenth century St. Pancras ticket hall, and pays homage with bold fixtures, abundant plant life, and a bevy of brilliant cocktails and elevated food.
Unsurprisingly, there’s some serious design flair behind the project. Parisian architect and designer, Hugo Toro, was brought in to helm the redesign in 2021. Inspired by the iconic Grand Staircase of the hotel (best known for an appearance in the Spice Girls’ music video for Wannabe), Toro designed a Victorian-inspired venue with eccentric patterns and fabrics with elegant lighting features and design touches. Among those design touches are the eight giant palm trees that tower over guests, three pendant lights with 267 brass leaves each, and a 22-metre bar. It’s all rather stonkingly beautiful and eye-catching.
Those able to tear their eyes away from the décor are treated to an equally intriguing menu of a la carte dishes from chef Julien Maisonneuve, formerly of Chelsea restaurant Tom Aiken, who has taken over from chef Patrick Powell. On the menu, options range from breakfast to bar snacks, set menus, lunch and dinner options, and even a Sunday Roast. If you’re not hungry you can just simply pair your drink with a snack-y plate of fried chicken. Or for a full meal you can chow down on char-grilled monkfish, the Booking Office Burger, or plenty more.
Delightfully, in spite of the incredible surroundings, a three-course meal can be had for just £35 – a veritable steal!
On the drinks side of things, guests are treated to a cocktail menu divided into Refined Classics, and Signature Serves. The Refined Classics make use of modern techniques to extract depth and complexity by simulating the aging process. The Signature Serves range, on the other hand, incorporates Victorian materials to perfect the drinks.
I’ll be having the Ol’ Signalman, an Old Fashioned riff comprsied of pecan nut-infused bourbon, Cocchi Rosa vermouth, and Peychaud bitters. But their House Martini and Clear Margarita are certainly not be missed either! That’s without even mentioning the venue’s comprehensive selection of beer, cider, soft drinks, juices, and alcohol-free drinks, as well as their enormous wine list.
Normally, a lunch or dinner while travelling is a bit of a sad affair. You end up grabbing a meal deal or some fast food. But Booking Office 1869 is changing all that. You’ll find yourself heading out explicitly for the purpose of spending an evening in a ticketing office!
Also published on Medium.