Victorian glamour comes alive at Booking Office 1869.
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 new drinking and dining spot opening at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel this October. As you can probably tell from the photos, it’s utterly dripping with swag – a reimagining of the original nineteenth century St Pancras ticket hall that pays homage with bold new fixtures, abundant plant life, and a bevy of brilliant cocktails and small plates.
Unsurprisingly, there’s some serious design flair behind the project; Parisian architect and designer Hugo Toro is the creative brains behind the redesign. Inspired by the iconic Grand Staircase of the hotel (best known for an appearance in the Spice Girls’ music video for Wannabe), Toro has designed a Victorian-inspired Winter Garden that blends eccentric patterns and fabrics with elegant lighting features and design touches. That includes eight giant palm trees, three pendant lights with 267 brass leaves each, and a 22-metre bar. It’s his first UK commission, but on the evidence of the press photos, it’s unlikely to be his last.
Booking Office 1869 is here to replace the previous Booking Office bar and restaurant, and aims to serve as a gateway to Europe, just as neighbouring station St Pancras does. Tearing our eyes away from the decor reveals an equally intriguing menu of a la carte dishes designed by chef Patrick Powell, who’s already worked at London institutions Allegra, Chiltern Firehouse, and Wild Honey. On said menu are snacky starters like fried chicken with yoghurt and lime, hearty mains such as a slow roasted lamb shoulder cooked in chermoula spices, and delectable desserts including a brioche donut with caramelised apple and burnt cinnamon cream. Booking Office 1869 will also boast a raw bar that serves oysters and sashimi-style skewers.
Turning to the drinks – run by bar manager Jack Porter, who previously ran the Library Bar at The Ned – we find a menu divided into Refined Classics, and Signature Serves. I’ll be having the Ol’ Signalman (pecan nut-infused bourbon, Cocchi Rosa vermouth, and coconut bitters), please, but the bar’s House Martini and Clear Margarita prove tempting please. The Refined Classics use modern techniques to speed up the ageing progress, whilst the Signature Serve range incorporates Victorian materials to perfect the drinks.
It’s all jolly exciting, and on top of that, Booking Office 1869 will boast the coup de grace for us drinks-loving Londoners: a hidden al fresco roof garden, which will be used for seasonal pop-ups and sunset sessions. The bar’s arrival is quite an OTT present to usher in the tenth anniversary of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel – but I really don’t think they’ll be complaining, do you?
You’ll find Booking Office 1869 at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Rod, NW1 2AR from October 2021. It’ll be open until 12am on weeknights, and 1am on Fridays and Saturdays. More info on their website.
Also published on Medium.