What can you tell us about Booking Office 1869?
It's a complete reworking of the Booking Office space in the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Previously opened as simply "Booking Office", it was a perfectly fine bar and restaurant - but really not one befitting of such an incredible Grade II listed room.
Now the man behind the hotel, Harry Handelsman, has given it the revamp it deserves. As he's the man who opened Chiltern Firehouse and Allegra and he's brought in a chef who's been at both (and runs the latter) - Patrick Powell.
So it looked good before - what exactly have they changed?
A surprising amount. We've been in the room before but the design really helps to accentuate its impressiveness. Tall trees throughout emphasise the height of the room and draw your eye up to the ceiling which has been adorned with a new fabric covering. This has two effects - it really helps to brighten the room, but it also helps to absorb sound so it's a much less cacophonous space (apparently it was so difficult to install the fabric that they had to attempt it twice).
They've combined that with a look that's significantly more classic, yet clubby in feel. For instance, there's now a dark wooden bar (which really brings out the titular booking office at the centre), lots of brass and swish new seating.
All in all, it's another one to add to the "best looking restaurants in London" list.
Where actually is it?
If you haven't been before, there are two ways in. First is through the St Pancras Renaissance hotel itself (which would give you a chance for a quick look at the famous Spice Girls staircase) or from the station - although this entrance is closed later in the evening. The station entrance is on the first floor of the main St Pancras shopping concourse, at the front of the station.
Is it a place to head for a drink first?
Yes indeed. While we're still partial to a drink in the very reliable Parcel Yard pub in King's Cross, this makes for a very useful place to pop by for a drink. The bar menu has had a complete makeover thanks to Jack Porter (previously at The Library Bar at The Ned) and the drinks include an excellent "Clear Margarita" and this:
Onto the food - what's changed?
As mentioned, they've brought chef Patrick Powell in to completely revamp the menu. He first made his name at Chiltern Firehouse before moving on to his own restaurant Allegra in Stratford, where he's been winning lots of praise. The menu at Booking Office 1869 is a little less formal than the food at Allegra - it's a different audience, after all. They've pitched it as "classic dishes finished with a modern twist" and while there's a flavour of that, the menu certainly reads very well, taking in influences from across the globe.
Here's a taste of what's on offer:
There's a lot more to the "mains" part of the menu with dishes like monkfish & potato curry with spinach, spring onion & lime (£28) and the grilled pork collar with sauce ravigote, caramelised lemon & watercress (£25) both sounding good. There's also the option of a burger or steak and fries too.
What about drinks?
Outside of the cocktails, there's a good choice of wines by the glass or 500ml carafe and bottles start at £29, which is not too bad for this kind of destination space.
If you're looking to go out for dinner somewhere that's on the spectacular side, then the room at Booking Office 1869 certainly fits the bill. It's had quite the makeover and when teamed up with a big improvement in the menu thanks to Patrick Powell, this really fits the bill if you're looking for a special night out.
More about Booking Office 1869
Where is it? Booking Office 1869, Euston Road, London NW1 2AR
How to book: Book online or call 020 7841 3566
Hot Dinners ate as guests of Booking Office 1869. Prices are correct at the time of writing.
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