Photography by diffordsguide.com
Words by Ian Cameron on 30-Apr-2013
Great Northern Hotel, King's Cross Station, London, N1C 4TB, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 3388 0818
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon – Sun 7am – Late
Door: Open door
Style: Hotel bar
Price guide: Middling
Food: Plates & dishes
The Great Northern Hotel was the first railway hotel in England. Since then, like many of London's other great stations, King's Cross became a dirty, unsalubrious place, with the surrounding area developing a reputation for prostitution. Happily, the area has been reborn as the Regent Quarter and along with St. Pancras and Waterloo, King's Cross has had a major facelift, and (most) of the hookers are gone.
Gone too is the nasty flat-roof ticket hall and instead is a breathtaking, curvaceous new station, with the Great Northern Hotel standing proudly in front. Its bar, GNH, is a jewel box of a place on the ground floor that's open to the station concourse on one side. The mirrored ceilings, glittering chandeliers, rich wooden finishes and leather banquettes transport you to luxury, leaving the trains, timetables and chaos of the station cleverly hidden thanks to some shrewd architecture.
Eight signature drinks, which predictably reference plenty of railway heritage in their accompanying descriptions, mix fresh fruit long serves (including tropical flavours), stronger Martini style serves, even a blazer, managing to tick off all spirit categories and include original homemade infusions and syrups. Classics are listed separately, as are Bellinis (all mixed drinks £8-10). Our verdict? First class - well-balanced and tasty. We'd return even if we weren't taking the train. 4/5