The Gilbert Scott (bar) at St Pancras Renaissance Hotel 1

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road , London, NW1 2AR

  • The Gilbert Scott
  • The Gilbert Scott
  • The Gilbert Scott

SquareMeal Review of The Gilbert Scott (bar) at St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

The Gilbert Scott's bar is a genuine destination (not simply the amuse-bouche before dinner at Marcus Wareing's adjoining restaurant) and the crowning glory of this magnificently preserved gothic icon fronting St Pancras station (three cheers for its saviour Sir John Betjeman). Sit in the life-affirming, chapel-like space and marvel at the fabulous details (ornately painted ceilings, gilded bell chandeliers and more besides), while amusing yourself with top-drawer drinks: rhubarb and ginger sour, a summer cup made with Sipsmith gin and Grey Goose pear vodka, or a fruity Champagne cocktail involving apricot and quince, perhaps. Pukka bouchées and small plates are suitably Pullman standard – think smoked trout rillettes in sliders, savoury spreads served in Kilner jars, Cumbrian burgers with chorizo jam, frisky salads, La Fromagerie cheeses, and gooey banana caramel with peanut brittle. Just be prepared for painful first-class prices.

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Food & Drink: 9.0

Service: 8.5

Atmosphere: 8.5

Value: 9.0

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

The Cheese platinum reviewer 28 March 2013

Some people thrive on the thrill of an uber-posh eating emporium. I for one prefer to take my meals without a side of near dread… that familiar, hushed death-row march through a room that’s a little too grand saps my appetite in no time. Happily, the bar at the Gilbert Scott offers a safe haven from such traumas; the ostentatious décor may not be to your liking, but I’d be amazed if you feel awkward or uncomfortable. If you’ve admired a magnificent publicity shot of the place, then chances are you were looking at the bar rather than the restaurant. The space is extravagant as hell and truly awe-inspiring, but relatively laid-back in mood, nonetheless. There’s an interesting mashup of gothic, art deco and contemporary styling bubbling away; the ivories tinkle from the restaurant next door; and the bar staff work with an amiable (if unhurried) approach. Granted it isn’t the slickest of operations and arguably not the most efficient if you’re governed by scheduled connections, but time seems to pass at an appealingly leisurely pace. It’s worth making a window. Myself and a friend were perfectly content having afternoon tea here, despite being post-spa, stripped of make-up and shiny of face. The tiers of cakes and savouries looked delightful even if the presentation wasn’t up there with the refinement of the Sanderson’s offering, say. Purists may find the sandwiches a little scrappily prepared, but pud lovers will adore the lemon drizzle cake and macaroons that are cute as a button. Overall the taste was great and, unusually, there was plenty for those that deem afternoon tea a twee, culinary twilight hour. (In said savoury corner, the sausage roll with apricot compote was particularly fine). Everything bar booze was (needlessly) bottomless. Cocktails were happily heavy on gin, rhubarb and tea. The Londonist was like a homegrown Old Fashioned; heady, brooding and ultimately a bad influence. In contrast, the Rose Window was a featherlight whisper of a drink served in a cut-glass, girlie hi ball. I couldn’t tame my pinkie as it wafted into the air; making a break for a new, more demure life. We had a ball. For my money, the Gilbert Scott bar trounces the restaurant even though value can be patchy. Bread and butter is steep at £2.50 – say what?! – but a steak sandwich or burger is around a tenner and a hotdog’s less than £7. Not at all bad, given fries are included… oh, and the fact that you’re chowing down in a veritable palace. If the crispy pig’s head on the bar menu is even a patch on what’s served next door for twice the price (albeit with cockles and fanciful foams), then it trumps any pork scratchings I’ve had. A treat well worth booking!

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Judi C. 28 January 2012

AMAZING! All that needs to be said

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