Saturday, 13 August 2011

The Gilbert Scott at St. Pancras

 Arabian night sky ceiling.
Hand painted walls.
Glasses of British champagne to start.
Finally London has a place to match the Musée D'Orsay in Paris! This vast renovation of St Pancras hotel is heart stoppingly dramatic: the combination of pattern, on the carpet, walls and ceiling is daring, conveying the exotic adventurism of British colonialism. The Victorian gothic architecture is matched by sweeping staircases, tall cathedral windows, arched vouted ceilings, brass door fittings and ghostly corridors. Marcus Wareing's restaurant dishes at The Gilbert Scott intelligently match the era and decor. I have seen reports of poor service, but I found the French imported front of house perfectly sufficient. I imagined them getting on a Eurostar at the end of the evening.
It's not cheap however, we spent about £75 each but there are early supper and lunch deals. Both the teen, my friend Mary and I really enjoyed our evening there. I even met my lovely friend Shelley von Strunckel tucked into a booth, but then, she is a local! We chatted about the astrology of the riots, theatre, travel and food. Her companion has a farm in Sri Lanka, he described the avocados "like footballs"...I must go there.
I would love to stay at the hotel but I read that the rooms are less baroque in decor, more corporate which is a shame.
A cured mackerel, potato salad with soup. The ingredient that made this dish sing were the pickled grapes.
I liked the idea of this English dish, a baked onion with thyme and cheese but it lacked umami. Maybe it should be simmered in Marmite, that would be very British.
Stylish waiters with braces and arm garters.
Oyster with pickled lemon slices, I stole the lemon slices off my friend's plate, they were so moreish.

Artichoke tart for mains for me. Basically a big posh vol au vent with one of my favourite vegetables. 
My architect friend Mary had sea bream (I think) with a vongole sauce, an intense liquor you wanted to mop up with bread. We also had a side of nutmeggy cauliflower cheese and chunky crisp chips. Lovely.
The teen's fish n chips. Very good. More of the super crispy battered fish would have been appreciated however. Sarson's mayonnaise a good addition. Sarson's vinegar, a traditional British ingredient, is used extensively throughout the menu, which I liked.
My Jaffa cake desert was very good and reflected the intricate patterns of the decor outside. The teen had the "delicious" chocolatey cornflakes: a warm chocolate mousse with cereal that was a clever updated twist on children's nursery food.
An elegant dining room that I would happily eat in every day.
The staircase, a jumble of structured colour and pattern.
The ghostly hallways with Minton tiled floors.
Wouldn't you like to don a bustle and suck on a cigar?
Maybe they could film an update of The Shining here? Kubrick would have approved. Every carpet is designed specially. 


  1. It's such a grand and stunning hotel, I visited for the first time recently (for cocktails) and was very impressed. They've done and amazing job, inside in the public areas (haven't seen any of the rooms yet) and out. Hope to eat at the GS sometime, need to save up! In the meantime I'll continue to stop in for a cocktail and swoon at the decor.

  2. Hi, I just bought your book, and I just love it;) We are travel a lot to London and just love London and all the great food. We are real foodies. How can we find out more about the underground restaurant and be a member of the fanclub? We have today send an email (probably not right) on the website, looking forward to eat at some places...and I will for sure follow your blogg. (sorry for my english.;)) Kindly regards from Nina in Norway. You are also welcome to visit my blog if you want;)

  3. hi Wilhemine, you can check out the events tab on my next events x

  4. Looks divine... but most of all I need to know where that gorgeous black and white top/dress is from - WANT!!!


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