This exquisitely designed space was first opened in 1854, designed by Victorian master builder Lewis Cubitt but has been lovingly refurbished of the finest luxury boutique hotel spaces in London. With a building so rich in history, it would have been a travesty not to restore it to its former splendour. It’s one of those spaces that makes you want to don a flowing gown and race down the staircase, a la Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face.
The 91 rooms within the hotel fall into three categories. The Couchette rooms are small but perfectly formed; an homage to the classic continental railway sleeper, featuring a Hypnos double bed within a leather-clad banquette, high ceilings, flooded with natural light and with cleverly designed bespoke bathrooms.
Indulgent food and drink is at the heart of the hotel. Each floor boasts a help-yourself pantry with teas and coffees, cake, fruit and Tunnock’s caramel wafers - the perfect plunder for a midnight snack (or a raid in the morning en-route to work…ahem), though not that you’d need one after supper at Plum + Spilt Milk. A restaurant that’s long been on my radar, this is definitely one dining room that you ought to make a date with. Like stepping into to a classic dining car of the Flying Scotsman, Plum + Spilt Milk’s interior of cosy booths, floor to ceiling windows and gold accents oozes sophistication and charm.
Michelin star-winning chef Mark Sergeant’s menu is based on seasonal British ingredients, including beef from Mey Selections, part of the prestigious North Highland initiative launched by HRH Prince Charles, produced using traditional methods on family farms and crofts.
With a roll top bath and an entertainment package including 96 TV channels and 70 classic and new movie releases, one would be forgiven for retiring after supper for a night in one’s chambers (which, accompanied by a good book, I most certainly did), but night owls may be enticed down to the bar on the ground floor, a buzzing hive of activity with an unrivalled cocktail menu.
Despite being situated smack bang in the centre of one of London’s busiest areas, a night of slumber at the Great Northern Hotel was pleasantly peaceful and uninterrupted. Breakfast was certainly a highlight of our stay; for the health-conscious, the menu includes dishes such as quinoa and pumpkin seed granola with yoghurt, apples and golden raisins. If, like me, you feel that life is too short, there are also treats including smoked haddock kedgeree and brioche eggy bread with bananas, pecans, and salted caramel sauce to tickle your tastebuds. Do it; you won’t regret it.
My only negative about the Great Northern Hotel? One night isn’t enough; I could quite happily move in, plundering pantries and cosying up in the Snug Bar for a nightly post-prandial Old Fashioned. For a night of old-school class and sophistication, with a menu to die for, you can’t beat it.
Great Northern Hotel
King's Cross St Pancras International Station
*During this visit, I was hosted by the Great Northern Hotel. All words and opinions are my own.
A summary of our experience at the Great Northern Hotel…
Our experience overall
The property: ★★★★★
Food and drink: ★★★★★
Staff attentiveness/friendliness: ★★★★★