London’s Great Northern Hotel is a beautifully designed luxury boutique hotel with a huge benefit of being located a mere 25 metres from the Eurostar terminus in the heart of King’s Cross St Pancras.
The hotel’s won numerous design and service awards since its redo back in 2013. The building sat unused for several decades prior to the big renovation and rechristening as Great Northern Hotel (part of the Tribute Portfolio Hotel collection under the Starwood lodging umbrella).
Housed in a former 1854 railway hotel, the Great Northern contains 91 rooms and one suite, designed in three distinct room categories – Wainscott, Cubitt and Couchette – all in a charming elegant railway theme.
Rooms have cream and olive accents complemented by lots of chrome retro lighting and fixtures. A cute double glass door opens to a small pantry and coffee supply cabinet on one side of the room; a matching pair of doors near the bed leads to the bathroom.
The compact, functional rooms are comfy and offer speedy wifi (free for SPG members), flatscreen TV, lots of tech charging outlets and an energy-saving card system that turns off when you take your room key out of the slot upon entering and leaving the room.
Windows open to allow fresh air into the smartly-designed room, great if you’re about to take a long flight overseas or have just landed from a journey on the Eurostar, its station located right next door.
Each floor has curved corridors overlooking King’s Cross and St Pancras stations. All rooms boast tall sash windows, vintage Farrow & Ball shades, bespoke Italian furniture and Lefroy Brooks bathrooms.
The renovation introduced state-of-the-art technology including extensive soundproofing. Three room categories display distinctive characteristics yet share an elegant, contemporary design.
The smallest Couchette rooms pay homage to classic railway sleeper cars with fitted leather banquette beds and long sash windows.
Next up in size are the Wainscot rooms with mansard-style ceilings and warm European walnut panelling. These rooms have walls painted in a deep shade of aubergine.
In honour of the hotel architect, Cubitt rooms contain high ceilings, olive and cream walls, illuminating sash windows and dressing areas.
A pantry is located on each floor with cakes, confectioneries, Nespresso machines, teas, English sweets and a few charging stations so you can refuel your body AND your tech at once.
Dining at Plum + Spilt Milk
Chef Director Mark Sargeant’s had a long working relationship with Gordon Ramsey as Head Chef at Ramsey’s Claridge’s. A Kentish coast native, Mark helped Ramsey’s restaurant garner a Michelen star under its belt.
Executive Chef Mike Denman previously served as Chef de Partie at Claridge’s where he met Mark. Mike’s served as exec chef since 2013, when the hotel renovations were complete and the Great Northern Hotel opened.
The name is derived from a distinct livery of the Flying Scotsman’s dining car, Plum + Spilt Milk.
The restaurant’s cream and cocoa Italian leather banquettes, suspended glass lighting and a modern interior nicely complement the rest of the property. The restaurant uses small, local suppliers of free-range and rare-breed products from around the British Isles.
Also of note, Plum + Spilt Milk has the distinction of being the only London hotel restaurant to source its beef from Mey Selections, an initiative launched by HRH Prince Charles. Mey specializes in high quality Highland cattle with cuts aged for 32 days.
There’s a great selection of wines by the glass, carafe or bottle as well as whiskeys, aperitifs, digestifs, bubbly, cocktails and beers.
I enjoyed a starter of Orkney scallops with roasted cauliflower, samphire and sherry vinegar caramel, the creamy cauliflower adding a great flavourful contrast to the scallops.
A plate of purple sprouting broccoli with grilled courgettes and panko-crumbled soft egg in a hazelnut dressing followed as a main.
I was saving room for the iced peanut and salted caramel mousse, a beautiful creation by talented Portuguese pastry chef Kennedy Cutino.
The atmosphere isn’t at all pretentious; a variety of music played on the sound system, right down to a Stranglers tune, bringing my musically-themed London Punk Rock 40 celebration trip full circle.
A la carte breakfast is also served here, from full English breakfast to crushed avocado, tomato and chili on granary toast, buckwheat crepe with coconut yogurt, even a tempting brioche eggy bread with bananas, pecans and salted caramel to get your day started off right, depending on your taste. I opted for scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on toast along with a fresh fruit bowl.
If I Could Add One Thing
As cute and cozy as these rooms are, they lack in both desk and storage space. I did see a few spots in the room where a small dressing table with drawers could have been placed. My tiny oval working table was packed with travel stuff, forcing more paperwork and items onto the seating bench.
Great Northern Hotel is located at Pancras Road, King’s Cross in London.
I was hosted at Great Northern Hotel via Visit Britain. Opinions, as always, are my own.