As someone who lives within easy striking distance of Kings Cross, I always knew that it was only a matter of time before others started to see the allure of the area.
Once regarded as a no go destination, Kings Cross has – in recent years – begun to make a name for itself thanks to spiffy new developments such as Granary Square (humming as it is with cool places to eat) and the arrival of Central St Martins and Google. The re-opening of Great Northern Hotel (GNH) in July 2013 following a £42 million renovation has only confirmed it.
The GNH is a boutique property for stylish types who are tired of ‘traditional’ hotels where the rooms are invariably decked out in old fashioned florals and chintzy fabrics. At Great Northern Hotel the rooms are chic, sleek and scream unfussy luxury. There are three types to choose from. The calming Cubitt rooms, named after the hotel’s original designer Lewis Cubitt, feature high ceilings and large twin sash windows, an olive green and cream palette and Black American flooring inlaid with deep pile Axminster carpet. Elsewhere the charming Couchette rooms are GNH’s innovative interpretation of a traditional railway carriage car sleeper while the Wainscot rooms have high mansard style ceilings and are lined with Black American Walnut Wainscot panelling to create a seductive ambience.
Regardless of which room you check into, all accommodation boast deliciously comfortable beds, power showers, complimentary uber-fast 500Mb Wi-Fi and an amazing in-room entertainment package. The latter has been personally developed for the GNH and offers 96 channels including Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and 4 as well as a complimentary movie library of 72 classics and new releases, 20 audio books and6 bespoke playlists complied by leading artists meaning that leaving your room on an autumnal night isn’t an easy affair…
But that would be to miss out on Mark Sargeant’s Plum + Spilt Milk restaurant – a stunning sanctuary as sophisticated as any Soho or Shoreditch spot. Located on the first floor of the five star hotel, Plum + Split Milk serves beautifully cooked dishes using quality ingredients locally sourced from the British Isles – the memory of the Pan-fried lemon sole with seaweed butter and the Creamed spelt, sweetcorn and Scottish girolles still makes us smile – in swanky surroundings (all leather banquettes and enormous mirrors).
For post dinner drinks, head to the glamorous GNH railway bar – a destination in itself – on the ground floor where beautiful people gather for killer cocktails (look out for the Lady Violet) and top tunes (Thursday to Saturday evenings) from the resident DJs.
But it’s the details that make GNH a dream. On each floor guests have access to a communal pantry – wander in and use Wi-Fi or treat yourself to complimentary heavenly home made cakes, retro sweets (wagon wheels anyone?), Nespresso coffees, newspapers and magazines.
Bottom line? The GNH may be a mere 25 metres from the Eurostar terminus at St Pancras International but you don’t need to travel to Paris or Brussels for a break. This bijoux property is the perfect place to switch off without having to jet off.