London’s Restored St Pancras Hotel’s Launch Party

by Katie on May 30, 2011

The gothic grandeur of St Pancras Hotel looms over Kings Cross like a gargantuan Harry Potter film set and is ode to past times and the splendour and excitement of steam engine rail travel, when trips to the Continent meant reams of Louis Vuitton trunks well before Rappers and their entourage dissed this idea.

Now restored at a cost of £150 million (thank you Renaissance Hotel Group/Manhattan Loft Corporation) after almost half a century’s struggle to finds funds to do so, this building stands to say “I’m here, look at me,” just as it did when it was designed by architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott, whose other handiwork included the Albert Memorial and Glasgow University.  I knew it looked and felt overly familiar.

Entering the 245-room hotel’s vast and lavish reception area felt a bit like that part at the end of Titanic where Kate and Jack are rejoined at the grand staircase, with all who drowned applauding their reunion.  It’s like stepping back in time and the air around you becomes more elegant, more refined with every step.  

Your breathe is immediately taken aback and you’re awed with the gothic sense of prescience as the numerous colossal arches, bunches of colonettes, intricate wooden carvings, marble, granite and wrought iron seek to impress you of it’s Church like aura.  The gracious tred lightly in this God’s vision of a hotel.  If space and light are the prerogative of the wealthy, this hotel’s inhabitants are steeped in gold coins as it stands as the archetype for good taste, knocking boutique hotels into a cocked hat.

Opening  on Thursday 5 May, 138 years to the day after the original Midland Grand Hotel opened its doors in 1873, the star studded party opened with male choir ‘Eschoir’ singing outside the hotel as guests made their entrance. 
Literally thousands of guests milled and spilled through out the night in reception area, staircases and the enormous bar where special Victorian inspired punches were being served alongside endless Laurent Perrier.  The DJ’s set was disco and 90’s classics which, though incongruous with the setting, got the party started and the different types chatting. My only minor complaint was that the event was so jaw-dropping and endlessly busy that I missed the chance to mingle with numerous celebs.  Or, that might have been the fault of the champagne that was constantly thrust into my hand.

Jamie Cullum ended the night with a performance in Hansom Hall and delighted the crowd with songs from his new album and a special cover of Rihanna’s, ‘Please Don’t Stop the Music’. 
Some of the celebrities present included Adrien Brody, Ed Westwick, Allegra Hicks, Leah Weller, Anouck Lepere, Ben Fogle and his wife Marina, Bonnie Wright, Camilla Rutherford, Clara Paget, Douglas Booth, Gary Kemp, George Lamb, Harry Treadaway, Jade Parfitt, Janet Street Porter, Jasmine Guinness, Grace Woodward, Jason Isaacs, Lara Bohinc, Luke Evans, Roksanda Ilinic, Sophie Ellis Bextor and ‘How to Lose Friends and Alienate People’ author, Toby Young.
The launch event showcased the very best of Scott’s historic masterpiece, including areas of particular historical importance that have been carefully renovated.  These include the ‘Ladies Smoking Room’, the first place in Europe where women could smoke publicly, the Booking Office, now a glamorous bar and restaurant, and the famous grand staircase, widely revered as the most majestic in England and host to the Spice Girls filming their ‘Wannabe’ video.   But shhh, the less said about the latter, the better.  We don’t want to taint such a beautiful place, now do we?.

For more information or bookings please visit or phone 
020 7841 3540.

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