I first heard about St Pancras International Station when I was doing some research for our first London vacation. I was scouting out Harry Potter locations and discovered that the exterior shots of King’s Cross Station in the Harry Potter movies was St. Pancras International station. I get why. St Pancras is one of the greatest Victorian buildings in London and King’s Cross is unremarkable. But JK Rowling wanted to use King’s Cross in her books as it held sentimental value; her parents met on a train to Scotland that left from King’s Cross. Also, you would leave from King’s Cross if you were going to Caledonia (Hogwarts) and it’s such a symbolic name.
I love that we chose to spend an entire evening at St. Pancras International. Its architecture is stunning and there is tons to do! In the United States we aren’t used to train stations like in the United Kingdom, so this was a special place for us.
Do you ever get that really exciting feeling when you go to the airport? I know it’s mostly because you may be going somewhere fun. But, there is a special feeling about the shops, the restaurants and the atmosphere in airports. I get that feeling when I am at a train station in London. There are shops and restaurants of course, but there is that exciting feeling you get. Maybe it would wear off if your main source of transportation was the underground. I hope not.
St Pancras is where you catch the Eurostar so there is an extra special feeling of adventure here. You can take off to all of Europe with this train, that is exciting! The Eurostar boards near my absolute favorite spot here, it may just be my favorite spot in London!
This place truly has a magical feel. First off, I love champagne. When I discovered there was a champagne bar at St Pancras, while researching nearby King’s Cross, I immediately added it to my itinerary. Little did I know Searcy’s legacy, Searcys operates 29 restaurants, bars, and cafes in iconic locations all across the UK. The famous bar boasts views of the graceful wrought iron and glass ceiling which provides an outstanding setting as you are bathed in a warm glow from the art deco lamps at each table. It is exquisite.
The champagne menu is top-notch. They have an extensive list of English Sparkling wines and Champagne to choose from. A full bar and small plate menu is also available.
After drinking champagne and relaxing we explored the rest of St Pancras International, although we could have stayed at the Champagne bar for hours and hours.
The first thing we noticed upon going downstairs to the main level was the piano music. At first I was so impressed they provided this lovely background music, it was just perfect. Then I looked a little more closely at the pianist and saw luggage near him……then later it was someone else playing. The piano is there for people to play and we were so lucky to have amazing pianists!! It really elevated the experience.
The main level is really bustling, with travelers moving about and commuters rushing to catch the tube or their train. But there is also a laid back feel, lots of shops and restaurants to choose from. We had dinner at Le Pain Quotidien, we totally thought it was a small, independent cafe, turns out it’s a chain and there are a few in California. Oh well, that night, we had an amazingly fresh, simple dinner that was terrific. All the shops and restaurants are tucked into the brick arches with glass fronts. The people-watching was great and the glass front shielded most of the noise but the piano playing lingered. It was really a special spot. After dinner I went to the walk-up coffee bar at Le Pain Quotidien and ordered a mocha. It was to die for. I am not sure what type of chocolate was used, but for me the best part was that it was so unamerican. By that I mean less sweet! I had several mochas while in London and they were all fantastic in this way.
St. Pancras offers about a dozen restaurants and cafes, several bars and coffee shops and quite a few patisserie shops. Whether you just need a juice bar or coffee, lunch or dinner, there is something for everyone.
While you are deciding what to eat or drink there is plenty of shopping! We spent our last night here so we loved that there is a Fortnum & Mason location, we were able to pick up a few more boxes of tea and some jam. Small, independent gift shops are mixed with stores like
Calvin Klein, Hamleys and the iconic British designer Cath Kidston.
You can walk to Kings Cross Station in about 5 minutes, I actually recommend doing this in the daytime as you will want to see the exterior of St. Pancras, it’s so beautiful. Kings Cross has just as much to offer, additionally, it has the Harry Potter 9 ¾ station that is a must-see for any Harry Potter fan.
We took the tube directly to St. Pancras from the St. James Park station in Westminster. It’s only about a 20-minute max tube ride from anywhere in central London via the London Underground.