London’s rise as a cocktail destination is everywhere apparent: and no more so than in the opening of brilliant restaurant bars that are destinations in themselves. The Gilbert Scott has one of these: it’s airy and antique, with buttery popcorn served in pewter chalices as a free snack, and cocktails from ages old and new, with good spirits and beautiful glassware. Info as above.
Since it opened with a lavish, celebrity-studded party in May, the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel’s main bar – the Booking Office – has been one of my favourite spots. It’s gin fizz is divine, and booze historians will enjoy a full list of antique-sounding punches, “temperance” drinks and lots with brandy, apples and milk. Reasonable snacks and food for a light supper too. Tel: 0207 841 3540
ST PANCRAS GRAND
This was the first restaurant to open with a bang in the station and its proximity to the Eurostar trains was quite piquant at the time and, to be honest, still is. While the food has faded out of the limelight after earning some plaudits originally, it’s still an elegant room with a good champagne and oyster bar. Upper concourse, St Pancras. searcys.co.uk/st-pancras-grand