If you tell someone you will be having dinner at the station, they’ll probably expect you’ll be getting a quick meal deal to eat on the train.

But that could not be any further from the reality at Booking Office 1869, where you will need more than just a few minutes just to take in the surroundings.

The restaurant and bar is part of St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, inside the historic St Pancras International.

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And walking in you feel like you are taking a step back in time, as the station’s original 19th century ticket hall has been turned into a Victorian-style winter garden.

Huge palm trees stretch almost all the way up to the lofty ceiling, from which decadent chandeliers hang above the animal-print seating and bar lined with turquoise bamboo-style tiles.

The dark colours and dimmed lighting give the space a chic, cosy atmosphere.

You can imagine yourself as a member of the gentry taking supper before catching the train - although the house beats pumping away in the background give the restaurant a livelier feel.

Indeed, Booking Office 1869 prides itself on its array of bespoke cocktails, with names such as Ol’ Signalman. And on Friday and Saturday nights the venue turns into more of a bar, with a DJ playing until 1am.

The Resident: Chicken breast, smoked pancetta, Sauerkraut, garlic & parsley potatoesChicken breast, smoked pancetta, Sauerkraut, garlic & parsley potatoes (Image: Simon Murfitt, Newsquest)

But the main draw is still the food, with a menu created by Julien Maisonneuve, formerly head chef at the highly rated Restaurant Tom Aikens in Chelsea. 

The offering is a good midway point between fancy and hearty. After starting with some warm sourdough and salted butter, my wife and I tucked into sumac aubergine schnitzel and Baron Bigod with honey on sourdough. Now I love my cheese, so when I liken this dish to a high-class cheese on toast, I certainly mean it as a compliment.


We then moved onto chicken breast with smoked pancetta, sauerkraut and potatoes, and a tender beef fillet and chips, which came with a particularly moreish peppercorn sauce.

For dessert we chose the chocolate mousse, along with the star of the evening, a delightfully fresh clementine meringue pie.

The sweet citrus hit was the perfect way to round off a great meal in fantastically atmospheric surroundings.