King’s Cross is the place to be right now – but enough to actually take a break there? Considering the Great Northern Hotel is home to Plum + Spilt Milk and the GNH Bar, the answer is an obvious one for us

I was caught up in a debate recently regarding London hotels. A colleague of mine, who will remain unnamed, insists there’s no point in Londoners actually staying at a hotel on their doorstep. No point, she insists. I wholeheartedly disagree, particularly when you have King’s Cross on your doorstep.

Earlier in this issue, during my interview with Bruno Loubet, he stated that King’s Cross will be the centre of attention in the capital for the years to come. His Grain Store has helped put the area on the culinary map, but the regeneration of the stunning St Pancras hotel suddenly put a whole new spin on what the area had to offer. The Great Northern Hotel may be its smaller neighbour, but is no less impressive, considering there is over 150 years of history here since it was designed by Victorian master builder Lewis Cubitt.

Today renovated into one of the finest luxury boutique hotels in London, my wife and I rather aptly stayed in one of the Cubitt rooms when we made the decision to stay over in the area. The light-filled room offered high ceilings and wonderful views of the regenerated King’s Cross station through the tall sash windows. Although not a huge room, it was undoubtedly comfortable with bespoke leather and walnut furniture and a king-size bed. We were lucky to have a ‘pantry’ literally right next door to our room, which is topped up regularly with irresistible pastries, but do remember that this not a part of your room – as I forgot when I strolled out in just my dressing gown to be greeted by a fellow guest.

The room, though, is merely the appetizer. I have reviewed both the GNH Bar and Plum + Spilt Milk over recent years for The Angel resident – we even did an amazing photo shoot at the latter – so knew what lay in store. The bar was heaving. Any thoughts this was merely a stop-gap for those catching the Eurostar were banished as the music was turned up and the bartenders worked overtime. After a quick drink, we headed upstairs for a quieter tipple in the luxurious bar area of Plum + Spilt Milk, before sitting down to see enjoy Chef Director Mark Sargeant’s wonderful food. The starters, in particular, were stunning: my truffled three-cheese macaroni was moreish and extremely addictive, while Karen’s creamed smoked haddock with poached hen’s egg was served up in a pot. Top marks for presentation and taste. Our sea bass and pork chop respectively were good to follow, but the winning dish was the Plum + Spilt Milk dessert, which won me over despite the fact I do not have a sweet tooth. It’s that good.

So is it worth your time and money to stay over at a hotel on your doorstep? As we stumbled along the historic corridors, certainly jolly from the night’s proceedings, the thought of even catching a bus up the road was not an option. The proof is in the pudding.

Words: Mark Kebble

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