You often ignore the things which are right under your nose. I’ve never been to the Tower of London, despite working within a drawbridge’s distance of it. When I lived opposite the British Museum, I visited once (to use the loo) after tens of visits during my degree. This was my first time at the opulent gothic behemoth, the St. Pancras Renaissance, despite having promised myself when it opened I would check out the much fabled restoration I’d commuted past for years.
This time we only went by chance, for a nosey after eschewing the 30 minute queues at the Ice Cream festival; and ended up stopping in the old Booking Office for impromptu tea. The venue really is impressive, if a little dark. Brightly coloured cakes and meringues were piled high in glass domes on the counter, so just on the off chance I asked about gluten free. I was duly delivered (a little slowly) two pocket-sized and perfectly formed triangle scones nestled in a clean white serviette, with a generous scoop of clotted cream. Unfortunately the ruse was rumbled as they arrived not quite defrosted. But after that was resolved (and kindly deducted from the bill by the well-dressed waitress) I tucked into the nicest buttery scones I’ve had, even BC.
With fresh peppermint tea this clocked in at a good value mini afternoon tea, and it was a pleasure to go somewhere and be catered for without prior arrangement or any fuss.
GF Ability: 7/10
Tea and cakes for 3 at the St. Pancras Renaissance was a very reasonable (for a hotel) £18.