You don’t get much more ‘wow’ for your money in a hotel than at the newly refurbed (after only 76 years!) St. Pancras Midland Grand Hotel, which, for a hotel with the word ‘Midland’ in it, really is quite grand.
Grandly gothic and sweeping, with as many of the original features as possible left, it’s totally recognisable from the Spice Girls’ ‘Wannabe’ video or Boy George’s book launch party (if you were there, you seriously won’t remember) and you have poet laureate John Betjeman to thank for it, as it was thanks to his efforts that the whole place wasn’t pulled down in the 60s.
Designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, the man behind The Albert Memorial, it was opened in 1873 and was one of the first hotels to have a lift and a revolving door.
Now with running water throughout – well, £150 million does buy you quite a lot in renovation terms – it is like the official seal on the gentrification of the whole Kings Cross area. And we salute it.