Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Dining at the Gilbert Scott at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

If you ever find yourself in King's Cross, no doubt you would have marveled at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. It's architecture is a thing of beauty and is subject to many a tourist photo. I handed my notice in back in February and my ex colleagues knowing full well that I am a massive foodie, gave me Marcus Wareing restaurant vouchers as my leaving gift. There are several of his restaurants here in London, however I was drawn to the Gilbert Scott, intrigued to see inside this beautiful building that I walk past so frequently.


Goosnargh duck breast, girolles, broad beans and smoked pea

Perfectly pink in the middle with crispy skin, this was a beautifully juicy piece of meat. My only slight criticism was that it could have done with a little more seasoning - I always find salt really helps compliment duck skin. I wasn't sure what the little crispy things were ("are they mealworms?!"), but they added a nice crunch to the dish. One of the few foods I don't like are peas however these was beautifully smoky which helped detract away from the fact that I was eating peas!

Dorset crab. nectarine, cucumber and sesame

I used to be a dessert girl through and through, but nowadays I have more of a savory palette and prefer a starter over a dessert. I don't like a heavy starter as I find it ruins your enjoyment of the main course if you feel full early on! This crab salad was the perfect choice. I'd never dreamed of pairing crab with fruit, but it was a beautiful pairing.  The lightest, freshest starter - and pretty as a picture.

Confit duck raviolo, tamarind, cashew and radish

I love ravioli, but wasn't sure how I felt about a single piece of it. But to be fair. it was the best I'd ever had. Rich, melt-in-the-mouth goodness. I just wish there was more of it.


Inside the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, it is as awe inspiring as its exterior, with high ceilings, and majestic staircases. I could happily have got lost in there for hours. But I didn't because food.

Initial reactions were good. We were greeted at reception with a smile and led to a lovely L shaped sofa, meaning we could sit next to each for once. Sometimes in restaurants it can feel a little claustrophobic, as despite all the empty tables, you can still be packed up close to other diners. This wasn't the case at the Gilbert Scott. Our nearest diners were two tables away, so being tucked away in our own little corner it felt deliciously private.

Image credit: David Collins Studio (please contact me if image removal required)

I think my greatest disappointment was with the sommelier. My wine of choice is usually a Malbec or a Côte du Rhone. On this occasion I chose a Malbec (which for the record, wasn't the cheapest of wines on their wine list!), but the sommelier directed us away from it. He suggested a Côte du Rhone, I pointed out my second choice wine (a Côte du Rhone), and he turned that down too, suggesting another Côte du Rhone (and yes, it was more expensive). I don't mind receiving recommendations for wine, however this sommelier had no idea what we were eating, and couldn't have known what would pair well. The Côte du Rhone he suggested was ok, but it was nothing special. It had no depth of flavour like a Malbec, didn't match brilliantly with the food, and was disappointing considering it cost us more. For improved service, I'd suggest their sommelier takes a little more time to find out what the guests are eating, and then make suggestions for pairings to compliment that specific dish. But at the same time, not push too hard. If a guest like myself wants a particular wine, let me have the wine I actually want. I am the one paying for the meal after all!

Sommelier aside, it was a lovely meal. Awe inspiring surroundings, delicious food and beautiful presentation. My advice: go on a quieter day of the week like a Monday or a Tuesday. Seated in such a magnificent room, it was serene, and as it wasn't busy, we didn't feel rushed or pressured.

The Gilbert Scott
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel
Euston Road
London NW1 2AR
For reservations click here

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