The weather has turned decidedly wintery of late and I have been out very little during the week. The thermometer has been hovering between 1° and 3°C but with a “feels like” value of 0° or -1°C, and for one who feels the cold as I do, that’s a strong disincentive against venturing out. Today, though, we we plucked up our courage and made the effort.
We discussed whether or not to pay our traditional visit to Myddelton’s deli for coffee but decided not to: it was too cold to sit outside and if we bought takeaways they would become cold on the walk back home. Instead, Tigger proposed a treat: how about having coffee and croissants in the elegant surroundings of the St Pancras Hotel?
Next question: should we walk there or take the bus? We started by walking but by the time we reached Pentonville Road and the bus stop, the decision had made itself: take the bus!
As though to encourage us in our choice, a 205 arrived almost immediately and we went aboard.
We left the bus opposite the splendid Gothic palace that is St Pancras Station, apartments and hotel.
We crossed the forecourt that must be one of the most exclusive car parks in London as it is for the cars of hotel guests and residents of the apartments only.
We passed through the rather understated entrance into the hotel lobby. The hotel dining room is on the ground floor behind the screen you see in the above picture. We asked for a table but were out of luck. The head waiter politely informed us that this morning they were catering for hotel guests only. Another time, perhaps…
We entered the station through the archway beside the hotel. This leads straight to the upper level with a good view of the fine glass roof. If you look carefully, you might be able to make out a train standing at the platform, a Eurostar about to set off for the wonderful land of Europe to which we no longer belong, alas, thanks to the stupidity of Brexit.
You might also make out, silhouetted against the glass roof, a rather vulgar piece of neon work by Tracey Emin.
Turning left, we came to Carluccio’s restaurant. They have tables both inside and outside. Even though there are heaters outside, we decidedly stepped inside. We were met with a warm welcome and seated at a very nice table.
Although they were fairly busy, they attended to us amiably and without any hurry, almost as though we were known and valued customers.
We ordered coffee and croissants, naturally 🙂 Yes, the French croissant has made it to Italy, I am glad to say.
As well as being a cafe restaurant, Carluccio’s acts as a shop selling coffee, cakes and confectionary. Christmas items were piled high in well designed colourful boxes. They have many varieties and sizes of panettone and these caught our eye as we have panettone each year as our Christmas cake. We bought a few items today too!
Leaving Carluccio’s, we walked the couple of hundred yards or so to the bus stop outside King’s Cross Station. The close proximity of two railway stations dates from the early days of the railways when rival companies competed for the lucrative London routes.
We caught a number 73 bus, not to home but to Upper Street, as we had a few purchases to make. All the shops were advertising Black Friday reductions so this is a good time to buy.
I took this dull-day photo looking along Upper Street to show the famous old tram shed in its new incarnation. After the owners evicted the antiques dealers who had inhabited it for many years, the shed has been used by several businesses but none successfully, it seems. Now, after many months hidden by builders’ screens, the shed has emerged, like a butterfly from a cocoon, to reveal itself transformed into an Amazon Fresh store. We shall to wait and see whether this proves any more successful than the previous occupants.