Following a meticulous renovation project, The Midland Grand Dining Room, alongside accompanying late night destination Gothic Bar, is now open in King’s Cross. Rooted in the traditions of French cuisine, The Midland Grand Dining Room is a destination with a cosmopolitan vision. A showcase of exceptional food, incredible wine and true hospitality, it is the latest collaboration between London hotelier and restaurateur Harry Handelsman, and Irish chef Patrick Powell (who continues to oversee Allegra). Sitting alongside the sympathetically restored restaurant is an impressive stand-alone bar – Gothic Bar – as well as a 14 cover private dining room and an 8 person Chef’s Table experience. Opening later this summer will be an expansive outdoor terrace.
The momentous opening is a culmination of Handelsman’s decades-long regeneration of King’s Cross and the building itself, best symbolised in the fact that the restaurant has opened in the same month that the iconic Gothic Revival St Pancras Chambers in which it sits, turned 150. Originally called the Midland Grand Hotel (now St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel), the restaurant is named after this and the Dining & Coffee Room which operated in the same space upon the hotel’s opening in 1873 and served a menu of French haute cuisine. The heyday of the building, and King’s Cross as the gateway to Europe, has been paid tribute to by Handelsman, Powell and French interior designer, Hugo Toro by the use of European influences throughout. This idea is best seen in the inspiration behind each space – whilst The Midland Grand Dining Room calls to Paris, as demonstrated through the design and menus, the Gothic Bar is an homage to the bohemian, creative and whimsical atmosphere best embodied by Venice, which is where many of the materials for the bar were created.
The Midland Grand Dining Room…
Menus have been created by Powell to have firm French origins, with a focus on British fish and meat, whilst the creativity around the ingredients, their seasonal application, and their combined execution, all ensure a lighter and more innovative menu performance. As such, the offering compliments the arresting nature of the room whilst being versatile enough to appeal to a broad mix of guests. Available alongside the à la carte menu is a set lunch menu, which changes weekly costing £36 for 2 courses and £42 for three, featuring dishes not on the main menu. The wine offering is just as considered as that of the food, with a predominantly old world list, demonstrating established as well as up-and-coming producers.
Signature dishes encompass the likes of Comte gougeres, Crab toast with elderflower and shellfish sauce, Chicken liver parfait with a truffle & Madeira jelly, Pommes paillasson, snails bourguignon, nduja & guanciale, and a seasonal soufflé. These sit alongside broader, more familiar menu items such as White asparagus, seaweed beurre blanc, chive & pickled celery, Hake en papillote, ratatouille vegetables, soft polenta & salsa verde, Roasted lamb, pomme anna, spiced aubergine & sauce Provençale, Whole roast chicken, Vin Jaune, morels & wild garlic and Epping honey madeleines.
Adjacent to The Midland Grand Dining Room is the Gothic Bar; a destination bar, located in the original striking entrance to the Victorian hotel, with a cocktail selection created by Jack Porter (Booking Office 1869, Mezzanine at The Stratford, Library Bar at The Ned). With an intimate and opulent design by Toro, Gothic Bar sees the team’s interpretation of a classic cocktail bar, complete with a hand-picked selection of absinthe, resurrected for a modern and discerning audience, leading to an air of sophistication and exclusivity. Opening from 12pm daily, with weekend hours extending to 2am, the bar fulfils the team’s drive of creating a late-night hotspot within the cultural hub which is King’s Cross, as seen in its curated late programming which includes readings, salons and live music.
Named in honour of the building’s Gothic Revival style, Gothic Bar features a cocktail list centred around the robust flavours of Eau De Vie, or Water-of-Life – a pure, clear and unaged brandy, distilled in fruit. This perfumed and fiercely flavourful spirit allows for a true expression of intense fruit essence, creating characterful, elegant and beautifully balanced cocktails. The menu is split into two; ‘The Gothic Signatures’ which encompasses eight drinks and sits alongside three ‘Grand Signatures’, which best embody the wider team’s ambitions for the Gothic. Particular drink highlights include the Eau de Martini (with guests encouraged to choose their own Eau De Vie) and the seasonally-changing Grand Royale (champagne, strawberry trilogy, absinthe). This is complemented by Powell’s bar menu, which has French influences whilst also featuring a number of classic bar snacks including his perfect burger – “The Grand”’ cheeseburger au poivre as well as Salt & pepper fried quail and a Wild mushroom & truffle croque madame.
The striking interior design project, which has involved the meticulous renovation of the listed dining room and bar, has been overseen by Hugo Toro who has become globally recognised for projects stretching from Rome to New York. Together Toro and Handelsman have worked on a design which honours the Victorian origins of each room whilst updating it for a cosmopolitan, contemporary audience. The two spaces differ from one another whilst simultaneously feeling coherent – the sumptuous and indulgent bar with its peacock-print velvet banquettes and ornate painted ceiling seamlessly leads into the warm, light-filled dining room with original cornicing and textured glass. All aspects of the project have been designed especially, from the carpets which are influenced by Victorian patterns to the brass chandeliers which feature 3,000 individual pipes of glass. This results in an atmosphere that encourages the guest to lean into their surroundings for long, languid lunches or evenings drawn out into the early hours, ensconced in the confines of the restaurant.
The Midland Grand Dining Room and Gothic Bar are now open. Bookings can be made by visiting the website here.
The Midland Grand Dining Room, Euston Road, London NW1 2AR