"Impeccable cocktails and truffle and parmesan chips; what could be better while waiting for a train?"Review Rating: Reviewed by T.A.O
If you thought train station ticket offices were all crying children, excruciating queues and broken machines… you’d be right. But then The Booking Office at St. Pancras isn’t your average place to pick up tickets. In fact, it’s got nothing to do with tickets, just food, and cocktails - very special cocktails.
These days, when you head to mainland Europe via St. Pancras aboard the Eurostar, the trip really does begin at the station. Why? Because it’s an architectural wonder...
The Booking Office is only one of a number of places to stop off before embarking on your journey, but it’s high vaulted ceilings, low-slung armchairs and casual opulence make it one of the ultimates. So swanky is this place that you can check your luggage in while you stop off for a gin sling. We take a seat on the concourse side of the venue, the side more bar than restaurant. Treated to impeccable table service we order drinks. First the Victorian Manhattan, which is a merry combination of sweet vermouth, Curacao, lemon, bourbon and bitters. Next up we sip the shorter, cockle warming Burnt Brandy. This warm cocktail consists of brandy, port, Benedictine and absinthe and packs a punch that’s bound to lay you out until Ashford at least.
While the dishes on the restaurant menu live up to both the Booking Office’s grand interior and it’s cocktails, we stick to the bar snacks – we’ve got a train to catch after all. Ordering the whitebait and truffle chips with grated Parmesan is the right move. The fine layer of cheese and truffle on the triple cooked chips is worthy of launching any trip out into the depths of the Channel.
If the thought of great vermouth cocktails and truffle chips before a journey doesn’t do it for you then just consider the building. The Champagne bar on the concourse might be one of the longest around but for historical comfort and sophistication the view of the vaulted ceilings and cathedral like looks of the Booking Office will do it for you every time.
T.A.O reviewed Booking Office Bar and Restaurant on Fri 20 Sep 2013