Visitors arriving in or leaving London by the train connection with mainland Europe will use the Eurostar terminal at St Pancras International on the Euston Road. Widely known for its Victorian architecture, the original station was designed by William Henry Barlow and was opened in 1868 by the Midland Railway as the southern terminus of its main line which connected London with the East Midlands and Yorkshire. At that time the arched Barlow train shed was the largest single-span roof in the world.
The station was damaged by a bomb in May 1941 during The Blitz and the 20th century did not serve the station well. By the 1960s, St Pancras had come to be seen as redundant, and several attempts were made to close it and demolish the hotel. These attempts provoked strong and successful opposition, with the campaign led by the later Poet Laureate, John Betjeman.
After escaping planned demolition in the 1960s, the St Pancras Station complex was renovated and expanded from 2001 to 2007. The rebuilding cost was in the region of £800 million. St Pancras was officially re-opened as St Pancras International on 6 November 2007 by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and the High Speed 1 service was launched.
The Champagne Bar is one of the showpieces of the restored station, occupying a central position in the Upper Concourse. It is reputably the longest champagne bar in Europe. An extensive range of champagnes is on offer, along with a selection of light and main meals, seafood and bar snacks.
The frontage of the station is formed by the former Midland Grand Hotel designed by George Gilbert Scott. An example of Victorian Gothic architecture, it is now occupied by the five-star Renaissance London Hotel and apartments. Inside the hotel a notable feature is Gilbert Scott’s staircase. The hotel held its grand opening on 5 May 2011, exactly 138 years after its original opening in 1873.
For further information go to stpancras.com
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