St Pancras Grand Champagne Bar reviews
I love the champagne bar at St Pancras. Its the most beautiful station to sit in and sip champagne. There is ample heating in the winter so you can enjoy the architecture in the cold. My only gripe is that you have to wonder into Searcys to have a wee.
If you like champagne and you love St Pancras i couldn't recommend it enough. Maybe National Rail should roll out a champagne bar in every station, it would make rail travel far more enjoyable.
It may not have the glamour its trackside location could suggest, but Searcy’s Champagne Bar at St. Pancras Station is a cracking spot for some excellent seafood and some bubbly, of course.
You kind of want this long restaurant and bar to evoke an old black and white weepie, with lovers running the length of the platform, tearfully waving their handkerchiefs through the steam from a chugging locomotive. Still, this is modern day London and not ‘30s Hollywood, so there’s much less time for melodrama. Consequently this fine place running alongside the track from where the Eurostar departs feels contemporary, even if there are more than a few nods to the glory days of steam travel (not least the magnificent, original wrought iron lattice of the Barlow roof – it’s some canopy). There’s a deliciously art deco feel to much of the venue’s fixtures and fittings, including much of the impressive new design, introduced over the summer to make things just a little sleeker - and warmer too; the leather seating is now heated, and there’s even a blanket you can pull over your knees when it gets really cold – as it’s certainly wont to do come wintertime.
It does feel slightly exclusive, given that it’s separated from the hoi polloi down below, but there’s still something of the train station platform about it (though unless Searcy’s erect some walls - they’re not allowed - it’s always going to feel slightly less glamorous than perhaps it could). It’s certainly popular though, with those kicking off their trip to the Continent with something a little fancy, as well as those killing time or simply swatting away the end of a break as best they can. These Searcy's champagne bars seem to be pretty popular across London, and this one is certainly no different.
It’s seafood pretty much all the way (with a few cheeses and charcuterie on the side) on a menu that’s well geared toward all those bottles of bubbly. The quality and workmanship is certainly impressive, with precise hands treating some really very good produce very well indeed. The dressed Weymouth prawns (a posh prawn cocktail - £5.50) offers pretty sound proof, jazzed up by a bit of molecular work in the form of olive oil caviar; a bunch of tiny olive oil spheres that burst on bite in tandem with what are some very plump prawns. Potted crab (£6.50) is deep and rich, whilst its dressed brother (£12.50) is very generous, with loads of meat impeccably seasoned and given the perfect hit of acidity from a squeeze or two of lemon. The Portland lobster (£8.50) is sweet enough to not really need the (admittedly) light mayo, but if you really want to be impressed then the smoked salmon (from Inverlochy - £6.50 for a starter) is exquisite in its delicacy – a gentle smoking and freshness to the fish gives way to a very long finish. It’s really rather good. Charcuterie comes from Trealy Farm in Monmouthshire, and is therefore very good (a selection of three is generous at £5.50), and cheeses are obviously chosen with the champagne in mind: the Chaource and the Gran Padano both going particularly well with the more robust options.
Well it would be remiss not to sample at least one glass of champagne, but thankfully the ‘Tasting Trio’ (£16) offers a pretty good way to try a few (the Besserat de Bellefon Cuvée des Moines Brut NV; the Bollinger Rosé NV; and the Gosset Grand Blanc de Blancs NV). They might only be tasting-size flutes but it’s pretty good value, especially for drops this good. There’s a bit of a steep mark up on some of the other champagnes (a bottle of Veuve Clicquot comes in at £85, for example) but you can pick up plenty by the glass (from £8.95), or go for some of the very good English sparklers, including the very impressive Nyetimber Classic Cuvee ’04 at a not bad £80 (or £14.50 a glass). If you don’t fancy bubbles then there are a fair few whites, again chosen to work well with the seafood (the André Neveu Sancerre is particularly good - £38.75), as well as a few reds that might be a good bet if you’re tucking into the charcuterie.
The Last Word
It can’t quite escape the concourse completely but it’s still a fine spot, and the food (especially the seafood) and the champagne certainly do justice to the sense of history at this great and grand station.
By LEE W.
Posted on 04/03/2012
This place was a total rip off!!!! for 20 quid I got a pot of tea and a small selection of boring, dry sandwiches and dull, dry cakes. The place looks nice but that's all it has going for it. I feel like I just threw away money.
Competent yet dull. Service: leisurely, but not in a good way.
The glorious wrought iron and glass ceiling arching overhead, the Eurostar pulling out of the station en route to Paris, excited lovers reuniting below, and a glass of champagne in hand.
If you have but an ounce of romance, you cannot failed to be wowed. Frankly writing about toilets and price about an establishment like this entirely misses the point.
It's glamorous in a very old-fashioned sense. The staff are impeccably polite and charming; the food is dainty and delicious.
In the summer sunlight streams through the air, while in winter months heated seats provide comfort and extra blankets are on hand.
It's not the cheapest place in London - though £7.50 for a glass of champagne is cheaper than in many bars in the city - but it is perhaps the most fabulous.
If you're looking for a large glass of wine for £1.99 and a seat near the bogs, probably look elsewhere.
My partner and I had a wonderful day out in London and decided to take in a show and thought that a glass of "bubbly" would just top off the evening...We had a wonderful time.
The staff were just lovely and the champagne was exquisite....Perfect end to a perfect day!! Many thanks..
if your passing through st pancras and am in no hurry then i recommend giving it a try. the champagne makes a change from heading to the usual weatherspoons that litter london's main stations. this establishment should be supported and i urge you to do so, if you are using the station that is. its not that amazing.
I use the champagne bar frequently as I travel to and from Nottingham by train. Yes, it is busy and difficult to find a seat, yes, it can be chilly and yes, it is fairly expensive. But it's well worth putting up with all of this as it's decadent and elegant and the place to be seen!
By Sue R.
Posted on 26/11/2007
High on pose value but low on practical comfort, this is quite literally a cool venue. It looks great, but wear your thermal underwear and a thick overcoat, because it's bloody cold unless you get a seat under the heaters. Also, the loos are a very long way away. Not a great place for romantic assignations unless you have the constitution of a polar bear and a cast-iron bladder.
It's not that cold and you don't really notice when you're sitting on one of the heated seats. The problem with some people is that they're always looking to find fault, they can't just enjoy a night out. From the sound of it you shouldn't have been drinking Champagne anyway. You'd have been better off wallowing in your own negativity and necking a bottle of vodka!!
The Champagne Bar is excellent. Well worth checking out in my opinion and don't let any 'I'm too good for this' poncey people's opinions put you off. I was at the launch too and I think it rocked!
Well, I went to the launch and I don't think it's all that! It's OK - but WAY over hyped, and it's bloody freezing! Heated chairs or not, I was too cold to enjoy the champers.