Designed by Lewis Cubitt, the city’s first railway hotel (take that, St Pancras Renaissance) opened in 1854, part of the Victorian railway explosion. It has had plenty of rough times since then, not least the 12 years it was dark, but almost £40m of renovation has recreated the place as a classic. The furniture is by artisans and, in many cases, bespoke: witness the Couchette rooms, each with a double bed snugly fitted into the window to playfully echo sleeper carriages; the neatly upholstered bedside cabinets; or the ceiling lights raised and lowered by fabulously steampunk pulleys.
You’re not expected to suffer the privations of a Victorian traveller, though: free Wi-Fi, filmandmusiclibrariesonthe40-inchTV,Egyptian cotton sheets and walk-in showers are all standard. There’s no room service but each floor has a simply charming pantry, full of jars of vintage sweets, a stand of fresh cakes, tea and coffee, newspapers and books – even a USB printer. There’s also Plum + Spilt Milk, a grand restaurant with a quiet bar, on the first floor, while the busy ground-floor GNH Bar has direct access to King’s Cross station.