Ever since Neil has known me - over 20 years now and approaching 21 years - I've been in love with the idea of the St Pancras Grand Hotel. A glorious neo-gothic achievement of High Victorian architecture, the hotel had long been closed when we first started going to London together but it already held a place of fascination for me. The announcement and funding of the refurbishment of St Pancras (the station) was one point of delight for me ---- now the St Pancras Hotel has reopened.
First off, Neil guided me and my friends Chrissie and Caroline into the bar: the old ticket booking office of old where I have many happy memories of both buying tickets, making phone calls and meeting people. Its old dark wooden surroundings still retained (though not with the set up Neil imagined for the refurbishment of drinks being served through the old ticket hatches to the waiting drinkers!)
We had lunch in here and it was worth the expense for the wonderful surroundings. Truly sumptuous. We then exited through the old taxi rank - now the hotel lobby - and out to the front of this always magnificent looking building.
But then thanks to Caroline's determination us girls next made our way into the hallowed vestibules of the hotel, its rounded corridors, its dramatic wooden staircases, its gothic windows and bells.
We then head back there at the end of the day for drinks and to make sure Neil saw what it was like in the bar area.
And to get him to take my photo there - dressed in my theatre finery (blue silk dress...)
Still, I'll definitely be going back if only to venture further up the stairs and look up at the awe-inspiring stairwell decoration (see the hotel website for more visuals).