While ongoing strikes and disputes may make visiting London on a train right now unappealing, I still find it the most productive way to spend a few hours and, despite a delay, found myself at Euston for a midweek work trip in early October.
For those travelling regularly to London, finding a decent hotel that’s close to the station (and somewhere in between budget and extreme high end) can be daunting. But it is here that the Megaro offers the weary traveller something a bit different, right from arrival.
The hotel is easy to spot thanks to its paint-splattered mural frontage, plus it’s right opposite the St Pancras clock tower meaning you can walk there from either Euston or Kings Cross.
Budget or boutique?
Rooms start around £185 per night meaning this leans more toward boutique but, given the price of some budget London hotels, this is on par and much nicer.
I stayed in a studio corner suite on the second floor, overlooking the busy road and station. The interiors in the suite are a bit industrial style meets Britpop meets Get Him to the Greek (while the walls aren’t furry, they’re very textured). The ceiling wallpaper has an oil in water pattern and the black, grey and white colour scheme is broken up by accessories including Union Jack and Bulldog cushions.
There’s an Egg-style chair and Diesel Studio furniture that looks like it could house instruments of a band on tour. The dog motif continues with a large bespectacled pooch that’s a bluetooth speaker. Barrel style bedside tables are either side of the king sized bed and in the bathroom, there’s a large walk-in rain shower with a shower screen featuring lyrics from Oasis’s 1990s hit Live Forever.
Wining and dining
Mid-sized city centre hotels can often offer underwhelming dining options, but this is not the case with The Megaro. Their adjoining eatery, Magenta, has a menu inspired by Northern Italy, created by executive head chef Manuele Bazzoni. Interiors, designed by Henry Chebaane, are modern and inviting and echo the 19th-century heritage of the building.
Despite being the last to order, thanks to my train delay, the staff were friendly and knowledgeable, and talked me through the menu’s starters, pasta course, mains and desserts. Look out for their black charcoal sourdough bread, which is served as a full, small (and warm) loaf. I enjoyed three delicious courses, with the raviolo a particular highlight.
For a pre or post dinner drink, Hokus Pokus bar in the basement is a funky, apothecary-inspired drinking den with a menu of creative and interactive cocktails and botanical "remedies”.
This smoke-filled bar is an ode to the location and heritage behind King’s Cross, featuring a blend of 19th-century apothecary and retro-futuristic steampunk engine room. Bar manager Greg Chudzio was happy to chat through drinks, and will mix some at your table. I’d recommend this place regardless if you’re staying at the hotel and will definitely visit again.
Worth getting out of bed for
The hotel is ideally located for exploring London, with King’s Cross underground on its doorstep and the Circle, Piccadilly, Hammersmith & City, Northern, Metropolitan and Victoria lines. Within walking distance are the fountains at Granary Square and boutique shopping at Coal Drops Yard, plus many bars and restaurants. There’s a great arts and culture scene in the area – see the free King’s Cross Audio Art and Culture audio tour.
There are delicious-smelling, full-sized toiletries in the bathroom along with robes and slippers. Each room has an espresso machine and smart TV.
The Megaro Hotel is the flagship five star property, part of the independently-owned St Pancras Hotel Group. An independent, destination hotel, re-writing the established rules of hospitality, whilst retaining the norms of care, service and refinement, The Megaro is a place of constant (r)evolution, high in colours and bold in flavours, moving to the city’s constant rhythms and beats.
The Megaro Hotel, 1 Belgrove Street, London WC1H 8AB; 020 7843 2222; www.themegaro.co.uk