The Gilbert Scott bar at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel is a very good place to drink a glass of champagne.
If you sit on the high stools at the bar, like we did, you can watch the cocktails mixed in front of you. Intriguing fizzing concoctions are swiftly assembled in glass jars and swizzed about with twisted silver sticks by barmen in starched white uniform. Huge, differently sized bells hang the lights from the extravagantly painted ceiling, and my friend has heard that nothing in the bar is attached to the walls, including the bar itself, due to the listed nature of this extraordinary, painstakingly restored Victorian building. One wonders fleetingly about all the silver and glass and mirrors crashing somehow down, and then of course the thought disappears in the fuzzy glow cast by the table lamps, the champagne, and the solicitous nature of the staff.
It's good to take a sip of opulence every once in a while.