The Hansom is a swanky new cocktail bar set in the heart of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Once a cobbled entrance to the train station, the venue has maintained its original high vaulted ceilings along with dramatic gothic-style floor-to-ceiling windows that ooze Hogwart’s Great Hall vibes. The centralised free-standing bar is the real show-stopper though, crafted from marble and brass with bottles alit by a golden glow, it looks less bar, more altar and a sign of things to come.
Settling ourselves into a cosy nook, my friend and I took our waiter’s advice and opted for two of the bar’s signature cocktails - The V&A Gold Fashioned (£16). Listed in the menu as a drink to ‘render the heart stout and bold, and the head fuddled’, the humble concoction was the perfect smooth and sweet remedy to the lashings of rain that hammered on the glass ceiling above.
To avoid said ‘fuddling of heads’ we also opted to order a couple of bar snacks - a veggie-friendly falafel scotch egg (£8) and a portion of pan-fried Cornish Crab Cakes (£12) did just the trick. Cut in half, the scotch egg revealed a picture-perfect yellow yolk and wafer-thin crispy coating - the stuff of picnic dreams.
Next up, a Bethnal Green Around The Gills (£15), a delicate sip made up of green tea-infused gin, sparkling wine, clarified lemon juice, St Germain, absinthe, egg white and suze. Its herbaceous qualities danced on the tongue, before easily gliding down the throat. My companion opted for a cold brew coffee-based Livingston Boatswain (£14), which was a punchy mix of Touissant and rum, with surprising hints of banana - a taste of the tropics on a drizzly Thursday night.
By the time we departed at 9pm, only a few stragglers remained. It’s not surprising, given that this place is located in a train station, that the crowd here felt more like fleeting travellers than those settled in for the night. Head along at 6pm though, and you’re in for an enchanting evening that will no doubt make your onward journey feel a little more serene. That’s unless the Circle Line is involved - sadly nothing can help you there.
The Hansom is located in St Pancras Renaissance Hotel (Euston Road, London, NW1 2AR). Open from 7am till 1am daily, cocktails start at £14. Check out our guide to the best London hotel bars here.