Positioned directly opposite the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, The Standard couldn’t be any more different to the Victorian structures that surround it. Views of the gothic building across the road starkly contrast to the bold colours, retro-futuristic scenes and energetic vibe of this quirky retreat. I’d been to the lounge bar for drinks in the past, but on this occasion? It was finally time to take the iconic ‘red pill’ elevator a la Neo and see if this really was worth the fanfare.
When it opened back in 2019, the N1 newbie was hot property. Celebrity guests included everyone from Skepta and Lily Allen to Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, echoing the popularity of its predecessors in New York, Miami and beyond. The British base is every inch the artsy destination as its sisters abroad; welcoming live performers, offering guests tickets to Frieze and even featuring a recording booth.
In the Brutalist building, there are 12 styles of room, stretching from ‘cosy core’ the huge ‘suite terrace.’ Sitting somewhere in the middle, our ‘king of kings.’ If The Jetsons vacationed in London? They’d book a room here. With huge bay windows that peek out onto King’s Cross, distinctive red and blue touches, and a large bathroom complete with a waterfall shower and bathtub, it was quite the striking space.
With comforting touches like doughnuts and popcorn on arrival, The Standard has thought of everything. And if that wasn’t enough? We could contact ‘Stan’ for anything else. Extra pillows? Margaritas to our door? Inside scoop on the neighbourhood? Guests need only WhatsApp the service for whatever we want.
Skipping room service for an afternoon brunch, we took the iconic elevator up to the 10th floor, meeting live music and interiors oozing holiday vibes. Passing floor-to-ceiling windows on the right and a large wooden bar on the left, we made our way to Decimo straight ahead. A 5-piece Spanish jazz band set the scene for an elevated brunch, complete with the likes of oozy croquetas de jamon (£4 each), spicy Baja lamb tacos (£8) and a deliciously saucy tortilla gambas (£14). Tunes spanned from reggae and dub to hits from Gregory Isaacs, coaxing diners to ditch their seats and dance... my staycay date included.
As for the party? You needn't look elsewhere for more drinking and dining options. Along with the rooftop terrace and seasonal plates at Isla, you'll find 60s-style spots below. On the ground floor, Double Standard features a statement bar with live DJs and Black Lines cocktails on tap, while The Library Lounge - which wraps around the corner - pays homage to the building’s former home as Camden Council Library through bookshelves and retro decor. After an evening of pear and apple old fashioneds (£13) and Belsazar blossom spritzers (£12) taking us late into the night, it was room service to the rescue the next morning. Fluffy chocolate-drizzled pancakes and frothy lattes never tasted so good.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Whether it’s brunch soundtracked by live music, an evening of cocktails and 60s vibes, a couple of nights in a quirky room, or all of the above, The Standard does it all with finesse. Perfect for creatives and live music lovers, the hotel exudes cool, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a single flaw here.
💰 The damage: rooms start from £170 per night.
📍 The location: 10 Argyle St, London WC1H 8EG
👌 Perfect for: live music lovers.
⭐ Need to know: book ahead for brunch - it's available every Saturday from 12pm to 4.30pm.
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