Oh my goodness me. Now we had the very lucky opportunity to stay in the building that is above Kings Cross station, and also houses the Renaissance Hotel. You may have heard of it as it has been featured in many articles about how it is one of the best Airbnbs to stay in in London but oh my goodness me none of that does it justice!
Now, although it doesn’t fit into our “budget” side of things, if you aren’t renting the whole property, it is cheaper, obviously. We were sharing the apartment with a lovely family from San Fransisco, but didn’t see them as it was so big and our “suite” had a self-contained bathroom and kitchenette and we were out late at dinner!
Let’s get dinner out of the way and then we’ll take you around the Clocktower. For dinner, as the stay was for Jess’ 30th, albeit quite a few months late, Tim booked a table at The Gilbert Scott restaurant at the Renaissance. Dressy, pricey but totally worth it, he found an amazing deal on bookatable.com, which if you don’t already use to book your meals then you are really missing out (totally not affiliated FYI, we just love it).
We had 3 courses, canapes and a glass of champagne for £32 a head. It was delicious. Deco settings, beautiful service and delicious food, what more could you want. They went above and beyond to make our evening the best it could be, and had the kind of table service where they were around and efficient but not in your way, so we were left to discuss how we were going to take over the world.
What did we eat you ask? OK so, canapes were mini mushroom tarts, beetroot three ways and hummus on crispbread. DE-LISH. Now we are not very good when it comes to decisions and food envy so we started by sharing what we both wanted, a courgette salad and smoke salmon pate.
We both had the lamb cutlets for main, with truffle mac n cheese and for desert Jess had the salted caramel ice cream, and Tim had the pannacotta. Just an aside: the cocktails they serve are extortionate, but divine.
Where to start? The entrance I guess, right on the Renaissance hotel, the Chambers are situated next door. Greeted by the concierge who spent some time telling us about how JK Rowling was inspired by the building on the outside and the Renaissance stairs on the inside for Hogwarts, and how the Spice Girls Wannabe video was filmed inside the Renaissance, he also then told us that we were in for a treat with our stay, and he wasn’t wrong.
Once in the apartment, you notice the size. No kidding. The Chaise Lounge and pictures of other clocktowers, and old paintings of Kings Cross from the 17 and 1800s greet you on your entrance. And then you see the Kitchen. With enough space to house probably my entire flat, the main kitchen is a beautiful state of the art kitchen, with everything you could possibly wish to need in it, and enough space to entertain should you fancy doing that.
The two stand out parts of the kitchen (or three) are firstly the view over Kings Cross out the windows, something neither of think we could get bored of at all. Secondly, the skylight window that was put in so that you can actually see the clockface from the apartment as it is in the clocktower afterall, and finally, the reclaimed stained glass windows, from a 19th century house in Lancashire, that depict the story of the fox and the Stork from Aesop’s fable, the one where the moral of the story is tricksters can expect tricks in return (see also: karma is a bitch).
From the kitchen, another shared area is the tower room. Words can not explain how amazing this room is. With the tallest ceilings you will ever see, shafts that held weights from the clock, a library on a raised platform, enough chairs to host a large dinner party, a study in the old weights room, and a grand piano. Yep. It’s amazing. Pictures of clocktowers from around the world cleverly adorn the walls, and the views from the windows not only look over Kings Cross, but St Pauls and the city (shard, canary wharf etc). They even have a pair of Peregrine Falcons that now live in the spire above the tower room. Neat right.
Then you can go downstairs. Downstairs are more books and both airbnb guest suites, and space for more beds if needed. And more books. And guides of London, maps, spare oyster cards, you name it he has thought of everything. The master bedroom has an amazing bathroom on a mezzanine overlooking the windows and skyline, but we were in the guest suite, which again is bigger than most London flats in itself. Beautifully decked out with all the mod cons, an amazing bathroom with a huge bath, separate shower and huge mirror, it was amazing. The bed, set behind the amazing timber frames was extraordinarily comfortable, the views were amazing, the kitchen had everything you could need for a morning coffee and Jess’ favourite part? All the Harry Potter books on the bookshelf.
The whole evening was an incredible experience, we both felt so relaxed and inspired after our stay that we want to go back immediately! Annoyingly we can’t find the link to Peter’s listing but as soon as it goes back up we will put the link straight in here!
Even our rave review couldn’t do it enough justice, you’ll have to go and stay there! If you aren’t already on Airbnb you can get £25 off your first stay if you use our link here: http://www.airbnb.co.uk/c/jkempner10