THE FINAL PART OF MY TRIP TO LONDON.
St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel.
Truly awesome and amazing architecture... and it is so huge. The hotel is the frontage of the St. Pancras Railway Station. It was opened in 2011, 138 years after it was first constructed. It was formerly used as railway office known as the St. Pancras Chambers (1935-2011) and before that the Midland Grand Hotel (1873-1935) under the Midland Railway.
The hotel architect George Gilbert Scott and constructed during the times of social and industrial revolution . During those days it was known as "the cathedral of railway" and featured many innovation of that time: hydraulic lift; electric bell, flush toilet and Britain first revolving door! The signature red bricks used was manufactured in the Midlands and its famous Grand Staircase.
the Hogwarts-style Gothic spires and gargoyles are prominent everywhere.
We went in to have a quick look around but no photographs was allowed. So we walked toward the St. Pancras Railway Station itself and since 2007 now known as St. Pancras International. This railway was opened by the Midlands Railway in 1868 as the southern terminus connecting London with the east Midland and Yorkshire. It was renovated to a whopping GPB800 million and was reopened by the Queen in 2007 and included a tight security terminal area for the Eurostar services to Europe via the Channel Tunnel.
The ironwork lattice ceiling of the station aka "Barlow train shed" by William Henry Barlow was the largest single span roof at that time. By the way the atrium of the hotel also look something like this.
The Meeting Place statue by Paul Day.
This statue is 29.5 ft tall and weigh 20 tonnes. It was intended to evoke the romance of train travel. Can you recall this film location in one of the TVB drama? To me, this evoke a sense of sad farewell between the lovers! There are more statue in the frieze beneath the sculpture and this is how I looked at them.....
a scene commonly seen, is it a joyous reunion on arrival or sad farewell ?
the workers at the underground
The hordes of immigrants arriving... see the expression of their faces....
"this is all my possession... including the doggie?"
reflections of the train platform in a giant pair of sunglasses.
Besides this, there is also a sculpture of Sir John Benjamin (Poet) ... he seems to looking up at the roof of the Barlow shed.
photo from wiki
According to Wiki, there is another interesting feature to look out for outside St. Pancras... one of the "London Noses". Never heard of it? me too, so if you are in London, do look out for them and let me know.
It is good to check the station as we will be taking the Eurostar to Paris tomorrow.
The spacious, busy concourse of the King Cross Station. This tube station is just next to the St Pancras and we were here to check out the Platform 9 3/4 of course....
You wanna fly?
See the guy on the right? He will help you with the effect.... he will hold the scarf and when you ready to take the photo, he will toss it up! This is the station where the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry student board the Hogwarts Express to attend school.
The shop is just beside the site so that you can get more souvenirs.
As this was the last night in London, we have arrange to meet the rest in Chinatown for a farewell dinner with Diana and husband. We wanted to thank them for their gracious offer to stay at their house and also to cook us those wonderful meals and take us on those trips. So we went to a Chinese restaurant (cannot recall the name) recommended by them. Some of the dishes which we ordered:-
Stir fry spinach
Pork patties with salted fish.
Half Steamed chicken- can't see the chicken with the overcrowding of the spring onions!
Steamed Turbot... one of the expensive gourmet flatfish prized for its delicate taste and firm white flesh.
Thus our London Trip has come to an end. We went home to finish packing as we are taking the early Eurostar train to Paris.
I was happy with the trip so far. Managed to see most of the places on my itinerary and learn so much about its history and some quirky features; tasted the best fish and chips and the turbot. Of course, most important the time spend together with my daughter and sisters. Hopefully I will be back for more... till then goodbye Mr. Chips and all.