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The Megaro Hotel. Explore a brilliant Steam Punk adventure in King’s Cross, London.

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The Megaro Hotel. Explore a brilliant Steam Punk adventure in King’s Cross, London.

28 Mar 2024

Andy Mossack enters a parallel world of exploration and discovery at the Megaro Hotel.

Andy Mossack enters a parallel world of exploration and discovery at the Megaro Hotel.

King’s Cross has certainly evolved from its once dark visage. What was once London’s infamous no-go area, has transformed into gentrification personified. Hipster restaurants and cafes abound now, thanks in most part to the St. Pancras International train terminus.

Yet, this urban revolution has been slow to spread to the other side of the Euston Road. But now that is changing thanks to the vision of many hoteliers who sense opportunity. Many of the characterful 19th century townhouses have undergone major facelifts, none more so perhaps than the luxury boutique Megaro Hotel, which has gone one better with a full metal jacket mural covering its entire façade.

Just look up and across the road as you exit the station, and you won’t be able to miss it.

But the sea change doesn’t stop at its façade. The lobby is your portal to another dimension. One inspired by the steam punk world of visionary designer Henry Chebaane and his Blue Sky Hospitality Company, leading you on an adventure of exploration all over the building but never forgetting its link with the past. After all, this was once an area where Victorian-era technology and innovation thrived.

Spagnoletti Pasta Restaurant

This is referenced in the Megaro Hotel’s hospitality areas: the wild and wacky Hokus Pokus Alchemy Lab in the basement, (inspired by James Morrison, an eccentric doctor who exploited cure-all potions from his ‘medical institute’ next door) and the colourful and delicious Spagnoletti Italian pasta restaurant (named after Charles Spagnoletti who invented the British railway signal network).

Once I acclimatised myself from Victorian London to steam punk in the lobby, I was more than ready to follow the copper piping and embrace Chebaane’s adventure trail.

Upstairs the Megaro Hotel’s themed guestrooms celebrate London’s musical legacy, from Pop Diva to Groove Brittania, each one a one-off homage to the entertainment industry in all its forms. For any of you seeking some classic refuge instead, there are more stately layouts, but each one still retains a subtle reminder of the Chebaane steam punk signature. My bathroom walls were dressed in fancy metallic tiling and the fabulously powerful rainforest shower was turned on and off with a single button press.

It was also gratifying to hear the mini bar drinks and jars of nibbles were free for guests. Something of a hotel rarity these days.

Spagnoletti Pasta Restaurant

But enough, I wanted to fully embrace myself into this alternate reality, so made my way down into the basement for a bit of Hokus Pokus.  With more piping as my guide, I slipped beneath the London streets into a dark world where steam punk meets Victorian apothecary. The ceiling was stacked with all kinds of punkish bric-a-brac dynamos, valves and circuit boards while vintage apothecary jars filled with strange substances adorned shelves.

The feeling of a Doc Brown from Back to the Future scenario was endorsed by mixologist Krystian who was quite the historian as he told me the tale of Morrison’s 1828 ‘British College of Health’ and his so called ‘miracle cure botanical potions’ which was a few doors away. “We’ve taken that concept and created our own homemade botanical infusions for our cocktails courtesy of our mixologist mastermind Greg ‘Doc’ Chudzio”.

Spagnoletti Pasta Restaurant

Spagnoletti Pasta Restaurant

It seems I wasn’t too far off the mark with my Doc Brown analogy either, as time travel is also a factor at Hokus Pokus. Each time the lighting pulses it means one of the strange little creatures dotted about the place has returned from another time with an object for the lab. It was definitely getting weird.

“OK. What do you recommend. I’m pretty fond of whisky”.

Krystian hurried off to contemplate his botanicals and emerged triumphantly in short order with a glass and a volumetric flask. “This is our smoky sour mash” (£19). He announced. “Organic Japanese wagyu induced slowly on low heat into Michter’s sour mash. Then induced with smoke and infused in this flask to bind the smoke and alcohol on a molecular level.”

Spagnoletti Pasta Restaurant

With my senses now on full eccentric alert, I watched as he poured it slowly into the ice stacked tumbler and stood back to await my tasting response.

It really was excellent. And I had to admire the dedication behind it all. It can be so easy to dismiss cocktail mixology as theatre, but I think there is a growing trend towards understanding there is a real science to it all. Hokus Pokus might be light-hearted fun on the surface, but there is no doubting the skill and craftmanship at work here. It’s a real experience.

Walking back upstairs on my way to dinner at Spagnoletti I passed an array of more weird and wonderful objects that I hadn’t noticed before. Its diversionary and dare I say it, a little hypnotic. I was completely seduced by it all; such a refreshing change from large, faceless hotels.

Spagnoletti Pasta Restaurant

Make no mistake, the Megaro Hotel is as colourful inside as its mural façade. If it’s Victorian walls could smile, I reckon they would be grinning big time.

Tell me more about The Megaro Hotel at King’s Cross.

The Megaro Hotel. 1 Belgrove St, London WC1H 8AB

T: 020 7843 2222  E: hello@themegaro.co.uk

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