The historic Grand Midland ressurrected as St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London, officially re-opening today
William and Kate have been married for nearly a week now. The horses are re-stabled, the carriages and uniforms put away for the next state occasion, the tourists gone home, most Londoners returned from their extended holiday and the father of the groom, Prince Charles, is in Washington. D.C., visiting an urban farm near the Capitol, meeting American dignitaries and otherwise performing his royal duties. More enduring news for travelers is the rebirth of the Grand Midland Hotel, which was officially opened by Queen Victoria, Prince William’s several-times-great-grandmother in 1873. The long-shuttered railroad hotel had been resurrected as the glorious St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London, part of the Marriott family of properties. Guests have been staying there for serveral weeks (I’m sure including during the royal wedding), but the grand opening is today.
I learned about this, of all places, on a blog about France called The Provence Post. In a post called “A Major Hotel Renaissance in London,” blogger Julie Mautner, who lives n St. Remy, noted, “The new hotel—a 12 year project that cost £150 million–marks the completion of the regeneration of the St. Pancras International Station, which was completely restored and reopened in 2007. It’s now the home of Eurostar, the high-speed train connecting London to Paris, Lille and Brussels via the Channel Tunnel. ” And that’s how this news from the middle of London ended up in a blog about the South of France. Julie can hop aboard a seasonal Eurostar train in Avignon, arrive six hours later at St. Pancras and go directly to the hotel to see it in person. Me? Not quite such convenience.