The Standard London review: mid-century style fused with hip modern chic

This hotel feels like a 1970s imagining of what the year 2022 might have looked like

The Standard hotels have a unique hip style
Hotels in the Standard group have a unique, hip style
(Image credit: Standard Hotels)

The Standard hotel in London is located opposite the imposing St Pancras Station and minutes from King’s Cross.

Recent heavy investment has transformed the area behind these stations from nightclub-land into a hub for classy shopping, eating and drinking. These days, there are probably more wine bars than pubs, along with a Nike and Carhartt WIP store, as well as hip hangouts like Dishoom and Porte Noire, Idris Elba’s restaurant and wine cellar.

The Standard London

The eye-catching bright red lift is shaped like a giant pill

Why come here?

The company’s first hotel outside of America has found its home in a hulk of classic Brutalist architecture; built in 1974, the grey concrete and abstract shapes are juxtaposed with an eye-catching bright red lift shaped like a giant pill that sits outside the building.

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Following a painstaking refurbishment, the whole place feels like a 1970s imagining of what the year 2022 might have looked like, fusing mid-century styles with modern chic and sensibility. The lounge features lots of wood, funky fireplaces and a library based around concepts rather than subjects (Chaos, Science or Adult Relationships, for example) – a nod to the building’s former life as Camden Council Library. The Standard hotels have a unique, achingly hip style that whisks you off to a much cooler world as soon as you step inside.

The Standard has 266 rooms and suites

The Standard has 266 rooms and suites

Once you’ve left the ground floor, the interiors can feel a little maze-like and enclosed (there are few windows in the corridor). The designers have lent into this and pulled visual cues from the London Underground into the mix – dark, boldly patterned carpets feature muted hues of crimson and primary blue which roll into the room furnishings and interiors.

The hotel has 266 rooms and suites which range from their Cosy Core, which are set inside the interior of the building and are windowless (for those who like to stay up all night and sleep all day?), to terraced suites with outdoor baths overlooking the London skyline. Our room faced the Euston Road, with huge, curving windows which meant both amazing views and a little night-time noise – but hey, this is London.

Decimo restaurant is on the tenth floor at The Standard

Decimo restaurant is on the tenth floor at The Standard

Eating and drinking

Decimo, located on the tenth floor, is the star attraction as far as food and views go. Only accessible via the aforementioned Red Pill lift, it has 360-degree views of London with some windows featuring specially designed glass to provide a zoomed-in look at the cityscape.

Up top, chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias has built a temple to live fire in a killer space; it’s low lit, filled with plants and fireplaces, and has super-slick staff serving fab food and drink. This is a huge, ultra-hip joint and the scene is seriously buzzy with London’s cool kids – tables were emptied and refilled right up to our exit at around 11pm.

But you’re here for the food, right? Wood fire is the MO in the kitchen – we ate the signature red pepper tartar alongside a tortilla made with ever-so-thin crispy fried potatoes, delicately marinated grilled monkfish, a blushing Iberico pork chop and ash-roasted leeks with romesco sauce (the crispy potatoes with aioli are a must-order).

The hotel has an amazing rooftop bar – you’ll want to visit in summer, though, as it’s closed for the winter months to all but a few slightly rained-on smokers.

Double Standard bar and restaurant at The Standard London

Double Standard bar and restaurant

A bit more down-to-earth is Double Standard, the hotel’s bar and restaurant which does a killer burger and bottomless brunch. Any menu that features pigs-in-blankets all year round is a winner in our book. A third restaurant, Isla is the spot for lighter protein/salad combos and natural wines.

A little further afield, up behind King’s Cross, Granary Square has lots of fantastic eating and drinking options – modern Indian in the form of Dishoom, Spanish in Barrafina Coal Drops Yard, a taste of Oz in Caravan, Middle Eastern excellence from Arabica and a Mexican masterclass in Casa and Plaza Pastor.

The Standard’s amazing rooftop has great views

The Standard’s amazing rooftop has great views

What to do

If you’re after a party scene, the hotel has its own DJ spot, Sounds Studio, playing host to live sets and gigs. The lounge area is one of those places where it feels ok to have a cocktail at 10am, somehow, thanks to the low lighting, roaring fires and buzzy tunes.

For a bit of culture, there are fabulous museums nearby – the British Museum is a 15-minute walk away, while the lesser-known Wellcome Collection, a hub of science, medicine and art, sits a little east, towards Euston Station.

Coal Drops Yard, set up behind King’s Cross, has loads of fabulous boutiques. If you fancy a wander (or a boat trip), the Regent's Canal is lovely to stroll down on a sunny day.

The Standard London, 10 Argyle St, London WC1H 8EG. Rooms start from £225 per night;

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