★★★★ MINIMIX at The Megaro – King’s Cross
Belgrove St, King’s Cross
WC1H 8AB, London
A creative hotel lobby refit – by a tribe of super intelligent mice! – brings a quiet yet boozy oasis to King’s Cross
The Megaro hotel opposite King’s Cross is already one of London’s not-so-hidden gems. You’d be hard-pressed not to spot its brightly painted 450 square foot, top-to-toe mural as you exit the station, but as far as destination hotels go, those with money to burn will more often be lured by the overpriced ‘charms’ of the St. Pancras Renaissance or the Great Northern.
More discerning guests are drawn to The Megaro’s combination of style and comfort, and at prices that leave money in your account to enjoy the many pleasures that London has to offer. And now, joining the The Megaro Eatery – formerly Karpo Restaurant, and soon to undergo a relaunch – and The Megaro Bar – a charming underground speakeasy cocktail bar – comes MINIMIX, a repurposing of the hotel lobby which has been transformed into an intimate steam-punk hangout with a self-service cocktail bar and popcorn on tap!
The entrance from Belgrove Street takes you straight into a beautifully realised bar concept: “a Victorian Steampunk fantasy juxtaposed with the British Pop culture of London, Kings’ Cross and Camden borough.” There are high tables, banquettes and stools for 14, and – the star attraction – a self-service bar, where you can help yourself to beer, wine and cocktails.
You won’t be left completely alone of course – attentive staff will answer questions about your drinks, and bring complimentary bar-snacks: popcorn, Bombay mix, bread and butter and even some canapé-style mini-pies.
The MINIMIX house beer is nice touch, and the cocktails are spot-on. In particular, the Gold Rush – with its sweet hint of honey – goes down like a dream, and the Silver Bullet – starring the Kümmel liqueur flavours of caraway, cumin, and fennel – is a perfect tonic at the end of a long day.
The practical idea behind MINIMIX is to bring the minibar out of the bedroom, and put the guests ininside the minibar. Making the experience open to the public is a nice touch, and whilst a cynic might predict patrons taking advantage of the payment system (you fill in a card with what you have drunk, and hand it in to the unobtrusive check-in desk), the trust is likely to be repaid by a loyal and respectful clientele.
The whimsical concept – that MINIMIX is a craft travelling across space-time, fuelled by a mysterious blue substance created by a tribe of super intelligent mice called the Murphy – is delightfully crazy, and the management have clearly recognised that to stand out in this field you really need a story and an experience that stands out. The cosy, quirky ambience is ininnevitably disturbed when hotel guests arrive to check in or out, but MINIMIX never sells itself as a place where you would hunker down for a long session. If you’re making a night of it, head downstairs to the basement Megaro Bar (entrance on Euston Road, or through the restaurant) – MINIMIX is for passing through, either after a long train journey or before an evening Eurostar, or perhaps just a restorative cocktail after a long day at the office. We’ll certainly be back.
2x MINIMIX Craft Beers £8
Silver Bullet £8
Gold Rush £8
Bread & Popcorn FREE