Top 5: Best Places to Visit in Kings CrossBy Claudine Levy
Looking for the best places to visit in Kings Cross? Read on. It happened with East London. Trendy media types flocked to their trendy advertising offices, took their trendy lunch breaks at Hawksmoor and spent their trendy leisure time near Brick Lane. Tracy Emin moved in, house prices went up and young men with undercuts seeped on to the streets of the East End. And thus, this rundown cityscape became drenched in the scent of vintage chic and that elusive charm we call ‘cool’.
But hold on to your hosieries, because the next cool spot in town is on the rise, and it goes by the name of Kings Cross. Whereas Shoreditch is achingly self-conscious, Kings Cross feels as if a little less effort has gone in to it. It’s just easy, industrial and laid back.
The new £1 billion Google HQ is currently being built on the canal, marking the start of gentrification. Google are unquestionably Masters of The Universe (if you don’t believe me, type ‘tilt’ into your Google search bar, and behold), so there can be no doubt that they’ll help shape King’s Cross into a dynamic, exciting and vibrant place to be. With no further adieu, we bring you our top 5 places to spend your time in Kings Cross. Anyone for brunch?
1. Drink, Shop & Do
Drink, Shop & Do melds together the three things us humans do best – getting drunk, buying stuff and consuming food. It’s a café, shop and club all rolled into one; come day it serves breakfast, afternoon tea and small plates, come night it serves hard liquor and grimy disco beats. It’s chilled, fun & we love it.
Caravan started out life in Exmouth market and has now opened in the new Granary Square. With its canal setting and view of Kings Cross’s historic buildings, we reckon this spot is set to be a bustling summer hangout. Caravan is one of our favourite places on the square; it’s buzzy and energetic, yet with its exposed brickwork and industrial lampshades, the interior has a nonchalant Brooklyn vibe. For brunch, try the avocado on toast (with a cup of their famed Arabica coffee). And for dinner, go for one of their pizzas – the anchovy, fennel, mascarpone, green pepper & rocket is our fave.
To recover from the night before, we give you another pithy place to sink your teeth into: T.E.D (Think.Eat.Drink) is new on the scene, set to open its doors in June and welcome revellers to eat their food consciously. With an emphasis on sustainability and provenance, this place is a classic case of making ethics cool. We’re pretty pumped about the brunch menu going on until 4pm on weekends too.
Shrimpy’s at The Filling Station is a converted petrol station a little further on from Granary Square; the menu has an American vibe and there’s an al-fresco terrace area outside. Go for the soft shell crab burger. Expect to see bearded men sitting in the diner style booths with an indie draught ale in hand, wearing little horn-rimmed Harry Potter glasses.
5. The Grain Store
This place is also located in Granary Square and is notable for working magic with veg. The legumes are inventively fermented, sprouted, pickled or smoked so that they hold their own alongside the meat or fish. The Grain Store also lives up to its residence (a former wheat warehouse) and namesake by giving precedence to the mighty grain in all of its glorious forms. Come here for a modest, interesting and delicious plate of food.