A title like ‘I heart Kings Cross’ would have been inconceivalbe a few years back. Kings Cross in London was perhaps a part of the city where you had to go now and then to catch a train but otherwise you would try to avoid it at all cost. Kings Cross wasn’t nice. It was dirty, it was unsafe, it had nothing to offer.
Times have changed and Kings Cross is proving to be one of the most vibrant new parts of London. And why would it not be? It is in a fantastic location connected by transport links to all over London, the UK and even Europe thanks to the Eurostar train service that links England with France and Belgium. Kings Cross is in the heart of London and just a short walking distance from numerous great neighbourhoods like Marylebone, Farringdon, Angel and Bloomsbury. However, Kings Cross is not anymore just a crossing point but a destination in its own right. That is why I heart Kings Cross and I have numerous places to recommend to make the most of the area going through a transformation.
Where to eat in Kings Cross?
The Granary Square behind the Kings Cross station is home to the Central Saint Martins arts school but also a location for two cool restaurants, Caravan and Grain Store. The both restaurants serve non-fuss eating in a trendy ambiance.
Caravan offers a fusion of flavours from all over the world. Like its name, Caravan, the restaurant is a journey through different cuisines, styles and cultures. I adore the food in Caravan, just like in its sister restaurant in Exmouth Market. Just don’t go there for a weekend brunch unless you are really early because the place is very popular and the long queues can spoil your mood. Evenings when you can book a table are much better options.
Grain Store‘s menu is like from a French bistro but the decor and space is very otherworldly. Every part of the restaurant is filled with unique details, different set ups for small and large groups of diners. A huge kitchen and a bar area in the middle of the restaurant make you feel like you are taking part in a huge, French family feast. The food is very innovative and tasty. I also recommend the sunny terrace in the summer and virgin cocktails like ‘Roman Redhead’.
For breakfast and small teats I go to a French bakery Aux Pain De Papy. It has a few chairs for eating in, but I prefer grabbing a traditional baguette and pretending for a moment that I’m in Paris. For an afternoon tea I like to pop in to Fortnum & Mason in St Pancras Station or to Drink, Shop & Do which is a fun, quirky cafe on Caledonian Road.
Where to drink in Kings Cross?
When in mood for a really decadent experience, I head over to the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. The Booking Office Bar and Gilbert Scott are amazing for their nice cocktails and, more importantly, for the historic atmosphere, fantastic decor and courteous service. If you get tempted to find out more about the tremendous building, book yourself in a tour of the hotel or hit St Pancras Spa downstairs. The spa is one of the most luxurious you can find in London and really interesting for its oriental decoration, tranquil atmosphere and exotic treatments.
For younger and more casual atmosphere I like to stop in 06 St. Chad’s Place and in the summer my favourite is the Filling Station. Filling Station’s summer terrace offers a variety of programme from light shows to outdoor cinema. Even on a normal night, the atmosphere is excellent thanks to its bohemian feel.
What to see in Kings Cross?
The newly crafted arty atmosphere in Kings Cross has started to attract some cultural institutions to the area. My absolute favourite is the Gagosian Gallery where I went to see an excellent exhibition called “The Show is Over”. The gallery is dedicated to modern art and the huge, warehouse-like space creates an amazing stage for it.
If the weather is nice, I love taking walks along Regent’s Canal or hanging out on the Granary Square where there is often a food market or some other activities.
So, not bad for an area which was not that long time ago doomed and avoided at all cost. That’s the beauty of London though. A capability to see something beautiful in ugly and by developing it and breathing new air into it, there is a chance for it to become special again.
Caravan Kings Cross
Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, Kings Cross, London, N1C 4AA,United Kingdom
Opening hours: Mon-Tue 8am-10:30pm; Wed-Thu 8am-11pm; Fri 8am-12am; Sat 10am-12am; Sun 10am-4pm
Tel: +4420 7101 7661
Caravan Exmouth Market
11-13 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, London, EC1R 4QD, United Kingdom
Tel: +4420 7833 8115
Granary Square, 1-3 Stable Street, Kings Cross, London, N1C 4AB, United Kingdom
Opening hours: Mon – Wed 11am-10.30pm; Thu – Sat 11am-12am; Sun 11am-4.30pm
Tel: +4420 7324 4466
Aux Pains de Papy
279 Grays Inn Rd, Kings Cross, London, WC1X 8EB, United Kingdom
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 7am-6pm; Sat 8am-6pm; Sunday closed
Tel: +44777 16 13 779
Fortnum and Mason
St Pancras station concourse
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 6am-9pm; Sun 7am-9pm
06 St. Chad’s Place
6 St Chad’s Pl, Kings Cross, London, WC1X 9HH, United Kingdom
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 9am-11pm
Drink, Shop & Do
9 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, London, N1 9DX, United Kingdom
Opening Hours: Mon – Thu 9am–12am; Fri – Sat 9am–2am; Sun 10.30am-8pm
Tel: +44 20 7278 4335
Kings Cross Filling Station
Goods Way, Kings Cross, London, N1C 4UR, United Kingdom
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 12pm – 3pm and 6pm-10pm; Sat – Sun 12am-10pm
6-24 Britannia Street, London, WC1X 9JD, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 841 9960
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