Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Caravan - Kings Cross N1

I love love love Caravan in Exmouth Market - amazing coffee (with beans roasted on site), great food, lovely staff, cool space, great street - what's not to like?  So I was super excited to learn that the Caravan crew were opening a new gaff in King's Cross.  I was meeting my friend Neil for lunch on Sunday so thought it would be a good chance to check it out.  Once again, I was struck by the transformation of the area behind King's Cross station - and even though I am nostalgic for my old clubbing days in the area, so far I like everything that is happening back there - Eat St rocks, Shrimpy's is ace and the new Granary Square development (where Caravan is) is a really cool redevelopment of an old Victorian warehouse and manages to keep the character of the old rail yards/Regent's Canal area whilst feeling very "now".  My only worry is that Eat St and Shrimpy's are both temporary happenings and I wonder what this area will be like when the entire redevelopment is done - however if Granary Square is anything to go by, it may be spectacular.  If I was pushed, I'd probably still opt for

 the somewhat bleak, abandoned warehousy vibe that used to characterise this locale, but that's just me, I'm a sucker for urban dereliction.  In front of the huge Granary Square building is a large open space, with water fountains shooting jets of water into the air and on Sunday there were hordes of little kids running round in their undies (and in one kinda gross case, what looked like a very full nappy...ewwww).  It was super cute and was topped off by the fact there was an Ice Cream festival going on so there was a real fairground vibe.  It took us some time to work out where Caravan was - if you are looking front on at Granary Square, look for the green hedgey thing on the left, the entrance is behind there.  Before we worked this out, we had an interesting wander through the Central St Martins campus that is also in the building (I tried to adopt my best Brit-art face and not look like I was lost).  The first things that strikes
 you about Caravan is that it is vast, a massive barn of a place but as with Exmouth Market, the fit-out is done really well and it feels welcoming and buzzy rather than cavernous.  The place was chock-a block, so we were given a bag off coffee beans with a number on it and advised to wait at the bar, which we did, having a magnificent flat white while we were at it.  The wait to be seated was quick (maybe fifteen minutes) and then we were seated on a communal table (I couldn't help but think of Wagamamas!) to peruse one of the best brunch menus in London (IMHO).  Neil was up for us both ordering different things and sharing,

 which is always an excellent way to try out more of the menu - so I went for the Jalapeno corn bread, fried egg, black beans & green tomato and Neil chose the Smoked haddock & keek rarebit with poached eggs & rocket.  And yes people, they were both friggin' delicious - not sure which one I would rate more highly, we did the plate swap thing a couple of times and each time I thought "oh yes".  Seriously good brunch food and a world away from the standard greasy fry up (which obviously has its place but not here, oh no, not here).  Being a couple of booze-hounds we decided that Bloody Marys were in order - well to be accurate, I ordered a Bloody Mary and Neil got a "Sunshine Mary", made with Kamm & Sons (a botanical spirit made with ginseng, grapefruit and manuka honey!), yellow tomato and capsicum.  The bloody Mary was fierce - great but almost
 too much for me.  The Sunshine Mary was delicious - we did the swapsies on drinks also.  We couldn't manage a pudding each so shared a super sweet and super delicious Ginger Treacle Tart with Clotted Cream, which was a perfect end to a perfect meal. Caravan Kings Cross on Urbanspoon


  1. I do like Caravan and I will definitely visit this new branch but I still prefer the coffee at Flat White in Soho. I assume you have visited there? I could not find it reviewed on your blog.

  2. Peter - I have indeed been to Flat White. Not sure why I haven't blogged about them - they are def on my coffee map. I have however blogged about their sister cafe Milk Bar, which is an old fave. I am not sure I agree with you on the coffee comparison - Caravan is hard to beat in my book!