The shock of the new

The new complex of Kings Cross, St. Pancras and the Eurostar is a marvellous transformation. Industrial Victoriana heralded a new, wealthy age for Britain but also one where pollution belched from chimneys, covering buildings in coal fired black grime and contributing to poor health, as people were drawn to cities for work. Beautiful, high quality buildings like St. Pancras are now coming into their own, having been cleaned up inside and out.

I was unaware of what had been going on just north of Kings Cross until we went to Bruno Loubet’s new restaurant, ‘The Grain Store’ in Granary Square. What had been a dark and dirty wasteland of old railway sidings and derelict warehouses – a place suited only for gangster film locations – is now full of light and space. It’s almost like a black hole turning inside out into a white gusher – or coming out of a long tunnel through the mountains into a sun filled place of extraordinary beauty.

The restaurant is housed in a refurbished warehouse, which used to store wheat from Lincolnshire for London’s bakeries – hence ‘The Grain Store’. The old canal, where barges used to unload their goods, moments from Kings Cross, is an added asset to the square itself, with its myriad fountains.

Granary Square 1Granary Square 1
Deckchairs and fountains in Granary SquareDeckchairs and fountains in Granary Square
Cityscape - Granary Square - moments from Kings Cross, St. Pancras and the EurostarCityscape – Granary Square – moments from Kings Cross, St. Pancras and the Eurostar
Old warehouse, ripe for renovationOld warehouse, ripe for renovation

The manager of the restaurant came over and told us about the history of the place and why Bruno Loubet had decided to base his new restaurant here. We ended up with a bottle of English champagne, which was excellent and I felt we were toasting Granary Square, along with Bruno Loubet’s entrepreneurial and culinary skills, as well as our personal reason for coming here. There is a previous entry in the journal about BL’s other restaurant in Farringdon. He is much to be admired on many fronts!

The Grain Store  -  a delicious dishThe Grain Store – a delicious dish

And then the four of us walked down the new pedestrian way back to Kings Cross, our stomachs replete and our spirits uplifted. I go through phases both of love and loathing for London. I loved it today.

Walking back to Kings Cross ...Walking back to Kings Cross …


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