London coffee scene is rich in many establishments. However not many of them resist the test of time and are able to organically grow. The competition is tough and customers can be harsh, as availability of choices and (sometimes snap) opinionating are on increase. Nonetheless, there are some notable names, that over the years have gained loyal followers and keep doing so.
A handsome building, great in size, occupies the centre of the refurbished Granary Square near King’s Cross. The whole area is undergoing a massive regeneration with ancient buildings being brought back to life and new ones appearing alongside them. This Grade II, Victorian construction was once a grain store. Nowadays, it has been adapted to provide facilities for an art school. One of the few commercial spaces is occupied by Caravan Kings Cross, one of the prime London coffee institutions.
Coffee is the essence of this place. Carefully sourced, freshly roasted on-site. Made to match its definition to a T. Whether an espresso or a latte, they will never be short of what they should be. The coffee taste is deep and strong. The aroma is omnipresent.
The interiors are stylishly industrial – exposed brick walls, crittall windows. The lay out is almost completely open plan and the space is strikingly tall, but this feels neither overwhelming nor empty. The open connection between dining room, kitchen and roastery is welcoming and almost barrier breaking of who is a guest and who is a local in here.
Menu accommodates the whole day, with generous opening times from 8 am to 10.30 pm on weekdays. However, the ultimate choice seems to be brunch. Possibly, there is never an empty table at this time of the day at weekends and a large queue outside is a very common sight. The classic avocado on toast will surely not disappoint, but why not try a coconut bread or a sprout and kraut bowl for something refreshingly new.
Warmer and drier days allow for the use of the outside seating area, where the external architecture of these surrounding, full of history buildings can be admired. The big draw of this location is also the very animated, water fountain installation on the Granary Square.
It is easy to stay a whole day at Caravan, quietly sipping coffee and working away on a laptop, until the time for espresso martini comes and it is a whole new reason in itself to visit them.