What happens when coffee roastery meets granary? The answer is the new branch of Caravan in Kings Cross. The sister venue of its original in Clerkenwell has been converted on the ground floor of a Grade II listed granary building, a rather enchanting space nestled in the heart of Granary Square.
On a wet and windy Sunday morning, I retreated into Caravan to escape the cold clutches and get my hands around a warm cup of Caravan coffee. By mid morning the venue was bustling. We were told a 25 minute wait and were given a booking number on a little hessian sack filled with coffee beans.
The large and lofty venue has been converted brilliantly by architect Paul Williams. The stripped back interior with pipelined wooden ceilings and exposed brick walls complement elements of wood and metal throughout the venue perfectly. Industrial chiq lamps casually drop from the high ceiling to provide a dim light for diners as they gossip noisily over their Caravan coffee.
The atmosphere is buzzing and upbeat which is what a brunch venue should be. The staff are friendly and attentive which makes all the difference in a busy brunch spot.
Like most Antipodean brunch spots, the menu is playful and experimental. Fried chicken and waffles, salt beef bubble, jalapeno corn bread…the list goes on. This is definitely a menu with a difference.
My initial pick – Corn & morcilla fritters with avocado, paprika and crème fraiche was quickly dampened when I made the mistake of asking the waiter what morcilla was. Unfortunately for me blood sausage is one of the few foods on my avoid list. In this case, knowledge was definitely not power. Judging on my neighbour’s reaction to the taste of my original selection, I think I would have preferred to live in ignorant bliss. Oh how I hate food envy.
The giant coffee roaster behind the bar is an indication that these guys take their coffee seriously. The coffee, roasted from ethically sourced, 100% Arabica beans have a real depth of flavour and an almost chocolate-like intensity.
The Raclette and spinach French toast with bacon and watercress looked great and tasted even better. I am a huge raclette fan. This semi-firm cows milk cheese has a smooth yet rich flavour and is a perfect cheese for melting. The french toast was grilled to perfection and not too firm. The crispy bacon complemented the creaminess of the raclette beautifully.
Next was the smoked haddock and leek rarebit. Traditionally a british dish the leek and haddock worked wonderfully as a pair. It’s certainly one of the best things on toast I have had in a while.
If I were to be picky, my only complaint would be the lack of brunch items for the sweet tooth like me. Although there were a great selection of cakes and pastries which tantalised the taste buds of patrons when entering, a sweet french toast or pancake could have made this menu even sweeter.
Judging on the crowds and top-notch food and service, I can see this venue quickly developing into a roaring success. Definitely in the top five brunch spots in London.
Under £25 for brunch for two people including coffee and service
Open Monday to Sunday. Mondays from 8am. Weekends from 10am. No bookings available for brunch on the weekends.