Friday, August 2, 2013

London King's Cross is no longer dodgy

Central St Martins College of Arts and Design
Some respite from the warm weather

I recall asking a friend about the capital before we decided to take the plunge and relocate to London. Having spent a number of years in London, her finger circled the vicinity of King's Cross. "Avoid this area, very dodgy." she said.

These days, King's Cross is no longer so. St Pancras Renaissance Hotel dominates the skyline, Gilbert Scott and Plum & Spilt Milk cater to those who don't mind splashing out a bit for some quiet dining away from the hustle and bustle that is expected at a transport hub. Not to mention the huge metal inward domed roof over at King's Cross station's concourse itself. Harry Porter fans would be pleased that there is half a luggage trolley sticking out on a wall for photo op at Platform 9 3/4.

The billions of pounds poured in to rejuvenate the area is bearing fruit. Central St Martins College of Art & Design makes the immediate area livelier. Caravan, first opened up at Exmouth Market known for its coffee and brunches from down under. Grain Store, on the other hand, offers a superb combination of the powerhouse behind Zetter Townhouse and the cocktail selection by Tony Conigliaro - its excellent service adds icing to the cake.

Central St Martins College of Arts and Design
Don't let heat get to you, enjoy a splash

With summer upon us, Granary Square's water sprouts adorning the front yard of St Martins College is a joy to kids and parents alike. Deckchairs are freely available and there is even a small strip of shade provided by two rows of trees neatly arranged on the side with chairs and tables provided below. If you are looking for changing room facilities, just pop into Caravan's toilet. The staff are more than happy to let you in if you were to get a takeaway coffee.

Central St Martins College of Arts and Design
Champagne by the canal, anyone? 

The sides of the canal in the area has been cleaned up as well. Artificial green tuft now covered the large steps cut into the sides, not only providing some seating space by the canal but also adds some much needed colour to the immediate surroundings.

When I was there on a windy weekend, scores of kids were out and about, running across the water feature, splashing water as they go. Needless to say, I joined in.

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