15 August 2012

The Caffeine Chronicles: Caravan Review

Just a fortnight ago, I was excited about the opening of Brewhouse on York--the first decent espresso bar in King's Cross. Now there are two places to get a great macchiato in N1 without having to go to Islington because Caravan's King's Cross branch opened last weekend. At this rate, Costa et al. will be ousted in no time. Well, maybe not, but long may this trend continue!

I've been to the original Caravan in Exmouth Market a few times, but although the menu has always looked very tempting, I've never eaten there. Their espresso is very good, though, even if it can take time to flag down a member of staff to server you a take-out coffee. The new branch is on Granary Square, next to the art students and across the canal from eat.st (round the back of King's Cross station, for non-locals). It's a shame that they aren't using any of the outdoor space in the square at the moment, but the inside is light and airy with plenty of sunlight streaming in. Caravan specialises in casual, creative all-day dining and I'm going to have trouble deciding what to order first from the general and brunch menus (fried chicken and waffles with verjus syrup, perhaps?).

L: Brewin' up at Caravan King's Cross. R: roasting kit (top), the restaurant (bottom)

Today, though, I only had time to grab a coffee to go, so I ordered my usual double macchiato. The coffee counter is at the back of the restaurant, next to the large pieces of roasting kit, because they roast their own coffee--three to four times per week, they tell me--and large sacks, which may be full of coffee or may just be for show because the building used to be a granary, don't you know? I took my coffee out to the square and sat soaking up some sunshine and dipping my toes in the dancing fountains. I enjoyed my macchiato--the espresso tasted rich and very smooth, and it came with my preferred amount of milk (i.e. not much).

Double macchiato at Caravan

It's good to know that there are now two purveyors of fine espresso within five minutes' walk of my desk at work, and Caravan also sells bags of beans and/or ground coffee. This could be handy because although I prefer to get my beans from Prufrock, it's a 20-minute walk and I don't always have time. Of course, the yummy-sounding food on Caravan's menu means I will probably be going back long before I run out of ground coffee!

Caravan. 1 Granary Square, London, N1C 4AA (Tube: King's Cross). Website. Twitter.

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