When I first moved out of halls of residence, I found a little flat on King’s Cross Road which I shared with a lovely Greek girl called Elpida. We paid our rent by cheque to the Italian man in the shop below, who owned the flats above (or at least it appeared so – I did have to leave the “name” line blank on the cheque, which didn’t strike me as peculiar at the time but now seems pretty dodgy to me). Our bedrooms were divided by just a curtain, and a little old man called Giuseppe would clean our windows from time to time. We’d plan dinnertime around the next instalment of “10 Years Younger” and “How Clean Is Your House?”, and Elpida would make kleftiko. It was a happy time.
I feel like such an oldster saying this, but King’s Cross was very different then, almost a decade ago. There wasn’t much past the Tesco on Caledonian Road – in fact, I don’t think we ever dared to venture further. The facade to the station was a monstrous green accolade to 70s design, and St Pancras was still closed. The canal was a place for vagrants, not 19 year old girls.
But, oh how it’s changed!
When I met the lovely Ron for brunch last weekend, I searched for Dishoom King’s Cross on Google maps and was totally confused by where it was taking me. But a short walk past the new part of the station, over the canal, and before you know it, you’re at the new Central Saint Martins – and it is gorgeous. Canal boats parked on the side of the water selling second-hand books, the swish sound of a huge water fountain, people eating outside in the sunshine (despite the freezing temperature)…King’s Cross has gone upmarket!
The Texan came to meet me after brunch (I recommend the kejriwal by the way). With the sunshine beaming down on us, it would have been rude not to take some photos – so we did.