On 12th November, D&D London is to open German Gymnasium within the newly renovated Grade II listed former gymnasium between King’s Cross station and St Pancras International. Designed by architect Edward Gruning in 1864-5, this was the first purpose built gym in England and home to the first-ever indoor Olympic Games in 1866. 150 years later the historic establishment is reopening with a brand new complex, comprising one of King’s Cross’ largest al fresco terraces, a patisserie counter, an all-day Grand Café serving breakfast through to dinner, a restaurant and the Meister Bar.
German-born Executive Chef, Bjoern Wassmuth has created menus featuring some classic Mittel-European dishes as a nod to the site’s German heritage. The new interiors, designed by Conran & Partners, feature an awe inspiring triple height ceiling and contain a beautiful blend of restored original features and modern interpretations, such as the gold mesh screens inspired by Victorian detailing and fencing masks.
The finest Mittel - European cuisine is available for lunch and dinner in the first floor restaurant, where guests can experience impressive views of all dining areas and admire the breathtaking roof structure. Starters include lamb‘s lettuce with crisp bacon, pumpkin seeds and potato dressing and truffled beef broth with liver dumplings and shaved black truffle. Main courses range from seared scallops and mettwurst with Granny Smith, pistachio, butternut squash and saffron potato and schupfnudeln and wild mushrooms with celeriac, butter sauce and fresh winter truffle, to heartier meals such as veal schnitzel with warm potato salad and lingonberry compote.
The ground floor Grand Café, suffused with natural light which creates bold silhouettes from the buildings cast steel columns and Victorian archways, will serve an all-day dining modern European menu, including German classics and a comprehensive grill selection. Signature dishes include beef goulash soup with bell peppers, sour cream and paprika and pickled Bismarck herring with onion, apple and Vollkornbrot. There is also a choice of German sausages such as Nürnberger Rostbratwurst or smoked Schinkenknacker, served with sauerkraut and potato purée or pommes frites; and sharing dishes such as roasted Creedy Carver free range duck from Devon served with braised red cabbage, dumplings and orange sauce.
The Grand Café is set to become a favourite spot for both leisurely weekend brunches and quick healthy breakfasts, with dishes including Chia pots with coconut and almond milk, vanilla, pomegranate and lemon balm as well as a selection of energising smoothies. The patisserie counter showcases freshly baked breads and pastries including sour cherry and pistachio buns or Berlin Doughnuts with jam, all available to take away. Further breakfast treats include the potato rösti with fried eggs and The GG Breakfast, a full English with a German twist. When the bespoke Smiths of Derby clock strikes 4 p.m., a chime will sound signalling the beginning of the quintessentially German tradition of Kaffee und Kuchen. Guests are offered cakes and pastries from the patisserie display, such as apple strudel with vanilla sauce; Sachertorte with Chantilly cream and twice baked cheesecake with blueberries.
Head Sommelier, Virgile Degrez, has curated a list that will take wine lovers on a virtual tasting tour along the Danube vineyards showcasing niche German, Austrian and Hungarian labels as well as a selection of bottles from Eastern Europe.
Fred Tartas is managing the Meister bar and has designed an innovative cocktail menu, including the multi-sensory concept, Le Whaf, a special carafe that vaporises cocktails turning them into dramatic, low-calorie clouds. Signature cocktails include Eistee with Ardbeg 10yo, Granny Smith, green tea, gomme syrup, dried apple and lemon, served in a coupette glass with a mint mist. Diners can also enjoy sophisticated sounds from some of London’s best DJs playing from 9pm until 1am every Thursday- Saturday in the glamorous Meister Bar.
German Gymnasium is an exciting addition to King’s Cross’ thriving community and is set to become a dining and drinking destination for London foodies, King’s Cross locals and international commuters alike.
German Gymnasium, 1 Kings Boulevard, Kings Cross, London N1C 4BU
D&D London twitter: @DandDLondon