This November, D&D London, the operator behind highly acclaimed Le Pont de la Tour, Coq d’Argent, Bluebird and Skylon, will open a new dining destination in King’s Cross, in the German Gymnasium, the newly renovated, Grade II-Listed former gymnasium in King’s Cross.
The new 447-cover venue will be made up of several dining areas, including one of King’s Cross’ largest al fresco terraces, a patisserie counter, an all-day grand café serving breakfast through to dinner, a first-floor restaurant and the Meister Bar.
The building, which was originally designed by London-born architect Edward Gruning in 1865, was the first purpose-built gym in England. Incredibly influential in the development of athletics in Britain, the German Gymnasium hosted the first-ever indoor events of the 1866 Olympic Games.
The interior of the building has been designed by Conran and Partners, working with the remaining original features to create a space that highlights the heritage of this London landmark. The décor will be a contemporary take on the grand cafes and brasseries of Central Europe. Influenced by the building’s original purpose, playful gymnasium details will filter through the overall design. Gold mesh screens inspired by Victorian detailing and fencing masks will feature, while original fixtures such as climbing hooks will be retained in the ceiling of the awe-inspiring triple-height space.
As well as experienced chefs and expert sommeliers, General Manager Sam Bernard, currently at D&D London’s Skylon, will oversee the German Gymnasium as a whole.
Speaking about the new venture David Loewi, Managing Director of D&D London, said:
“While developing the food and drink concepts, we have respected the history of the site. Germany is well established for its wine yet its cuisine is often underrepresented in London. We aim to help change this and Bjoern’s menus will feature some delicious dishes from Germany and its surrounding countries.”
Adding to this, Des Gunewardena, Chairman and CEO of D&D London said:
“We’ve watched and admired King’s Cross coming to life in recent years and are so excited to finally becoming part of it this November. When I first saw the German Gymnasium building stripped out, revealing the interior with its 57 ft floor-to-ceiling heights, I had the same spine tingling feeling I had when I first saw Quaglino’s as a hole in the ground 25 years ago. We love this building and its history. It deserves an exciting life in the 21st century and we are going to do our best to give it that”.