Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

London’s German Gymnasium: the Most Beautiful Restaurant in the World

SEEN loves beautiful restaurants, and German Gymnasium is at the top of our must-be-seen list. It’s not only us who think it’s a stunning place; it has just been crowned as the Best Overall Restaurant by the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards. Located right in the heart of vibrant King’s Cross close to King's Cross, St Pancras, and its exit to Regent’s Canal, it occupies a Grade II listed Victorian building that was built for the German Gymnastics’ Society in 1865.

SEEN loves beautiful restaurants, and German Gymnasium is at the top of our must-be-seen list. It’s not only us who think it’s a stunning place; it has just been crowned as the Best Overall Restaurant by the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards. Located right in the heart of vibrant King’s Cross close to King’s Cross, St Pancras, and its exit to Regent’s Canal, it occupies a Grade II listed Victorian building that was built for the German Gymnastics’ Society in 1865.

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Designed by architect Edward Gruning some 150 years ago, the building has served many purposes. Originally, it was the first dedicated gymnasium in England and hosted the indoor Olympic Games in 1866. It was later used for offices, storage, and an arts exhibition space before it became a modern, all day Grand Café and bar serving Mittel-European cuisine in the most beautiful surroundings, a year ago.

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Conran and Partners were commissioned to transform the historic building into a unique restaurant. Working closely with landlord Argent’s base build team and their architects Allies and Morrison, they managed to preserve the building’s core structure and built an outstanding dining space: a Bauhaus version of a European Grand Café. They reinstated the first floor ‘viewing’ gallery (previously converted in the 90’s for office space) to allow for the impressive views of the roof structure, constructed from laminated wood trusses with cast iron fillets. The roof is an important early example of the use of laminated timber to give broad spans.

Paul Winch-Furness / Photographer

Many of the building’s historic details (the climbing hooks in the ceiling, and cast steel columns), have been maintained, setting the tone for the choice of materials, colours and textures for the interior. Warm, walnut timber panelling and black and grey distressed leather upholstery have been juxtaposed with fresh, contemporary insertions, such as the occasional pink and red tone, to add depth and visual interest.

seenlondon_Paul Winch-Furness / Photographer

The Restaurant & Bar Design Awards, now in its 8th year, is the only international competition dedicated to the design of food and beverage spaces. Candidates include every imaginable space, from ships to airports, museums to burger vans, and from Michelin-starred establishments to pop-ups.

seenlondon_Paul Winch-Furness / Photographer

This year, in the course of a ceremony held at the Old Truman Brewery in London, on 29th September 2016, the Best Overall Winners award was given to German Gymnasium, along with Blue Wave (Barcelona, Spain). This is the second London restaurant that to receive mention, after Galvin La Chapelle. Last year, Dandelyan Bar, designed by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio, was awarded the Best Overall Bar.

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Not so long ago, the thought of dining out at the back of Kings Cross was anathema. Yet it is all change now with German Gymnasium. High ceilings, open spaces, a mezzanine floor and vast heated terraces are the perfect London setting for German Gymnasium’s Mittel-European dishes, served all day long; old-world glamour with modern sensibilities.

www.germangymnasium.com

German Gymnasium
King’s Blvd
London N1C 4BU

Seen this week

Categories DesignPosted on

Sculpture in the City, Art for Everyone

SEEN thoroughly enjoyed a preview of the 18 new artworks around the financial district’s square mile. Set up by The City of London in 2010, this excellent initiative expands its footprint every year, improving the area and proving that when people are happy, they work better.

Categories ArtPosted on

Alex Evans at the Foundry Gallery, Chelsea Quarter: LDF17

The astute reader will have noticed that SEEN loves art about London. There are many artists in this city who draw (pun intended) their inspiration from it, none more so than Alex Evans whose fractal renderings hint at the entropic nature of urban life and perhaps also our anxieties and isolation in the 21st century. His latest exhibition ‘Invisible Systems’ can be seen at the Foundry Gallery, tucked away off the King’s Road until 26th October.