Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Exploring new café Drink, Shop & Do - just sprouted in the heart of Kings Cross

Guess what we found tucked away between a rip-off hair salon and a bad novelty mug shop? A bright, huge, quiet hideaway called quite aptly and unpretentiously Drink, Shop & Do where you can have a variety of teas and coffees - and a beer too if you want - buy anything in sight, and do pretty much whatever you like, knit, scrabble, read, write, bring your own Lego and build a spaceship, hold an event, have a party, et cetera.

Working in King's Cross I am very aware that the area is developing into something quite pretty, the new glow-sticks coloured path over the canal, Kings Place, the new college of fashion... a lot is happening round here but with all the Costa, Nando's and McDos it's really good to know there is also a quiet, bright place to just ... relax - a word only recently discovered by the King's Cross community.

So we decided to make drink, Shop & Do our next pilgrimage destination to see whether we should recommend it to our Nutshell readers or warn them to stay away. The result is a big thumbs up and a wee chat with the hostesses, Kristie & Coralie.

Pilgrim: Drink, Shop & Do is the result of a pop up shop experiment, right? Pop up shops are terribly modern and exciting and give small businesses a chance to make a name for themselves, tell us about your experience.

Kristie & Coralie: The pop-up shop was more a result of the business plan, it gave us a chance to test our idea, see if it worked, see if people liked it, see if we could do it and see if we liked doing it!It then gave us some proof and figures to help us make it a reality.

P: Kings cross used to be fairly bare and dodgy but now it’s being completely renovated, new businesses pop up at every corner but they tend to be chains like Costa and Nando’s. It’s good to have a cute, independent hideaway to go and have coffee but we wonder: why here and, most importantly, how did you get that spot? the space is enormous and really grand, did you have to physically fight Pizza Express to secure it?

C&K: We already knew the space when we planned the business. Coralie used to work at a gallery and had used the space for a one month show so we knew it was sitting empty. About 5 minutes after having the idea we knew the space was perfect for it. We did almost come to fisticuffs with an Indian restaurant but luckily the landlord likes having interesting businesses in his properties.

P: With the yarns, fabrics, teacups and comfy cushions crowding your shelves and tables D,S&D looks like the place where people could just come and knit a jumper over a coffee, or read a book over a cocktail, or just have endless catch ups with friends over a pot of tea. Other café owners get annoyed if the time to money ratio is askew and constantly nag customers to have another drink or leave, what is your policy on ‘stayers’?

C&K: Hum... being brand new we're flattered that people like us enough to want to spend all afternoon here. We're friendly kind of people and so far we have attracted nice people who have wanted to support us so haven't taken advantage.

P: D,S&D is fairly new but you’re already mixing the ingredients for some tasty courses and events. What’s cooking? Will you have any literary events? Poetry and knitting go hand in hand these days, just think of the Poetry Society’s knitted poem.

C&K: A couple of people have asked about literary events and we'd love to hold one, we just need to find the right person to run one. Ideas on a postcard to needs a good name and a one line explanation and preferably a nice person to run it.

P: You have many items on sale, a lot of them handmade, many vintage. How do you choose what to sell?

C&K: We sell all things we love and we would like to buy!

P: Finally, what’s D,S&D’s favourite book?

C&K: Reader's Digest Cookery, Year 1973.

P: Thank you.

C&K: No, thank you!

Aw.... such lovely people. Make sure you pop round and have an ice cream when you're next in the area!

9 Caledonian Road
Kings Cross

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