The mighty new 29,000 square foot Waitrose store, right in the centre of 67 acres of new buildings at King’s Cross, opened last night in the restored Grade II-listed Midland Goods Shed.
We popped down to check it out. Mahoosive retail space with more choices than a frazzled human could ever be expected to make? Tick. Smart cookery school? Tick. Tempting in-store bakery? Tick. Nice cafe? Tick.
But wine bar? Oh, go on then. Sure, the chain has been known to put a tasting area in some of their posher stores, but this one really takes the organic oatcake.Through exposed brick arches, high bar stools line a slightly-too-brightly lit counter, behind which half a dozen sommeliers and chefs buzz about preparing tapas and on-trend sharing plates. Prices per glass at £3.25 upwards are pretty competitive – and mostly a darn sight cheaper than the many upscale bars that surround the store, like Caravan, Drake & Morgan and Vinoteca.
And, should you need a blast of fresh air, doors open out onto a secluded courtyard area, where you can marinate alfresco with a glass of Picpoul – and perhaps forget why you actually came here at all (hint: to do the groceries.)
So will you be getting squiffy before you hit the aisles? Or afterwards, slumping with half a dozen bulging bags-for-life as the fishfingers start their inexorable defrost?
Whatever: with draft Camden Brewery beers on tap as well, at the very least you can fill up your growler on your way out.