London's Cultural Guide

The Lighterman to run a 10-day festive pop-up

2016's first big new restaurant opening launches Christmas Under The Canopy next month

You've probably seen it spring up by the water: the Lighterman. Photo: SE
You’ve probably seen it spring up by the water: the Lighterman. Photo: SE

It may just be the most anticipated new arrival in King’s Cross. After all, anyone who lives, works or eats in the area will have seen its lengthy and painstaking construction all year right between Granary Square and the Regent’s canal.

The good news is that the Lighterman finally opens in February and will offer all-day drinking and dining across three pretty spacious-sounding floors, with outside seating overlooking both canal and square. Nice.

The intriguing name comes from Victorian workers who operated ‘lighters’ (flat-bottomed goods barges) on the Thames and canals around London. The contemporary building is designed by award-winning architects, Stanton Williams, and each floor has plenty of industrial and minimalist touches, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, exposed concrete walls and a neutral, pared-back vibe.

Lighterman will open off the eastern side of Granary Square. Photo: PR
Lighterman will open off the eastern side of Granary Square. Photo: PR

Upfront of its launch, meanwhile, the Lighterman is unleashing a festive bash in an attempt to woo both locals and Londoners alike.


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Christmas Under the Canopy takes place adjacent to the upcoming site, with the West Handyside Canopy transformed into what they’re calling a “winter wonderland” with seasonal food stalls, carol singing and a fir tree forest you’ll be able to wander right through (in aid of the charity, Farms for City Children).

Seasonal street food from the Lighterman’s team (headed up by chef Diego Cardoso, who launched their first restaurant and bar, Percy & Founders, in Fitzrovia) will include venison burgers and porchetta baps (both £7), roasted chestnuts (£3), mince pies (£2) and sticky donuts from St John (£3). Or simply booze it up with mulled wine, prosecco and the usual craft beer, wine and soft drinks.

Worth barging in? Naturally. Ho ho ho.

Christmas Under the Canopy will be open on weekdays from 12pm to 9pm, and on weekends from 10am to 9pm, from Thursday 3rd to Sunday 13th December. West Handyside Canopy (Between Central St Martins & Waitrose) N1C

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