I’m sure like many Londoners I’m more excited about the sudden return of summer, rather than the start of the Olympics at the end of this week.
I can already feel myself silently judging the increase of tourists on the tube and their strange ways. Never stranger than when they start asking for directions and talking to people they have never met before on the tube. People talking to each other on the tube? WHAT?!
But in a bid to avoid the newly mass crowds surrounding Oxford Circus, Leicester Square and pretty much anywhere Central… I have been sticking to hidden gems that only the in-the-know Londoners know about.
That’s why when my best friend told me about a secret, practically empty, pop-up bar and restaurant next to Regent’s Canal in an ex-petrol station, I insisted that we had to go that very night.
Shrimpy’s is a restaurant that I will probably never afford to go to. It’s (surprisingly!) a seafood restaurant, where the waiters dress in lab coats and ties and take your orders on iPads. The clientele is Guardian editors, celebrities and fashionistas.
So far so bad for students. But the outdoor area has a bar (KXFS) which is surprisingly very cheap and affordable. They serve beers, ciders, wines, prosecco and my absolute favourite, margarita slushies. Prosecco is £4 and a margarita slushy is £5.
The best thing about this place is definitely the atmosphere. It’s in an ex-petrol station, “The Filling Station” which glows in big green neon letters above you, and the whole exterior has a very metallic garage feel. You really feel like you’ve traveled back in time to the 80s. Seating is along Regent’s Park canal, overlooking a duck formed of plastic rubbish. They play a mix of electro chill wave pop music, like Washed Out and Chairlift.
Should you feel peckish, the bar serves stone oven baked pizzas. But something to remember about the bar is that they only take credit card and not cash. This struck me as weird as I am so used to hearing card minimums in London and places that will only accept cash.
Whilst it’s still relatively empty, KXFS is a great place to go for a drink outdoors. With such a fashionable, young crowd attracted, it’s a great place to people watch. I have already seen one celebrity there, Will from the Inbetweeners, and having been twice this week already, I’m hoping on my next visit to see some more!
King’s Cross Filling Station, Good’s Way, London, N1C 4UR. Nearest tube: King’s Cross.