Coal Drops Yard | London’s newest shopping arcade
Coal Drops Yard (CDY) is an industrial chic shopping quarter just behind King’s Cross. It opened last October, so if you’re visiting London this holiday season, stop by this interesting area where you can enjoy art, commerce, culture and architecture. Much of the Victorian industrial architecture in this area has survived. Today, reimagined, all shops and eateries offer an experience, no mass supply and lots of interaction through workshops, blurring and concept stores. It’s located right behind King’s Cross where you arrive if you travel by train from the mainland of Europe. We visited the area in the beginning of November, on a typical London day, with grey clouds and some rain but we can highly recommend the area! Just walk or bike around the wall, which resembles the Highline trail in New York a bit, enjoy the space, check out the boutiques. We visited it just before boarding the train and had a great lunch at one of the eateries, Barrafina. We can highly recommend their delicious Presa Ibérica 5J, Ajo Blanco.
Coal Drops Yard | A rich history
The Coal Drops Yard shopping district is just the latest chapter in the colourful history of these unusual buildings. Until the early 1800s, goods were mainly transported to London by sea and inland waterways. The coming of the railways changed everything, until then, the journey to London from the north took weeks by canal, by rail mere hours. King’s Cross became the hub for anything and everything; potatoes, furniture, tobacco, timber and even whale carcasses! Whatever London required, it arrived at King’s Cross. The most vital of these goods was coal. Victorian London was a city powered by coal, and Coal Drops Yard was its coal store. By the 1870s, a more advanced system for offloading coal was developed across the canal. The coal trade shifted there, and from the late 1800s, major areas of the coal drops were converted to warehousing.
Built on innovation and creativity, Coal Drops Yard has always been in motion and in flux. Once the marshalling yards of the industrial revolution, these Victorian brick viaducts have served as film sets, been home to counter-culture artists, and for a decade, hosted some of London’s biggest rave parties. Now the 27 hectares with the 2 long Victorian brick and cast-iron sheds and the cobblestone yard with the two ‘kissing’ roofs, are an ambitious shopping arcade. Designed by Thomas Heaterwick. We can imagine that with the big cobblestone yard it’s a great place to get together at summer days!
Coal Drops Yard | Eateries and shops
Some of the eateries at Coal Drops Yard: a Vermuteria, Bodega Rita’s (a global deli), Casa Pastor (a Taqueria) and Barrafina. Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse, where you can buy truly unique chocolate. And also Coal Office at which Chef Assaf Granit and British Designer Tom Dixon celebrate their food and design playground, rich in material, style and flavour. Contemporary, inventive Middle Eastern cuisine with ingredients and family style sharing plates largely influenced by Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Jerusalem traditions. Further boutique shops like for example the one from designer Paul Smith, Tom Dixon, American Vintage, Caravane, Aesop, Cos and many more.
Website: Coal Drops Yard