In pictures: Caravan’s new local roastery Brewbar

As the acclaimed coffee connoisseurs open a drop-in café in their lush HQ, we take a look at what they are brewing (and baking) on a historic local site

Caravan Coffee Roasters began life over a decade ago, roasting beans in the basement of their very first restaurant, on the corner of Exmouth Market. The operation then moved to the former Granary Building in the heart of what was then the all redevelopment of King’s Cross. Four years ago, they took over Lambworks, a large former glass factory up on North Road.

The building’s name is associated with the huge Metropolitan Cattle Market (now Caledonian Park) that lies behind it, where from the 1850s through to the start of the Second World War, 35,000 sheep, 7,000 cattle and many more pigs and assorted other livestock were kept in a vast complex of pens, waiting to be sold. They would have arrived in the capital by train into King’s Cross and herded here up the length of York Way.

Lambworks is adjacent to the Lamb Tavern, one of four identical historic pubs, once situated on each corner of the Market. They would serve the huge crowds that were drawn to the livestock sales three days a week, and later the ‘Cally Market’, a famous flea market sell a cornucopia of bric-a-brac on all the other days. You can see Lambworks to the far left of the Grade II-listed pub, which has sadly been empty since 2014, in this picture from the 1960s. 

Whether sheep were once housed in the Lambworks building is unknown, but it remains very much an industrial space today, as green beans are roasted dark, breads are proven and pastries baked. Coffee-making training sessions and tastings also take place in a dedicated facility, which does feel a world away from the inevitable aromas of the livestock pens one hundred-odd years ago.

The opening of the new Brewbar allows the public to see the roasting process in action via a vast panoramic window. You can also find out more about Caravan’s ethical sourcing of beans and the environmental credentials of their production process, including new biodegradable coffee bags, plus pick up some very tasteful merch, all while sampling a strong mug of the black stuff. As you’ll probably know, it’s damn good.

The Brewbar is also the spot for a range of breads and other baked goods, all made freshly on site. There’s the traditional sweet temptation items like their exclusive banana, caramel and coconut croissant, alongside a range of unexpected savoury buns too. We tried the curried lentil with fried curry leaves and ghee this week, and will be back to work through others, including a chorizo, cumin and mashed greens, and the anchovy, caramelised onion and rosemary. It’s a great destination for a little reward after a brisk morning stroll.

Caravan Coffee Roasters Brewbar is open daily at Lambworks, North Rd, N7 9DP

See caravancoffeeroasters.co.uk for more and @caravanroastery on Insta

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