German Gymnasium Opens

By a woman smiling holding a drink in black and white Emily Gray |
12th November 2015

We all know that dilemma, do you go to the gym or do you join your friends and go out? Well now you can do both at once. Well sort of. You can eat in a gym, well an old gym. Hey if you can convince yourself that you are going to the gym then we aren’t going to judge you. Said restaurant is opening in the German Gymnasium, built in 1865 it was Britain’s first purpose-built gym and even hosted the first ever indoor events of the 1866 Olympic Games.

Now it is reopening as a 447-cover complex which includes a Grand café, outdoor terrace, restaurant, bar and private dining rooms. German born Executive Chef Bjoern Wassmuth (formerly kitchen directory at Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Hamburg) has created a menu that will feature classic Mittel-European dishes in recognition of the site’s German heritage. The dining areas will include one of Kings Cross’ largest terraces, a patisserie counter, an all-day grand cafe which will be open from breakfast through to dinner, a first-floor restaurant and also the Meister Bar, which will be playing Berlin beats until 1 am. This might be the first time you’re eager to go to the gym every day.

If you’re dining in the Grand Café then expect to find dishes such as calves liver ‘Berliner Art’, beef goulash, veal schnitzel, schupfnudeln and wild mushrooms and different wursts. At 4pm daily the grand cafe will chime a bell to start the tradition that is Kaffee and Kuchen or as we might say coffee and cake. They’ll be apple strudels, sachertorte and speciality coffees such as Black Forest Coffee with kirscher and whipped cream – which is something we can definitely get on board with. In the restaurant you’ll find chopped steak tartare, truffled beef broth with liver dumplings and foie gras terrine.

Conran and Partners are overseeing the design of the interior, they’ll be working with the building’s key original features so that the heritage of the building is not lost, it’ll be a contemporary take on the grand cafes and brasseries of Central Europe. Gold mesh screens inspired by Victorian detailing, fencing masks and original climbing hooks will feature throughout. The grand main kitchen will be rendered in black and will be visible to Londoners walking outside, above it sits a separate kitchen which will serve the upper dining area and will have a dramatic, double-height mirrored glass facade.

We’re going to put it out there – this sounds like the best gym in London.

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