I ended up in Drink Shop & Do - a cool concept cafe near Kings Cross - after an extremely unsuccesful trip to the Kings Cross ice-cream festival (it was raining, half the stands were closed, and they ran out of ice-cream just before we arrived. NIGHTMARE!). Ice-cream hopes dashed,we decided to find somewhere out of the rain for a cup of tea and a bite to eat. My friend suggested Drink, Shop & Do.
What do you call an ice-cream festival with no ice-cream...?
A mere 2 minutes walk from Kings Cross, Drink, Shop & Do is an awesome combo of cafe, shop, arts & crafts studio and performance venue (we were kicked out at 7.30pm for a comedy show). And if you're looking for something a bit more 'grown-up', you can head downstairs (through a door ominously marked "adult & erotica") to Drink, Shop & Dance for music and dancing.
Tasty cakes :)
Upon entering, we passed through the small shop in the front (selling whimsical gifts and a tempting selection of pic n' mix) and up a flight of steps to the light, airy cafe. Cheerily decorated with a brightly painted bar, mismatched chairs, and a swarm of colourful kites and streamers hanging from the ceiling, this had a fun, arty vibe - a great spot for whiling away an afternoon, drinking tea and maybe playing a game of Scrabble or two (they have a decent collection of board games for customers to borrow).
Through an archway on the back wall, we found a snug side-room: dimly lit and draped in jewel-toned silks, it was a bit more cosy than the main room (although no less kitsch!). We settled down for a brew and a good catch-up.
The menu is extremely wide-ranging, offering everything from breakfast to bar snacks. You can even order a tea cupful of sweets! There's plenty of typical cafe fare (soups, quiche, salads, sandwiches), a good selection of cakes, and a choice of four different afternoon teas - including the tongue-in-cheek "man's afternoon tea" featuring pork pies, scotch eggs, and (of course) a Yorkie, and the more sophisticated "royal afternoon tea" (which comes with a glass of Perrier Jouet champagne).
There's also a very comprehensive selection of teas, some interesting cocktails, and even a decent wine list. Basically, Drink, Shop & Do has it all.
On this occasion, I opted for a late lunch of quiche and salad, which was excellent (and at only £6.80, fairly good value for what was a pretty filling meal). One of my friends went for the lemon drizzle cake (dense, moist, tasty), while the other ordered a plate of cheese and pickle finger sandwiches. Served on gleaming white bread, cut into eight mini triangles with the crusts sliced off, this was a very party-food-esque snack. In fact the whole place feels a bit like a kid's birthday party (in a good, colourful, pass-the-parcel, jelly-and-ice-cream kind of way).
As well as food and drink, Drink, Shop & Do also have a menu of 'dos': from clay sculpting and knitting, to 50s pin-up makeover sessions, these would be great for hen parties, birthdays, or corporate events.
With so much on offer, Drink, Shop & Do is definitely one of the best 'all-round' venues I've come across in London. It's nice to find somewhere with so much character this close to Kings Cross - with all the activities, it would be a perfect place to spend a couple of hours if your train is delayed (a bit more exciting than playing Angry Birds on your phone in Starbucks!)