Test Driving the Lighterman - a bespoke bar and restaurant for King's Cross

Test Driving the Lighterman - a bespoke bar and restaurant for King's CrossThe upstairs restaurant

What can you tell us about the Lighterman?

It's the latest place from the people behind Percy & Founders. Their new Granary Square spot is a three level affair that's a downstairs bar and upstairs restaurant, as well as having a LOT of alfresco space.

Where is it?

They've been in the enviable position of creating a purpose-built building right on Granary Square. It's unmissable as the new standalone
building on the east of the square - barely a five minute walk from King's Cross station.

Who's it good for?

The place has been pretty heaving ever since it opened, so the locals are already lapping it up. But we'd say it's a great space to meet anyone
locally for a drink and upstairs was a mix of parties (they can put a lot of tables together to fit large groups), business diners and more.

Where should you go for a drink before?

There's an ever-growing number of choices in the area. Our main recommendations would be The Parcel Yard for beer, Vinoteca for wine or Grain Store for cocktails. And of course, there's a huge space at the Lighterman itself.

And where should you sit?

If you're just in for a quick snack, then grab a table downstairs which is all for walk-ins. But if you're there mainly for the food, then book
a space in the upstairs restaurant. Prime tables are the nicely spaced out ones on the balcony (weather permitting).

lighterman main2The braised lamb shank, champ & mint salsa

What about the food?

The food itself is brasserie fare - and of that, we particularly enjoyed:

  • Crispy squid, chilli & lime (£7.50) - we had this on a previous trip to the Lighterman. A perfect bar snack with crunchy not chewy squid
  • Cured trout, spiced mayo, cucumber & spring onion (£7.50) - a top dish and a generous portion too
  • The VERY large braised lamb shank, champ & mint salsa (£16) - a behemoth of a dish
  • And the cream cheese and white chocolate mousse with strawberries, honeycomb & lime (£6) - yes it's essentially a deconstructed cheesecake, but a good one at that.

We'd also easily recommend the flatbread as a quick snack or extra course if you have space.

Our one regret was the main course of lamb chops, which was notably on the ungenerous side, particuarly when compared to the other dishes we'd ordered.

07 lightermanCream cheese and white chocolate mousse with strawberries, honeycomb and lime

And drinks?

As the downstairs area is mainly a bar space, there's a good range of beer on offer and bottles of wine start around the £20 mark. But they're also paying attention to the growing business community at King's Cross courtesy of their push-the-boat-out section, with a few wines hovering around the £100 mark.


It's clear from the crowds of people there that the Lighterman is an instant success in King's Cross. By building it from scratch they've created a light and airy building with an enviable amount of alfresco space. It's well worth popping into if you're in the area.

The Lighterman is at 3 Granary Square, London, N1C 4BH. Find out more about The Lighterman

Hot Dinners were invited to the Lighterman. Prices are correct at the time of writing.