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Restaurant review: Plum and Spilt Milk, London

Anisha Patel
05 December 2016

With striking interiors and a carefully crafted menu, this classy British dining room set in King’s Cross station is putting brunch back on the right track, says Anisha Patel

THE LOWDOWN:
If your pre-train routine involves popping into Pret for a sandwich or waiting in line at Wasabi for sushi to go, a visit to King’s Cross’ Plum and Spilt Milk will feel like an instant upgrade to First Class.

Housed on the upper floor of the Grade II-listed Great Northern Hotel, it’s hard not to be instantly impressed by the spacious dining room, which benefits from all of the hallmarks of Victorian architecture – think elegant, high ceilings, and glorious floor-to-ceiling, twin sash windows that look out onto the station piazza. The interiors design touches are just as decadent, with wood panelling, curved tan leather banquettes, hand-blown glass light pendants, and black marble-topped tables with lavish gold trimmings.

With no train journey on the cards, we’re here to sample the Saturday Champagne brunch. Chef director Mark Sergeant (a former Gordon Ramsey protégé) has applied the same ethos from the restaurant’s main menu – modern British cuisine made with high-quality seasonal – and created a thoughtful and unfussy selection of brunch staples with subtle hints of extravagance.

There are eggs Benedict and a full English (with Clarence Court eggs, Paddock Farm sausage and Stornoway black pudding to name but a few of its ingredients) for brunch purists – as well as twists on classics (hello, Dorset lobster Benedict) – while those with more adventurous palates might be tempted by Macsween’s haggis with fried duck egg. Avocado-on-toast lovers can have their favourite dish two ways – with tomato and chilli on granary bread or with Dartmouth crab on toasted sourdough – or if you need to satisfy a sweet craving, the brioche eggy bread with banana, pecans and salted caramel is an instant pleaser.

Inspired by the old-school New York glamour of the décor, we opt for the Mey Selections’ Angus hambuger – a juicy patty that you know on first bite is made from quality beef, topped with smoked bacon and cheddar in a buttery brioche bun – served with crispy, golden French fries and a smoke tomato relish.

Our waiters are attentive throughout, topping up our flutes with the bottle of Billecart-Salmon Champagne that accompanies the brunch – though you can order Bloody Marys, Bucks Fizz, Bellinis or a Breakfast Martini for £8.50 per pop. And why not? With surroundings as elegant as this, it’s the perfect place to while away an afternoon.

THE GOOD:
The grand, romantic atmosphere. Even if you’re not about to set off on a rail adventure across the country or channel, you’ll still feel that infectious buzz of excitement of embarking on a trip.

In an age where bottomless boozy brunches are the norm – and therefore have the power to attract large, sometimes rowdy groups – there’s a distinct air of sophistication here.

Staff are extremely courteous and attentive.

THE NOT-SO-GOOD:
It’s difficult to find fault – except that the brunch isn’t available on Sundays too.

THE VERDICT:
A no-gimmick Champagne brunch with class, style and substance.

BOOK IT:
The Champagne brunch is available every Saturday from 11am to 3pm (£65 for two people including one dish per person, a bottle of Champagne, and a coffee per person). Plum and Spilt Milk, Great Northern Hotel, King’s Cross, N1 (+44(0) 203 388 0818, plumandspiltmilk.com)