In a setting that’s practically part of the railway station, this first-floor King’s Cross dining room is a remarkable ‘oasis’ – it offers a very pleasant setting in which to enjoy British staples which, even if they have no great ambition, are realised with impressive consistency.
One of the least likely restaurants we’ve encountered in recent times, Plum + Spilt Milk is located on the first floor of a refurbished hotel, adjacent to King’s Cross Station. The hotel itself is equally rather a surprise – the entrance barely proclaims that this is a hotel at all, and is so inconspicuous you could very easily miss it. (It’s the one behind the line of standing taxis.)
The interior is a series of interesting and intimate spaces, configured – and decorated – in a relaxed and funky way which you wouldn’t expect to work in a Victorian railway hotel, but which, curiously, works very well. On the ground floor, there’s an alluring bar, and upstairs a light and comfortable chamber, Plum + Spilt Milk itself. Much of its seating is at comfortable circular banquettes, often enjoying impressive views over this fast-changing part of town; for a dining room immediately adjacent to a major railway terminus, this really is, to a remarkable extent, an ‘oasis’.
Indeed, it’s hard to see how any traveller – for business or leisure, through King’s Cross, or through St Pancras, across the slip road – is going to do better than here, as the staff are charming, and the food eminently satisfactory. If that sounds slightly like damning with faint praise, this is simply a reflection of the fact that the food has none of the wackiness the name might hint at, nor any real originality at all as far as we could discern. This is simply posh gastropub food, and a fairly modest range of it too, but it’s done really well, and it’s also reasonably priced.
Oh, and let’s not forget the twice-baked smoked haddock soufflé – that actually is worth crossing town for.