Great Northern Hotel and Plum & Spilt Milk
Just a couple of steps outside the cacophony of sound and movement that is Kings Cross Station, the coolly elegant Great Northern Hotel strikes a pose. The original hotel, built in 1954, underwent a £14m transformation in 2009 and another update in 2016 as part of the station’s redevelopment. Walnut panels and bold Farrow and Ball painted walls sit next to an eclectic collection of London-based art and you could easily miss the Italianate curve of Lewis Cubitt’s design, should you come in the main entrance. The 91-room hotel is expertly decorated in keeping with its Grade-II listed heritage – cleverly designed double sash windows do their best to block out the din below. The Malin + Goetz bathroom potions were a considered touch; the modern scents are in keeping with the hotel’s design. Every floor includes a neat self-service kitchen, complete with fresh Victoria sponge, never-ending Nespresso and milk in the fridge.
The hotel restaurant Plum + Spilt Milk is a buzzing cosmos in lavish surroundings. Head chef Mark Sargeant oversees plates that are busy with flavour, such as loin of venison with truffled celeriac and pickled mushrooms, or a fish menu that includes Loch Fyne scallops with sherry vinegar caramel and a tasty turbot, clam and seaweed dish. With a restaurant that is named after what sounds like a dessert (it’s actually from the uniform of the original Flying Scotsman staff), one can expect a decent pud. The menu iced peanut and salted caramel mousse is a must-try, as is the sweet sharer, the lemon meringue baked Alaska with blood orange.A cosy Snug Bar offers a quieter night that the GNH Bar on the ground floor, where you can see live DJs at club nights.