King Street Townhouse is a boutique Manchester hotel that is simultaneously opulent and modern. But there’s one feature of the Townhouse that’s most definitely contemporary: the bottomless bubbly brunch (£40 per person).
With Champagne rather than prosecco – served in trendy coupe glasses, might I add – the brunch is great for when you’re feeling fancy.
It’s a brunch of two parts, as all the best brunches are. As the Champagne starts flowing, you’re served your first course: thick yoghurt with fresh berries, berry compote and granola.
It’s beautifully presented, not too chilled and there wasn’t so much granola you’d fill yourself up.
And all the while, our Champagne was topped up before our glasses were empty, which is something we could definitely get used to.
For the second course, there’s a choice of dishes, from eggs Benedict with smoked salmon to American pancakes with fresh berries and mascarpone. But neither I nor my friend could resist the sweetcorn fritters.
Topped with smashed avocado and fried eggs – although the chefs obligingly made mine poached upon request – they were incredibly moreish and lightly spiced with just a hint of chilli, but flavoursome rather than hot.
The eggs were cooked perfectly, as was my friend’s bacon, which is an optional addition.
And if you’ve eaten everything before your allotted 90 minutes is up, well there’s nothing left to do but drink Champagne and feel fancy.
King Street Townhouse; 10 Booth St, Manchester M2 4AW; 0161 667 0707; eclectichotels.co.uk/king-street-townhouse
Caramelised banana crêpes with pistachios and honey
100g plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt
50g salted butter, melted, plus an extra 6 tbsp
1 heaped tbsp golden caster sugar
For the topping
3-4 tbsp golden caster sugar
3 large or 4 small bananas, diagonally sliced 2.5cm thick
50g salted butter
75g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
To make the crêpe batter, put the flour, salt and eggs into a large mixing bowl. Combine the milk and measured water in a jug, then blend the liquid into the flour mixture a little at a time, whisking well with either a fork or an electric hand whisk to beat out any lumps. Mix in the 2 tablespoons of melted butter and the sugar, then transfer the mixture to a measuring jug and set aside.
Set a heatproof plate over a pan of simmering water – you can keep the cooked crêpes warm by stacking them on this plate as you cook them.
Heat an 18cm-diameter frying pan over a medium-high heat. Drizzle in 1 teaspoon of the melted butter and tilt the pan to spread it around the base. Quickly pour in just enough crêpe batter to barely coat the base (you want a nice, thin crêpe, not a pancake) and tilt the pan to spread the batter evenly. Cook for about 1 minute, or until the edges start to curl up, then use a knife to tease the edge of the crêpes over to check if the underside is golden and, if so, flip the crêpe (use a spatula if you like) and cook for a further 30 seconds or so, until the underside is golden brown. Transfer the crêpe to the warm plate and cover with greaseproof paper. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding 1 teaspoon of melted butter to the pan each time.
Keep the crêpes warm while you cook the topping. Put the caster sugar into a shallow dish. Dip the 2 cut sides of each banana slice into the sugar to coat. Put 25g of the butter into a large frying pan set over a high heat. Add half the banana slices and fry for no more than 1 minute on each side, or until slightly caramelised. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining butter and banana slices.
To serve, place a few banana slices across half of each crêpe. Scatter over the pistachios and drizzle a little honey over each. Fold into quarters and serve immediately.
Recipe from Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour, published by Mitchell Beazley, £20. Photography by Kris Kirkham octopusbooks.co.uk
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