>Duchess of Spotswood
87 Hudsons Road
A mid-week day off from flood response saw me, Kerry and Nina meander down to their new(ish) local eatery, the Duchess of Spotswood. This place is not open that long and has a huge following already, so I was looking forward to a late breakfast with good company.
We sat at the big table right at the window, in a sparsely-decorated but bright and welcoming main salon. One or two tables sat outside on the pavement. On a late Wednesday morning the place wasn’t hopping but we were still three of about eight or nine punters.
The breakfast menu was interesting and full of lovely names – breakfast of champignons, anyone? – but nothing on there for one of us who did not fancy eggs. Everything bar the muesli and the toast (Zeally Bay sourdough, thankyouverymuch) included eggs. Happily, they cobbled together a breakfast of sides for our eggless one, whilst Kerry chose poached eggs with spinach and tomato on Zeally Bay sourdough. I chose the Prince of Wales: house-smoked salmon with a poached egg served with potato pancakes.
My weak English Breakfast tea came out in a proper pottery teapot with a tea-leaf holder inside that meant I could stop the brewing anytime I wanted. Marvellous. Kerry’s latte was perfect. I believe they use Auction Rooms small batch coffee.
We didn’t have to wait too long for our dishes to arrive. My smoked salmon was small but perfectly-formed, and although initially I quailed at my portion size, it was indeed an elegant sufficiency. My poached egg was perfectly cooked, a delight. The tiny potato pancakes were lovely, but with one slice of bread were insufficient for my carb-loving body, so I followed through with some more toast and home-made rhubarb jam for afters. Or it could have been the hangover I was nursing.
The service was fine: efficient enough, a little hard to raise at times, and bordering on the unenthusiastic if I’m honest. All in all, some lovely food and great company, but I am not entirely sure the place is worth all the hype I’m hearing about it. I would like to re-visit for lunch sometime, to see if this place really is the next big thing, or just the Emperor’s New Clothes.