Getting the train from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly took just over 2 hours courtesy of Virgin Trains and Abode Manchester was just seconds walk from the station itself. It was in a great location within the city (very central indeed!) and the hotel`s grand stature still retained a lot of the period character of a Victorian cotton merchant’s wholesale warehouse. Having already stayed at Abode Exeter I was interested to see whether there might be any slight differences between the two hotels but I was delighted to see that all the facilities, services and personal touches were exactly the same, showing a high level of consistency within this boutique chain.
In total this hotel has 61 rooms and as before were rated Comfortable, Desirable, Enviable and Fabulous – I was fortunate enough to stay in one of the Fabulous suites, named `Frink` on the somewhat exclusive fifth floor. It was like having my own stylishly decorated loft style apartment and each space within it was truly stunning and incredibly comfortable! In my suite many of the original features had been highlighted such as the ironwork columns and the superb polished parquet flooring. I had a sizeable living space with desk area, a large bedroom with a huge luxuriously comfortable bed and double wardrobe as well as a separate bathroom with a large shower, bath, toilet and a `his and hers` sink. I also liked the fact that the refreshment tray in this room was complimentary with a choice of regional treats to indulge in, as well as the usual tea, coffee and homemade cookies.
That evening we made our way down to the restaurant to enjoy our three-course dinner. Much to my surprise we were given the Amazing Graze lunch menu to choose from, therefore, I couldn`t possibly compare it to Abode Exeter`s exquisite tasting menu. Having said that the Amazing Graze lunch menu was excellent value for money – 3 courses for £12.95, 4 courses for £17.95 and 5 courses for £21.45. For starter, I opted for the carrot & coriander soup, which was gorgeously creamy, rich and full of flavour, and my guest chose the breast of wood pigeon, coffee gel and candied hazelnuts, which was a little rare for her liking. I decided on the crisp belly pork with compressed apple, spinach and vanilla jus for my main course and my guest decided to try the asparagus and goats cheese tart, served with new potatoes, both dishes were very tasty and not too heavy, which suited us fine that night. To end the meal my guest tried the pimms and lemonade, strawberries, compressed cucumber, apple sorbet with borage flower, orange jelly and homemade lemonade, which was amazingly refreshing and I decided to sample the pistachio and olive oil cake, almond milkshake and apricot sorbet, which was unusual yet very delicious. As I was not completely stuffed from the meal I was able to relax and get a fabulous nights sleep waking up refreshed the following morning – just what the doctor ordered!
Abode Manchester is fantastic for business or pleasure, as the city is renowned for great shopping with The Trafford Centre shopping centre and Manchester United football grounds just a half an hour journey away on the bus. For hotel, restaurant and bistro reservations call 0161 247 7744 or for more information visit www.abodehotels.co.uk/manchester.
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