On the water­front

It’s named af­ter the artist synony­mous with in­dus­trial Sal­ford, but The Lowry Ho­tel has al­ways been em­blem­atic of the area’s cos­mopoli­tan rein­ven­tion Cheshire Li 2e019

Cheshire Life - - Food & Drink -

The first time we sat in the River restau­rant was shortly af­ter The Lowry’s open­ing in 2001. Hav­ing en­joyed a night in a high-style room which fea­tured a smile-in­duc­ing or­ange chaise longue, we break­fasted with a view across a sunny River Ir­well watch­ing univer­sity row­ing boat teams scud by on a train­ing ses­sion.

The sense of change and striv­ing in Manch­ester was then pal­pa­ble. The ar­rival of a five-star ho­tel was then a big deal (and, yes, I know The Lowry is ac­tu­ally a few yards across the bor­der into Sal­ford, but the idea of such a big in­vest­ment on the ‘wrong’ side of the Ir­well made the Manch­ester rein­ven­tion project seem, if any­thing, even more ex­cit­ing.)

Since then, The Lowry has be­come the kind of place where a vis­it­ing pop megas­tar can lay his or her head, or a Premier League foot­baller may go in search of a cock­tail. Jose Mour­inho, of course, went one bet­ter by mak­ing The Lowry his home for the two-and-a-half years he was Manch­ester United man­ager.

Re­turn­ing to the restau­rant, it still seems like a place where the rich and fa­mous may gather (sure enough, we spot break­fast telly types Char­lie Stayt and Naga Munchetty chat­ting in the bar). The view from the ta­ble - lit-up apart­ment build­ings tow­er­ing over the river - con­tin­ues to be evoca­tive of new Manch­ester.

It’s a stylish din­ing room: quirky art­works, big flo­ral ar­range­ments, tra­di­tional white linen table­cloths but lots of glass and hard sur­faces re­mind­ing you of its 21st cen­tury pedi­gree.

The phi­los­o­phy is very much mod­ern British, with an em­pha­sis on pre­mium in­gre­di­ents. A starter of pot­ted More­cambe Bay shrimps (£12.50) was a de­par­ture from the usual fatty ramekin: a squishy puck of crum­pet with a sprin­kling of the tini­est shrimps and a dol­lop of smoked trout mousse. De­li­cious. Our other starter of lob­ster mac­a­roni cheese (£12.50) was a good por­tion of the creami­est mac and cheese with big hunks of lob­ster, all beau­ti­fully put to­gether.

A bit of com­fort food for a main: Lowry fish pie (£19) with salmon and smoked had­dock nestling in a lush sauce be­neath the mash canopy, and some lovely ten­der­stem broc­coli on the side. Rump of Cheshire lamb (£26) was our other main, with car­rot cooked in lamb fat and a musty roast cele­riac - top notch meat and veg.

Puds of, firstly, poached pear with al­mond crum­ble and pear and honey purée, and, sec­ondly, sticky co­conut rice with mango and pas­sion fruit curd were both £7.50 and both very grown-up desserts to please the dis­cern­ing palate. The Lowry Ho­tel, 50 Dear­mans Place, Chapel Wharf, Sal­ford, M3 5LH, tel 0161 827 4000, www.th­elowry­ho­tel.com

eatchfe: efes­brhuairyr

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