Innside Hotel, Manchester
INNSIDE HOTEL: MANCHESTER
Even though I now live in Manchester, for my birthday this year, my husband Steve and I stayed overnight at a hotel in Manchester city centre. We live on the outskirts so it was nice to head into town for a spot of shopping, drinking and eating, knowing we didn’t have to get home at the end of the night. And of course, it’s always nice to have a night away for your birthday!
We were staying at the INNSIDE Manchester Hotel, part of the Melia hotel group, which is in the new First Street development off Manchester’s Deansgate. The hotel is a very very modern building and completely glass fronted on the bottom half meaning you can easily get an instant glimpse inside. The whole downstairs is open plan with the bar and restaurant leading off reception, where there was a feature indoor garden and lanterns dotted about the floor.
Steve and I were checked in by the friendly reception staff and were given our key to our suite for the evening. Our room was on the highest floor with great views over Manchester. It was extremely spacious with a large lounge area, bedroom with king size bed and bathroom, which occupied a long space and ran along the wall from the lounge to the bedroom with an open bath, enclosed separate shower, double sink and toilet cubicle.
Welcoming us was a platter of desserts and we dug into Crème Brulee, Macarons and White Chocolate Mousse before prising ourselves from our room for a little wander around. Of course, it started raining as soon as we left the hotel and we’d forgotten to borrow a brolly from reception, so headed into nearby bar Gorilla for a cocktail instead of a walk about!
We had dinner booked in the hotel that evening and on arrival, the restaurant looked very quiet (it was a Sunday night after all) and we were wondering how good it would be since there was a lack of atmosphere. But the food more than made up for that as it was absolutely fantastic!
The menu at Street on First has a European feel and their ethos is food for a social mood with contemporary Spanish plates and a nod towards the Mediterranean approach of sharing dishes. To start, Steve and I ordered a couple of cocktails and chose some Salt Cod Croquettes with Sauce Vierge to nibble at, which were a perfect crisp mouthful.
Other than the Croquettes, we went a more traditional way of ordering a starter and main each and I chose a Watermelon, Feta and Beetroot Salad and Steve went for one of his favourites, Beef Carpaccio. I wasn’t expecting my salad to be presented the way it was and it really was a beautiful eye-catching plate of colour, texture and skill. It tasted just as good and I really enjoyed the different types of beetroot and the tiny gel-like balls that were filled with oil and balsamic. Steve’s carpaccio was fresh and full of flavour and didn’t disappoint.
For main course I ordered Lamb with Lentils and Feta and Steve chose Fillet Steak with Potato Fondant and Spinach Puree. The lamb was extremely well cooked and melted in the mouth and the lentils were flavoursome, set off by the just softened feta cheese. The beef was perfectly pink and the rich and earthy spinach puree complimented the meat along with the soft buttery potato.
We really wanted to try dessert, as our starters and main course has been so good, but we were both too full. Fortunately we had got to sample some of the hotels sweet treats in our room earlier.
After a good nights sleep in our large bed, the next morning we showered and dressed and headed back to the restaurant for breakfast. There is a large offering for breakfast at Innside, including cooked breakfast items, cereals, fruits, pastries and breads, cheeses, meats, juices and teas and coffees. You can also ask for eggs to order and we enjoyed some fruit and pastries before ordering poached and fried eggs to accompany our cooked breakfast. Both were served perfectly and we enjoyed them along with some bacon, sausage, beans, mushrooms and delicious sourdough toast.
INNSIDE is located in a great area for easily getting around Manchester and you can walk to the shops in 10 minutes. First Street is going to be a location with lots of restaurants, coffee shops and bars and will have its own area of nightlife, which will be easily accessible for hotel guests. Already opened is Pizza Express, Starbucks and the Indian Tiffin Rooms (which serves delicious Indian food) and the HOME cinema is based here too. We enjoyed our stay at the hotel and their restaurant really is somewhere you should visit whether a guest of the hotel or not.
Dotty Dishes was a guest of Innside Manchester.
INNSIDE Manchester, 1 First St, Manchester M15 4RP