Cheshire Life Women in Business Luncheon - The Lowry Hotel, Manchester
- Credit: Archant
The Lowry was the chic venue for a ladies’ lunch hosted by Cheshire Life, which delighted guests, writes Janet Reeder
How could it be that the five star Lowry Hotel is celebrating its 15th anniversary already? Time has flown since this elegant building became part of the urban skyline and staked its claim as an uber chic location for some of the most glamorous events on the social calendar.
Who hasn’t stayed at this striking venue on the banks of the River Irwell in Manchester city centre? Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, Bono of U2, Muhammed Ali, assorted politicos and a roster of premiership footballers have enjoyed its charms... to mention just a few.
Now with Westmont Hospitality Group as its new owners, there’s a programme of refurbishment going on quietly in the background. Rooms are getting their va-va- voom back and the celebrated River Bar & Restaurant has a new chef steering it into a bright new future.
Of course, many of the guests at this Cheshire Life Women in Business lunch had been here before. The River Bar is the perfect location for meeting over coffee, after all, but the lunch was an opportunity to relax and enjoy an afternoon of light networking.
Glasses of Montelvini Prosecco Millesimato DOCG Asolo in hand, the event started where many of the Lowry’s gatherings commence... in the bar. The glass walls, overlooking the River Irwell diffuse soft flattering light into the room. It really is a most attractive location.
We moved into the restaurant itself, one of the most luxurious settings in the city with chairs upholstered in purple leather, Fornasetti plates and mirrors decorating the walls and starched white tablecloths enhancing the elegant ambience.
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The occasion was overseen by the always elegant and attentive Restaurant Manager / Food and Beverage Manager Huseyin Bozkurt and the team, who ensured we were well supplied with glasses of Indaba Chenin Blanc from South Africa and Casa Rena Malbec from Argentina.
The new Executive Head Chef, Andrew Green had created dishes especially for the occasion showcasing a menu with a hint of Mediterranean warmth at its heart.
Andrew, Glossop born and bred, and now living in Stockport, combines vast experience running the dining operations at some of the north west’s busiest hotels with a passion for the region’s food reflected in his vivid new menu.
The 34-year-old’s a la carte menu changes quarterly at The River Bar & Restaurant and includes such delights as Pan Seared Scallops with Mettrick’s black pudding and cauliflower or Wild Mushroom Risotto; and mains such as Wild Morecambe Bay Sea Bass with clam ragout, potato and spinach or Golcar Chicken Breast with tarragon, broad beans and leek velouté.
The Cheshire life luncheon commenced with the intense flavours of a smoked tomato soup, confit tomato berries, spiced ciabatta and basil oil - a match made in heaven combining the delicious smokiness of paprika and sweet tomato.
For the main course there was a moistly well-flavoured chicken saltimbocca, Pecorino polenta, sun choke puree and rocolla pesto. Sun choke. Who knew? It’s the new term for artichoke. The delicate flavour of the chicken took on all these flavours and a dish of superior status was born.
For the vegetarian version, chicken was replaced by melanzane saltimbocca, which was a kind of breaded fried aubergine. An alchemical transformation of a vegetable that at worst can be a slimy tasteless afterthought. Polenta too...so underrated and when cooked correctly, as delicious as any buttery mash or salty chip.
White chocolate and strawberry tart with champagne sorbet just about finished us off... until coffee and petits fours emerged and we really could not resist a nibble of a crumbly macaron and the sweet unctuousness of a chocolate truffle. Surely treats as light as this couldn’t add inches to the waistline? And if they could? Well, we will just have to forget about that!
Smoked tomato soup, confit tomato berries, spiced ciabatta and basil oil
Chicken saltimbocca, Pecorino polenta, sun choke puree and rocolla pesto
Melanzane saltimbocca Pecorino polenta, sun choke puree and rocolla pesto
White chocolate and strawberry tart with champagne sorbet
Coffee & petits fours
Montelvini Prosecco Millesimato DOCG Asolo
Indaba Chenin Blanc from South Africa
Casa Rena Malbec from Argentina
The Lowry Hotel
50 Dearmans Place, Chapel Wharf, Manchester M3 5LH
0161 827 4000
Breakfast 7am and 10.30am
Lunch: 12 noon and 2.30pm
Afternoon Tea: 2.15pm and 4pm
Dinner: 6pm and 10.30pm
Saturday and Sunday
Breakfast: 7.30am to 11am
Lunch: Saturday 12.30 to 2.30 and on Sunday 12.30 and 3pm.
Afternoon tea: Saturday 12 noon and 4pm and Sunday 3.15pm and 5pm.
Dinner: Saturday 6pm and 10.30pm and on Sunday 7pm and 10pm.
Lunch & dinner
As well as an à la carte menu there is an additional three-course menu which changes each at £24.95 for three courses for both lunch and dinner except Saturday evening. The popular Sunday lunch menu is £22.50 per person for three courses and is always accompanied by live music.