Luxury in Manchester: Kimpton Clocktower Hotel

A few weekends ago we were lucky enough to stay at the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel in Manchester. Now, we’ve spent many weekends in Manchester, I (Camilla) even lived in Manchester for three years while at university. So much so we would probably say it is our second favourite city in England. However, we’ve never really stayed at hotels in the city, we’ve always had friends that lived nearby or close enough to not need a hotel. So, when we confirmed our stay with Kimpton Clocktower Hotel we were beyond excited to experience a little bit of luxury in Manchester.

We went to Manchester as we were having our makeup trial for Natalie’s wedding in October. We decided it would be best to make a weekend of it and take our mum away with us. We turned it into a weekend of shopping for a ‘Mother of The Bride’ outfit, which we have to say she looks bloody incredible in, a wedding makeup trail and finally lots of good food and drinks.

The Kimpton Clocktower Hotel is based in a great location on Oxford Road in the city centre. It is around a minute walk to Manchester’s Oxford Road train station and a ten minute walk from Manchester Piccadilly. This means it is super close to all of the cities best restaurants, shopping areas including Manchester Arndale and Selfridges, as well as some of the tourist spots such as the Manchester Central Library, the Royal Exchange and Manchester Art Gallery. Pretty much anything you would want to do or see while in the city.

When we arrived in Manchester and the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel we were instantly taken away by the hotel’s impressive architecture. The lobby has incredibly high ceilings, Victorian architecture and is located in a Grade II–listed building. The hotels history dates back to 1890, when the building first opened as The Refuge Assurance Company headquarters, hence the name of the hotel’s restaurant today ‘The Refuge’.

We checked into our room which again had high ceilings, two twin beds and a en-suite. The room was beautifully decorated and had huge windows which let in tons of natural light. On our first afternoon we headed into the city centre and shopped in the main shopping area. Manchester has grown and grown over the years, meaning it has so much to offer when looking for that perfect ‘Mother of The Bride’ outfit.

Once we’d found the perfect outfit it was time to head back to the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel and change for dinner. Of course while sipping on our complementary Gin and Tonics.

We were eating in The Refuge for dinner which offers dishes with British ingredients and a global influence. All made up of smalls sharing plates the menu has so much to offer. For dinner we ordered:

Main:

  • Charred Padron peppers with smoked sea salt
  • Lamb shawarma with harissa and herd yoghurt
  • Spiced lamb flatbread with pomegranate and mint
  • 28-day dry-aged chargrilled rib-eye on the bone with slow-cooked garlic
  • Broccoli with Romesco and garlic
  • Chickpea daal with coconut milk, smoked almonds, apricots and dates
  • Chargrilled cauliflower, harissa and pomegranate
  • Salt cod croquettes with tartare aioli and parmesan
  • Gunpowder potatoes with spring onions and coriander

Dessert:

  • Fig pavlova with honey, yoghurt and tahini
  • Sticky toffee pudding with orange miso caramel, salted caramel ice cream and pecans
  • Dark chocolate mousse with roasted pineapple, chilli and puffed rice

All the dishes were absolutely delicious and although we had no room left we would have love to try the whole menu. On top we also had some cocktails and a bottle of Malbec. The waiting staff were incredibly nice and helpful, recommending so of the best dishes and cocktails. The Refuge is again beautifully decorated with high ceilings and really shows ‘The Glamour of Manchester‘. After all the amazing food we were lucky that we didn’t have far to go before reaching our room.

If you’re lucky enough to be staying at the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel and want to experience a different restaurant also (although the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel 100% has big enough variety of dishes to indulge in over two night – an we definitely could have had nearly all of it again happily..) you could check out:

  • Australasia, 1 The Avenue, Deansgate, Manchester M3 3AP
  • The Alchemist, 3 Hardman St, Manchester M3 3HF
  • Tattu, 3 Hardman Square, Gartside St, Manchester M3 3EB
  • Foodwell, Suite 2, Ground Floor, One New Bailey, Stanley St, Salford M3 5JL

The next morning (with slightly sour heads from the array of cocktails) we were up bright and early before our makeup trial. We headed back down to The Refuge where we were sat in the conservatory, which is decorated with trees and floral patterns, for breakfast. Again the menu had everything to offer, from a continental breakfast, full English and additional dishes to order straight from the kitchen. We opted for avocado on toast and salmon with scrambled eggs, as well as all the toppings.

For the makeup trial the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel were lovely enough to let us have a late checkout at 2pm for no extra fee, meaning that we didn’t need to travel to the trial. Luckily, the room had plenty of room which was perfect for our makeup trial and enough space to social distance. Now, we would show you makeup but we’re keeping that as a surprise for the wedding.

Disclaimer: Our stay and dinner at Kimpton Clocktower Hotel was gifted to us in exchange for a review. However, everything we have said is completely our own opinion.

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