I’ve only just started watching ‘Gotham’ the TV series and it was this very show that inspired my dear friend to book our reunion lunch at Hotel Gotham, on the very prestigious King Street in Manchester.
We’d booked in for afternoon tea at the Honey restaurant and I was probably a lot more excited to be catching up with friends to pay much attention to the fact we were visiting some place new.
The week before our booking, I just happened to read a review by Jonathan Schofield (who’s articles I love) on the Manchester Confidential website, about said Hotel and its dining establishments. It was not at all flattering.
Trusting his words, I carried on reserving my excitement for the catching up with friends side of the visit. However, on walking up to the grand Hotel Gotham, I thought it looked… well pretty grand actually.
The ‘themed’ branding works perfectly with this classical-looking, Grade II listed building. I particularly love the outdoor lighting scheme – deliberate areas of light framing the angles, casting light over the tall windows, keeping the overall look within one of the architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens, mantras – “simplicity of intention and directness of purpose.” And the white stone! Oh, how I love how something as simple as lightening the building material can make such a huge impact.
It’s tiered outer appearance, likens this British designed ex-Midland Bank to the tall skyscrapers that make up the famous skylines in Gotham City. A perfect amalgamation of English architecture, good enough for the likes of American comic hero Bruce Wayne.
The Honey restaurant sits on the sixth floor. Tables are laid out surrounding a central serving point and you’ll find the inside not only celebrates the dynasty that is Batman, but there are also a number of sneaky banking references thrown in for good measure amongst the Gotham inspired nick knacks (I’ve heard this continues on into the guest rooms). In Honey, I loved the bankers lamp wall lights and quirky filing cabinet-style dresser drawers, very on point.
I will sympathise with Jonathon about the food though, it wasn’t the wow factor I was expecting. It wasn’t bad – but there were certain elements which for me, didn’t work (i.e. the banana clotted cream – not a fan). Saying that, the Ivory Coast white hot chocolate was nearly on par with that of Slatterys (which is not an easy feat!) and I think it’s hard to judge food quality when you’re simply snacking on sandwiches.
Afternoon tea is usually something you book as a group, or special occasion… for both of these, Hotel Gotham Works well. Bag yourself a window seat though, as you’ll definitely want to be sipping your tea looking out over the glorious rooftops of Manchester.
We were a bit sneaky and somehow managed to slip in and have a quick nosy around Club Brass (apt name right?). It’s a shame they’ve decided to reserve this as a VIP members only area, as it’s a super cool hidden gem to enjoy an evening out with friends. Very stylish, comfortable and the outdoor balcony areas are a fabulous extension of the space. You can also admire some of the beautifully sculpted elements of the building exterior from up here, the handiwork of a local artist.
Sadly, only those who have subscribed to the £700+ member services, or are guests of the hotel are able to enjoy this exclusive vault.
All in all, I actually enjoyed our afternoon tea experience, and I would return to try an evening meal regardless of what I’ve read. I’m also intrigued enough to consider an overnight stay.
‘Themed’ anythings can come across as gimmicky, cheesy and let’s face it, cheap. But I sincerely don’t think that’s the case here. Hotel Gotham is none of those things. Yes it might seem bizarre to find a gold butler statue tray in hand by the lifts, a line of wall-mounted typewriters with classical printed news pages or even looking up to a montage of large black brollies and bare bulbs as you walk through the foyer. All of this just adds character to a building that has always been known as the ‘King of King Street.’
Anyone else a fan of themed venues??