This New Years Eve I decided to spend a couple of nights at the Manchester Malmaison – a Boutique hotel in the middle of the city perfect for a romantic couples night away.
The hotel and spa are beautiful (and a little bit raunchy!) and the food is awesome to with their modern brasserie open for lunch and dinner to hotel guests and outside reservations.
During our stay we were booked in for two breakfasts, however due to the lovely cocktails mentioned later in this post we didn’t make it down for the seating on New Year’s Day morning (oops!).
The breakfast we enjoyed on our first morning however was absolutely delicious. Although not pictured I ordered Smoked Salmon and Creamy Scrambled Eggs which the chef kindly made using soy milk for me as requested which was a fantastic touch and it was simply lovely with a round of brown toast and butter. The boy enjoyed Eggs Benedict with Bacon which also looked delicious and included with the Full Breakfast is your choice of delights from the continental selection too.
After lots of coffee, tea, croissants, eggs, toast and preserves we were well and truly stuffed and set up for the day. Our breakfasts were included in the deal we booked but it’s usually £15.95 which is a fair price considering the amount of food and the quality of ingredients you can enjoy.
During our stay we visited Le Petit Spa in the depths of the Mal hotel for an hour and a half of luxurious massages and body scrubs. Included in the spa package we booked was a Champagne Lunch in their Smoke Bar & Grill. By the time we’ve travelled in the lift back upstairs to the lobby from our treatments there were two champagne cocktails ready and waiting for us – a lovely touch.
To start we both chose a lovely Chorizo, Black Pudding and Apple Salad which although small was the perfect size for how we were feeling at the time and I followed up with a hearty Cod Fillet and incredibly smooth Mashed Potato with a butter sauce which was delicious. The fish was very well cooked and although light there was enough of everything to leave you full up and satisfied for the rest of the afternoon.
The boy ordered a Pumpkin and Walnut Risotto which I pinched a fork full of and thoroughly enjoyed too! For pudding we both had a slab of stunning Chocolate Dipped Strawberries to compliment our fizz. Such a simple dessert but we both thoroughly enjoyed it and I wish they were on more menus for a refreshing but sweet finish.
I wouldn’t hesitate to drop into the Smoke Bar & Grill again for lunch as the rest of the menu looked fantastic too.
Now for the main attraction – Malmaison’s special five course New Year’s Eve menu and what a meal this was. We booked in for the earlier sitting of 7:30pm so we could take our time to enjoy the food and have a few more drinks before the bells at midnight and it was the best decision we made. The brasserie is a lovely place to eat and although there are lots of tables, you don’t feel too close to other people and the service was top notch.
We ordered a bottle of South African Chenin Blanc to compliment our food and it was delicious. The Smoak Wine List is very impressive and although our bottle was towards the lower end at the £25 mark it was a really good wine and one we both thoroughly enjoyed.
Our amuse-bouche was and adorable teacup of Cauliflower Soup and Blue Cheese Fritters which was honestly to die for. If this was on a menu as a starter I’d jump at the chance to eat it again, it was incredibly tasty and the perfect way to start our meal.
For starter I ordered the Fritto Misto ‘Di Mare’ which boasted Fried Lobster, King Prawn, Scallop and Squid with a Tarragon Aioli and Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce and it was delicious. I’m a big fish fan so this was my idea of heaven – the batter was just right and sauces complimented all the seafood perfectly. It was delicious and I was very happy!
The boy ordered a Smoked Ham Hock Terrine and Foie Gras with Apple Chutney and quail egg Mayonaise which also looked delicious and he enjoyed very much!
For main i couldn’t turn down the Pan Fried Halibut with Pearl Barley and Artichoke Puree complimented with a Pinot Noir Reduction and I was so so happy with my choice. A real meaty, well cooked fish with fresh carbs, a sweet puree and deep sauce all went together perfectly for me and although I’d gone a bit fish crazy during the day it was so delicious I wasn’t even jealous of the Fillet of Steak, Dauphinoise Potatoes and Truffle Cabbage on our table.
After a well needed (and requested) break we were served our dessert which was a Coconut Panna Cotta and Champagne soaked Exotic Fruits on a Sable Biscuit and it was stunning. I was a little worried it may be a bit too sweet but the sourness of the fruit made for a perfect combination. The boy went for the Valhrona Chocolate Pave, Irish Coffee Ice Cream and Toasted Hazelnut Crumble which looked incredible but was too heavy for me after the previous three courses!
And after dessert we upgraded our coffees to the Irish variety and just about managed to force down our Amaretto Truffles to finish – what a feast!!!
On our first evening we took a trip to The Alchemist (review coming soon!) to enjoy their crazy cocktail menu so we didn’t experience the Mal’s concoctions until New Year’s Eve itself…but they were well worth the wait!
The menu isn’t massive but there’s something for everyone and the prices are very, very reasonable at around £8.50 per glass. We tried a few different varieties with my favourite being sour, and fruity and the boy’s faves including some kind of whiskey or bitters but for the bells we both went for bubbles and enjoyed a pair of stunning champagne cocktails – mine even came with edible flowers!
I’m a huge cocktail and champagne lover so I was really impressed by the Mal Bar Staff’s skills and the cocktails we tried – I totally blame them for the fact we slept in until 11am the next day and missing breakfast….ooops!
The food and drinks we shared at the Mal this New Year’s were incredible and I would love to go back for lunch, dinner and/or drinks and it will definitely be my watering hole of choice whenever I visit Manchester in the future!